Japan Travel |OT| We have to go back

TheAggroCraig

Member
Nov 6, 2017
944
So next week I'll be going to Japan for the first time! Staying for about 9 days in Tokyo. I'm looking at either getting a sim card or just using my mobile plan internationally, as I don't feel like being responsible for a wifi hotspot unless it's a substantial savings. Any recommendations for a sim for 10 days?

I also have a loose itinerary planned for the week, a few things each day for the first half and then I'll likely backfill the latter part with stuff I want to do also. One of those open days will be Disney Sea, likely dependent on weather and how that works out, so hopefully it's nice!
 

Zojirushi

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,527
So next week I'll be going to Japan for the first time! Staying for about 9 days in Tokyo. I'm looking at either getting a sim card or just using my mobile plan internationally, as I don't feel like being responsible for a wifi hotspot unless it's a substantial savings. Any recommendations for a sim for 10 days?

I also have a loose itinerary planned for the week, a few things each day for the first half and then I'll likely backfill the latter part with stuff I want to do also. One of those open days will be Disney Sea, likely dependent on weather and how that works out, so hopefully it's nice!
I think I used this one>

https://www.bmobile.ne.jp/english/index.html
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,515
Parts of the Kumamoto Castle grounds are open again:

A large crowd marveled at the majestic sight of the restored exterior of the main keep of Kumamoto Castle when the castle grounds were opened to the public on Oct. 5 after more than three years.

The castle suffered extensive damage in a series of strong earthquakes in April 2016 and has been under repair since.

The limited reopening of the grounds came as the repair of the main tower’s collapsed roof tiles and stone walls was completed.

Work to restore the stone walls of the smaller tower nearby has also been completed.

But the interior of the main keep remains closed as restoration work is still ongoing. The entire restoration of the castle is expected to be completed in spring 2021.

The special showing will run through Oct. 14. After that, the grounds will be open to the public only on Sundays and national holidays.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,391
So what are places, from places to eat, shops, or general locations, me and my family (Brothers) should avoid or just be aware of from being dangerous, pricey, or being a scam?
As long as you keep out of Kabukicho at night, you should be fine. I haven't heard of any other places that prey on tourists.

There are certainly overpriced places like Super Potato if you're doing shopping, but scams? You'd have to really dig deep.
 

Subpar Scrub

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,215
So what are places, from places to eat, shops, or general locations, me and my family (Brothers) should avoid or just be aware of from being dangerous, pricey, or being a scam?
For some reason when I was there last time Ueno had lots of touts out at night. Weird considering how nice that area and the surrounds are during the day. Wouldn’t say it was dangerous though, they’d walk with me for 5-6 steps trying to sell me on a bar or sex or something then grumble and walk back.
 

mantis

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,141
Never saw them in Ueno. But heard of them. Think there are also some shady sex shops located in Ueno.

The touts in Kabukicho and Sapporo I saw were mostly annoying. Especially one dude in Sapporo who followed me around for 15 minutes. Would not give up.
 

ThatCrazyGuy

Member
Nov 27, 2017
1,190
Guys, in Kabukicho, a tout rolled up on us that looked like a real life British Krang. It was both the scary and amazing. He was very persistent, then finally laid off. I wanted to run away so bad. His look was so unnerving.
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,515

With Nara Prefecture ranked second worst in Japan in terms of the number of overnight stayers in 2018, the prefectural government here is hoping a new campaign convinces foreign tourists to stay the night.

It is offering a 30-percent discount at more than 100 accommodations for a limited time to help increase the number of inbound tourists.

It is the first time a discount campaign limited to foreign tourists staying overnight in the prefecture has been implemented, officials said.

The discount is offered until Jan. 31, except for the holiday period between Dec. 28 and Jan. 5.

When foreign tourists make reservations on Agoda, a leading travel booking website, their accommodation fees will be reduced by about 30 percent.

The discount offer applies to 102 facilities in the prefecture meeting the criteria such as providing Wi-Fi services and posting information signs with descriptions in multiple languages. Of these, 58 facilities are located in the prefectural capital.
 

Metalix

Member
Oct 28, 2017
843
Just flew back home yesterday morning after 17 days in Japan.

Yokohama -> Fukuoka -> Hiroshima -> Tokyo -> Shizouka -> Osaka -> Kobe -> Tokyo

Phew!
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,515
Watch out for the typhoon if you in Japan this weekend:

The extremely large Typhoon Hagibis is gaining force over the Pacific south of Japan and is forecast to approach the main islands of Kyushu, Shikoku and Honshu during the upcoming three-day weekend, the Meteorological Agency said.

On Tuesday, the agency urged caution and called for early preparations in anticipation of the season’s 19th typhoon hitting the country’s main islands.

Hagibis may head on to Kyushu, Shikoku and Honshu, lashing those areas from Saturday to Sunday, the agency said.

The storm was forecast to cause high waves in Okinawa as well as the Ogasawara Islands south of Tokyo around the middle of the week, and on the Pacific coast of Honshu around Friday.

There is also a risk of storms and heavy rains starting around Saturday in a wide range of areas from western to northern parts of the country.
 

Xavillin

Member
Oct 25, 2017
902
Oh dang. One of my friends from Yamaguchi Prefecture said she’s gonna go camping with a bunch of children for her school club on Saturday. It’s outside of the white circles though, so hopefully it doesn’t reach them.

Me on the other hand... I gotta prepare for Sunday. I live in that circle haha
 

Muu

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
584
Any of you travel around Faxai and have some insight on how international/domestic flights may fare?

I'm scheduled to fly out this Friday and land in Narita Saturday 10/12 ~4:30pm. Flying from Narita to Itami 10AM the next day. Things I've read say international flights are generally not affected even w/ typhoons, but this is starting to cut it close. We got a Rugby World Cup match we're hoping to get to on Saturday afternoon which doesn't leave much room for error.
 

Pedrito

Member
Nov 4, 2017
1,230
How strong does a typhoon have to be for them to cancel the Shinkansen? I'm supposed to go from Tokyo to Osaka on saturday morning and I'm afraid I'm gonna end up being stuck in Tokyo without a hotel reservation. I might end up staying in a capsule hotel afterall...

Oh, and I think I just felt a small earthquake 5 minutes ago. I'm getting the full japanese experience! Now if only I'd be able to sleep past 3 am...Damn jet lag!
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,515
You will just have to keep watching the JMA site (and the JR/NRT sites) towards the weekend:



The [Meteorological Agency] says Hagibis developed rapidly in 24 hours into what US weather officials call a super-typhoon. In the US, a typhoon packing winds up to around 210 kilometers per hour is categorized as a super-typhoon.

The agency says Hagibis's central atmospheric pressure decreased by 77 hectopascals from Sunday to Monday.

Professor Kazuhisa Tsuboki of Nagoya University says it is rare for a typhoon to develop so sharply within a day. A decrease of around 40 hectopascals within 24 hours is said to be a rapid development, a phenomenon typical of powerful typhoons.

He attributes the rapid development to high sea water temperatures in areas the typhoon has travelled through. He warns that Hagibis may maintain its power as it approaches Japan, because seawater around the county is warmer than average.
 
Oct 27, 2017
236
Nashville
This is mainly a question for US ex-pats in Japan...I'm trying to come up with omiyage to take to my family when I visit next month. Are there things from the States that you can't find in Japan and really miss? I'm planning to get some locally made items like cookies, chocolates, soaps...but not sure what else. I thought maybe Jack Daniels honey whiskey since we live in TN, but I think you can buy that there?
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,515

Railway operators in the Greater Tokyo area are considering suspending some of their train services this weekend, as a large and violent typhoon is forecast to hit the area on Saturday and Sunday.

East Japan Railway, Odakyu, Tobu and many other train operators in the Greater Tokyo area have told NHK that they will give train users one-day advance notice of any cancellations caused by the typhoon. They say the information will be made available on their websites and social media.

When the approach of a previous typhoon forced the train operators to suspend their services in early September, East Japan Railway's website nearly crashed as many people tried to access it for information.
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,515

Rugby World Cup organizers took the unprecedented step of calling off two pool games Thursday as a result of the predicted impact of Typhoon Hagibis.

At a press briefing in Tokyo, tournament director Alan Gilpin said the New Zealand-Italy Pool B game set for Saturday in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, and the Pool C match between England and France in Yokohama, near Tokyo, the same day had both been cancelled.

The two cancelled games will be recorded as 0-0 draws, and while England and France were already assured of a place in the last eight, Italy are knocked out of the competition.

A decision on Sunday's four games, which include the Japan-Scotland clash in Yokohama, will be made that morning.
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,515

The operator of Shinkansen bullet trains says it may reduce or suspend some of its services between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka Station due to an approaching typhoon.

Central Japan Railway Company announced on Thursday that its Tokaido Shinkansen services may be reduced or suspended from late Saturday morning, when Typhoon Hagibis is forecast to approach the area.

The company added that trains connected to the Sanyo Shinkansen Line could be cancelled earlier than others.

The company said some Shinkansen services could be reduced or canceled on Sunday as well, depending on the storm. It plans to announce its decision on Friday.
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,515

East Japan Railway Co. and other railway operators warned on Thursday that services on many lines could be canceled on Saturday and Sunday, as “violent” Typhoon Hagibis threatens to slam wide areas of the nation.

JR East said on its website that bullet trains and other major services could be halted, including the Yamanote, Chuo and Tokaido lines.

The train operator plans to update information on its website with more details, including specific lines and suspension times, at 10:30 a.m. Friday, spokesman Yuji Ishikawa said.

Besides JR East, multiple private railway companies in the Kanto region said their services may be canceled or delayed. This includes Keikyu Corp., whose trains run to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, and Keisei Electric Railway Co., which has a direct service to Narita International Airport. Odakyu Electric Railway Co. said it will suspend all Romancecar limited express services on Saturday.

In a statement, Keisei asked passengers to “avoid going outside for nonessential matters” as the storm passes.

All Nippon Airlines Co. said Thursday that all domestic flights departing and arriving on Saturday at Narita and Haneda airports will be canceled. Other airlines may cancel flights as well, and other airports could be affected, including in central Japan and the Kansai region. The service disruption could continue on Sunday at Haneda and Narita, airlines said.
JAL cancelling flights too:
 

Ottaro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
974
Has anyone been to DisneySea since they started implementing the digital fastpasses? Is it even possible to physically get to the Soaring or Toy Story machines before the fastpasses run out?
I have my answer:

I got through the park gate at 8:04 am.
Power-walked to the Soaring fastpass machines, getting there at 8:12.
My fast-pass time slot was 8:20pm-9:20pm, and the rest were gone in minutes!

It was worth the effort though, the experience was fun even though the ride is largely the same as in the U.S.

It hadn't dawned on me that this ride system would be completely new to most people in Japan. Everyone during my ride-through was screaming and cheering with delight, which is in stark contrast to the muted, mild amusement I'm used to with people riding Soarin' in Cali/Florida. lol.

The pineapple churro was weird.
 

aOlafsson

Member
Oct 27, 2017
32
I have my answer:

I got through the park gate at 8:04 am.
Power-walked to the Soaring fastpass machines, getting there at 8:12.
My fast-pass time slot was 8:20pm-9:20pm, and the rest were gone in minutes!
Out of curiosity what was your experience with some of the other rides. I have never been to any Disney before and people online really praise Toy Story and the Tower of Terror. Were those fastpasses all gone very quick?
 

Worthintendo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
714
So outside of the peace park and heading out to Miyajima Island, is there anything else really to do in Hiroshima? I went last time and enjoyed it all (well enjoyed may be the wrong term for the peace park but you know what I mean). I was thinking of doing a 2 dayer there but not sure what else I could do that I haven't already. Really trying to focus on more newer places this time.
 

Subpar Scrub

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,215
So outside of the peace park and heading out to Miyajima Island, is there anything else really to do in Hiroshima? I went last time and enjoyed it all (well enjoyed may be the wrong term for the peace park but you know what I mean). I was thinking of doing a 2 dayer there but not sure what else I could do that I haven't already. Really trying to focus on more newer places this time.
Miyajima island?
 

Worthintendo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
714
Yeah I hit that up last time, was only there for 3 hours so I guess I could do a full day there but that's also something I could do as a day trip from Fukuoka or Osaka rather than spending 2 full days in Hiroshima.

I was thinking of maybe doing Bunny Island, but also being winter not sure how many of the rabbits will really be out.

*edit* Actually I think what I'll do is instead of doing 2 nights in Fukuoka and 2 nights in Hiroshima, I'll just do 3 nights in Fukuoka. It's only an hour train ride away from Hiroshima so I can bullet train up to it if I want to.
 
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Ottaro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
974
Out of curiosity what was your experience with some of the other rides. I have never been to any Disney before and people online really praise Toy Story and the Tower of Terror. Were those fastpasses all gone very quick?
The Soaring fastpasses vanishing in 15 minutes is a bit of an outlier right now because the ride just opened a few months ago. It's the new hotness.

However, Toy Story fastpasses have notoriously always gone quick. I've been going for a couple years and I would say fastpasses for Toy Story run out within about half an hour of the park opening. Maybe even faster. And that’s even with the new Soaring being open. The Toy Story fastpasses still go really really quick.

Tower of Terror you wont have a problem with, and you wont have a problem getting Journey to the Center of the Earth fastpass tickets either. Just get over to those rides sometime in the morning. Preferably Journey to the Center of the Earth first then Tower of Terror two hours later when you can grab another set of fastpasses.

ALL THAT BEING SAID, and I dont know if you currently have plans to visit anytime soon, but assuming you do the best advice i can give is this: don’t worry about it. This being your first time to DisneySea I suggest just soaking it in leisurely. It’s an absolutely phenomenal park whose best quality is environmental atmosphere. Wander around, enjoy the food. See it both during the day and night. There’s genuinely no place like it.

I consider Journey to the Center of the Earth, Tower of Terror, and Sindbad’s Storybook Voyage to be the essential must-do rides. Toy Story is fun an all but i find the long lines to be inexplicable. It is sort of an arcade game so I guess that’s part of it, but it’s not a huge draw for me. I rode it once and never felt the need to ride it again, whereas I have to ride Journey, Tower, and Sindbad every time I visit.

And if you don’t happen to have plans on visiting the park soon, you should definitely consider it. :)
 

aOlafsson

Member
Oct 27, 2017
32
I consider Journey to the Center of the Earth, Tower of Terror, and Sindbad’s Storybook Voyage to be the essential must-do rides. Toy Story is fun an all but i find the long lines to be inexplicable. It is sort of an arcade game so I guess that’s part of it, but it’s not a huge draw for me. I rode it once and never felt the need to ride it again, whereas I have to ride Journey, Tower, and Sindbad every time I visit.

And if you don’t happen to have plans on visiting the park soon, you should definitely consider it. :)
Thanks so much for the tips! I am planning to visit Disneysea in early December so hearing your experience is very helpful. Planning to be there a full day to be able to see everything, and will definitely try to get those 3 rides that you recommend in.
 

Pedrito

Member
Nov 4, 2017
1,230
So glad I left Tokyo a day early as the train I was supposed to take tomorow morning got canceled. I'm paying for my empty hotel room in Tokyo tonight, but it beats being stuck there for a day or more. Shin-Osaka was pretty crazy at 7pm as everyone seems to try to leave tonight, or maybe it's always like that.

My dinner is Family Mart's fried chicken after hearing about it so much on Chris Broad's channel. Pretty tasty. I also had lunch at Coco Ichibanya today. Pretty good, but the gravy is a bit too tick for me. I'm hitting all the cliché western tourists' places. Only Ichiran Ramen left.
 

Metalix

Member
Oct 28, 2017
843
So outside of the peace park and heading out to Miyajima Island, is there anything else really to do in Hiroshima? I went last time and enjoyed it all (well enjoyed may be the wrong term for the peace park but you know what I mean). I was thinking of doing a 2 dayer there but not sure what else I could do that I haven't already. Really trying to focus on more newer places this time.
Okonomimura, we went to the stall you see immediately upon getting out of the 3rd floor lift. The okonomiyaki there may have been the best food I had in Japan.

Out of curiosity what was your experience with some of the other rides. I have never been to any Disney before and people online really praise Toy Story and the Tower of Terror. Were those fastpasses all gone very quick?
We managed to get Finding Nemo fast passes pretty easily a week ago, Toy Story & Soaring were gone before we even got inside the park. Had an 80 & 120 min wait respectively.
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,515

The operator of Haneda Airport in Tokyo says it has stocked up on blankets and enough food for 17,500 people for three days in case passengers are stranded by Typhoon Hagibis.

The operator says about 70 percent of the shops in the domestic flight terminal building will be closed on Saturday. Most shops in the international flight terminal will be either closed, or shut down early.

The airport has installed 1.5-meter-high walls to protect important facilities and equipment in the basement from being flooded.
 

David Kjellson

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
341
Sweden
So... I want to post here.

I started studying a while ago, and I recently discovered that I have enough cash to go to this Japan trip that I always wanted to go to with my friends. I have a few questions though.

The OP says that the worst time to go to Tokyo is in June/July. Problem is, this is pretty much the only time I can go there within the next three years. Is it really that bad? I live in the Nordics by the way, if that is come kind of consolidation (I'm used to rain but not too much heat).

Edit: I also want to add that I'm really drunk at the moment, in case the post looks weird.
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,515
The OP says that the worst time to go to Tokyo is in June/July. Problem is, this is pretty much the only time I can go there within the next three years. Is it really that bad? I live in the Nordics by the way, if that is come kind of consolidation (I'm used to rain but not too much heat).
It's horrible with the heat + humidity.

But... if it's the only time you can go... It's better than not going :p
 

David Kjellson

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
341
Sweden
It's horrible with the heat + humidity.

But... if it's the only time you can go... It's better than not going :p
Yeah. I have been talking about this for a while now. I have a friend who's never been outside Europe, and he has claimed that he is pretty bad with heat.

What I'm thinking of is a few days in Tokyo, sing some karaoke, get embarrassed in front of a bunch of people, and then some days in some beach towns. Anybody got some quick recommendations?
 

mantis

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,141
Yeah. I have been talking about this for a while now. I have a friend who's never been outside Europe, and he has claimed that he is pretty bad with heat.

What I'm thinking of is a few days in Tokyo, sing some karaoke, get embarrassed in front of a bunch of people, and then some days in some beach towns. Anybody got some quick recommendations?
For beaches near Tokyo. Maybe Enoshima.

Also can recommend the Spa that is nearby. ;)
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,515

The Tokyo Metropolitan government has opened a temporary space for foreign tourists who have been stranded by disruptions to public transportation.

The facility is in the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan building in Ueno district in Taito Ward.

It will remain open from 1 p.m. on Saturday to 9 a.m. on Sunday, but the hours could change depending on the severity of the typhoon.
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,515

Airlines in Japan will cancel more than 750 domestic flights on Sunday.

Japan Airlines will cancel 284 flights, mostly to and from Haneda and Kansai airports.

All Nippon Airways will cancel 247 flights, including all to and from Narita airport and most departures and arrivals at Haneda airport.

The other affected carriers are Jetstar with 62 flights, Skymark Airlines with 54, Solaseed Air with 30, AIRDO with 28, Star Flyer with 25, Peach Aviation with 16, Fuji Dream Airlines with 8, Japan Transocean Air with 3, and AirAsia Japan with 2.

Airline companies are urging passengers to visit their websites for the latest flight information.
 

Zojirushi

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,527
So... I want to post here.

I started studying a while ago, and I recently discovered that I have enough cash to go to this Japan trip that I always wanted to go to with my friends. I have a few questions though.

The OP says that the worst time to go to Tokyo is in June/July. Problem is, this is pretty much the only time I can go there within the next three years. Is it really that bad? I live in the Nordics by the way, if that is come kind of consolidation (I'm used to rain but not too much heat).

Edit: I also want to add that I'm really drunk at the moment, in case the post looks weird.
I mean it's gonna be hot but eh whatever. Maybe consider going to Hokkaido first, it's cold as fuck in the winter/spring but should be great in the summer.
 

Lunoir

Member
Aug 31, 2019
19
Massachusetts
I was supposed to fly home on Saturday on ANA. Now I've had two cancelled flights and been on hold on the phone with them for a combined total of 8 hours without getting through. Guess I live here now!
 

Mendrox

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,043
I was supposed to fly home on Saturday on ANA. Now I've had two cancelled flights and been on hold on the phone with them for a combined total of 8 hours without getting through. Guess I live here now!
Uff. Good luck dude. Only thing I don't like about Japan - the work ethic. Way different situation in this case, but when my return flight was canceled it was the most incompetent service I've ever had at an airport and I was first to serve as soon as everyone got a notice and

- she had to confirm every change with the region leader on phone
- the phone had a queue with every employee that did the same for other customers
- nobody of them was able to reschudle, book or anything like that on their own, they have to ask their supervisior for every little single change
- took three hours to get another flight which we immediately missed because they took too long so...we had to start again from the begining
- we were three people that handed everything in (passports, bags etc.) and they always forgot our third travel partner and even lost her passport for 20 minutes

And lots of more. I was even on standby where my two other buddies at least got a seat and I had to lie my way through to even get a seat. The best thing was that I had to sit right by a baby that threw his food at me for the whole flight and the parents didn't do shit even when I complained nicely. Worst vacation flight ever.

In short: I hope everything works out for you, but I won't fly with ANA ever again lol (and Lufthansa those fuckers)
 

kami_sama

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,761
Oh shit, I remember the ferry terminal at hakone. Damn, the lake is up a lot.
You can even see the pirate ship at the back.