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Potential itinerary for two weeks in Japan - please review!!! Thanks

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Feb 17th, 2008, 05:44 AM
  #1
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Potential itinerary for two weeks in Japan - please review!!! Thanks

My fiance and I are traveling to Japan for 15 days. We arrive in Narita at 3:35 PM April 6 and depart April 21 at 4 PM. We plan to get railpasses. Please critique our possible itinerary.

Day 1: Arrive 3:35 PM in Narita. Book kokusa flight to Miyazaki (if no late flight, sleep in cheap accomodation near Narita or Haneda and take early flight out.

Day 2: Miyazaki: just hang out, visit Ocean dome, adjust and relax.

Day 3: train to Kagoshima. Day and night in Kagoshima area

Day 4: visit Sakurajima. Take train to Nagasaki either this night or next morning (sleeping in Kagoshima)

Day 5: Nagasaki

Day 6: Take train to Hiroshima then Miyajima. Sleep in Miyajima.

Day 7: Miyajima,then take train to Kyoto area, see Himeji en route. We have friends in Kyoto. We plan to use Kyoto as a base for five days for small trips, our friends have agreed to take us to their vacation house on the sea and the Amanoshidate and maybe Kinosaki.

Day 8: Kyoto area

Day 9: Kyoto area

Day 10: Kyoto area

Day 11: Kyoto area; leave for Tokyo area

Day 12: For the last 4 days, use Tokyo as a base to explore the city and area

Day 13: Tokyo

Day 14: Tokyo

Day 15: Morning in Tokyo, depart in afternoon
puttakka is offline  
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Feb 18th, 2008, 12:19 AM
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"kokusa flight"? what's that? Do you mean a Yokoso flight? One of the special fares for foreign tourists?

Am not sure that the ocean dome is worth going out of the way for.

Try spending some time at hyperdia.com to check the train schedule, travel times, for days 4 to 6.

I recommend that you attend the Miyako Odori when you are in Kyoto.
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Feb 18th, 2008, 07:48 AM
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Not going to Miyazaki just for Ocean dome - going to rest for two days before exploring Kyushu.
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Feb 18th, 2008, 11:03 AM
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You'd be flying from Haneda. I don't know if you would make the 6:55PM JAL or 7PM ANA flights from there to Miyazaki.

I did similar. The day after arriving in Japan, I flew from Haneda to Kagoshima and then took the train to Ibusuki. Then Kumamoto, Beppu, Fukuoka.

On another trip I flew into Nagoya and connected to Nagasaki.

The only problem with your itin is the 6 hours it would take to get from Kagoshima to Nagasaki. I believe there is a ferry from Kumamoto-ken to Shimabara. Might be bus-ferry-bus-train from Kumamoto-shi to Nagasaki. Go to jnto.go.jp and search for Practical Travel Guide and look at the ones for Kyushu.
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Feb 18th, 2008, 11:04 AM
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The 6 hours is train-only time.
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Feb 18th, 2008, 01:04 PM
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puttakka,

Wow, we arrvive in NRT two hours before you. We will also be in Tokyo, Kagoshima/Sakurajima around the same time. We are skipping Beppu this time but will also be in Fukuoka, Hiroshima/Miyajima and a few other places this trip.

Read here for the explanation of the benefit of buying a "Yokoso" domestic airfare as opposed to buying one when you get to Japan.

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2364.html

With a Yokoso, Oneworld or Star Alliance pass you can save hundreds of dollars off the price but you have to get them before you get to Japan. I just picked up our Haneda to Kagoshima Star Alliance ticket on Friday for 11,000 yen each plus 150 yen in fuel surcharges.

Aloha!

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Feb 20th, 2008, 07:31 AM
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JAL will let you buy Yokoso fare even if you don't fly OneWorld--except I think it's slightly more expensive. Roughly JPY13,000 per section (plus 5% tax) vs JPY10,000 per section if you're on OneWorld (plus 5% tax). You'll need to buy them before you go to Japan.

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Feb 20th, 2008, 04:49 PM
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I think we arrive in Narita at 3:35pm on April 6 also!
Anybody else coming in from Chicago?

Perhaps we will see you in Kyoto on Day 8!
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Feb 21st, 2008, 09:24 AM
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Thanks for all the info about Yokoso fare, etc - I've beein in contact with JAL (I wrote "kokosa" instead of Yokoso"). My bad.

Ocean Domes's out - apparently Seagaia CLOSED it in Oct 2007. So scratch that. Thinking about flying there and chilling out there for one night, next morning train to Kagoshima and check out Kagoshima and maybe stay in the ryokan on that island, ferry back and either explore Kagoshima area and then head up to Kumamoto, then Nagasaki, then to Miyajima, up to Kyoto for five days (staying with friends and exploring the coast as well), then back to Tokyo.
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Feb 21st, 2008, 10:57 AM
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How are you handling your luggage? or are you backpacking? If you're interested, I can tell you about the hotel postal service if you don't know about it.
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Feb 21st, 2008, 06:46 PM
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In that case, you can fly directly from Haneda to Kagoshima. The rub is, the last flight is 18:55, which seems a bit too tight if you're arriving at Narita 15:35.

Between Narita and Haneda, you'll take a limousine bus (should take about 90min). But considering the time to go through immigration and luggage pickup at Narita, minimum connection is like 3hrs. Check-in at Haneda is usually very smooth, takes no more than 10min to go through security check. (BTW, I found Yokoso fare won't allow online check-in.)
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Feb 21st, 2008, 09:23 PM
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We arrive in Tokyo on 6 April (will keep an eye out for anyone wearing a Fodors hat!). We have booked a JR Pass, 3 nights in Tokyo and 5 in Kyoto - any suggestions for the remaing 10 days would be appreciated.

Alos we are backpacking around the world but would like to travel light in Japan. Any ideas as to where we could store a bag for couple of weeks?
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Feb 21st, 2008, 09:58 PM
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The airport has baggage storage (staffed) that you can leave things for a couple of weeks...not inexpensive though. Many hotels will keep things for you if you are returning.

What are your interests for 10 days?
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Feb 22nd, 2008, 01:44 AM
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kim - This is our 1st time to Japan so I guess we want to see /experience as much as we canin the time. primary interestsinclude visiting an onsen, staying in a ryokan, getting out into the countryside and of course temples and food! apart from Kyoto and Tokyo we are also thinking of Nara (or would that be too many temples!) we are reading teh guide book but there is so much to see and any thoughts /guidance would be much appreciated.
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Feb 22nd, 2008, 02:00 AM
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You might enjoy a temple stay in Koya-san. Hiroshima is a place I can recommend, and nearby Miyajima is very nice. I'll give Kanazawa a plug as a nice small city...we live there....and nearby Gokayama and Shirakawa-go are 2 of my favorite spots.
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Feb 22nd, 2008, 01:08 PM
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puttaka, you might consider flying on arrival day from Narita to Fukuoka. There should be a flight NRT-FUK scheduled that connects with yours.

crellston, you could visit Takayama during the spring festival which I am guessing would be the weekend of April 18 (but maybe the 11th). A day trip to Nara is worthwhile to see Todaiji alone.

You will be there during cherry blossom time.
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Feb 23rd, 2008, 11:40 PM
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Thanks Kim and mrwunrfl. I will check out yur suggestions in the LP guidebook and submit my itinerary for scrutiny in due course!
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Feb 25th, 2008, 06:49 AM
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Thanks for all your help!!! As for the NRT-Fukuoka flight - that's a great idea! I think we are leaning towards taking the night train from Tokyo to Kumamoto (hate flying anyway)
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Feb 25th, 2008, 09:00 AM
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that Tokyo-Kumamoto night train adds 18 hours to your commute.....you must hate flying
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Feb 25th, 2008, 01:25 PM
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I do hate flying, especially schleping from airport to town. But adding 18 hours to the commute actually saves us time elsewhere. Instead of flying into Narita, trucking over to Haneda, staying at some boring airport hotel, and arriving in Kagoshima at 12 noon, we'll be: getting off oyur international flight, zooming into Tokyo, walk around a bit, try and get adjusted, get a short but sweet (hopefully) intro to Tokyo, and when we're about to conk out, catch a 6:00 PM train where we just chill for 18 hours.

I've actually done it before - once, three days after arriving in India, I got on a 24-hour train ride from Bangalore to Kanyakumari and in my exhausted state, it really wasn't that bad!!! Mind you, my second day in India involved an overnight bus ride from Bangalore to Tirupathi, standing five hours in line at a temple, then bussing it back, sleeping, and then taking the 24-hour train.
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