Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Preparation - Transportation within Japan and Itinerary

Transportation within Japan and itinerary are things that go hand in hand. As far as transportation is concerned, I considered flying to the distant places and taking trains for the other destinations (Japan has a very extense railroad system). JAL has something called Yokoso/Visit Japan fare for foreigner travelers. If you travel to/from Japan using the OneWorld alliance, JAL offers you up to 5 tickets at the cost of 10,000 Yen (a little less than US$100).

In the end, we decided to purchase the JR Pass which gives you unlimited usage of the JR line, except the Nozomi Shinkansen. So the first big purchase was this pass: 2xUS$400 + 1xUS$200 = US$1000, 2 adults and one child (I will round the numbers to make it easier). This decision definitely saved me some planning time and I expect it will help us during the trip as well.

"In general terms", this is our plan:
-Tokyo ( with potential day trip to Nikko)
-Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Himeji
-Yokohama (day trips to Kamakura, Hakone/Fuji-San)

Arrival and departure are from Tokyo (Narita airport). I had a special Interest in visiting Hiroshima to see where an important piece of modern history took place. Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Himeji are within 1-hour distance from each other and seem to be very interesting places. Finally, Yokohama is where my brother lives so no questions there.

Of course, there are many other places that we could have chosen but I think we are happy with these choices.

Next I will talk about lodging. Stay tuned.

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