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Build me an itinerary. First timer

Build me an itinerary. First timer

Old Jul 17, 13, 6:47 pm
  #1  
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Build me an itinerary. First timer

Hey FTers!

Long time lurker here seeking some advice. I'm going to Japan on a whim in two weeks. I only have flights booked so far and the rest is open. No hotels booked yet but I am looking at Hyatt and Starwood as I have points to burn.

7/30 LAX -> NRT arrive 7/31
8/6 HND -> HNL-> LAX arrive 8/6

I have 6 days/5 nights to spare and I'm up for any suggestions. This is going to be a solo trip and I am in my 30's so any travel advice would be appreciated. For transportation, I've looked at the Narita Express and Suic thing and also renting some kind of pocket wifi.
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Old Jul 18, 13, 8:48 am
  #2  
 
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Go build your own itinerary!

Seriously, we have no idea what your interests are. Go on line and look for the top ten things to do in Tokyo and see which ones interest you.
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Old Jul 18, 13, 5:28 pm
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Really. You have plenty of time to buy a guidebook and figure out for yourself what you want to see. You can't expect strangers on the Internet to plan your whole trip for you (we're not travel agents), but we'll be happy to answer specific questions once you have your itinerary planned.
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Old Jul 19, 13, 12:26 am
  #4  
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If you can, you should try to go to a gisha show, the music is awful but the drinks are good. Also, there is a nice park near Tsukuji, and don't forget to have sushi in the morning at Tsukuji. Maybe buy a sharpened knife or two. But best of all, Rappungi for the nighlife and Ginza for the shopping.
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Old Jul 19, 13, 2:20 am
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To me, Japan is all about food, hot springs, cool trains, shopping. I personally have no interest in temples or other old buildings. I'd be much happier staying an entire week in Tokyo or in Osaka and spending the week eating and shopping and maybe taking one side trip out to a nearby onsen. But that's just me.

So that's what you have to answer for yourself. Are you interested in sightseeing primarily? Or do you want to stay put in one city and then hang out and explore?

And if sightseeing is what you like and if that entails both Tokyo and Kyoto, then it's probably worth getting the Rail Pass.
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Old Jul 19, 13, 2:32 am
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Sky Cellular rents out pocket WiFi hot spots for 1000Y per day. They are located on the arrivals level after customs.

For transportation consider the Airport Limousine bus service, which drops you off at your hotel for about 3000Y: http://www.limousinebus.co.jp/en/
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Old Jul 19, 13, 2:39 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by walttom View Post
Go build your own itinerary!.
Exactly... start by looking at all the threads about transportation option (the JR pass and the NEX/Suica threads contain all the info needed) and determine what fancies your interests.
For 6 days your choices will be limited. It will probably be something like Tokyo and Kyoto or something around Tokyo like Tokyo and Hakone/xxxx for a first time visit.

Make up your own mind first and then come to us for practical advice or other suggestions.
And be prepared for high temperatures.....
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Old Jul 19, 13, 3:06 am
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Originally Posted by Pickles View Post
... Rappungi for the nighlife and Ginza for the shopping.
That is just never going to die, is it?
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Old Jul 19, 13, 4:12 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by abmj-jr View Post
That is just never going to die, is it?
All I can say is... a day and a half is all you need
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Old Jul 20, 13, 12:39 am
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Phred !
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Old Jul 21, 13, 5:53 pm
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Seven days should be enough time to walk to Hakone and back.

Have fun!
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Old Jul 22, 13, 1:00 am
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Hmm. 6 days?

I'd suggest -

1. Semi-fast train to Niigata. Visit the warves and the Seiko battery factory. They're faulous in mid-summer. Some people say that in order to capture Niigata best you need to switch your camera to grey scale mode. I disagree with that. I think leaving it in colour mode will capture the exact same thing and give you far more nuances of grey across the city.

2. Take the coastal slow train up to Akita City and visit the famous Concrete Manufacturing Musuem. That's a very full day there so get lots of sleep!

3. From Akita, take an over night bus to Hachimantai in Iwate. It's a ski resort that is open in summer and you will get some fabulous senic views of the mountains of that branch of the Japan Alps, uncluttered by trees as they've all been cut down for the ski runs. On a good, clear day you can see Mt Iwate and hear the JGSDF artillery doing their practice firing at the active volcano. If you have time, you can climb Iwate san as well - remember not to climb the side the Army is firing on! (Oh, the laughs when that happens!)

4. Travel south to Sendai and visit the famous Sendai castle. Again, it's very famous and the center piece of a wonderful city that will give you a taste of the "real Japan".

5. You're running out of time now, so you'd best hurry back to Tokyo. The best way to do that is by over night bus. You'll see the most of Japan that way. Make sure to sample the fine summer food available at the many roadside stops. Mmmm: oden that's been heating for 9 hours! Yum!

6. Back in Tokyo and just enough time for a quick visit to one of the quaint neighbourhoods that retains Japanese character. I'd suggest areas like Ochanomizu or Nerima. Both are exciting. Don't miss the chance to see the cabbage production in Nerima - it's the Cabbage Food Bowl of the Tokyo area!

Good luck, and glad we could help! ^
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Old Jul 22, 13, 2:13 am
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Originally Posted by SeriouslyLost View Post
Hmm. 6 days?

I'd suggest -

1. Semi-fast train to Niigata. Visit the warves and the Seiko battery factory. They're faulous in mid-summer. Some people say that in order to capture Niigata best you need to switch your camera to grey scale mode. I disagree with that. I think leaving it in colour mode will capture the exact same thing and give you far more nuances of grey across the city.

2. Take the coastal slow train up to Akita City and visit the famous Concrete Manufacturing Musuem. That's a very full day there so get lots of sleep!

3. From Akita, take an over night bus to Hachimantai in Iwate. It's a ski resort that is open in summer and you will get some fabulous senic views of the mountains of that branch of the Japan Alps, uncluttered by trees as they've all been cut down for the ski runs. On a good, clear day you can see Mt Iwate and hear the JGSDF artillery doing their practice firing at the active volcano. If you have time, you can climb Iwate san as well - remember not to climb the side the Army is firing on! (Oh, the laughs when that happens!)

4. Travel south to Sendai and visit the famous Sendai castle. Again, it's very famous and the center piece of a wonderful city that will give you a taste of the "real Japan".

5. You're running out of time now, so you'd best hurry back to Tokyo. The best way to do that is by over night bus. You'll see the most of Japan that way. Make sure to sample the fine summer food available at the many roadside stops. Mmmm: oden that's been heating for 9 hours! Yum!

6. Back in Tokyo and just enough time for a quick visit to one of the quaint neighbourhoods that retains Japanese character. I'd suggest areas like Ochanomizu or Nerima. Both are exciting. Don't miss the chance to see the cabbage production in Nerima - it's the Cabbage Food Bowl of the Tokyo area!

Good luck, and glad we could help! ^

This has to be the most off-the-beaten-path itinerary of Japan ever suggested.
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Old Jul 22, 13, 8:14 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
This has to be the most off-the-beaten-path itinerary of Japan ever suggested.
I have to say it is some of the finest work in this forum. SeriouslyLost, we are not worthy.
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Old Jul 22, 13, 8:22 am
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Too bad that itin. doesn't include celebrated West Japan attractions such as the coal mining museum in Ube. But I guess every trip is a compromise.
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