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Japan Travel |OT| We have to go back

Nov 3, 2017
5,750
Portland, OR
I’m in Osaka until Jan 2nd. Since it’s New Years and things are bound to be unavailable due to circumstances, what are some things that I should make sure to focus on?

We’re not really sure what it’ll be like getting to Kyoto given how crowded things have been. We almost didn’t get our Shinkansen tickets from Tokyo to Osaka because everything was sold out and had to ride in the smoking car (one of the grossest things I’ve done).

We’re traveling with a couple of vegans so I actually managed to leave Tokyo without getting sushi (I know, I know) and that’s definitely something I need to do in Japan. After Osaka we’re going to Okinawa (Naha) for 2 days.

Any recommendations are appreciated.
 
Oct 26, 2017
6,882
I’m in Osaka until Jan 2nd. Since it’s New Years and things are bound to be unavailable due to circumstances, what are some things that I should make sure to focus on?

We’re not really sure what it’ll be like getting to Kyoto given how crowded things have been. We almost didn’t get our Shinkansen tickets from Tokyo to Osaka because everything was sold out and had to ride in the smoking car (one of the grossest things I’ve done).

We’re traveling with a couple of vegans so I actually managed to leave Tokyo without getting sushi (I know, I know) and that’s definitely something I need to do in Japan. After Osaka we’re going to Okinawa (Naha) for 2 days.

Any recommendations are appreciated.
I can tell you Osaka Castle is closed right now, since the 28th until early January. I was dumb and didn’t check before going. You can walk around the garden area and see it from the outside.
 
Oct 26, 2017
6,882
Was that worth it in your opinion? My friend really wants to check it out.
For me it wasn’t really out of the way to visit and the outside area doesn’t have a fee. Walking in the park/garden area and past the moat gave an interesting view of the castle. But not being able to enter the castle was a shame. I guess it depends on how much travel there would be to it.

There was also an archery place at the location I was keen to try, but again, closed for the Holidays.
 
OP
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MikeHattsu
Oct 25, 2017
2,303
Whew
https://english.kyodonews.net/news/...ear-end-runs-affecting-230000-passengers.html

Year-end train services were greatly disrupted in Tokyo and its vicinity Sunday due mainly to a fault detected on a shinkansen bullet train car at Tokyo Station, the operator said, adding the delays affected nearly 228,700 passengers.

A total of 376 bullet trains were suspended or delayed for up to one hour on the Tohoku, Joetsu, Hokuriku and other shinkansen lines, according to East Japan Railway Co.
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,616
WHEW! I went to Japan alone in September and it changed my life. I quit my job when I came back home (yikes, still looking for full-time work).

My wife and I just booked our flights, and we're going back for our 4th anniversary in June. June 5-15!

Can't wait. Landing and departing from Haneda, NO idea where we'll go or what we'll do. I only saw Tokyo / Kyoto last time.
 
Oct 27, 2017
284
Just booked my flight for my next Japan trip, will be going at the end of April so it will be just over 6 months since I last visited. But unlike the last time where we visited 6 different cities we will just be staying in Osaka this time. Gonna share apartment with another gaming buddy who studies there.

Since we will be there from April 24th to May 8th Golden week will be happening while we are there. We don't have any real plans for normal sightseeing this time since we did so much of that last time, but I'm assuming most places will be pretty crowded (which I don't mind)?

And I'm guessing the nightlife will be waaay busier than when we spent the night bar hopping on a Tuesday last time. :P
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,075
God help me I think I’m going to finally start planning a trip to Tokyo, possibly for this year if I can afford it but more likely next year so I can fell comfortable with everything. I’d always wanted to go with friends so I didn’t feel so overwhelmed or paranoid at going on my own but as the majority of them now have responsibilities etc I’ve decided that I just need to suck it up and attempt this on my own or its never going to happen.

I’ve got a feeling that I will be using this thread a lot!
 

Rahvar

Weight Loss Champion 2018: Most Lost
Member
Oct 25, 2017
367
God help me I think I’m going to finally start planning a trip to Tokyo, possibly for this year if I can afford it but more likely next year so I can fell comfortable with everything. I’d always wanted to go with friends so I didn’t feel so overwhelmed or paranoid at going on my own but as the majority of them now have responsibilities etc I’ve decided that I just need to suck it up and attempt this on my own or its never going to happen.

I’ve got a feeling that I will be using this thread a lot!
Just remember that the Olympics are in Tokyo next year :)
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,616
God help me I think I’m going to finally start planning a trip to Tokyo, possibly for this year if I can afford it but more likely next year so I can fell comfortable with everything. I’d always wanted to go with friends so I didn’t feel so overwhelmed or paranoid at going on my own but as the majority of them now have responsibilities etc I’ve decided that I just need to suck it up and attempt this on my own or its never going to happen.

I’ve got a feeling that I will be using this thread a lot!
For my first trip a few months ago, I went alone. It's totally doable and I had a blast. I learned 7-8 phrases from YouTube that I thought I'd need to ask for recommendations, find my way, greet people, and apologize for not being able to understand them. You really can get by with only a few phrases. If you can say them well, I found that locals really appreciated the effort and would go above and beyond to help me. You'll also very likely meet other English-speaking tourists while there.

In my opinion, the #1 thing you need in order to be fearless while flying solo in Japan is pocket wifi. I had a pocket wifi device that I took with me, so my phone always had skype and Google Maps. Google Maps made getting around incredibly easy. It will tell you exactly where to go, which train to board, how many stops to ride, when to transfer, etc. As long as you have that in your pocket, you can pretty much get to wherever you want to go throughout Tokyo and beyond (I went to Kyoto as well).

It's also more affordable than I expected. You can easily find nice-looking hotels around central Tokyo for around $90 a night. If you're willing to pay about $115 a night you can probably even find a room in a hotel that offers free breakfast every morning if you're not traveling in peak season. Food is also super affordable. Everywhere you go you can find a great, filling meal for anywhere around 600-1500 yen (about $6-15).

Do it. You won't regret it.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,769
God help me I think I’m going to finally start planning a trip to Tokyo, possibly for this year if I can afford it but more likely next year so I can fell comfortable with everything. I’d always wanted to go with friends so I didn’t feel so overwhelmed or paranoid at going on my own but as the majority of them now have responsibilities etc I’ve decided that I just need to suck it up and attempt this on my own or its never going to happen.

I’ve got a feeling that I will be using this thread a lot!
First time I went was by myself and it was amazing, don’t worry! Japan is a great place for solo travel.
 
Oct 26, 2017
6,882
Having gone to Denden town and then revisited Akihabara, which didn’t leave a great impression last time, I’m comfortable saying the former is a better scene. I don’t know if I’m more for Osaka or Tokyo as a whole, but in that area, gotta go with Osaka.
 
Annual Leave request put in at work. If it gets granted, I'll be able to book my 2nd trip to Japan.

Going to do it independently this time, rather than a package tour. Tokyo > Okinawa > Osaka > Kobe is what I'm thinking this time round.

Just gotta go through the stress of booking flights and hotels and hoping I get the dates lined up properly so that I'm not without a place to stay for a night

Edit: 15 minutes after I posted this, my annual leave was granted. TIME TO GET BOOKING BOYOS!
Edit Edit: And booked! Man, organising a holiday is fuckin easy nowadays
 
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Rahvar

Weight Loss Champion 2018: Most Lost
Member
Oct 25, 2017
367
Just got my currency (via Travelex) delivered. Love that we get another 2000 yen note considering how rare they seem to be :D

My in-laws gave us 50.000 yen as a Christmas gift for our upcoming trip. Torture to have to look at them for 4 months, but at the same time the trip feels a lot closer too!
Planning to bring 100k Yen in cash and withdraw more during the trip.
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,616
Sumimasen, douzo, arigatou gozaimasu, hitotsu/futatsu/mittsu are the only only words i've spoken these last 16 days in Tokyo and i guess i won't use other ones for the rest of the trip.
I'm surprised you've gotten by without saying "wakarimasen" =P. That got me through some late night interactions at the bars.
 
Dec 3, 2017
1,761
Actually i forgot about konbanwa, with that it's 100% of the words i used
Never used wakarimasen because when i doubt i just make a weird face and they repeat that or say it in english
 
Oct 26, 2017
6,882
I regret not being as sharp with learning the language but some works come back to me. Which is to say, I don’t know how to speak in sentences. I can mumble words that might fit together or be total gibberish.
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,616
Does anyone have any recommendations for a city to visit on our way back to Tokyo from Osaka? When we leave Osaka, we'll have two nights before we fly out of Tokyo to come back home. We were thinking we'd just take the bullet train all the way back to Tokyo (where we're starting our trip), spend the last two nights there, and then leave. It might be nice to see somewhere different, though. We land in Tokyo, spend three nights, go to Kyoto for two nights, then Osaka for two nights.

Is there a convenient city located along the JR route (we'll have the rail pass) that we should see going back toward Tokyo? Nagoya is the only obvious destination that comes to mind. Anything really great to see there?
 
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MikeHattsu
Oct 25, 2017
2,303
I'd love to travel up that coast, but that is literally the longest route back to Tokyo we could possibly take. I think we'll be a little too pressed for time. I think we'll travel down that second "golden route" the next time we go.
It's only 1.5 hours longer by Thunderbird and Shinkansen than Nagoya.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,075
Been binge watching the Abroad in Japan youtube channel this weekend and it's making me so much more motivated to take this trip next year! Might actually be the first patreon I sign up for as I really like his work.
 
Been binge watching the Abroad in Japan youtube channel this weekend and it's making me so much more motivated to take this trip next year! Might actually be the first patreon I sign up for as I really like his work.
Check out the podcast too, 20-40 minutes of discussion between Chris and top London radio DJ Pete Donaldson. It's probably the best way of learning about life in Japan without actually being in Japan.
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,616
Been binge watching the Abroad in Japan youtube channel this weekend and it's making me so much more motivated to take this trip next year! Might actually be the first patreon I sign up for as I really like his work.
Yeah man I love Abroad in Japan! I think I've watched all of his videos. It's actually pretty hard to find good channels on YouTube for Japan travel. Only in Japan has some good stuff, but he's definitely corny (check out his video on sandwiches in Japan). Japan-Guide.com has a few excellent videos. Simon and Martina are fun.
 

Rahvar

Weight Loss Champion 2018: Most Lost
Member
Oct 25, 2017
367
Check out the podcast too, 20-40 minutes of discussion between Chris and top London radio DJ Pete Donaldson. It's probably the best way of learning about life in Japan without actually being in Japan.
Nicely put! Almost sounds like something Chris Broad himself would say :p
Simon and Martina are fun.
Simon & Martina are amazing. I sponsor them on Youtube :)
Sad about how rough they have been having it lately.
 
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