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Trip 6 Mid June trip Itinerary advice 2020/3/4 10:52
This is trip #6 for my child, we've gone in the Summer before. I am finding more frequent 10 day trips seen to work better with my child and I want to be home for when my husband finally gets a few days of vacation. This is all assuming no travel restrictions regarding the Corona virus, which we just managed to avoid in February.

Monday June 22 leave for KIX
Tuesday June 23 arrival (night Kyoto)
Wednesday June 24 visit Ohara, dinner in Osaka with friend (night Kyoto)
Thursday June 25 unsure (night near Odawara)
Friday June 26 Odawara castle dinner with friend near Tokaidai (night Tokyo)
Saturday June 27 team lab borderless and shop (Tokyo)
Sunday June 28 shop (night Tokyo)
Monday June 29 Karuizawa (night Karuizawa)
Tuesday June 30 Karuizawa (night Tokyo Disney)
Wednesday July 1 Tokyo Disney (night Tokyo)
Thursday July 2 shop or whatever (night Tokyo)
Friday July 3 shop or whatever until evening flight out of Haneda.

So thoughts, should i just skip staying near Odawara and do 3 nights in Kyoto? Or should I think about 2 nights in Kyoto, 2 Odawara, 2 Tokyo and then Karuizawa because getting from Odawara to Tokyo is easy enough? We're looking at the Hilton near Nebukawa since it looks pleasant. For Karuizawa, I am thinking of trying Le Grand Kyu, which I think @Lazy Pious liked.

We would probably pay out of pocket for the train Kyoto to Odawara especially if we go to Tokyo from Tokaidai since it's on the Odakyu line. I would look into the wide pass to see if it made sense for the trip to Karuizawa,otherwise more out of pocket.

Thanks for looking
by rkold  

Re: Trip 6 Mid June trip Itinerary advice 2020/3/4 17:51
Hi! Well I hope you like Le Grand Kyu, we stayed in a room overlooking the main street and it was huge and very nicely appointed, breakfast is great and the bath (which they had proper water in then but I think it is changing to water water) is very nice.

Re Odawara, personally I would take another 15 minutes and stay at Hakone. We stayed at Fukumuziro there (a short walk from Hakone Yumoto station but far enough away to make it seem you are in a forest) and I would rank it in my top few ryokan stays. They do a vegetarian kaiseke there as well, apparently.

I wouldnt stay in Kyoto the third night in case it is hot, but I am a but precious when it comes to heat.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Trip 6 Mid June trip Itinerary advice 2020/3/5 01:51

She's been to Kamakura once and I've been multiple times. The reason I am debating staying near Odawara is for convenience to get to where my friend lives near Tokaidai (and why I would visit Odawara.) We visited with him after going to Yunessun a few weeks ago and it was close to 2 hours getting back to our hotel in Tokyo. Not all that pleasant when your 9 year old is exhausted and you're carrying a bag of wet towels and wet bathing suits. So I'm trying to come up with solutions so that I don't have lots of long travel all in 1 day. (Kyoto to Odawara to Tokaidai to Tokyo) I find long train trips rate very poorly with my kid. Kamakura also doesn't save us any travel time. It's over an hour from Kamakura Station to my friend's station and it's not as close to the shinkansen line for the trip the day before. I also found Kamakura depressingly crowded outside of Zeniarai Benten in June 2016, and this would be on a Friday.

@Lazy Pious, I did think about trying to stay in Hakone. When I visited my friend in 2016 we continued onwards to Hakone for the night (well, 2 nights actually) before going to Kyoto. But I'm just not actually sure what we would do in Hakone on Friday before we meet my friend for dinner. If the Tozan line was up, I would be more inclined to visit but the buses are so crowded and I was there on a Monday in February! I also just worry about how much my child will eat traditional ryokan food. We just stayed at a lovely place in Kanabayashi Onsen near the Jigokudani Monkey Park. The onsen was great, the room was great, I liked the food, but my kid only ate the white rice It's another reason I am looking at the Kyu. We could eat dinner elsewhere and they are likely to have something western for breakfast like toast.

I'm playing with the extra night in Kyoto in case the child gets insistent she wants to go to USJ. My other thought was going to Tokyo sooner, and doing 2 nights in Karuizawa. Karuizawa has the plus of hopefully cooler temperatures and bike rentals (including for children) and she has been begging to rent bikes the last 2 trips. To be honest, I prefer natural water, but will take just sento water as well, as long as I can relax and the child doesn't care one way or the other.

I thought about Higashiyama Onsen near Aizu Wakamatsu and Nasu-Shiobara originally for our excursion away from Tokyo, but with the child only eating white rice and begging for bike riding I think Karuizawa makes more sense. Kusatsu and Gunma got nixed because most of the interesting outdoor activities require kids to be either 10 or 13, neither of which she is.

by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Trip 6 Mid June trip Itinerary advice 2020/3/5 14:05
Welcome back to Japan!

Thursday June 25 unsure (night near Odawara)

I assume that Tokaidai is Tokaidaigaku mae station in Hadano. Why not just stay in an onsen hotel close to there? Hadano is quite famous for onsen. I haven't stayed in any onsen there (just soaked), but there are onsen hotels. E.g.

For a day activity, you could:
1) explore Oyama: https://www.japanvisitor.com/japan-city-guides/mount-oyama
2) and/or go down to the beaches
3) or go down to Izu peninsula. I went to a great onsen last weekend, but there were more, similar ones e.g. in Hokkawa: http://bicycletraveljapan.blogspot.com/2020/03/hanami-in-izu-peninsula...
(the one I went was close to Kawazu). Not sure how you think about zoos, but there is also one close to Izu Kogen: https://izushaboten.com/

Just some ideas.

BTW, in Karuizawa there are also tandems for adult and child. Just in case you are not sure if you want your child cycling on her own on the left side with a bike she doesn't know. Cycling in Karuizawa was very nice. Specially in the forest where all the villas are and up to the old hotel which is now a museum:


I know you are generally looking into more luxurious hotels, but the pension I stayed in in Karuizawa was cat themed and did have a lot of cats to play with. The room was nicely decorated. A bit like a UK B&B with an overflow of cat themed decoration and flowers.

It's quite close to the Hoshino area, where you can soak and enjoy the woods.

Friday June 26 Odawara castle dinner with friend near Tokaidai (night Tokyo)
Saturday June 27 team lab borderless and shop (Tokyo)
Sunday June 28 shop (night Tokyo)
Monday June 29 Karuizawa (night Karuizawa)
Tuesday June 30 Karuizawa (night Tokyo Disney)

I would probably stay 2 nights in the Hadano area and then move directly from there to Karuizawa. So you have the weekend in Karuizawa and then can move from there to Tokyo and do all your Tokyo activities in one go, instead of checking in and checking out repeatedly from hotels in Tokyo.

Potentially even go from Karuizawa to Tokyo Disney. Sleep there, and then move to Tokyo. RIght now, in your plan it seems in Tokyo you are mainly checkin in and out. Which seems to be a hassle.

Wednesday July 1 Tokyo Disney (night Tokyo)
Thursday July 2 shop or whatever (night Tokyo)
Friday July 3 shop or whatever until evening flight out of Haneda.
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Trip 6 Mid June trip Itinerary advice 2020/3/6 01:53
Hi @LikeBike,

Thank you for the tandem info! I think she wants her own bike, she was doing well with it last Summer (we need to get out more here, but we have to drive to somewhere not quite as steep as where we currently live. Our particularly road is also very busy.) Karuizawa seems like an ideal place to bike though and I think she would enjoy it immensely. She's about 130 cm, we measured 2 weeks ago in Japan. I admit, I'm also hoping it won't be as hot. I am a little concerned about heat for the Summer since it was so warm in Japan in February.

And yes, it's Tokaidaigaku mae in Hadano, my friend teaches at the University, so we meet for dinner post work/school (again presuming everything is back to mostly normal, right now his children are of course home from school.) I think I looked at Jinya and it was above my budget lol I do like luxury hotels but I usually try to also balance them out with a few cheaper nights as well, the Hilton was only about USD $150 and last trip I did 1 night in Nagano City because it's much cheaper. Tokyo tends to be one of those places I really appreciate luxury hotels vs. I usually try to stay for under USD $150 a night in Kyoto and have done so the last 4x we visited. I've done $100 USD a few times, but the hotels are not always what I would like (aka the beds are too hard and I can't get the AC to work properly.)

I will look at the cat themed pension. My daughter loves cats. I also actually thought of a super British pension in Karuizawa. The Grand Kyu just had a surprisingly good rate $220 USD a night with breakfast.

Oyama looks like it could be fun. I thought about Izu, but I was unsure if it would take too much time. Assuming all stays open here, I'm not opposed to getting a new IDP. My current one expires during my planned trip. I like a certain amount of flexibility.

I tend to try to spend Saturdays in Tokyo because my friend who works in a bank only has Saturdays off. I have 3 different friends in Japan I try to see still (some have gone back to the US since my first trip, some I've lost touch with, and 1 lives in Fukuoka which is just a long trip!) My friend in Osaka has week ends off, but last Summer I learned it was easy to meet her for dinner on a week night in Osaka. (But I like staying in Kyoto over Osaka because for the $90-170 USD range I think you get more in Kyoto than Osaka.) My friend in Hadano, who we missed meeting a few times, but my daughter really appreciates seeing because he has children, and my friend in Tokyo proper who only has Saturdays off.

So new idea:
2 nights in Kyoto
3 nights in Tokyo (I'd arrive in Tokyo the day before I see my friend and would just have the long trip to Hadano as a round trip the next day)
2 nights in Karuizawa
1 night TDR
2 nights Tokyo.

Assuming the flights I want are still available I would be flying direct to KIX from my home airport (woo! living on the US West Coast) and would return to the US from Haneda.


by rkold rate this post as useful

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