TOKYO: INDEPENDENT OR TRAVEL PACKAGE

Feb 27th, 2003, 05:49 AM
  #1  
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TOKYO: INDEPENDENT OR TRAVEL PACKAGE

To all Japan experts out there: Is it really cheaper to buy a city package in Tokyo(4/3 nights, which usually includes bus transfer from airport, half day city tour and breakfast-costing over $400 p/p),or to reserve a 4/3 hotel directly and make your city tour and transfer from airport by yourself? Maybe I`ll extend one more extra night to travel to Hakone and Mount Juji. Any recommendation on the more economic way to do it?

Thanks
Gilberto is offline  
Feb 27th, 2003, 05:35 PM
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I am not an expert, but I can speak of my experience to Japan. I was travelling alone and have no problems getting around the city by underground trains/walking. Prepare and read a tour book to design your own tours is even more flexible.

The shuttle/limousine tickets are available for purchase upon arrival at Narita airport. There are tickets counter right next to the baggage area. You can show them your hotel name and/or address and they will get you the right shuttle. If you are staying at one of the 4/5 stars hotels, they might have stops right at your hotels, otherwise, contact your hotels in advance for nearest stops and walking direction.

Hakone is a popular hot springs area. You can purchase the round trip JR train ticket to Hakone (and with day visit to hot spring pass) at the Shinjuku station. There are some "travel agency" that can assist you. You can choose which hot springs facility, assigned/unassigned train seat tickets and/or overnight accomodation at the agency. You can reserve after you get to Tokyo, one night prior. The round trip train ticket to Hakone with day pass to hot springs costs about $20 US last year. There are bus, or tram to visit several tourist spots and lookout at Hakone including Mt. Fuji. You need to plan an afternoon to do this. The trains usually takes about 1 - 1.5 hr from shinjuku station to Hakone each way. (Also my friend took subway to Hakone which is cheaper but has many more stops and thus take you longer) Some hot springs has shuttle pickup at the train station. Check with the local agency.

I believed that you can save more than half of the city tour fees to go by youself and spend it on some good food. Japanese don't speak much english, but they are very friendly and willing to help.
sneezyam007 is offline  
Mar 1st, 2003, 05:42 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 6
To check a bus tour in Tokyo,"Hatobus" is the most popular.
http://www.hatobus.co.jp/english/index.html
Discount hotels will be found at the following site.
http://www.mytrip.net/en/index.html
Enjoy your stay in Tokyo.

shigeji is offline  
Mar 13th, 2003, 02:08 PM
  #4  
 
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I doubt very much that a packaged tour can be cheaper than going independently. The choice would really depend on how willing you are to plan your trip and how you handle being in a place where English is not widely spoken. I don't speak Japanese, but I did manage to get around in Tokyo and made a side trip to Kamakura, plus a trip to Mt Fuji. I learned to say "do you speak English" in Japanese in my most soft-spoken way, and was surprised to find there are enough people in the cities public service who do, even though the response is always "a little".
One other plus with going independently is you see what you want at your own pace.
banares is offline  
Mar 13th, 2003, 02:21 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Agree with the above posters who say go on your own.
I had the same question last year, when planning my first trip to Tokyo. Thanks to the advice of Florence and others on this board, my husband and I did it on our own and had an absolutely grand time. The Japanese people are incredibly helpful, even if you do not speak the language. We found if you learn how to correctly pronounce the name of your destination (I checked this with the concierge at our hotel each morning before we set out for the day) and are a bit creative with sign language, you can get anywhere. Part of the fun is discovering how to use all the different modes of public transportation. It really gives you a feel for the city of Tokyo that I do not think you would get from riding around in a tour bus.
Lindsey is offline  

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