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Where to Stop for a Short Visit on My Way to China?

Where to Stop for a Short Visit on My Way to China?

Mar 28th, 2012, 05:38 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 104
Great Information!
This is what I’m thinking:

I would get to Japan late afternoon on a Sunday (after flying all day on Saturday)
I would have around 5 and 1/2 days to spend in Japan before leaving for China.

Option 1:
Fly into Tokyo Airport
I was considering spending half of the time in Tokyo and half in Kyoto.
If I fly into Tokyo, I could take the bullet train right to Kyoto, spending the first few days there.
Then, take the train back to Tokyo, spending the last couple days there, flying out of Tokyo airport to Beijing.

Option 2:
Fly into Osaka’s Kansai International Airport
5 and 1/2 days to spend in Japan before leaving for China
Stay in Kyoto the whole time, visiting Kyoto and the surrounding areas
Fly out of Osaka’s Kansai International Airport to Beijing.

Also, here is an article about Kyoto that I found interesting:

Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks again!
VeeDubb is offline  
Mar 28th, 2012, 06:06 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 947
Also on Kyoto, just this past Sunday in the NYT "Asia" travel section:

marya_ is offline  
Mar 28th, 2012, 10:15 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 32,129
We found Tokyo fascinating for reasons that may be peculiar to us - the trains, the lights, the crowds, the drunk businessmen etc. Personally I would stay in Tokyo upon arrival and then go to Kyoto, which was even neater, to use a teenage word. Then fly from Kyoto. It would save you a train trip.

But of course I would say that because that is what we did. And I haven't mentioned the Peace Park in Hiroshima, which was the highlight of our entire trip. You really can't go wrong.
colduphere is offline  
Mar 28th, 2012, 10:17 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 32,129
Sorry - meant fly from Osaka to Beijing.
colduphere is offline  
Mar 28th, 2012, 11:10 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 104
I was also looking into staying at a Traditional Ryokan in Kyoto rather than a standard hotel to get the full experience. Has anyone done this?

Please provide any other recommendations on where to stay in Kyoto and Tokyo. What about the capsule hotels in Tokyo. Just looks interesting...what are your thoughts?

Thanks again
VeeDubb is offline  
Mar 28th, 2012, 11:31 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 947

I like both your options and see this as a matter of personal preference. Kyoto is a given because that seems to be the main draw, a priority that makes perfect sense to all of us who find Kyoto a glorious place.

Option 1:
Tokyo is sui generis -- extraordinary in the way that colduphere refers to above. Even if you aren't terribly drawn to major cities, you always want to see the capital of a culture that intrigues you, no? This way, you would become acquainted on this trip with the capital cities of the 2 largest Asian economies. Riding the Shinkansen between Tokyo and Kyoto is an integral part of the appeal of this option.

If Kyoto is your priority, I would likely fly into Tokyo and deal with jetlag during that segment of the trip. Maybe after Kyoto you would fly from KIX (Kansai) to Beijing -- not sure how the options compare in price/schedule. Others here have extraordinary command of the Japanese train schedules and air service.

Option 2:

You can't go wrong with this option either. It is easy to fly from the eastern US into KIX (Kansai) and make train connections because I recently did it but neither know Japan nor speak Japanese. There is so much to see around Kyoto. Daytrips on the train to places like Nara, Kobe, and Osaka are easy to do. I have only seen the most obvious places thus far but others here can give you advice on gems in the Kansai area.

Since you will be in two extraordinarily large cities on the Chinese portion of your trip, this option, taking pains to include some smaller cities in the vicinity of Kyoto, might suit you. At the end, there are direct flights from KIX to PEK -- only around 3 hours duration, I think.
marya_ is offline  
Mar 28th, 2012, 11:42 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,213
I think a capsule hotel might be interesting for one night, but you'd get claustrophobia if you tried staying longer. In any case, I don't think they're designed for longer stays. And if you're female you might have difficulty finding one in the first place.
thursdaysd is offline  
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