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Japan Travel |OT| We have to go back

Oct 27, 2017
863
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.
Oh you're talking about the Mori tower. One of the best observatory on Tokyo!
 
Oct 27, 2017
702
Japan was fantastic. Here are a few pictures:
Great photos! When we were there in October we also loved the Team Lab art exhibit! We went to a cat cafe too that looked the same. is that the one near Harajuku station?

Man I need to get back to Japan! I miss it so much, but the food at convenience stores has ruined me, Just so easy and available anywhere/anytime.
 
Oct 27, 2017
280
Spending around two weeks in Japan come the end of March, just finished booking the rest of the Airbnbs and ryokan. Starting in Tokyo, heading to Kyoto, then on the way back to Tokyo spending a few days at a ryokan in Gero, and then back to Tokyo.

It's been wild planning so far. It'll be an adventure for sure. Gotta finish scheduling out individual days now.
 
Oct 30, 2017
244
Finally booked my Tokyo Airbnb late April and early May. Didn't get the exact one we wanted as it was picked up while we were discussing out two options. Would have preferred a hotel but my best friend is like 6'4 and the trip dates are too long for us to be in such a tiny room together. We plan on picking a Ryokan for the last two days at the end of the trip. Any good recommendations (oh he has tattoos)?
 
I posted this on the etcetera board, but I will copy and paste here. Looking for honeymoon tips. I will read the OP and comb through all the pages, but figured I would get the ball rolling! Thanks in advanced :)

Hello!

My fiance and myself are interested in going to Japan for our honeymoon. This will be sometime in June. We will probably go for 10 - 14 days.

Here is what I am interested in:

-Exploring Toyko: local attractions, touristy spots, night life, mario kart racing
-Learning about Samurai Culture and other ancient culture
-Going to Hiroshima and/or Nagaski
-Learning about Japan during ww2 in general
-Learning about Japanese Arts
-visiting temples
-Sumo culture. I am also a wrestling fan, but dont know much about NJPW...worth it?
- I love video games

My fiance is interested in:

-Hiking
-relaxing on a beach all day long (she could seriously do this for 1 week straight)
-she loves cats. anything cat related whether its a cafe or that famous cat island

We are also open to any suggestions like:

-A good travel agency to help with this
-I was told to try a "Ryokan Experience"
-Also told to try a private dinner with a geisha

We found this website that listed activities:

http://www.epicroad.com/luxury-japan-ryokan-tokyo/

Are any of these good?
 
Oct 25, 2017
45
SF Bay Area
Going to Tokyo on Thursday just for the weekend! Will be flying back on Tuesday. Super excited, it's been too long (last here in June hehe). Going to check out TeamLab Borderless + Planets at the very least.
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,129
Booked in from April 1st to April 16th to Haneda and back. Time to prep! Second time going. Wondering if I should try and tour a bunch of cities this time around. Might get a JR pass and go to Sendai for a while, and go West as well.

Any suggestions from personal experience in the thread? Lesser known places that are nice, preferrably on JR lines so I can max out the use of a pass if I buy one.
 
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MikeHattsu
Oct 25, 2017
2,326
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2...oss-japan-forecast-arrive-earlier-usual-2019/

Cherry blossoms in Japan are predicted to arrive earlier than usual again in 2019

Last year, spring arrived surprisingly early across the country, with buds starting to appear in Tokyo on March 17.

In this year’s forecast, released Thursday, Japan Meteorological Corp. announced the blossoming in Kochi is likely to be followed by early flowering in Fukuoka, where blossoms are due to emerge on March 20.

Soon after that, sakura flowers will begin to bloom in the cities of Tokyo and Nagoya on March 22, in Kyoto on March 25 and Osaka on March 27.


Of course, early forecast, so things could change :p
 
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MikeHattsu
Oct 25, 2017
2,326
Are any of these good?
Do 1 week in Tokyo and 1 week in Kyoto/Osaka/Hiroshima with a 1 week JR Pass.

For karting you need an international drivers license, so get that if you wanna do it.
For ancient culture stuff check out the national museums in Ueno in Tokyo. Maybe go to the Japanese sword museum (close to all the Sumo stuff in Tokyo) and the Uiyo-e woodblock prints museum as well?
Go to Hiroshima and check out Miyajima island while you're there. Nagasaki is possibly too far away if you're just there for 2 weeks.
There's temples and shrines everywhere, especially in Kyoto, so go wild :P
Sumo stuff is in Ryogoku in Tokyo. You could go check out the stadium there and maybe go to one of the sumo stables. If you book a tour you could watch them train in the morning and even eat chanko nabe with some of the wrestlers. In addition to the Japanese sword museum there's also the Edo-Tokyo and Hokusai museums nearby the Sumo stadium if that's of interest.
Go to Akihabara :P If you're into old shump and vs fighting games don't miss Taito Hey arcade. If you're into VR, check out the VR Zone in Shinjuku.

Go climb Mt. Takao in Tokyo and to the top of Fushimi Inari in Kyoto. You could also go to Hakone (which is also a onsen/ryokan place) and hike around there.
June is too early for a lot of beaches around Tokyo. You'd have better luck going to Okinawa for that, but that'll take extra travel time... You could go relax at an onsen instead?
Go to one of the cat temples in Tokyo and a cat cafe of course. Going to one of the more famous cat islands are maybe too far for a 2 week trip (especially if it's your first time in Japan).

Never used a travel agent, just done everything myself. :P
Book a ryokan with kaiseki dinner in Hakone and then you can enjoy the nature hiking and onsens there as well.
A private dinner with a geisha is quite expensive and you'll most likely need to book it with an interpreter. Better check out videos of what it's all about and if it's actually something you'd be interested in with the dancing and shamisen music and drinking games. If you're gonna do it then book something in Kyoto.
 
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MikeHattsu
Oct 25, 2017
2,326
Booked in from April 1st to April 16th to Haneda and back. Time to prep! Second time going. Wondering if I should try and tour a bunch of cities this time around. Might get a JR pass and go to Sendai for a while, and go West as well.

Any suggestions from personal experience in the thread? Lesser known places that are nice, preferrably on JR lines so I can max out the use of a pass if I buy one.
Go through the Hokuriku arch and visit Nagano, Kurobe gorge, Kanazawa and side trips to Shirakawa and Takayama. They're not really lesser known places though :P


Any must-sees in Kyushu/western Japan?
Check out Nagasaki of course and go to Gunkanjima island. You could go to Kagoshima and check out the volcano there and also check out the sand baths at Ibusuki, but that's at the very end of Kyushu :P
Also the onsens at Beppu is nice. Kumamoto Castle still not repaired, but I guess you could go check it out?


Hey MikeHattsu can you please add my 2018 Flickr album to the op? I've been slowly adding some photos.

https://flic.kr/s/aHsmbunnDU

Thanks!
Done
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,934
Back from Japan, had a fantastic sleep after being up for 25+ hours traveling home.

KLM are fantastic. Treated us very well on the flights to and from Tokyo. Even gave me a gift on the way from Tokyo to Amsterdam because they noticed it was my birthday. Alcohol, some sweeties/crackers and a card signed by KLM staff. So nice of them <3.

Also if anyone is into KH and in Japan just now, Skytree has something going on just now. It was fantastic to go to <3. (plus ice skating just outside the Skytree ticket area)

Will sort through my pictures and upload them when I get a chance :)
 
Oct 25, 2017
45
SF Bay Area
Anyone have any more obscure suggestions for day-trip worthy things from Tokyo during winter? Likely will have some time this weekend to spend outside of Tokyo but I've done most of the typical day trip stuff (Nikko, Hakone, Kamakura, Yokohama). Maybe Lake Kawaguchiko is worth visiting this time of year, still haven't been there...
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,124
Vice City
booked!! so excited - we're going from 3/23-4/3. so hyped, i've been wanting this one since i was a kid! we're flying into haneda, thinking we'll spend a few days in tokyo, then bullet train over to osaka & kyoto before returning for the last few days/flight.

looking for recommendations on:

- retro game shops! ive heard for years that super potato is picked clean, but i mostly like old sega shit
- eateries! we definitely wanna hit a good ramen shop after all those years of anime, haha
- a cat cafe
- any particular temples/museums in kyoto? i'm a huge weeabo with bushido/samurai culture
- any good bathhouses that don't mind tattoos? (we both have em...)
- as a huge Yakuza (series) fan, i need to see the blocks kamurocho is based on. please say they have a club sega (also where are the yakuza districts? just wanted to pass by one)
- also we're open to hotels or hostels (prolly a mix of both, as i understand prices will be higher & we need to book soon!), down for recommendations there as well!



Of course, early forecast, so things could change :p
oh my god i hope this holds, the timing would be perfect!
 
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MikeHattsu
Oct 25, 2017
2,326
Anyone have any more obscure suggestions for day-trip worthy things from Tokyo during winter? Likely will have some time this weekend to spend outside of Tokyo but I've done most of the typical day trip stuff (Nikko, Hakone, Kamakura, Yokohama). Maybe Lake Kawaguchiko is worth visiting this time of year, still haven't been there...
Check out the warehouse district in Kawagoe or the kannon carving at Mount Nokogiriyama? Or just go check out the city of Chiba :P
 
OP
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MikeHattsu
Oct 25, 2017
2,326
- retro game shops! ive heard for years that super potato is picked clean, but i mostly like old sega shit
- as a huge Yakuza (series) fan, i need to see the blocks kamurocho is based on. please say they have a club sega (also where are the yakuza districts? just wanted to pass by one)
Check Friends, Surugaya and Mandarake in Akiba, and since you're going to Osaka check the Super Potato shops there, there's several of them in Osaka, and also Surugaya and A-Too in Osaka. Also, check out any Book-Off stores wherever you are.

There's a Sega arcade in Kabukicho, but it's not a Club Sega though :P
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,934
So because of Flickrs new changes (1000 photos for free accounts AND anyone who has over the limit will have their photos deleted to get to the limit) which I only found out thanks to logging in and seeing a pop up notice from them about it...

I've reuploaded my last trip to Google Photos:

Spring 2016

MikeHattsu feel free to update the op with a link to the new album.

And:

January 2019

My latest trip, about 480ish pictures! :D
 
So I'm going back to Japan for a 2nd time in April. Last time I went on a package tour, this time I've booked it solo.

So, I've got 6 days in Tokyo, 3 in Okinawa, and 5 in Osaka.

What would you say are the absolute best things to do as a solo traveller in those areas? Like I said, I've been before but that was a tour, so my time was kinda restricted. Now I have all free time, and I have a few ideas in my head for things to do, but not enough to fill 2 weeks!
 
Oct 25, 2017
594
So I was asking Mike about this on Twitter the other day but maybe some others here might have some insight.

So I'm kinda half planning a trip to Japan later this year (just waiting on some work related stuff that may or may not happen to give me the funds to do so). I've been twice before but only really done Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima and Nagasaki (plus a few nearby places). This time I want to do Hokkaido some and was thinking it would be neat to head all the way up the Cape Soya but its a fair hike from Sapporo and Asahikawa so looking at staying at Wakkanai so I can get there.

Now my question is, is there really not much to see and do up there, I've tried looking around and there doesn't seem to be alot and given I'm kinda thinking about staying there for 2 nights is it worth it. Would be looking at going in December just cause I've never seen snow and kinda worried if I go up there it's just going to be super cold and miserable and basically a waste of 2 days that could be doing other things in Hokkaido.

So is there anything good to see and eat up there or would it really just be for Cape Soya and not much else?
 
Oct 26, 2017
6,882
Not that I’m complaining, but what’s up with peach flavored everything? I don’t know if I missed it last time or it’s a recent thing.

And I’ve yet to see an actual peach fruit! I’m sure it’d be ¥200 for one, but I’d be willing to buy it at this point.
 
Oct 25, 2017
594
Not that I’m complaining, but what’s up with peach flavored everything? I don’t know if I missed it last time or it’s a recent thing.

And I’ve yet to see an actual peach fruit! I’m sure it’d be ¥200 for one, but I’d be willing to buy it at this point.
I was soo disappointed after my last trip, I developed such a love for Japanese Peach Flavoured everything and then I get home, try a peach and am immediately disappointed.
 
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MikeHattsu
Oct 25, 2017
2,326
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201901210009.html

Due to popular demand, a night-time cherry blossom viewing event will return along the Shirakawa river in the city’s Gion-Shinbashi district in Higashiyama Ward [in Kyoto] for the first time in three years.

The event to light up cherry blossoms was canceled after spring 2016 due to safety concerns following a rapid increase in the number of visitors.

However, mounting calls from local residents and other parties prompted organizers to resume the event by securing more guards and introducing other measures.
The illumination event will be held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. for 10 days between March 29 and April 7.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,124
Vice City
still trying to sort out hotels/hostels for our march 23rd to april 4th trip, i know i need to reserve stuff soon...few more quick questions

1) asked a japanese friend about the rail pass and got this reply, what do y'all think?

I do not recommend to buy a rail pass because you will not be able to use 'Nozomi', which is the fastest bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka. 'Nozomi' bullet train departs every 5-10 minutes but 'Hikari' (which is the one you can use with the rail pass) probably is available maybe every 30 minutes. 'Nozomi' takes 2H20M from the Shinagawa (Tokyo) station to Shin-Osaka station but 'Hikari' takes 2H50M. The rail pass for 7 days is 29110 JPY but you can simply buy a round trip 'Nozomi' ticket for 27240 JPY. You still have 2000 JPY left for the local JR train. As between Osaka and Kyoto is only 30 minutes by local train, you will not need the bullet train ticket.
2) same friend is recommending the prince sakura in shinagawa, but i don't think we're gonna have a few hundred $ a night just for lodging. any tokyo/osaka/kyoto hotels or nice hostels you folks recommend?

3) when i was in EU, i used my debit card & capital one credit card because the latter waived foreign transaction fees. i'd usually switch over currency in new countries as often the local one (in eastern europe) was cheaper than EU - what's a good call for japan? where do you recommend converting, any tips?

4) what kind of electrical adapter will we need for phones/tablets?

aw man, adding this to the itinerary!
 
Oct 25, 2017
752
Chicago
I ordered our rail passes tonight. Things are rapidly approaching.

booked!! so excited - we're going from 3/23-4/3. so hyped, i've been wanting this one since i was a kid! we're flying into haneda, thinking we'll spend a few days in tokyo, then bullet train over to osaka & kyoto before returning for the last few days/flight.

looking for recommendations on:

- retro game shops! ive heard for years that super potato is picked clean, but i mostly like old sega shit
- eateries! we definitely wanna hit a good ramen shop after all those years of anime, haha
- a cat cafe
- any particular temples/museums in kyoto? i'm a huge weeabo with bushido/samurai culture
- any good bathhouses that don't mind tattoos? (we both have em...)
- as a huge Yakuza (series) fan, i need to see the blocks kamurocho is based on. please say they have a club sega (also where are the yakuza districts? just wanted to pass by one)
- also we're open to hotels or hostels (prolly a mix of both, as i understand prices will be higher & we need to book soon!), down for recommendations there as well!



oh my god i hope this holds, the timing would be perfect!
damn, man. i'm going to miss you by a week.

Also, kabukicho and kamurocho are very similar down to the having a Club Sega in the theatre square. I got a really cool RGG shirt from there. I'll share a picture with you tomorrow.
 
Oct 25, 2017
752
Chicago
still trying to sort out hotels/hostels for our march 23rd to april 4th trip, i know i need to reserve stuff soon...few more quick questions

1) asked a japanese friend about the rail pass and got this reply, what do y'all think?



2) same friend is recommending the prince sakura in shinagawa, but i don't think we're gonna have a few hundred $ a night just for lodging. any tokyo/osaka/kyoto hotels or nice hostels you folks recommend?

3) when i was in EU, i used my debit card & capital one credit card because the latter waived foreign transaction fees. i'd usually switch over currency in new countries as often the local one (in eastern europe) was cheaper than EU - what's a good call for japan? where do you recommend converting, any tips?

4) what kind of electrical adapter will we need for phones/tablets?



aw man, adding this to the itinerary!
A rail pass makes sense if you're going to be taking the shinkansen more than just a round trip. Even the "slower" trains are still pretty fast and provide great views. It's a no-brainer for us because we'll be going to Osaka and Fukuoka but if you're just using it to go from Kanto to Kansai, you might be better off paying as you go. That JR Pass won't be as useful outside of Tokyo.

Definitely don't spend a lot of money on lodging. We always stay at Kimi Ryokan in Tokyo. Outside, we just look for a place that's conveniently located and looks relatively comfortable. Save your money for games and delicious food.

Credit cards are becoming more common and a lot of places offer discounts if you use a VISA. I recommend coming with as little yen as you're comfortable with and getting as much money as you need from ATMs.

You'll be fine for electric but you'll probably want something that lets you plug in a three-prong cable since most (all?) Japanese outlets don't have a ground.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,124
Vice City
I ordered our rail passes tonight. Things are rapidly approaching.


damn, man. i'm going to miss you by a week.

Also, kabukicho and kamurocho are very similar down to the having a Club Sega in the theatre square. I got a really cool RGG shirt from there. I'll share a picture with you tomorrow.
aw man what
sucks we can't meet up there this time! and holy crap, sold on club sega and RGG shirts, yes pls post
i'm hoping to find a spot with any old RGG LE items for sale haha

A rail pass makes sense if you're going to be taking the shinkansen more than just a round trip. Even the "slower" trains are still pretty fast and provide great views. It's a no-brainer for us because we'll be going to Osaka and Fukuoka but if you're just using it to go from Kanto to Kansai, you might be better off paying as you go. That JR Pass won't be as useful outside of Tokyo.

Definitely don't spend a lot of money on lodging. We always stay at Kimi Ryokan in Tokyo. Outside, we just look for a place that's conveniently located and looks relatively comfortable. Save your money for games and delicious food.

Credit cards are becoming more common and a lot of places offer discounts if you use a VISA. I recommend coming with as little yen as you're comfortable with and getting as much money as you need from ATMs.

You'll be fine for electric but you'll probably want something that lets you plug in a three-prong cable since most (all?) Japanese outlets don't have a ground.
good to know! i'm always down to wing it but this thread made me a bit worried that sakura festival might make lodging harder to come by if i don't book things in certain places? this was never my experience traveling elsewhere, but i'm all ears here.

i'm realizing karaoke bar, bathhouse, ramen shop, cat cafe, etc aren't going to be tricky to find in tokyo, haha. god knows i'd love a music shop with any real chance at a nujabes/hydeout single (vinyl) too but that's less likely i figure.
 
OP
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MikeHattsu
Oct 25, 2017
2,326
1) asked a japanese friend about the rail pass and got this reply, what do y'all think?
From the OP :P
JR Pass: This is the most useful rail pass if you're going to travel between Tokyo and Hokkaido or Tokyo->Kyoto->Hiroshima->Tokyo or similar distance within a 7 day period. For a 14 or 21 day pass, you should be going on multiple such trips for it to pay off. If you're only going on a round trip between Tokyo and Kyoto/Osaka it will not pay off, neither will it pay off if you're just staying in one area, like Tokyo.

Any advantage of buying DisneySea/Land tickets online vs. buying in Tokyo, or vice versa?
If you buy them online then you don't have to waste time standing in line to buy tickets, you just have to line up to get in.


Are there any kitchen supply type stores to buy cheap cookware. Or even something akin to Bed Bath and Beyond? Don Quijote ain’t cutting it for what I need.
If you're in Tokyo, try checking out all the cookware shops in Kappabashi.


good to know! i'm always down to wing it but this thread made me a bit worried that sakura festival might make lodging harder to come by if i don't book things in certain places? this was never my experience traveling elsewhere, but i'm all ears here.
It'll make combinations of cheap and good lodging harder to come by since everything cheap and also good will be booked full. You can still get cheap stuff like capsule hotels and 16 people rooms in hostels (which can be less good) or expensive good lodging (and pay hundreds) or decent lodging like 1 hour outside of central Tokyo.
 
Oct 26, 2017
6,882
If you're in Tokyo, try checking out all the cookware shops in Kappabashi.
Thanks. I’ll check it out.

Also feeling like I gotta get back to learning the language. Some of my studies is coming back to me, but not enough that, depending on how far I get from stations, I’m not dumbfounded looking at menus or such.
 

Jof

Member
Nov 3, 2017
166
Hey!

I've been following this thread for a while and I'm delighted to say I'm headed to Japan for the first time for 3 weeks this summer, from June 18th to July 9th. I'm going completely on my own and I'm really, really excited to see the country. I know next to nothing about where to go, but this thread is going to be a major source of information inspiration!

So far, I'm only booked up for my flights (in and out of Tokyo). I'm about ready to start planning this trip in more detail, but I was hoping for some suggestions on a general, rough plan of places to visit and how long to spend there?

I'd like to travel around and see a good bit of Japan. Countryside, beaches, cities etc. A good variety of experiences. Wherever I am, I'll probably looking for cheap and easy accommodation.

If you had three weeks to plan out and not a care in the world, where would you visit and how long would you spend in each place?
 
Oct 25, 2017
752
Chicago
aw man what
sucks we can't meet up there this time! and holy crap, sold on club sega and RGG shirts, yes pls post
i'm hoping to find a spot with any old RGG LE items for sale haha



good to know! i'm always down to wing it but this thread made me a bit worried that sakura festival might make lodging harder to come by if i don't book things in certain places? this was never my experience traveling elsewhere, but i'm all ears here.

i'm realizing karaoke bar, bathhouse, ramen shop, cat cafe, etc aren't going to be tricky to find in tokyo, haha. god knows i'd love a music shop with any real chance at a nujabes/hydeout single (vinyl) too but that's less likely i figure.
I'm just going to keep going back and forth between here and FB.



Also, you might want to look into Disk Union (record store chain) and Shimokitazawa (just a really cool part of Tokyo).