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Japan Travel |OT| We have to go back

Oct 26, 2017
1,988
Seattle
Holy shit this “over tourism” story on MBS here tonight is baaaaaad. We’re in Kyoto and yes it’s insanely crowded. Yes the Chinese tourists are annoying and don’t follow the rules and that story was a not so subtle jab at them. It’s also a three day weekend for Labor Thanksgiving and the majority of people visiting are Japanese, but the news seemed to completely ignore that. Aside from people harassing the maiko (holy shit that was bad tonight), it just seemed like an excuse for them to complain about the Chinese.

Everyone has been incredibly friendly to us and our daughter, but damn that story. WOW.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
75
Kansas
Found some really great prices on ANA a couple days ago so we just booked our flight from 4/2 - 4/23, almost three weeks in Japan. Time to do the next hard part with itineraries and accommodations!
 
Oct 27, 2017
371
Found some really great prices on ANA a couple days ago so we just booked our flight from 4/2 - 4/23, almost three weeks in Japan. Time to do the next hard part with itineraries and accommodations!
I also bought some ANA tickets today, sadly the prices rose a little bit but I was tired of constantly checking prices so I just went and booked it.
 
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MikeHattsu
Oct 25, 2017
2,300
Better try to stay away from Osaka if anybody here is going in late June 2019:
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2...es-osaka-shuts-80-private-lodging-operations/

The city of Osaka and the prefecture are still working out plans for other G20 related security measures, including closing off roads downtown immediately prior to and during the event.

Security is expected to be especially tight in the Umeda area, the main station for trains heading to Kyoto, Nara and Kobe, as well as to Shin-Osaka Station and the shinkansen.

Local businesses near major hotels have expressed concern that they may be forced to “voluntarily” shut down during the event to prevent security hassles.
More than 20 world leaders will meet on June 28-29 at Intex Osaka, a facility in the Osaka waterfront area.

About 30,000 people are expected in Osaka for the G20. With the major hotels all fully booked with visiting delegations, overseas visitors in particular may find private lodgings are the only option if they wish to stay in central Osaka at the end of June.
 
Oct 29, 2017
2,572
Holy shit this “over tourism” story on MBS here tonight is baaaaaad. We’re in Kyoto and yes it’s insanely crowded. Yes the Chinese tourists are annoying and don’t follow the rules and that story was a not so subtle jab at them. It’s also a three day weekend for Labor Thanksgiving and the majority of people visiting are Japanese, but the news seemed to completely ignore that. Aside from people harassing the maiko (holy shit that was bad tonight), it just seemed like an excuse for them to complain about the Chinese.

Everyone has been incredibly friendly to us and our daughter, but damn that story. WOW.
Yeah its a common thing for some stations, but in general Japanese news programs and coverage is super missing the forest for the trees so to speak with a lot of its stories. There is something interesting about the unique Japanese way of conveying news stories, and being critical of something... without really being critical about anything in particular here lol. But yeah, some stations like to go in on the Chinese tourists here, especially ones geared at the old folks/conservative crowds.

Is this the video btw? https://www.mbs.jp/voice/special/archive/20181123/

Japan likes to make daily pieces about foreigners and tourists for some reason like its a new thing but -shrug- Best parts are the people who are clearly fluent in Japanese but they are really hamming it up for them lol.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,988
Seattle
Yeah its a common thing for some stations, but in general Japanese news programs and coverage is super missing the forest for the trees so to speak with a lot of its stories. There is something interesting about the unique Japanese way of conveying news stories, and being critical of something... without really being critical about anything in particular here lol. But yeah, some stations like to go in on the Chinese tourists here, especially ones geared at the old folks/conservative crowds.

Is this the video btw? https://www.mbs.jp/voice/special/archive/20181123/

Japan likes to make daily pieces about foreigners and tourists for some reason like its a new thing but -shrug- Best parts are the people who are clearly fluent in Japanese but they are really hamming it up for them lol.
Can’t watch it right now, but Beat Takeshi was on the panel, I think it was on Saturday night. The next day they ran a “top places foreigners enjoy in Tokyo!” story but this time they only interviewed white westerners and the whole thing was super positive.

Currently sitting at Narita waiting for our flight home to Seattle. My daughter had a great first visit to Japan, she enjoyed Kyoto way more than my wife and I thought she would. It was a nice change of pace for her after being in Tokyo.
 
Oct 29, 2017
2,572
Can’t watch it right now, but Beat Takeshi was on the panel, I think it was on Saturday night. The next day they ran a “top places foreigners enjoy in Tokyo!” story but this time they only interviewed white westerners and r was super positive.
Ahh different one then, mine is taken from an actual news program, sounds like yours was "variety news" just them presenting topics to the guests for comments and what not. Those tend to need "the views expressed do not represent the channel" haha but they never do.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,988
Seattle
Ahh different one then, mine is taken from an actual news program, sounds like yours was "variety news" just them presenting topics to the guests for comments and what not.
Oh yeah, it was definitely a variety panel show. Even after visiting for the past 12 years it never ceases to amaze me how those things dominate prime time broadcast television.
 
Dec 3, 2017
1,753
So ok it's time... in 3 weeks time i will depart for Tokyo for 20 days.
I will be staying in Ebisu, Shibuya the whole time, please suggest free/cheap places stuff i have to see and throw even the most mundane piece of suggestion it comes to your mind as it is my first trip overseas so i'm a dummy when it comes to traveling.
 
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MikeHattsu
Oct 25, 2017
2,300
I will be staying in Ebisu, Shibuya the whole time, please suggest free/cheap places stuff i have to see and throw even the most mundane piece of suggestion it comes to your mind as it is my first trip overseas so i'm a dummy when it comes to traveling.
Check out the views of Tokyo from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and Bunkyo Civic Center.

Visit Yoyogi Park (with the Meiji Shine as well) and stroll through Harajuku and get a crepe.

Check out the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa and the view of it from the Asakusa Tourist Information Center across the street and Ueno Park.

Go to Akiba, Ikebukuro and Nakano Broadway :P

Visit the new Toyosu fish market.

Go to Ryogoku and check out sumo stuff.

Climb Mt. Takao.

Go check out the winter illuminations at Shiodome and Tokyo Midtown.

Get some pics of Tokyo Tower from Zojoji Temple.

Go see the giant Godzilla on top of Toho Cinema in Kabukicho.

Visit the free Suginami Animation Museum, Yebisu Beer Museum, Museum of Maritime Science and the uh... Currency Museum and Police Museums I guess?

Get a pic with the Hachiko statue and the scramble crossing in Shibuya.

Browse the bookstores in Jimbocho.

Check out the Panasonic Center and Toyota Museum/Mega Web in Odaiba.

Visit the Gundam statue in Odaiba with us ;P

 
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Oct 27, 2017
371
Two quick questions: 1) Has anyone used Rosetta Stone and if so do you think 3 months would be enough to learn the basics needed to be polite
2) My flight gets into Haneda at 9:15 pm, would it be better to go straight into Tokyo or is there a cheap decent hotel near the airport to crash at?
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,988
Seattle
Two quick questions: 1) Has anyone used Rosetta Stone and if so do you think 3 months would be enough to learn the basics needed to be polite
2) My flight gets into Haneda at 9:15 pm, would it be better to go straight into Tokyo or is there a cheap decent hotel near the airport to crash at?
There’s a capsule hotel at Haneda, I’ve stayed there after getting in late and heading to Osaka the next morning, but also Haneda is basically in the city so you’ll be ok taking the train in and going to wherever you plan on staying for your trip.
 
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MikeHattsu
Oct 25, 2017
2,300
2) My flight gets into Haneda at 9:15 pm, would it be better to go straight into Tokyo or is there a cheap decent hotel near the airport to crash at?
Should be fine to go into Tokyo. Make sure to inform the place you're staying at that you'll arrive late though. Also, some places might not like it if you arrive after 22:00.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,988
Seattle
So ok it's time... in 3 weeks time i will depart for Tokyo for 20 days.
I will be staying in Ebisu, Shibuya the whole time, please suggest free/cheap places stuff i have to see and throw even the most mundane piece of suggestion it comes to your mind as it is my first trip overseas so i'm a dummy when it comes to traveling.
To piggyback on Mike's post, if you have any interest in Gundam go check out Kami-Igusa on the Seibu Shinjuku Line. Sunrise's animation headquarters is there and is often thought of as Gundam Town. There's a bronze statue of the original Gundam at the train station, lots of the businesses have Gundam artwork on their big pull down doors and the station even plays the original opening theme song from MSG. You can even pop into the lobby of Sunrise, they have fun stuff for visitors to look at.



Brought back a couple bottles of Japanese whisky on our trip. I'm not a big fan of spirits (they smell great, but the burn is too much for me) but my wife is stoked.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
2,071
Anyone have good recommendations for hostels, or areas to stay in?

There's too many good options on Hostel World, which is a good problem to have probably
 
Dec 3, 2017
1,753
To piggyback on Mike's post, if you have any interest in Gundam go check out Kami-Igusa on the Seibu Shinjuku Line. Sunrise's animation headquarters is there and is often thought of as Gundam Town. There's a bronze statue of the original Gundam at the train station, lots of the businesses have Gundam artwork on their big pull down doors and the station even plays the original opening theme song from MSG. You can even pop into the lobby of Sunrise, they have fun stuff for visitors to look at.
Never been a Gundam fan so the one in Odaiba will be enough for me, i'm actually kinda upset i have to settle for the Unicorn one instead of the RX-78-2.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,988
Seattle
Never been a Gundam fan so the one in Odaiba will be enough for me, i'm actually kinda upset i have to settle for the Unicorn one instead of the RX-78-2.


Fair enough! Kami-Igusa is a cute little town, and the bronze statue at the station is the RX-78.

I saw the original RX-78 1:1 back in 2014 and I was bummed they replaced it with the Unicorn, but after seeing it last week it was really impressive.
 
Oct 27, 2017
490
How difficult would it be to get to either Haneda or Narita from Zushi in Kanagawa with 2 luggages and a carry on? I'm a bit worried of having to brave rush hour with a bunch of luggage to carry around.
 
Oct 25, 2017
742
Never been a Gundam fan so the one in Odaiba will be enough for me, i'm actually kinda upset i have to settle for the Unicorn one instead of the RX-78-2.
The RX-78-2 is a nicer model, but the Unicorn is even taller.

In similar veins to the Gundam suggestion, if you get off at Yotsugi Station there's several statues of Captain Tsubasa characters spread out in the area.
There's also an Italian restaurant (Trattoria Avere) which walls have apparently been filled with drawings by Yōichi Takahashi (author) himself!
 
Dec 3, 2017
1,753
The RX-78-2 is a nicer model, but the Unicorn is even taller.

In similar veins to the Gundam suggestion, if you get off at Yotsugi Station there's several statues of Captain Tsubasa characters spread out in the area.
There's also an Italian restaurant (Trattoria Avere) which walls have apparently been filled with drawings by Yōichi Takahashi (author) himself!
:O
I have to go there!
 
Oct 27, 2017
284
I was in Japan 2 months ago with some buddies and it was so great that me and one guy I went with have decided to go back for another 2 weeks in April to just chill in Osaka since we only spent 2 days there last time and barely had time to do anything. Gonna stay in the apartment of a guy we have been gaming with for years, so it will also be a pretty cheap trip.
 
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MikeHattsu
Oct 25, 2017
2,300
Will take slightly longer to do the loop in about 1.5 years then
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2...t-stop-tokyos-yamanote-line-takanawa-gateway/

A new station opening on Tokyo’s Yamanote Line in 2020 will be named Takanawa Gateway, railway operator JR East announced Tuesday.

JR East, also known as East Japan Railway Co., said the name of the station, under construction since February last year and located between the Shinagawa and Tamachi stops in central Tokyo, was decided based on ideas submitted by the public.

Located close to Tokyo’s Haneda airport, the stop will be the 30th station on one of the busiest commuter lines in the metropolitan area. It is scheduled to open tentatively in the spring of 2020 ahead of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, with full operations beginning in 2024.
 
Oct 27, 2017
386
Ok 1 week and a half to go before I travel! Yay! So I need help on this. Will be arriving to Osaka on December 23 in the afternoon and our Airbnb is next to Shimo-shinjo station. Our current plan is this:
Dec. 23 go to Kobe for a bit then to Umeda for German Xmas village,

Dec. 24 go to Nara in morning for our tour then Kyoto for the evening and return back to Osaka.

Dec. 25 Osaka which we gonna get the Osaka amazing pass

Dec. 26 Kyoto in the morning then return to Osaka at night to our other Airbnb room next to Izumisano Station.

So should I get the 3or 2 day Kansai Thru pass or get separate 1day JR Kansai Area Pass. Thanks for the help!

Oh! And is it recommended to purchase the romance car to Hakone ticket online? I already purchased the 2day Hakone pass. And last question can I leave my luggages overnight at Haneda Airport or Shinjuku station? I will be staying in Ota after Hakone trip. I don’t want to take my luggage’s to Hakone since I would be spending just 1 night there.
 
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MikeHattsu
Oct 25, 2017
2,300
So should I get the 3or 2 day Kansai Thru pass or get separate 1day JR Kansai Area Pass. Thanks for the help!
Neither if you're just checking out Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Kobe. Just get a Icoca/Suica/Pasmo card and use that.


Oh! And is it recommended to purchase the romance car to Hakone ticket online? I already purchased the 2day Hakone pass. And last question can I leave my luggages overnight at Haneda Airport or Shinjuku station? I will be staying in Ota after Hakone trip. I don’t want to take my luggage’s to Hakone since I would be spending just 1 night there.
Could just take the regular express trains and save money. Takes 30-50 min longer.

Yes, if you can find a free coin locker. Or you could try luggage forwarding as mention in the OP.
 
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Tier

Member
Oct 25, 2017
75
Kansas
Nothing too concrete yet for our plans but I think we're going to divide our stay by:

April 3 to April 12: Tokyo
April 12 to April 13: Stay at Hotel Konansou at Kawaguchiko
April 13 to April 20: Kansai region
April 20 to April 23: Back to Tokyo for the rest of our trip

Wanted to stay a bit longer in Kansai but we're only going to be getting the 7 day JR pass.
 
Oct 26, 2017
6,882
Question for anyone who stayed for past a couple weeks/month+. Is there a cost effective method for a cell plan/sim? Last I visited was relatively brief that I did an overpriced fee to use AT&T with very limited data.

Project Fi seems supported on my iPhone XS ($20 base + $10 per gig data). Don't know if there's a better option.
 
Oct 27, 2017
698
Question for anyone who stayed for past a couple weeks/month+. Is there a cost effective method for a cell plan/sim? Last I visited was relatively brief that I did an overpriced fee to use AT&T with very limited data.

Project Fi seems supported on my iPhone XS ($20 base + $10 per gig data). Don't know if there's a better option.
We use Tmobile and we added their international plan for one month during our trip for $15. It worked very well for us in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka data wise.
 
Nov 11, 2017
62
TripAdvisor scores = mostly tourists
Tabelog scores = mostly Japanese people
So as a tourist is there any reason not to just use tabelog to make eating decisions? I love how harsh the Japanese are in their scoring: for example the highest scoring ramen places sit around 4.0, with the scale being 0-5.

I've been making a rough list of places I might like to eat at, largely based on tabelog scores. I sometimes read the comments on tripadvisor but still have based my decisions almost solely on tabelog scores. Good idea or not?
 
Nov 11, 2017
62
I just go to the nearest place I'm at when I'm hungry :p
:) Do you live there at the moment? I know the food in general will be of a very high quality but as a tourist there is definitely an element of FOMO and hence the need to do a little research before traveling. This will be my second trip to Japan so I have some idea what to expect.
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,574
SO Groupon has a pretty great deal: 7 nights of hotel stay in Tokyo / Kyoto plus round trip flight plus transport to and from airport for about $1,500 per person (also includes breakfast every day and a few tours).

I went to Tokyo and Kyoto earlier this year on my own, but I'm thinking this deal might be a good opportunity to go back with my wife in 2019. The only catch is, since she works at a school, she can only go in the summer. So we'd be leaving July 16 and coming back the 25.

Are Tokyo and Kyoto going to be insufferably hot in mid July? Like... is it bad enough that any of you would say, "Nah dude, hold on to your money until you can plan a trip in spring or fall?"
 
Oct 29, 2017
2,572
Shit, that really kills my vibe. We're from the south so we're used to hot and humid summers. Maybe we can stomach it.
You'll be fine then lol. Also from the South and never think its quite unbearable. (From Savannah, GA) Its honestly about the same weather as the South East in Summer. I'd say a few degrees cooler, but same humidity.
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,574
You'll be fine then lol. Also from the South and never think its quite unbearable. (From Savannah, GA) Its honestly about the same weather as the South East in Summer. I'd say a few degrees cooler, but same humidity.
Perfect. We can deal with that. I'm hoping crowds will be more manageable as well.