Jump to content

Overnight in Kobe - Kyoto Questions


hubofhockey
 Share

Recommended Posts

For overnights at the port of Kobe, do people stay overnight in Kyoto?  

 

As much as I'd like to do the second 1/2 day in Osaka, Kyoto seems to merit at least a couple of days, just for highlights.

 

Also has anyone done one of the dinner 2-hour experiences (small private group) with a maiko?  It seems like a great opportunity to experience this unique opportunity.

 

Lastly, does anyone know if Azamara would provide transportation or shuttles to Kyoto from Kobe (I'll ask on the Azamara boards as well)?

 

Our trip is 17 months away, but we will be in Japan during Golden Week (Kobe is a a couple days after Golden Week) and will probably plan as early as possible.

 

Thanks to all for your help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am booked on Celebrity doing an overnight in Kyoto well it’s docked and Kobe. We’re just planning on taking the train in I got a hotel night in the Gion.   I’m interested to see if anybody else is done this and I will be following this thread. It was something similar but got no replies. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought that the overnight in Kyoto seemed kind of obvious.  I like your idea on Gion because that is where you can get the Maiko experience in a two hour dinner.  That's a vacation cultural highlight.  The train should be an experience itself and it's only $26 one way.  Maybe we'll use a City Unscripted guide and meet the guide right at the train station.  We have 8 am on Friday and have to be back at the ship by 1:30 pm on Saturday.  The alternative is going out in Kyoto and taking a 10 pm train back and then doing Azamara's 5-hour $129 best of Osaka tour the next day.

Edited by hubofhockey
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I have a decent handle on this.  

 

  1. Bullet train to Kyoto $26 per person each way. $104 total
  2. Do a long day tour of Kyoto with a Tours By Local Guide (pricing is very good for Kyoto) about $270 total for us total
  3. During day check into Granbell Hotel in Gion (agree best place to stay for nightlife and a Maiko experience).  About $150 per night. 
  4. Get dinner in Gion
  5. Attend Maiko Show at Gion Hotel 8:40 pm to 10:10 pm - $36.52 per person.

The cost of all of this before meals is $300 per person and a great option.

 

We would call it a night after the show.  For the next day, we would either try out the Onsen at the hotel or doing a morning tour.  The only advantage of returning to the ship at night would be to do a ship's tour to Osaka the next morning.  I would rather eat breakfast at the hotel in Gion, use the facilities and and get an 11 am train back to Kobe and be on the ship by noon for lunch.  

 

If it were two full days in Kobe, I would do Osaka the second day.  We have 8 am arrival in Kobe and the 1:30 pm departure the next day.  I have always believed, that on cruises, you can't do everything. If we were doing this as a land vacation, I'd spend 2-3 days in Kyoto and a day in Osaka, but that's not a reality.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We did the overnight in Kyoto last year. Arrived in Kobe at noon, shuttled to downtown and took a taxi to the station, took the train to Kyoto, stayed at the Hotel Granvia right at the main train station and had a TripleLights guide the whole next day, our cruise departed at 8pm so we got to see alot. We decided on the hotel at the train station so we could leave our overnight bag there during the day, and then picked it up on our way to the train. It was a fantastic experience! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many on these boards seem to push Triple Lights, so we'll need to decide between them and the Tours By Locals guides.  I have always liked that you can choose your own guide with TBL and prices seem similar.  In any case, we'll hope to meet which ever guise we choose at the train station around 9:30 am and do an eight hour tour, and then settle in to our hotel, go out for dinner, and then see a Maiko show or do a combination Maiko show with traditional kaiseki dinner.  Not sure if a ryokan or hotel is the way to go.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We recently returned from a Celebrity cruise w/ Kyoto having an overnight. Since you can disembark in the a.m. take the Portliner to train station in Kobe and take train to Kyoto Station. Very easy to do on your own and they are very helpful. I originally had Triple Lights reserved but after lots of research decided we could do it on our own. 

After arriving to Kyoto station, we then took a 10 minute train to Fushimi Anari and was very easy to do. Returned to Kyoto station and then took a taxi to other places we wanted to see. You cannot do it all, but we chose wisely and accomplished a lot. We also had a fabulous Michelin * lunch at Ritz Carlton Kyoto. 

Next day, we took a ship tour to make certain we were back on time for departure. The best day was when we did it on our own at our time and leisure.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/18/2019 at 5:50 AM, hubofhockey said:

Not sure if a ryokan or hotel is the way to go.  

Have you stayed at a ryokan before?  If not, I'd recommend it as a pretty wonderful experience.  However, staying at a nicer ryokan typically also includes a pretty elaborate kaiseki-esque dinner which is a highlight of a stay.  So if you are planning other dinner plans, a ryokan stay might be better off saved for another visit/night.  Coordination of timing is important too because they don't have a large staff (arrival greeting, meals, setting up bedding for the night, etc).  Plus it would be nice to have time to explore the grounds, enjoy a bath, etc for the full experience.  You're also sleeping on mats on the floor so you need to be able to handle that.  😄

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/22/2019 at 2:29 PM, Milhouse said:

Have you stayed at a ryokan before?  If not, I'd recommend it as a pretty wonderful experience.  However, staying at a nicer ryokan typically also includes a pretty elaborate kaiseki-esque dinner which is a highlight of a stay.  So if you are planning other dinner plans, a ryokan stay might be better off saved for another visit/night.  Coordination of timing is important too because they don't have a large staff (arrival greeting, meals, setting up bedding for the night, etc).  Plus it would be nice to have time to explore the grounds, enjoy a bath, etc for the full experience.  You're also sleeping on mats on the floor so you need to be able to handle that.  😄

 

Thank you for that answer and all of the information.   I doubt that we will go back and we're looking at this as a once in a lifetime visit.  In any case, I think we are better off with a hotel (one I mentioned above) with the Maiko experience.  Our time is at a premium.  We'll find a restaurant in Gion and see the show at Hotel Granbell.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/15/2019 at 2:20 PM, hubofhockey said:

For overnights at the port of Kobe, do people stay overnight in Kyoto?  

 

As much as I'd like to do the second 1/2 day in Osaka, Kyoto seems to merit at least a couple of days, just for highlights.

Also has anyone done one of the dinner 2-hour experiences (small private group) with a maiko?  It seems like a great opportunity to experience this unique opportunity.

 

Our trip is 17 months away, but we will be in Japan during Golden Week (Kobe is a a couple days after Golden Week) and will probably plan as early as possible.

 

Thanks to all for your help.

 

We didn't. We stayed late in Koyto and returned to the ship until almost midnight. It was a long day but well worth it. 

 

There's a lot to see in Kyoto. I think even a couple of days is not enough for highlights!

 

You are right taking the Shinkansen is an experience in itself. On the bullet train, I turned on the Waze App on my phone just to see how fast the train is going!

 

Re: "meet the guide right at the train station" My suggestion: ask if your guide can meet you right at the Kobe Port.

Our Good Will Guide (free and excellent) met us at top of the escalator where we exit the secure port area. We took a taxi right to Shin-Kobe Station where the Shinkansen runs. Shin-Kobe is just a little further than the Sannomiya (JR train/Metro) Station. 

 

Our guide help us buy the Shinkansen ticket and get to the right track to take the right train to Kyoto. The ticket counter agent spoke very little English!  She saved us a lot of time, possible anxiety and surely got us to Kyoto much quicker!!!

 

We didn't do a maiko dinner experience. It sounds interesting. Something like this?  Is it just going to be 2 hours or will it be more???

 

It's good that you are staying right in the Gion area. I read up on Kyoto Granbell Hotel it is in an excellent hotel with a fantastic location: right in the middle of one of the most beautiful areas in Kyoto. I think that night time Kyoto is another level of beauty that you should consider experiencing. Your hotel location gives you the option to have some short walks to enjoy the night scenery after dinner. Sunset is around 7 PM in early May. 

 

Here are a few good spots to consider for short walks near your hotel:
Kyoto Granbell Hotel to Yasaka Shrine Google says its a 8 minutes walk however consider doing a slower pace walk after dinner. Count on 10-15 minutes vs. 8.
https://goo.gl/maps/xBdit8DxEncbx6747

IMG_0810.jpg.bcf108a494440dcfbcb6259b001faa58.jpg

IMG_0813.jpg.cf0365ecc79928f4a9fc4e9085d66fbd.jpg

 

Yasaka Shrine to Gion Tatsumi Bridge. A very quiet area also beautiful at night. Google for history about this area.  There are several high end restaurants next to the creek.
https://goo.gl/maps/ahexhVsF4sdXX2DY7 

IMG_0936.jpg.388517f0b2ed1e5d36b8ba9c1bd76e69.jpg

 

If you don't want to go back to your hotel yet, keep going...
Walk from Gion Tatsumi Bridge and walk to Pontocho Alley, drop in to one of the places for a drink or a late night snack!  Many restaurants here to have dinner if you are not having dinner at your hotel. The Alley is quite long.  You don't need to go all the way before looping back.  Google YouTube for videos.  Check TripAdvisor for restaurant reviews.
https://goo.gl/maps/QSssH3ucBPKXHEpA9

IMG_0904.jpg.06575df12918bed7ff76b403cd84ec06.jpg

 

It should take you not more than 5-10 minutes to walk from the beginning of Pontocho Alley back to your hotel.
https://goo.gl/maps/xVYVWB1Rmto4WUMz8

 

Google to see more information about the above places to see if you are interested in adding them to your to see list.

 

If you are walking around yourself it's best to use a map on your smart phone to help you with the navigation. Download maps.me offlline map if you don't have internet access while in port. It is very safe to walk around late night in Kyoto.

 

Re: your trip back to Kobe in the morning the next day to catch your all aboard time (likely 12:30 PM?). You may want to consider traffic time and target getting back to your ship at least 2 hours before departure. Even the short 3km distance from Shin-Kobe back to the port can take considerable more time due to traffic. 

 

You can buy your train ticket ahead of time (your guide can help you) so that you can skip the step of buying ticket on your return day.

 

Our guide helped us with writing down names of where we want to take taxi. We used it to get back to the Kyoto station. It was easy to grab a taxi in Kyoto. There were plenty of taxi's around Yasaka Shrine. Our driver did not speak English at all!

 

You may need the port destination in Japanese to get back to the ship if you are taking a taxi from Shin-Kobe. 

 

It'a amazing that you are planning so far ahead. I didn't start to assemble all the places we consider seeing until a few months prior to our trip. Once you have a list your guide should be able to help plan your route for the day. 

 

Re: your Azamara cruise since you are staying overnight in Kobe, any chance that it will be the AzAmazing night in Kobe?

 

Laurence

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, ebslcc said:

 

 

 

Re: your Azamara cruise since you are staying overnight in Kobe, any chance that it will be the AzAmazing night in Kobe?

 

Laurence

 

Wow!!!!  Thank you Laurence!!!  I am an impulsive planner and even more so on itineraries where it may be a once in a life time trip.

 

In the past, it looks like they have chosen Busan in South Korea for the Azamazing Evening.  Maybe they think too man people would miss it in Kobe because they would be out in Kyoto.

 

I'll take your advice on getting a guide right in Kobe to help with logistics.  That makes a lot of sense.  You post is outstanding.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, hubofhockey said:

 

Wow!!!!  Thank you Laurence!!!  I am an impulsive planner and even more so on itineraries where it may be a once in a life time trip.

 

In the past, it looks like they have chosen Busan in South Korea for the Azamazing Evening.  Maybe they think too man people would miss it in Kobe because they would be out in Kyoto.

 

I'll take your advice on getting a guide right in Kobe to help with logistics.  That makes a lot of sense.  You post is outstanding.

Thanks and you are welcome. Glad to share my experience to help you and others on your plans.  

 

I am also a very impulsive and detail planner.  I try to map out exactly what we will do with our DIY plan (in this case DIY with a guide).  FYI here is our Koyto plan which we followed pretty much with some minor adjustments: we spent more time at places that interests us, we cut out seeing Nishiki Market, we extended our time in Kyoto and got back to the ship a little later than original planned.

 

7 hours ago, hubofhockey said:

What guides would meet travelers at Kobe train station?  Triple Lights?

 

I would think that the independent local guide through agency like Triple Lights should be happy to customize your private tour and meet your request to meet at the port. After all you are professional private guides and you are paying for their services.

 

We had 3 different Good Will Guides (Google Volunteer Tour Guides JNTO). After we were matched with the 3 volunteers we discuss over email what we want to see and their recommendations and decided together where best to meet. One of the guide suggested meeting at a metro station but accommodated my request to meet at the port instead.

 

Laurence

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: PONANT Cruises & Expeditions
      • Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Q&A with American Queen Voyages
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...