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Old 07-20-2012, 02:16 PM   #1
punkin
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It looks like we "may" be heading to Japan next summer

Is a year enough time to plan?

I have no idea what I want, when exactly we would go, what else besides Disney there is to see.

I need help with EVERYTHING!!!!

Oh, it will be me, DH, DD13 (she'll be 14 by then) and DD19 (She'll be 20) and we will probably have 2 weeks.
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:42 PM   #2
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Talking

There is a lot of helpful info on these boards! Also check out previous trip reports from fellow DISers, there are some awesome tips in them!!
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Old 07-21-2012, 11:21 AM   #3
BecBennett
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Trip Advisor is also really helpful - check out the "Things To Do" section and get some ideas for what you think you might enjoy doing.

A year is plenty of time to plan a trip. We did it in 2 months, and Lurkyloo did it in 2 weeks. I think 6 months is a perfect amount of planning

It wouldn't hurt to get a few Japanese phrases down pat, like "Do you speak English?" or "Do you have an english menu?"

People can explain how the trains work until they're blue in the face, but you probably won't get it until you're here and you use them. Check out some youtube videos on how suica pass works.
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Old 07-21-2012, 12:01 PM   #4
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Thanks for the responses. First things first...can anyone recommend a good guide book? I was thinking of getting Frommer's. Is there anything better?
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Old 07-23-2012, 05:58 PM   #5
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I like the Fodors guides, especially the recent ones with lots of colour photos and extra supplements about culture, food etc. when I go somewhere, I go to the library and check out all the different guide books, read through them all and then decide which one or two I want to buy.

How long will you be there? When I went I had 8 days for Tokyo and Kyoto and I'm glad I didn't try to do more. I really loved Japan; it was so different and exotic in so many ways, yet it felt really safe and orderly. I think it's a great family destination and I'm really hoping to go back in two or three years. Happy planning!
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:33 AM   #6
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We will be in Japan for probably 2 weeks. I would like to do Tokyo and Kyoto, but I was thinking of spending some time a bit north in the mountains as well. It's really so early that I am not sure what I want to do exactly.
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:29 PM   #7
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I suggest you start with Tokyo area, which will take you a week to see. Week 2 is Kyoto, which is easily reachable via the Shinkansen (bullet train). Feel free to ask for suggestions. All of the travel guides mentioned above are very good.
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Old 07-26-2012, 09:47 PM   #8
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We used this company in Kyoto for just a 6 hour tour and they were fabulous!

http://www.chrisrowthorn.com/
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Old 07-27-2012, 03:17 AM   #9
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I have a travel book from lonely planet. I like it because it divides the country by sections(prefectures): Tokyo, Okinawa(where I live)......

It also gives you some phrases and a variety of places to eat/sleep within a variety of price ranges.


It seems to be very easy to stay in one city and day trip to another, which my Dad did without any issue(not a world traveler). The trains make this possible.
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:58 AM   #10
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The "classic" first trip is Tokyo-Kyoto/Nara-Hiroshima. I definitely recommend a day or so in Hiroshima (can also see nearby Miyajima shrine which is the model for the red torii gates in front of the Epcot Japan pavillion) if you can swing it. It's not "fun" per se, but it's an important piece of history; it's hard to describe the feeling of actually being there. I think it would be a really great place to bring teenagers/ young adults who are at the age where they are starting to understand world affairs and develop their own views on things like war.
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:23 PM   #11
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Thank you for all the replies. I have a lot of research left to do!
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:15 PM   #12
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That's great you are thinking of a Tokyo trip. I've been over to Japan at least 5 times in the past few years and each time I love it. I fluently speak Japanese now from it haha. Besides TDL I suggest going up to Hokaido to see the great views and climate up there. It truly is stunning.

I'm actually heading back to Tokyo next month for some vacation time. I got a great deal of $350 R/T from the travel service I use from New York (with taxes/fees included). I really can't wait to get back to Nihon.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:26 PM   #13
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Punkin,

We too are heading to Japan in 2013 for our first time - its a little overwhelming trying to plan -

Look forward to sharing ideas and our excitement with you!
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Old 08-13-2012, 03:17 PM   #14
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My trip is getting interesting. DD19 says she will not come since she needs to work all summer and make some money (I agree with her...she really does need a job or an internship) so she will not be coming. My DD13 says she is planning to spend the entire time in Japan visiting with her best friend (and staying in Tokyo at her friend's house). She is planning to do Disney as a day trip with her friend.

So, looks like DH and I may be touring the country alone. I don't think we've had a real vacation (other that a weekend here and there) alone since our honeymoon.
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:20 PM   #15
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I am a little nervous taking our whole family to Japan - it seems the type of place that it will be difficult getting about as a group of 5 - especially Tokyo!

It will be much easier touring with just the two of you - and no fussy teens to grumble ! (or is that just my family!! )
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