family travel in japan
Replies: 3 - Last Post: Jul 9, 2013 2:05 PM Last Post By: bamse
Jul 9, 2013 2:44 AM
family travel in japanHello,
we are planning our first family trip to japan, here is our itinerary:
5/10 aug - tokio (day trip to nikko, kamakura)
10/12 hakone (is it worth? where to stay)
12/13 night - stop over in Osaka
13/14 night - koyasan
14/18 - kyoto (day trip to Nara ecc)
18/20 - horishima mijajma
I have 2 kids 12 and 10 and wanted to know what do you suggest for mount Fuji. I am afraid August will be extremely hoe, which is the best place to be? Hakone? Five lakes? best activity in the area?
Hope to hear soon
Jul 9, 2013 12:55 PM
1IMO, Mt Fuji looks best with a clear sky and a snow cap. August tends to be rather hazy and the snow cap you won't have, either so I would not expect too much from the mountain itself (of course you could be lucky).
Generally Five Lakes is closer and has the higher viewing chances. Mt Fuji is the main element of the landscape. In Hakone you are further and Mt Fuji is comparably small, but still an impressive sight (in good weather) IMO.
As for non-Fuji-viewing-stuff, I find that Hakone has a lot more to offer: onsen, excellent open air museum (also good for kids), owakudani (fumaroles), old tokaido road, little prince museum (only good if your kids are into this), ... and it is fun to do the loop on bus/train/ropeway/cablecar/boat.
Personally I am not too fond of Osaka, but perhaps your are aiming for the aquarium or something there!?
Some general comments on itinerary: Where are you flying in/out of? Perhaps you could arrange your itinerary such that you do all the long distance train (shinkansen) rides within one week and get away with a one week JR pass.
Also, not sure what time you intend to travel between cities as you have some overlap in the itinerary. I usually recommend to travel around 6pm as at that time most of the sights are closed and you don't lose much dailight time on transport (sunset is around 6:30pm). Of course, if you are so inclined taking first trains at 6am, that could be another option, but I usually prefer to start my day a little later ;-)
Jul 9, 2013 1:15 PM
2Thanks Bamse, your suggestions are really appreciated.
We are flying into Tokio on AUg the 5th and leaving from Osaka on aug the 21st.
I am not sure to be able to do everything with a 7 days rail pass and I am more biased to buy a 14 days just to be more relaxed. But I see as well that lots of areas need their own pass and this is making my planning really difficult.
Today I read great things about Takayama. What do you think? Might be a good think to go to Fuji only on a days trip (but the way 10/12 aug everything seems to be fully booked and what is remaining is really too expensive) and go to Takayama instead? About the might in Osaka I out the night of 12/13 as next one we will be in Koyasan and it seems shorter to leave from Osaka having more time in Koyasan
What do you think?
Let me know and thanks a lot in advance
Jul 9, 2013 2:05 PM
3If you arrange your itinerary such that you travel Tokyo (and around) - Hiroshima - Kansai, I think it would be very easy to get away with a 7 day rail pass. For short trips (e.g. Kyoto-Nara) you don't need a rail pass and as you note the rail pass will not be valid everywhere: e.g. inside Hakone, most inner-city trasnport or most of the way from/to Koyasan. Just use it for the shinkansen rides and anything else you can fit in this week and you should save quite some yen.
I think the difference between access of Koyasan from Kyoto or Osaka is minimal and other factors, like where in Kyoto/Osaka your hotel is or how far it is from a station will have a bigger influence. So if the only reason of going to Osaka is proximity to Koyasan, I'd stay in Kyoto.
Takayama is a fine place which I like, but a bit out of the way, so I'd only go there in combination with other places in the area such as Matsumoto, Kamikochi, Shirakawago, or Kanazawa.
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