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Old 4th March 2011, 11:53   #16
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I did not go to the Edo Village, didn't find the concept much interesting, but Tobu park was too good. Specially, since it was drizzling whole day, lots of clouds, hills and the lush green surrounding. Straight out of some dream I will say. Do plan to go out on the short treks that are available on your way from chuzenji lake to Yumoto onsen. Its not tough, and has a lot of scenic beauty. I went their during Autumn and the site was really colorful, though not sure about spring.

This sounds very interesting. By the way, I plan to stay in Nikko on the first day. On the second day, I will be in the Tobo Square. If I have to go for the short treks on the first day as you mentioned, can I do it from Nikko?

For Gala, does the JR pass cover the shinkansen trip. Do check out the rentals for the ski gear and lifts. See, if you can get some discounts.

Will do so..

Cherry Blossom, I think you should be able to see it in Tokyo, right now the trees are still barren, I am hoping by month end I would be able to see some of it. April mid would be a good time. Though I would'nt say the same for strawberry picking, I think the peak time for it is from Jan to March.
JR pass does cover Shinkansen trips except Nozomi: JAPAN RAIL PASS validity


If you do not mind, just let me know once the trees start flowering....

I am not too keen on Strawberry pickings. Will take a call on it later. Visit to a Grape-yard would have been a lot better.
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Old 4th March 2011, 12:28   #17
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Default Re: Japan on a Budget - 4 weeks trip with family on a backpack!

I covered Tobu on day 1, stayed back in Nikko and covered the remaining Nikko on day2. In Nikko I believe you would be going to the following places : 3 main shrines (main Nikko area), Lake Chuzenji ( you need to take a bus from Nikko around 30~40 min), chuzenji to Yumoto onsen- another 30 to 40 min. The trek routes are between Chuzenji and Yumoto. Its tough to cover all these locations in a single day. Also, The shrines close by around 5PM, so plan it accordingly. I had to start at 6:30 A.M in morning on day 2 and took the last Spacia train back to Tokyo. I dont think you can reach so early to Nikko on day 1 of yours. So see if you can cover Tobu on day 1 and Nikko on day 2.

You can get a English map from the information counter at the Nikko station. They will also explain you the entire route, shortest way and bus nos. All Nikko pass would cover all bus expenses. Tobu in itself will not take more than a few hours.

I am in tokyo till March end, will keep you posted. You can also check on the site Cherry Blossoms (Sakura) for their updated cherry blossom report for the various regions in Japan.

Just remembered, theres no Disneyland or Disney sea in your trip.
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Old 4th March 2011, 13:36   #18
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I covered Tobu on day 1, stayed back in Nikko and covered the remaining Nikko on day2. In Nikko I believe you would be going to the following places : 3 main shrines (main Nikko area), Lake Chuzenji ( you need to take a bus from Nikko around 30~40 min), chuzenji to Yumoto onsen- another 30 to 40 min. The trek routes are between Chuzenji and Yumoto. Its tough to cover all these locations in a single day. Also, The shrines close by around 5PM, so plan it accordingly. I had to start at 6:30 A.M in morning on day 2 and took the last Spacia train back to Tokyo. I dont think you can reach so early to Nikko on day 1 of yours. So see if you can cover Tobu on day 1 and Nikko on day 2.

You can get a English map from the information counter at the Nikko station. They will also explain you the entire route, shortest way and bus nos. All Nikko pass would cover all bus expenses. Tobu in itself will not take more than a few hours.

I am in tokyo till March end, will keep you posted. You can also check on the site Cherry Blossoms (Sakura) for their updated cherry blossom report for the various regions in Japan.

Just remembered, theres no Disneyland or Disney sea in your trip.
That makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the details. Will cover Tobo square on the first day as you said. Anyway, I have to check-in after 3 pm in Nikko-Park Lodge.

We have been to Disney land in Paris. In HK, we will be visiting Ocean Park. And also, we will be visiting Universal Studios in Osaka. For this reason, we will be limiting ourselves to Disney Sea in Tokyo on Day-6. It is mentioned in the Itinerary.

I have gone through the Sakura report. That made me feel that I will not be able to watch Cherry Blossom...
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Old 4th March 2011, 15:39   #19
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Default Re: Japan on a Budget - 4 weeks trip with family on a backpack!

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Casinos and me? Ha Ha..

This may sound silly. But the main reason for us to go to Macau is to get a set of currency. Macau has a different currency and my daughter collects currencies.
In that case, how about Fukuoka -- Busan (South Korea) on hydrofoil in 3 hours? Costs approx. $100 each way. Check with JR if you can pay extra on your JR Pass for a JR Beetle round-trip (most probably not).

Busan travel guide - Wikitravel

The Himeji castle situation is detailed here --> Himeji travel guide - Wikitravel

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Old 4th March 2011, 16:28   #20
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In that case, how about Fukuoka -- Busan (South Korea) on hydrofoil in 3 hours? Costs approx. $100 each way. Check with JR if you can pay extra on your JR Pass for a JR Beetle round-trip (most probably not).

Busan travel guide - Wikitravel

The Himeji castle situation is detailed here --> Himeji travel guide - Wikitravel
That is a good one! How about VISA? Is it on arrival? Also, my Japan VISA will be single entry.... May be, it will be difficult.....
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Old 13th March 2011, 23:46   #21
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I am in tokyo till March end, will keep you posted.
Hi Babaops, I really do not know which part of japan you are in. How are you?

Earthquake, Tsunami, radiation leak and now a Volcano erruption in southwest Japan.....

How is the seene there? What do you think? I am a bit confused.

What are your thoughts? Any suggestions?

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Old 14th March 2011, 04:44   #22
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Default Re: Japan on a Budget - 4 weeks trip with family on a backpack!

Hi Chetan,

I am in Tokyo and things are expected to return back to normal if no other unseen thing crops up today.

Though I will surely add that power load shedding is expected to start today, minor aftershocks are still frequent ( magnitude 4), people are expecting a few major ones to come in near future(around 7), everyone has stocked a few days essential goods and our emergency bags are packed.

Regarding nuclear situation the govt here is work hard, and not giving out complete news (may be to avoid spread of rumours), but the locals in Tokyo are not worried yet of it.

I think by the time you arrive here things should be totally normal, especially since major part of your travel is in South Tokyo, which has been unaffected till now. Tokyo resort is however closed temporarily. Good thing you did not plan for Hokkaido. There are still 20 days for you and I think the picture will be more clear. If the nuclear plant remains safe in the next few days, then I personally think it should be fine else, don't come near here.

-Saurabh
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Old 14th March 2011, 08:50   #23
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Hi Chetan,

I am in Tokyo and things are expected to return back to normal if no other unseen thing crops up today.

Though I will surely add that power load shedding is expected to start today, minor aftershocks are still frequent ( magnitude 4), people are expecting a few major ones to come in near future(around 7), everyone has stocked a few days essential goods and our emergency bags are packed.

Regarding nuclear situation the govt here is work hard, and not giving out complete news (may be to avoid spread of rumours), but the locals in Tokyo are not worried yet of it.

I think by the time you arrive here things should be totally normal, especially since major part of your travel is in South Tokyo, which has been unaffected till now. Tokyo resort is however closed temporarily. Good thing you did not plan for Hokkaido. There are still 20 days for you and I think the picture will be more clear. If the nuclear plant remains safe in the next few days, then I personally think it should be fine else, don't come near here.

-Saurabh
Thanks Saurabh

Yesterday night, this particular news also was flashing : Japan earthquake: Volcano in southern Japan erupts - latimes.com


My BIL who stays in Tokyo, says that there is an other major earthquake predicated in Japan, after a couple of days.

Earthquake, Tsunami, Volcano and radiation leaks combine to form a deadly combination. As you said, most of this is happening only in Northern part of japan. Not sure how Southern and Western parts will react, since they have quite a few active volcanic mountains.

I am sure that there will not be a health hazard for tourists heading towards South / Western Japan - like myself. But things like this can make travel uncomfortable due to scaled down facilities.

Right now, as you said I am keeping my fingers crossed. My journey will only commence in the 3rd week of April. I will wait until this weekend and then decide. I will not loose much if I cancel bookings before a month.

Meanwhile, will start thinking of an alternative holiday destination for this summer. Just in case....
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Old 16th March 2011, 08:44   #24
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Friends, still the reactors does not seem to be in total control. Several Companies have started evacuating their employees from Tokyo / Japan for a temporary period. I am sure that things will settle down in a month's time. Japan will come out stronger after this disaster.

But, I do not want to have worries and tension during my holiday. Since this turnaround happened in the last moment, We have decided to call off this trip. This is really sad and unfortunate.

I sincerely thank all of you for giving me your invaluable suggestion. May-be, I will preserve this itinerary and execute it in future....

As of now, planning for a trip to Europe. Austria, Switzerland and Italy - for 4 weeks. Will post details on this thread by next week...

Thank you!
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Old 16th March 2011, 10:02   #25
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Friends, still the reactors does not seem to be in total control. Several Companies have started evacuating their employees from Tokyo / Japan for a temporary period. I am sure that things will settle down in a month's time. Japan will come out stronger after this disaster.

But, I do not want to have worries and tension during my holiday. Since this turnaround happened in the last moment, We have decided to call off this trip. This is really sad and unfortunate.

I sincerely thank all of you for giving me your invaluable suggestion. May-be, I will preserve this itinerary and execute it in future....

As of now, planning for a trip to Europe. Austria, Switzerland and Italy - for 4 weeks. Will post details on this thread by next week...

Thank you!
Another trip to Europe?

I would have suggested SEA: Thailand, Indonesia (Bali, etc), Vietnam, maybe a little bit of China.

Otherwise Russia (St. Petersburg, Moscow) & the Trans Siberian Railway is also interesting.
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Old 14th June 2011, 11:47   #26
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Thanks for all who helped me in this route planner. Link to my travelogue is below:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-backpack.html (Europe on a Shoe-string > 4 weeks trip with family on a backpack!)
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Old 18th June 2017, 07:40   #27
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Default Re: Japan on a Budget - 4 weeks trip with family on a backpack!

Hi Chetan, I came across your post regarding Europe and the plans that you made for Japan. By any chance would you still have the plans for Japan. I am planning for a trip and would be very interested to get inspiration. Thanks
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