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emd Dec 3rd, 2004 03:32 PM

Plan for first few days in Tokyo area
It's our 1st trip to Japan. Plan for our two wk trip has been to get into Narita 3/17 4:30 pm, and go to Yokohama, stay at Sheraton (free stay on points, w/club level and free breakfast) to visit Tokyo, Kamakura, Hakone for first 5 days, then head to Kyoto for a week. We have found out there is a festival at Asakusa Kannon temple on 3/18 that we want to attend. I am wondering if we should go from Narita to Asakusa, stay at Asa. Shigetsu for 1 or 2 nights, and then go to Sheraton Yokohama. That way we do not have to navigate into Tokyo on the 1st day, and are right there at Asakusa and the temple. But then we would lose time getting to Yokohama to the Sheraton later. Also, we'd have luggage to deal with first few days and while changing hotels. What do you think, should we go straight to Yokohama or go to Asakusa and switch later?

emd Dec 3rd, 2004 03:50 PM

BTW- I should add that the Dragon Dance that we want to see is being performed at the temple at 11 am, 1:30 and 3 pm on 3/18- so we have a bit of flexibility on when we get there.

mrwunrfl Dec 3rd, 2004 05:22 PM

I would go straight to Yokohama on the Narita Express (at 5:44) (esp. if my JR Pass was activated at NRT). There are other options for getting to Yokohama easily. Your hotel is so close to Yokohama station and it will be only one transfer to get to Asakusa the next day.

You can travel with your luggage to your Asakusa hotel on arrival day, and a couple of days later travel with your luggage (on subway & JR) to your Yokohama hotel.

Or, you could travel with your luggage to your Yokohama hotel and the next day make a roundtrip JR/subway trip to Asakusa (without luggage).

Your flexibility on the 18th makes it easy for you. If another consideration is that you would pay to stay at Shigetsu vs staying at the Sheraton on points, then I think that would make it a slam dunk (in favor of Yokohama). You know that I am not the kind of person who minds changing hotels frequently, but in this case, I think I would keep it simple.

mrwunrfl Dec 3rd, 2004 05:35 PM

OTOH, if you would be sightseeing in Tokyo on the 19th, 20th, and Shigetsu is easy to get to, and you are travelling light, then being right there would have it's advantages.

emd Dec 3rd, 2004 06:34 PM

Mrwunrfl, it's no wonder we have the same bday. You sound like me, weighing all the options, but I can't make up my mind. Shigetsu is right inside the gate at the temple w/temple views from the 6th floor baths, gets good reviews here by trusted people, and is moderate in price (14000 yen for a 2 twin room). One thing is that the check out is 10 a.m. and I don't know if I want to be forced to be up and out that early on day 1, so we'd probably want to stay 2 or maybe even 3 nights; it would give us the option of going back to the hotel half way through the day if jet lag hits us, adn still be able to go back out again in Tokyo later. Then we could go to Yokohama later in the week for Kamakura, Hakone, and a partial day in Yokohama. But settling in at Sheraton (w/some English speaking staff) sounds good too.
BTW, I hope your Argentina trip was a good one.

emd Dec 3rd, 2004 06:40 PM

Also, I could possibly get by w/a 7 day JR pass on this trip but it would involve not going to Kyoto til a day after we want to, so if we stay in YOkohama I will get 14 day and activate the first day on NArita Exp. I also want the flexibility of using the pass on the JR lines in Tokyo and btwn Tokyo and Yokohama.

mrwunrfl Dec 3rd, 2004 07:33 PM

Catching the 5:44 N'Ex to Yokohama is sounding good again. If you want to make it complicated, you could stay in Yokohama the first night, and take just a day or two's worth of stuff and go to Asakusa. Leave the rest of your stuff in Yokohama to get when you return on the 19th.

On your first day I think it is more likely that you will be up before 5AM than having to move fast to be out by 10AM.

emd Dec 4th, 2004 03:08 AM

You think I can get the 5:44 NE if we land at 4:30? Customs, getting luggage (it will be small enough but too heavy for the overhead I think), convert some yen, activate the pass-- I thought it would take longer.
Don't want complicated. I read a post here by Airlawgirl about how nice it is to be right at the Sensoji temple grounds at Shigetsu and be able to walk around there at night. We could go to Yoko. from Narita and as a back-up I could make a reservation at Shigetsu for night 2, and if we are obliterated by jet lag on day 1 after going from Yoko. to Asakusa, then we can check in and crash at Shigetsu, and have our luggage in Yokohama that night. Then go back to Yoko. at end of day 2. I think I'll do that. Can afford to double book a night since 1 room is free and Shigetsu is reasonable. Maybe do a Japanese rm and get that experience too, and see if I can get my son to use the mens bathing area (from which you can see the temple). That sounds good, I think it's a plan.

emd Dec 4th, 2004 03:13 AM

mrwunrfl- did you find any horse racing south of the border over Thanksgiving? I'm sure you tried...

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