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Visiting Kyoto and Nearby Cities 2007/10/18 08:37
Kyoto City
Hi

I am planning a trip to Japan and will be arriving at Kyoto from Hakone at around 1pm, 11/5 and depart in the morning of 11/9.

During the first 2 days we are in Kyoto (11/5 Monday - 11/6 Tuesday), we'd like to visit some of the local sites such as:

Kinkakuji
Gion
Arashiyama
Nishiki Market
Pontocho
Ryoanji
Ginkakuji
Heian Shrine
Nijo Castle

Would you recommend the Kyoto Sightseeing Cass (2 Days) for this purpose?

Where can I purchase this card?

Also are any of the listed sites closed on either Monday or Tuesday?

Would you recommend the above or some other sites (we don't need to cover everything, just some of the better ones would be great)?

On 11/7 Wednesday and 11/8 Thursday, we would like to visit Himeji, Nara and possibly Osaka or Kobe, and in particular, we're interested in sites like:

Himeji Castle
Todaiji
Horyuji
Byodoin
Tofukuji
Fushimi Inari Shrine

Would you recommend the JR West Pass for this purpose or something else?

On 11/9 Friday, we'll be heading to Kansai airport for our flight and it's my understanding that the JR West Pass is valid for the train going from Kyoto to Kansai ... Is this true?

Also, is it better to get JR West Pass in the US, when I get to Japan, or does it not matter?

Would you recommend the above or some other sites (we don't need to cover everything, just some of the better ones would be great though Himeji is a must-see)?

Thank you very much!

Dave
by Dave  

... 2007/11/3 12:36
Would you recommend the Kyoto Sightseeing Cass (2 Days) for this purpose?

The pass has seldomly paid off in my case, especially because it only covers city buses and subways but not the other transportation companies like Keikyu, Hankyu and Keihan. I always use the Surutto Kansai Card, a prepaid card on transportation in the Kansai region.

Where can I purchase this card?

At vending machines of subway stations, ticket counters of Kyoto City Bus and suways (including the one at Kyoto Station), some major hotels and travel agencies.

Also are any of the listed sites closed on either Monday or Tuesday?

No.

On 11/7 Wednesday and 11/8 Thursday, we would like to visit Himeji, Nara and possibly Osaka or Kobe

Would you recommend the JR West Pass for this purpose or something else?


If you go to Himeji, I consider a Kansai Thru Pass or JR West Pass:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2357_005.html
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2361_03.html

it's my understanding that the JR West Pass is valid for the train going from Kyoto to Kansai ... Is this true?

Yes, it is valid on JR trains to the airport. On the direct Haruka limited express, it is only valid for unreserved seats.

Also, is it better to get JR West Pass in the US, when I get to Japan, or does it not matter?

Unless you plan on using more than one pass per person, I think it does not matter. Only if you buy inside Japan, there is a limit of one pass per person.
by Uji rate this post as useful

Kyoto 2007/11/3 14:12
your 2 days in Kyoto seem a bit crowded..
for me the easiest way to visit the Fushimi-Inari shrine is to take a train to Nara from Kyoto Jr station. It is only one stop or 2 away from Kyoto station (I can never remember..). it took me about 3 hrs to walk up the mountain and then down by the back way (many tourists go up only as far as they can go--all these stairs can be tiring--and then go back down the same way, but I found going around the back way interesting.
schedule 3 hrs minimum from Himeji station to the castle and back to the station. plus add the train trip to/from Kyoto. this doesn't leave too much time for everything that you have planned.
by Plantagenesta rate this post as useful

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