Seeking Help with First Trip to Japan

Old Dec 1st, 2015, 06:37 PM
  #21  
 
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I will differ with kja with whom I usually agree... ;-) If your plane arrives at 4:30...don't know where you are coming from....by the time you get through Immigration and get your luggage it will be sort of late to start off to, say, Kyoto...where you would arrive after 9 pm....

I would send my luggage by takuhaibin to Kyoto and stay overnight near to Shinagawa Station in Tokyo and then start off in the morning - assuming Kyoto is your first stop of course.
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Old Dec 1st, 2015, 07:11 PM
  #22  
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Mara wrote, "by the time you get through Immigration and get your luggage it will be sort of late to start off to, say, Kyoto...where you would arrive after 9 pm...."

And timing like that would work perfectly for me! Actually, I checked into the hotel at my first destination at 9:30 p.m. -- just in time for a wonderful dinner and some much needed sleep. But that's why I tried to note that it really depends on the OP's plans and preferences, and Mara is (as always) right on the mark in highlighting what it could mean in very clear terms.
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Old Dec 1st, 2015, 10:00 PM
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From wake up in Los Angeles until flight boarding our flight is five to six hours. Than an 11.5 hour flight on ANA. Then getting through immigration, etc. If I know us, we'll be ready to get some food, get some sleep and not be in a rush in the morning. So I think we should spent a couple days in Tokyo (maybe the Ginza area?). I just don't think we have the mindset to get up and take a train to Kyoto after such lengthly travel. We sure used to, but.....
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Old Dec 1st, 2015, 10:15 PM
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Makes sense! Really, it was just a thought -- something you might want to consider, nothing more.
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Old Dec 7th, 2015, 05:14 AM
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Koyoto being capital city of Japan is one of the most preferred destination for travelers across the world. You can visit most visited places like,

- Koyoto Station Building,
- Nijo-jo Castle
- Koyoto Gosho
- Gion Corner
- Gion District
- Ryoan-ji Temple
- Heiann Jingu Shrine

Mentioned are some attractive destination you can visit during your Koyoto Stay.
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Old Dec 7th, 2015, 11:35 AM
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I have not disappeared, I have been busy planning. Here are the things I have in place. Several of my hotel choices had no availability (or said that because their rates for next year are not yet set).
9/2 arrive Tokyo 4:30 Hotel Daiichi
9/3,9/4 Tokyo
9/5-/9 Kyoto waitintg for reply from Mume Boutique Hotel
9/10 Kyoto ryokan - Hiagiya says sold out
9/11-12 Nara, Nikko Hotel
9/13 Koyasan
9/14 Hiroshima, ANA Crown Plaza
9/15 Miyajima, Iwaso website says sold out
9/16,17,18 Kanazawa, ANA Crown Plaza
9/19,20, 21, Takayama,Guest House & Café Soy
9/22, 23 Tokyo, Park Hyatt
9/24 Tokyo, depart for airport 1 PM
Please comment
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Old Dec 7th, 2015, 11:56 AM
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If you haven't already, no harm in seeing if Iwaso will put you on a wait list in case of a cancellation. It's a fairly large place, so a cancellation would not seem all that unlikely.
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Old Dec 7th, 2015, 10:48 PM
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For Kyoto I can recommend Shiraume Ryokan, I loved it and two people who've stayed since, on my recommendation, loved it too. One said it was a highlight of their trip.

If you want to do a ryokan in Nara instead, I had a wonderful stay at Kankaso Ryokan, a traditional and historical place right by the central park and nandai-mon gate.
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Old Dec 7th, 2015, 11:00 PM
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I just noticed that I gave you the wrong link for Shojoshin-in on Koya-san -- sorry!
https://www.japaneseguesthouses.com/...n=Shojoshin-in

This site -- japaneseguesthouses -- is a good source for other lodging, too.
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Old Dec 8th, 2015, 12:04 AM
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Robbie, learn about the luggage forwarding system in japan-- excellent help

Also agree with others, 1 more day in Hiroshima.

We loved the hakone Hyatt. Highlight of our trip and the day getting there was fabulous...Peter will explain for you.

Bob
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Old Dec 8th, 2015, 04:07 AM
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Still in Japan where weather is great, food is fantastic and yen is very friendly now.

Most Japan hotels/ryokan do not take reservations more than six months out so don't worry. Some business hotels won't take a res more than three months out. International chain hotels will take a res long term.

Although I use Japan Guest houses regularly they have very limited ryokan listed on their site. I mean extremely limited. What I usually do is research options on the web and various other "English" sites i.e. JGH, Japanican, Agoda, JTB, etc. I then notify Japan guest houses which ones I'm interested in and they will arrange for me as they can contact obscure Japanese speaking only ryokans with no language barriers that I have.

Kyoto is probably the most expensive city in Japan hotel/ryokan wise. Have you ever thought of staying in a machiya there? Plus I don't like to stay in ryokan in bigger cities. I prefer ryokan in a more tranquil setting like mountain areas or ocean areas. Better food, settings and environs IMHO.

Bob is right about the Hyatt Hakone which is where we are right now as I tap this ot on my iPad. Love this place!!

Don't stress, you have lots of time to plan a fantastic trip. As the Japanese would say gambatte!

Aloha!
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Old Dec 8th, 2015, 06:39 PM
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Japan's excellent luggage-forwarding option is called takuhaibin; here's the info:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2278.html
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Old Dec 9th, 2015, 11:52 AM
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Robbie, I'd note that you might want to try to contact Japanese Guest Houses regarding availability at Iwaso. It seems very unusual--especially at that time of year--that it would be sold out this far in advance. I think they'll be able to give you a better idea of if it's really sold out or not.

http://www.japaneseguesthouses.com/r.../?ryokan=Iwaso

Usually hotel websites only show rooms up to a certain amount of days out. Guessing that's what you're seeing on their website.

JGH doesn't charge anything extra and they communicate in and speak perfect English. I found them extraordinarily helpful when dealing with hotels and inns where English isn't a predominant language (as it isn't at Iwaso).

Good luck!
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Old Dec 20th, 2015, 08:06 AM
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Yes, Japan Guesthouses says they can reserve for me 3 months in advance, so plenty of time. Would like to know favorite temple lodgings in Koyasan and favorite places to stay in Kyoto (around $250/nt).
I assume that when you forward luggage, you keep a sachet with you with a change of clothes, toothbrush,etc.
How about good reading in fiction, memoir, biography, history. I've read ˇhe Lady & the Monk and A Tlae for the Time Being.
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Old Dec 20th, 2015, 08:37 AM
  #35  
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"Would like to know favorite temple lodgings in Koyasan"

As noted upthread, Shojoshin-in, which still gets very good reviews:
https://www.japaneseguesthouses.com/...n=Shojoshin-in

"I assume that when you forward luggage, you keep a sachet with you with a change of clothes, toothbrush,etc."

Yes -- an overnight bag, as delivery is usually the following day. Here, again, is the link:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2278.html

"How about good reading"

Shogun, Memoirs of a Geisha
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Old Dec 22nd, 2015, 07:23 AM
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Yes, read them years ago. Forgot to mention them.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2015, 11:14 PM
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ttt
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Old Jan 21st, 2016, 08:01 AM
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Your valued advise led to a major overhaul in our trip.Thank You. First I was able to reschedule the trip from September to October. I was able to fiddle with the order of towns to be in Takayama for their autumn festival days. If you have lodging and other recs, please offer them. Still need a place to stay in Tokyo that is in different part of the city but convenient to sites for our first stay. Also still unsure about why you all rec two nights in Hiroshima, before 1 night Miyajima;makes the rest of the trip rushed. Here goes

10/4 arrive Tokyo )ANA BC ff miles) 5 am
10/5 & 6 Tokyo
10/7 early train to Kanazawa, ANA Crown Plaza or Tokyu Hotel ?
10/9-10 Takayama/festival, Oyado Koto No Yume ryokan or ??
10/11 train to Kyoto Mume Boutique Hotel
10/12-17 Kyoto
10/18-19 Nara Nara Nikko Hotel or Nara Hotel??
10/20 Koyasan Shojoshin in a Hanare or Fukuchiin ?
10/21 & 22 Hiroshima ANA Crown Plaza or ?
10/23 Miyajima, Iwaso
10/24 fly Hiroshima to Tokyo, Park Hyatt
10/25 Park Hyatt
10/26 fly home at midnight
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Old Jan 21st, 2016, 09:10 AM
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I would not spend 2 nights in Hiroshima. I guess it depends on what time you would arrive there...but if you get there even in the early afternoon, that still gives you plenty of time to explore the museum area--which is really all you'd need to/want to see (at least IMO).

2 nights seems excessive to me.
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Old Jan 21st, 2016, 10:23 AM
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Based on your new itinerary, I agree that one night for Hiroshima should be plenty. You need about 5-6 hours IMO to ocver the Peace Museum, Peace Park and see/reflect at the ABomb dome. And you have a separate day for Miyajima, with overnight which is great. Were you able to get into Iwaso, then?
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