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Tokyo/ Kyoto and Japan Trains and Itinerary?

Tokyo/ Kyoto and Japan Trains and Itinerary?

Feb 17th, 2012, 07:03 AM
  #1  
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Tokyo/ Kyoto and Japan Trains and Itinerary?

I am about to book my air tickets for a trip to Japan and Hong Kong in early September, and I would appreciate any help and suggestions about my plan.

A little background: I have been HK many times, and I like it very much. I have been to Tokyo once and had a "Lost in Translation" experience at The Park Hyatt; didn't like or understand the location (though the hotel was amazing)....battled jet lag unsuccessfully...and just never really connected with the city...my favorite experience was going to Tsukiji Fish market at 4 am, which was easy since I was awake and could not sleep (though I regret not eating sushi/sashimi there). I have been to Kyoto once and loved it.

So I am returning in early September to give Tokyo another chance and to visit Kyoto again. I am planning on spending about three days or so in Tokyo, followed by four days in Kyoto. I would love advice or suggestions about day trips from Kyoto, as well as train logistics. I might be convinced to add a couple of days if it makes sense, but Japan is so expensive, and I am not very amenable to budget travel. In Tokyo I am staying at The Seiyo Ginza hotel, which I think is a very good, central location; is this a good choice?

My current plan is to fly into NRT, stay in Tokyo, then train to Kyoto one way, then fly out of Osaka (KIX) (to Hong Kong for 5 days). Maybe it makes sense to by a railpass if I add some day trips or other destinations? But I understand the railpass does not cover certain trains, including perhaps the Shinkansen bullet train to Kyoto from Tokyo(?). I am particularly interested in a day trip to Hiroshima from Kyoto; is this easy and worthwhile? Does it make sense to spend a night or two in Osaka?

Also, last time I was in Kyoto I stayed at Hiiragiya Ryokan and it was amazing (though pricey), and am considering returning for one night or trying another Ryokan; are there alternatives to Hiiragiya which might be comparable but less expensive?

Thank you.
fishskis is offline  
Feb 17th, 2012, 08:39 AM
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The JR Pass does cover the shinkansen between Tokyo and Kyoto. You can't take the Nozomi shinkansen trains, but the Hikari trains that the pass cover are frequent enough.

The fare from Kyoto to Hiroshima roundtrip would be about 21,000 yen. The one-way fare Tokyo-Kyoto would be about 13,000 yen. If you would be traveling from Tokyo to Kyoto to Hiroshima and back to Kyoto within 7 days then the 7-day JR Pass would be worthwhile at 28,300 yen.
mrwunrfl is online now  
Feb 17th, 2012, 12:01 PM
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A person after my own heart, fishskis! I love Japan, but am not at all crazy about the location of the Park Hyatt[, to hawaiiantraveler's dismay].

If you like the style of the Park Hyatt, you might consider staying at the Grand Hyatt in Roppongi. I find it to be a much more interesting neighborhood, and there are some interesting walks from the hotel. Alternatively, if you don't mind more downscale hotels, consider staying in the Ueno area -- terrific park, lots of interesting streets, easy walk to Asakusa temple.

In Kyoto, you might consider Hoshinoya. I'll confess that I have been to their Karuizawa property but not Kyoto -- the former is an absolutely amazing combination of traditional Japanese environment and beauty with plenty of Western comforts.

With your limited time, I would limit myself to Kyoto and Tokyo, possibly splitting the Kyoto stay between a suburban place (e.g. Hoshinoya) and a city center spot.
DonTopaz is offline  
Feb 17th, 2012, 01:34 PM
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Thanks for the helpful replies. I checked the The Grand Hyatt; the rates are very high. I was able to get a relatively good deal at The Hotel Seiyo Ginza, which I think is well located (?). I will check Hoshinoya, thank you.
MARK444 is offline  
Feb 21st, 2012, 05:55 AM
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You may want to check out this site for a deal on a shinkansen ticket coupled a hotel room that is popular and a good deal.

http://www.japanican.com/special/shinkansen/

I am going to have to take both you and DT on a walking tour of Shinjuku to show you two the highlights of one of the busiest, trendiest,the most fantastic eating, the best shopping,cosplayers,most fabulous parks, etc, etc, etc places in all of Japan and it starts about a block and a half outside the front steps of the Park Hyatt......just make sure I haven't had too many adult beverages first

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Feb 21st, 2012, 05:36 PM
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take a map
mrwunrfl is online now  
Feb 21st, 2012, 06:57 PM
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A map didn't help me when I was trying to find your hotel, ht, and no one seemed to know it....and I hadn't had any adult beverages yet....;-)
Mara is offline  
Feb 21st, 2012, 08:22 PM
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take a takushi
mrwunrfl is online now  
Feb 22nd, 2012, 09:42 AM
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take a taxi

The Grand Hyatt Roppongi does not hold a candle compared to the Park Hyatt, not even close imho although I do like that neighborhood....

and I hadn't had any adult beverages yet...
Your sister might say that was half the problem

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  

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