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E-Voucher Trip Planning
by Brian - JAPANiCAN.com Staff
Would you like fries with that?
Back in the late winter/early spring, we teamed up with Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central) to bring you a brand new discount travel product, the Bullet Train Open Ticket Package (E-Voucher). The E-Voucher was designed to give you more freedom with your travel plans than our other packages while saving you a bundle of cold, hard cash. We are happy to report now, several months in, that the E-Voucher has proven to be quite popular! There are several plans available including tickets-only, tickets + one night in Kyoto, and tickets + multi-night stays in Tokyo (all plans also include a one-day Kyoto sightseeing pass), so I figured I'd write up a couple quick ideas for trip possibilities using the E-Voucher. Check 'em out!

Note: Links below will open in new windows.
Sample Itinerary 1: To Kyoto...and beyond!
So you're thinking of snagging the E-Voucher and jumping right into the thick of it by heading straight down to Kyoto ASAP. Well, your options are wide open. First off, you have your choice between the Open Ticket Package with the tickets only vs. the tickets and a night at the New Miyako Hotel in Kyoto. Of course, both are excellent. The tickets-only package affords just that much more freedom to decide where to stay, while the New Miyako Hotel package sets you up with your first night in Kyoto at a super convenient, well-established hotel right outside Kyoto Station. Now, once you get down to Kyoto, you're going to have up to a week on your hands before returning to Tokyo. With that in mind, if you have the time and flexibility in your schedule, I highly recommend checking out as much of the Kansai region as you can! Spend a couple days in Kyoto, then check out Osaka, feed the deer outside Todaiji Temple in Nara, and maybe even crash at a Buddhist temple for a night on sacred Mt. Koya... I promise you this, you will not be bored. Links below; happy planning!

Itinerary
  • Exchange your E-Voucher at the JR Tokai Tours office in Tokyo Station or Shinagawa Station and head to Kyoto on the day of your choice.
  • Spend up to a week in Kyoto. Time-permitting, check out other great spots in the area like Osaka, Nara and Koyasan.
  • Head back to Tokyo within the validity period of your return tickets (one week from departure).

What you'll need
       OR

Optional

Accommodations in Kyoto and Beyond
The tickets-only package doesn't include a hotel, and the New Miyako plan only includes one night in Kyoto, but we are more than happy to make some recommendations. Find links below to our recommended ryokan and hotels. As I mentioned above, if you have the time, I highly recommend checking out other parts of Kansai. Your return tickets to Tokyo are good for a week, so you'll have plenty of time to explore Kyoto as well as check out areas like bustling Osaka, serene and friendly-deer-infested Nara, and even mystic, atmospheric Koyasan.



Tours in Kansai
If you'd like a hand seeing the sights once you get down to Kansai, there is a range of tours available to help you do so.


Sample Itinerary 2: To Tokyo and Kyoto...and beyond!
The Open Ticket Package can do more than get you to Kyoto for cheap; it can also snag you a great hotel room in Tokyo, also at a bargain. The Open Ticket Package with Tokyo Hotel plan is currently available with four, five or six nights at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel. As you might have guessed, the hotel is located in Shinagawa. Not only that, it's just outside Shinagawa Station, one of the biggest transportation hubs/transfer points in Tokyo. So here's the deal: buy the E-Voucher for the Open Ticket Package + Tokyo Hotel, get up to six nights in Tokyo, and get round-trip bullet train tickets to Kyoto where you can spend up to another week. Interest piqued? Trip ideas to follow!

Itinerary
  • Arrive in Tokyo and check-in at the Shinagawa Prince. Stay four - six nights and explore the metropolis and/or surrounding areas (Yokohama, Nikko, Hakone, Mt. Fuji...).
  • At some point during your stay in Tokyo, run by the JR Tokai Tours office in Shinagawa to swap your E-Voucher for your Shinkansen (bullet train) tickets to Kyoto. Pick your check-out date at the Shinagawa Prince as your departure date for Kyoto.
  • After your last night at the Shinagawa Prince, check out, head across the street to Shinagawa Station, and it's off to Kyoto with you!
  • Spend up to a week exploring Kyoto and the surrounding areas (Osaka, Nara, Kobe, Koyasan...). Remember, though the Shinagawa Prince Hotel is included for your stay in Tokyo, no hotel is included for your time in Kyoto (see below).
  • Head back to Tokyo within the validity period of your return tickets (one week from departure).

What you'll need

Optional

Tours in Tokyo
If you'd like a hand getting to know Tokyo and the surrounding areas, we have an array of day tours that just might tickle your fancy. If you're looking to get out of the city, we also offer day tours to Nikko and Mt. Fuji/Hakone.

Accommodations in Kyoto and Beyond
Same links as from the other sample itinerary, just in case you missed 'em.



Tours in Kansai
Same as above. Everybody loves second chances!




A Wee Bit of Legalese
Please do remember that the Open Ticket Packages (E-Vouchers) are unguided, free-plan style deals. They include only what is explicitly stated on their various details pages (linked above). The Open Ticket Package (E-Voucher) must be used in adherence with the conditions (new window, PDF). Any organization of activities and additional bookings of accommodations and/or tours to be used at the same time as the Open Ticket Package (E-Voucher) are the sole responsibility of the customer. Please do be sure to exercise caution when making additional reservations to ensure that travel dates match up. If you have any questions, give us a holler!





[ Kyoto, Packages, Tokyo | published 2011.07.21 | PermaLink ]
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