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Thread: Japan Trip from 20 - 29/30 June

  1. #1

    Default Japan Trip from 20 - 29/30 June

    Hi guys,

    I am planning a trip to Japan for this coming 20 June (Fri) till 29/30 June, total of abt 11/12 days. This is a rather impromptu trip (tickets not booked yet but will be doing tat soon )...

    I will be landing at Tokyo but the current thinking is to move out to other areas near Tokyo on the day of arrival and then slowly worked my way back to Tokyo for my return flight...

    Will be doing research soon but in the meantime any one can drop any tips on what i need to do or bring or places that i should be visiting?

    Many thanks in advance!!!

    p.s.: apologies if this is the wrong section to be posting this..

  2. #2
    Member BourbonCoke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japan Trip from 20 - 29/30 June

    if you have some idea of what you want to see or do or eat maybe easier for people to give you suggestions.

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    Default Re: Japan Trip from 20 - 29/30 June

    There's lots of stuff to see at tokyo too but hotels might be more expensive, if you planning to travel a lot then better get the weekly pass for trains since traveling there is quite expensive too. Depends of whether you want to do some shopping, there's places for electronics stuff where you might find lots of bargains. I know of some cheap and good food places in Shinjuku area so if interested, I could give you the details. It really is like what bourboncoke said, depends on what you want to do. If you want to go to hot springs then head to Hakone (closest to tokyo).

  4. #4

    Default Re: Japan Trip from 20 - 29/30 June

    I think Kopitiam is a more appropriate section.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Japan Trip from 20 - 29/30 June

    hi guys... many thanks for your suggestions thus far.... basically i have narrowed down my visits to the following areas:

    1) 20 June - Arrived at Tokyo, ETA 1735... take train down to Kyoto
    2) 20/21 june - 25 june - visiting kyoto/osaka/kobe/himeji castle
    3) 26 june - 30 june - visiting tokyo/mount fuji/nikko

    reasonable itinerary? havent really nailed down which specific places though.. just some very vague ideas... so suggestions will be most appreciated...

    also, is it a good idea to base myself in kyoto and then visit osaka/kobe/himeji castle and returning to kyoto each night or should i stay at each of these locations? tentatively the idea is to spend 21 - 22 at kyoto, 23 at osaka, 24 at himeji and 25 at kobe and returning to tokyo on 25 night...

    dont think will be doing lots of shopping.. think will only reserved shopping on the last day, i.e 30 june, return flight is at 1910 hours on 30 june..
    Last edited by oracle00; 16th June 2008 at 01:11 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Japan Trip from 20 - 29/30 June

    thats quite a lot to do in such a few days - tokyo and kyoto can each keep you busy for 3 days.
    e-420, fl-36r, 12-60mm f2.8-4.0, 25mm f1.4

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Japan Trip from 20 - 29/30 June

    Quote Originally Posted by oracle00 View Post
    hi guys... many thanks for your suggestions thus far.... basically i have narrowed down my visits to the following areas:

    1) 20 June - Arrived at Tokyo, ETA 1735... take train down to Kyoto
    2) 20/21 june - 25 june - visiting kyoto/osaka/kobe/himeji castle
    3) 26 june - 30 june - visiting tokyo/mount fuji/nikko

    reasonable itinerary? havent really nailed down which specific places though.. just some very vague ideas... so suggestions will be most appreciated...

    also, is it a good idea to base myself in kyoto and then visit osaka/kobe/himeji castle and returning to kyoto each night or should i stay at each of these locations? tentatively the idea is to spend 21 - 22 at kyoto, 23 at osaka, 24 at himeji and 25 at kobe and returning to tokyo on 25 night...

    dont think will be doing lots of shopping.. think will only reserved shopping on the last day, i.e 30 june, return flight is at 1910 hours on 30 june..
    Wow, very packed... I did Kyoto/Osaka/Kobe/Himeji + Nara/Kinosaki Onsen in 13 days/12 nights, and I thought that wasn't quite enough at certain points.

    My 2cents: Kyoto and Osaka are definitely worth staying in, there's more than enough to keep you occupied for at least a few days each. If time is tight, skip Kobe. It's a nice city, with very good food, but overall nothing terribly exciting. Himeji would take up maybe 3/4 day, depending on how much you appreciate the castle grounds. I haven't been to Tokyo, so can't comment on that.

    Ultimately, it's how intensive you want your trip to be (From your plan, it seems like you want to have the intensitiy level rather high). I guess your itinerary is ok if you do plan the logistics properly so you maximise your time at each place.
    Last edited by Gengh; 16th June 2008 at 07:07 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Japan Trip from 20 - 29/30 June

    There is an internal airport at Osaka, why don't you finish those places near Tokyo then on go down to Osaka, after that then fly off from there either way. It will save the train time from going back.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Japan Trip from 20 - 29/30 June

    Quote Originally Posted by sfthong View Post
    There is an internal airport at Osaka, why don't you finish those places near Tokyo then on go down to Osaka, after that then fly off from there either way. It will save the train time from going back.
    can't do that cos my wife is joining me on the 26 jun... and she will be at tokyo.. that's the reason why i arrived at tokyo and travelled down to kyoto first.. the plan is to finish kansai area and then meeting her to do mount fuji and nikko and tokyo... seems overly ambitious now given some of the bro's comments.. haha.. first time visit to japan so really not much idea..

  10. #10

    Default Re: Japan Trip from 20 - 29/30 June

    Quote Originally Posted by Gengh View Post
    Wow, very packed... I did Kyoto/Osaka/Kobe/Himeji + Nara/Kinosaki Onsen in 13 days/12 nights, and I thought that wasn't quite enough at certain points.

    My 2cents: Kyoto and Osaka are definitely worth staying in, there's more than enough to keep you occupied for at least a few days each. If time is tight, skip Kobe. It's a nice city, with very good food, but overall nothing terribly exciting. Himeji would take up maybe 3/4 day, depending on how much you appreciate the castle grounds. I haven't been to Tokyo, so can't comment on that.

    Ultimately, it's how intensive you want your trip to be (From your plan, it seems like you want to have the intensitiy level rather high). I guess your itinerary is ok if you do plan the logistics properly so you maximise your time at each place.
    haha.. actually i was thinking of doing kobe only solely for the kobe beef

    wow.... din know need so much time to cover these areas....

    looks like i need to do some replanning... thanks for the tips!!!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Japan Trip from 20 - 29/30 June

    Quote Originally Posted by oracle00 View Post
    hi guys... many thanks for your suggestions thus far.... basically i have narrowed down my visits to the following areas:

    1) 20 June - Arrived at Tokyo, ETA 1735... take train down to Kyoto
    2) 20/21 june - 25 june - visiting kyoto/osaka/kobe/himeji castle
    3) 26 june - 30 june - visiting tokyo/mount fuji/nikko

    reasonable itinerary? havent really nailed down which specific places though.. just some very vague ideas... so suggestions will be most appreciated...

    also, is it a good idea to base myself in kyoto and then visit osaka/kobe/himeji castle and returning to kyoto each night or should i stay at each of these locations? tentatively the idea is to spend 21 - 22 at kyoto, 23 at osaka, 24 at himeji and 25 at kobe and returning to tokyo on 25 night...

    dont think will be doing lots of shopping.. think will only reserved shopping on the last day, i.e 30 june, return flight is at 1910 hours on 30 june..
    1. Since you will be travelling a lot, consider buying the JR Rail Pass if you have not done so. You can then travel on all JR trains to your heart's content (except the Nozomi bullet train service - you can still take the Hikari & Kodama bullet train services). Without the pass, you'll have to pay through your nose....
    2. Major attractions have English speaking guides who provide their services on a volunteer basis. I used one when I went to Himeji Castle. Without the guide I would have missed lots & lots of the history of the castle. Ask for one at the ticket counter.
    3. For accomadation you can try http://www.toyoko-inn.com/eng/index.html
    4. Do visit an "Onsen" or spa. There are many around - google it. I went to "Arima Onsen" which is near to Osaka - 1 hour+ bus ride from the ShinOsaka railway station.
    5. For train services and timetable use http://www.hyperdia.com/. Click on English, enter your start point and destination and you get suggested services to take. Click the icons under "Time Table" and "Information" for detailed train schedules & stops.
    6. The Hikari bullet train service between Tokyo and Osaka takes 3+ hours. The ride is smooth and comfortable (better than a plane IMHO). You can buy box meals (bento) to eat on the train or you can buy from the train stewardress (??) which costs more.
    7. You can pre-book your bullet train rides. Do this at any station that has the bullet train service (Shinkansen). It is best to pre-book as the trains can be fully occupied.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Japan Trip from 20 - 29/30 June

    4 days is too short for Tokyo/Mount Fuji/Nikko.

    Also Mount Fuji is infamously elusive so you might or might not see it. Half the time the summit is covered in clouds. Nearest place to see Mount Fuji is Hakone which is a hour plus away from Tokyo City.

    I suggest dropping Mount Fuji and concentrate on Tokyo and Nikko or lengthen the days for Tokyo and Nikko.

    You will need to leave the city around 3pm for the 710pm flight. You have to take a bus or train which takes 90 minutes if you get caught in a jam or 60 minutes if all is smooth sailing. Also please standby your passport on you if you are taking the bus as there is a security check point before the airport where the bus will be stopped and police officer will come aboard to check your passport. So don't go lock it in your luggage and leave it in the cargo compartment of the bus.

    This hotel is not bad for Tokyo. http://www.princehotelsjapan.com/shinjukuprincehotel/
    It's at Shinjuku and next to Kabuki cho, where you have 24 hours watering holes and makan places. Just don't go to the hostess bars... u might end up with a hefty bill.

    Also search my previous posts. There were a few queries like yours before... Im too lazy to type it all out again as in the advice for Tokyo.

    For Osaka area, I suggest you drop Kobe and include Nara another former capital of Japan, the temples are nice with the largest Bronze Buddha in Japan. Osaka, Kyoto and Nara are spaced out like the 3 points of a triangle, it is an hour by bus from Osaka to Kyoto, Kyoto to Nara, Nara to Osaka,
    Last edited by aeskywan; 17th June 2008 at 02:28 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Japan Trip from 20 - 29/30 June

    ok guys... i have my itinery out (for the first five days at least)... do let me know if i am overly ambitious

    1. Day 0 (Fri) - Arrival at Narita Airport at 1730 hours.. Take shinkansen down to Kyoto

    2. Day 1 (Sat) Morning - Kinkuji Temple, Ryoanji Temple, Ninnaji Temple
    Afternoon - Bamboo path, Tenryuji Temple, Saihoji Temple
    Evening - Gion area

    3. Day 2 (Sun) Morning - Toji Temple, Nishi-Honganji Temple, Higashi-Honganji Temple
    Afternoon - Kyonizu Temple, Sanjusangendo Temple, Path of Philosphy
    Evening - Gion area

    4. Day 3 (Mon) Morning - Nijo Castle, Kyoto Imperial Palace
    Afternoon - Himeji Castle
    Evening (?) - Go Kobe eat Kobe Beef

    5. Day 4 (Tue), Whole Day - Todaji Temple, Kusuga Shrine, Kofukuji Temple, Nara Park and Horyuji Temple, if got time

    6. Day 5 (Wed) - Japan Alps: Matsumoto, Kamikochi Valley, Tsumago, Return to Tokyo, check in at one of those capsule hotels

  14. #14

    Default Re: Japan Trip from 20 - 29/30 June

    Quote Originally Posted by kietgnoel View Post
    1. Since you will be travelling a lot, consider buying the JR Rail Pass if you have not done so. You can then travel on all JR trains to your heart's content (except the Nozomi bullet train service - you can still take the Hikari & Kodama bullet train services). Without the pass, you'll have to pay through your nose....
    2. Major attractions have English speaking guides who provide their services on a volunteer basis. I used one when I went to Himeji Castle. Without the guide I would have missed lots & lots of the history of the castle. Ask for one at the ticket counter.
    3. For accomadation you can try http://www.toyoko-inn.com/eng/index.html
    4. Do visit an "Onsen" or spa. There are many around - google it. I went to "Arima Onsen" which is near to Osaka - 1 hour+ bus ride from the ShinOsaka railway station.
    5. For train services and timetable use http://www.hyperdia.com/. Click on English, enter your start point and destination and you get suggested services to take. Click the icons under "Time Table" and "Information" for detailed train schedules & stops.
    6. The Hikari bullet train service between Tokyo and Osaka takes 3+ hours. The ride is smooth and comfortable (better than a plane IMHO). You can buy box meals (bento) to eat on the train or you can buy from the train stewardress (??) which costs more.
    7. You can pre-book your bullet train rides. Do this at any station that has the bullet train service (Shinkansen). It is best to pre-book as the trains can be fully occupied.
    already bought the JR pass, can I clarify that the JR pass is more for inter-city travel? i.e. if I am in Kyoto, I probably need to buy another day pass for transport? or JR pass will cover me all the way, even with each individual city?

    So I can eat on the train ah? I buy bento set outside the train station and then bring it in to eat? correct ma?

    paiseh, asking all these noob qns as this is my first time going

  15. #15

    Default Re: Japan Trip from 20 - 29/30 June

    Quote Originally Posted by aeskywan View Post
    4 days is too short for Tokyo/Mount Fuji/Nikko.

    Also Mount Fuji is infamously elusive so you might or might not see it. Half the time the summit is covered in clouds. Nearest place to see Mount Fuji is Hakone which is a hour plus away from Tokyo City.

    I suggest dropping Mount Fuji and concentrate on Tokyo and Nikko or lengthen the days for Tokyo and Nikko.

    You will need to leave the city around 3pm for the 710pm flight. You have to take a bus or train which takes 90 minutes if you get caught in a jam or 60 minutes if all is smooth sailing. Also please standby your passport on you if you are taking the bus as there is a security check point before the airport where the bus will be stopped and police officer will come aboard to check your passport. So don't go lock it in your luggage and leave it in the cargo compartment of the bus.

    This hotel is not bad for Tokyo. http://www.princehotelsjapan.com/shinjukuprincehotel/
    It's at Shinjuku and next to Kabuki cho, where you have 24 hours watering holes and makan places. Just don't go to the hostess bars... u might end up with a hefty bill.

    Also search my previous posts. There were a few queries like yours before... Im too lazy to type it all out again as in the advice for Tokyo.

    For Osaka area, I suggest you drop Kobe and include Nara another former capital of Japan, the temples are nice with the largest Bronze Buddha in Japan. Osaka, Kyoto and Nara are spaced out like the 3 points of a triangle, it is an hour by bus from Osaka to Kyoto, Kyoto to Nara, Nara to Osaka,
    oh... thanks for the passport tip! Don't think will drop Mount Fuji.. Missy wants to go there... i was actually thinking of doing a night climb.. but understand tat the season for climbing is not here yet, starting from 1 july... nonetheless, can i just go ahead to climb? did u do this climb before?

    seems like i probably will be dropping nikko...

  16. #16

    Default Re: Japan Trip from 20 - 29/30 June

    Quote Originally Posted by oracle00 View Post
    oh... thanks for the passport tip! Don't think will drop Mount Fuji.. Missy wants to go there... i was actually thinking of doing a night climb.. but understand tat the season for climbing is not here yet, starting from 1 july... nonetheless, can i just go ahead to climb? did u do this climb before?

    seems like i probably will be dropping nikko...


    Oracle, no offence but are you and your wife experience climbers? I wouldn't advise anyone inexperienced to go climb Mount Fuji during off peak seasons.

    Reasoning being:

    Taken from a Japanese Website on Mount Fuji

    Off Season

    Some mountain huts open a few days before the start of the official climbing season and/or remain opened until around mid September. While there is usually no or only little snow on Mount Fuji until October, temperatures at the summit can drop to far below zero in the shoulder seasons. Only experienced hikers with a strong urge to avoid the crowds, should consider the ascent in late June or September.

    From October to around mid June, climbing to the summit is highly perilous due to extreme wind and weather conditions, snow, ice and a high risk of avalanches.


    http://gojapan.about.com/cs/mtfuji/a/climbmtfuji.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Fuji
    http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6901.html
    Some links for info on Mount Fuji

    Temperatures up the summit area can change really fast, I am speaking from experience and there is fog so thick you cannot see 10 feet in front of you that can just descend in minutes. The danger is that you get lost and then literally walk off the mountain or get hypothermia and freeze to death.

    Safer to climb during in season because all the huts at the different stations would have opened and there would be people manning them. These huts provide rest facilities (not fantastic though) water and sometimes Oxygen Masks.

    During in season, the crowds serve as a kind of directional guide. With a few experience climbers among them, the whole snake of people just simply follow each other and get to the summit, there are also lights coming from the torches of the climbers so just follow the snake of lights. Also if anything happens to you, you can be sure that there will be someone who will attend to you.

    Doing a night climb during off season is dangerous as you might find yourself alone up there and get lost. Don't underestimate Mount Fuji, it is not a normal stroll in the park and getting to the summit still takes quite a bit of effort. That is why the Japanese have a saying "only a crazy man would climb Fuji San twice"

    I suggest keeping Nikko, there are alot of temples to see there, just remember that everything closes at 5pm sharp so please be there early to take in all the sights, they open at 7am. If you need more info on Shizuoka Prefecture where Mount Fuji is located, Hakone, the hotspring resort town where you can see Mount Fuji from afar, pm me. I have some photos of Nikko too.
    Last edited by aeskywan; 18th June 2008 at 11:45 AM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Japan Trip from 20 - 29/30 June

    oic... nope... never climbed any mountain before... i just read from guidebook and they seem to put it that it isnt too difficult a climb, so thought of trying out... after seeing wat u wrote, haha, i think i will give it a pass.. maybe next trip if got chance then climb..

    hmm.. then maybe i tell my wife to drop kamukura and go nikko instead (she planning the tokyo leg)...

    thanks for your advice again aeskywan, have dropped u a pm

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