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Old Jul 8, 12, 8:48 pm   #1
 
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Where to go in Japan?

I know this might seem incredibly naive, but I am hoping for some guidance here.

We are going to Asia from Texas and have the option to stopover in any city in Japan served by One World.
We have been to Tokyo and would like to avoid the $120 train ticket to town

If you were to spend 2 days in Japan in January and are seeking a Japanese experience (architectural, cultural, etc) where would you go?
Ideally, the cost are not as outrageous as Tokyo and once we are there, most can be navigated walking

Thanks
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Old Jul 8, 12, 8:59 pm   #2
 
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Originally Posted by Deltahater View Post
I know this might seem incredibly naive, but I am hoping for some guidance here.

We are going to Asia from Texas and have the option to stopover in any city in Japan served by One World.
We have been to Tokyo and would like to avoid the $120 train ticket to town

If you were to spend 2 days in Japan in January and are seeking a Japanese experience (architectural, cultural, etc) where would you go?
Ideally, the cost are not as outrageous as Tokyo and once we are there, most can be navigated walking

Thanks
Where do you get the "$120 train ticket into town" figure from?

I don't know anything about One World other than what I am reading here:

http://www.oneworld.com/flights/sing...s/visit-japan/

But if, according to the stuff in "Simple Pricing", you have to pay at least $120 extra to fly anywhere other than Tokyo, so I'm confused as to why the train from Narita (which shouldn't cost anywhere near $120) should be a limiting factor in deciding on Tokyo.

However, if you are dead set against doing Tokyo again, then I suppose Kyoto is your next best option.
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Old Jul 8, 12, 9:07 pm   #3
 
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What oneworld airline are you going to use from the US to a Japanese airport other than Tokyo direct?
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Old Jul 8, 12, 9:32 pm   #4
 
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You might want to visit Osaka (KIX), which is the 2nd largest city in Japan. I think JL and CX fly into KIX from various Asian cities. In Osaka, I'd recommend you to see Osaka Castle and Namba. Perhaps, you may be interested in visiting Universal Studio in Japan if you have not visited one in Hollywood or Orlando.

If you prefer to visit Kyoto, it is less than a couple of hours ride in JR train from KIX airport.
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Old Jul 8, 12, 10:00 pm   #5
 
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Originally Posted by tsuruke View Post
... If you prefer to visit Kyoto, it is less than a couple of hours ride in JR train from KIX airport.
75 minutes on the Haruka deluxe airport train.

The Narita Express from NRT to Tokyo Station is < 3000 yen (about $35.00)
The Keisei Skyliner from NRT to Ueno (in Tokyo) is 2400 yen (about $30.00)
The Keisei MainLine from NRT to Ueno is 1000 yen (< $15.00)

Last edited by abmj-jr; Jul 8, 12 at 11:44 pm.
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Old Jul 8, 12, 11:13 pm   #6
 
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Originally Posted by tsuruke View Post
Perhaps, you may be interested in visiting Universal Studio in Japan if you have not visited one in Hollywood or Orlando.
I'm not sure why the OP would want to go all the way to Japan to see a smaller, more crowded, more expensive version of a theme park that is only a two hour flight from Texas.

Osaka is a decent place to go if you haven't already been to Kyoto (which itself is a decent place to go if you haven't already been to Tokyo...)
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Old Jul 9, 12, 12:01 am   #7
 
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I always run out of things to do in Osaka (Japan's third-largest city) after a day or two, but you can always go to Kobe or Nara or Kyoto from there. I don't know what the one-world options are, but Fukuoka might be a more interesting choice.
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Old Jul 9, 12, 12:23 am   #8
 
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Originally Posted by lobsterdog View Post
I always run out of things to do in Osaka (Japan's third-largest city) after a day or two, but you can always go to Kobe or Nara or Kyoto from there. I don't know what the one-world options are, but Fukuoka might be a more interesting choice.
I believe the OP said he was only going to spend two days in Japan.

Two days in Japan in January, come to think of it. You know, if Okinawa is an option, I say go for that. It's not nearly as cold, and a totally different yet totally interesting view of Japanese culture that most non-military Americans never get to see. You can hit most of the cultural and cosmopolitan highlights (Shuri Castle, Kokusai Douri, Okinawa aquarium) in a single day, and if you have another you can rent a car and hit a bunch of other smaller "only-in-Okinawa" sights (Ryukyu Okinawa Village, various Mom & Pop tourist traps, etc.)
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Old Jul 9, 12, 7:36 am   #9
 
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Originally Posted by hailstorm View Post
Where do you get the "$120 train ticket into town" figure from?

I don't know anything about One World other than what I am reading here:

http://www.oneworld.com/flights/sing...s/visit-japan/

But if, according to the stuff in "Simple Pricing", you have to pay at least $120 extra to fly anywhere other than Tokyo, so I'm confused as to why the train from Narita (which shouldn't cost anywhere near $120) should be a limiting factor in deciding on Tokyo.

However, if you are dead set against doing Tokyo again, then I suppose Kyoto is your next best option.

I am using an award ticket on Oneworld, so I can fly to NRT or any other city served by Japan Airlines which ranges from Memanbetsu far North to Okinawa far south and anything in between.

I thought we spent $120 (2 people) for the round trip train from NRT to the city.
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Old Jul 9, 12, 7:44 am   #10
 
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Originally Posted by jerry a. laska View Post
What oneworld airline are you going to use from the US to a Japanese airport other than Tokyo direct?
Most likely AA (DFW-NRT) or JFK-HND and then connect. Since this is a oneworld award for $25K, I can pick any Japanese city so I thought I select something different than NRT.
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Old Jul 9, 12, 7:45 am   #11
 
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Originally Posted by hailstorm View Post
I believe the OP said he was only going to spend two days in Japan.

Two days in Japan in January, come to think of it. You know, if Okinawa is an option, I say go for that. It's not nearly as cold, and a totally different yet totally interesting view of Japanese culture that most non-military Americans never get to see. You can hit most of the cultural and cosmopolitan highlights (Shuri Castle, Kokusai Douri, Okinawa aquarium) in a single day, and if you have another you can rent a car and hit a bunch of other smaller "only-in-Okinawa" sights (Ryukyu Okinawa Village, various Mom & Pop tourist traps, etc.)
Yes, we did pick January because it is my wife's birthday and Japan is a stop on a trip to the South Pacific.

Is Sapporo worth a trip?
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Old Jul 9, 12, 9:33 am   #12
 
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Originally Posted by Deltahater View Post

I thought we spent $120 (2 people) for the round trip train from NRT to the city.
OK, if you took the train roundtrip, that makes sense. But NRT is about an hour outside the city, so a $60 roundtrip per person isn't unreasonable. (Now the walk-up roundtrip ticket for the 15-minute run on the Heathrow Express from LHR to Paddington for $52.70 at the current exchange rate is what I call unreasonable.)

Since you have little time in Japan, I'd suggest flying to KIX and taking the train to Kyoto, which is different from Tokyo.
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Old Jul 9, 12, 1:17 pm   #13
 
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Originally Posted by ksandness View Post
... Since you have little time in Japan, I'd suggest flying to KIX and taking the train to Kyoto, which is different from Tokyo.
Or ITM.

Of course, if the OP didn't like paying $120.00 round trip for two from NRT-Tokyo, he probably won't want to pay 3490 yen p/p each way for the Haruka to Kyoto, which is more like $160.00. Or $140.00 to Shin-Osaka. Even with a 3-day Kansai Area Pass, it would be 10k yen - over $120.00.

I don't know what the local airport transit situation is as I always use the shinkansen but it looks like one could build a decent AA/JL trip JFK-NRT-FUK. Fukuoka/Hakata seems like it might be a nicer visit in January than Kyoto or Tokyo.
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Old Jul 9, 12, 5:43 pm   #14
 
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Originally Posted by Deltahater View Post
Yes, we did pick January because it is my wife's birthday and Japan is a stop on a trip to the South Pacific.

Is Sapporo worth a trip?
The only reason I would select Sapporo in winter would be to see the famous Sapporo Snow Festival...but next year's will be held in February.

Since you have the opportunity to fly anywhere for the same price, I'd really consider taking the opportunity to go off the beaten track and fly to Naha. Pleasantly cool (not cold) weather, World Heritage sites, plenty of US/Japan fusion culture, and lots of things that you can't see anywhere else in Japan. And you can just rent a car and be free of the confusion of trains (traffic can be a bear in the main city in the summer, but maybe not quite so bad in the off-peak winter time)

And for future reference, you can get round trip from Narita to Tokyo for $65 by taking the local line, though it would be an hour and a half trip.
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Old Jul 10, 12, 10:50 am   #15
 
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If their ultimate destination is the South Pacific, they would have to pack a different set of clothes for Kyoto. I've been there in January. It's not as cold as the American Midwest, which I think of as the gold standard for cold winters, but you do need long sleeves and a lightweight wool coat.

Naha would be a good choice in terms of saving space in the luggage. One set of clothes for the whole trip.
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