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Thoughts on 2 week itinerary for a 1st timer to Japan

Thoughts on 2 week itinerary for a 1st timer to Japan

Old Feb 1, 2024, 6:02 pm
  #91  
 
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Originally Posted by Gradfly
There are luggage delivery services (takkyubin) you can use to send bags ahead to your next destination. Prices are very competitive and I wouldn't worry about bags getting lost. I've shipped bags to/from inns deep in the countryside without any issues. IMO, renting a car just to haul bags between Tokyo and Kyoto adds unnecessary time and logistics to your schedule.
there is no excuse not to use this as it's dead simple and cheap and yet shinkansen are rammed with luggage with tourists b
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Old Feb 1, 2024, 6:04 pm
  #92  
 
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Originally Posted by jib71
First it was all about flexibility of schedule, then time was of the essence (but not so much of the essence that the OP would save himself 8+ hours), and now it's for ease of transporting the wife's wardrobe. I think the OP is looking for an excuse to drive. I say let him discover for himself the joys of the Tomei expressway in holiday traffic.

This thread has inspired me to write my best ever Haiku (i.e. my only ever Haiku):
Japan is Japan.
Foreign tourist is foreign.
Finally they meet.
(Unless they don't).
Sounds like it. :-)
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Old Feb 1, 2024, 6:31 pm
  #93  
 
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Originally Posted by Topcare
there is no excuse not to use this as it's dead simple and cheap and yet shinkansen are rammed with luggage with tourists b
I'd like to think that some first timers aren't aware of takkyubin and some foreign tourists come from places where entrusting your parcel to the local transit company is an iffy proposition.

If someone is a serious maximalist packer, I'd think they'd need sufficient floor space to open their suitcases and that is a bit more likely at Western chains with larger rooms. Trunk space might also be a concern on some rental car models. On the pros for takkyubin either way, higher end hotel staff will often place the shipped luggage in the room so you won't need to wrangle it up from the elevator, just when you depart/send the bag on the next leg. I've had a few more budget focused JP business hotels keep the package/bag in storage behind/near the front desk but I think most higher service establishments would at least send it up via porter/staff. I imagine luxury hotels would also take it down for you if you asked.

Shinkansen might be sort of magical must do for some people (shade at my local transit). Takkyubin and how fast parcels get around core cities is also pretty magical and a whole lot less expensive to experience.

I would say that shinkansen is good for people who can moderate volume and sit still for a few hours. First timers are sometimes surprised about how quiet Japan's local, commuter, and long distance trains are. It is purposeful. If your family likes to be lively/chatty, move about a lot, and travel with music/videos without headphones, going by car might help them feel able to express themselves.

Last edited by freecia; Feb 1, 2024 at 6:54 pm
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Old Feb 1, 2024, 6:55 pm
  #94  
 
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Originally Posted by freecia
I'd like to think that some first timers aren't aware of takkyubin and some foreign tourists come from places where entrusting your parcel to the local transit company is an iffy proposition.
yah...it's not like the internets is new. :-)
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Old Feb 1, 2024, 11:49 pm
  #95  
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Originally Posted by Topcare
then there is no choice really. The Shinkansen is the fastest and most efficient way from the centre of Tokyo to Kyoto. Period. Don't waste time with driving. It's silly for a first trip to Japan when you will just be doing the typical first timer things to japan.
Originally Posted by Gradfly
There are luggage delivery services (takkyubin) you can use to send bags ahead to your next destination. Prices are very competitive and I wouldn't worry about bags getting lost. I've shipped bags to/from inns deep in the countryside without any issues. IMO, renting a car just to haul bags between Tokyo and Kyoto adds unnecessary time and logistics to your schedule.
This looks interesting. I did a little bit of research on the luggage delivery service & it seems pretty simple to do. I definitely want to try the Shinkansen & not worrying about luggage makes it easier. I was looking at train timings & the frequency between the two cities is very good. This definitely seems like a better option. Thanks again.
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Old Feb 2, 2024, 12:02 am
  #96  
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Originally Posted by jib71
First it was all about flexibility of schedule, then time was of the essence (but not so much of the essence that the OP would save himself 8+ hours), and now it's for ease of transporting the wife's wardrobe. I think the OP is looking for an excuse to drive. I say let him discover for himself the joys of the Tomei expressway in holiday traffic.
Flexibility & schedule matter since we have the ability to leave whenever we want. Time is of the essence so that I complete a journey in 6 hours instead of 10. Car makes it easier to haul the wife's wardrobe. So yes, its a combination of everything.

Driving is something I have done all over the world & am pretty comfortable with it. We have rented camper vans & driven across Europe & North America for weeks. Its what we have always used as our main mode of transport everywhere we go. I'm sure the Tomei expressway can be horrendous in holiday traffic but if you ever drive in India then you would be used to it. Takes me over an hour to get back home every evening when the distance is less than 5km.

Having said that & after getting all the information in this thread, we are now leaning towards taking the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto & on our way back we fly Osaka to Tokyo. Flying on the way back gives us an extra night either in Kyoto or Osaka as we can take the first flight in the morning to catch our connection back to Delhi a few hours later. Taking the train or driving will require us to be back in Tokyo the night prior to our flight back home.
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Old Feb 2, 2024, 12:59 am
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Originally Posted by Keyser
I'm sure the Tomei expressway can be horrendous in holiday traffic but if you ever drive in India then you would be used to it.
I never said that the Tomei expressway is horrendous. If I were looking for an adjective to describe it, I would go for "dull." In holiday traffic, it's just dull for longer.
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Old Feb 2, 2024, 1:48 am
  #98  
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Originally Posted by jib71
I never said that the Tomei expressway is horrendous. If I were looking for an adjective to describe it, I would go for "dull." In holiday traffic, it's just dull for longer.
I was trying to use horrendous during this time of the year to describe the delay due to traffic jams. Very used to that in India.

However, like I said before, after reading all the great comments & suggestions here I am looking at taking the train one way & flying back the other.
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Old Feb 2, 2024, 7:10 am
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Originally Posted by Keyser
Flexibility & schedule matter since we have the ability to leave whenever we want. Time is of the essence so that I complete a journey in 6 hours instead of 10. Car makes it easier to haul the wife's wardrobe. So yes, its a combination of everything.
During holidays, it will be half a day or less traveling Tokyo-Kyoto/Osaka by Shinkansen. But it will be pretty much all day event traveling Tokyo-Kyoto/Osaka by car.
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Old Feb 2, 2024, 8:09 am
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Originally Posted by Keyser
However, like I said before, after reading all the great comments & suggestions here I am looking at taking the train one way & flying back the other.
Good choice. I love to drive, and I love to drive in Japan, but driving between Tokyo and Kyoto in one go is not fun nor efficient. If you like to drive, I would suggest renting a car and staying in one region, or taking more leisurely routes.

My most memorable drive was renting in Komatsu on the sea of Japan and driving over the course of nearly 2 weeks, ending up in Tokyo. But that's 2 weeks, not a single day.
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Old May 5, 2024, 8:10 am
  #101  
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Hi all, now finalizing my plans, I welcome any feedback or thoughts. Please see PDF attached.
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Japan Daily Itinerary.pdf (459.1 KB, 76 views)
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Old May 6, 2024, 4:44 am
  #102  
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Originally Posted by GodAtum
Hi all, now finalizing my plans, I welcome any feedback or thoughts. Please see PDF attached.
Looks a pretty full on trip. I would suggest to have some contingencies planned so that you can swap things about if necessary - for instance the day you are going hiking, if the weather is forecast to be bad then maybe have a contingency where you can swap that with another days activities.

Also be prepared in case you find yourself suffering from jet lag and maybe want / need to pare back on some activities.
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Old May 6, 2024, 7:22 am
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I like your Saturday May 25, day 6. The rest, not so much, mostly because I have zero interest in a lot of what interests you. Constructive piece of advice: anything scheduled for less than 30 minutes (maybe even 45 minutes), unless it's a train ride of a known length, you can file under "not happening in that time frame."
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Old May 6, 2024, 7:41 am
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Hi,



It looks like Conrad osaka breakfast does not start until 0630 ( you have it down for 0630). Of course you could get something to eat the night before)
Not sure you will be able to check in at Conrad osaka that early ( or at least go to your room then). Check out can take longer than you think
Also I found the souvenir shop at HND airside to be relatively limited ( there are more shops on the shopping street above check in landside)
I also found that after a full day travelling/sightseeing , i did not want to go out for dinner and the lounge/hotel dining was adequate
I also found it was taking about an hour to enjoy breakfast at Conrads ( just enjoying the experience)- you could do it in less time but it is good to savour it rather than rush through it. Also the swimming pool in the Conrad osaka is good to enjoy
Also getting into& out of shopping centres and stations can take longer than you think ( esp tokyo station if you end up at the other end of the station from your desired stop

Regards

TBS

Last edited by The _Banking_Scot; May 6, 2024 at 8:12 am
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Old May 6, 2024, 7:56 am
  #105  
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Originally Posted by Pickles
Constructive piece of advice: anything scheduled for less than 30 minutes (maybe even 45 minutes), unless it's a train ride of a known length, you can file under "not happening in that time frame."
Pickles articulated exactly my own thoughts on this.

Until one attempts to eat at cafes/restaurants made popular on Social Media, or until one finally grasps the implications of visiting shops/attractions where there isn’t a direct ground floor street entrance, perhaps it’s impossible to understand just how much time is going to be dribbling away and unravelling a tightly knitted itinerary.
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