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Japan Travel |OT| We have to go back

Stuart444

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,649
I hope the brexit shit is either sorted by October (as in, we know what's going to happen, no deal or deal lol) or it's delayed for a long time.

Mainly because while I've started saving money and selling things to fund our next trip to Japan (also my first trip since me and my wife got married, 3rd trip overall), I do not want to book flights until I know about how they will be affected since my favourite airline is KLM, and all trips to Japan either go via Amsterdam (which is the ones we usually get) or via Paris with the KLM-owned Air France airline (unlikely to use but I keep it in mind anyway).

And being that's all Europe stuff, I'm understandably worried and want to make sure things are okay before spending money that I can barely afford as it is lol.

edit: Oh, plus the pound getting destroyed every so often doesn't help things
 

Laevateinn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
881
Chicago
I hope the brexit shit is either sorted by October (as in, we know what's going to happen, no deal or deal lol) or it's delayed for a long time.

Mainly because while I've started saving money and selling things to fund our next trip to Japan (also my first trip since me and my wife got married, 3rd trip overall), I do not want to book flights until I know about how they will be affected since my favourite airline is KLM, and all trips to Japan either go via Amsterdam (which is the ones we usually get) or via Paris with the KLM-owned Air France airline (unlikely to use but I keep it in mind anyway).

And being that's all Europe stuff, I'm understandably worried and want to make sure things are okay before spending money that I can barely afford as it is lol.

edit: Oh, plus the pound getting destroyed every so often doesn't help things
Even as an American, I hope it gets sorted out because the yen is the world's safe currency so when things get dumb everyone moves to the yen making it too strong. I'm going back in November and am super worried that it's going to be 90 yen to the dollar.
 

JoelStinty

Member
Aug 15, 2019
38
I hope the brexit shit is either sorted by October (as in, we know what's going to happen, no deal or deal lol) or it's delayed for a long time.

Mainly because while I've started saving money and selling things to fund our next trip to Japan (also my first trip since me and my wife got married, 3rd trip overall), I do not want to book flights until I know about how they will be affected since my favourite airline is KLM, and all trips to Japan either go via Amsterdam (which is the ones we usually get) or via Paris with the KLM-owned Air France airline (unlikely to use but I keep it in mind anyway).

And being that's all Europe stuff, I'm understandably worried and want to make sure things are okay before spending money that I can barely afford as it is lol.

edit: Oh, plus the pound getting destroyed every so often doesn't help things
Yeah I am in the process of planning my trip for next year too, and thinking about booking flights pretty soonish so I can start booking a few hostels in advance.

Just hope the pound doesn't get too hammered in the coming months.

Is it best to book in advanced in Japan?. I went to Nepal and Thailand last year and I only booked a couple days ahead and had no issues getting very good hostels, but reading online the general feeling seems to book in advance. I'm expecting Tokyo and Kyoto to obviously be busy come March/April, but what about the smaller places like Hakone, Kamakura, Takayama etc?

I enjoyed the flexibility that booking a couple of days ahead afforded, in realty I pretty much kept to my itineraries, but I did stay extend my stay in a few places and cut short a couple of others.
 

Stuart444

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,649
Yeah I am in the process of planning my trip for next year too, and thinking about booking flights pretty soonish so I can start booking a few hostels in advance.

Just hope the pound doesn't get too hammered in the coming months.

Is it best to book in advanced in Japan?. I went to Nepal and Thailand last year and I only booked a couple days ahead and had no issues getting very good hostels, but reading online the general feeling seems to book in advance. I'm expecting Tokyo and Kyoto to obviously be busy come March/April, but what about the smaller places like Hakone, Kamakura, Takayama etc?

I enjoyed the flexibility that booking a couple of days ahead afforded, in realty I pretty much kept to my itineraries, but I did stay extend my stay in a few places and cut short a couple of others.
I bought my tickets (flight and hotel) about 2 and a half weeks before my trip in January. (middle of Jan, so not even the peak time in Jan aka New Years). That was just Tokyo though and obviously the time you go will decide how hard/easy it is to book stuff for not stupid prices.
 

hockeypuck

Member
Oct 29, 2017
441
So, which website should I use to reserve at a fancy restaurant? There are a lot of options.
If you're going to shell a ton of money for a meal, I assume you have a premium travel credit card. Use that CC's concierge service. They all have Japanese-speaking reps who can call the restaurant to set up the reservation on your behalf. Don't waste $40+ on a reservation service.
 

Neo0mj

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,698
If you're going to shell a ton of money for a meal, I assume you have a premium travel credit card. Use that CC's concierge service. They all have Japanese-speaking reps who can call the restaurant to set up the reservation on your behalf. Don't waste $40+ on a reservation service.
No, just a regular MasterCard and a Visa Platinum.
 

MartinB105

Member
Nov 8, 2017
1,842
Hey everyone, less than two weeks until my second trip!

My first trip was solo to Tokyo last September, but this time I'll be travelling with my parents (their first time in Japan) and we're planning to visit some other cities.

My parents are in their 60's, so I want to avoid rushing around or cramming too many activities in, but they're both reasonable fit and healthy for their age, though they do like a couple hours to relax in the evening at a bar or the hotel (I'm planning to use some of their evening downtime to visit some arcades; I can't get enough of those music rhythm games!).

Anyway, here's the plan:
  • Day 1 (Tokyo): Morning landing in Narita. Asakusa and Akihabara. Early night to combat jet lag.
  • Day 2 (Tokyo): Teamlab Planets (10:00). Toyosu market and other things in Odaiba (to be decided).
  • Day 3 (Tokyo): Shibuya, Harajuku, Gyoen Park, Shinjuku, Robot Restaurant at 20:30.
  • Day 4 (Hakone): Travel to Hakone; do the loop. Open Air Museum. Ryokan with kaiseki dinner and onsen.
  • Day 5 (Kyoto): Travel to Kyoto. Start of our 7-day JR Passes. Nishik market and Gion area.
  • Day 6 (Kyoto): Kinkaju (Golden Pavilion) and Fushimi Inari Shrine.
  • Day 7 (Kyoto): Arashiyama (etc.), maybe Nijo Castle or Kyoto Railway Museum?
  • Day 8 (Hiroshima): Travel to Hiroshima. Peace Memorial Park/Museum. Okonomiyaki restaurant for dinner.
  • Day 9 (Hiroshima): Day trip to Miyajima Island. Ropeway up Mt. Misen, then hike back down.
  • Day 10 (Osaka): Travel to Osaka. Activites to be decided.
  • Day 11 (Osaka): Last day of our 7 day JR Passes. Day trip to Himeji Castle.
  • Day 12 (Osaka): Day trip to Nara.
  • Day 13 (Osaka): Osaka Aquarium (maybe). Souvenir shopping, etc. Take it easy.
  • Day 14 (Home): Mid-day return flight from Osaka.
Does this sound doable? Is this not enough/too much? Any suggestions welcome!
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,077
Does this sound doable? Is this not enough/too much? Any suggestions welcome!
Why not like this?
Day 4 (Hakone): Start of our 7-day JR Passes, use the Shinkansen to Odawara. Travel to Hakone; do the loop. Open Air Museum. Ryokan with kaiseki dinner and onsen.
Day 5 (Kyoto): Travel to Kyoto. Nishiki market and Gion area.
Day 6 (Kyoto): Fushimi Inari Shrine, , maybe Nijo Castle or Kyoto Railway Museum?
Day 7 (Kyoto): Kinkajuji (Golden Pavilion) and Arashiyama (etc.) <- Kinkajuji is closer to Arashiyama
Day 8 (Hiroshima): Travel to Hiroshima. Peace Memorial Park/Museum. Okonomiyaki restaurant for dinner.
Day 9 (Hiroshima): Day trip to Miyajima Island. Ropeway up Mt. Misen, then hike back down.
Day 10 (Osaka): Last day of our 7 day JR Passes. Stop at Himeji on the way back from Hiroshima, then travel to Osaka. <- Either store luggage at Himeji Station/Shinki Bus Terminal or use luggage forwarding.
Day 11 (Osaka): Activites to be decided.

Everything sounds doable though.
 

MartinB105

Member
Nov 8, 2017
1,842
Why not like this?
Day 4 (Hakone): Start of our 7-day JR Passes, use the Shinkansen to Odawara. Travel to Hakone; do the loop. Open Air Museum. Ryokan with kaiseki dinner and onsen.
Day 5 (Kyoto): Travel to Kyoto. Nishiki market and Gion area.
Day 6 (Kyoto): Fushimi Inari Shrine, , maybe Nijo Castle or Kyoto Railway Museum?
Day 7 (Kyoto): Kinkajuji (Golden Pavilion) and Arashiyama (etc.) <- Kinkajuji is closer to Arashiyama
Day 8 (Hiroshima): Travel to Hiroshima. Peace Memorial Park/Museum. Okonomiyaki restaurant for dinner.
Day 9 (Hiroshima): Day trip to Miyajima Island. Ropeway up Mt. Misen, then hike back down.
Day 10 (Osaka): Last day of our 7 day JR Passes. Stop at Himeji on the way back from Hiroshima, then travel to Osaka. <- Either store luggage at Himeji Station/Shinki Bus Terminal or use luggage forwarding.
Day 11 (Osaka): Activites to be decided.

Everything sounds doable though.
Thanks for the suggestion, I did think about doing that. Not sure I'm comfortable with the idea of luggage forwarding, but the lockers might be a good idea. Do you know if Himeji station has enough large lockers to store (hold luggage sized) cases though? I only used a station locker once last year in Tokyo (can't remember which station), and I struggled to find an available one even just for my one backpack.
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,077
Do you know if Himeji station has enough large lockers to store (hold luggage sized) cases though?
There are some lockers in the station, but Shinki Bus Terminal just outside Himeji Station got a luggage room:
 

MartinB105

Member
Nov 8, 2017
1,842
There are some lockers in the station, but Shinki Bus Terminal just outside Himeji Station got a luggage room:
Excellent, I think we'll go with your suggestion then!
 

Quick

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,292
There's a small chance I end up back in Japan next summer for the Olympics.

Trying to see if I could make it into another big trip, but planning the possibility for it is pretty exciting.
 

Blackquill

Member
Oct 25, 2017
687
Hello guys a few questions :
- I will finally arrive in Japan early september, I will stay here 5 months. I plan to do some sightseeing around the country but I don't know when to do it. I have all the time to visit Tokyo since I will live here but what's the best period for visiting rest of Japan ? I wanted to go to Kyoto early on but I wonder if it's better during october ? Same for the rest of the country. Obviously it will be better after a few weeks I will arrive since there are a lot of administrative things I will do but I can try to go somewhere else.
- Anybody familiar with the website Oakhouse ? Is it good ? I see that they have not only decent rent but also various discount. However, I feel overwhelmed by all the informations on this website, like I don't know I can view the room before applying or I don't know if these discounts apply for the whole rent or one month. At this point I want a guide on how to use this website because I really feel lost.

Thanks !
 

Danielsan

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,385
The Netherlands
I'm planning to finally going to Japan next year. I was thinking of going for two weeks at the end of March (arriving the 24th). My girlfriend is worried that it will be too crowded due to the Sakura. Would you guys recommend against going during the Sakura season, or is not that much of an issue?
 

Stuart444

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,649
I'm planning to finally going to Japan next year. I was thinking of going for two weeks at the end of March (arriving the 24th). My girlfriend is worried that it will be too crowded due to the Sakura. Would you guys recommend against going during the Sakura season, or is not that much of an issue?
I would 100% recommend going during Sakura season. It's so beautiful!

Only times I would suggest against going is Golden Week (end of April/Start of May) and Summer really.
 

Mendrox

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,385
I'm planning to finally going to Japan next year. I was thinking of going for two weeks at the end of March (arriving the 24th). My girlfriend is worried that it will be too crowded due to the Sakura. Would you guys recommend against going during the Sakura season, or is not that much of an issue?
Do it. It's really not that bad. Even Golden Week is not as worse as I expected it to be (and I witnessed it twice and was surprised)
 
Oct 27, 2017
213
Nashville
Any chance we ran into each other in Nashville? I graduated from Franklin High School in 07.
Don't think so, I lived here as a small child, then moved back as an adult in 2014.

Any specific store recommendations in Akiba? I like merch things (shirts, plushies, items to go in our game room like blankets, etc) and my hubby likes games. We went to Super Potato and Kotobukiya last time we were in Japan and loved both stores. Some interest in gaming-related figurines. Neither of us are into anime.
 
Aug 16, 2019
360
UK
Hello everybody, this question has probably been answered already, but I'll ask it anyway.

I am sure xenofobia is exaggerated and that I should be fine, but my partner is worried for me so here it goes.

Should I be worried due to my skin colour (I'm black)? Are there places I should avoid? I have been invited by an artist to stay there and visit the whole country ( even the rural part) with him for a month or so. Should I avoid some places?

I am sure the answer is no, but better safe than sorry
 

Rahvar

Weight Loss Champion 2018: Most Lost
Member
Oct 25, 2017
579
Sweden
Hello everybody, this question has probably been answered already, but I'll ask it anyway.

I am sure xenofobia is exaggerated and that I should be fine, but my partner is worried for me so here it goes.

Should I be worried due to my skin colour (I'm black)? Are there places I should avoid? I have been invited by an artist to stay there and visit the whole country ( even the rural part) with him for a month or so. Should I avoid some places?

I am sure the answer is no, but better safe than sorry

There are far more experienced people than me here but I don't think there's any worry.
Obviously you will stand out a bit but I saw no cases of anyone avoiding the black people I did see on trains or such.

I had two working in my local Dailys konbini so it's not like you'll be stigmatized.
 
Aug 16, 2019
360
UK
There are far more experienced people than me here but I don't think there's any worry.
Obviously you will stand out a bit but I saw no cases of anyone avoiding the black people I did see on trains or such.

I had two working in my local Dailys konbini so it's not like you'll be stigmatized.
Oh do I am not worried by that, I know the looks and people avoiding me in certain countries, I was just wondering if any quarrels or opposition could be found ( particularly in country side), but you responded that for me.

Thank you
 

Laevateinn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
881
Chicago
Hello everybody, this question has probably been answered already, but I'll ask it anyway.

I am sure xenofobia is exaggerated and that I should be fine, but my partner is worried for me so here it goes.

Should I be worried due to my skin colour (I'm black)? Are there places I should avoid? I have been invited by an artist to stay there and visit the whole country ( even the rural part) with him for a month or so. Should I avoid some places?

I am sure the answer is no, but better safe than sorry
A good friend of mine lived in Japan for several years. She's black and the only issue she mentioned to us was that she was treated like a "guest" and felt like they would never truly accept her.
 
Aug 16, 2019
360
UK
A good friend of mine lived in Japan for several years. She's black and the only issue she mentioned to us was that she was treated like a "guest" and felt like they would never truly accept her.
That is what I was expecting, polite diffidence. I’m used to it back home, a month of it wouldn’t bother me.

I only asked because I never heard anything about the rural area.

Thank you for your answers, I hope I did not offend anybody
 

ThreePi

Member
Dec 7, 2017
1,834
For those that have been to TGS, the ticket/code I bought online says 9/14-9/15. Does that mean I can go either day? Because if I go on Saturday I can make other plans Sunday, if I go Sunday I can make other plans Saturday.
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,077

A woman in her 20s was confirmed dead after being hit on her head by a falling stone while climbing Mt. Fuji, Japan's highest peak, local police said Monday.

An ambulance was called around 7 a.m., reporting the woman climbing in a group was injured near the top of the 3,776-meter volcanic mountain, after trailing up a route from Yamanashi Prefecture, local authorities said.

A route between a lodge located around 3,450 meters up the mountain and the summit has been closed following the accident.
It's the Yoshida and Subashiri trails to the summit that's closed.




For those that have been to TGS, the ticket/code I bought online says 9/14-9/15. Does that mean I can go either day? Because if I go on Saturday I can make other plans Sunday, if I go Sunday I can make other plans Saturday.
If you bought the normal advance ticket for public day from here, then yes:

As it says, you have to exchange your confirmation for the actual ticket on the day you decide to go.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,173
Time to order a JR Pass. I just need to check whether it's best to get a SIM or a wi-fi. I'm probably mostly going to rely on hotel services and only use the connection for Google maps, so maybe a SIM would be enough. It's a lot cheaper.
 

Bowser

Member
Nov 7, 2017
1,965
Just decided I'll be visiting Japan for the first time next year. Since I don't have time and money to plan anything for spring and I obviously won't go during summer, my only choice is October-November. Would those months be enough time for things to settle down after the Olympics? I don't care about big crowds (I'm guessing lot of people will move their summer trip to autumn), I'm mostly worried about prices.
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,077
Every month is crowded and tourism numbers are climbing every month/year compared to the previous year (except September 2018 cause typhoon damage at KIX and earthquake in Hokkaido) :P

 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,077

Weather officials have issued an emergency warning for heavy rain in Saga, Nagasaki and Fukuoka prefectures in western Japan.

It's the highest alert level in the disaster warning scale of one to five.

The Meteorological Agency is advising residents to immediately head to an evacuation center.
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,077
Well, since it's launching soon:

From Sunday, visitors to Japan will be able to go cashless while traveling across the country, with major rail operators set to release new rechargeable prepaid transportation IC cards for tourists.

The Welcome Suica cards, to be offered by East Japan Railway Co., or JR East, add to a growing number of support services amid an influx of foreign travelers.

Pasmo Co., the issuer of Pasmo IC cards for rail operators including Tokyo Metro Co., is also set to release its own Pasmo Passport card on the same day
You do NOT want to get these versions of the Suica/Pasmo cards since they expire after 28 days and you can not get any refund if there's still money left on the card.

Normal Suica/Pasmo expire 10 years after the last use, and you can get money still left on the card refunded (-220 JPY refund charge).

The only reason to get this new Welcome Suica or Pasmo Passport is if you like the design, only charge it with small sums of money you use right away, and want to have it as a souvenir after a single trip to Japan lasting less than 28 days. The Welcome Suica doesn't cost anything at least, while the Pasmo Passport still have the 500 JPY issuer fee (which you won't get back for this version of the card). The Pasmo Passport will have certain benefits at certain stores, but there's no detailed info about that yet on their website.

For the Welcome Suica they're setting up special vending machines at NRT/HND and they're both selling them at the tourist information centers, so don't be suckered into getting one from one of these places if you want a normal Suica/Pasmo card.
 

JoelStinty

Member
Aug 15, 2019
38
I'm still in the researching stage of my trip, I'm thinking of going for two months, from the start of march through to the end of April. So far I'm thinking of

Tokyo
Kamakura
Hakone
Nagano - A couple of day trips
Takayama - quite a few day trips/Hikes
Kyoto
Osaka - maybe thinking doing at least part of Kumana Kodo
Naoshima
Okayama - couple of day trips and some cycling
Hiroshima + Miyajima
Kyushu (yet to properly research, but definitely interested in a few days on Yakushima)
Back to Tokyo for a day
Nikko - a few hikes
Mashiko (don't know whether to do this from Tokoyo or Nikko for a day)
Tokyo for any time remaining.

I think that might be really pushing two months so may drop one depending on time frames I assign to each place. I kind of like travelling slow and taking it all in.

Of course that misses the east side of Japan, but that means I can go back for seconds right :)

Edit: Any advice or insights would be fantastic, thanks.
 
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