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Tokyo/Hakone plan revision-help please

Old Jul 5th, 2017, 06:15 AM
  #1  
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Tokyo/Hakone plan revision-help please

So grateful for all the help I have already received from all the experts on this forum. Based on suggestions here that really resonated with me, I cut short the Tokyo portion of our trip to add a night in Kanazawa and in Kyoto. That leaves us with three nights (two full days in in Tokyo and an overnight in Hakone before heading to Kanazawa.

I've just learned (ugh!) that the Tsukiji fish market is closed on the day we had planned a tour. The food tour had showed availability on line but when I tried to sign up today they let me know that the market is closed on July 17 for a national holiday. Even our hotel concierge had not realized this. Going to the fish market is something we were particularly looking forward to. The options I think I have are as follows:

Option one: go on the fish market tour on Tuesday morning (the tour ends at noon)--this would likely delay our arrival in Hakone until 3 o'clock. We could go to see something (cable car, Tori Gate, sulpher eggs, open air museum ( but this closes at 5PM and I don't think that would give us enough time) that evening. This would of course cut into the time to enjoy our ryokan in Gora. The next day we could leave late afternoon for Kanazawa after trying to do as much as possible of the above.

Option two: go to Hakone as a day trip from Tokyo on the day of the National Holiday. This would mean having a whole day there but would mean that we don't get to experience a Ryokan which I had hoped to enjoy especially because we're celebrating a birthday.

Any suggestions would be helpful. I can't believe I let this happen. Oh well.

One more thing, I think it's too late to go to Kyoto first because I already have Moss temple tickets and a fabulous GoodWill guide set up there. Plus, I don't want to miss the Gion festival.

Thanks in advance for your help
misha2 is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2017, 08:03 AM
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I once attempted to get through Hakone (I was going somewhere else) the weekend of Labor Thanksgiving day and was stuck in traffic for half the day. Another time, I tried to go to Kamakura the weekend of Culture Day. The crowds were unbelievable and I gave up and returned to Tokyo, which was pleasantly uncrowded.

Both of these experiences were in November (red leaves) and it's possible that in July everyone will be sitting at home fanning themselves in front of the air conditioner, but I'd be very apprehensive about visiting a popular vacation spot on a public holiday.
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Old Jul 5th, 2017, 08:05 AM
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Option 1 lets you keep that ryokan experience, which is no small thing. Which ryokan?

If I understand the new change correctly then the only difference is that you would be arriving in Kanazawa later in the day on Kanazawa. That is, I think, that your plan was to travel in the morning on Tue & Wed but now both would be later in the day.

If that is the case then I would take option 1, especially considering that you added a night to Kanazawa. And if you had planned to leave Kanazawa for Kyoto in the morning then maybe you can leave later that day, considering that you added a Kyoto day too.
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Old Jul 5th, 2017, 08:32 AM
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someotherguy made a very good point. A general tip I offer is to go to the country on weekdays and city on weekends. I was traveling from Hakone to Tokyo on a Friday and saw a long line of cars going into the national park. I suppose that they were Tokyo and Yokohama people on a weekend getaway.
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Old Jul 5th, 2017, 09:18 AM
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Thank you so much someotherguy and mrwunrfl. I didn't think about just how hectic Hakone would be on a holiday weekend and don't want to miss the ryokan experience. Option one it is!

I have held Gora Hanaougi (a splurge) but am debating whether or not I go out for an even bigger splurge with Gora Kadan. We want something well located and with a private onsen with a view. Fabulous food and service would really add to the experience.

I still have to look at the train schedules from Hakone to Kanazawa to see what time we would need to leave on that Wednesday, Would you try to squeeze in one activity/attraction on the first day (approximately 3-4 PM arrival) or would you instead go straight to the ryokan to unwind.

Appreciate your help.
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Old Jul 5th, 2017, 09:26 AM
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So, it seems to me that if I leave Odwara station about 3:42, I go back to Tokyo Station to take the Shinkansen and can arrive in Kanazawa about 7PM. If we check out at about 10:30 and get to the station by 3:15 to be safe, this would give me a little over 4.5 hours in Kanazawa. Does this seem right?
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Old Jul 5th, 2017, 09:31 AM
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Oops --4.5 hours in Hakone, not Kanazawa.
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Old Jul 5th, 2017, 11:05 AM
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Yes, that's right. You could leave later for Kanazawa but your plan means that the trip to Kanazawa will be during daytime. Sunset in Kanazawa on the 19th is at 7:09 PM. That daylight trip is a fairly significant benefit, imo, of the plan.

Gora Hanaougi looks nice, so you made a good decision to not give that up. Have you checked on availability for that night? There is a chance that it could be closed that day after a 3-day weekend.

Of course, you also need to check on the Tsukiji tour on the 18th, the day after Sea Day holiday.

Gora Hanaougi looks like it has a more convenient location than Gora Kadan.

In fact, it looks like it could be a great location. The access webpage says that it is an elevator!! ride from Sounzan Station: http://www.gorahanaougi.com/english/access/

I suppose it is true but I find it hard to believe that Gora Hanaougi is just an elevator ride away from the Hakone Loop. Sounzan station connects the ropeway to the cablecar. Looks like (google maps) the ryokan is also walking distance (downhill, probably) to the Kami-Gora cablecar stop.

If you leave Tsukiji at 12:30 PM then you could get to Sounzan at 3:05. You could do that, but not just relax: at least go up to see Fujisan at sunset. But you have time for more than that. You should be able to go to Moto-Hakone and back.

Or you could arrange a later check-in and dinner time. Maybe go to Moto-Hakone, across Ashi-ko, and up to Sounzan to get to your ryokan.

You don't have to do any real squeezing to see a good bit on the 18th, considering that you could arrive at Odawara station at 1:31 PM, departing Tsukiji at 12:32.

You can get creative with the baggage delivery service to make this easy.
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Old Jul 5th, 2017, 11:27 AM
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The ropeway service ends at 5PM, unfortunately, so there might be a squeeze. You probably would not get to Moto-Hakone until after 2:30PM unless you took a taxi from Odawara. And the idea of going from Sounzan to Moto-Hakone and back to Sounzan on that day won't work.

Maybe taxi from Odawara to the Open Air Museum would give you enough time there on arrival day.
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Old Jul 5th, 2017, 12:41 PM
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Thanks so much mrwunrful. I so appreciate the time you've taken to look things up. Could we take the ropeway to the cable car in that much time? The open air museum closes at 5 too and that's a huge priorityI for me. But, maybe it isn't that large? There are rooms at Gora Hanaougi and I've held it through booking.com, giving me a chance to cancel if need be.
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Old Jul 6th, 2017, 08:54 AM
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>> Could we take the ropeway to the cable car in that much time?

That is not a good question (i.e. I don't understand why it was asked).
You really need to study your options and work out a plan it all the way from Tsukiji. Look at the link I gave above as well as:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5208.h...tion_admission
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5200.html
and IIRC, the Odakyu railways website has some good info.

The Hakone-Tozan Railway will get you from from Odawara to the OA Museum, but you would need some time to get tix, take the train which waits at Hakone-Yumoto for a couple of min. Or you could use some of the ¥ that you would have extra-splurged at Gora Kadan and use it on a taxi. Get off the train, get in the taxi and go. Am not sure how much time that would save, maybe not worth it.

Or going clockwise on the route you would take the train from Odawara to Hakone-Yumoto and then a bus to Moto-Hakone. Again, you could save time with a taxi.

>>But, maybe it isn't that large?

That is a good question but I don't know the answer.

I just noticed on the OA Museum webpage that there is an Izuhakone bus from Odawara to Kowakien that is fairly frequent (every 10-20 min) and from Kowakien to Moto-Hakone and Hakone-machi. The wait for the bus might be short because the departure from Odawara might be timed with your shinkansen arrival. But a taxi is going to get you there faster.

But, all that depends on you getting to Odawara by around 1:30PM. It is going to be a busy day. Maybe it is a good idea to just take the train and cablecar and elevator to your lodging and relax. Next day, get out earlier and take the ropeway to the boat to Hakone-Machi/Moto-Hakone and then on to the OA Museum.

Yes, this is starting to confuse me too. Thing is, you have options, and they are all good.
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Old Jul 8th, 2017, 04:48 AM
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Thanks again mrunrfl! Appreciate your time and suggestions.
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