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Old 10-16-2017, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Near Manito
19,520 posts, read 20,898,162 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
OP wants a side trip and people recommend Hawaii?? It is far and it is expensive. And although it may look like so, there is almost no flight that goes to Japan from the US with a connection in Hawaii because it makes no sense. I don't know why people think you can just make a stop in Hawaii from North America to East Asia... planes don't fly that way.

Japan is not huge but there is plenty to see, even if you have two weeks. There is more than just Tokyo, Kyoto and Fuji Mountain. Korea is close by but it is one of the most boring countries to travel to (along with Singapore in the East Asian context), so don't waste your four days there.

China is not far but too big. It deserves another trip. Plus you need a visa, so probably not worth spending just 3 or 4 days there.

So instead of wanting to see more countries, why not see more regions in Japan, unless you have more than two weeks to spare.
I've stopped in Hawaii many times traveling to and from Japan.
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Old 10-16-2017, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
10,511 posts, read 8,758,289 times
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Not far from visiting Japan is a place called Hell.
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,069 posts, read 19,002,971 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frihed89 View Post
Not far from visiting Japan is a place called Hell.
I presume you're referring to North Korea.

We were underwhelmed with Hawaii and agree with OP that the additional costs will be $$$$$.

With two weeks, I'd agree with Botticelli - I'd spend all my time in Japan. Maybe Bop up north to Sapporo for a 'side trip'.
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:44 PM
 
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I would go broad, since you don't have a lot of time. You're not going to get into the minutia or have some sort of spiritual awakening by spending an extra 4 days visiting another Japanese city or town. Go to Taiwan and experience preserved and evolved pre-cultural-revolution Chinese Culture.


2-4 days is good for Taiwan. Before, I would tell you to try to fly directly into the city airfield in Taipei, itself. However, with the completion of the MRT line to TPE, it's only 45 minutes of scenic elevated-train ride to get to the downtown terminus from the international airport. When you leave, you can check your bags in at the downtown train terminal, which is kind of unique.


Fly to TPE, take the MRT into town. Try to stay at the Grand Hotel (The gigantic Red-and-Gold Chinese-Style one on a hill overlooking Taipei.) It's not the trendiest or fanciest hotel in town anymore, but it's got an awesome view and is an easy walk to the biggest most well-known Night Market. The hotel is really cool too, if it's not outside your price range.


Hit at least two night markets after 6PM. Go for weekends for the best experience. They usually close up after midnight, but there's a billion tea shops, snack shops, etc that stay open into the morning. Eat all the street food. Visit the city center and go up in the 101. Take the MRT to the Mekong Gondola. Take the gondola up into the mountains around Taipei to the tea shops in the tea farms. Skip hotsprings, because Onsen in Japan are better.


Look in a tourist guide if you need to fill the rest of your days. KMT memorial (Freedom Memorial, now) is impressive. SYS memorial is interesting. Go early in the morning to see an ocean of people practicing martial arts, street dancing, etc.

The MRT goes everywhere fun. The busses are good if you can read Mandarin or feel a little adventurous. Taxis are cheap, but you won't need them. Taipei is a walkers/transit paradise. Google maps knows the bus/rail system, you can trust it when you get your phone or tablet connected to the everpresent wifi. Everything is just as safe as in Japan. You could take the HSR to a secondary city, but I'd skip it. The scenery in Taiwan is pretty meh compared to Japan, and the other cities are a distant second-fiddle to Taipei.
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:58 PM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,258,456 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeledaf View Post
I've stopped in Hawaii many times traveling to and from Japan.
If you want a stop-over somewhere, it is of course possible, but at much higher cost.
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Old 10-16-2017, 02:00 PM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,258,456 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frihed89 View Post
Not far from visiting Japan is a place called Hell.
how does that have anything to do with OP's Japan trip? Nothing.
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Old 10-16-2017, 02:39 PM
 
4,796 posts, read 3,229,070 times
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Thailand. It's cheap and awesome. You can hang out in tropical rainforest or on a tropical beach and eat great food basically live like a king with exchange rates and cost of living there
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Old 10-16-2017, 03:04 PM
 
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Hawaii is nice but it doesn't take very long to see everything unless you're going to do some serious hiking around the islands. The main island that Honolulu is on is only like 20 miles long and there's only a couple of roads that go to the western and northern parts of it. it's fun to drive around it for a few days in a convertible. Check out the volcano, do some snorkeling, explore the beaches and some of the resorts and boulevards, etc. I stayed at the Hilton Waikiki resort when I was there and explored most of that area by foot such as Kalakaua Ave and so on.
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Old 10-16-2017, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,069 posts, read 19,002,971 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanms3030 View Post
Thailand. It's cheap and awesome. You can hang out in tropical rainforest or on a tropical beach and eat great food basically live like a king with exchange rates and cost of living there
Great Idea! He can burn up one entire day on a plane traveling from Japan to Thailand.
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Old 10-16-2017, 05:08 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,548 posts, read 39,934,465 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by city living View Post
...

Did not think about it but I do think it will be $$$.



Most of us don't travel for months. I am thinking a trip somewhere along the lines of two weeks.

I think climate-wise, yes, I would like similarities. I have had two people suggest Taiwan. I

My husband really wants to go to Asia. He used to be very much into Japanese culture but then when I ask him about he doesn't really know what he wants to do or where he wants to go. We are big walkers so we prefer places that are easy to get around, either walking or transit-wise.



I have a friend who has been living there for a few years. But I can't tell if he's just not as thrilled being there anymore or if he just likes other places better but stays in Korea for work.



If that! I am going on vacation next week for a week and that is my first vacation in a year.
What time of year are you planning to go to Japan? Big difference in where to go, what to see during what seasons.

Travel does not have to be long or expensive.
1) our daily expenses are <$40 for food, and lodging ... USA or international. - eat like a local...
2) many discount carriers for under $50 once in region
3) Consolidated airfare / mileage points / carrier specials to get to region. I got a $376 fare LA to Tokyo RT on United weds email special.
4) Can join mission trips / volunteer teaching for long term free room and board.

As with all... you too can choose to slave for an employer who will PAY you to travel. Fortunately my employer sent my family with me. I had plenty of co-workers who refused these international assignment, thus I got several, cuz others stayed home because of important stuff like their kid's school or sports. Our kids suffered through homeschool and hiking. So you just pick your own poison in life.
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