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tokyo only or japan tourfor 2 weeks?

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tokyo only or japan tourfor 2 weeks?


I am planning on going to Japan for 2 weeks on October 2012.

I am considering going on a guided tour of Japan for 2 weeks, but that only means 2-3 days in Tokyo (and i would like to spend more than 2-3 days in Tokyo).

Or should I stay in Tokyo for 2 weeks and have plenty of time to see what i want in Tokyo, but miss out on the rest of Japan?

I know i could take a day trip to somwhere like Kyoto myself, etc, but if you had to choose between a 2 week tour of Japan or 2 weeks in Tokyo what would you recommend?

I'm kind of thinking Tokyo for 2 weeks, then maybe a Japan tour some other time (i.e. 2013, 2014)........

FYI - I have never been to Japan before


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1. Re: tokyo only or japan tourfor 2 weeks?

For a first time in Japan, and with 2 weeks, you might gain more with at least some of your time outside Tokyo. With a 1-week (or 2-week) Japan Rail Pass, and by researching Websites such as Japan Guide (http://www.japan-guide.com/) and Tripadvisor plus a good traditional travel guide book or two, you should be able to design your own 1-week (or 2-week) tour outside Tokyo. You could then have a week in Tokyo and environs. That's just an example.

Tokyo, Japan
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2. Re: tokyo only or japan tourfor 2 weeks?

By visiting Tokyo only you'd be missing most of the cultural and traditional aspects of Japan. Kyoto and Nara are among the most visited tourist destinations in Japan.

Edited: 13 November 2011, 09:48
Kanazawa, Japan
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3. Re: tokyo only or japan tourfor 2 weeks?

Don't take a guided tour, stay in Tokyo a week, Kyoto a week, and see both the "main" cities for tourists. No need for guided tours in Japan, even if you don't speak the language.

Nowy Sacz, Poland
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4. Re: tokyo only or japan tourfor 2 weeks?

If it were me I'd split my time between Tokyo and Kyoto with a couple of nights in Hakone - that way you can check out the two cities and have a break in a traditional inn with the hot springs experience, great japanese food, and you can do the circuit and see what interests you.

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5. Re: tokyo only or japan tourfor 2 weeks?

I would visit both Tokyo and Kyoto, doing day trips from these areas.

Kyoto, Japan
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6. Re: tokyo only or japan tourfor 2 weeks?

I am also with the one week Tokyo and one week Kyoto people. Your two choices that you gave us aren't enough. But if you are deciding between a guided tour for two weeks or Tokyo-only for two weeks then I vote against the guided tour.

Ottawa, Canada
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7. Re: tokyo only or japan tourfor 2 weeks?

The guided tour experience is an excellent way to see a lot of places and get narration in your own language. It is also a very popular way of traveling in Japan. So you know how the old saying goes... When in Rome...

For my first visit to Japan, we had a partially guided tour with a lot of on-your-time scheduled into the itinerary. At the time, I appreciated that all the cities and travel, and accommodation were pre-planned for me, and that I could just enjoy the company of friends and locals.

If the guided tour company has a one week excursion to Tokyo with land-only fees, then maybe you could do a week anything -but-Tokyo tour with them or someone else. You would only have to book your flights to and from Japan. Usually, the tour agency can help you with that as well.

For a first timer, it is not easy to get around the smaller towns and remote areas on your own. Definitely Mr. Snow doesn't have the patience to stand there and play charades with the Koban officer, the Konbini store clerk, or the local guy just passing by. But I guess only you would know how patient you are with those kinds of things.

If you are willing to spend the money to take a guided tour in your own language, then I say, " go for it!". I don't think you'll regret it. And it can only be a more accelerated way to travel with the extra time required to plan for the next destination. IMHO. I have sinc lived in Japan for a few years and have gone on self-tour and guided tour trips and excursions. For a Completely stress free experience, we much prefer the guided tour to first time destinations. (this is coming from someone who can now speak the language enough to book hotels, ferries, trains, flights, restaurant reservations on my own.)

Good luck and enjoy! :-)

Kootenays, British...
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8. Re: tokyo only or japan tourfor 2 weeks?

Good advice here but I'd look at it this way: if a Japanese person told you they were coming to the UK for two weeks would you advise them to spend the whole time in London or would you encourage them to have a broader experience of the UK?

I'd travel around the country; but that's just me. It depends what you enjoy.

If you want to experience Tokyo then stay there. But be aware that Tokyo is not representative of all that Japan has to offer.

Aoyama Dori and San...
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9. Re: tokyo only or japan tourfor 2 weeks?

No guided tour necessary with all of the online resources available you can research for yourself. I differ from others here in that I would recommend a 7-day JR Pass and if your heart, body and mind are up for it, venture out and see the "real" Japan and travel around as much as you can. Kyoto and Osaka are much like Tokyo except Kyoto has a lot of temples and shrines and the historic Gion entertainment district. I would definitely take a side trip to Nara to experience a more rustic and less "concrete jungle" experience which is what you get in Kyoto and Osaka. Hiroshima has historical significance for me as an American and the adjacent Miyajima is a nice relief from the solemn A-Bomb Dome and Museum.

I do believe a week in Kyoto is too much unless you're a history buff and really into temples and shrines.

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10. Re: tokyo only or japan tourfor 2 weeks?

I agree with the idea of a 1-week JR pass (as noted in reply 1). From Tokyo you can reach Hokkaido or Kyushu in a day with the pass. You could, indeed, visit both Hokkaido (e.g. Hakodate and Toya-ko) and Kyushu (e.g. Nagasaki, Kumamoto and Aso-san) and still spend a couple of days in Kyoto-Nara and a week in Tokyo. Of course, you could scale back the rail travel and see more of the places which you might target as priorities.