(Closed) Requesting help on a 9 day Japan honeymoon from San Jose, California

posted 4 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 16
1147 posts
Bumble bee

Bee, I would personally book whatever you can get the cheapest in terms of flights. Your closest hub is probably San Francisco, they have more flights than LA and I believe there are more convenient hours to choose from. Honestly if you can do it, book Haneda instead of Narita. Narita going into town is 1hr by Narita Express (NEX). Haneda into town is 30 minutes by local train, probably 10 mins if you want to make it easy on yourselves and hire a cab (note, its atleast 50 dollars).

The reason I say book whatever is cheapest is because if you buy the JR Pass (buy online for tourists before you enter the country) you can use the JR trains free of charge. You can use local trains and certain Shinkansen trains to Tokyo/Osaka/Kyoto, and further south or north if you want.

I’ve lived in Japan for over 5 years. Maybe you can tell us more about what kind of trip you’re looking for? If you want chill mojitos by the beach relaxing, you probably won’t get that in Japan since it’s all about the hustle and bustle and things are VERY face paced compared to Cali. What time of the year are you going and what would you like to do?

Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Osaka are all reccomended places if it’s your first time.

Post # 17
470 posts
Helper bee

Try out justfly.com – I had great luck with them. We live in Texas, and each ticket was $1100, which I felt was decent.

I can’t help with hotels – hubs wanted a more authentic experience, so we rented from Airbnb and then two nights stayed in a ryokan and a temple. I can’t recommend Airbnb highly enough – each place we stayed came with portable wi-fi which saved us when it came to maps, etc. Two of the places also came with bikes, and we were always close to transportation. 

We did Tokyo (day trip to Nikko – so worth it), Magome (check out Magome/Tsumago, as it’s a really cool hiking trail on the old postal highway), Kyoto, Hiroshima/Miyajima (highly recommend), Osaka, Mount Koya, back to Tokyo. Glad you’re spending more time there as it’s really a fantastic place. I didn’t think I would like it as I hate crowds, but it was a fascinating city.

Since you’re only there for nine days, I might recommend just Tokyo, Kyoto with day trips in between. While the bullets are fast, they still take some time, and I think you could do a really nice trip between those two cities. Like I said, Nikko was incredible, but there are plenty of other side/day tripes – Takayama, etc. 20 Years Hence, a blog, was a great resource for us in our planning.

Kyoto was overwhelming, so even though most suburbs are close, they still felt like day trips, and there’s SO MUCH there. Arashiyama, Fushimi Inari – heck, Kyoto Station is insanely massive. Kibune (restaurants built over the river) was also awesome, but once you’re there, it’s a bit expensive, and I’m NOT a foodie, so I might not recommend.

Osaka was ok for us, but like I said, I dislike crowds, so the Dotonbori was not my favorite. However, it was a great starting point for getting to Koya, but I’d recommend that for another trip because it takes a while.

Hiroshima/Miyajima was amazing, and husband and I agreed, we’d love to live in Hiroshima, it’s that cool, but again, it’s a ways out for the amount of time you’ll be there. You’ll just have to plan a second trip!

[As an aside, if you DO want beaches, that type of trip, maybe check out Kyushu (if you’re able to travel there yet) or Okinawa. There are also good beaches (I’ve heard) about an hour outside Tokyo.] 

Post # 18
470 posts
Helper bee

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legojedi :  Do you mind if I ask whether you’re Japanese or not? If not, mind sharing your story of getting there in a private message? Husband and I are hardcore fell in love with Japan and are toying with the idea of moving. I teach at a university and have seen a couple of available jobs, but my dog is elderly, and I don’t want to put her in quarantine for six months. But it’s on my mind…

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