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Overnight in Hakone or Nikko?

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Aug 4th, 2013, 01:05 PM
  #1
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Overnight in Hakone or Nikko?

I will be travelling in Japan for 3 weeks in Nov. . I have 7 nights in Tokyo before leaving and travelling the country for the next 2 weeks. During the 7 nights in Tokyo I'd like to go to Nikko and Hakone as well as spend 2 or 3 full days in Tokyo.
1- Is this doable, and if so, is it better to overnight in Hakone or Nikko,? , I'd then do the other as a day trip I don't think I have time to overnight in both Nikko and Hakone unless I eliminate a day in Tokyo
2- If not doable, which do you recommend for a first time traveler..., Hakone or Nikko? Our first stops after leaving Tokyo are Matsumoto, Takayama Kanazawa.. Hiroshima and Kyoto.
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Aug 4th, 2013, 03:50 PM
  #2
kja
 
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For Nikko, it depends on what you want to do. Highlights can be visited in a very long day trip from Tokyo. To see the major shrines and temples in Nikko without rushing and also see Kegon-no-taki, an overnight would be MUCH better. I didn't go to Hakone.
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Aug 4th, 2013, 04:26 PM
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I am also stucked between those two opitions. My concern is if its recommended to a stay 1 or 2 nights in nikko since I am also planning to stay in kyoto. Nikko or hakone hmmmm...
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Aug 4th, 2013, 04:35 PM
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> My concern is if its recommended to a stay 1 or 2 nights in nikko since I am also planning to stay in kyoto.

Nikko and Kyoto are quite different from each other.
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Aug 4th, 2013, 08:22 PM
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we have chosen hakone at the hyatt
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Aug 4th, 2013, 08:22 PM
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we have chosen hakone at the hyatt
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Aug 4th, 2013, 08:26 PM
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Are they? How? I got the impression that both places are filled with temples and gardens. I would love to see them, but dont want a trip with only temples as attractions. I am planning to stay 4 days ( 5 nights ) in Kyoto + 1 night at Mt Kyoto.
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Aug 4th, 2013, 08:27 PM
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We are spending two nights in Hakone just before we fly home. Can't resist the hot springs.
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Aug 4th, 2013, 08:45 PM
  #9
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> I got the impression that both places are filled with temples and gardens.

True, but the styles and settings are different. (Rome and Florence are both filled with churches and museums; doesn't mean they are interchangeable!) You can learn more at japan-guide.com

Depending on your itinerary, Hakone may well provide you with greater diversity. I'm merely commenting on Nikko and Kyoto.
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Aug 5th, 2013, 09:39 AM
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Not much difference in travel time from either place to Matsumoto, depending on departure time. A bit under 4 hours. But you could use travel time as a tie-breaker if you departure or arrival times are not very flexible.

You don't have any bad choices, as far as places to visit goes. It is just a matter of how much time want to spend on trains and what you want to do at night. If you day-trip to Nikko then you are taking a day from Tokyo. How you spend the night is the difference. I wouldn't stay a night in Hakone and a night in Nikko because I don't need/want two calm and relaxing (boring) nights in a 2 or 3 night period. You might.

I chose Hakone because I wanted the scenery, primarily Fuji-san, and the onsen. And the cruise across Ashi-ko and the geothermal and other features on the loop, including the variety of transportation modes.
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Aug 5th, 2013, 10:03 AM
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If I had that choice now, this year, and at that time of year I would pick Hakone. There aren't many main temples in either location. Actually there are more shrines in both locations mentioned. Also take into consideration that the Rinnoji Temple(the major dera in Nikko) along with Nikko's main attraction, the Toshogu Shrine, are undergoing major renovations for the next decade.

A few other reasons for Hakone imho

1. Hakone is in the direction you are traveling.

2. Nikko is two hours in the opposite direction of your
travels adding more train travel time(a plus for some).

3. Nikko's main sites are under construction.

4. The Nov-March time frame is the best weather wise for viewing of Mt Fuji from various sites within and around Hakone.

5. Transport within Hakone region utilizing the Hakone Free Pass makes Hakone not only more accessible but more user friendly. You can hop on the Romance train in Shinjuku, get off in Hakone-Yumoto, walk fifty feet to the Tozan railway cars and start the Hakone Round course which will take you up and around the Hakone region utilizing the train, cog-way train, funicular, cable car, then finally a pirate ship across Lake Ashi for a fantastic visual tour of the Hakone region (if weather permits of course) with very little walking between venues. You can eat a late lunch at one the pier restaurants in Moto-Hakone or Hakone-Machi. Then take a little walk down the Old Tokkaido Road to walk off your lunch or just sit lakeside for fabulous views of Fujisan (if she is showing herself that day) before taking the bus back to the nearest train station or to your ryokan along the route.

6. All popular sites in Nikko are uphill from the roads, in fact everything in Nikko is uphill starting from when you arrive at the train stations.

7. In Nikko there are buses, taxis, car rentals but mostly foot power (not necessarily a bad thing if you like to hike).

8. There are beautiful ryokan in both areas but many more in the Hakone region that I have seen if that is your intention.

All that said we do love Nikko and the sights there are lovely but save it for a return trip when you can give it the time to do it justice.

Aloha!
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Aug 5th, 2013, 12:09 PM
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HT from your description Hakone sounds fab, am glad we managed to get in the Ryokan we wanted. ( got the last room and booked MONTHS ago)
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Aug 5th, 2013, 12:20 PM
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Smeagol, Hakone is a fab destination...just wish we had more than an overnight when we are there with the Kimball's in the fall. Can you guess which option Bob will pick after lunch? Let's see walk the Old Tokkaido road or sit by the lake and watch Fujisan?
I think Karen and Linda will be walking the road while I keep Bob company and study Fujisan from the lake shore

Which ryokan did you get in Hakone?

Aloha!
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Aug 5th, 2013, 12:24 PM
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I'm glad we have two nights in Hakone. Sounds just wonderful!
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Aug 5th, 2013, 01:02 PM
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Think it's called Ginyu. Looks lovely. ( should be for the price)
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Aug 5th, 2013, 02:01 PM
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Hakone Ginyu? Several people are jealous.
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Aug 5th, 2013, 03:47 PM
  #17
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Many thanks for all your replies.

HT-Do you know where I can find the morning schedule for the Romance Car leaving Shinjuku? I am interested in going to Hakone for the sightseeing, not the ryokan experience. (If I overnight in Hakone I'd probably stay at the Hyatt as I have a free night there.)I'm not quite sure if overnighting in the area would give me more sightseeing time than just doing it as a day trip, as sunset is around 4:45, and I'd be leaving the next day after breakfast. Am i missing something?

Your replies have helped me decide that I do not want to spend a night in Nikko. If we go we will go as a day trip to see only the shrines, not the lake, and return to Tokyo in the evening.
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Aug 5th, 2013, 04:35 PM
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http://www.odakyu.jp/english/romancecar/

So you are just doing a day trip to Hakone...and what about Nikko?
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Aug 5th, 2013, 05:03 PM
  #19
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I haven't decided on whether to overnight in Hakone or do it as a day trip. If we go to Nikko I will do it as a day trip and visit only the shrines, not the lake. I will check closer to our departure as to how much in Nikko is actually covered with scaffolding before making a final decision. Doing both Nikko and Hakone as day trips seems easier logistically as I can choose the days to go depending on the weather, rather than being locked in because of a hotel reservation. And i don't have to worry about luggage transport. The downside to day trips is it is more rushed.
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Aug 5th, 2013, 05:10 PM
  #20
 
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yes spending and overnight would give you more time, also you are missing the free drinks served from 4-7 pm in the Hyatt fireplace room along with their huge onsen in the spa which is free to all guests.
You could ideally leave Tokyo one night earlier and spend that one night in Hakone before going on to the rest of your trip. It would be a shorter ride from Hakone unless you can catch the 10:03 am train from Nikko to Matsumoto. All other trains and departure times from Nikko take a much longer time to get to Matsumoto.

Save Nikko for next time as it is worth more than a day trip. Our first trip to Nikko was a day trip and I remember on the way back to Tokyo thinking what a waste of time(more than four hours) it was to rush around Nikko in order to get back to Tokyo in time for dinner.....just mho.

Aloha!
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