A Travel and vacations forum. TravelBanter

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Go Back   Home » TravelBanter forum » Travel Regions » Asia
Site Map Home Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Web Partners

Japan (Tokyo/Kyoto)



 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #71  
Old January 22nd, 2005, 10:26 PM
koneko
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


Agena 2003 wrote:
non-smoking restaurants in Japan
http://www.smokefreeplaces.net/


Thank you for this interesting resource. I have asthma, and traveling
outside of the US can sometimes be problematic for me.

  #72  
Old January 22nd, 2005, 10:39 PM
koneko
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


Bob Myers wrote:

I looked up the map of Narita online, as
suggested above, and I think I know where to find the JR counter.


Really, you can't miss it. As soon as you leave the
customs area, you will see ample signage directing you
to the JR station.


I decided that we'd schedule our own airport transfer to the hotel, so
we should have time to pick up our own shinkansen ticket after all! =)
I did the math, and somehow I think we can get by without the JR pass,
since one way of the Shinkansen ride is already covered of the tour, so
at least I only have to worry about the Kyoto-Tokyo leg of the journey
now! =)


The shinkansen departs from several of the major stations
in the Tokyo area. Toyko station itself, and Shinagawa
station on the south side of the city, are probably the easiest
for catching a train to Kyoto. By the way, it may be best for
you to spend the money on a taxi to the station when leaving
for Kyoto; while it's obviously possible to get to the right
station using the local trains, please keep in mind that hauling
you luggage around may be more of a problem than you want
to deal with - and the local train have basically no space for
luggage; you'll have to keep it with you the whole way.

I was a little confused with that. Do hotels usually have
shuttles that go back and forth to the stations?


Some do, especially those in the vicinities of Shinjuku and
Tokyo stations. (In Shinagawa, the major hotels are directly
across the street from the station.) You should, if possible,
contact your hotel in advance to find out.


We confirmed our hotel is the Okura. Any idea what the taxi fare would
be like to either of the stations for the Shinkansen? (this might be a
bad idea for my wallet!!)

For your trip to Kyoto, you may want to consider leaving part
of your baggage, including souvenirs, etc., in Tokyo for the
short time you'll be away. Ask you concierge at the hotel if
they can store it for you.


If transfers aren't covered by the package (I didn't double check) and
it seems like a pain to get to the station, I will defn keep this in
mind, esp. since we are returning back to the same hotel for our last
night in Tokyo!! That's a great idea!!! Then I can book a green car
Nozomi back from Kyoto to Tokyo so I can carry back my stash of goodies
from Kyoto!! =)

(Don't worry, I like to sound like a huge shop-a-holic, but it's really
not that bad! I just like to joke!)

  #73  
Old January 23rd, 2005, 02:16 AM
bunster
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


koneko wrote:
It seems like JNTO's website is a big favorite among the posters

here!
=) Which guidebooks did you like besides LP?


Let's Go just published the first edition for Japan this past year.
It's not bad. Also, LP publishes guide for Kyoto and Tokyo.

So, depending on how locked in you are with this package tour, it
wouldn't hurt to check out an "independent" tour.


I really had a hard time deciding on this... but I realized our "tour
days" really only consist of two half-days... I hope it turns out all
right! But you are right, I am having a blast reading all the recs

on
this thread, and planning the trip! =) The price seemed really
good(altho we didn't have time to schedule a ryokan stay, b/c of the
tight schedule... sigh)

Incidentally, we're planning our next trip to Japan this coming

spring.
Cherry blossom season! So some places that are hot for cherry
blossoms are booked up. Keep that in mind. ;-)


We are going to be in Japan the exact same time!! early April!! =)

I
think that's why I had a hard time booking the places I wanted. Will
you be visiting multiple cities? =)


We're planning 12 nights in Kyoto. With the World Expo happening not
far, we're using Kyoto as a base for going to/from the Expo site. As
well, maybe visit Nara, Himeji and a few other places around Kyoto.
This is when the Rail Pass comes in handy.

Then it's off to Kanazawa, Takayama (Spring Matsuri), Magome and
Tsumago (hike the Nakasendo highway), Matsumoto, then the last five
nights in Tokyo (I'm hoping to catch a Giants game). Overall, we'll be
there for almost a month. :-)

  #74  
Old January 23rd, 2005, 06:56 AM
Bob Myers
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"koneko" wrote in message
oups.com...
I decided that we'd schedule our own airport transfer to the hotel, so
we should have time to pick up our own shinkansen ticket after all! =)


Good. You should have no problem getting to the hotel, either -
there is a bus service that gives you to-the-door service to just
about all of the major hotels in the Tokyo area, for a reasonable
fee. There's also JR's "Narita Express" train, which can get you to
the major JR stations in the city (and from those, a taxi ride will
generally be your best bet). The Narita Express is quick, clean,
and very comfortable. The buses are clean and comfortable as
well, although you will be slightly more cramped and they will
generally take a bit longer to get into town. (Narita Airport is a
surprisingly long way from central Tokyo.) The bus fare, by
the way, will be around 3,000 yen (about $27), which, since it
goes right to the hotel, will be the best deal.


We confirmed our hotel is the Okura. Any idea what the taxi fare would
be like to either of the stations for the Shinkansen? (this might be a
bad idea for my wallet!!)]


OK - the Okura isn't right next to any of the major JR stations
(it IS fairly close to a couple of subway stations), but it's only
about a ten-minute taxi ride from Tokyo station. I haven't taken
a cab in Tokyo recently - perhaps someone else could chime in with
an estimate of the fare - but I'm guessing you'd spend around the
equivalent of $20, perhaps, to make that trip one-way. Keep in
mind, though, that there's no custom of tipping in Japan. Japanese
taxis are also unfailingly clean, and with helpful drivers. You may
run into a language problem, though, so if you can have the
name and address of your hotel (or other destination) printed in
Japanese, it would be a good idea. The hotel may have transportation
to the station, also - again, check with them once you're there, and
they will certainly give you good advice on the best way to get
where you're going!

Japan IS expensive, of course, as you are no doubt finding out,
but there are also a lot of things to see and do which will not cost
a small fortune. For example, be sure to get out of the hotel and
away from the Western-style restaurants for your meals - don't be
afraid to try the local cuisine, at the local restaurants. And, as we've
already discussed, the train and subway system is definitely the way
to get around, and it's a bargain (esp. when compared with the
taxis!).

I see you're going to be there in early April - too bad, as it's looking
like my next trip over there will be in LATE April! Would've been
fun to see how you liked it! :-)


Bob M.



  #75  
Old January 25th, 2005, 01:35 AM
koneko
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


bunster wrote:

Let's Go just published the first edition for Japan this past year.
It's not bad. Also, LP publishes guide for Kyoto and Tokyo.


Thank you for the recs! I will be stopping by my local Borders and
check them out. =)


We're planning 12 nights in Kyoto. With the World Expo happening not
far, we're using Kyoto as a base for going to/from the Expo site. As
well, maybe visit Nara, Himeji and a few other places around Kyoto.
This is when the Rail Pass comes in handy.

Then it's off to Kanazawa, Takayama (Spring Matsuri), Magome and
Tsumago (hike the Nakasendo highway), Matsumoto, then the last five
nights in Tokyo (I'm hoping to catch a Giants game). Overall, we'll

be
there for almost a month. :-)


Wow, what a great itinerary! I've been to an Expo once, when it was in
S. Korea in the 90s. I wish I had time for an extended stay, it sounds
like you will get to cover a very good bit of area, and get to do many
activities! I looked up the areas you will be visiting besides Tokyo
and Kyoto, as a couple were a bit unfamiliar to me, and they sound
really lovely. I am sure you'll have a fantastic time!! =)

  #76  
Old January 25th, 2005, 01:44 AM
koneko
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


Bob Myers wrote:

Good. You should have no problem getting to the hotel, either -
there is a bus service that gives you to-the-door service to just
about all of the major hotels in the Tokyo area, for a reasonable
fee.


I emailed the Okura, and they confirmed that the bus service stops
there from the airport, so that was a relief! That saved us so much $$
since we will make the arrangements ourselves! =) Plus, we can take
that to the airport on our departure... yea!

OK - the Okura isn't right next to any of the major JR stations
(it IS fairly close to a couple of subway stations), but it's only
about a ten-minute taxi ride from Tokyo station. I haven't taken
a cab in Tokyo recently - perhaps someone else could chime in with
an estimate of the fare - but I'm guessing you'd spend around the
equivalent of $20, perhaps, to make that trip one-way. Keep in
mind, though, that there's no custom of tipping in Japan. Japanese
taxis are also unfailingly clean, and with helpful drivers. You may
run into a language problem, though, so if you can have the
name and address of your hotel (or other destination) printed in
Japanese, it would be a good idea. The hotel may have transportation
to the station, also - again, check with them once you're there, and
they will certainly give you good advice on the best way to get
where you're going!


I think we might leave our suitcases in Tokyo, and take overnight bags
to Kyoto, to spare us the agony of lugging the luggage around, do you
think that will be feasible? (I read all the above, and I get stressed
just thinking about finding storage for the luggage on the
shinkansen... I am so Type A, I'd probably mow down everyone in sight
to get into the Shinkansen first, so I could get space for the
suitcase, and darn it, I'm on vacation, LOL!!) It should be feasible
to take a subway to Tokyo station then, right?

I see you're going to be there in early April - too bad, as it's

looking
like my next trip over there will be in LATE April! Would've been
fun to see how you liked it! :-)


Awww! You're going to be going to Japan too?? I am so sorry that we
will miss each other, it would have been so neat to meet an internet
friend! Will you be there during the big vacation time? That ought to
be very exciting! May I ask if you are visiting for business or
vacation?

Thank you again! =)

  #77  
Old January 25th, 2005, 09:36 PM
Bob Myers
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"koneko" wrote in message
oups.com...
I think we might leave our suitcases in Tokyo, and take overnight bags
to Kyoto, to spare us the agony of lugging the luggage around, do you
think that will be feasible? (I read all the above, and I get stressed
just thinking about finding storage for the luggage on the
shinkansen... I am so Type A, I'd probably mow down everyone in sight
to get into the Shinkansen first, so I could get space for the
suitcase, and darn it, I'm on vacation, LOL!!)


LOL...OK, a couple of words about getting on the
shinkansen at Tokyo station.

The shinkansen (which, by the way, simply means "new
express line," so yes, there are also "kansen" trains although
you rarely if ever hear THAT term used to identify them!)
leaves from platforms 14-23 at Tokyo station; these are the
eastmost platforms, so if you're entering the station from the
usual west side (Marunouchi) gates, you'll have to pass the
"regular" platforms (the Yamanote line, Chuo line, etc.) to
get to the shinkansen platforms. By the way, you can get
a map of Tokyo station and other major Tokyo-area
stations from:

http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/estation/index.html

You'll need to show your shinkansen ticket (or run it
through the machine) to get into the station in the first place,
but then you will also need it to access the shinkansen
platforms. Just before you go up to the platform itself
(and make sure you have the right one for the train you'll
be on - there's a big electronic display, though, that will give
this information in both Japanese and English just after you
enter the shinkansen part of the station), there's an area
with a fairly good choice of food stalls, where you can get
your ekiben for the trip if you like. (Once on the platform,
there are just a few kiosks without nearly as good a
selection!) On the platform, look for the signs over the
platform and ON it which will tell you where each car of
the train will be stopping; there's also usually a place clearly
marked where you can line up for that car. As long as you're
on the platform, say, 15 minutes in advance, you should have
no problem at all getting in line so that you'll have a good
choice of places to put your luggage. (You can also get some
good pictures of the shinkansen pulling into the station, but
be careful about getting too close to the edge of the platform!)

It should be feasible
to take a subway to Tokyo station then, right?


It's feasible - and you'll probably want to check that route
out BEFORE you make the trip to catch the shinkansen -
but just remember that carrying your luggage down to,
onto, inside of, and back up from the subway may be more
of a pain than you want to deal with. You'll have to weigh that
against the cost of the taxi.


Awww! You're going to be going to Japan too?? I am so sorry that we
will miss each other, it would have been so neat to meet an internet
friend! Will you be there during the big vacation time? That ought to
be very exciting! May I ask if you are visiting for business or
vacation?


Business, and as it turns out it doesn't look like I'll be going
to Japan this trip after all - just Korea and Taiwan.

Good luck with your trip, though, and I hope you'll let us all
know how it turned out!


Bob M.


 




Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Your Blessings in my trip to Japan FamousDave Asia 41 March 6th, 2005 10:18 PM
Japan rail pass/Osaka-Kyoto trip Not the Karl Orff Asia 0 September 25th, 2003 06:58 PM
Getting to know people in Japan thegoons Asia 0 September 14th, 2003 09:06 AM
Getting to know people in Japan HH Asia 0 September 12th, 2003 05:53 AM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 10:04 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2019 TravelBanter.
The comments are property of their posters.