questions & answers: general japan travel

hi daniel

Hi Daniel

Daniel
I am not sure it will be you answering but hope so as your advice last time was spot on!!!
Guess what I am going back to Japan in August stopping in Korea first. Just know it is right.

I arrive on 26th Aug and leave on 1st. South loved but not wow scenery especially on trains as industrial. Fancy countryside, mountainsmaybe quaint, maybe Kobe as Maasaki Suzuki from Bach Collegium born there.

What do you suggest.? I will get the 7 day pass again so want to use that to get round. Okinawa?Osaka? Nagasaki but wrong direction, clueless as a teacher not much time to look for places.
Also is there a joint Korea Japan pass?
Any information really appreciated.

Thanks so much. Great work as usual. Fliss

FlissG
FlissG

Hi Fliss,

Welcome back and good to hear that you will visit Japan again! Korea is lovely too (I assume it will be the southern part).

As for Japan, will you be there the full 7 days from the 26th - 1st of September? If you do, than the JR Pass will be a great option, especially since you love to plan to see more of the country. Will you fly to and from Tokyo or Kansai Airport?

An example itinerary for 7 days could be Tokyo - Takayama (for the mountains and beautiful town) - Shirakawago (beautiful folk village located in a valley) - Kanazawa (Kyoto like town, with beautiful gardens and Geisha quarter) - Kobe - Tokyo and flight back.

An other example itinerary, wherein you visit Nagasaki could be Tokyo(arrival) -> Kobe -> Nagasaki --> Takamatsu (Beautiful city on the top of Shikoku, you can visit a couple of beautiful island by ferry from there) --> Tokyo and back Home.
Nagasaki is a really beautiful city, build in around a small bay, you go up the mountains around it for some really stunning views. Also a lot of history can be found in Takayama, including the old Dutch trading island Dejima but also the atomic bomb memorial.

There is no pass that is valid for both Korea and Japan but there is a Koreas Rail Pass available, although I am now sure how good its value is. I usually traveled by bus in the country as it is small and buses are a little cheaper than the overcrowded trains.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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Daniel
I was only looking at Takayama last night so will take this as a sign. Are there mountains on route.also can that itinerary be reversed to start in Kobe and end with natural beauty or best the other way. How long would you say in each. Also com tips on Korea as there 6 nights. I have already been to North Korea.if it interests you do read nothing to envy by Barbara demick. Nagasaki with mountains also appeals.
Cheers for now
fliss

FlissG
FlissG

Daniel
what about Nagasaki Tuesday and Wed travel to Takayama and S Thursday Friday back to Tokyo Sat as staying at airporthotel that night. Would that work or best to do kobe. Could you tell me best times. Hope not taking liberties here but everything you said worked last time. If I leave Tokyo Tuesday then x y z
thanks fliss

FlissG
FlissG

Hi Fliss,

You can indeed change the itinerary around and start at Kobe and make your way from there. Taking your time in Japan in mind, maybe visiting Kobe, Takayama with perhaps a day trip is the best idea. This way you have enough time to see both places without having to hurry. You will have 6 nights, spending the first in Tokyo will mean 5 remaining. You could than spend 2 in Kobe and 2 in Takayama before returning to Tokyo and spending your last night there before your flight.

I would not recommend vising both places in the same week as the travel time between Nagasaki and Takayama is rather long, about 529 Minutes. If you do plan to go to Nagasaki, than I would recommend making a stop between Tokyo and Nagasaki somewhere in the middle, Kobe would be well suited and perhaps Kyoto or Osaka on the way back. Still since time is short, visiting Nagasaki may not be the smartest plan.

If you are feeling adventurous and want to see a read mountain, than you could of course climb mount Fuji.

Let me know what you think,
Daniel

PS: For Korea, make a visit to Busan, its mainly a harbor city but its a great place to get a feel for Korean culture and see more of its history.

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Daniel-san
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Hi
THINK I will sort Japan first on accomodation. i emailed someone about Hyperdia. Drives me mad. Firstly which Tokyo do I put in? Every I put in Tokyo and Shin Kobe on the next one I undo private, Nozami and then it keeps tell ing me to put destination in WHICH I HAVE. Last time I had to put in about 10 times before it "played ball" Why isn't Tokyo station there as obvious!

Always assumed that the Shinkansen trains only went from Tokyo but remember seeing a post which was they go from Ginza. Which stations do they go from as Tokyo is a nightmare but now I have your map it might be easier.

Not sure about Nagasaki as went to Hiroshima. Want snow on Fuji. Interested in wow views and not too many tourists which is impossible in August. Any chance of giving me the times please on trains which you did last time and so helpful. Would you recommend Kobe first ( birth place of the wow Maasaki Suzuki) might see if Bach Collegium are there at the university which I doubt. Are you saying I travel from Takayama to the 2 other places day trip. So do I travel from Takayama to Tokyo or do I go on to one of the other two places? Cheers Daniel. Can you Please GIVE train times going in both directions? Fliss

FlissG
FlissG

HI
Just got on to Hyperdia and lots of changes but thought I came from Kobe to Tokyo without changing trains.

Any wisdom please. If I went the other way would it be better. Do not really want to change lots of times.

fLISS

FlissG
FlissG

Hi Fliss!

Yes Hyperdia can indeed a little confusing at time! Even I get confused a little from time to time with all the information available. For Tokyo, simply use "Tokyo", here you can find an example route between Tokyo and Shin-Kobe, feel free to change to time at the bottom of the page.

About Ginza, it is an area very close to Tokyo station and you can walk from Tokyo station to Ginza in less than 10 minutes. However all Shinkansen to Kobe leave from Tokyo station.

Kobe is a very nice place to start, I visited the city this year in January and it made for a great time, if you have time go up mount Rokko which makes for a beautiful sight, especially after dark, you can see the whole of Kansai lighting up. From Kobe you can reach Takayama with a transfer at Nagoya. Here is the route. I meant that there may not be enough time to visit both Kanazawa and Shirakawa-go, so I would recommend visiting one. Shirakawa-go makes for a great day trip and can be reached by express bus from Takayama. It is not too hard to go back from Takayama to Tokyo, here you can find the route.

There was a lot of information in your post, so I hope that I covered everything. You can find the reverse time table by pressing the little button in Hyperdia that has a double arrow.

Hope this helps,
-Daniel

PS: One last tip, if you are looking for an accommodation in Kobe, stay in the Sannomiya area, this is the heart of Kobe and is home to many wonderful places.

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Daniel-san
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Hi Daniel you star

As usual I really find Hyperdia a pain. i want to book the 10. 03 from Tokyo to Kobe and want to reserve a seat. You gave me the links for times but cannot remember how to reserve the seat. Where is the link?

I am staying at Takayama for 2 nights so I will have to travel from there each day. Could I do Shirakawagoa and next day do Kanazarwa or are they feasible on same day ie express coach to S look around and then go on to K or do K first and then come back to S.

ANy ideas. Also on the return from Takayama to Tokyo should I come back on same route or is there another interesting route? Am I wise to reserve seats as I have the Japan rail pass so will not need to pay for reservation?
Thanks so much. Keep up your great work. May have made wrong decision as going to GWANGJU but think maybe should have gone to Janju. Also cannot decide about bus from Incheon to Busan as staying in Incheon on first night and bus from Busan to G and then back to S or to do train for all. ANy tips?thanks AGAIN FLISS

FlissG
FlissG

Hi
You also tell me just to put "Tokyo" in but it keeps saying station not found!
The train system is absolutely brilliant as are staff like yourself. Hyperdia is 4/10. Surely loads of us are complaining so why not change it!

Daniel please use your influence to get this changed for next time I come to Japan!!!!

FlissG
FlissG

Hi Fliss!

Welcome back! I hope you have been okay!

I know Hyperdia can be confusion as there is so much information displayed.

Hyperdia is developed by Hitachi systems and they are generous to allow people to use the tool for free but I do know that it can be confusing too, so I've forwarded your feedback to help to improve the system!

All the best!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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