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Author: dondaro

Joined: 6/10/2010
Posts: 21
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Traveler Since: 1999

July 07, 2013

We are thinking of taking the OAT trip to Japan in 2014  Leaving from Newark or JFK airports. Can any one tell us their experience with GCT air routing to Tokyo and returning form Kyoto?

Author: walshcs

Joined: 1/25/2011
Posts: 102
GCT Trips Taken: 3
OAT Trips Taken: 1
Countries Visited:

Costa Rica, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Guatemala, the Canadian Maritimes incl. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI, Montreal (Quebec), , and many USA cities incl. NYC, Chicago, New Orleans, Washington DC, Portland Oregon, the Oregon coast, Maine coast, parts of Florida. I took a 10 day tour to Costa Rica where I was especially thrilled to experience the tropical plants, birds, volcanos, and met the friendly Ticos. I did Ireland in Depth with GCT Oct. 2011 and it was an inspiring, beautiful, and meaningful experience to finally visit the land of my Irish ancestors. Completed the Tuscany & the Amalfi Coast with the pre-trip to Venice April 21, 2012 and it was a travel dream fulfilled. I booked Guatemala with Tikal, Antigua and Atitlan for January 2013 and had a wonderful adventure discovering modern day Maya culture and learning about ancient Maya city states with my visit to Tikal. It was very exciting that OAT brought back the trip to Japan. I had the trip of a lifetime including the pre-trip to Tokyo in Nov. 2013 and even did the Maiko make-over in Kyoto. My friends at home couldn't believe the "20 year old" in the photos of a Geisha were really me. Thank you professional photographer & photo shop! :) The next trip booked for Sept. 2014 is the Best of Eastern Europe (land trip version) and I'm looking forward to history & culture in that region. Now I finally have the resources to pursue my "bucket list" of foreign travel and the freedom to chart my own life's course. Ask questions that will satisfy your requirements/interests in a travel buddy. Looking forward to meeting you here and maybe in the world. Warm regards, Cate I'll post a photo when I remember to bring one from home. (Only have internet at work for now.)

Traveler Since: 2011

July 12, 2013

Hi...I've booked the Japan trip for this November 5th/2013. My current air itinerary is Boston to Chicago with a plane change and than direct to Tokyo. My return is Kyoto to San Francisco with a plane change and then direct to Boston. My only concern so far is the layovers for plane changes as its only about an hour between flights which doesn't allow for flight delays and still making my connections. I've been seriously considering asking OAT to rebook with a little more time to make my connections.

Cate

Author: walshcs

Joined: 1/25/2011
Posts: 102
GCT Trips Taken: 3
OAT Trips Taken: 1
Countries Visited:

Costa Rica, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Guatemala, the Canadian Maritimes incl. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI, Montreal (Quebec), , and many USA cities incl. NYC, Chicago, New Orleans, Washington DC, Portland Oregon, the Oregon coast, Maine coast, parts of Florida. I took a 10 day tour to Costa Rica where I was especially thrilled to experience the tropical plants, birds, volcanos, and met the friendly Ticos. I did Ireland in Depth with GCT Oct. 2011 and it was an inspiring, beautiful, and meaningful experience to finally visit the land of my Irish ancestors. Completed the Tuscany & the Amalfi Coast with the pre-trip to Venice April 21, 2012 and it was a travel dream fulfilled. I booked Guatemala with Tikal, Antigua and Atitlan for January 2013 and had a wonderful adventure discovering modern day Maya culture and learning about ancient Maya city states with my visit to Tikal. It was very exciting that OAT brought back the trip to Japan. I had the trip of a lifetime including the pre-trip to Tokyo in Nov. 2013 and even did the Maiko make-over in Kyoto. My friends at home couldn't believe the "20 year old" in the photos of a Geisha were really me. Thank you professional photographer & photo shop! :) The next trip booked for Sept. 2014 is the Best of Eastern Europe (land trip version) and I'm looking forward to history & culture in that region. Now I finally have the resources to pursue my "bucket list" of foreign travel and the freedom to chart my own life's course. Ask questions that will satisfy your requirements/interests in a travel buddy. Looking forward to meeting you here and maybe in the world. Warm regards, Cate I'll post a photo when I remember to bring one from home. (Only have internet at work for now.)

Traveler Since: 2011

July 12, 2013

Cate here again...oops! I forgot that my return trip had changed...I'm actually departing from Osaka to San Fran and then on to Boston. And the company has adjusted my layovers to almost 2 hours between flights so hopefully that will be adequate.

Don't you agree that the trip itself sounds fascinating? Its been on my "bucket list" forever and I'm very excited to leave this November.

Whatever you decide...happy trails to you.

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 514
GCT Trips Taken: 12
OAT Trips Taken: 4
Countries Visited:

Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, St. Marten (fr), St. Martin (nd), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Zimbabwe

Traveler Since: 2002

July 12, 2013

 An hour on any connection is about the minimum, but, as big is O'Hare is, it is doable, but, if your return connection through SFO is only an hour, that is almost impossible, with the time to clear immigration and customs. Two hours to me would be the absolute minimum. Use a search engine such as http://matrix.itasoftware.com  calling GCT, just so that you know what your options are. This site seems to be totally unbiassed as it does not sell tickets. I have been using it for over 10 years and it is very easy to use and includes almost all airlines.It will also price out premium economy tickts, if you are interested in paying for an upgrade for such a long flight. Sometimes you will find that the extra cost is worth it to you.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 545
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji. Ireland

Traveler Since: 2006

July 13, 2013

Cate,

The trip does sound fascinating (especially Kyoto) and I hope you'll post your impressions when you return -- followed by a traveler review when you get time.

Have you considered spending the night at an airport hotel in SF and flying to Boston the next day? Those long flights are killers for me and a night at a hotel with a hot bath or shower and a good dinner and a night's sleep in a bed makes a huge difference.

Have you taken any trips lately? I don't recall seeing posts from you for a while.

Have a great trip.

 

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 242
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1995

July 14, 2013

Cate, you will  love the country of Japan.  We lived there 6.5 years and traveled fromTokyo to Hokkaido and south to Kyushu Island (work) and I've gone through Osaka airport quite a few times.  If you have any problems there the airport staff will hand walk you to where you need to be.  They are so nice.  I was there when it first opened.  All of Japan is fascinating and the people are quite nice.  We do not speak any Japanese, just the usual  please, thank you, good day, etc. and got along fine.  We road the trains everywhere for travels outside of work.  Including the Shin Kan Sen (bullet train) from Tokyo to Hiroshimo for Christmas 1991.  Kyoto is modern and still  has the cultural aspect of centuries past.  Their main temples are beautiful and serene.  The Gion Corner is a fascinating place; it's like a show, having a tea ceremony, sword cometition show, the art of wearing the kimono, musical and comedy parts, in about a 2  hour time frame.  Gives one the sense you have gone back a few centuries to old Japan. Very interesting 

If you don't stay overnight in SFO area you will have endured about 25-29 hours to the East coast, including connection times.  I had that situation when I came back for a 3-week  training to Virginia.  Nana and Papa are right, 2 hours in SFO is minimum.  Was there only once long time ago, but my local travel agent told me it is a hassle getting from one terminal to another for connecting flights.part of the airport is new, so not sure what we will find  to get to and from the bus.    I called the terminal last week as we will fly from Phoenix to SFO then on to Paris later this year, and they told me you have to get from Domestic to Intl via shuttle bus, and a medium to long walk required to get to shuttle; and vice versa on return.  If I leave this thread to get the airport website, i will lose my post, so I will come back on and give you the SFO airport website I used and phone number. 

 

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 242
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1995

July 14, 2013

Here is the SFO website and phone no.

flysfo.com

On the right is a block with items to select:  first is Air status; it gives you a map of US and below it gives you status of flights, delays, etc.

Next select International arrivals and departures.  See diagram of terminals and how to get to gates via shuttle.

 

if you are flying United, that airline has its own terminal, Term 1

 

SFO Airport tel:  800-435-9736   or Com 650-821-8211  The switchboard was really nice when I called and explained about the shuttles, gates, etc. 

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