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Japan in 14 days in July

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Australia
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Japan in 14 days in July

We have a family of 4 ( with 2 teenagers ) flying to Osaka. Planning 1st 2 nights in Osaka, 1 night Hiroshima, 5 nights Tokyo , 1 night Hakone , 2 nights Kyoto, 3 nights Osaka.

Buying 7 days JR pass to use from 1st day to 7th day. Buying one way ticket from Hakone to Kyoto. 2 days Kyoto pass and 3 days Kansai thru pass. Or is it better to buy 14 days JR pass ?

Will there be saving if we rent a car for in between cities ?

Can you guys comment on that please?

Thank you

Hong Kong, China
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for Hong Kong, Osaka
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1. Re: Japan in 14 days in July

While renting a car is a possibility, rental charges, petrol cost and tolls need to be factored in. Also, Shinkansen will be at least twice as fast as driving. I suggest you stick to a JR Pass.

If you can manage to fit Osaka-Hiroshima-Tokyo-Osaka within 7 days, you will come out way ahead with the 7-day pass.

Australia
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2. Re: Japan in 14 days in July

Thank you, Problem is that we fly to Osaka but we want to stay in Tokyo atleast 5 days.

Nashville, TN
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for Himeji, Kobe, Osaka
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3. Re: Japan in 14 days in July

I think your itinerary looks good; it's always tough to see everything you want. One change you might make is to stay in Kyoto for 5 nights rather thans splitting it up between Osaka and Kyoto. You'll already have stayed in Osaka 2 nights and Tokyo for 5; both of those are big cities. Maybe slow it down a little and stay in Kyoto. Most day trips you'll take from Osaka are not much further from Kyoto; of course it depends on exactly what you'll be doing in that time.

Some other suggestions. First, look at Iga Ueno in Mie Prefecture; you can do this as a day trip from Kyoto. There is a ninja village and it's a good 'off the beaten path' destination. Second, rather than stay in Hiroshima look at Miyajima; I think you'll like it there a little better.

Regarding renting, personally I wouldn't unless you really, really want to. If you want to have the experience of driving in Japan you could rent a car for your trip to Hakone; I'm not sure where would be best (you want to get as far outside the Tokyo traffic zone as possible), but it could be a way to introduce something different into the trip, and while the roads in Hakone can be small it might be a good experience. You could likewise rent a car in Kyoto for a day trip outside the city (i.e. Iga Ueno, a trip around Lake Biwa - which might be a nice excursion, etc.).

Finally. look at a regional pass for the Osaka/Hiroshima travel, and then activate your rail pass on the day you go to Tokyo; that round trip to/from Tokyo will more than justify the pass (bear in mind the rail pass cannot be used on the Nozomi Shinkansen).

A couple of links:

www.jnto.go.jp - the Japan National Tourist Organization

www.hyperdia.com - good for rail travel prep.

www.japan-guide.com - search 'rail pass' here; they have a lot of good information on the options.

Good luck!

John W.

Australia
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4. Re: Japan in 14 days in July

Hi John,

Thank you. We might do that 5 nights Kyoto because we like to stay in Citadines Kyoto brand new. So also we don't know where to book Arietta which was highly recommended. We might not rent a car anymore. Hakone loop looks like some transport organised. What about overnight bus from Odawara or Tokyo to Kyoto ? Looks like cheap option.

Do we buy Kyoto pass or Kensai thru pass for 5 days there ?

Thank you,

San Diego
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5. Re: Japan in 14 days in July

We are traveling in October with our three boys. We are also looking at the new Citidines in Kyoto. Also considering vacation rentals on VRBO.

FYI -

Here's our itinerary:

4 nights Tokyo

5 nights Kyoto

1 night Miyajima

2 nights Hakone

Here's some things I've collected as recommendations to do with kids:

Odaiba in Tokyo - Sega Joyoplis

Ninja museum mentioned above

bicycling Kibi plain

Monkey Park in Kyoto

Aquarium/ferris wheel in Osaka

As far as transportation, I think we'll get the 14-day JR pass as we're flying in/out of Tokyo and being able to use the NEX on both ends puts the 14-day in favor for cost as well as ease-of-use.

Australia
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6. Re: Japan in 14 days in July

Hi Sandy,

We are also a family of 4 with 2 teenagers heading to Japan for 2 weeks in July. We looked at the option of a car but given that the public transport system is so good we will be traveling by rail. We decided to just hire a car for 1 day to do a bit of traveling outside of the cities. We'll be driving to Awaji Island just west of Osaka. Also staying at the Arietta in Osaka - we just booked directly through the hotel.

Australia
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7. Re: Japan in 14 days in July

Hi Jorlaur,

School holiday and Jetstar deal !!

I am now looking at Cross Hotel which looks cheaper for more stars.Weighing between 2 TA top rated hotels. Waiting for A$ to go back up. Are you also going to Tokyo ? I just bought 7 days JR. Before it goes up.

Medford, Oregon
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8. Re: Japan in 14 days in July

This is very informative post as we are in beginning stages of planning trip next March with 15 yo son. Ninja museum looks like a MUST.

My3sons - Do you have more info. (ie. website) for the biking you will do in kibi plain. I have been looking for something like that for us to do and really haven't found any day biking, just 3-7 day biking trips. What part of the trip will you be doing that in?

Thanks!

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Tohoku, Hokkaido
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9. Re: Japan in 14 days in July

For those who are looking for budget hotels in Osaka, consider Hotel Com’s Osaka which is having a promotion sale of just 4300 yen for a semi-double and 5200 yen for a twin from now till the end of July. The hotel is just a couple of min walk from the Nakatsu subway station on Midosuji subway line.

granvista.co.jp/english/list/hc_osaka.html

Australia
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313 posts
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10. Re: Japan in 14 days in July

Hi Sandy,

Yes, its also a school holiday trip for us although we're flying Singapore airlines as we are stopping in Thailand for a week on the way back home. We fly into Tokyo on 2nd July and are staying at Shinjuku Citadines for 4 nights, then one night at a ryokan in Hakone, 3 nights at Kyoto (Matsubaya Inn) and 4 nights in Osaka at the Arietta Hoterl with day trips to Awaji and Nara). We also looked at the Cross Hotel but when we booked the Arietta worked out to be the cheaper option for 3 rooms (1 double and 2 single) rather than two rooms at the Cross Hotel. We aren't buying the rail pass as it was cheaper to just pay as we go because we are flying into Toky o and out of Osaka. It was a great idea to buy before the dollar dropped!

I was horrified when I saw today how quickly the dollar has dropped. I bought $3000 worth of Yen a few weeks ago when it peaked at 87 to put towards spending money but still need to pay for accommodation so am hoping it goes up again!

What ages are your kids and are they looking forward to the trip? Are there any particular places they want to visit? I'm looking for few more ideas!