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From Tokyo: Shinkansen to Hiroshima or Onsen?

Northern California
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From Tokyo: Shinkansen to Hiroshima or Onsen?

We have an open day in our Tokyo itinerary and can't decide which would be better for a family of 4 (2 teenagers). The kids really want to ride a bullet train, something we don't have in the States. So,

Option 1: Bullet train from Tokyo to Hiroshima, visit sites, stay over one night, spend morning and return to Tokyo.

Option 2: Bullet train to and from an onsen destination. Recommendations? Would prefer accomodations with breakfast/dinner option and private onsen.

We are leaving in a few days so any recommendation would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Honolulu, Hawaii
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1. Re: From Tokyo: Shinkansen to Hiroshima or Onsen?

I vote for Hiroshima with an added side trip and possible stay in Miyajima. You should budget and research to see if this is of interest, of course.

Adelaide, Australia
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2. Re: From Tokyo: Shinkansen to Hiroshima or Onsen?

Will you have a JR rail pass?

In case you don't..

If you take the Nozomi (the fastest train), the journey will be around 4 hours from Tokyo to Hiroshima. The other option is the Hikari, which is slightly slower and will take about 5 hours. Either option will cost Y17,540 per person each way (ie Y35,080 return). A 7 day JR Rail Pass will cost Y28,300 per person. However, you must purchase the JR Rail Pass before you arrive in Japan.

http://www.japanrailpass.net/eng/en001.html

Hong Kong, China
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for Hong Kong, Osaka
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3. Re: From Tokyo: Shinkansen to Hiroshima or Onsen?

Hiroshima is an awfully long way to go on a day trip. Perhaps a Kyoto day trip?

Northern California
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4. Re: From Tokyo: Shinkansen to Hiroshima or Onsen?

We will not have a rail pass since our 10 day stay is centered entirely around Tokyo. I failed to mention that I saw a JR Promotional that included a one night's hotel stay plus 4 r/t tickets for ~$1,100US. Seems steep I know, but the train thing is something the kids really want.

Maybe we should take a shorter bullet train trip somewhere closer? My wife and I previously took the Hikari to Kyoto & Osaka so we probably don't want to revisit that area on this trip. Any suggestions for a closer trip, even going the other way (East/North)? Thanks.

Hong Kong, China
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5. Re: From Tokyo: Shinkansen to Hiroshima or Onsen?

If you end up going to Hiroshima, the 7-day JR Pass saves you money even if you are spending most of your time around Tokyo. The roundtrip fare Tokyo-Hiroshima is about 36,000 Yen, which already exceeds the 28,300 Yen cost of the 7-day pass.

If you want to save money and time for a closer trip, consider Karuizawa. The town is has a relaxed atmosphere and it's very popular in the summer. The Prince Outlet Mall is right next to the station. You can get there on the bullet train in 70 minutes for just 5,550 Yen one way.

Tokyo and California
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for Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Shinjuku, Japan
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6. Re: From Tokyo: Shinkansen to Hiroshima or Onsen?

I vote for Odawara. It's a short ride--35 minutes and 3,440 yen but you can still experience the peak speed. From Odawara you can go on to Hakone and spend a night in an onsen ryokan. There are tons of ryokans with private onsen. What is your budget?

I highly recommend staying at Odawara Station and see Nozomi trains zoom by. It's a very cool "only in Japan" experience. More fun than riding the Shinkansen itself.

Northern California
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7. Re: From Tokyo: Shinkansen to Hiroshima or Onsen?

Shibuyakko, I don't know about staying right next to bullet trains flying by ... it might keep me up at nights :-)

I actually came across a JR Promo (www.japanican.com/tours/tourdetail.aspx…) for an Onsen & Train experience for Y11,900. I see that if I purchased the r/t train tix on my own, it'll cost around Y6,880/pp which makes the hotel room about Y10,000 (based on dbl occupancy). But that doesn't include any guides or attractions.

Alternatively, Viator offers a tour package for slightly more per person with no overnight stay but includes more attractions.(viator.com/tours/…d334-2142TYO_F800_F820) What do folks think?

Northern California
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8. Re: From Tokyo: Shinkansen to Hiroshima or Onsen?

Shibuyakko - sorry, budget is no more than US$700. Private onsen sounds awesome.

Tokyo, Japan
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9. Re: From Tokyo: Shinkansen to Hiroshima or Onsen?

Toukaido Shinkansen is NOT only super fast train in Japan. For 1 day 2 nights trip, go KARUIZAWA!!

You can enjoy 1Hr Shinkansen ride + Onsen + shopping + fun of bicycle riding + relaxying atmosphere with nice scenery. If time allows more, extend to go to Kusatsu and Shiranse. You can also come back Tokyo by a highway bus from there.

…nagano.jp/html/English/top.html

http://www.kusatsu-onsen.ne.jp/

www.kusatsu-onsen.ne.jp/foreign/index.html

Many sightseeing spots in Fukushima Pref. are also nice place visit for 1D2N Shinkansen + Onsen trip.

http://www.tif.ne.jp/eng/index.shtml

JR's "Two Day Pass," "Shinkansen Kaisuken (=6 tickets set), JR East Pass (=regional version of JR Pass),” hotel + Shinkansen package, Shinkansen + highway bus; there many travel tickets to go.

Northern California
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10. Re: From Tokyo: Shinkansen to Hiroshima or Onsen?

Thanks Junechan, do you recommend I book everything when I get to Tokyo or try to make all the reservations online/email before I leave U.S.?

There are so many choices and many of the websites are in Japanese only. Can you (or any other readers) recommend an onsen in Kusatsu with meal plan, easy access from train station, and have private onsen for family? Thank you so much!