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Japan Travel |OT| We have to go back

Oct 25, 2017
1,878
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.
Something I'll have to check out, thanks for this.

I'm leaving for Japan in a month. I'm excited, also nervous. I'm hoping to get my accommodations taken care of soon. Next thing I need to do is pick up a JR Pass and take care of accommodations in Hiroshima.
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,397
Something I'll have to check out, thanks for this.

I'm leaving for Japan in a month. I'm excited, also nervous. I'm hoping to get my accommodations taken care of soon. Next thing I need to do is pick up a JR Pass and take care of accommodations in Hiroshima.
Order your JR pass ASAP, because the ticket has to be delivered to you, I believe. I waited too late for my first trip thinking I could just buy it whenever, and I ended up having to just pay for every train trip with suica cards.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,878
Order your JR pass ASAP, because the ticket has to be delivered to you, I believe. I waited too late for my first trip thinking I could just buy it whenever, and I ended up having to just pay for every train trip with suica cards.
I was initially thinking of leaving it off for after I book all accommodations, but realized that it would need to be processed still. So I'm taking care of that immediately this week or next. Accommodations are fairly simple to book (though I'm just a little picky).

I did see a local agency here that sells the JR Pass, which I'll be contacting this week.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,624
Order your JR pass ASAP, because the ticket has to be delivered to you, I believe. I waited too late for my first trip thinking I could just buy it whenever, and I ended up having to just pay for every train trip with suica cards.
You can buy it at certain train stations/airports in Japan now, but it will cost more compared to buying in advance. This is only a limited trial though and will end on March 31, 2019 (as of now, guessing they could extend it).

https://www.insidekyoto.com/japan-rail-pass-available-inside-japan
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,397
I was initially thinking of leaving it off for after I book all accommodations, but realized that it would need to be processed still. So I'm taking care of that immediately this week or next. Accommodations are fairly simple to book (though I'm just a little picky).

I did see a local agency here that sells the JR Pass, which I'll be contacting this week.
Can't you just take care of it at https://www.jrpass.com/ ?
 
Sep 24, 2018
165
How is June for visiting Japan?, I know that is the rain month, but I'm going to get married in June...

It's going to be raining all the time?, I'm preparing me for the worst.
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,397
No, when it doesn't rain it'll be horribly hot. Fun.
Horribly hot?

We booked our trip and will be in Japan June 6-14. We looked at the last two years of temperatures for those dates and the average temp was like 79. Coming from TN where the temps in summer are in the high 90s and humid as shit, 76-80 sounds delightful.
Really?
I don't have it yet, but if it's so bad, I'm thinking in change destination...
My wife and I will be there for our anniversary. If you guys are there maybe we can get a drink!
 
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MikeHattsu
Oct 25, 2017
2,039
Horribly hot?

We booked our trip and will be in Japan June 6-14. We looked at the last two years of temperatures for those dates and the average temp was like 79. Coming from TN where the temps in summer are in the high 90s and humid as shit, 76-80 sounds delightful.
Depends on what you're used to of course. Too hot for me ;p
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,878
Picked up my JR Pass. Huge relief to get it done, even though I was set to wait until the end of the week.

I paid a little more at one website vs two others listed in the OP, but I didn't get far into processing and couldn't see if the latter two would be charging me a handling fee. Anyway, it's not a big deal.

I can finally just focus on accommodations.
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,397
Picked up my JR Pass. Huge relief to get it done, even though I was set to wait until the end of the week.

I paid a little more at one website vs two others listed in the OP, but I didn't get far into processing and couldn't see if the latter two would be charging me a handling fee. Anyway, it's not a big deal.

I can finally just focus on accommodations.
Nice! Rooms shouldn't be an issue. We booked everything through Expedia and had tons of affordable options.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,853
Random question but does the Joypolis in Odaiba have any Shadow or Amy Rose plushies?

Mums asked me to get one for a kid in her work.

side note: Packed now. everything is set for Wed.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,943
Vice City
awesome OP! read a bit & got a lot answered already

we're planning a trip from 3/23-31, I'm hoping that's enough time for tokyo/osaka/kyoto, I'd love to see stuff like hiroshima, okinawa and hokkaido but it doesn't seem likely.

just hoping for good cherry blossoms, temples and hopefully some retro games, haha. should we be buying tickets/booking hotels like this week?
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,397
awesome OP! read a bit & got a lot answered already

we're planning a trip from 3/23-31, I'm hoping that's enough time for tokyo/osaka/kyoto, I'd love to see stuff like hiroshima, okinawa and hokkaido but it doesn't seem likely.

just hoping for good cherry blossoms, temples and hopefully some retro games, haha. should we be buying tickets/booking hotels like this week?
YES. The closer you get, the more expensive rooms are likely to become, especially since April starts up one of Japan's peak travel seasons.

If you're only going to have 6-7 nights in Japan, I think most people would recommend just splitting your time between Tokyo and Kyoto, since there's just so much to do. Osaka is really close to Kyoto, though, so you're probably fine doing all three. Just make sure you plan to get back to Tokyo the night before you fly out of Haneda or Narita.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,943
Vice City
YES. The closer you get, the more expensive rooms are likely to become, especially since April starts up one of Japan's peak travel seasons.

If you're only going to have 6-7 nights in Japan, I think most people would recommend just splitting your time between Tokyo and Kyoto, since there's just so much to do. Osaka is really close to Kyoto, though, so you're probably fine doing all three. Just make sure you plan to get back to Tokyo the night before you fly out of Haneda or Narita.
thank you! ill get on it this week then - I'm cool with hostels, but gotta check hotels first

would a pass be worth it? i imagine train/rail from tokyo would be best, not sure just how close osaka & kyoyo are but i should look into that as well. also is flying into osaka typically any cheaper than tokyo?
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,397
thank you! ill get on it this week then - I'm cool with hostels, but gotta check hotels first

would a pass be worth it? i imagine train/rail from tokyo would be best, not sure just how close osaka & kyoyo are but i should look into that as well. also is flying into osaka typically any cheaper than tokyo?
You'll definitely want the 7-day JR Rail pass. It will be about $250 per person, but you'll save money in the end for sure. You'll taking trains on the JR line to get everywhere in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, and the rail pass includes the Shikansen (bullet train) you'll take from Tokyo to Kyoto. That's about a 3 hour ride from Tokyo to Kyoto, and buying JUST that bullet train ticket on its own can be over $100, so the JR Rail Pass is the cheaper way to go.

I've never flown into, or considered flying into Osaka, so I can't really answer your question. I do know that it's uncommon, and most travelers fly into Tokyo. Haneda is much closer to central Tokyo, so fly into and out of Haneda if possible. If you fly into Narita it's no big deal, it will just be a longer commute into Tokyo on trains with all of your luggage, which is a little annoying / cramped.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,853
Depending on what you prefer, can easily fly into Narita/Haneda (I go with Narita as it's the easiest with my chosen airline) and fly out of KIX or something rather than going back up to Tokyo.

Depends what you want to do. Do half and half or go Tokyo -> Kyoto -> Back to Tokyo.

Up to you really haha.
 
thank you! ill get on it this week then - I'm cool with hostels, but gotta check hotels first

would a pass be worth it? i imagine train/rail from tokyo would be best, not sure just how close osaka & kyoyo are but i should look into that as well. also is flying into osaka typically any cheaper than tokyo?
Depends on where you are going.
Use this https://www.japan-guide.com/railpass/ it'll tell you if a JR pass is worth it, or whether buying individual tickets is cheaper
 
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MikeHattsu
Oct 25, 2017
2,039
we're planning a trip from 3/23-31, I'm hoping that's enough time for tokyo/osaka/kyoto, I'd love to see stuff like hiroshima, okinawa and hokkaido but it doesn't seem likely.
I'd say it's barely enough time for Tokyo alone, with a day trip to Kamakura and an overnight trip to Hakone. I'd advise against doing both Tokyo and Kyoto/Osaka with just 1 week, unless you're planning on never going back :p

And if you're just visiting Tokyo and Kyoto/Osaka, then a JR Pass will not pay off as said in the OP.
 
Oct 29, 2017
318
Taking off tomorrow for a 9-day trip! I'm landing in Tokyo on Wednesday, Jan 9th. If anyone wants to go grab a couple drinks or whatnot, I'd be up for that. Always wanted to try an izakaya, as well.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,853
D'oh, I leave Tokyo on Thursday morning. Appreciate the thought, though!
Hahaha, unlucky. I'm arriving first thing on Thursday assuming no delays. Enjoy your trip though!

Side note: Last time I took the NEX, this time, I may take the skyliner.

Also side note: A nearby hotel (like 5 - 10 minutes from my hotel) has a bus stop for the Airport Limosine bus. May use that to get back to the airport. Did that last time (though it was the same hotel I was staying in that time lol) and it was a lovely ride honestly. Quite comfortable.
 
Oct 28, 2017
493
As has been hammered in from the OP, hotels don't free up their rooms ~6 months before your stay date, however I can't help but feel the rest of the rugby community has beaten me to it. Yokohama is a black hole for accommodation 9especially when trying to book for 7 people, a horrendously awkward number) in September wherein other cities appear not to be. No superhost Airbnb's, either, grrrr.

---

On a a separate note, we will be traveling from Yokohama -> Fukouka -> Tokyo and getting the Nozomi is crazy pricey for that, may be easier to fly!
 
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MikeHattsu
Oct 25, 2017
2,039
On a a separate note, we will be traveling from Yokohama -> Fukouka -> Tokyo and getting the Nozomi is crazy pricey for that, may be easier to fly!
Yeah, if you're not doing any stopovers it'll most likely be cheaper to fly. Either that or JR Pass, but I guess you're staying for more than 7 days if you're there for the rugby?
 
Oct 28, 2017
493
Yeah, if you're not doing any stopovers it'll most likely be cheaper to fly. Either that or JR Pass, but I guess you're staying for more than 7 days if you're there for the rugby?
That's right, we're there for 13 total. Looking at JR Pass & Hyperdia, doing a combination of Hikari & Sakura trains doesn't seem too bad. Bullet training across the country sounds pretty neat!
 
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MikeHattsu
Oct 25, 2017
2,039
That's right, we're there for 13 total. Looking at JR Pass & Hyperdia, doing a combination of Hikari & Sakura trains doesn't seem too bad. Bullet training across the country sounds pretty neat!
Could make a stop or two along the way as well if you got time for that then, or do some day trips if there's off days from rugby :P
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,920
Order your JR pass ASAP, because the ticket has to be delivered to you, I believe. I waited too late for my first trip thinking I could just buy it whenever, and I ended up having to just pay for every train trip with suica cards.
I ordered mine two times now and it took two days each time. They are blazzing fast for me. :D
 
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MikeHattsu
Oct 25, 2017
2,039
https://english.kyodonews.net/news/...to-japan-hits-record-high-31-mil-in-2018.html

The estimated number of foreign tourists to Japan reached a record high 31.19 million in 2018, up 8.7 percent from the previous year and rising for the seventh straight year, Japan's tourism minister said Friday.

Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Keiichi Ishii credited the growth to relaxation of visa requirements for travelers from such countries as Russia, India and the Philippines, as well as promotions overseas.

"The government's efforts have brought the desired result," said Ishii. "There is a sign of us hitting the 40 million mark on the horizon."
 
Japan was fantastic. Here are a few pictures:

Spotted this floof on Tsuboya Pottery Street in Okinawa


Went to Fukushima Inari on New Year’s Day to find these crowds. Was odd because we stopped by the imperial palace and it was completely deserted and we saw almost no one anywhere in Kyoto until we went to a shrine.



The night before one of my friends really wanted to go dotonbori on New Year’s Eve but my other friend convinced us to go to Shittenoji which was neat.


Ate some fruit dowsed in corn syrup


We had this honey toast in Osaka and saw tons of it on menus, which we later found out is a specialty from Shibuya? We didn’t see it while we were in Shibuya though.


Our Airbnb in Shibuya had these outrageous stairs leading up to the foutons.


One of the highlights of Tokyo was definitely the digital art museum. We unfortunately misread the closing time so we only had about half an hour but that also meant it was more or less deserted which was great for us.




Some pretty sweet views from the Morii Art Museum skyview




Just thought it was funny 🤷‍♂️


Going to the SquareEnix art cafe with my friends was a pretty special experience. It’s interesting to be somewhere where the merchandise and themed food is actually decent and it doesn’t feel like you’re 100% getting ripped off.


Went to a cat cafe on our last day in Tokyo, which was interesting but not all that impressive. I did get a shot of this baby tho


Bought a selfie stick for this trip, which came in handy but one of my friends was a total weenie about it so I got limited group pictures with it.


I don’t think I’ll ever walk by another convenience store without remembering Japan. The ease of access to tasty, cheap food was probably what I’ll miss the most :(
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,397
Nice! I'll be doing the Mori Digi arts on the 21st!! Did not know they had a sky view.
When I went in September they were shut down for some reason, but I remember reading that you have to pay extra to get a ticket for the viewing floor. I'm assuming that's still the case, but you may want to look into it before you go. It was pretty pricey (relatively speaking).
 
The digital art museum is in a completely different location from the Morii Art Museum for the record. It confused us for a bit and we weren’t sure if we accidentally went to the teamLab Borderless headquarters by mistake. The skyview is at the Morii Art Museum, which while we were there had a Cardcaptor Sakura exhibit, a destruction themed art exhibit, and an exhibit on a famous Japanese cartoonist which was really well organized so easy to enjoy even for someone unfamiliar with his work.