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Thread: Japan Year-End [Hokkaido - Kanto] 20 days trip

  1. #21

    Default Re: Japan Year-End [Hokkaido - Kanto] 20 days trip

    i was at Mt Fuji in November last year and noticed that by 3 pm the sky was already quite dim, and by 4 pm it was like 8 pm in Singapore. Is this kind of weather normal? I'm planning another trip end of this year.

  2. #22
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japan Year-End [Hokkaido - Kanto] 20 days trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Sausage View Post
    i was at Mt Fuji in November last year and noticed that by 3 pm the sky was already quite dim, and by 4 pm it was like 8 pm in Singapore. Is this kind of weather normal? I'm planning another trip end of this year.
    winter days is short (i.e. late sunrise, early sunset). but their low-angle light duration is longer.

  3. #23
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japan Year-End [Hokkaido - Kanto] 20 days trip

    Quote Originally Posted by asterixsg View Post
    WOW !!! 20 days. Hope you guys have lotsa fun.

    One thing about Mt. Fuji. I don't think you can climb up Mt. Fuji in December. From what I know, the official climbing season is only for a month or so in June/July.
    You might want to get this sorted out beforehand.

    There are buses that go from Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko 5th station (the last stop accessible by road - from where you start the climb up Mt. Fuji) and back. The direct buses are not that frequent. Please do check on that too, in advance.
    i think all the buses leave in the morning, latest by 10-11am.

    as for the climbing season, i think it is somewhere in july/aug but i'm not sure. going up mountains in winter, not sure if it is a good idea.

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    Senior Member asterixsg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japan Year-End [Hokkaido - Kanto] 20 days trip

    Quote Originally Posted by zoossh View Post
    i think all the buses leave in the morning, latest by 10-11am.

    as for the climbing season, i think it is somewhere in july/aug but i'm not sure. going up mountains in winter, not sure if it is a good idea.

    zoossh,
    it must be july/august and not june/july as I said earlier. apologies.

    during the climbing season, there are buses that leave Shinjuku in the evening too. I remember taking a bus around 5:30 PM from Shinjuku. My memory fails me, but I think it reached Kawaguchiko 5th station around 7:30 PM or so. I started the climb around 8 pm.

    My colleagues told me that you can't even climb up Mt. Fuji in winter unless you get a permit and are a certified mountaineer (or something to that effect).
    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt....

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    Default Re: Japan Year-End [Hokkaido - Kanto] 20 days trip

    If u are getting the JR pass. You can take the bullet train there too... Fuji is rather nice... At the shops there got sell these mushroom tea, taste quite good.

  6. #26
    Moderator LOTUSfairy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japan Year-End [Hokkaido - Kanto] 20 days trip

    Quote Originally Posted by kool81 View Post
    If u are getting the JR pass. You can take the bullet train there too... Fuji is rather nice... At the shops there got sell these mushroom tea, taste quite good.
    I went up there and bought the mushroom tea...nice to sip in that cold weather...came back to singapore, weather hot or my tastebud not working...tasted salty? But i love the Tin-Can.

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    Default Re: Japan Year-End [Hokkaido - Kanto] 20 days trip

    Wah... shiok man. I love hokkaido. Very beautiful. I went from Jan 1-8 07. The temp then was hovering around 1-2 in the city area but when you are in the suburbs, it hovers around -5deg. The lowest is -12.

    One word of advise, Lithium batt is the way to go... forget about bringing AA batt. They dun work.

    Have fun...

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    Default Re: Japan Year-End [Hokkaido - Kanto] 20 days trip

    Mt. Fuji season is July and August.

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    Default Re: Japan Year-End [Hokkaido - Kanto] 20 days trip

    Quote Originally Posted by asterixsg View Post
    WOW !!! 20 days. Hope you guys have lotsa fun.

    One thing about Mt. Fuji. I don't think you can climb up Mt. Fuji in December. From what I know, the official climbing season is only for a month or so in June/July.
    You might want to get this sorted out beforehand.

    There are buses that go from Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko 5th station (the last stop accessible by road - from where you start the climb up Mt. Fuji) and back. The direct buses are not that frequent. Please do check on that too, in advance.
    haha, we're not trying to climb mt fuji, we'll be visiting the area around mt fuji, well known for their beautiful sights and impeccable cuisine ^^

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    Default Re: Japan Year-End [Hokkaido - Kanto] 20 days trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Sausage View Post
    i was at Mt Fuji in November last year and noticed that by 3 pm the sky was already quite dim, and by 4 pm it was like 8 pm in Singapore. Is this kind of weather normal? I'm planning another trip end of this year.
    its very normal for winter, the days are short =)

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    Default Re: Japan Year-End [Hokkaido - Kanto] 20 days trip

    guess i have to clarify, there are NO PLANS to climb Mt Fuji, we'll be visiting the Fuji 5 Lakes area =)

    climbing in winter is virtually impossible =)

  12. #32

    Default Re: Japan Year-End [Hokkaido - Kanto] 20 days trip

    I wish I can spend 20 days too! I'm actually thinking of going to Hokkaido but still in the thinking stage... it's too early for me to decide on a Dec trip.

    Just some thoughts on your itinerary. I find that it covers a lot of ground, but there's a lot of travelling too and can get quite tiring. I thought it might be nicer to stay longer in a certain region, esp within Hokkaido as it takes quite a long time to travel from one city to the other. Don't forget it takes a while to get oriented to a new destination when you hop off the train, as well as the time it takes to travel to your accommodation. I'm also quite puzzled why on day 8, you want to stayover in tokyo instead of going straight to Karuizawa (what's in Karuizawa in winter?skiing?). During winter, night falls early and it gets really cold. I would start travelling to the next city at around 4-5 pm after nightfall to get to the destination earlier.

    Some other stuffs for you to think about when you search the railway schedules:
    -You have to pay extra for a sleeper car, even with a JR pass. As far as I know, there's only 1 overnight train along the Hokkaido direction that has seats which will be covered by JR pass without extra charge (JR Hamanasu, Aomori-Sapporo).
    - JR pass is valid for all Shinkansen, except Shinkansen Nozomi (note day 12). Also JR pass won't cover non-JR trains, e.g. I think there's a private railway that goes to Lake Kawaguchi in the fuji 5 lakes area from somewhere, and that's not covered by JR pass. There's no JR train that goes directly to the Lake. If you're using Hyperdia to search, I think it shows up private railways too (but not many of these).

    Hope this helps.

  13. #33
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japan Year-End [Hokkaido - Kanto] 20 days trip

    it is never too early to plan, although actually going is a separate thing.

    i'm already keeping a watch to see how situations goes, and hoping i can catch somaliland (next to somalia) next year or nagaland (NE india) this/next dec.

    as for the pace, i'm sure reis would have considered and noting his experience there in japan, i have confidence in his planning. if not for the budget and the long trip, i would be there too. of cos, i'm sure your opinions and tips of schedules would be appreciated too.

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Japan Year-End [Hokkaido - Kanto] 20 days trip

    Quote Originally Posted by wmelon View Post
    I wish I can spend 20 days too! I'm actually thinking of going to Hokkaido but still in the thinking stage... it's too early for me to decide on a Dec trip.

    Just some thoughts on your itinerary. I find that it covers a lot of ground, but there's a lot of travelling too and can get quite tiring. I thought it might be nicer to stay longer in a certain region, esp within Hokkaido as it takes quite a long time to travel from one city to the other. Don't forget it takes a while to get oriented to a new destination when you hop off the train, as well as the time it takes to travel to your accommodation. I'm also quite puzzled why on day 8, you want to stayover in tokyo instead of going straight to Karuizawa (what's in Karuizawa in winter?skiing?). During winter, night falls early and it gets really cold. I would start travelling to the next city at around 4-5 pm after nightfall to get to the destination earlier.

    Some other stuffs for you to think about when you search the railway schedules:
    -You have to pay extra for a sleeper car, even with a JR pass. As far as I know, there's only 1 overnight train along the Hokkaido direction that has seats which will be covered by JR pass without extra charge (JR Hamanasu, Aomori-Sapporo).
    - JR pass is valid for all Shinkansen, except Shinkansen Nozomi (note day 12). Also JR pass won't cover non-JR trains, e.g. I think there's a private railway that goes to Lake Kawaguchi in the fuji 5 lakes area from somewhere, and that's not covered by JR pass. There's no JR train that goes directly to the Lake. If you're using Hyperdia to search, I think it shows up private railways too (but not many of these).

    Hope this helps.
    thanks for your feedback,

    my concept of the itinery would be to cover as many areas as possible within a short time-frame and since the group would mostly consist of young adults in their prime, i would assume they're up for it physically to combat the related "travel stress"

    as i've visited japan several times thus far, getting accustomed to a particular area wouldnt be much of a problem

    of course, staying longer in Hokkaido is a great idea and i might implement that if feedback from those interested are positive, the current itinery would be more geared towards 1st time japan travellers where we would briefly cover famous "must-go" locations such as kyoto

    karuizawa is basically a "hidden-gem" oftenly overlooked, its one of the few rare towns which has managed captured my heart lols... it has a special charm to it which cannot be described with words lols (karuizawa had always been on my itinery since years ago)

    this trip's emphasis is to safe as much money as possible and make it as comfortable as one could get with the kind of budget, as i believe not everyone is an experienced backpacker who could survive on ANY conditions lols, therefore staying over in Karuizawa wouldnt be a good choice as $130 per night is the cheapest accom. one could get in karuizawa but you'll be able to get a $25 per night hostel room in tokyo 2 hours away by shinkansen... thats the reason for staying over in tokyo instead of karuizawa

    as for train schedules, arriving too early is usually avoided, as theres basically nothing... shops arent open yet and its just..... too early, i would say 9-10am is the preferred choice for arrival in a new area as first, most shops are already open, the day has already began... and our minds would have sufficient amount of rest by then.

    yes i am aware of the cost involved in taking sleeper cars, but i've made it so that we're able to save on a night's accomodation by staying in a sleeper car and that if we did not take the sleeper's car, we'll have to find means to spend a night in transfer cities and wait till daybreak to take a non-sleeper car train.

    Fuji 5-lake area is covered by private rail and it would also be accessible by bus from Shinjuku, it takes a longer time but its much cheaper and it has nicer sights on the way =)
    my preferred mode of transport is by bus in the day and by train when nightfalls. anyways, by the time we visit Fuji 5-lake, our JR pass would have already expired which is why the areas on the itinery would be limited to Tokyo and its neighboring towns to save costs on transport =)

    travel heavy on the first 14 days where we're fresh and travel light on the remaining 6 days where we're more likely to be hit with travel fatigue.


    hope this help answered some of your questions


    you could take your time, the deadline is October

    whether anyone eventually goes for this trip or not, i will personally still be going.... yes, even if i might have to travel alone =) so there will be no pressure as to push for a confirmation at this moment.

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Japan Year-End [Hokkaido - Kanto] 20 days trip

    Quote Originally Posted by zoossh View Post
    it is never too early to plan, although actually going is a separate thing.

    i'm already keeping a watch to see how situations goes, and hoping i can catch somaliland (next to somalia) next year or nagaland (NE india) this/next dec.

    as for the pace, i'm sure reis would have considered and noting his experience there in japan, i have confidence in his planning. if not for the budget and the long trip, i would be there too. of cos, i'm sure your opinions and tips of schedules would be appreciated too.
    thanks.

    actually, my itinery is made in a way that it will still be feasible for a 7 days, 10 days or 14 days trip

    so, you need not stay for the whole 20 days duration if its too long =)

    and budget would be scaled down according for the shorter time frames

    a 7 days trip would roughly cost $1800 and a 14 days trip would cost roughly $2450

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Japan Year-End [Hokkaido - Kanto] 20 days trip

    note: duration of trip is at the moment tentative, its due to changes which i shall update =)

  17. #37
    Moderator LOTUSfairy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japan Year-End [Hokkaido - Kanto] 20 days trip

    Quote Originally Posted by ReiszRie View Post
    note: duration of trip is at the moment tentative, its due to changes which i shall update =)
    if i can go on 5 Jan 08 onwards, most appreciated...sob..

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    Default Re: Japan Year-End [Hokkaido - Kanto] 20 days trip

    Quote Originally Posted by LOTUSfairy View Post
    if i can go on 5 Jan 08 onwards, most appreciated...sob..
    ahaha, we shall see =) i'll keep that in mind

  19. #39

    Default Re: Japan Year-End [Hokkaido - Kanto] 20 days trip

    Quote Originally Posted by ReiszRie View Post
    thanks for your feedback,

    my concept of the itinery would be to cover as many areas as possible within a short time-frame and since the group would mostly consist of young adults in their prime, i would assume they're up for it physically to combat the related "travel stress"

    as i've visited japan several times thus far, getting accustomed to a particular area wouldnt be much of a problem

    of course, staying longer in Hokkaido is a great idea and i might implement that if feedback from those interested are positive, the current itinery would be more geared towards 1st time japan travellers where we would briefly cover famous "must-go" locations such as kyoto

    karuizawa is basically a "hidden-gem" oftenly overlooked, its one of the few rare towns which has managed captured my heart lols... it has a special charm to it which cannot be described with words lols (karuizawa had always been on my itinery since years ago)

    this trip's emphasis is to safe as much money as possible and make it as comfortable as one could get with the kind of budget, as i believe not everyone is an experienced backpacker who could survive on ANY conditions lols, therefore staying over in Karuizawa wouldnt be a good choice as $130 per night is the cheapest accom. one could get in karuizawa but you'll be able to get a $25 per night hostel room in tokyo 2 hours away by shinkansen... thats the reason for staying over in tokyo instead of karuizawa

    as for train schedules, arriving too early is usually avoided, as theres basically nothing... shops arent open yet and its just..... too early, i would say 9-10am is the preferred choice for arrival in a new area as first, most shops are already open, the day has already began... and our minds would have sufficient amount of rest by then.

    yes i am aware of the cost involved in taking sleeper cars, but i've made it so that we're able to save on a night's accomodation by staying in a sleeper car and that if we did not take the sleeper's car, we'll have to find means to spend a night in transfer cities and wait till daybreak to take a non-sleeper car train.

    Fuji 5-lake area is covered by private rail and it would also be accessible by bus from Shinjuku, it takes a longer time but its much cheaper and it has nicer sights on the way =)
    my preferred mode of transport is by bus in the day and by train when nightfalls. anyways, by the time we visit Fuji 5-lake, our JR pass would have already expired which is why the areas on the itinery would be limited to Tokyo and its neighboring towns to save costs on transport =)

    travel heavy on the first 14 days where we're fresh and travel light on the remaining 6 days where we're more likely to be hit with travel fatigue.


    hope this help answered some of your questions


    you could take your time, the deadline is October

    whether anyone eventually goes for this trip or not, i will personally still be going.... yes, even if i might have to travel alone =) so there will be no pressure as to push for a confirmation at this moment.
    Just some feedbacks to share .. I've encountered (in Mar 07) many problem with JR officers with the JR pass taking the same sleeper car you mentioned.. when make reservation, they always insist that JR pass is not applicable and calculate the full fare for payment ... and their .. no English.. Japaness only really piss me off .. BTW, you guy could save quite a bit if taking the Hamanasu train (used this in the end), it is a seating and not too pack.. so we turn the front seat around and have two facing seats where we can rest our legs .. and it is quite comfortable. ..only setback might be it leave Tokyo ard 5+pm.. and arrive in Sapporo ard 6+am ..

    have a nice trip .. it is nice in winter ... great food ..

  20. #40

    Default Re: Japan Year-End [Hokkaido - Kanto] 20 days trip

    I think $3600 for Japan trip is not enough for 20 days.

    What kind of lodging are you thinking off? Hotel in Tokyo about yen 7000.
    Hokkaido hotel about yen 6000. Osaka yen 6000 t0 7000. These hotels are nearer to mrt or train station. Further away hotel is slightly cheaper but then you will be wasting time moving and tired by heavy photographic gear. If you plan to go Disneyland and Universal studio then better factor entrance fees into your budget.

    14 day JR pass only for JR trains and cost about S$750. Other six days on your own. If your 14th day end in Osaka and you need to get back to Tokyo by shinkanasen, ticket about 12,000 yen.
    Food also not cheap. Cheaper udon about 400 yen. Bus ride also not cheap. With a crowd may be you want to visit shinjuku at night. Allow for some beer allowance.

    Otaru is also nice for sea food, esp the large crap. But I rccomend the fried chicken shop near to the Otaru station. Not exp and very tasty.

    Winter is Hokkaido is beautiful. But go in the middle of Dec so you can see more snow. And hopefully can catch some snow fall.

    Hope you manage to work out your trip within your budget.

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