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Need suggestions for our short trip


#1

Hi, everyone:
I and my son will visit Japan in early July, plan to stay 5 or 6 days (I know, it is too short, but we only have so much time this time, we will sure come again later), probably only touring Tokyo and Kyoto and Osaka area. I have some questions:

  1. I will arrive at Narita airport (already booked ticket), but have not book the ticket for leaving Japan yet. Checked the airline website, it seems I have the options leaving from Narita airport or from Osaka airport. So my first question is: do you local people or experienced travelers will recommend us stay all 5 nights in Tokyo, visit Kyoto / Osaka by bullet train, and leave Japan from Narita? or, alternatively stay 2 or 3 nights in Tokyo, and the remaining nights in Kyoto or Osaka, and leave Japan from Osaka?
  2. My second question is: when we stay in Tokyo, I want stay near the popular tourist site and close to the train or subway station, which district you guys will recommend? Shibuya? Asakusa? or any other place?
    Thank you in advance for your help.

#2

Hi!

  1. Either is fine.
    Tokyo has enough to keep you entertained more than 5 days and there’s plenty of easy day trips from Tokyo if you want to see nature or some non-city sights.

  2. Asakusa has cheaper accommodation and a tourist destination in itself, but it’s quiet in the evenings.

Shibuya is younger and more exciting, with easy access to a lot more things. I usually recommend people stay within a 3 - 4 km radius of Shibuya.

Hope that helps!


#3

I would recommend to travel back to your country from Osaka in that case, so you will save time not going back to Tokyo, especially because you are only 5-6 days in Japan. A second reason is: if you stay overnight in Kyoto, you can wake up early and go visit Fushimi Inari Taisha or Arashiyama bamboo forest. Both places are magical in the morning when you are there alone and they don’t have opening hours. I went around 7 am, I was practically alone with my girlfriend, we heard the birds, we took great pictures and it was much more pleasant than visiting Kiyomizu Dera and Kinkaku-ji where we were slapped with selfie sticks,… Although Kinkaku-ji is also a must-visit.

It’s difficult to recommend the ideal district where you can stay. Shibuya might be quite crowded and expensive. I would prefer Asakusa. Maybe you can find a hotel with a view on the Sumida River. I think it’s pleasant having a room with somehow a view, which is rare in Tokyo. Sometimes I feel like a mouse in a cage with my 2 metre view towards my neighbour’s balcony and kitchen. Staying close to a subway station is also practical of course.


#4

I would recommend leaving out of Osaka, then you won’t have any double backing and can see more. Our first trip is coming up and we are landing in Osaka and over the course of 13 days will end our travel in Tokyo. Don’t forget to check into train passes good only for people that are visiting Japan. Good luck!


#5

The Japan Rail Pass is amazing value if you’re doing a few long distance trips. However just Tokyo -> Osaka/Kyoto only wouldn’t be worth it. You can read our detailed guide to the Japan Rail Pass here


#6

I recently stayed in an Airbnb near Asakusa, and it was lovely. It’s quieter, but we were able to get around Tokyo easily. You might also try finding a place to stay near the certain train lines, especially the Yamanote loop line. If you’re on a budget, Ueno is on the Yamanote line and would have cheaper accommodations. It’s not as hip as other areas of Tokyo, but it’s conveniently located and more affordable. Our Asakusa Airbnb was reasonably priced as well.

That being said, I’m only familiar with hostel/Airbnb/budget lodging, so others would have better insight on hotels.


#7

Thanks a lot. I really appreciate all the helpful information and suggestions you guys put here, it make things so much easier for me. This is a wonderful website.


#8

Thank you for sharing the information. Of course we want to save money, but
my concept of saving may be slightly different: the best saving usually is
not going for the lowest price, but rather looking for best value, i.e. the
highest quality / price ratio. After all we are not traveling often, and
already spent more on airplane tickets etc, so I am kind of willing to
spend a little bit more to stay in a more convenient place, so we can have
more time to enjoy the places, and less on communication.


#9

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