Sunday, April 4, 2010

Spring Break Final Itinerary-Follow up to my other post :)

Hi guys! Thanks for all your wonderful advice a few weeks ago, when I was putting together my itinerary!

To those who don%26#39;t remember; basically a friend and I are traveling to Japan for Spring Break. We%26#39;re adventurous, but don%26#39;t like having to rough it too much. We wanted to go places with a lot of character and diversity and have as little redundancy in the itinerary as possible. We wanted things easy and planned, and along with your advice I think I have been able to accomplish that.

I booked a bunch of tours from the JTB Japanese Travel Bureau to meet this end. While I have most of our days booked up, I haven%26#39;t much planned for our evenings. I often see listings for things like Geisha shows in Kyoto, are any of those worth doing? Any ideas? What are some good clubs/restaurants in Tokyo and Kyoto? Also we%26#39;re on the look out for unique experiences, like I saw this great sushi making experience in some famous market, but unfortunately it was all booked up. Anything that will give us good facebook photos! lol. Check it out below and let me know what u think:

4/9- Flight from LAX to Narita

4/10- Arrive Narita (4:30 PM)/ Check into Park Hyatt Tokyo

4/11- Dynamic Tokyo Your (7:40 AM-6:30 PM)

4/12- Nikko and Kegon Waterfall Tour (7:40 AM- 8:00 PM)

4/13- Free Tokyo Day

4/14- Noon train to Kyoto/ Check into Hiiragiya Ryokan (our big splurge this trip, lol)/ Relax in Kyoto the rest of the day

4/15- Transfer to Westin Miyako Hotel (11:00 AM)/ Kyoto Afternoon Tour

4/16- Hiroshima and Miyajima Tour (7:40 AM-9:00 PM)

4/17- Kyoto Morning Tour (8:00 AM-2:30 PM)/ Train back to Tokyo

4/18- Free Tokyo Day

4/19- Free Tokyo Day

4/20- Back home to LAX

I also had a question about transportation. The train is included with the tour from Kyoto to Hiroshima and Miyajima, so essentially all we need is train fare from Tokyo to Kyoto and back. Is that worth getting the 7 day pass? Or should I just purchase individual tickets to those places. Also where could I book/find train schedule? I%26#39;m thinking of taking the airport limousine to downtown Tokyo from Narita as I figure, even though it%26#39;s slower than the train, it%26#39;ll drop us off right as the hotel, which the train won%26#39;t do. One more thing, are taxi%26#39;s hard to find in Kyoto?

Whew, I know thats an earfull!! But any additional advice would be appreciated!


Spring Break Final Itinerary-Follow up to my other post :)

You should get a 7-day JR Pass and activate it on 4/14 so it lasts until 4/20. You can then take roundtrip rides Tokyo/Kyoto (worth over 26,000 Yen) and use Narita Express back to Narita Airport (around 3,000 Yen). These three rides alone exceed the cost of the JR Pass (28,300 Yen). Anything else you get is gravy.

I am assuming you can%26#39;t get out of the Hiroshima/Miyajima train and get reduced rates for the tours since you could save more money with the JR Pass.

Train schedules and fares:

Note that using a JR Pass means you can%26#39;t ride the fastest and most frequent Nozomi Shinkansen trains. However, Hikari trains are usually good enough for tourists, just around 20 minutes slower between Tokyo and Kyoto. Be sure to select ';except NOZOMI'; in Hyperdia if you want to find non-Nozomi trains.

The Airport Limo is twice expensive as Narita Express from Narita Airport to Shinjuku Station but it does get you to the door. Another possibility is to take NEX to Shinjuku using the NEX-Suica package and then a taxi to Park Hyatt.

Spring Break Final Itinerary-Follow up to my other post :)

Dining information -

If you are interested, baseball will be played while you are in Japan.

Taxis are easy to locate in Kyoto.

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