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Lost in all information about Kansai area 2018/6/11 19:50
Hello, thanks already that you want to help my family and me.
This website gives a lot of inforrmation, so much that i lost my view :-)

In august we, my wife, daughter and me travel to Kansai area. we stay in osaka.
15 years ago i travelt already through this area, now i want to show my family the beauty of this culture.
Of course we travel by train, my first problem….so many trains, tickets,fees and regulations that i dont know which to book.
Our plan:
day 1 friday arrive in osaka, we stay there to recover from 14 hours flight. So we buy single trainticket from Kansai to osaka.
Day 2 saterday, we visit Kyoto East
Day 3 sunday, we visit Kyoto West
Day 4 Monday, we visit Kyoto North
Day 5 tuesday, we visit Kyoto South, incl the monthly market.
Day 6 wensday, we visit Kyoto central
Can someone advise if it is smart to these area on those days? or change them...sunday east saterday north for example.
Which trainticket should we buy? we thought to use buy the Kansai thur pass for this.
Do we need to pay extra fees for traveling or does the thru pas cover everything?

for the folowing days we want to travel furtheraway. Pass we will use would be then JR Sanyo San'in Area Pass
Day 7 thursday, we visit Hiroshima in the morning, and then travel to Miyajima. or other way around ?
Day 8 again to Island Miyajima.
Day 9 Himeji castle and Mt Shosha
Day 10 Okayama Koraku-en garden
Day 11 Mount Koya Wakayama
Day 12 Kumano Wakayama
Day 13 Nara

In Osaka, how to travel? bus ? ioca ?
Thanks for helping us already, please feel free to give us some advice do and donts as we appreciate it a lot.
Ingeborg, Yara and Jan
by jan1304  

Re: Lost in all information about Kansai area 2018/6/12 10:40
we stay in osaka.
Day 2 saterday, we visit Kyoto East
Day 3 sunday, we visit Kyoto West
Day 4 Monday, we visit Kyoto North
Day 5 tuesday, we visit Kyoto South, incl the monthly market.
Day 6 wensday, we visit Kyoto central


Why not stay in Kyoto? August is not the high season for Kyoto and I think you can find some affordable accommodations, if it were not on 10th to 16th. Note that for these days the room rate in Osaka will be also expensive. If you stay in Osaka and commute to Kyoto for 5 days, you will require 7-8 hours total in crowded commuter trains and 10000-15000 yen train fares.
by frog1954 rate this post as useful

Re: Lost in all information about Kansai area 2018/6/12 22:25
fully agree, and yes we followed up your advise and booked an appartment in Kyoto.
The price was 25% higher then osaka, but it is worth to save on the traveltime.
Thanks for your tip.

Seems we better can use Kansai One pass for the time in Kyoto and buy an Kansai Hirschima pass for the date we visit the area arround Hiroshima and miyajima.
Or the Sanyo San in passs.
Your advise ?

Another question, maybe someone can help us. When traveling around on Kyoto we rather like the idea about a local guide who can tell us about the places we visit.
looking at official guides website is see prices that shivers me.
Is there also something like local people who will do that for not that high prices ?
by jan1304 rate this post as useful

Re: Lost in all information about Kansai area 2018/6/12 23:47
Kansai Hirschima pass for the date we visit the area arround Hiroshima and miyajima.
Or the Sanyo San in passs.
Your advise ?


It depends on your traveling dates. Usually Shin-Osaka to Hiroshima is not so crowded but if you hit the Obon days, it might be very crowded. This year peak time should be 10th (Fri) evening to 11th (Sat) morning for Shin-Osaka to Hiroshima and 15th evening for Hiroshima to Shin-Osaka. If your traveling date does not include these days (10th evening to 15th evening), then you won't need seat reservations, so Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass will be enough.

Is there also something like local people who will do that for not that high prices ?

First I recommend you to use Googlemap.

If you see Kyoto Area closely, you will find many icons on the map. Select one of them randomly. Then you will see the information and reviews with reviewer's ratings. In so doing you will know the rough idea for the trip.

These PDFs might help you to plan your trips in Kyoto.

https://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/pdf/pg/pg-503.pdf
https://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/pdf/areaguide/KyotoWalkingGuide.pdf

For transportation within Kyoto, Arukumachikyoto website is very useful.

http://www.arukumachikyoto.jp/index.php?lang=en

Use Search Bus/Train Route on the left. I recommend you to use public transportation sparingly: Go to one place in the morning and then walk through the area and visit several places and then finally go back with public transportation in the evening to come back to your apartment. Sometimes taxi is a good choice because you don't need to choose right bus/train.

There are several free guide organization in Kyoto.

https://www.japan.travel/en/plan/list-of-volunteer-guides/

Use "Find" command and enter "Kyoto".

As you know August in Kyoto is very hot and humid. Take your own water bottle with some drink and take care of yourself.
by frog1954 rate this post as useful

Re: Lost in all information about Kansai area 2018/6/13 01:07
If you're flying back from KIX, you could go to Nara either from KIX when you land, and then go on to Kyoto, or go as a day trip from Kyoto, and this would save you backtracking.

On the same note, why not make Wakayama the last place you go to, as access to KIX from there is easy.

Travel around the Wakayama/Kii Peninsula can be quite slow, so I'd also check out the places you want to go when you say "Kumano Kodo", and make sure you have enough time to see them all. A car can be handy for that region (it can also be a good way to get to and from Koyasan).
by Winter Visitor rate this post as useful

Re: Lost in all information about Kansai area 2018/6/13 20:25
dear frog 1954

a very big thank you for the answer including very usefull links. excellent information !!!!
We did send some e mail to several guides, letts see who will response.

it takes a lot of time to read and plan, including planning of buses and so on.
sometimes i am full of energy to plaan a lot, otherdays i am overwhelmed by the information and cant make a plan. maybe i am getting to old ( 1960) :-)

letts see if i have more questions,

kind regards

jan

by jan1304 rate this post as useful

Re: Lost in all information about Kansai area 2018/6/13 20:29
dear winter visitor

thanks for the reply, yes wakayama is also on our to do list, and for sure will visit that area.
Howver not on our first or last day as we travel with Luggage and our flight is more then 14 hours traveltime.
A car….i prefer the easy way of train and bus

best regards

Jan
by jan1304 rate this post as useful

Re: Lost in all information about Kansai area 2018/6/13 22:26
Hi Jan

Understand your point re ease of buses and trains. We will always take them in preference to driving when we're travellking city-to-city. I was just warning you to maybe double-check travel times around the Wakayama/Kumano area on public transport, because trains are often both slow and infrequent, and if you wanted to go to e.g. Kumano Hongu Taisha, or any of the onsen areas (Yunomine, for instance) it can be quite time-consuming to get there by public transport as you'd be taking a train and then relying on bus connections as well.

My point re ending your trip in Wakayama was that it will take less time to get to KIX from there than from Nara (and I assume you'll have the same luggage with you wherever you're travelling to KIX from?).

Of course, if you did change your mind - and hire a car for the end of your trip, spending that time on the Kii Peninsula - you could pick a car up in (say) Wakayama or Katsuura and drop it off two or three days later at KIX, meaning that you would hardly need to carry luggage at all...
by Winter Visitor rate this post as useful

Re: Lost in all information about Kansai area 2018/6/14 20:26
Day 7 thursday, we visit Hiroshima in the morning, and then travel to Miyajima. or other way around ?
Day 8 again to Island Miyajima.
Day 9 Himeji castle and Mt Shosha
Day 10 Okayama Koraku-en garden
Day 11 Mount Koya Wakayama
Day 12 Kumano Wakayama
Day 13 Nara


If you take Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass, it includes Kii peninsula where Kumano is. Kumano is rather big area including Kumano Hongu, Kumano Hayatama Taisha, and Kumano Nachi Taisha. Probably you want to walk some of Kumano Kodo. I think the easiest place is Kumano Nachi Taisha which is about 25 min bus ride from JR Kiikatsuura station.

http://www.kumakou.co.jp/bus/jikoku_item_9.html

Kiikatsuura is about 220 min by limited express train from Tennoji.

http://www.hyperdia.com/en/cgi/en/search.html?dep_node=TENNOJI&arv_nod...

So I would recommend you to do Okayama and Himeji on day 9 and then proceed to Osaka, preferably Tennoji. On day 10, go to Kiikatsuura and take bus to Nachi where you can enjoy short Kumano Kodo walk ending at Nachi fall. Then go back by bus to Kiikatsuura which is an onsen town. After staying in Kiikatsuura on day 10, go to Koyasan on day 11.

http://www.hyperdia.com/en/cgi/en/search.html?dep_node=KIIKATSUURA&arv...

As you see, Kumano is very far so you might better consider it seriously. On the more than 3 hours train ride, your wife and daughter might complain about the long ride :). It is veeeery rural area. The bright side is that Kansai Hiroshima area pass covers all of the JR trains and you can do it within the validity period.



by frog1954 rate this post as useful

Re: Lost in all information about Kansai area 2018/6/15 12:32
I just noticed that Arukumachikyoto does not cover JR lines at present. I think they did in the past, but now they said they don't.

http://www.arukumachikyoto.jp/static.php?page=guide&lang=en

JR lines in Kyoto is useful to go to Arashiyama, Fushimi Inari and Tofukuji. Tofukuji is connected with Keihan line which goes to several tourist spots like Kiyomizudera. I don't know why they do not include JR lines now, but those who use this site should mention the results of Arukumachikyoto is not always right.

As far as I searched, googlemaps show rather reasonable routes. Those who traveling to Kyoto should first check googlemaps' "Directions" function.
by frog1954 rate this post as useful

Re: Lost in all information about Kansai area 2018/6/15 16:06
Hi, it's me again.

I contacted Arukumachikyoto and just received an e-mail from the team.

They say that they are renewing the Arukumachikyoto Application (for smartphones)
and from 17th April they stopped showing JR trains. I hope they will fix the problem
and will show JR trains in the near future. Probably the Application is only
in Japanese, and I hope they will release an English version.
by frog1954 rate this post as useful

Re: Lost in all information about Kansai area 2018/6/15 17:36
WOW, thanks for your kindfull information...we are very happy with it.
It helps us a lot to make our plan. thank you again, we appreciate it a lot.


up to now as i did checked a lot information: yes i can find maybe cheapest fare but we wil chooce for easy as we noticed that the most pass prices are close together.

i compared them and recalculated there offer to day price:
Kansai area pass Euro 12 a day
Kansai area wide pass Euro 14 a day
Kansai Thru pass Euro 13 a day
Kansai Hiroshima pass Euro 21 a day
Sanyo Sanin pass Euro 21 a day.

The difference is how long a pass is valid and some benefits like seat reserve for free.
The Sanyo Sanin pass seems to give us 7 days and a lot benefits.

Kansai thru pass cost us 13 euro a day, we can us it for three days.
So we buy 2 sets and cover then our 6 days when we travel in Kyoto with bus and metro.
Beside that it gives a complimentary discount promotions and eassy to buy at KIX.
all the time we stay in Japan we will live in the area Ukyo-ku Saiinhigashijunnaincho. we booked an apartment because it is nearby a trainstation and metro.

Frog 1954, can you conform that this is a good idea ?




by jan1304 rate this post as useful

Re: Lost in all information about Kansai area 2018/6/15 18:29
just in and around kyoto, the Kansai thru pass wont pay off. bus trams and subways are 160 yen a ride. the train lines are distance based for the far. but no more than 200-300 yen a trip.

so buying a pass that is 1733 per day isn't worth your while.
by hakata14 rate this post as useful

Re: Lost in all information about Kansai area 2018/6/15 19:32
Hakata, agree
But we are a bit afraid of loosing overview on vending machines because we travel of course the whole day..
yes it would be more expensive but it gives us also some more freedom and inner peace for ourself not to concern to much.
Thnaks forr your reply, appreciate it

jan
by jan1304 rate this post as useful

Re: Lost in all information about Kansai area 2018/6/15 20:19
But we are a bit afraid of loosing overview on vending machines because we travel of course the whole day..

You don't need to buy your ticket at the vending machine. Instead you can buy ICOCA IC card which is a kind of pre-paid card. If you charge 3000 yen then you can use it until your total amount becomes 3000 yen. This card is valid for actually all the public transportation in Kansai area.

By the way what is your current itinerary? Can you write down it day by day? And could you tell us actual age of your daughter? Age of 6 to 11 is considered as child while over 12 is considered as adult in the public transportation.
by frog1954 rate this post as useful

Re: Lost in all information about Kansai area 2018/6/16 06:46
As explained a IC card will provided you with the freedom you desire.

You only need to visit a ticket machine once every two or three days. I'd work on 1000 yen a day for a average usage.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Lost in all information about Kansai area 2018/6/16 08:22
Probably the Application is only in Japanese, and I hope they will release an English version.

Again I received an e-mail from Arukumachikyoto team. They have English version and if I change my iPhone to English, I can find the English version of Arukumachikyoto.
by frog1954 rate this post as useful

Re: Lost in all information about Kansai area 2018/6/16 15:31
Hi,
deep impressed by all of your help.
We will stay all 14 days at Ukyo-ku Saiinhigashijunnaincho. This is central Kyoto near imperial palace. Close to a train and metro station.
Our daughter is 17 years, so we pay everywhere as adult.

IOCA card, is that also valid for metro and all kind of buses ?

For who lives in kyoto from you all...beside the normal standard tourist places to go to, are there also some places "hidden gems" who are beloved by the local people?
I did lived in China for 3 years for my job, the tourist places there was only fake build by concrete. But sometimes i found in small towns very nice temples in original style, althought i needed to travel sometimes far.

by jan1304 rate this post as useful

Re: Lost in all information about Kansai area 2018/6/16 15:50
Arukumachikyoto...got it.
Yes very usefull, perfect for a traveler like me.
Thank you !!!!!!!!
by jan1304 rate this post as useful

Re: Lost in all information about Kansai area 2018/6/16 16:11
We will stay all 14 days at Ukyo-ku Saiinhigashijunnaincho. This is central Kyoto near imperial palace. Close to a train and metro station.

So will you concentrate on Kyoto? Or are you planning to make several day trips farther away to Hiroshima, Miyajima, Okayama, Koyasan etc? I think day trips to Hiroshima, Miyajima, Okayama and Koyasan is doable, but in such cases, you might better base in Osaka for these "day-trip" days. Even if you based in Osaka, Kumano seems to be rather hard to do day trip. A drawback for Kyoto as the base is that you must go to Osaka first for these day trips. Fourteen days in Kyoto only is also possible, and you can't see all of important things in Kyoto.

As for hidden gems, there are many. Even if you walk randomly, you should find some historical temples/shrines/gardens within 10 min. As far as I know most of them are not concrete build. Two things I would mention: Sanjusangendo is a "re-build" building the original of which is build in 1164 and re-build in 1266.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanjūsangen-dō;

Due to the bombing during the second world war II, many old buildings in Japan were burned down (they are mostly wooden buildings). But the USA decided not to bomb Kyoto so the buildings remained intact in Kyoto. Sometimes Kyoto people talk about "the former war" by which some buildings had been burned down, and "the former war" is Ōnin War (1467 to 1477).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ōnin_War

Yes, the "former war" thing is a kind of joke, but Kyoto is very exceptional place in Japan. I lived there in my university school age for 10 years though it is 30 odd years ago, so I think I can suggest some good places.

by frog1954 rate this post as useful

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