Japan community

First time in Japan - 2 weeks from May 11, 2020

6 days ago

My adult daughter and myself are planning to visit Tokyo 4 nights, Hiroshima and Miyajima, Kyoto 3 nights, Kanazawa and Takayama. Should we arrange tours before we leave the States or should we do it when we arrive.
What tours do you feel are the best for this first trip,

7 replies
Australia
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6 days ago

No tours needed. Do your homework, decide what you want to see and do it yourself, it's easy enough. Start here -

https://www.japan-guide.com

https://trulytokyo.com

https://www.insidekyoto.com

Use the website at Hyperdia for train times, fares etc. This link will look ugly but just copy and paste the whole thing in to your browser -

http://www.hyperdia.com/cgi/en/search.html?dep_node=TOKYO&arv_node=HIROSHIMA&via_node01=&via_node02=&via_node03=&year=2020&month=05&day=15&hour=08&minute=00&search_type=0&search_way=&transtime=undefined&sort=0&max_route=5&faretype=0&airplane=off&ship=off&bus=off&lmlimit=null&search_target=route&facility=reserved&sum_target=7

If you need help figuring out Hyperdia, please ask.

Depending on the sequence of cities, this page may be helpful -

https://www.insidekyoto.com/how-to-get-to-takayama

Depending on the exact itinerary, a 14 day JR Pass (yen 47,250) is probably worthwhile but do the arithmetic to check -

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2361.html

This calculator can give you a rough idea or you can determine the exact fares from Hyperdia -

https://www.japan-guide.com/railpass/

Get a Suica card when you arrive. Use it for local trains (JR if you don't have a Pass and non-JR), subway, buses and at convenience stores and some cafes, restaurants, supermarkets, vending machines and left luggage lockers. Makes life much, much easier. Buy and top up with cash only.

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2359_003.html

https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pass/suica.html

If you have an iPhone 8 or later, you can add a virtual Suica to Apple Wallet and top it up with any card you have in Apple Pay.

If you need help with any of the above, please just ask.

Australia
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6 days ago

In japan, no need tour, plan good and buy JR pass. Very safe and clean. People there are honest and good but no English. Hotel room small but function good. Good food for anyone!

United States of America
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6 days ago

Thank you so much for all the links and information. I will check them out. It’s exciting but right now it’s feeling overwhelming

United States of America
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6 days ago

We are also planning to spend 2 weeks in Japan 3/28 - 4/8. We have purchased JR Rail passes and used Hyperdia to coordinate travel time and accomodations.

I can't say enough good things about Japan-Guide.com, it has truly been an invaluable resource. What Tony Todd said above really sums up the fundamental key points that you need to take into account when planning your trip.

Have fun!

Mexico
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6 days ago

If it goes two weeks, it would be worth spending a couple more nights in Kyoto because it has a lot to do with it. 4 nights in Tokyo are fine but don't spend all your days in Tokyo, as the city is huge and there are lots of activities to do. Being in Tokyo, it takes the opportunity to take a tour of Mt. fuji, Nikko and Monkey Park near Nagano are spectacular experiences. From Tokyo and/or Osaka you can reach Kanasawa in a couple of hours. I recommend that if you have the JR Pass you stay in Osaka instead of Kyoto, in Osaka it was cheaper for us to stay and you have Kyoto 13 minutes away in the Shinkansen, Nara 15 minutes, Kobe 10 minutes, Himeji 25 minutes etc. Tours that you are going to make the first days book them in advance as they fill up quickly. The rest you can book coming.

Australia
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5 days ago

If you are going to Hiroshima and Miyajima you will need 2 days. I just got back from japan and there is so much to see in both those places and I tried to do it in one day.. I based myself in Osaka and did day trips to hiroshima, Miyajima, Okayama, Kyoto, Hemiji... I would suggest you have in your armour and ICOCA card for local train and bus and ferry travel and also a kensai-hiroshima JR pass around about $185 AUD. You can purchase the ICOCA card at the airport on arrival or Station and top up as you need it. If you need any further information on what places or how to get there just let me know... I would never do a tour they are so expensive to do that way. Base yourself in Osaka. It is so easy to do day trips yourself and people are very helpful to give your suggestions.

United States of America
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5 days ago

Thanks for all the tips. I’m working on them