Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Japan here we come... again!

Tempted by the MAS offer of S$398 all-inclusive fares Japan, we pressed the 'buy' button last week. The kids fare is slightly less at S$382. We'll have to transit in KLIA but for this sort of fare, ah, okay. I never thought I'd see fares to Japan go as low as this and I thought the earlier NW deal of $498 was already pretty low. SQ's lowest fares to Japan hovers around $598. Amazingly, KH was the one who said book 'em.

Our trip is scheduled for Nov 14 to Nov 28 inclusive. 15 glorious days of autumn in Japan!

This means we will take Caitlin out of school a week before school officially ends for the year. The older kids would already be on holiday since sec schools close for the year earlier than their pri counterparts. We would also not miss O's P1 orientation at SJIJ on Nov 7.

We're all very excited about it and the pleasure of planning has started in earnest.

I am torn between heading along the Inland Sea coast, covering the rural Shikoku island or moving inland to Kanazawa, then Takayama, the Shirakawago World Heritage Site and then down to Tsumago and the old post towns. Or cover Nagano, take in some snow at a highland resort? In late Nov, the ski season has not started in earnest but you could still get some early snowfall in the higher elevations. I know that Karuizawa starts officially on Nov 1 with artificial snow. But Karuizawa is known to be very expensive, so while I am tempted, it does not seem likely.

For sure we will cover a bit of Kyoto again - this time, the rock garden of Ryoanji, Kinkakuji and definitely also, Nara. Spend a day on Ohara - splendid autumn foliage there. Possibly a night on Koya-san? Also definitely on my list is Hiroshima and Miyajima, Himeji. I would also like a day and a night in Kobe and Arima Onsen but might have to sacrifice this for time if we go inland.

Looks like we'll buy the 7-Day JR Pass but also exploring car rental. If we are heading along the Inland Sea coast, stopping at pretty fishing villages, then trains would not be possible. And certainly, a car would allow us to drive through the gorges and valleys of Shikoku as well as rugged cliffs of Shikoku where the trains don't go.

Decisions, decisions... I feel like such a kid in a candy shop!

Mum is coming with us this time and it would be great! She's such an experienced traveller herself and is always gung-ho for something new, fun and different. Definitely not the aches-and-pains, can't-do-this-and-that sort. My sister may just hop along for the ride. The kids are thrilled to be going back too.

Oooh, I am so looking forward to this!! I'll post more on the travel blog.


Cory said...

nice :)

strawberry said...

Hi there, I kinda of stumbled upon your blog...I stay near Kovan Melody condo. I have 2 children myself, 3.5 yrs old boy and 1 yr old daughter. I love Japan too!!! You seems to know a lot about it. I have been to Takayama and Nara, Kyoto areas but not to Hiroshima and Kobe yet. Cos stayed in Japan for 2.5 years before so done some touring before. Your blog is nice to read!! Which pcf do you intend to put your girl in? My son is now in pap at hougang ave 3 but I am transferring him to Ascension Kindergarten next year. You mentioned Luminere...what makes you prefer Luminere to Ascension? Luminere is slightly more expensive than Ascension :-)