Home Community General Travel Travel Tips Any Japan buffs?

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  • #4238
    Kiwimac
    Participant

    Not really a tip but there does not seem to be a ‘destinations’ forum…

    My good lady wife and I are cogitating a trip to Japan (ah…the Orient!) later this year.

    Present plan is to arrive Tokyo and head SW through Kyoto etc to Hiroshima and perhaps fly to Okinawa for some sand and sea. The last part is solely for her benefit, I might add – I’m much more interested in exploring with my cameras.

    Aside from the flight to Okinawa, we would use the Shinkansen and the Japan Rail Pass to travel inter-city.

    Maximum time away will be 3 weeks.

    Any suggestions/must do’s?

    • This topic was modified 2 years ago by Kiwimac.
    #4251
    Kiwimac
    Participant

    Definitely a go now – booked Air NZ PE return in the sale!

    #4253
    Steve Biddle
    Keymaster

    I’ve been there 4-5 times now and it’s a country I really love.

    Trains are the best way to get around and the rail pass truly is a bargain. The only catch to be aware of if you want to plan journeys (hyperdia.com is the best site) is that you can’t catch Nazomi or Mizuho trains. These are the faster trains with much greater frequency and often fewer stops.

    Do you have a rough itinerary at all? I’ll add a few more suggestions here when I’ve got some time.

     

    #4276
    Kiwimac
    Participant

    Itinerary still a bit high level. Probably mostly SW from Tokyo down through Kyoto and Hiroshima. Perhaps a loop up to Nikko.

    Yes, we certainly plan on using the trains!

    Early questions are how long to spend in Tokyo – as a photographer, I could probably spend all 3 weeks there, but my wife may not be keen on that idea…!

    #4289
    Steve Biddle
    Keymaster

    IMHO Tokyo is just another big city, and while I’ve spent quite a bit of time there, I have no plans to spend any more time there on future visits quite simply because there is no much more to see.

    When exactly are you going? Are you going for anything special such as the autumn leaves? I’ve been over there in both Spring for the cherry blossoms and Autumn for the leaves and both are spectacular in their own way. Clearly if you’re into photography and are there for that then you’ll want to allow extra time.

    One place I really did love was Miyajima. Yes it’s popular, and yes it can be very crowded (depending on when you’re there), but it is very scenic.

    Heading up into the mountain areas is also pretty amazing, especially around Gifu area. I’ve been up to Takayama which was an incredibly scenic train trip to get there.

    Do you have any accommodation planned or booked yet?

     

    #4290
    Kiwimac
    Participant

    I agree, and had I been to Tokyo before, I would probably not stick there long. However, there is plenty to occupy the photographer and we are planning, amongst other things, to attend a Sumo event that just happens to be taking place when we arrive!

    We are going in September and returning in October, so northern hemisphere autumn. Perhaps a little early for the best of the leaf colour, especially in the southern part of Japan.

    We have one night booked at the airport on our last day, but other than that so far no. I tend to use Accor since I have Platinum status with them, although whilst there are quite a few Accor properties in Japan they are at the lower end of their portfolio. Surprisingly, there is not even a Sofitel in Tokyo.

    I shall look at the places you mention – thanks!

    #4294
    Steve Biddle
    Keymaster

    Apart from staying in a few Hilton properties for the DIamond upgrades (I’ve had a few amazing rooms) a lot of stays there have simply been in “business” hotels which tend to be pretty compact but offer all you need at a great price.

     

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