Monday, May 23, 2011

Japan Trip

Our planned route.Yesterday we finally did something that we wanted to do for a long long time now — we booked a trip to Japan for our 5th wedding anniversary. My mom graciously agreed to look over Arosha for the duration of our vacation. We expect this to be one of our most unique vacations to this point. We’ve traveled all over U.S., been to Canada, Mexico and even Ukraine. And even though we had many amazing vacations nothing has been as “foreign” to us as Japan will be.

The plan is very simple in theory. Only practice will show how well we’ll fair in the country where we don’t speak the native language. We’re flying1 out on November 18th on a non-stop flight to Tokyo. We’ll spend 2 nights2 there and will catch a bullet train to Osaka where we’ll spend the other 6 nights3 of our vacation. From Osaka we plan to visit Kyoto, Nara, Mount Koya, Kobe and maybe we’ll make a day trip to Hiroshima. We’ll fly back home from Osaka4 on November 27th.

We have managed to cover all our hotel costs with our Hilton points. When you stay a stretch of the time at a single place the price goes down, hence 6 nights in Osaka. Now we need to do a LOT of reading and figuring out when, how and what we’ll do when we’re there. Maybe learn Japanese ahead of the trip?

P.S. Maybe Sasha and Misha will join us. They are researching the prices for hotels now.

  1. American Airlines and Japan Airlines for $2359.20 round trip for the two of us. []
  2. Conrad Tokyo for 100,000 points for 2 nights or $984 per night. []
  3. Hilton Osaka for 157,500 points for 6 nights or $483 per night. []
  4. Plane change in Tokyo, then non-stop flight to NYC. []
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Friday, November 4, 2011

Japan Planning

Japan Rail Pass exchange orders.Chances are that in two weeks time we’ll be somewhere 30,000 feet above ground on our way to Japan. We’re reading and planning and reading and planning. We have a write up for a good number of days already. We have a detailed plan for Tokyo and Kyoto which should cover half of our vacation. We know how we’ll get around (subway, buses, trains) and we know what we want to see.

The night of our 5th anniversary we’ll be spending in Kyoto, in a traditional Japanese ryokan — Nishiyama Ryokan. It includes a traditional dinner and a traditional breakfast. Should be a very memorable day and hopefully not in the way that 2009th one was.

Also we still have to plan out our trip to Hiroshima and a nearby island of Miyajima, a trip to Nara and what we want to see in Osaka if anything. Only 2 weeks left and still a lot of reading and research to do. One of the great resources turned out to be japan-guide.com — wealth of information.

P.S. We already got our Japan Rail Pass exchange orders in the mail — not cheap at all, but should make things easier and save some money for us overall. These are only available for foreign tourists.
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