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First Time in Japan, travel logistics? 2021/11/6 14:50
Hi Everyone,
I know Spring 2022 is still up in the air, but I have refundable flights and still want to prepare in anticipation. My question here is purely a logistical one as I have not sorted out all the things I want to see. All I know is that for sure we are visiting Tokyo, Kawaguchiko, and Kyoto. I understand this is also during Golden Week, but it is what it is. I would appreciate any critique/suggestions solely based on travel logistics, time at each location, etc. Thank you so much for your help!

Date Activity
04/25/2022 Arrive Tokyo
04/26/2022 Tokyo
04/27/2022 Tokyo
04/28/2022 Kawaguchiko
04/29/2022 Kyoto
04/30/2022 Kyoto
05/01/2022 Kyoto
05/02/2022 Kyoto
05/03/2022 Kyoto
05/04/2022 Tokyo
05/05/2022 Tokyo
05/06/2022 Depart Tokyo
by Andrew (guest)  

Re: First Time in Japan, travel logistics? 2021/11/6 16:38
I see no real issue with this plan.

Major travel times.
Tokyo to Kawaguchiko is 2 hrs
Kawaguchko to Kyoto is 4 hrs
Kyoto to Tokyo is 3.5 hrs
by H (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: First Time in Japan, travel logistics? 2021/11/6 17:07
Hello, just my opinion for your convenience. Is it possible to change your flight open-jaw? If possible, arriving at NRT/HND and departing from KIX would prevent a Kyoto-Tokyo travel on a super crowed transportation, not just saves your time. Enjoy planning (^-^)
by Nanashi (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: First Time in Japan, travel logistics? 2021/11/6 18:31
The amount of time is fine for each location. With travel - I do however think that 1 night at Kawaguchiko is a little short. What is the reason you are visiting there?

If it's just to see Fuji and go - then one nights long enough. There is some stuff to do there - so spending two nights would justify the 6-7 hours of travel.

The comment on leaving from Osaka is a good idea. Alternatively, catching a plane is another option.

I've once travelled during Golden Week from Hiroshima to Yokohama. I was lucky enough to get a standing position and had a heavy backpack on for almost the entire duration due to it being so busy.
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: First Time in Japan, travel logistics? 2021/11/7 05:04
As you stated, it coincides with the Golden Week. So, you may want to shift the itinerary to avoid riding the Shinkansen on 4/29, 4/30, 5/1 (expected to be the heaviest move day). For example, go to Kyoto before 4/29 and work your way back to Tokyo after 5/1, including a stop in Kawaguchi-ko.

by ITO (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: First Time in Japan, travel logistics? 2021/11/9 10:58
@Nanashi
Unfortunately, I cannot change it to an open-jaw as it is an award flight going back to LA (HND-LAX). Thank you for the suggestion though.

@mfedley
I was also contemplating on maybe 2 night at Kawaguchiko but our primary goal really is to visit Fuji and stay at a fancy ryokan. We could not justify paying two nights at this place. I guess we can do a cheaper place first, then go to the nice one too. Is it really difficult to reserve a ticket for Shinkansen? What if I know my date and reserve a seat early? I definitely don't want to stand for that long on a train.

@ITO
I might just do as you say. Maybe leave Tokyo to Kyoto on 4/28, Stay in Kyoto for the 5 nights, Kawaguchiko on 5/3, then Tokyo 5/4-5/6. This will depend on if the Ryokan in Kawaguchiko jacks up the price for Golden Week which was what I was trying to avoid.
by Andrew (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: First Time in Japan, travel logistics? 2021/11/9 11:22
Normally it's easy to book a train ticket. However - everyone travels during Golden Week so it's like trying to buy flights for Christmas Eve.

I've tried to purchase a ticket have been unable to in the past during the times around Golden Week.
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: First Time in Japan, travel logistics? 2021/11/9 14:56
Regarding the Shinkansen, not every day during Golden week is bad. Only the ones that a PP posted above.

As you need to go back to Tokyo at the end of your trip you kind of have flexibility when to leave for Kyoto, no?

Alternatively youfd need to investigate if it is possible to buy Shinkansen tickets from abroad. (Sorry i donft know). If it is, have a look when presale is opening. I kind of remember 2 months ahead. Then reserve your ticket ASAP (but check if you can get a refund should the trip be canceled by Covid).

Alternatively IF you start from Tokyo station, you can also go to the unreserved section and queue. There will be Shinkansen every few minutes ( but you can queue only in one platform not all where trains are coming). The trains start empty at Tokyo station so if you queue long enough you can get a seat.

Back from Kyoto that wouldnft work. But you could go to Osaka and queue there. Not all Shinkansen will be gnewh in Osaka, but some are. So inform yourself which start in Osaka and queue there.

Internal flight back from Kansai to Tokyo would also be an option.

Overall travel in GW isnft THAT bad as everyone makes it though.
by LikeBike rate this post as useful

Re: First Time in Japan, travel logistics? 2021/11/9 15:35
If the pandemic situation around GW 2022 was same as current situation, I expect transportation to/from Tokyo would be busy more than usual GW, not only the new year holiday which is in about 2 months. Many Japanese people haven't met family face to face, haven't traveled for two years, GW is one of the opportunities to catch up.
by tabun .com (guest) rate this post as useful

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