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Japan This September

Travel Forums Asia Japan This September

1. Posted by wotthefiqh (Inactive, 1447 posts) 5 May '07 05:52

Current plan is to depart Perth September 4th arriving Tokyo September 5th and itinerary so far is -

1) Tokyo
2) Tokyo
3) Tokyo
4) Kamakura/Matsumoto
5) Matsumoto
6) Matsumoto
7) Climb Mt Fuji
8) Kyoto
9) Kyoto
10) Nara
11) Okayama (see Himeji on way)
12) Okayama
13) Takamatsu
14) Ochi (sea kayaking)
15) Iya Valley
16) Iya Valley
17) Matsuyama
18) Matsuyama
19) Boat to Beppu
20) Beppu
21) Miyazaki
22) Miyazaki
23) Kagoshima
24) Kagoshima
25) Yakushima Island
26) Yakushima Island
27) Yakushima Island
28) Kagoshima
29) Fukuoka
30) Tokyo
31) Perth

Days 1 - 12 is Honshu
Days 13 - 18 is Shikoku
Days 19 - 29 is Kyushu

Departing Tokyo October 4th for home.

Japan RailPasses will certainly be on our list, and there is also a Kyushu railpass that might be useful.

Is this doable, and have I missed anything unmissable?
Thinking of staying in Shinjuku in Tokyo. Good base or is there a better area to base ourselves?
My wife doesn't want to see Hiroshima, and I was there back in 1983.

Any info greatly appreciated, especially budget accomodation info.
My mate at work just got back from 2 weeks in Japan and he was paying $200+ AUD per night in Tokyo and Kyoto!!!!!

Anthony

[ Edit: Edited on May 5, 2007, at 6:43 AM by wotthefiqh ]

2. Posted by Ardy (Full Member, 62 posts) 5 May '07 19:04

Accommodation in Kyoto - Look up 'Kyoto's Cheapest inn' its a super budget back packers hostel. Roughly 15.00USD a night with own sleeping bag.

3. Posted by euanross (Budding Member, 35 posts) 6 May '07 15:16

I would recommend spending more time in Tokyo. We were there for 2 and a half weeks and we have 5 nights in Tokyo and it wasn't enough :)

I would also recommend Mount Koya for 2 nights - stay with the Monks at the Temples! Also you might want to visit Takayama in the Alps - amazing scenery and very traditional. Good luck with climbing Mount Fuji - I heard it was far more difficult after the summer months to climb in a day.

Loads of places to stay in Tokyo. We stayed in Shinagawa - was excellent location for getting around Tokyo.

4. Posted by wotthefiqh (Inactive, 1447 posts) 8 May '07 08:21

Hi euanross,
Have been checking out your suggestion of Takayama and I like it a lot.
Matsumoto is on the cards for it's closeness to the Alps National Park, it's castle and the Ukiyo-e museum (haven't told my wife about that one yet and I know she will hate it!!!).
Reading the latest LP guide, the bus trip from Matsumoto to Takayama takes 2.5 hrs, and the map shows road(s) winding through the Alps between them. That should be magnificent on a decent day.
I could probably drop 28 and 29 by getting first boat from Yakushima to Kagoshima then flying back to Tokyo, and that would give us 2 extra days in Tokyo. By then our 21 day RailPasses will have expired and we would be up for the train tickets from Kagoshima back to Tokyo anyway.
I think I'm going to have to extend the holiday from 31 to 35 days.
Still a work in progress but starting to come together.
Your help greatly appreciated.

Anthony

5. Posted by ovi (Budding Member, 3 posts) 8 May '07 15:14

Go to FujiQ Highlands Amusement park before or after you plan on climbing mount Fuji! :D Fun fun fun!
But only go if you LOVE rollercoasters, they have the highest/longest coaster (Fuji Yama), the coaster with the most loops (Eeijanaika), and (I think) the fastest coaster in the world. (Don Don Pa)
Depending on your budget, it might be a bit frivolous (tickets for each coaster cost about $10 as I recall, and admission price is HIGH)...But it's so much FUN darnit! :D

Anyway, budget wise I second the check out hostels, and hotels outside the main city centers are (in theory) cheaper, and you'll have a rail pass anyway...

6. Posted by sole (Full Member, 208 posts) 15 May '07 14:02

$200+ AUD is a lot of money for a hotel. My son and I was in Japan september 2006 and paid a little more than half that price in Tokyo and Kyoto. In Tokyo we stayed in http://www.toyoko-inn.com/eng/. They have hotels all over Japan and it's quite good value. Clean but small rooms - well, at least our hotel in Tokyo was like that, but very nice and efficient. Breakfast was very basic, but OK, we didn't come for the breakfast anyhow ;)

In Kyoto we stayed in a Ryokan-style guesthouse at about the same price, nothing special but quite nice and you could order a Japanese breakfast at a very good price: http://www.matsubayainn.com/. Very convenient as well for train station etc. You can find more ryokans here: http://www.ryokan.or.jp/index_en.html. But I think most of them are more expensive.

We also stayed in Osaka and Nagoya at app. 10000 yen, and they were both very good hotels, nothing budget. So you can find budget hotels/hostels at even lower prices in Japan.

We loved Japan, and would love to go back, but the tickets are sooo expensive, so it'll take some time before we get back. Enjoy

7. Posted by wotthefiqh (Inactive, 1447 posts) 16 May '07 07:15

Hi Solvejg,
I have checked out a number of hotels on www.toyoko-inn.com/eng and your suggestion is brilliant. They have hotels in eight of our destinations, and if their maps are accurate, most of them are very close to JR train stations.
I was starting to budget at 100-120 USD per night but 65-75 USD a night looks much better.:)
I'll take a look at your Kyoto ryokan as well, but greatly appreciate your hotel tips.

8. Posted by sole (Full Member, 208 posts) 16 May '07 14:21

In my opinion, Toyko-inn is very good value for what you pay. And where we stayed pretty close to public transport, which is working extremely well in Japan

As for the location of toyko-inn, it certainly is quite accurate to the maps they offer on their homepagel So in my opinion, very good value for not a lot of money. Enjoy your trip, we - my son and I - both wish we could go again. A wonderful trip, do enjoy

9. Posted by hoob (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 19 May '07 14:43

Hiya Anthony,

Personally I would recommend less time on Yakushima, and spend at least another day in Nara, which was my favourite place I visited in Japan. I wasn't convinced I could have spent more than a day or two in Yakushima without running out of things to do, but I'm sure Nara had plenty for a good long stay.

Of course you could stay in Tokyo the whole time and still miss most of it, but that'd leave anyone a bit burnt out! Shinjuku sounds like as good a place as any, I really liked Shibuya but it made me feel old (I was only 25!).

Wish I could tag along, Japan is wonderful.

10. Posted by wotthefiqh (Inactive, 1447 posts) 29 May '07 08:18

Return flight Perth to Tokyo booked and confirmed, but itinerary changed as I thought we'd spend some time on the southern islands because we have 5 weeks and it's probably the only chance we will ever have of getting there.

Sep-04 Depart Perth
Sep-05 Tokyo (Shinagawa)
Sep-06 Tokyo (Shinagawa)
Sep-07 Day trip Kamakura from Tokyo (Shinagawa)
Sep-08 Tokyo (Shinagawa)
Sep-09 Bus to Mt. Fuji and o/n
Sep-10 Get to Haneda and fly JAL to Ishigaki
Sep-11 Ishigaki
Sep-12 Day trip Iriomote from Ishigaki
Sep-13 Day trip Taketomi from Ishigaki
Sep-14 Fly JAL to Naha, Okinawa
Sep-15 Naha
Sep-16 Day trip Tokashiki-jima from Naha
Sep-17 Ferry to Yoron
Sep-18 Ferry to Okinoerabu
Sep-19 Okinoerabu
Sep-20 Ferry to Tokunoshima
Sep-21 Tokunoshima
Sep-22 Ferry to Amami-Oshima
Sep-23 Amami-Oshima then o/n ferry to Kagoshima
Sep-24 Kagoshima
Sep-25 Kagoshima
Sep-26 Train to Himeji
Sep-27 Train to Nara
Sep-28 Nara
Sep-29 Train to Kyoto
Sep-30 Kyoto
Oct-01 Kyoto
Oct-02 Train to Takayama
Oct-03 Takayama
Oct-04 Takayama
Oct-05 Bus to Matsumoto
Oct-06 Matsumoto
Oct-07 Train to Tokyo (Shinjuku)
Oct-08 Depart Tokyo
Oct-09 Arrive Perth

Question : Are the far south islands (Ishigaki, Iriomote and Taketomi) worth the 4 days, or should we just do the Tokyo-Okinawa and enjoy the 7 day ferry pass back to Kagoshima stopping at Yoron,etc?

Any suggestions on accomodation on the islands?

Will be using the special 'Visit Japan Fare' (http://www.jal.co.jp/yokosojapan/) for the Tokyo-Ishigaki-Naha section.
Should cost me about $200 AUD instead of $500 AUD.

Any other discount deals available in Japan for foreigners?

Will be using TP member info (e.g. Toyoko-Inns) as much as possible in Kyushu and Honshu, and may be able to squeeze in Mt. Koya if we drop a day in the islands.

P.S. Spent ages mapping the trip and probably still got dates wrong

[ Edit: Edited on May 29, 2007, at 8:20 AM by wotthefiqh ]