Places to visit in Japan on march

Old Jan 22nd, 2002, 06:46 PM
Francisco Guzman
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Places to visit in Japan on march

On March 23 im going to arrive at Narita International Airport. I am planing my own trip to Tokyo. Im going to stay in Japan for 7 nights. I want to know what places I can visit during this seven days. I am looking for cheap hotels. I see that Bussiness hotels are Ok but if you know a good bussines hotel please tell me the name. I can visit Kyoto in one day? What other places near Tokyo I can visit in one day?
I apreciate all information you bring me. We are from Puerto Rico and this is our first time traveling to Japan.
Thank you
Old Jan 22nd, 2002, 09:55 PM
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Bonjour Francisco,

Yes, there are lots of places you can visit in one day around Tokyo: Nikko, Kamakura, Hakone-Fuji-5 Lakes area, Boso peninsula, for example.

Kyoto is 3 hours away by bullet train, you need more than 1 day to do it justice.

Business hotels are convenient but they mostly cater to Japanese businessmen and the rooms are small, tending toward tiny. There are plenty other cheap accomodations, from youth hostels to traditional inns, have a look at:
Welcome Inns: or
Japanese Inns Group:

In Tokyo, I've had very good experiences at Sawanoya Ryokan, Asakusa Shigetsu, and Katsutaro Ryokan (try their new annex), and some people on this board have good things to say about Hotel New Koyo and Taito Ryokan (both have a www site, or you can do a search on this forum). In Kyoto, I usually stay at Hiraiwa, Kyoka, or Yuhara ryokans. All those places are very good value for the price (yen 4500/person/night) and are well located for sightseeing.

You will find lots of informations on travelling inside Japan at
Old Jan 23rd, 2002, 09:26 AM
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Francisco I have not been and this all depends on your interest but many suggest Kyoto as one of their favorite places in Japan. I would consider making this your hub for that short piece of time.

I have had friends on a world tour that stopped in Tokyo for a week they were not left with lasting impressions. Does not mean a whole lot they were only there for one week. I just have always heard people speak about Kyoto with excitement. Something to consider maybe read about it and make your choice there.
Old Jan 23rd, 2002, 12:37 PM
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Bonjour Kate,

One of the reasons Kyoto is so popular is that it has not been bombed flat during the war and therefore has most of its original buildings and offers more opportunities to see the traditional way of life, and it is lots smaller and easier to navigate than Tokyo or Osaka due to its grid plan.

Tokyo is very disconcerting for the first time visitor, since at first glance it looks very much like any big US city, only bigger and messier, except for the predominantly Asian population. In order to realise the difference, you need to explore out of the way areas that are not very tourist friendly (i.e. no "readable" signs, a general lack of any recognisable streets plan, shops and restaurants that don't look at all like anything we're used to and make it hard to recognise what's what, etc.).

I really love Tokyo because I've had the opportunity to spend enough time exploring those areas and meeting the people, but I also think that Kyoto is more suitable for a first visit, especially if you don't have much time.
Old Jan 23rd, 2002, 07:44 PM
simon tooke
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you should try to book ahead.
the end of march/beginning of april
is sakura season; very popular.
Old Jan 24th, 2002, 06:49 PM
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Thanks Flourence for your information.
If you were my tourist guide. What itinerary you prepare for me? on 6 full days?
I appreciate your coments.

Thank you
Old Jan 24th, 2002, 09:50 PM
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It depends on whether you arrive early enough in Narita to go directly to Kyoto (count 1 hour to get out of the airport, then 1 hour by train to downtown Tokyo, and 3 hours to Kyoto).

If yes, you can spend the first 3-4 days in Kyoto, with daytrips to Nara and Himeji castle, for example. Then, back to Tokyo for the rest of your stay, with daytrips to Nikko, Kamakura or Fuji-Hakone. This way, you will only change hotels once and make the most of both areas, and you'll be able to use the Kyoto experience in order to feel less intimidated by Tokyo.

Taking the train directly from Narita to Kyoto is less of a hassle than it sounds. You can make all the reservations at the JR desk at Narita.

If you land later in the day, spend the first night in Tokyo and maybe take a bus tour of the city, then go for 3 days to Kyoto and back to Tokyo.

Whatever you do, don't forget to buy a railpass before you leave your country (see travel tips for info on how and where). This will cover all your travel fares except the bus and subway in Kyoto and is much cheaper and easier than buying your tickets in Japan.


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