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Nikko or Takayama

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Australia
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Nikko or Takayama

Hi we are planning our trip to Japan in July.

I had originally thought that we would go to Takayama for 2 nights after Tokyo, but I am now having second thoughts and thinking that it might be nice to have an additional day in Tokyo and spend one night in Nikko. Here is my current Itinerary Tokyo 4 nights (the first night we arrive late from a 9 hour flight) so really only 3 days. From Tokyo catch train to Takayama for 2 nights, then onto Hiroshima/Miyajama for 2 nights, then Kyoto for 4 nights, then Hakone 2 nights then train to Narita and home. I know that I have posted this itinerary before but I am now thinking of changing the Takayama part so it would be one more day in Tokyo and one night in Nikko - then onto Hiroshima.

I am posting this in the Nikko Forum to see if anyone has been to both and can give me the pros and cons of both - thanks again to everyone who is helping me - I didn't realise until I started planning this holiday how much there is to see in Japan so I am feeling overwhelmed with the choice.

:)

Palo Alto...
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1. Re: Nikko or Takayama

Nikko is a nice place, but I am thinking that adding it to your itinerary seems to cause too much traveling.

Perhaps you should check the train routes and travel time to see if you will be able to handle it.

Australia
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2. Re: Nikko or Takayama

Hi Doggieluver,

What I was thinking was to take Takayama out of the itinerary and then have another day in Tokyo and one night in Nikko - so less travelling. Then go from Tokyo to Hiroshima - I was wondering if anyone had been to both Takayama and Nikko and could tell me if Takayama was really worth all the extra travel? - Nikko looks great and it is only 2 hours out of Tokyo.

Let me know your thoughts,

Auckland Region...
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3. Re: Nikko or Takayama

Hi Help,

I've been to everywhere you thinking of going and recommend that you drop Hakone out of the equation as the other places are more interesting. Both Takayama and Nikko are worth visiting and don't forget RogerR's suggestion to include a visit to Himeji Castle.

Nikko can be done as a day trip . If you want to spend a night in Nikko try this;

1st night in Tokyo upon arrival in Japan,

2nd night Nikko,

then 2 more days/nights in Tokyo,

2 nights Takayama,

2 nights Hiroshima/Miyajima,

See Himeji Castle enroute to Kyoto,

4 nights Kyoto (day trips to Nara and Osaka from Kyoto)

Then travel Kyoto to Narita for your return flight home.

This is only 12 nights so you have an extra 2 days up your sleeve.

Cheers.

Australia
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4. Re: Nikko or Takayama

thanks Stanley,

I still have a desire to see Hakone - I think it is the onsen experience that I keep reading about and the chance (although slim) of seeing Mt Fuji - so I will keep it in the itinerary - If anyone has any suggestions on good tours to do in the major cities or at the major sites, please let me know -

Thanks again - I know I will have more questions before I go, :)

Palo Alto...
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5. Re: Nikko or Takayama

There are also nice onsens around Nikko. Take a look at this webpage:

www.japaneseguesthouses.com/maps/kanto.htm

A traveler in this forum once highly recommended Ryokan Bankyu. It's is in Yunishigawa Onsen, which is slightly more remote from Nikko, but a lot nicer and very English-friendly. Bankyu has also been ranked as one of the Top 100 ryokans in the country for many years. You can view a video in the first weblink:

japanican.com/hotels/ShisetsuDetail.aspx…

http://www.bankyu.co.jp/

japaneseguesthouses.com/db/…bankyu.htm

Some descriptions made by travelers:

…wordpress.com/2007/…

http://www.secret-japan.com/onsen/

Trains to Nikko are not covered by the JR Pass. However, there is no need to worry as there is rail pass offered by the Tobu Rail company which is a rock solid bargain:

http://www.tobu.co.jp/foreign/pass/index.html

The access point in Tokyo for Nikko-bound trains is Asakusa. FYI, Tobu trains also run from Shinjuku to Nikko, but this route is not covered by the pass.

Palo Alto...
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6. Re: Nikko or Takayama

I just want to add that you should have your Tokyo hotel store your luggage for you while you are in Nikko.

Australia
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7. Re: Nikko or Takayama

thanks Doggieluver,

I appreciate all those sites - I shall spend sometime now looking at them all - Nikko does look like it has some good onsens. Thanks also for the info on the JR pass - I assumed that it covered the Nikko area so I am glad that you told me about that.

Talk soon, appreciate all the help everyone! :)

Central Queensland
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8. Re: Nikko or Takayama

Hello,

We loved Nikko and definately thought it was worth the trip out of Tokyo (admittedly we were heading north to Niseko anyway). But we didn't go to Takayama so it's a bit hard to say which would be better.

By the way, we used our JR passes all the way - Shinkansen to Utsonomiya then JR local to Nikko.

Enjoy your trip, we loved everything about Japan.

Australia
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9. Re: Nikko or Takayama

thanks Rexgoes, I have checked on the JR site and it looks like it is covered so thanks for that. Any other hints for Japan? :)

Central Queensland
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10. Re: Nikko or Takayama

Not really, it was so easy to get around and get by without speaking Japanese, or trying to speak it badly. People are very helpful.

Once you work out the subway systems (or have someone show you!) the trains are an absolute breeze.

If you are using the LP book, the maps are all pretty good except for Osaka, get a better local map if you can. Most of their eating tips, if you can find the places, were pretty good too.

Book accommodation before you go, and DEFINATELY shop around for prices.

We absolutely loved visiting the Arashiyama area of Kyoto.

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