Sidetrip from Osaka: Koyasan vs Ise?

Old Sep 13th, 2012, 05:47 PM
  #21  
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Hi, is Arashiyama do-able as a short day trip from Osaka? Say leave at 7 p.m. and back to Osaka by 3 p.m.? Is it logistically easier to get to than Koya-san? One train ride and no other transfers? Is 45 mins one way correct?

If you have more info on how to get there from Osaka, please share.

It's an option I'd like to have in case we want to really get outside of Osaka.

Thanks!
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Old Sep 13th, 2012, 07:34 PM
  #22  
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Arashiyama is a district of Kyoto. It would be easier to reach than Koya-san.

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3912.html
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Old Sep 13th, 2012, 07:45 PM
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Yes, Arashiyama is very doable as a short day-trip. That is what we did, in fact. We saw our son off from the airport express bus stop next to Umeda, one of the main train stations in Osaka, one Sunday in August, and then wanted something lovely to do for the rest of that beautiful day since we were missing him. We hopped on a train at about 1:45 pm to spend the rest of the afternoon out at Arashiyama.

Because our visit was so short, we did not see a great deal but we went for a long leisurely visit to Tenryu-ji (Temple of the Heavenly Dragon) and its beautiful Sogenchi garden. We strolled through the bamboo forest, which was charming. We explored a shrine, a graveyard, the main street of the touristy little town, and some sidestreets. We paused to eat icecream cones and enjoy the view from the bridge over the Oigawa (river), thinking how beautiful the Fall foliage must be. All of those sights are easily walkable from the train station. If we had had more time, we would have gone to see Koryu-ji, one of Kyoto's oldest temples.

I don't know where you are staying in Osaka, but here is a likely route for you from Umeda station, the main station of the Hankyu line.
Leave Umeda at 7 a.m. on Hankyu Kyoto line Ltd. Express (35 minutes)
Arrive Katsura at 7:35
Leave Katsura at 7:46 on Hankyu rashiyama line (8 minut)
Arrive Arashiyama at 7:54

The transfer at Katsura is easy, and then Arashiyama is the terminus so that is even easier to manage.

I got that information by searching at Hyperdia.com. Why don't you go to that site and see if you can plot your return trip at the desired time in the afternoon. If you know the subway stop neart your hotel, you can plot your journey right from that departure point since Hyperdia incorporates subway times as well. It is a great tool.
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Old Sep 14th, 2012, 11:08 AM
  #24  
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Thanks, kja and marya! marya, thanks for all the detailed plans. We're staying at the Sheraton in Osaka. Haven't checked exactly where it is.

Also, anyone know how to go from airport to hotel?

Thanks so much!
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Old Sep 15th, 2012, 05:53 PM
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This answer assumes you are flying into Kansai International Airport (KIX) and staying at the Sheraton Miyako Hotel, Osaka.

Since you have a nice bus connection between KIX and your hotel, I would recommend that option. One rarely takes a taxi for such a trip in Japan. We did the trip a few times by train and other times by bus -- the bus is easier because they help you stow your luggage and retrieve it unlike on trains where you need to bump along with it by yourself and also change from train to subway for many destinations.

I just checked the Sheraton website and confirmed that the airport "limousine" bus stops right in front of your hotel. The bus departs KIX every 20-30 minutes between 6:35 AM and 10:00 PM. The ride is just under an hour. The cost is 1,500 yen (about $19 USD) per person.

The only important things to note are that you need to
a) buy your ticket first from a vending machine on the wall near the bus stop, and
b) get on the right bus.
Other buses go to the Umeda area and other parts of the city.

I cut and paste the instruction from your website, keeping language quirks intact.

"Limousine bus is available on the first floor outside of KIX terminal building. Before embarking on the bus, please purchase a bus ticket at the vending machine located near the bus stop. The bus destinated to "Kintetsu Uehommachi" leaves from bus stop number 7 and stops in front of our hotel.

I don't know whether "in front of our hotel" is literally true. If it is down the block a bit, don't forget in your jet-lagged state that traffic keeps to the left so you need to look in the correct direction when stepping off the curb or you might get clipped.

By the way, your hotel is just a mile from the Shitenno-ji (temple) and also a mile from Osaka-jo (castle). Your concierge can help you plot train and subway routes for going to Kyoto, etc., but don't forget that Hyperdia.com is a great tool for planning Japanese train and subway travel. You may already know how to use it from earlier trips.
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Old Sep 16th, 2012, 02:18 PM
  #26  
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Thank you so much, marya, for going out the way to look up detailed information. Very helpful!

Have a great week ahead!
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Old Sep 21st, 2012, 01:36 PM
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Hi all,

Do you think it's worth getting the Osaka unlimited one day pass for 10/7 (Sun, and it's a holiday weekend in Japan with 10/8 being the holiday)? It seems like a good deal if we can hit many sights, but I'm afraid the lines will be very long for getting in some towers, etc. I don't want to waste 1 or 2 hours standing in line.

http://www.osaka-info.jp/osp/en/guide/guide.html

Or you think time is better spent wandering the streets of Osaka, dropping in a few outstanding sights, and eating?

Thanks for your advice!
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Old Sep 24th, 2012, 07:31 PM
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Don't go to Koya-san without spending the night. What about an excursion to the Miho museum 1 hour out of Kyoto into the mountains. IM Pei architecture, small but spectaculart art collection, half devoted to Japan, half to classical art. The interplay between the beauty of nature, the beauty of art and the beauty of the architecture left us breathless and in true art ecstasy, one of the best experiences we had in Japan. If you haven't been there before, don't miss it.
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Old Sep 24th, 2012, 10:05 PM
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cmstraf, thanks for that suggestion. Somehting I didn't know about. I'll note it.

Crisis about hotel in Osaka. My DH thought he'd booked the Sheraton in Osaka using his points, but somehow didn't follow through to the final confirmation, and now it's all sold out. Bummer, as it's in a convenient location.

Our plan now is to stay at the Hyatt Regency, but it's in a far-out location on the Bay (near the acquarium).
Questions:

1) Is it convenient to take public transportation from the hotel into the city -- Namba, Osaka Castle, etc.? How comes NO ONE on tripadvisor mentioned this, and they all had to rely on the hotel shuttle with limited schedule? (Thinking of getting the Osaka 2 day unlimited pass, so we could use the free public transport. Hope there are trains/subways in this area that work with the pass.)

2) How to go from Kansai airport to Hyatt Regency? By train or bus? (Sorry, I couldn't figure out how Hyperdia works. Can't just enter hotel name. You have to know which station you want in advance?)

3) If the hotel is so inconvenient for sightseeing Osaka in 1 day, maybe we should just head out to Mt. Koyasan on Sat night and stay til Sunday?? From Kansai, is it possible to go directly to Koyasan?

Thanks!
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Old Sep 24th, 2012, 10:07 PM
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For Question 3, I meant Kansai International Airport.

Thanks
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Old Sep 25th, 2012, 07:08 AM
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Being a Diamond member we have stayed at the Hyatt Osaka twice. Cosmosquare is the nearest subway station with convenient hotel shuttles every 15 minutes. It's about a fifteen minute walk or the 5 minute shuttle bus ride. There are hotel shuttles buses every half hour to and from the JR Osaka station a 25 minute ride away. IIRC the shuttles stop at 10:00 pm.

The best way to the hotel is via the Airport limosine bus. You buy your ticket in the window(or machines on the walls)right outside the doorway marked bus exits. I forget which stop(6 or 8 of them) is the one for the Hyatt but the person selling tickets can tell you. The bus will take you directly to the Hyatt front door where they will unload your luggage and the bell boys will take them and escort you to the front desk.....really easy. If you were to take the train you would have to take a non JR train into Namba then transfer to another train to take you to the JR Osaka station where you would take the Hyatt shuttle bus to the hotel....not convenient but doable.
The Hyatt is right across the street from the convention center and the little mall with a few restaurants to eat at so your not forced to eat all your meals in the hotel. If you know how to use the Osaka subway system then Osaka sightseeing is only a ride away. I like the hotel and although not in the greatest location in Osaka if you are using points like we did then the price is right,lol

A two day pass sounds good if you use it. In Osaka and the Kansai area it might be better to get an Icoca card similar to the Suica. You are supposed to be able to use the Suica now instead of the Icoca but as of last Nov my Suica still didn't work in Osaka.

Aloha!
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Old Sep 25th, 2012, 11:00 AM
  #32  
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Thanks, HT. Yes, we'll be using Hyatt points. For the limo bus, is the Hyatt one of the first stops from the airport? I hope it doesn't have to go to all the downtown hotels before it gets to the Hyatt?

How about on going to the airport? Or it's a different limo bus than the one serving the central area?

Thanks!
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Old Sep 25th, 2012, 12:33 PM
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Different bus and route.

The route taken by the limo bus takes you right along Osaka Bay and a scenic route you would probably never see unless taking this bus. They only stop the Nanko Ferry terminal occasionally and the cruise ship pier before the Hyatt so a pretty short ride(about 45 minutes) as opposed to the central Osaka buses.

http://www.kate.co.jp/pc/e_time_tabl...j_tt.html#from

bus stops and map of KIX ground floor also KIX site

http://www.kansai-airport.or.jp/en/a...bus/index.html

and by looking at the map I guess I remembered incorrectly about the number of bus stops but I knew there were a bunch

just realized that you will arriving late at night right? If so you should get something to eat at KIX before you leave because everything in the area around the hotel will be closed with probably just room service and maybe pizza delivery by the time you get there. Just make sure you don't miss the last bus at 21:45.

Aloha!
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Old Sep 25th, 2012, 01:34 PM
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The time table link is very useful. But we might be cutting very close though.

Our flight from the US lands on Sat at 3:15 p.m. The limo bus takes off at 4:10 p.m. Possible to make it? How long does it take to clear immigration and custom in Osaka?

The next bus after this is at 7:10 p.m. If we miss the 4:10 p.m. bus, I guess it's better to catch a train instead.

Also on the return, the first bus leaves from the Hyatt at 7:30 a.m. and arrives at the airport at 8:20 a.m. But our flight to Hokkaido is at 9:30 a.m.! Is this cutting too close? Maybe we should just take the train here too?

In any case, it's really good that you sent me the link so I can plan ahead. I was assuming there's a bus every 30 minutes or so.

Thanks again, HT, for being extremely helpful to me in planning this trip!!!
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Old Sep 25th, 2012, 03:09 PM
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If you miss the limo bus you can catch the JR train straight from KIX to JR Osaka station and catch the free Hyatt shuttle bus from there. IIRC the shuttle bus stop is outside the south entrance of the JR Osaka station.

http://www.kansai-airport.or.jp/en/a...ain/index.html

Or you can take the limo bus to JR Osaka station....well across the street as the Hankyu and Herbis are across the street from the station then Hyatt shuttle.

http://www.kate.co.jp/pc/e_time_tabl...a_tt.html#from

Yes the train might be better on your flight out in the early morning. Is your domestic flight to Hokkaido leaving from KIX or ITM? Lots of the domestic flights would leave from ITM is why I am asking.

Aloha!
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Old Sep 25th, 2012, 03:16 PM
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all that said you should make the 4:15 bus as planes from the US usually arrive early.
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Old Sep 26th, 2012, 10:40 AM
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Thanks, HT. Hopefully, we can catch the 4:15 p.m. bus. And I also called Hyatt Osaka, and they reassured me there's no problem with catching the 7:10 am. bus to the airport on departure. I guess the Japanese have a lot of faith in their system. No traffic congestion concerns?

Was that expressway pretty open when you took the limo bus?

Thanks!
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Old Sep 26th, 2012, 03:03 PM
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Wide open....everyone travels on the other side of town and not near the docks.

I have a lot of confidence in Japan's transport systems though I have been delayed before. You can set you watch to the trains it is said and the buses are equipped with a GPS system that tells them what route is open and which ones are blocked by traffic ahead.
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Old Sep 27th, 2012, 07:03 AM
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I think I left this for you on your Hokkaido thread but if you take a look at the map of Osaka Port and South Port on bottom of page six you will see the Hyatt Osaka's location and its closest subway station Cosmo Square.

http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/rtg/pdf/pg-505.pdf
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Old Nov 19th, 2012, 09:14 AM
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Hi all,

Just want to report that we had a good 1 day, 2 nights in Osaka. Thanks for all your help! I will write more when I have some spare time. It's been really hectic since I returned -- need a nother vacation!

Thanks again and Happy Thanksgiving!
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