Japan Travel |OT| We have to go back

thepenguin55

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,289
If you are just doing one trip Tokyo-Hiroshima, Hiroshima-Osaka and then Osaka-Tokyo, I don't think the JR pass will be worth it. Check the calculator on the site. If you travel around a lot, it certainly will be. Just a tip: just travelling around without any specific plan will cut down on the time you actually get to do things and you're not in Japan to sit in a Shinkansen seat (pleasant as it may be). If you want to visit a place, find out WHAT you want to visit and, importantly, when it's available. A friend travelled at the same time as me last October and from what I could tell, they mostly rushed from place to place and never really got to do much because places turned up to be closed or they ran out of time and just stayed in their room.

You don't have to make an hourly schedule, but what I did was to note down several places of interest in each area I planned on going to, and things to look for. Even if I didn't check everything, I also didn't run out of things to do and mostly didn't miss out on things (except the damn renovation at Miyajima).

Also, don't spend 9 days in Osaka. It's a cool city but you'll run out of things to do in five, at most, unless you really like eating (the cuisine is insane in Osaka). You can spend a couple days in Kyoto visiting Sanjuusangendo, Kinkakuji, Kiyomizudera, the street market/food court and maybe the imperial palace, but that would take 1-3 days.

I liked Kobe, but mostly for the Nunobiki experience. I fell in love with Hiroshima, I would rather just hang around there than in Osaka if I don't have anything specific to do. If you do end up getting the JR Pass, choose a couple of cities to see rather than just staying in one. I think only Tokyo lasts more than a week for mostly touristy stuff.



Private bathrooms would kind of defeat the purpose of a cheap, compact livingspace so I think not. Sound dampening is only average since you're not sealed inside. Mattresses in my place were like 2 inches thick. I was not comfortable and at 6'0" my feet were touching the screen door. I'd actually recommend trying one, for one night and the novelty of it all, but don't expect to sleep well, and definitely not stay there longer.
So I actually have been planning things out but just as much as I don’t want to be in your friends scenario I also worry about rigidly overplanning pretty much hour by hour like you mentioned. Currently beyond Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto I’ll be visiting Hiroshima, Chiba, Aichi, Hyogo, Saitama, Tochigi, Nagano, Okayama, Kumamoto, Miyagi, Nara, Toyama, Kanagawa, Yamanashi, Gifu, Ishikawa, Fujisawa, Kawasaki, Saga, Shiga, Fukuoka. Basically a lot of these trips are day and half day trips currently with few things in my trip to Japan really being set in stone. There’s a lot I want to see and do but I’m a flip flopping and feeling indecisive so I just need to work through that really.

As for capsule hotels, I suspected they might be a bad for for me. Lol.
This is what I've done. Essentially my plan is one or two main things per day in a certain area, then I've also made a custom google map full of places to eat, shop, visit etc. that I can check out when I'm not doing the main thing or going to another main thing. So if I'm feeling tired I can just do one thing and have a relaxed day, or cram in a bunch of stuff if I want to.
This is what I’m striving to do when I’m not second guessing my decisions. Lol
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,715
Currently beyond Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto I’ll be visiting Hiroshima, Chiba, Aichi, Hyogo, Saitama, Tochigi, Nagano, Okayama, Kumamoto, Miyagi, Nara, Toyama, Kanagawa, Yamanashi, Gifu, Ishikawa, Fujisawa, Kawasaki, Saga, Shiga, Fukuoka. Basically a lot of these trips are day and half day trips currently with few things in my trip to Japan really being set in stone.
You'll be spending more time on trains than actually seeing stuff :P
 

TheAggroCraig

Member
Nov 6, 2017
1,071
So I actually have been planning things out but just as much as I don’t want to be in your friends scenario I also worry about rigidly overplanning pretty much hour by hour like you mentioned. Currently beyond Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto I’ll be visiting Hiroshima, Chiba, Aichi, Hyogo, Saitama, Tochigi, Nagano, Okayama, Kumamoto, Miyagi, Nara, Toyama, Kanagawa, Yamanashi, Gifu, Ishikawa, Fujisawa, Kawasaki, Saga, Shiga, Fukuoka. Basically a lot of these trips are day and half day trips currently with few things in my trip to Japan really being set in stone. There’s a lot I want to see and do but I’m a flip flopping and feeling indecisive so I just need to work through that really.

As for capsule hotels, I suspected they might be a bad for for me. Lol.


This is what I’m striving to do when I’m not second guessing my decisions. Lol

I did mostly what the other commented poster did, google map, check things off, etc. It's very useful.

For my trip which was 8 days I took my list of things I wanted to do and plugged them into various days. When I got reservations for places I'd build things to do around those, while not being tied to much of a schedule really.

Day 1 I had a Kamen Rider Diner reservation, but that day I wandered Ikebukuro and did other stuff there. That evening I went to Odaiba to see the Gundam and other stuff. Very easy and I wasn't on a time constraint at all which was nice.

Day 2 was like going to the Skytree area and going to the Asahi beer tower while finding food around the area.

etc etc. I kept 2 days open to just do "whatever" and then there were days like the Ghibli Museum and Tokyo Disney where those were basically all I did those days.

Make a short list, fill in a few days and keep some room so you don't get overwhelmed but yet not too bored where you don't know what to do with yourself. Check things off as you do them, you'll feel really good about it.
 
Oct 27, 2017
750
Did some more research and decided to avoid those APA hotel chains, paid a little more but ended up with some good spots.

Now I have another question for you folks, is there any place to buy the JR Rail Passes at a discount? I have to purchase 2 7 day passes.
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,715

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea will raise the prices of their one-day passports on April 1, operator Oriental Land Co. said Thursday.

The increase is the first by the theme parks since April 2016, except for tax increase-related hikes, and is due to "improvement of the theme parks' value" following the opening of new attractions and enhanced availability of the smartphone app, the company said.

The price of a one-day passport for adults aged 18 or older will be raised to 8,200 yen ($75) from 7,500 yen for each park. The price for guests aged between 12 and 17 will go up 400 yen to 6,900 yen, while that for children aged 4 to 11 will stay at 4,900 yen.

The parks will also introduce discount tickets for people with disabilities -- 6,600 yen, 5,500 yen and 3,900 yen.
 

David Kjellson

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
363
Sweden
Not unless it's mutated into a computer virus.
Well, I didn't put it right I think. We are going to Japan in April-May, and some of my friends have expressed worry that the virus may spread and want to wait a bit until we know more. This waiting however has raised the flight prices significant.

So what I'm wondering is, is there a big danger of the Corona virus spreading to Japan?
 

thepenguin55

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,289
You'll be spending more time on trains than actually seeing stuff :P
I did mostly what the other commented poster did, google map, check things off, etc. It's very useful.

For my trip which was 8 days I took my list of things I wanted to do and plugged them into various days. When I got reservations for places I'd build things to do around those, while not being tied to much of a schedule really.

Day 1 I had a Kamen Rider Diner reservation, but that day I wandered Ikebukuro and did other stuff there. That evening I went to Odaiba to see the Gundam and other stuff. Very easy and I wasn't on a time constraint at all which was nice.

Day 2 was like going to the Skytree area and going to the Asahi beer tower while finding food around the area.

etc etc. I kept 2 days open to just do "whatever" and then there were days like the Ghibli Museum and Tokyo Disney where those were basically all I did those days.

Make a short list, fill in a few days and keep some room so you don't get overwhelmed but yet not too bored where you don't know what to do with yourself. Check things off as you do them, you'll feel really good about it.
Yeah, I need to whittle down my list more. The problem is that I just see or read about something interesting and add it to my list. I just really want to do so much but there isn't enough time in the day unfortunately. lol

I think I'll have an easier time when tickets for some of the stuff I want to see go on sale (Ghibli Museum, NJPW, etc.) as I'll have some tent-pole unmovable stuff to plan around but right now that stuff is up in the air which makes planning days out difficult.
 

Laevateinn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,006
Chicago
Well, I didn't put it right I think. We are going to Japan in April-May, and some of my friends have expressed worry that the virus may spread and want to wait a bit until we know more. This waiting however has raised the flight prices significant.

So what I'm wondering is, is there a big danger of the Corona virus spreading to Japan?
I wouldn’t worry too much about it unless you’re old or have preexisting health issues.
 

JoelStinty

Member
Aug 15, 2019
201
I wouldn’t worry too much about it unless you’re old or have preexisting health issues.
It’s not the virus that worries me too much, I can however foresee government advice suggesting all but essential travel or flight bans. Think everything will be ok for when I go (end of Feb) but will have to just wait and see. Next week I think well get much clearer picture. Hopefully travel insurance hasnt rocketed too much!
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,517
It could spread to Japan, but it's equally likely to spread to any nation. Unless you plan on isolating yourself in a cellar for the next few months, everywhere is roughly as safe except China which is slightly less safe at the moment.
 

ninnanuam

Member
Nov 24, 2017
784
I got my tickets, staying for 9 nights. Flying into Haneda on 13th of March flying out 22nd.

I'll spend a night in Tokyo activate my JR pass on Saturday. I've never been further than Fukuoka before so I'm planning on spending a day or two in Kyushu then maybe heading to Matsue. I wanted to go there last time and didn't get round to it.
 
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ahdurian

Member
Oct 25, 2017
632
Going to Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo from Mar.29th to April 13 and I'm pumped
went to Tokyo back in 2018 for a week but didnt get to see everything i wanted to...even with waking up and leaving my hostel at 7 and coming back at midnight

planning to roam around even more this time
 

ShadowKingpin

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,603
I have a dumb question: for someone who will be going to Japan for 2 and a half weeks in April, is the Japanese Encephalitis vaccine still recommended by folks here?
 

sfedai0

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,720
Ive never gotten it but then again, Ive always gone in the winter and stayed in the cities. If you know youre going camping or hiking in a heavily forested area, it might be a good idea.
 

shira

Community Resetter
Member
Oct 25, 2017
16,350
Going to Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo from Mar.29th to April 13 and I'm pumped
went to Tokyo back in 2018 for a week but didnt get to see everything i wanted to...even with waking up and leaving my hostel at 7 and coming back at midnight

planning to roam around even more this time
What did you see that you can recommend

Always on the lookout for new things to see/eat
 

ahdurian

Member
Oct 25, 2017
632
What did you see that you can recommend

Always on the lookout for new things to see/eat
i actually have a running list of things i've seen / plan to see in the future which I've shared to some of my friends since they either went last year or are going this year.
some of them are general regions/areas/streets, while others are places i've seen in different mediums, like "that" building from Digimon
i tend to like a lot more of the cultural/scenery spots, but tried to balance it with a lot of more popular touristy spots too

 

AllenShrz

Member
Nov 6, 2017
211
i actually have a running list of things i've seen / plan to see in the future which I've shared to some of my friends since they either went last year or are going this year.
some of them are general regions/areas/streets, while others are places i've seen in different mediums, like "that" building from Digimon
i tend to like a lot more of the cultural/scenery spots, but tried to balance it with a lot of more popular touristy spots too

The places you list in Kyoto were chosen randomly?

The Samurai "museum" is a tourist trap fyi.
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,715
i actually have a running list of things i've seen / plan to see in the future which I've shared to some of my friends since they either went last year or are going this year.
The Tamashii Nations Akiba Showroom has been closed. They've opened a new store called Tamashii Nations Tokyo that got an exhibition floor though.
 

ahdurian

Member
Oct 25, 2017
632
The places you list in Kyoto were chosen randomly?

The Samurai "museum" is a tourist trap fyi.
thanks for the heads-up. removed from my list
some were chosen randomly when just browsing online, others were suggested by people who have visited prior

The Tamashii Nations Akiba Showroom has been closed. They've opened a new store called Tamashii Nations Tokyo that got an exhibition floor though.
that's still fine enough for me
 

AllenShrz

Member
Nov 6, 2017
211
thanks for the heads-up. removed from my list
some were chosen randomly when just browsing online, others were suggested by people who have visited prior
that's still fine enough for me
Tokyo has plenty of excellent museums, if you are interested on the samurai the Edo Tokyo museum is a good way to start, which is close the sumo and Hokusai museum.

About Kyoto, you cant go wrong with the typical top ten must see but if you want something more unique and with way less tourists I would suggest Enryakuji, Daitoku ji and the Shugakuin Imperial Villa. All of those can be visited on the same day
 

Sophie

Member
Oct 28, 2017
120
127.0.0.1
Will I be able to sneak my way into the Japanese Passport queue at Narita while going back with my daughter (Japanese)? Worth a shot. lol
 

MrKlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,078
Will I be able to sneak my way into the Japanese Passport queue at Narita while going back with my daughter (Japanese)? Worth a shot. lol
we try it every time. Wife and two kids have Japanese passports. I get away with it less now they're grown up, but when they were little it worked quite well. We do the opposite when arriving back in the UK (all but wife have a UK passport too) and thats usually fine
 

ahdurian

Member
Oct 25, 2017
632
Tokyo has plenty of excellent museums, if you are interested on the samurai the Edo Tokyo museum is a good way to start, which is close the sumo and Hokusai museum.

About Kyoto, you cant go wrong with the typical top ten must see but if you want something more unique and with way less tourists I would suggest Enryakuji, Daitoku ji and the Shugakuin Imperial Villa. All of those can be visited on the same day
noted. thanks for the suggestions :)
 

TheAggroCraig

Member
Nov 6, 2017
1,071
So this Sunday I'll be hanging out/planning a trip late this year with some friends. Having just gone I'll be the only one with experience, but my main plan with them is to figure out how long everyone can take and then figure out a window to book when cheap flights pop up again (sales seem to happen every few months). Once I figure out length/etc I'll be leaning on this thread again for advice! (I'm hoping to do at least 2 full weeks, potentially going through Thanksgiving so long as my family doesn't hate me for it, though I expect not everyone can go that long).
 

Benzychenz

Member
Nov 1, 2017
4,184
Australia
Me and my gf are going to Japan late April/early May.

4 nights Tokyo, 3 nights Kyoto, 3 nights Osaka. We have a day trip to Nara booked and will go to Disneyland.

...and I want to visit a Pokemon Centre and buy merch and bore her to death :)

What are the must do things for us?

Edit: Reading the OP and looked up Kamakura. It's nerdy as but that just looks like Sekiro and I want to go there for a day lol.
 
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ninnanuam

Member
Nov 24, 2017
784
I'm definitely going to go to Matsue for a couple of nights during my next trip and will still have two nights free before needing to get back to Tokyo. Anyone got any ideas about where to go in the Chūgoku region for a night or two after that? Needs to be reachable by JR train.
 
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JoelStinty

Member
Aug 15, 2019
201
Got my Studio Ghibli Tickets this morning :) Up at 1 am to get them. Luckily managed to fall asleep before and after pretty easily. Wooo! Trip is starting to feel a little bit real now.
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,715

An old train car that has been serving as a tourist information center outside Tokyo's busy Shibuya station is to be relocated to the northeastern Japan birthplace of Hachiko, the famously loyal dog immortalized in a nearby statue.

The train car, a Tokyu Railways carriage of a type in service from the 1950s to 1980s, has been part of Hachiko Square in front of the station since 2006, just opposite the statue of Hachiko.

The carriage, nicknamed "green frog" due to its color, is expected to be removed in early June. In Odate, it will be used as a resting space for visitors from July in a sightseeing facility promoting the internationally popular Akita breed of dog.
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,715
Why have I never noticed this train car?
It's even in 428: Shibuya Scramble ;P





I'm definitely going to go to Matsue for a couple of nights during my next trip and will still have two nights free before needing to get back to Tokyo. Anyone got any ideas about where to go in the Chūgoku region for a night or two after that? Needs to be reachable by JR train.
I guess you've already been to Hiroshima/Miyajima? Check out the historical district in Kurashiki and/or Korakuen garden in Okayama. Both are close to each-other so could stay in either city.
 

ninnanuam

Member
Nov 24, 2017
784
It's even in 428: Shibuya Scramble ;P







I guess you've already been to Hiroshima/Miyajima? Check out the historical district in Kurashiki and/or Korakuen garden in Okayama. Both are close to each-other so could stay in either city.
Yea I've done hiroshima miyajima., Okayama as well.

I was thinking of Kurashiki for an afternoon anyway. Especially since the train back from Matsue goes through there.

All that being said I am now in the process of fighting to get a refund of my airfare. Cathay just pushed back my flight from HK to home by almost two days. I am not spending two days in HK.

If I get the refund I'll still go but with a different airline. If they don't cancel I don't know what I'm gonna do. I'm waiting for a callback from Expedia right now.

EDIT refund will be coming through from Cathay in 4-6 weeks. I can wait on the money soI'm cool with that, so I booked a direct flight with ANA. It's direct which is cool but flys into Narita rather than Haneda which is a bit disappointing.
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,715
Yea I've done hiroshima miyajima., Okayama as well.

I was thinking of Kurashiki for an afternoon anyway. Especially since the train back from Matsue goes through there.
You could spend a night in Bitchu-Takahashi and try to get a view of Bitchu-Matsuyama castle floating on a sea of clouds.


You should book a taxi at the tourist information center (or call them) in advance though.
 

Mendrox

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,721
Am back in May 16th-28th \o/ 5th time now and with two other friends (one I was already there two times, the other not outside of Europe yet so that will be fun for him). Guess this trip I will drink a ton of alcohol and try nice new things too. My Itoen Ocha is almost gone so I need some more from Donki ;__;

MikeHattsu Are you on vacation or back home in Japan at that time? :P
 

David Kjellson

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
363
Sweden
Me and my friends are going to book a place to live tomorrow, but the problem is that looking at a map of Tokyo is impossible when you are used to looking at your own much smaller city's map. We want to live in central Tokyo, preferably close to Golden Gai. Is Shinjuku the place to stay or is there another place that is more recommended?
 

Reanimatoin

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,087
Cleethorpes UK
Me and my friends are going to book a place to live tomorrow, but the problem is that looking at a map of Tokyo is impossible when you are used to looking at your own much smaller city's map. We want to live in central Tokyo, preferably close to Golden Gai. Is Shinjuku the place to stay or is there another place that is more recommended?
Shinjuku, yes. Preferably Kabuki-cho
 

David Kjellson

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
363
Sweden
Then Shinjuku is good yeah. Maybe don't stay too close to Golden Gai and Kabukicho though, unless ya don't mind being hassled by touts every night.
I don't really know what touts is, but it doesn't sound good. Any other places in the Shinjuku are that is more recommended?
If you've played any of the Yakuza games, it's called Kamuro-cho in those, and they're REALLY ACCURATE REPRESENTATIONS
I've never played a Yakuza game. Is it bad??