Possible summer vacation to Japan.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 30, 2012 7:42 PM GMT
    Hey so I have some question to you folks who have visited or live(d) in Japan.

    I am thinking about visiting my friend in Kyoto this summer.

    A) When is the best time to book for summer flights (July & August).

    B) Best and cheap way to get from Tokyo to Kyoto.

    Thanks guys!
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    Dec 30, 2012 8:48 PM GMT
    My comments in RED.

    sonicpower19 saidHey so I have some question to you folks who have visited or live(d) in Japan.

    I am thinking about visiting my friend in Kyoto this summer.

    A) When is the best time to book for summer flights (July & August).
    Use FareCompare.com to set an alert for fare drops from select airports. Consider adding MIA, PBI, and FLL as departure cities. Tuesday's are when new inventory tends to be released by the airlines. Use ITASoftware.com to find the itineraries when you get a fare alert. Use Kayak, Orbitz, or the airlines' websites to actually book the fare.

    B) Best and cheap way to get from Tokyo to Kyoto.


    Thanks guys!
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    Dec 30, 2012 8:51 PM GMT
    GAMRican saidMy comments in RED.

    sonicpower19 saidHey so I have some question to you folks who have visited or live(d) in Japan.

    I am thinking about visiting my friend in Kyoto this summer.

    A) When is the best time to book for summer flights (July & August).
    Use FareCompare.com to set an alert for fare drops from select airports. Consider adding MIA, PBI, and FLL as departure cities. Tuesday's are when new inventory tends to be released by the airlines. Use ITASoftware.com to find the itineraries when you get a fare alert. Use Kayak, Orbitz, or the airlines' websites to actually book the fare.

    B) Best and cheap way to get from Tokyo to Kyoto.


    Thanks guys!


    I already have farecompare bookmarked and MIA has been constantly coming up as the cheapest airport (beating FLL by about $10 on average) and PBI is at least a few hundreds more expensive and the farthest from me.

    Never used ITASoftware.com, I will check it out. I need to put alerts on farecompare.

    Thanks Gam!
  • ASHDOD

    Posts: 1057

    Dec 30, 2012 9:15 PM GMT
    from tokyo to kyoto the best way is the ''shinkansen'' the super fast train [200 mileshr] its cheaper to buy it from abroad [but im talking about a free pass for a week not only one way ,so you have to do the math.

    i was there 2 years ago and you have to book hotels realy early dont know about flights

    kyoto is beautifull!!

  • amidon7

    Posts: 139

    Dec 30, 2012 9:51 PM GMT
    ASHDOD saidfrom tokyo to kyoto the best way is the ''shinkansen'' the super fast train [200 mileshr] its cheaper to buy it from abroad [but im talking about a free pass for a week not only one way ,so you have to do the math.

    i was there 2 years ago and you have to book hotels realy early dont know about flights

    kyoto is beautifull!!



    All of this. Kyoto is magic. I'd recommend the Japan Rail Pass for getting around. You can customise it to some extent in terms of duration and the trains you want to use.
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    Dec 30, 2012 10:20 PM GMT
    If your intention is to visit Kyoto, you are much better served flying into and out of Osaka. The Kansai International Airport affords the easiest access to all four major Western Japan cities - Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe and Nara.

    Most folks mistakenly think that they need to fly into Tokyo to see Japan. In fact, while Tokyo is a delightful destination if you have never been to any of the large Asian mega-cities, it isn't requisite for a visit to Japan.

    Kansai International Airport is located on a man-made island a couple of miles off shore from Osaka. Rapid express trains can take you from the airport to any of the cities listed above, including Kyoto, where your friend lives.

    I lived in Osaka for 16 years and I can tell you that many people find Western Japan to be more interesting as a destination.

    You didn't mention how many days you are planning to stay in Japan, but a person can easily spend 1-2 days touring the temples and shrines in Kyoto. Nara city, which houses the largest wooden structure in the world - an enormous wooden Buddha statue, is a bucolic city rich in ancient history can be done in one day.

    Osaka is a food lover's paradise with many dishes unique to the region. It boasts a decent gay nightlife if you decide you want to go out. I'd allocate a day or two to see Osaka castle and a few other sites.

    Cities like Kobe and Okayama, less than an hour from Kyoto maintain historical charm and desirability among big-city weary Japan travelers. Naturally, there are also some beautiful, more rural destinations, also close to Kyoto such as beautiful Lake Biwa, if you want a bit of nature.

    Feel free to message me if you want further details.
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    Dec 30, 2012 10:25 PM GMT
    osakarob saidIf your intention is to visit Kyoto, you are much better served flying into and out of Osaka. The Kansai International Airport affords the easiest access to all four major Western Japan cities - Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe and Nara.

    Most folks mistakenly think that they need to fly into Tokyo to see Japan. In fact, while Tokyo is a delightful destination if you have never been to any of the large Asian mega-cities, it isn't requisite for a visit to Japan.

    Kansai International Airport is located on a man-made island a couple of miles off shore from Osaka. Rapid express trains can take you from the airport to any of the cities listed above, including Kyoto, where your friend lives.

    I lived in Osaka for 16 years and I can tell you that many people find Western Japan to be more interesting as a destination.

    You didn't mention how many days you are planning to stay in Japan, but a person can easily spend 1-2 days touring the temples and shrines in Kyoto. Nara city, which houses the largest wooden structure in the world - an enormous wooden Buddha statue, is a bucolic city rich in ancient history can be done in one day.

    Osaka is a food lover's paradise with many dishes unique to the region. It boasts a decent gay nightlife if you decide you want to go out. I'd allocate a day or two to see Osaka castle and a few other sites.

    Cities like Kobe and Okayama, less than an hour from Kyoto maintain historical charm and desirability among big-city weary Japan travelers. Naturally, there are also some beautiful, more rural destinations, also close to Kyoto such as beautiful Lake Biwa, if you want a bit of nature.

    Feel free to message me if you want further details.


    Flights to and from Osaka are at least $400 more expensive than Tokyo, I've already looked into the prices.

    Also, my friend lives in Kyoto so I plan on staying for about a week and a half, so hotels are not of my concern.
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    Dec 30, 2012 10:25 PM GMT
    If you plan to use the train. You should buy what they call a "Japan rail pass". You can use any train of the JR company (almost all the trains in the country) for free if you have it. If you do a return "Tokyo-Kyoto" by Shinkansen, it is already more expensive than the pass itself.
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    Dec 30, 2012 11:49 PM GMT
    Flights to/from Kansai are slightly more expensive than Tokyo due to the larger volume of traffic to that city. The shinkansen "bullet train" from Tokyo to Kyoto is 13,200 ($153) one way. If you are planning to fly in and out of Tokyo, factor in the $300 for the roundtrip fare.

    The Japan rail pass is a good deal if you have the time and flexibility to use the nation's JR trains. A 7 day adult fare is 37,800 ($439). You could use that for the "Hikari" bullet train to Kyoto and back to Tokyo as well as some of the local JR trains. There is a significant private railroad network in Japan that the rail pass won't qualify you for, but it might be a good option. You might want to ask your friend how close he is to a JR station.

    Most visitors choose to fly through Tokyo because they want to experience all of the wonderful things that metropolis has to offer, even if they intend to go sightseeing elsewhere. I personally prefer to fly through Kansai, but can understand people's desire to have the "Tokyo experience". I'm taking my partner and two friends there in the autumn and although we will likely spend equal time in Tokyo and Kansai, we'll fly into Tokyo for the same reasons you have chosen to.
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    Dec 31, 2012 12:39 AM GMT
    osakarob saidFlights to/from Kansai are slightly more expensive than Tokyo due to the larger volume of traffic to that city. The shinkansen "bullet train" from Tokyo to Kyoto is 13,200 ($153) one way. If you are planning to fly in and out of Tokyo, factor in the $300 for the roundtrip fare.

    The Japan rail pass is a good deal if you have the time and flexibility to use the nation's JR trains. A 7 day adult fare is 37,800 ($439). You could use that for the "Hikari" bullet train to Kyoto and back to Tokyo as well as some of the local JR trains. There is a significant private railroad network in Japan that the rail pass won't qualify you for, but it might be a good option. You might want to ask your friend how close he is to a JR station.

    Most visitors choose to fly through Tokyo because they want to experience all of the wonderful things that metropolis has to offer, even if they intend to go sightseeing elsewhere. I personally prefer to fly through Kansai, but can understand people's desire to have the "Tokyo experience". I'm taking my partner and two friends there in the autumn and although we will likely spend equal time in Tokyo and Kansai, we'll fly into Tokyo for the same reasons you have chosen to.


    Gocha, then I will look into to flights to Osaka. However, if I will be in Japan I want to visit Tokyo. So I think I would do a multi-city. Fly into Osaka, fly out of Tokyo.
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    Dec 31, 2012 12:58 AM GMT
    flights are always cheaper the earlier you book them. A relatively cheap way to get from kyoto to tokyo is taking a night bus for half the price of train ticket.

    http://www.kakuyasubus.jp/kanto_kansai/dream/index.html

    check out this website. its in japanese so if you know someone who speaks japanese they can help you out
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    Dec 31, 2012 1:00 AM GMT

    Japan is awesome!

    Kyoto = wow..

    You'll have a great time!!
  • Hazuki

    Posts: 21

    Dec 31, 2012 1:46 AM GMT
    Hey Sonic!

    So,

    A) As soon as possible! Watch out for the "O-bon" holiday in mid August (it differs depending on the region, but I think it's from about the 14th-16th) as tickets are likely to be more expensive and planes/buses/trains are likely to be fully booked then. Also--as others have mentioned--keep an eye out for online deals.


    B) As far as "best", that will depend on what type of person you are, but if you want cheap(er) options, then the nightbus--as someone recommended--would be one way to go. You could also just take a regular train/bus down if you have both the time and the interest (you get to see the scenery). If it's a train you would have to figure out how many times you would have to change trains and at which stations (but this adds to the adventure for some people).

    Another option (which, I am assuming exists in Tokyo because I've never looked for them there), they DO have discounted bullet train tickets, but these are usually sold in vending machines/at vendors that are not necessarily all that close (close being a two to three minute walk) from the major stations, but chances are unless you have a local point them out to you, you will pass them by altogether.

    If you have BOTH the money to spend AND will be travelling to MULTIPLE locations requiring long distance travel (Tokyo--Kyoto--Hiroshima--Sendai--Akita--Morioka--Aomori--Hirosaki, or hop over to other islands like Kyushu, Shikoku, or Hokkaido) then the Japan Rail Pass would be a good investment as it works for nearly all JR line trains and some JR buses (maybe ferries?) too. But, if you're just going to Kyoto, and you will be travelling around the Kansai area (plenty of cities and sites to see), it would be cheaper to use either the bus or regular JR train from Tokyo to Kyoto, and then once in Kyoto you can use the private rail lines to go to other destinations like Osaka, Kobe, Himeiji etc. and the fares are actually cheaper than JR.

    Hope this helps and I hope your trip is AMAZING!!!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 31, 2012 1:52 AM GMT
    A) I doubt the difference of July or August will result in dramatically different fare prices. Although, it is also true that Japanese people (workers, students, etc.) get off for summer break at the END of July (or into August), so maybe July would be cheaper before the holiday rush? No guarantee though.

    B) Bullet train (aka the Shinkansen). Costs about $150 dollars and takes 2 hours from Kyoto to Tokyo.


    Have fun!