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Japan Itinerary

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1. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 11y

Peter has indicated that this thread is about Japan

We're currently in the planning stage for our trip to Japan in a couple of weeks time.

We have the following tentative itinerary worked out:

Tokyo - 4 days
Nikko - 2 days
Kyoto - 4 days
Osaka - 3 days
Tokyo - 1 day

We may have another 4 days at the end (depends if we want to change our ticket), but these are our current thoughts.

Our very basic plan is to get a 7 day JR pass for the travel to Osaka and Kyoto.

I'd be interested to know what suggestions might be for travelling to Nikko from Tokyo? Also, would it be worth making a day trip to Hakone? Any other suggestions of highlights in these places, or other places we should be considering, would be more than welcome :)

Peter

2. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

One of my favorite experiences when I visited Japan was a day excursion I took to Nara. It's not very far form Kyoto or Osoka. I'd definitely recommend checking out Nara, there's a Giant Buddha there, lots of deer wandering around, cheery bloosem trees, etc..

I'm sure there are website that may have more info. on Nara, but I found this linkm with some pics and info.:

Nara

3. Posted by stevieh (Respected Member 611 posts) 11y

Hi,
Not sure how easy it would be to include it geographically, but Hiroshima is worth a good full day. There isn't a lot to see, but the Peace Museum is one of the most poignant sites I've ever been to.
Otherwise it's an unremarkable city, but that fact is quite remarkable in itself when put into historical context.
Sat by the river one evening, the hairs on my next stood up just thinking about what this place had seen.

4. Posted by Poppo (Budding Member 3 posts) 11y

Hello Peter,
There are many places to visit in Japan. Depending on what you want to focus, places that I want to recommend varies.

1) As Travel100 recommended, I tink Nara is worth checking as the oldest capital city before Kyoto. But here, you have to remember that most of buildings had been burnt down except few buildings. Todaiji Daibutsu den (world largest buddha and his house ) is worth going.
2) Depending on the seasons but I recommend to visit onsen (hot springs). There are many, but one of the oldest and best hot springs is Kusatsu. Stay at traditional hotel and enjoy the nature. If you have time...
http://www.kusatsu-onsen.ne.jp/eng/index.html
3) If you do not have time to visit Kusatsu, you can enjoy hot spring in Tokyo.
http://www.tokyo-dome.co.jp/e/laqua/index.htm
http://club.nokia.co.jp/tokyoq/weekly_updates/tqoole/onsen.html
4) If you have time, Shikoku island is also nice place to visit. full of nature and warm people.

I recommend you to visit Nikko before Kyoto. Well, after seeing Kyoto, Nikko is not so astonishing... It is only my opinion, perhaps other people would think different. Kyoto has more than 1200 years of history while Nikko only has 400 years of history.
I am not against Nikko as a mater of fact, I go there often but if you don't have time, then go to Kyoto and spend more time there.

Have a great time!

5. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 11y

Great stuff Poppo and others! I'll be sure to take that into consideration.

I have another question; I notice that accommodation prices seem to vary immensely, from outrageously expensive (well over Y40,000/night) to quite affordable (around Y10,000/night). What kind of priced places have people stayed at and considered good quality?

I'm just trying to get an idea of what people thing a moderate place would be worth. I understand these things to do vary from city to city and that my question is actually quite vague, but I'm just interested to hear from people who have been recently.

p.s. Welcome to TP as well Poppo - you came at just the right time ;)

6. Posted by Poppo (Budding Member 3 posts) 11y

Hi Peter,

For the accommodations, let's say there are two different styles. A)Western style B)Japanese style. Within those two styles, you can find the price and quality range. Also you have to remember Tokyo/Osaka areas are very expensive area to stay. But say in big city, affordable and mid price would be around 10,000yen to 15,000yen
In small towns price would be less than 10,000yen for mid price.

If you want to stay in Western style cheap one, here is the web you can check. One in Tokyo Nishiazabu (Roppongi) is a good one although the room is small, you can not find any other competitive price around this area...
http://www.apahotel.com/e_index.html

For Japanese style, there are several range. High would be Ryokan and low would be Minshuku.
http://www.minshuku.jp/english/list.html
http://www.clipit.jp/en/search.php?q=minshuku
http://www.minshuku.jp/english/list.html
http://www.ryokan.or.jp/

others
http://www.yado-web.com/
http://japaneseguesthouses.com

Perhaps Shukubo is nice too..
Shukubo is staying at temple.
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e4905.html
http://www.shukubo.jp/eng/index.html

hope you get some idea;)

7. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 11y

Poppo, that is some excellent information!! I'm not averse to paying more than I'm used to, just as long as I know I'm not paying more than I need to for a certain style of accommodation. I'll go through the links now

8. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 11y

Oh, actually, another question..

Would Nihonbashi be a reasonable place to stay in Tokyo? I'm not sure what areas are nice - I have found a hotel there with some pretty good reviews and the information on their website appeals to me. http://www.kitcho.co.jp/english/

9. Posted by newguy (Full Member 197 posts) 11y

Hi Pete,

I stayed in afew Tokyo hotels but this is the best - Sakura Sakura la la la la . The area in which the hotel is situated, is like a sleepy town but it's only a 5min walk from the metro and you can easily find cheap noodle bars. Also, u will find alot of 2nd-hand bookshops there. Mostly Japanese books... but i've never seen a porn bookshop before!

I didn't stay in a Ryokan. You know how expensive the good ones are, and for those family-run budget Ryokans, they tend to impose afew ground rules. I was travelling with 6 other friends so we didnt think that was a good idea.

CCheck out those eateries with a vending machine. U can get a delicious bowl of udon/soba/curry chicken cutlet for around Y400-600. Accomodation-wise, check out this website - http://www.newkoyo.com/ . I dont think u can find another cheaper place. Capsule hotels maybe?

IMO, if in Tokyo, u must definitely go to Harajuku - Tokyo's youth capital - on a Sunday. Get your camera ready for this - When i was there, thIs 'Gothic Lolita' get-up wasn't in fashion yet. Damn, but i did see those Cosplay kids in action afterall.

Go to Shibuya and Shinjuku if u want to shop. They have department stores with 10-15 floors of shops. I especially liked Shinjuku, where we just sat there with bento boxes and listened to free J-pop performances. I won't go into city parks since the cherry blossom season is already over.

The disappointing places? Disneyland....I dont know what to say other than that it's a COMPLETE waste of time and money. And there's nothing awe-inspiring about Tokyo Tower..just another tall structure. And it's quite an eyesore actually. There's this place with big and weird architecture..but i cant remember it..

That's all folks..Must look into my shoebox where i keep all the stuff from that trip and try to refresh my mind where else interesting i've been to.

As an afterthought and at the risk of stating the obvious, but i think it's imperative to read up on earthquake safety.

Hope that's useful, until then!

10. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 11y

Quoting Jared 虫的傳人

I stayed in afew Tokyo hotels but this is the best - Sakura Sakura la la la la . The area in which the hotel is situated, is like a sleepy town but it's only a 5min walk from the metro and you can easily find cheap noodle bars.

I notice they rent out rooms by the hour This tends to be a warning flag for me, but maybe this is quite normal in Japan (ie, 'Love Hotels'). Did you ever feel the hotel was getting seedy?

Quoting Jared 虫的傳人

As an afterthought and at the risk of stating the obvious, but i think it's imperative to read up on earthquake safety.

Hope that's useful, until then!

Hardhats then ?