Hello I am going to Japan for the first time April 2009. I will be going to visit my Aunt first in Shingu via Osaka. I will be in Japan 10 days. Two places I want to see are Kyoto and Tokyo. How would you break up the time between these three locations with travel time.
I am flying in and out of Osaka.
This is Shingu in Wakayama (about 70 miles from Osaka)? I know nothing about the area, but here%26#39;s what Japan Guide (a great source for all things Japan) has to day about the region: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e4950.html
Friends of mine, who%26#39;ve visited the least exciting places in Japan but who had local hosts, all had the most memorable vacations. You will get a view of everyday Japan the most visitors miss.
Getting to Shingu from Osaka%26#39;s Kansai International Airport seems to be a bit complicated, taking four hours. Consider starting in Kyoto, which is less confusing than many cities and can be reached directly from the airport (Hour and a quarter). From Kyoto, you can get to Shingu with no change of trains in four hours.
Tokyo is about two and half hours from Kyoto and four and a half from Kansai International.
To check schedules use http://www.hyperdia.com/ or the less confusing jorudan.co.jp/english/鈥-norikeyin.html The latter seems to give simpler Kansai-Shingu routes.
I don%26#39;t know what your interests are, but I would spend three nights in Kyoto, three nights in Shingu. Consider skipping Tokyo and visiting the many other sights in this part of Japan. My favorites are the historic Bikan section of Kurashiki (an overnight stop), Himeji Castle (a couple of hours on the way) and Miyajima Island (two nights in nearby Hiroshima).
This might help:
The site has the train time tables, fare, too.
I would buy the 7 day JR pass %26amp; activate when you leave for Kyoto, Tokyo and expire when back to KIX to fly out.
On the second thought, if you stay at Shingu a day or so, I would activate at KIX and go to Shingu, Tokyo and expire when you arrive in Kyoto. It is a short trip to KIX from Kyoto.