Please check my Japanese itinerary

May 23rd, 2004, 09:11 PM
  #1  
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Please check my Japanese itinerary

We hope to visit Japan in 3 weeks, so I'd better get cracking on booking things.
Day 1: Fly into/out of Tokyo because can get free trip with points. Take Limo or train from Narita to hotel in Tokyo

Day 2 : Organized half day tour of Tokyo to orientate ourselves, then look around with Fodor's book as guide
Book a seat on Shinkansen Tokyo-Kyoto
Exchange our ticket for JR pass to be activated tomorrow so we can use trains around Tokyo.

Day 3 : Tokyo. ( any hints on must-sees? )

Day 4: Take Shinkansen to Kyoto. Look around Kyoto by ourselves or half day tour if we arrive in time. Must-sees for Kyoto?

Day 5: half day tour of Kyoto and another half day tour of Nara. Is it possible to get to Nara and see sights ourselves, or is a tour the best?

Day 6: Train to Hiroshima stopping in Himeji to visit castle. Are there any lockers for our large suitcases (which my husband will insist on taking) in Himeji train station while we look around. How far is it to castle and any sights, shrines etc?

Day 7: Look around Hiroshima Peace Park etc, afternoon at Miyajima Island. Night either in Ryokan (any to recommend) or back in Hiroshima

Day 8: Train Hiroshima - Tokyo last look at Tokyo

Day 9: Depart for home

Pleae give me any hints/comments - thanks in anticipation! Mandy
Amanda is offline  
May 24th, 2004, 03:46 AM
  #2  
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I need a bit of help before I book! My husband doesn't want to stress-out on this holiday, so I thought I'd leave a bit of "people-watching" time there. Where can you sit if there aren't many coffee shops - do parks have many seats?
Amanda is offline  
May 24th, 2004, 04:35 AM
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Looks pretty good. I do have some comments:

Day 1 - I suppose that you already have your FF tickets? Which airline FF program are you using?

Day 2 - Where are you making the exchange? You don't say it on Day 9, but I assume that you are taking the Narita Express to the airport since your pass will be valid that day (valid for days 3-9).

Day 3 - Meiji Shrine; a baseball game

Day 4 - Nijo-jo;

Day 5 - Nara by yourselves, or at least the transport, since you can use your JR Pass. Are you staying in Nara or Kyoto that night? There are tours/tour guides /buses from Nara station to the sights. It is a bit far to walk.

Day 6 - Have read that there are koin rokka at Himeji station and am counting on using them on June 3. Read that the castle is 15 min from the station and following the sightseeing route through the castle takes 90 minutes. The 15 min walk to the castle would be mostly uphill, I think.

Your DH needs to learn how to pack light. He needs to understand the necessity of it. If you can't carry all of your luggage (wheels up) then you are almost certainly carrying too much (depending on your physical capabilities). Best if you can carry your luggage up 20 stair steps. I would leave the Day 0-3 stuff at the Tokyo hotel and pick it up when returning on Day 8. I would consider going to Kyoto, leaving some luggage at the station before boarding train to Himeji etc. Pick up luggage on the way back and go to Nara, then back to Tokyo. Probably would leave bags at Hiroshima station and just take what was needed for the two days in Hiroshima. That is a bit overkill - stashing luggage in three places, but it is worth considering. I could go on, I suppose, trying to make my point, but I will just state it: handling the luggage is the one thing that can cause the most stress.
mrwunrfl is offline  
May 24th, 2004, 06:44 AM
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Amanda:

You sound more prepared than I am and I'm leaving in 3 days for a 10 day trip. Your trip sounds very busy with the traveling and all. Good luck..
BigFeat is offline  
May 24th, 2004, 05:10 PM
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I certainly had my opinion this morning on how you guys ought to travel and was not shy about sharing it, but now I apologize if I offended. When I am on a trip like the one you described, then I consider it a necessity that I pack light. I don't know what I'm going to take on my upcoming 3-week trip, but it will fit into one wheeled bag.
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May 24th, 2004, 06:03 PM
  #6  
emd
 
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mrwunrfl: I am interested in your comment. If I can fit a 2 wk. wardrobe into a wheeled carry-on bag (not the ones that are overstuffed and too big for the overhead, but a normally packed 21 inch carry-on) do you think would I be able to get that btwn. cities on the trains? I will only need to get a 21 inch wheeled carryon to Japan. I know how to pack the right stuff, those stretchy acetate travel pieces for myself, and my son can live in a few pairs of jeans and a few shirts, and pick some up on the trip over there. But can we go from Tokyo to Kyoto (and possibly beyond) w/carryons like that, or do we have to send our luggage ahead in that case? We would be able to carry it up 20 steps-- I am more concerned about having room on the train for it. I don't want to have luggage stress, but I am also not used to sending luggage ahead and can't seem to help myself from having anxiety over the thought of that loss of luggage control...
emd is offline  
May 24th, 2004, 06:33 PM
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You will be fine and won't need to ship ahead, though that would be an option for Amanda. If you can carry it on a plane, then you can carry it on a JR train. At least, I don't recall it being an issue for me. I will have one large roller backpack with a detachable daypack. When I unzip the daypack then the main backpack can fit in the overhead with the small pack beside it. I won't ever need to use the backpack feature of the main pack: will be able to roll it everywhere or carry by the suitcase-type handle when on the stairs at the station.

On Amanda's itinerary, I would leave the day 0-3 and day 9 stuff in Tokyo. That would give me room for purchases along the way. When back in Tokyo, buy a cheap bag to take the overflow back home.

mrwunrfl is offline  
May 24th, 2004, 06:50 PM
  #8  
emd
 
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This is good news. Thanks very much. I also have a daypack that attaches to my carry-on. I guess the purchases are something to think about, but I am assuming we can ship those back from Kyoto, where we will spend (I think) 8 nights of our stay, w/day trips form there.
emd is offline  
May 25th, 2004, 01:07 AM
  #9  
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thanks for the hints! My DH can indeed lug the suitcase up any number of steps (we've done it in Europe) but I learnt my lesson and decreased the size of mine. Can't leave anything in Tokyo - it's only clothes and a full size rubber pillow (only weighs 1 kg). I'll try nagging!
We are going to do the Hakone loop as a day trip from Tokyo on one of the days too - may have 4 nights in Tokyo first and do that because we have a midnight flight out of Tokyo home.
Amanda is offline  
May 25th, 2004, 02:47 AM
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Well, guess I'm not in a position to argue against the idea of nagging. Reasoning might still work: he has to fit the suitcase into a koin rokka at Himaji. It will be 80F+ and humid/raining in mid-June. Not pleasant weather for lugging a suitcase around.

emd, you probably will still be ok, depending on how big a shopper you are. In any event, by the time you get to Kyoto you will know what to expect, won't you?
mrwunrfl is offline  
May 26th, 2004, 08:33 PM
  #11  
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Dear mrwnfrl, what is a koin rokka - sounds like a coin-operated locker for suitcases that's not very big!

How can we send our suitcases from the hotel in Kyoto to our hotel in Hiroshima on the same day? Especially if they're not the same "chain" as I imagine the Miyako hotels are? Does it cost much? That may be the answer re big cases on the train.
Amanda is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 02:16 AM
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Some coin lockers are indeed very large, but I don't think you'll find one big enough to hold large suitcase...but you MIGHT get lucky...I've never seen them bigger than could hold a decent sized backpack...the shape is generally not suitcase shape but boxy. Almost every station and department store has coin lockers...it's finding them that can be tricky.

Sending baggage usually takes overnight, but it MAY be possible to arrange same day delivery if you send it early morning. The hotels do not send baggage themselves. There are many delivery companies who specialize in package delivery who do the luggage too. When we send our bags home from a hotel (like if we've shopped a lot) they always arrive the next day. Price depends on size....average is about 2000 yen a bag. You don't need to arrange this in advance...just ask at your hotel about it. Probably they will need to send it the day before. The delivery companies are very reliable and we've never had trouble in the 9 years we've lived in Japan...we use this service every time we travel overseas or shop in big cities unless we've used the car.
Kim
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