I'm back now from my trip to Japan for the first time and I used this fourm a lot to plan the trip i thought it was only fair to post a review if requested for future travellers.
He was the basic background / Itinary
- trip was from the UK to Japan flying with Emirates
- trip was for just me and my 13 year old daughter
- we are both vegitarians
- daughter knows some japanese from school, i know none
- fligts landed and departed from Kansai Airport
- and basically we wanted to fit in as much as possible.
- one firm date was I needed to be in Shizuoka around the middle of the holiday for business.
- do the whole thing on a budget
The final plan was this.
2 nights in Osaka (at Swissotel Namba)
Bullet train to Tokyo
4 nights in Tokyo at New Ontani
(visited Shiboya, Akiharbara, Uneo and took in a baseball game at the Tokyo Dome and visited Tokyo Dome city amusement park
Bus from Shibuya to Kawaguchiko
5 nights at K's Hostel including overnight climb of mount Fuji
and one day trip to Shizuoka (by bus and train)
Return to Osaka for last night and visit opening ceromony of Osaka 2007 world athletic championship.
In the end we cut short our 5 nights in Kawaguchiko but 2 nights and returned to stay in Tokyo Shibuya for two nights, then left to osaka from there.
First let me say, the whole thing, the trip, the country and especially the people were absolutely great. I'd go back tomorrow if I could. The only thing I'd do different is have extended the middle section in tokyo and taken the trip to Shizuoka from there (although its further its a much faster route)
Ueno park and zoo are exceptional and cheap
Exploring the other various areas was great
but climbing mount Fuji was something else. It was a real rollercoaster of thing emotions before we even got to the climb, so many things were not right for it - not least the fact it started rainging and thundering on the one night we could make the ascent. It was a real test but absolutely worth the effort.
All the hotels we stayed in where great 4/5 stars and in all of them i got good deals. K's Hostel is remarkable, its clean friendly and as cheap as chips. Staff are great.
Transport by trains and buses was an adventure, but we didn't go wrong once, although we were close a couple of times. Saw quite a bit of advice about avoiding taxis before I went which I didn't until one day I just wanted an easy option and took one. Wish I'd done it earlier - compared to the UK the fares are dead cheap and its just sooo much easier, on top of the door to door service you get to see the city.
If my trip is of any interest to anyone then jus tpost here and I'd be happy to elaborate and help out anyway I can.