Japan Travel |OT| We have to go back

Nov 6, 2017
43
My partner and I are going to Japan for the first time from March 28th-April 15th. I have a tentative schedule for what to do each day. Would anyone be able to offer a critique/things I might have missed or should check out? We are in Tokyo March 29th, then heading to Osaka from the March 30th to April 4th, then to Hakone on the 5th, then Tokyo from 6th to the 15th.

29 Fri-Arrival day (Narita) airport to airbnb 1hr 30 min
  • 315pm Arrive at Tokyo
  • Pick up jr pass
  • Pokemon Center Tokyo Bay?
  • Check into Air BNB
  • Check out surrounding area
  • Go to bed early
30 Sat-Tokyo- Stay near Tokyo Tower Minato
  • Shibuya
    • Yoyogi park
    • Meiji jingu shrine
    • Hachiko
    • Shibuya Crossing
    • 109
    • Shibuya center gai
    • Tokyu hands
    • Takeshita-dori
    • Omotesando hills
    • Disney Store
  • Nakano?
    • Nakano Broadway
  • Shinjuku
    • Shinjuku gyoen national garden
    • Tokyo metropolitan gov building
    • Meiji Jingu/Yoyogi Park
  • Kabukicho
    • Godzilla
    • Kabukicho gate
    • Arcades
  • Golden Gai?
31Sun -Osaka (Hikari Shinkansen 3hr 45 minutes)

travel to osaka
  • Check into airbnb
  • Osaka Castle
  • Pokemon Center
  • Cup Noodle Museum
  • Dotonbori
  • Den Den Town
1 Mon-Kyoto
  • Pokemon Center
  • Fushimi Inari
  • Kiyomizudera Temple
  • Gion
  • Kinkakuji
  • Himeji Castle
2 Tue-Nara

3 Wed-Hiroshima
  • World Heritage Sites
  • Pokemon Center
4 Thur-Osaka/Totoro House?
Satsuki and Mei's house,
Train by 9am
Arrive at 12pm
Return to osaka by 4pm

5 Fri-Hakone
Ryokan

6 Sat-Tokyo
  • arrive in tokyo either early AM or noon
  • Check into air bnb
  • Asakusa
    • Senso-ji
    • Sumida park
    • Sumida river
    • Pokemon Center-Sky Tree
  • Ikkebukuro
    • Sunshine City
    • Pokemon Center
    • Animate
    • Sunshine 60 Dori
    • J World-RIP
7 Sun-Tokyo
  • Odaiba
    • Diver City
    • Rainbow Bridge
    • Oedo onsen
  • Yokohama
    • Pokemon Center
    • Cup Noodle
    • Yokohama minato mirai 21
8 Mon-Tokyo
  • Akihabara
    • Sega Akihabara
    • Mandarake
    • Don Quijote
    • Club Sega
    • Super Potato
    • TRADER HQ
    • RETRO GAME CAMP
    • BOOK OFF
    • Gachapon kaikan
9 Tue-Tokyo
  • Tokyo Disney
10 Wed-Tokyo
  • Disney Sea
11 Thur-Tokyo
  • Ghibli Museum
  • Kichijoji
  • Inokashira Koen
12 Fri-Tokyo
  • Nakano (if don't go earlier
    • Nakano Broadway
  • Imperial Palace
  • Pokemon Center DX
    • Pokemon Center Cafe
13 Sat-Tokyo-Maybe, 3 hours each way
  • Mt Fuji
    • Lake Kawaguchi
  • Fuji Q highLand
    • Evangelion World






    • 14-Tokyo
    • 15-Tokyo
      • Leave 11am
 
Nov 6, 2017
43
Some of your days are way too packed. Especially the 30th and 1st.
I figured as much. How would you suggest cutting down the 30th. I originally had Nakano, Shinjuku and Kabukicho on the 12th, but realized that we'd be staying closer on the 30th. Are there any other days you see as way to nuts? I kind of just lumped everything we wanted to see/do in. I don't mind not doing some as we're already talking about going back in 2021.
 
Oct 26, 2017
78
Going to be in Tokyo for 10 days in March. We've not got anything in particular planed other than arcades/food/some sightseeing but is there anything people would recommend checking out that's not the standard tourist traps/locations? Hopefully will get to see Mouse On the Keys live.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,434
So instead of taking the train between destinations in the western part, my friend wants to rent a car. Is this a good way to go? I'm assuming there are highways all the way from Hiroshima to Tokyo. Would it be better to fly out and return to Tokyo by car, or the other way around.

This would be in October if that matters.
 
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MikeHattsu
Oct 25, 2017
2,173
I figured as much. How would you suggest cutting down the 30th. I originally had Nakano, Shinjuku and Kabukicho on the 12th, but realized that we'd be staying closer on the 30th. Are there any other days you see as way to nuts? I kind of just lumped everything we wanted to see/do in. I don't mind not doing some as we're already talking about going back in 2021.
29th - Depending on jetlag and if there's lines to get your JR Pass, you might not be able to do much.
30th - At least cut Nakano. If you're actually doing any shopping in any of the stores and stuff you should cut even more down.
31st - You might need to cut some stuff depending on when you're expecting to arrive in Osaka.
1st - Doubt you'll make Himeji Castle.
2nd - Depending on how much you're doing in Nara it might be too little.
4th - Should be alright, but it's quite far from Osaka. Remember to book tickets online to be sure to have a spot to get into the house area.
6th - Possibly a bit much, especially if you arrive in Tokyo at noon.
7th - Should be alright as long as you don't spend too much time at Diver City shopping.
13th - If you're just gonna go for Evangelion World at FujiQ, then it should be fine. If you also want to ride all the coasters there, then forget it.


So instead of taking the train between destinations in the western part, my friend wants to rent a car. Is this a good way to go? I'm assuming there are highways all the way from Hiroshima to Tokyo. Would it be better to fly out and return to Tokyo by car, or the other way around.
If you're gonna drive in Japan remember that you'll be driving on the left hand (not a problem if you're from the UK or AUS). The highways are toll roads (rent an ETC card since you're traveling that far), parking in the bigger cities are paid and can be relatively expensive. Since you're not gonna return the car to the same rental place you'll need to pay one way fees and stuff as well.
 
Nov 6, 2017
43
29th - Depending on jetlag and if there's lines to get your JR Pass, you might not be able to do much.
30th - At least cut Nakano. If you're actually doing any shopping in any of the stores and stuff you should cut even more down.
31st - You might need to cut some stuff depending on when you're expecting to arrive in Osaka.
1st - Doubt you'll make Himeji Castle.
2nd - Depending on how much you're doing in Nara it might be too little.
4th - Should be alright, but it's quite far from Osaka. Remember to book tickets online to be sure to have a spot to get into the house area.
6th - Possibly a bit much, especially if you arrive in Tokyo at noon.
7th - Should be alright as long as you don't spend too much time at Diver City shopping.
13th - If you're just gonna go for Evangelion World at FujiQ, then it should be fine. If you also want to ride all the coasters there, then forget it.
Thanks, I really appreciate the feedback. I realize I was being way too optimistic on what we could do. I'll do a bit more research on where everything exactly is to help cut this down to a more manageable list. Even if we don't do all the things on the list, I'm super excited to go and see even half of it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,490
Detroit, MI
Going back this week!

I really cant wait.

I don't have much planned. I'm visiting my in-laws in Nagoya, checking out Kyoto for the first time as a day trip with a night at a Ryokan, and them Im just chilling for a week in Tokyo with not much planned, before returning to Nagoya again.

Maybe if the weather is good I'll try to see Fuji-san.

Anything cool going on in Tokyo next week?
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,031
I’m flying out next week.

I had to make changes to my itinerary, and I’ll be leaving Japan earlier than originally planned, but 2.5 weeks should be a decent amount of time to spend in the country.

I picked up a Mobal data-only SIM with unlimited data. I don’t think I’ll need to make any phone calls with a local number, so I’m going to rely on FaceTime audio/video to contact people I need to speak to.

Other than that, I think I’m all set.
 
Dec 13, 2017
326
Took me 52 minutes to get them but once I did it was pretty smooth, I wonder if it just took 45 minutes for someone to reboot the server...

Towards the end I tried the Japanese site which was working fine but they wanted a Japanese address to register....
Yea after about 45 minutes I was able to buy tickets! Seemed more like a server issue because there were plenty still available. I thought It was going to be like a sneaker raffle, where by the time I manage to hit the “buy” button, they’re all gone. Thankfully, I was able to secure some!
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,382
I never did get around to posting about our trip in October/November. I should do that! I'm going to try and upload an album of some pics for you guys...My wife took over 2000 photos, so I'm summarizing with a few I thought did a good job showing off our time! I think they're about in order of our trip! Click the link below to see photos!

Our trip was from 10/20 - 11/3

Day 1
We flew from Indy to O'Hare. It was my birthday, so that was fun. Took a bus from Narita airport to Tokyo Disneyland Hotel (where we stayed for 2 nights). We hit up Ipskiari to wander and eat some food. And goodness gracious, the curry udon my wife got was out of this world!

Day 2-5
Disney days! We did Tokyo Disneyland the first day, DisneySea the second day, and then a mix of both the next two days. We're HUGE Disney nuts, so this was super fun. Because it was Halloween time, everyone was in costume. And holy shit do they know how to cosplay. Gorgeous outfits everywhere!!! You can look anywhere online and find cool pictures and info about Tokyo Disney, so I won't gush too much. But it's definitely a very unique feeling park compared to Disneyland and Disney World. The merchandise offerings are on-fucking-point. Since we love and collect so much Disney stuff, we were in heaven. And we spent a lot of money. :)

Oh and the food offerings were great. I love churros and had like 4 different flavors. And the Toy Story and Star Wars mochi were delicious. They re-themed Haunted Mansion to Nightmare Before Christmas and it was SO cool!

Overall, this was an incredible set of parks. I legit don't understand why the US doesn't go this insane with cute, color, and theme. The characters were cute as hell, the plush and treats were adorable and fantastic, and just...I don't know. It was awesome. And chocolate crunch is mine and my wife's kryptonite. I NEED MORE. Really. It's expensive on eBay, so I'm trying to figure out how to get more of this shit.

Day 6
Travel to Kyoto! We wandered some street markets and found one of many sweet arcades. I love Jubeat, so I took every opportunity I could to play it. We found our first stationary store and I nearly died. A recurring theme of our trip was finding stationary stores and secondhand stores...I don't remember the NAMES of the stationary and art stores, but they were wonderful. We hit a few in Tokyo, too.

Day 7
We went to Fushimi Inari and Nara. Got up SUPER early to beat the tour busses and got some incredible photos. We took a different route than most of the people were and found a small little house alongside a bunch of bamboo. That was awesome and super chill. Learned how magical the Icoca card is when we took off for Nara. That shit was legit.

Nara was super fun. The deer bowing was cool. We also went to Tōdai-ji Daibutsuden and Kofuku-ji. I just love how much history exists in the middle of everywhere. It's SO humbling to visit from the USA and realize how young this country is. We first had that thought on our trip to Italy last year, but it REALLY sunk in while visiting Japan.

Day 8
We went to Arashiyama and the Monkey Park. This was silly and fun. Absolutely recommend it! Yes, it's a touristy thing to do, but it was a FUN touristy thing. Arashiyama was gorgeous. We will definitely be spending more time here next time we go. The bamboo forest was cool, but the internet made it out to be a MUCH bigger deal than it was. Still crazy to see how tall and dense it was. We did a lot of meandering while here.

Day 9
We went to Higashiyama and did a bunch of exploring. Saw the Golden Pavilion and, well, just a bunch of places I don't remember the name of. We walked to Philosopher's Path which was really serene. We only stopped at one temple on the walk (Eikando) and it was AMAZING. We got some incredible photos here and spent a lot of time just enjoying our surroundings.

Day 10-13
Off to Shinjuku for our stay at Hotel Gracery! A complete 180 in terms of the feel of the trip. Sensory overload time! I combined all of this because it was sort of a blur.

We had some incredible food while exploring. Japanese curry is my favorite thing and I need to find out where I can buy it here in the US. We also had our enjoyed kaitenzushi AND the sushi where you order off the touch screen and it comes to you on a little train. Both were SUPER good and SUPER affordable.

More on food, we had this CRAZY delicious meat experience for lunch one day. Yakiniku! I saved the business card because it was so good. The place was called 焼肉 韓の台所 道玄坂店 and it was located on the 7th floor of the Dougenzaka Center Building. Oh my lord. <3

At some point, I had pancakes that were basically pillows of magic in my mouth. It was in a shopping center and we did a random Yelp search and found it. I also snapped some pics of all the awesome puzzles, models, and Nanoblocks. I'm an avid collector of Nanoblocks, so I had a field day. I "only" spent around $250 total on sets I wanted (the two exclusive Disney sets), but I snapped photos and grabbed a release book to hunt down some other sets I want. My wife and I are big fans of Japanese puzzles (because again, they just seem to make the most adorable an fun puzzles ever). I believe we ended up with 4 by the time it was all said and done.

We found secondhand stores. And holy shit these are so much fun. Japanese people take such good care of their stuff. We scored a few really nice plush my wife was looking for. We also found a place that did latte art. And of course, I had to get a picture of my pup. I feel bad that my wife didn't get a pic of our other dog, but such is life! This was when we were heading to Harajuku, so we got the gigantic cotton candy and went in a bunch of little shops. Really fun place to explore.

Oh and while exploring Tokyo Tower, we ran across a sake tasting. Now we don't LOVE sake, but free sake sounded like a party! So we took part in that. I guess there were some awards going on? I don't know. We got drunk and fun! We got to visit a brewery which is something we always do when we travel (because I love beer). The beer was good! Not as good as a lot of the microbrew stuff here in the states, but it definitely has potential.

I took a picture of the ONLY weird vending machine we saw during the entire trip. And it wasn't even weird...It was just alcohol.

Worth noting that Halloween in Shibuya is insane and PROBABLY not worth your time. It was just crazy amounts of people, shoulder to shoulder, being loud and drunk. It might be the single most crowded thing I've ever been involved in. 2nd place would be Taste of Chicago on the 4th of July years ago (where we literally stood still for 15 minutes in a sea of people because nobody could move).

The last evening we did THE most touristy thing imaginable - Robot Restaurant. And you know what? It was a fucking blast! It was SO ridiculous. There were mostly foreigners here, which is totally to be expected. Our friends suggested we go, and I would suggest anyone who hasn't been to this go as well. It's just dumb fun. I'm not entirely sure what happened during it. But man, combine the loud music, crazy lights, and alcohol and you've got a PARTY.

Day 14
Time to go home. Boo. Wife got her coffee and prepared for the long day of travel. In the middle of the night, they put up this Godzilla display in the lobby, and it was fantastic.

I snapped a pic of SOME of the souvenirs and of my Kit Kat haul. <3

--------------------

I could go on and on and on about this trip. But I'll just say that it was, hands down, my favorite vacation to date. We're knocking off international destinations as we continue forward, but we WILL be going back to Japan in the next few years.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,490
Detroit, MI
I could go on and on and on about this trip. But I'll just say that it was, hands down, my favorite vacation to date. We're knocking off international destinations as we continue forward, but we WILL be going back to Japan in the next few years.
Thanks for sharing! I'm going to Kyoto for the first time next week. Last year, I got too tired and just chilled at my in-law's in Nagoya until I went home. Nagoya is just a very slow paced place.

I think I'll check some of that stuff out.
 
Oct 29, 2017
2,408
So instead of taking the train between destinations in the western part, my friend wants to rent a car. Is this a good way to go? I'm assuming there are highways all the way from Hiroshima to Tokyo. Would it be better to fly out and return to Tokyo by car, or the other way around.

This would be in October if that matters.
Like Mike said, its toll roads, and they can/will be expensive. Also also, the speed limit in Japan on highways is a decent bit slower than other countries. Driving can and will take a significant amount of time, particularly from Hiroshima to Tokyo. Probably looking at a 12 hour or so adventure that way. If your all on the road trip idea though go for it.

I realize I was being way too optimistic on what we could do..
After looking at your list, yeah thats too much to do. You would be at each location for 10 minutes before traveling to the next attempting to fit all that in. Would suggest that unless your dying to see each Japanese arcade, one or two is enough honestly. They are all quite the same, sans the few that are particularly known for specific things. Almost all of them are chains after all. Similarly with the Pokemon Center/stores. Unless you are just going to be in the area or shopping in that building, they are not worth going out of your way for after visiting one. They stock the same merchandise, with only some small differences in that some specific main stores in regions have specific pikachu outfit goods. Centers are the actual stores by the way, while Pokemon Stores, are smaller shops with something like 1/4th the goods the Centers have. Usually these are in smaller cities or locations, but offer the latest goods when they drop.

That said, if your that hardcore a fan that you want to hit all of them, let it rock sir.

My advice is to just relax while here. Many of the stores you got listed as visiting are kinda just... normal shopping malls or chain places that are not exactly specific to any one area. Book-off and what not for example are dime a dozen even in small towns. I'd say go in one if you see it and are curious since they are public used shops, their merch varies quite wildly lol. Unless there is a particular one you want to try for reasons of course.
 
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After looking at your list, yeah thats too much to do. You would be at each location for 10 minutes before traveling to the next attempting to fit all that in. Would suggest that unless your dying to see each Japanese arcade, one or two is enough honestly. They are all quite the same, sans the few that are particularly known for specific things. Almost all of them are chains after all. Similarly with the Pokemon Center/stores. Unless you are just going to be in the area or shopping in that building, they are not worth going out of your way for after visiting one. They stock the same merchandise, with only some small differences in that some specific main stores in regions have specific pikachu outfit goods. Centers are the actual stores by the way, while Pokemon Stores, are smaller shops with something like 1/4th the goods the Centers have. Usually these are in smaller cities or locations, but offer the latest goods when they drop.

That said, if your that hardcore a fan that you want to hit all of them, let it rock sir.

My advice is to just relax while here. Many of the stores you got listed as visiting are kinda just... normal shopping malls or chain places that are not exactly specific to any one area. Book-off and what not for example are dime a dozen even in small towns. I'd say go in one if you see it and are curious since they are public used shops, their merch varies quite wildly lol. Unless there is a particular one you want to try for reasons of course.
I agree. I had made this list a few months ago and just put things almost to check them off a list. I think the only thing we really have to do is the Pokemon Centers. My girlfriend and I are huge fans and want to visit them. As for arcades you're right. I think we'll just aim to go to the bigger ones like Round One, some the Sega ones and the Kawasaki Warehouse. I'm personally most excited about the food. Do you have any places to eat you'd recommend?
 
So I have a couple questions regarding my itinerary, as it's starting to set in stone now:

March 14: Check in hotel, near Tokyo Skytree (I believe that's around Asakusa right?). We land in the afternoon so I'll prpbably go to the skytree at night and try to hit the hay during the day.
March15-19: We will be going through the different areas of tokyo, the 18th doing Ghibili museum and Nakano broadway, and probably try to do DisneySea on the 17th.
March 20-22: Go to Kyoto, spend the 20th getting there and seeing as much as we can, and eat at some fancy hotel for dinner at night. 21st staying at an onsen.
22: Himeji, we will be leaving Kyoto and then going around Himeji. Try to see the castle and hang out with locals since one of our friends has family there.
23: Hiroshima/Kobe. I don't know how realistic this is, but the idea is to do hiroshima during the morning and leave to Kobe at night to eat dinner, then back to HImeji.
24th: head to Osaka and mostly hang out until going out at night, maybe do Karaoke or whatever cool things there are to do at night there, in Dotonbori I'd assume.
25th: last full day, hang out and do the aquarium in Osaka and have a big dinner to commemorate the trip
26th: Head back to Tokyo to make our flight. If our flight is at 5pm, I think as long as we leave early we should make it in time for the flight. Maybe head out on a train at 8-9am to make it back in time.

Big questions come during Hiroshima/Kobe day, is that even possible? Leaving Osaka and getting to Tokyo to make our flight, is that possible?

Bonus: What are some good canned alcohol I can try while I'm there? I know of StrongZero but does anyone have any recommendations? Or just any drinks in general I should try while there?
 
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MikeHattsu
Oct 25, 2017
2,173
I think we'll just aim to go to the bigger ones like Round One, some the Sega ones and the Kawasaki Warehouse.
Round One? At least go to Taito HEY or something instead :P


Big questions come during Hiroshima/Kobe day, is that even possible? Leaving Osaka and getting to Tokyo to make our flight, is that possible?
If you're just gonna have (Kobe beef? :P) dinner in Kobe, then sure.

Which airport are you leaving from? NRT or HND?
 
Round One? At least go to Taito HEY or something instead :P




If you're just gonna have (Kobe beef? :P) dinner in Kobe, then sure.

Which airport are you leaving from? NRT or HND?
We're going to NRT, I googled and said it was around 4hrs, but I know it depends on the train schedules. And is Round1 bad? Our friend who is like our psuedo-tour guide wants us to go to Odaiba for Round1 and then have Kaitensushi in that area. Is that a bad move? I can still pivot and do something else in Odaiba instead
 
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MikeHattsu
Oct 25, 2017
2,173
We're going to NRT, I googled and said it was around 4hrs, but I know it depends on the train schedules. And is Round1 bad? Our friend who is like our psuedo-tour guide wants us to go to Odaiba for Round1 and then have Kaitensushi in that area. Is that a bad move? I can still pivot and do something else in Odaiba instead
If you're using the JR Pass, then it's more like 4.5 hours from Shin-Osaka, but should be fine.

It's more of a place you go if you want to bowl/billiards/soccer/batting cage/ping pong/etc. and they also got the popular arcade games, but it's not like you'll find something that special there. If you're in Odaiba, then 1-chome Play Land is more interesting since they got some pinball and classic arcade games including some mechanical ones.
 
If you're using the JR Pass, then it's more like 4.5 hours from Shin-Osaka, but should be fine.

It's more of a place you go if you want to bowl/billiards/soccer/batting cage/ping pong/etc. and they also got the popular arcade games, but it's not like you'll find something that special there. If you're in Odaiba, then 1-chome Play Land is more interesting since they got some pinball and classic arcade games including some mechanical ones.
I know this will come off weebtastic, but is the batting cage like anime style where they have a target and stuff like that? I actually do like all those things so it doesn't seem like a huge waste of time. I thank you for Taito HEY, because when we go to Akiba I'll make sure to go and check it out.

And the commute back will be on the JRPass, I think some light googling said I have to transfer in Tokyo to the Narita Express line, I think get off in Tokyo at Shinagawa station from Shin Osaka I believe.
 
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MikeHattsu
Oct 25, 2017
2,173
I know this will come off weebtastic, but is the batting cage like anime style where they have a target and stuff like that? I actually do like all those things so it doesn't seem like a huge waste of time.

And the commute back will be on the JRPass, I think some light googling said I have to transfer in Tokyo to the Narita Express line, I think get off in Tokyo at Shinagawa station from Shin Osaka I believe.
If you're interested in the other stuff, then yeah sure. But if you're only interested in actual arcade games it's nothing special that's all. Never tried the batting cages, but I'd assume it's standard Japan style stuff :P

Edit: Oh, and you should go to 7F, the stuff on 6F is just arcade machines. You'll get free access to some arcades on 7F if you're gonna try the batting cages and stuff anyway.


Yeah, transfer at Shinagawa or Tokyo Station. Remember that the NEX is reserved seat only, so you'll need to go grab (free with JR Pass) seat tickets.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
2,382
Quick Question: Looking for recommendations on who to rent a wifi hotspot from. We are ultimately landing in Osaka on day 1, so either picking it up at the airport or better yet at our hotel would be ideal.
We used Wi-fi Rental Store. We got the most expensive option because my wife took so many pictures and we wanted to back them up to her Google Photos every day. And we used Google Maps a TON. But the process was easy and the unit was, for the most part, exactly what we needed.
 
If you're interested in the other stuff, then yeah sure. But if you're only interested in actual arcade games it's nothing special that's all. Never tried the batting cages, but I'd assume it's standard Japan style stuff :P

Edit: Oh, and you should go to 7F, the stuff on 6F is just arcade machines. You'll get free access to some arcades on 7F if you're gonna try the batting cages and stuff anyway.


Yeah, transfer at Shinagawa or Tokyo Station. Remember that the NEX is reserved seat only, so you'll need to go grab (free with JR Pass) seat tickets.
Can I reserve this in advance? I’d like to sit next to the wife if possible. Or if we go early in the morning, what’s the likelihood they’ll be reserved if we book about an hour ahead?
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,203
We used Wi-fi Rental Store. We got the most expensive option because my wife took so many pictures and we wanted to back them up to her Google Photos every day. And we used Google Maps a TON. But the process was easy and the unit was, for the most part, exactly what we needed.
cool! thanks very much. I am currently looking at sushi-wifi as well.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,382
Can I reserve this in advance? I’d like to sit next to the wife if possible. Or if we go early in the morning, what’s the likelihood they’ll be reserved if we book about an hour ahead?
So we booked our reserved seats an hour or two ahead and got seated next to one another, but we DID have to bump our departure to the next train. Just make sure you tell them that you'd like to sit together and you can work together to find a slot that works.
 
Yes, you can reserve in advance. Should most likely be fine. It's 2-2 row configuration on the train anyways.
They're not available to reserve just yet, but I will probably by the beginning of next month. Thank you!

So we booked our reserved seats an hour or two ahead and got seated next to one another, but we DID have to bump our departure to the next train. Just make sure you tell them that you'd like to sit together and you can work together to find a slot that works.
Seeing as how we're going to be strict for time, it's better to be safe than sorry. Our plane leaves NRT at 5pm and we're coming from Osaka, so I'd rather not risk it. But it is nice in case we get up super early and now we have a back up plan!
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,055
Are any of you guys familliar with the surrounding around Sendai ? Would you recommend taking a day (only day not sleep there) to either Zao Onsen or Ginzan Onsen ? Is Yamadera worth the day trip ? It looks fabulous.

Also, I heard back then, that you could buy a notebook in temple and have monks draw/paint the temple's name in caligraphy and it would make a nice souvenir as you travel along and get it full of different temple's marks and stamps. Is it still a thing ?
 
Oct 27, 2017
22
Also, I heard back then, that you could buy a notebook in temple and have monks draw/paint the temple's name in caligraphy and it would make a nice souvenir as you travel along and get it full of different temple's marks and stamps. Is it still a thing ?
I just did this on my last trip. Costs 300yen per temple but almost everyone that I went to had someone doing it. Really fun souvenir to collect.
 
Oct 25, 2017
707
Chicago
Also, I heard back then, that you could buy a notebook in temple and have monks draw/paint the temple's name in caligraphy and it would make a nice souvenir as you travel along and get it full of different temple's marks and stamps. Is it still a thing ?
This is one of my favorite things. I completed a book the last time. They're called goshuin. Keep an eye out for this kanji, 印, and you'll be able have it done. Not every temple has it but they usually are pretty happy and excited to do it at the mid-size temples.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,055
This is one of my favorite things. I completed a book the last time. They're called goshuin. Keep an eye out for this kanji, 印, and you'll be able have it done. Not every temple has it but they usually are pretty happy and excited to do it at the mid-size temples.
I just did this on my last trip. Costs 300yen per temple but almost everyone that I went to had someone doing it. Really fun souvenir to collect.
thanks for the tips !
 
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MikeHattsu
Oct 25, 2017
2,173
Has anyone been to the Hiroshima peace museum while the main building is closed for renovations? Is it still worth seeing? Debating whether to save Hiroshima for a future trip instead.
They have the main parts of the exhibition on display, which they've moved around based on which building is closed, and the park and the A bomb dome is there of course. I don't think you'll miss too much if you go while 1 of the 2 buildings are closed.
 
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MikeHattsu
Oct 25, 2017
2,173
No need to buy green tea KitKats in Japan any more then:
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...-japan-is-coming-to-europe-with-kitkat-launch

European chocolate lovers are about to get an injection of Japanese culture, as Nestle SA’s green-tea matcha KitKat launches on the continent.

The confectionery brand will begin to sell the green chocolate bar in Europe this month, 15 years after it was created in Japan. The blend of imported green-tea matcha powder with cocoa butter and white chocolate will be made at Nestle’s factory in Hamburg. It will be rolled out initially in eight countries, including Germany, the U.K., Italy and Switzerland, before going wider.
Well... For Europeans at least.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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They have the main parts of the exhibition on display, which they've moved around based on which building is closed, and the park and the A bomb dome is there of course. I don't think you'll miss too much if you go while 1 of the 2 buildings are closed.
I went there last month and felt like I got more than a complete experience. It's fine.
Thanks, I added it back into my itinerary