Japan Travel |OT| We have to go back

Mendrox

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,457
-Kobegyu Steak, Ken - This was the main attraction, the famous Kobe beef. Did not disappoint. And Chef Ken is super polite and excited about his craft (needless to say, expensive as hell)
Ken is such a nice guy. Visit him a second time this year and he even recognized us. Took some great pictures with him this time hehe

Edit: Saw your tip about taking your passport with you everywhere... Uhm, always do that. If you get asked by the police and can't show your pass you are in for a ride. In my four trips I was checked 5 times (last time even immediately at the airport after arriving, I am white German guy so doesn't matter how you look like).
 

Endymion

Member
Oct 27, 2017
282
anyone been to the cup noodle factory? My friend's wife really wants to go. Oh the Yamizaki factory is worth the visit if you're a fan of their whiskey and really want to taste the expensive stuff. It was all lost on me but i tasted some of the 24 and 30 year whiskeys last time, was good but still felt it was wasted on me
A bit late (I was actually in Japan when you posted this), but my wife and I went to the cup noodle factory. It's pretty cute, you get to draw on a cup noodle... cup and then fill it with the ingredients of your choosing. The historical part is cool too but doesn't take very long to go through. They also have a noodle making class there, but you have to reserve a spot ahead of time and I'm not sure if it's available in English.

We got back from Japan last Tuesday (our first ever visit to Japan, went for our honeymoon) and are still trying to get our sleeping schedules back on track with west coast time. Maybe tonight will finally be the night...
 

Razgriz417

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,785
A bit late (I was actually in Japan when you posted this), but my wife and I went to the cup noodle factory. It's pretty cute, you get to draw on a cup noodle... cup and then fill it with the ingredients of your choosing. The historical part is cool too but doesn't take very long to go through. They also have a noodle making class there, but you have to reserve a spot ahead of time and I'm not sure if it's available in English.

We got back from Japan last Tuesday (our first ever visit to Japan, went for our honeymoon) and are still trying to get our sleeping schedules back on track with west coast time. Maybe tonight will finally be the night...
Thanks for the info on the cup noodle tour. Our group is still finalizing the itinerary, we may make time to do the noodle making time.

It took me over a week to get my sleeping schedule back to normal, even got into an accident on the 2nd day back, nodded off on the road on the way home, nearly totaled my car but least I and the other guy was ok
 

MrKlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,753
Our ski trip was cancelled due to no snow so we decided on the spur of the moment to take a trip to Mount Fuji. Took this yesterday after climbing way too many steps:



now in a hotel near Fuji-Q theme park. Going to take the ropeway after breakfast and my daughter wants to ride a rollercoaster on Christmas Day with views of Mt Fuji :)

happy Xmas resetera!
 

ninnanuam

Member
Nov 24, 2017
769
Thinking about going back in June as a stop off after hitting PNW but the Olympic build up scares me. I'm sure it'll be fine but I'm a bit worried
 

MrKlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,753
Asking here to try and avoid spoilers..

for the new Star Wars movie we’re hoping to go and watch tomorrow. It’ll be subtitled in Japanese which is fine. But - does anyone that has seen it know if there are any lengthy/important scenes with alien dialogue? That would have Japanese subtitles but no English ones so I’d lose what they’re saying
 

sixteen-bit

Member
Oct 30, 2017
1,120
Asking here to try and avoid spoilers..

for the new Star Wars movie we’re hoping to go and watch tomorrow. It’ll be subtitled in Japanese which is fine. But - does anyone that has seen it know if there are any lengthy/important scenes with alien dialogue? That would have Japanese subtitles but no English ones so I’d lose what they’re saying
IIRC all the alien and droid dialogue is intentionally un-subtitled and you're supposed to get the context by the other characters' reactions for comedic effect. And of course any plot critical dialogue is spoken in English by the alien, lol.
 

Ogodei

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
8,746
Coruscant
What's the best portal to buy round-trip Shinkansen tickets? I'm only going from Tokyo to Osaka/Kyoto/Nara (two nights Osaka, two full days in Kyoto, and a day in Nara). I won't need the JR pass, but is buying direct from JR still the best bet?

Might want to rearrange that to do two nights Osaka, then travel to Nara as there's realistically only about half a day's worth of stuff there, then back to Kyoto nearby since the big JR station is there.
 
OP
OP
MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,649
What's the best portal to buy round-trip Shinkansen tickets? I'm only going from Tokyo to Osaka/Kyoto/Nara (two nights Osaka, two full days in Kyoto, and a day in Nara). I won't need the JR pass, but is buying direct from JR still the best bet?
Check out the discounted tickets at JR Tokai Tours
 

MrKlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,753
Slightly niche question - are there any public/free wifi areas/shops that are fast? my daughter got a new iPad for Christmas but I don’t think it’s practical to do a migration from her old mini using the pocket WiFi we have - it’ll either be too slow, or blow all the data and we’ll be throttled for the rest of our stay.

i guess we can go to an Apple store if we’re near one, but wondering if perhaps certain cafes/coffee shops or department stores are known for fast WiFi and we could do it there
 

Dental Plan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,639
Los Angeles, CA
I just arrived in Tokyo last night. My girlfriend and I will be here until Jan 8th. We already got out Studio Ghibli tickets for the 4th. The Pokemon cafe is already sold out for reservations.

Going out today for our first adventure.
 

HulkMansfield

Member
Dec 29, 2017
878
Ken is such a nice guy. Visit him a second time this year and he even recognized us. Took some great pictures with him this time hehe

Edit: Saw your tip about taking your passport with you everywhere... Uhm, always do that. If you get asked by the police and can't show your pass you are in for a ride. In my four trips I was checked 5 times (last time even immediately at the airport after arriving, I am white German guy so doesn't matter how you look like).
Whew, thanks for the advice! Luckily I didn't have any problems
 

TheAggroCraig

Member
Nov 6, 2017
1,029
I just arrived in Tokyo last night. My girlfriend and I will be here until Jan 8th. We already got out Studio Ghibli tickets for the 4th. The Pokemon cafe is already sold out for reservations.

Going out today for our first adventure.
Have a great time, Ghibli Museum is as great as everyone says (GO TO THE CAFE TOO). Pokemon Cafe you can maybe keep checking for reservations as they sometimes pop up. I managed to get two separate ones within a week pretty easily... just not the food isn't great but the atmosphere/presentation is super fun.

I've been keeping an eye out for a trip for 2020 because I'm insane, it would be in the Fall again, though I might do November/December instead of October like I did this year. Gotta see how my time off works out next year and who can go and how much I'm able to save, but I'm ready to go back already.
 

MegaRockEXE

Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,344
I'm thinking of traveling sometime in April. What are some tips for first-time travelers? My checklist is checking out Disneyland, visiting a museum, and checking out any Pokemon store.
 

TheAggroCraig

Member
Nov 6, 2017
1,029
I'm thinking of traveling sometime in April. What are some tips for first-time travelers? My checklist is checking out Disneyland, visiting a museum, and checking out any Pokemon store.
Read the OP for travel tips, it's very useful but some of it depends on where you stay.

Traveling almost anywhere in Tokyo is easy via trains, Google Maps is your friend. There's multiple Pokemon Centers and you can probably hit more than one depending on where you go, I went to 3 on my trip, and a new one just opened up in Shibuya last month. Museums depend on what you wanna do, Ghibli Museum is great but you're gonna have to put some effort in for tickets.
 

MrKlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,753
Day trip to Yokohama today - surprisingly easy to get to from China. Cup noodle museum was fun but better if you have kids I imagine. Shame a lot of the info on the timeline wasn’t translated although I assume the audio guide helped with that. Making our own cup noodles was kinda fun - mainly doodling on the cup and inflating the strange bag you get at the end


Thinking to go to Nakano broadway - been here maybe 10 times over the last 20 years and never been. Is it mainly anime/gaming stuff or is there a mix of things? My wife/son aren’t into those so not sure if it’s a solo trip or not
 

ninnanuam

Member
Nov 24, 2017
769
Day trip to Yokohama today - surprisingly easy to get to from China. Cup noodle museum was fun but better if you have kids I imagine. Shame a lot of the info on the timeline wasn’t translated although I assume the audio guide helped with that. Making our own cup noodles was kinda fun - mainly doodling on the cup and inflating the strange bag you get at the end


Thinking to go to Nakano broadway - been here maybe 10 times over the last 20 years and never been. Is it mainly anime/gaming stuff or is there a mix of things? My wife/son aren’t into those so not sure if it’s a solo trip or not
Nakano is definately for collectors of various kinds. Not necessarily just anime or videogames. For example the are some cool Sukeban and western collectable shops as well.

However someone not into collectables of some kind would likely be really bored. Also it's kinda rundown, which is cool with me but alot of people don't like that vibe.
 

Shinogu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
132
Nakano is definately for collectors of various kinds. Not necessarily just anime or videogames. For example the are some cool Sukeban and western collectable shops as well.

However someone not into collectables of some kind would likely be really bored. Also it's kinda rundown, which is cool with me but alot of people don't like that vibe.
The one time I've been to Nakano Broadway, I got a real 90's underground Chinatown arcade market vibe and I really miss it bc that's gone from Chinatown in NYC nowadays.

Like I could vividly remember those environs from when I was a kid when I went to Nakano Broadway in '17. Are there places with that vibe in the Kyoto/Osaka area?
 

Croc Man

Member
Oct 27, 2017
830
So I think my general plan is set, does it sound sensible? It's based on the assumption a 7 day jr pass makes the most sense for me.

Day 1-5: Arrival day, chill day. Then two days of proper exploring and a day trip the other, probably somewhere I can see Mt Fuji, Hakkone seems a sensible option?

Day 6 - Travel to Kyoto day - Activate a 7 day JR rail pass?
Day 7-11: Five full days in Kyoto area, many day trips. More detail at the end.
Day 12 - Travel back to Tokyo day

Day 13-15 - Two more days in Tokyo, could maybe fit in another day trip but probably not. Leave late at night on day 15.

Kyoto area day trips:
Hiroshima is the big full day.

I figure these are all really close, so could maybe spend a large chunk of the day on these trips and then see some of Kyoto's more popular sites early morning/evening when quieter?

Nara, maybe start early in the morning then spend the late afternoon and evening in Osaka? Or is that too much?

Himeji castle
Kurama and Kibune – Seems a nice hike and I can visit an onsen at the end.
 
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Thorn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,108
I think I might try to start the new decade to stop moping around and consider going to Japan this year or early next year. The OP said September/October was good? Or maybe Cherry Blossom Season in 2021?
 

Stuart444

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,635
I think I might try to start the new decade to stop moping around and consider going to Japan this year or early next year. The OP said September/October was good? Or maybe Cherry Blossom Season in 2021?
Cherry Blossom season is always a good time. Around the end of March/Start of April is pretty good.
 

Stuart444

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,635
Pretty, thanks. I'd like to do like 50/50 Weeb/Actual Culture Stuff on my trip. Like I NEED to visit the Gundam haha. But I'd kick myself if I didn't see something like this or Kyoto.
You could spend an entire day or two in Odaiba. The Gundam is just outside Diver City which is a shopping mall you could spend a few hours at. (also the ice cream from Baskin Robbins on the ground floor there is yummy, if you're lucky, you may be there during a good flavour of the month haha)

I think you'll have loads of fun when you get a chance to go!
 

Thorn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,108
You could spend an entire day or two in Odaiba. The Gundam is just outside Diver City which is a shopping mall you could spend a few hours at. (also the ice cream from Baskin Robbins on the ground floor there is yummy, if you're lucky, you may be there during a good flavour of the month haha)

I think you'll have loads of fun when you get a chance to go!
I actually walked around the Mall via Google lol.

I think there's an arcade that has its own floor? What else is in Odaba?
 

Stuart444

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,635
I actually walked around the Mall via Google lol.

I think there's an arcade that has its own floor? What else is in Odaba?
Not sure about an arcade lol. I get my arcade fix in Akiba & Nakano Broadway.

in Odaiba, you have the Miraikan, the Ferris Wheel, the Gundam Statue along with Diver City as we've gone over. There is also the Sega Joypolis. the Tokyo Big Sight, the Fuji TV building, the Odaiba Onsen and more .

Of course at night, the Gundam statue, the rainbow bridge and the Ferris Wheel are all lit up which is lovely to see.

You can also get a day ticket for the monorail, the Yurikamome which I would recommend highly.
 

Thorn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,108
Not sure about an arcade lol. I get my arcade fix in Akiba & Nakano Broadway.

in Odaiba, you have the Miraikan, the Ferris Wheel, the Gundam Statue along with Diver City as we've gone over. There is also the Sega Joypolis. the Tokyo Big Sight, the Fuji TV building, the Odaiba Onsen and more .

Of course at night, the Gundam statue, the rainbow bridge and the Ferris Wheel are all lit up which is lovely to see.

You can also get a day ticket for the monorail, the Yurikamome which I would recommend highly.
Thanks. Literally all I knew about Odaiba was the Statue and it wouldn't be very fair to go there just for THAT. Oh and Tokyo Big Site but I sure as shit aint going during Comiket.
 

Mechashiva

Member
Jan 7, 2018
393
Suica on iPhone has been amazing here. Paid for the airport limo with suica before I even exchanged funds. I’ve used it at restaurants, vending machines, and convenience stores and recharging it codes as travel so it’s 3x points.
 

AllenShrz

Member
Nov 6, 2017
205
Tottori was ok....

Kanazawa is always good, Hiraizumi ,Toyama and Okayama were a nice surprise and Fikui a letdown.

8 more prefectures to visit them all.
 

MegaRockEXE

Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,344
Read the OP for travel tips, it's very useful but some of it depends on where you stay.

Traveling almost anywhere in Tokyo is easy via trains, Google Maps is your friend. There's multiple Pokemon Centers and you can probably hit more than one depending on where you go, I went to 3 on my trip, and a new one just opened up in Shibuya last month. Museums depend on what you wanna do, Ghibli Museum is great but you're gonna have to put some effort in for tickets.
Thanks! I just had some questions on my mind, but finally went on a more deep dive for information. The more I know about what to expect, the more real it feels. That Japan Guide website is really useful.
I still had some questions though. For the flight, is it recommended to fly nonstop directly to an airport in Tokyo? A lot of the cheaper options I'm seeing stop in China, but I kind of don't want to do that since I'd be wasting so much time.
 

DiGiKerot

Member
Oct 26, 2017
207
I actually walked around the Mall via Google lol.

I think there's an arcade that has its own floor? What else is in Odaba?
Comiket if you go the wrong/right/probably-actually-wrong time of year...

Round1 is on the top of Diver City, near the Gundam Base. There’s also the car museum and TeamLab Borderless in the general area as well.
 
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Thorn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,108
Comiket if you go the wrong/right/probably-actually-wrong time of year...

Round1 is on the top of Diver City, near the Gundam Base. There’s also the car museum and TeamLab Borderless in the general area as well.
Aha, I knew there was a Round1 or something. I remember seeing a sign now when I was walking around in google.
 

MrKlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,753
I’m watching a tv program which just has a guy going around eating stuff. Like a food porn drama. There appears to be no plot at all and it’s going for hours but is oddly fascinating. And now I’m hungry
 

DiGiKerot

Member
Oct 26, 2017
207
Fun, also exhausting. I’ve spent way too much money (not on smut, either - veritable goldmine of anime production books if you are into that kind of thing). The sheer number of people at the third day today was absolutely insane, though - first couple of days wasn’t too bad compared to, day, AX or something.
 

TheAggroCraig

Member
Nov 6, 2017
1,029
Thanks! I just had some questions on my mind, but finally went on a more deep dive for information. The more I know about what to expect, the more real it feels. That Japan Guide website is really useful.
I still had some questions though. For the flight, is it recommended to fly nonstop directly to an airport in Tokyo? A lot of the cheaper options I'm seeing stop in China, but I kind of don't want to do that since I'd be wasting so much time.
I flew direct and it was amazing, so I can't speak on connecting flights in any way. Keep in mind if you're flying into Tokyo that there's two airports, and some airlines might only fly direct on certain days (JAL from Boston only flies 4 or 5 days of the week for example so I planned around that).

Also not everyone is a big fan of traveling that long in one stretch, so a connecting flight to be able to walk around for a little bit isn't the worst depending on how far you're traveling. I'm also like you and want to maximize my time there so the fewer connections the better, but shit happens and sometimes you don't have a choice.

Set up alerts on Google Flights too (or something similar), deals happen pretty regularly, I paid $620 for a direct RT flight which to me is unheard of from the East coast.
 

MrKlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,753
It’s mostly just price. Going indirect means you can go via more airlines than just the ones that have direct Japan slots at your own airport. If the price isn’t much different I’d always prefer direct, but indirect is ok. I don’t like even splits though - give me one long and one short leg so I can at least try and sleep on one of them (going east)
 

MrKlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,753
I’m on the 8th floor of 109 Shibuya working my way down slowly with my daughter. Someone kill me now
 
Oct 27, 2017
499
Not sure about an arcade lol. I get my arcade fix in Akiba & Nakano Broadway.

in Odaiba, you have the Miraikan, the Ferris Wheel, the Gundam Statue along with Diver City as we've gone over. There is also the Sega Joypolis. the Tokyo Big Sight, the Fuji TV building, the Odaiba Onsen and more .

Of course at night, the Gundam statue, the rainbow bridge and the Ferris Wheel are all lit up which is lovely to see.

You can also get a day ticket for the monorail, the Yurikamome which I would recommend highly.
Joypolis is quite a fun experience (though it's a bit pricey, imo). I had never tried VR before then, it was quite something. Seeing the Gundam statue is also pretty cool! Plus, Odaiba has a nice park to just chill or have a snack.
 

ThatCrazyGuy

Member
Nov 27, 2017
1,340
I spent 3 weeks in Japan at end of November (3rd trip).

I will say this, I would bring my own hand soap/microfiber towel in your messenger bag. I carried around baby wipes too.

Alot of bathrooms didn't have soap (or hot water) in stations/other big public spaces.

And most dudes I saw were not even washing their hands. Just do their business and walk out (maybe rinse their hands, maybe). idk, maybe I am over-blowing it, but I found it nasty, lol.

I am a weirdo who constantly washes their hands though.
 

JoelStinty

Member
Aug 15, 2019
175
Tottori was ok....

Kanazawa is always good, Hiraizumi ,Toyama and Okayama were a nice surprise and Fikui a letdown.

8 more prefectures to visit them all.
You got any places that you would recommend in a heartbeat? I have half of my itinerary nailed down (Tokyo, Kamakura, Hakone, Nagano, Takayama, Kyoto). I was going to skip Osaka as nothing as actually grabbed me , but researching it a bit more thoroughly it seems their are actually loads of good day trips (Asuaka (I like history), Mount Koya, plus Nara would be easier from their) which would cut into my time there a little bit. I was going to go to Kyushu after Naoshima (I like art) and some time spent in Okayama (again mainly day trips) and Hiroshima/Miyajima but I wonder if I'm selling my time in Kyushu a little short so I might turn back on myself and leave Kyushu for another time. I kind of want to fit Nikko in as well before I leave.

Man there are too many places I want to visit. Going for two months, but I like to travel slowly and enjoy ambling around. You think it would be enough but it isn't haha!