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a TOKYO Itinerary - 1st visit!

Adelaide, Australia
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a TOKYO Itinerary - 1st visit!

Hi, this will be my 1st visit to Japan (Finally!)

We have around 4-5 days here and was wondering what you think of this itinerary to cover Tokyo and a side trip or two...

DAY 1: Arrive Tokyo early am and explore (ideas?) Shinjuku, Shibuya (meiji jingu, yoyogi park, omotesando, Yebisu beer museum), harajuku. Tokyo Tower

DAY 2: Tokyo prefectures. Early start at Tsukiji fish mark, Ginza, waterbus to Asakusa, Ueno, Akihabara. Then Chiyoda (imperial palace, kokyo gaien, yasukuni shrine, marunouchi, tokyo international forum), Tokyo dome city

DAY 3: Train to Kamakura am, afternoon back via Yokohama inc dinner

DAY 4: Shinkansen to Nagano and see snow monkeys

DAY 5: Odaiba inc Tokyo motorshow, exit Japan PM

I've heard there isn't much in Nagano but it gives me a chance to escape Tokyo highrises and the monkeys look like a bunch of fun!

Hong Kong, China
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1. Re: a TOKYO Itinerary - 1st visit!

Remember the Nagano trip will cost you 15,000 Yen roundtrip per person and a whole day of traveling. I personally don't think it's worth it. Consider Nikko with Lake Chuzenji and Kegon Falls, or Hakone for scenic views of Mt. Fuji.

Day 2 looks quite packed. The Imperial Palace is underwhelming. Tokyo Dome City is really just another shopping mall.

Day 5 could feel rushed too depending on what time your flight leaves and what airport you are going from.

Nara, Japan
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2. Re: a TOKYO Itinerary - 1st visit!

When is it you are coming?

Durham
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3. Re: a TOKYO Itinerary - 1st visit!

Shot, It must be early December if the Motor Show is on the itinerary.

Unless there's somewhere else in Yebisu Garden Place you also want to go to, I think you can safely skip the Beer Museum.

I don't know where the monkeys are in relation to Nagano or how long it takes to get there, but if you have time to squeeze in Matsumoto on the same day, the castle there is wonderful.

Nara, Japan
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4. Re: a TOKYO Itinerary - 1st visit!

Seems like it, Ahar, thanks.

Not sure, but the timing may possibly be not quite right to see the monkeys in snow.

Coolum Beach...
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5. Re: a TOKYO Itinerary - 1st visit!

It would be quite a hike to make a day trip from Tokyo to see the monkeys. However with careful planning you could have a lot of fun in the day. Make sure you leave early in the morning.

The Dentetsu railway between Nagano and Yudanaka (where you get the bus or taxi to see the monkeys) has a new limited express that is pleasant to ride in. Target this train because it is faster than the normal service.

Nagano's Zenkoji temple is well worth visiting and easily accessed by bus from the Nagano station.

Also, on the way between Nagano and Yudanaka, Obuse is a great place to stop off and visit if you have time. The Hokusai Museum is very interesting as is the town gallery.

An alternative day trip would be to Matsumoto which has several attractions in addition to being quite picturesque. There is an excellent Limited Express connection from Shinjuku.

My day trip to Nikko was notable for a huge crowd while the many stairs on the hillside site added to reduced enjoyment. However the ornate temples and shrines are striking. You can go there and back in a number of ways, with the morning limited express from Shinjuku a good start.

Adelaide, Australia
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6. Re: a TOKYO Itinerary - 1st visit!

Thanks for the help. Yes, good pick-up Ahar, I'm going to the motor show in early December. maybe the 3rd or 4th

Sammyfloyd - from my understanding the Nagano shinkansen is included on the JR East pass, so it shouldn't cost much to get to Yudanaka on the electric train. Should be a cheap day if anything.

KenCoolum - thanks for the help there, I want to see the monkeys just to do something different, I think i'll see my fair share of temples/castles in tokyo and kamakura. And it will be a nice chance to relax on the train and see some country side. Nothing in Nikko really jumped out at me on TA.

Will it be snowing around Nagano at that time of the year?? (early dec)

Sammyfloyd, day 2 I may leave out tokyo dome city (or at least until night time). I assumed the Imperial palace was anything but underwhelming, with the words 'imperial' and 'palace' in its title!

Day 5 we leave Narita around 7pm so should have a full morning at motorshow including the odaiba area i think

Stockholm, Sweden
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7. Re: a TOKYO Itinerary - 1st visit!

Overall I think your itinerary looks fine (I haven't been to Nagano though so can't comment on that). Kamakura is my favourite day trip from Tokyo, I think you might still catch some autumn colours there in early Dec too - this is a trip report from Dec 6th last year: www.japan-guide.com/blog/koyo10/101206.html.

As for Tokyo sights, I agree with Sammyfloyd that the Imperial Palace with its attached garden is underwhelming. If you want to see a traditional Japanese garden, there are better choices. If you're going to Tokyo Dome, this one is close by and quite nice: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3034_003.html

The same for Tokyo Tower. For great views of the city, there are better choices. I like the Tokyo City View in Roppongi Hills, http://www.roppongihills.com/tcv/en/

Hong Kong, China
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8. Re: a TOKYO Itinerary - 1st visit!

Are you going somewhere else before Tokyo? The JR East Pass costs 20,000 Yen. The Nagano trip costs 15,000 Yen. Toss in a couple of NEX rides and you come out barely ahead. Trips to Kamakura and traveling with Tokyo will probably cost you an additional 3,000 Yen total for your stay. You will come out about 5,000 Yen ahead perhaps.

However, that's still a lot of money and time spent just to see the monkeys but as long as you think it's worthwhile, go for it. Tossing in Matsumoto is recommended if you are not rushed.

Durham
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9. Re: a TOKYO Itinerary - 1st visit!

Koishikawa Korakuen near Tokyo Dome that arevan mentioned is quite nice but I preferred Rikugien near Komagome station. It was also more peaceful - both in terms of having far fewer visitors when I was there and also having less noise intruding from the surroundings. The screams from the nearby Tokyo Dome City rollercoaster spoil the mood at Koishikawa Korakuen somewhat!

Adelaide, Australia
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10. Re: a TOKYO Itinerary - 1st visit!

haha Ahar, i will take note on those parks!

There seems to be some confusion about the train tickets i would be purchasing for my stay. I too was and is still confused! The amount of separate lines across Japan blows my mind.

So I "think" i will end up purchasing a JR Rail Pass. Available from Australia for 7 days at roughly 30,000yen. Now I believe Sammyfloyd, this includes ALL JrEAST lines as well as their Shinkansens, correct? Which means The NEX, Nagano shinkansen, Haneda monorail, and Tokyo JR metro lines ALL included.

http://www.japanrailpass.net/

i think. but not 100%. anybody know?