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Antagon
Member
(06-10-2013, 10:13 AM)
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Originally Posted by Desmond

Hey guys, similarly I'm flying out to Tokushima prefecture on Friday on a two month exchange programme. I just have a quick question regarding average weather there. I've heard it is very warm and humid but does it rain often too? I've only packed shorts/shirts to wear.

Don't worry, if you need jeans just buy them there. Nothing beats a pair of quality Japanese denim anyway.
polg
Member
(06-10-2013, 10:15 AM)
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http://katsutaro.com/annex_index.html

stay here... very japanesey yet western enough to have private bathrooms, in a residential area (japanese shopping street around the corner), close to transport... love it.
mr.rager
Member
(06-10-2013, 10:55 AM)
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I've seen a couple of people recommend K's House Kyoto, the place is indeed a very good hostel, only downside is though that if you plan on meeting a lot of people in the hostel and have fun at night, I wouldn't recommend it. The time I spent there I noticed most people after they spend the day out sightseeing, they just go to their room and sleep. No one really wanted to go out and go hit up bars/get drunk or even go to a restaurant with fellow travellers. J-Hoppers Osaka on the other hand, plenty of locals actually stop by at night to chat, not too far Namba, and they usually have 3-4 events planned during the week for people staying in the hostel. Amazing place to stay if you're into the nightlife/socializing/meeting other people to travel with. Met a bunch of amazing people who I've stayed in contact with since I've met them. I stayed there for 4 nights and I was drunk every night. Don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, it depends on the person I guess haha.

I highly recommend both though, enjoyed my stay at both places.
Pyramid head
Renowned Richard Harrison scholar
(06-10-2013, 11:01 AM)
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Originally Posted by lobdale

Buy a lot of natto, especially if it is summer, and carry it all around in your backpack.

Good lord. My girlfriend and I bought some natto maki rolls from a supermarket. Managed to eat a little before the smell hit our nostrils. The taste was unpleasant but not terrible, but that smell...

Definitely get JR passes.
I'm an expert
Banned
(06-10-2013, 11:14 AM)
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Originally Posted by Desmond

Hey guys, similarly I'm flying out to Tokushima prefecture on Friday on a two month exchange programme. I just have a quick question regarding average weather there. I've heard it is very warm and humid but does it rain often too? I've only packed shorts/shirts to wear.

June is rainy season in all of Japan, but Tokushima can be especially wet. It often gets hit by typhoons and the Yoshinogawa has flooded for the last few years, though if you're only there for 2 months you might avoid typhoon season. But if you're there for 2 months does that mean you'll be leaving before Awa Odori? Kinda defeats the purpose of going to Tokushima if you don't stay for its one big attraction. What kind of program is this?
SKINNER!
Super Nintendo Chalmers
(06-18-2013, 02:45 PM)
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Anyone been to the Sumo wrestling events that occur in September? I'm looking into getting tickets but I'm not sure whether it's an all-day event or how long it'll take with the ceremony and fights etc. I'm hoping it'll just be approx 2 hours during the afternoon or evening.
Goldrush
Member
(06-18-2013, 02:55 PM)
A lot of touristy places close at sunset. If you are away from the city, expect your day to end at 4 if you're going in winter.
scogoth
Member
(06-18-2013, 03:40 PM)
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Been to Japan 4 times before most recently last summer with my girlfriend. Most of my trips were centered around Tokyo so most of my tips will be about that. I would recommend buying a guide book for all the usual tourist locations but here are some individual recommendations if you find yourself around them.

I would check out Bar Rage Ginza Boss one night. It's a more expensive place so maybe only have one or two drinks but they make some outrageous cocktails based on daily fruits.
http://goo.gl/maps/zyBlr
http://www.mixologist.co.jp/bar_rage/oldtop.php?cont=10

Also check out Ninja restaurant. Great food in a (fake) cave with ninjas, whats not to like?
http://www.ninjaakasaka.com/

Club Sega Akihabara. There are lots of arcades everywhere but Club Seaga is a huge building always filled with players and you can't miss it when you go to Akihabara so walk in check it out and lose a few hundred yen to a japanese businessman.

If you like shopping or want to buy something for a SO visit Daikanyama for great fashion without the mayhem of Shibuya.
http://goo.gl/maps/JypFx

Masuya. This is a yakiniku (grilled food) place that I have an attachment to because it was right by my hotel one trip. They have one english menu and one cook that will remeber me and my friend as the halibut guys. Chill place to have a drink and watch a baseball game on TV
http://goo.gl/maps/QN4Md

Also meet some Japanese people and ask them to take you to any Izakaya, it is fun you will like it.

**Metro last train is around midnight-ish. Don't get stuck having to take a taxi, they are expensive!
Last edited by scogoth; 06-18-2013 at 03:42 PM.
hwalker84
Member
(06-18-2013, 03:54 PM)
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Originally Posted by scogoth

Been to Japan 4 times before most recently last summer with my girlfriend. Most of my trips were centered around Tokyo so most of my tips will be about that. I would recommend buying a guide book for all the usual tourist locations but here are some individual recommendations if you find yourself around them.

I would check out Bar Rage Ginza Boss one night. It's a more expensive place so maybe only have one or two drinks but they make some outrageous cocktails based on daily fruits.
http://goo.gl/maps/zyBlr
http://www.mixologist.co.jp/bar_rage/oldtop.php?cont=10

Also check out Ninja restaurant. Great food in a (fake) cave with ninjas, whats not to like?
http://www.ninjaakasaka.com/

Club Sega Akihabara. There are lots of arcades everywhere but Club Seaga is a huge building always filled with players and you can't miss it when you go to Akihabara so walk in check it out and lose a few hundred yen to a japanese businessman.

If you like shopping or want to buy something for a SO visit Daikanyama for great fashion without the mayhem of Shibuya.
http://goo.gl/maps/JypFx

Masuya. This is a yakiniku (grilled food) place that I have an attachment to because it was right by my hotel one trip. They have one english menu and one cook that will remeber me and my friend as the halibut guys. Chill place to have a drink and watch a baseball game on TV
http://goo.gl/maps/QN4Md

Also meet some Japanese people and ask them to take you to any Izakaya, it is fun you will like it.

**Metro last train is around midnight-ish. Don't get stuck having to take a taxi, they are expensive!

Thanks for the suggestions.


Bought my tickets last night!!!! So excited!

Will I be like a unicorn? Tall black man walking around Japan? or have times changed.
scogoth
Member
(06-18-2013, 04:06 PM)
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Originally Posted by hwalker84

Thanks for the suggestions.


Bought my tickets last night!!!! So excited!

Will I be like a unicorn? Tall black man walking around Japan? or have times changed.

With blond hair and wearing shorts? Yeah you will be a unicorn ;)

Naw in Tokyo you will see a foreigner or two. Outside the biggest cities you will definitely be unique
SteveO409
Did you know Halo invented the FPS?
(06-18-2013, 04:06 PM)
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Originally Posted by hwalker84

Thanks for the suggestions.


Bought my tickets last night!!!! So excited!

Will I be like a unicorn? Tall black man walking around Japan? or have times changed.

Yeah you will stick out and will have alot of stares
Midnight Moon
Banned
(06-18-2013, 04:40 PM)
I'm jealous, I definitely wanna go to Japan and see everything but vacation in my company is only 5 days. Although I do have sick days...could I use them as part of vacation even if I'm not sick? <_<; I could see it now...2 weeks in Japan would be cool.

"A Gay Man in Japan" - my blog about a week there lol.

I want to see everything the castles/shrines, game stores, arcades, akihabara, hanafuda factory at Nintendo's old HQ, etc.

When is honestly the best time to go to Japan? I really like festivals and stuff I know they are all year...but the best ones please~!
Last edited by Midnight Moon; 06-18-2013 at 05:00 PM.
Meier
(06-18-2013, 04:43 PM)
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My fiancee and I are going on our honeymoon in 11 days. We'll be there from 6/30 (arrival date) until 7/10. Super excited although we're not going to be traveling around outside the Tokyo area much. Maybe if we ever go back we'll figure out a route that brings us to a number of cities but this trip is just Tokyo and Kyoto.
Guevara
Member
(06-18-2013, 04:44 PM)
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Originally Posted by hwalker84

Thanks for the suggestions.


Bought my tickets last night!!!! So excited!

Will I be like a unicorn? Tall black man walking around Japan? or have times changed.

I saw 3 black people total in Japan over 10 days there. (And they were sitting together in Tokyo).
scogoth
Member
(06-18-2013, 05:02 PM)
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Originally Posted by Guevara

I saw 3 black people total in Japan over 10 days there. (And they were sitting together in Tokyo).

Go to Roppongi and you will some more
AngryMoth
Member
(06-18-2013, 05:57 PM)
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I spent 6 weeks in Japan starting last December. It's an amazing country, you'll have a great time. What's your budget like? If you're staying in hostels then I can give recommendations. Otherwise here's is a list of stuff I did that I'd recommend. Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima is probably the best way to go for a 3 week trip. JR pass is an essential.

Tokyo:
- On a clear day head to Shinjuku and you can go to the top of the government building for free and get a great city view. Do not pay for Mori Tower or Skytree, they are very expensive.
- Go to Akihabara and walk the arcades. Play the table flipping game, it's crazy.
- While in Akihabara go to a maid cafe. It's fucking weird but you'll have a story to tell for the rest of your life. At the one I went to one of the maids did an 'live performance' and 2 of the other costumers pulled out glow sticks and started dancing along. Then when it was over the lights come on and everyone sits back down like nothing happened. Most bizarre shit I've ever seen.
- Go to a cat cafe. They are cool.
- On a Sunday go check out Takeshita Dori in Harajuku (famous fashion district). This is also a good opportunity to see Meiji Jingu as well which is the biggest shrine in Tokyo. Make sure you head over to YoYogi park which is adjacent at 2pm to see the greasers perform.
- Set aside a day to go see Mt. Fuji. There is a bus from Shinjuku station which is the best way to get there.
- Go to Shibuya crossing at rush hour and witness the madness.

Kyoto
- Walk to the top of Fushimiinari.
- Kinkakuji (temple made of gold) is very touristy but it's worth seeing.
- Go to arashiyama. There's a bamboo forest, some nice temples and a monkey sanctuary. If you go there in early-mid afternoon you can feed them by hand, and the feeding area has an incredible view of the city.
- give yourself 3 - 4 days full days here. I wish I could have stayed longer.

Osaka:
- The castle is worth a visit.
- Definitely do a day trip to Nara.
- I didn't actually do much in Osaka apart from going out drinking...I hear the aquarium is good.

Hiroshima:
- you only need a day or 2 here but if you're in Japan you have to go. The memorials and the museum are very moving.

General:
- Ask the locals where they eat, this is how I found the best restaurants.
- The Japanese place great value on politeness. Try to always bare this in mind, but don't worry about it too much, you have 'gaijin superpowers' which means they will forgive a lot of faux pas.

Happy to answer any questions. Will post if I think of anything good that I missed
Last edited by AngryMoth; 06-18-2013 at 05:59 PM.
hwalker84
Member
(06-18-2013, 06:14 PM)
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Originally Posted by AngryMoth

I spent 6 weeks in Japan starting last December. It's an amazing country, you'll have a great time. What's your budget like? If you're staying in hostels then I can give recommendations. Otherwise here's is a list of stuff I did that I'd recommend. Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima is probably the best way to go for a 3 week trip. JR pass is an essential.

Tokyo:
- On a clear day head to Shinjuku and you can go to the top of the government building for free and get a great city view. Do not pay for Mori Tower or Skytree, they are very expensive.
- Go to Akihabara and walk the arcades. Play the table flipping game, it's crazy.
- While in Akihabara go to a maid cafe. It's fucking weird but you'll have a story to tell for the rest of your life. At the one I went to one of the maids did an 'live performance' and 2 of the other costumers pulled out glow sticks and started dancing along. Then when it was over the lights come on and everyone sits back down like nothing happened. Most bizarre shit I've ever seen.
- Go to a cat cafe. They are cool.
- On a Sunday go check out Takeshita Dori in Harajuku (famous fashion district). This is also a good opportunity to see Meiji Jingu as well which is the biggest shrine in Tokyo. Make sure you head over to YoYogi park which is adjacent at 2pm to see the greasers perform.
- Set aside a day to go see Mt. Fuji. There is a bus from Shinjuku station which is the best way to get there.
- Go to Shibuya crossing at rush hour and witness the madness.

Kyoto
- Walk to the top of Fushimiinari.
- Kinkakuji (temple made of gold) is very touristy but it's worth seeing.
- Go to arashiyama. There's a bamboo forest, some nice temples and a monkey sanctuary. If you go there in early-mid afternoon you can feed them by hand, and the feeding area has an incredible view of the city.
- give yourself 3 - 4 days full days here. I wish I could have stayed longer.

Osaka:
- The castle is worth a visit.
- Definitely do a day trip to Nara.
- I didn't actually do much in Osaka apart from going out drinking...I hear the aquarium is good.

Hiroshima:
- you only need a day or 2 here but if you're in Japan you have to go. The memorials and the museum are very moving.

General:
- Ask the locals where they eat, this is how I found the best restaurants.
- The Japanese place great value on politeness. Try to always bare this in mind, but don't worry about it too much, you have 'gaijin superpowers' which means they will forgive a lot of faux pas.

Happy to answer any questions. Will post if I think of anything good that I missed

You have the city route I had planned.

I get to Tokyo on a Saturday afternoon. I then planned on going to Hiroshima maybe Monday and working my way back. Spend the last few days in Tokyo and then come home.

Budget wise I wasn't planning on going nuts but maybe $5,000 or so. I don't require luxury hotels so If you have adequate recommendations that would be great.
scogoth
Member
(06-18-2013, 06:30 PM)
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Maid cafe's are kinda cool, I guess its worth checking out just watch what they charge for or you could end up with a huge bill like I did!

Kyoto is fantastic for temples! Spent 2 full days there but fortunately got hooked up with a free car and driver/guide so I got around quickly. 3 Days there would be great. Osaka I only spent a day and went to the waterfront that felt like Disneyland.
Last edited by scogoth; 06-18-2013 at 06:38 PM.
Niahak
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(06-18-2013, 06:31 PM)
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Originally Posted by AngryMoth

Kyoto
- Walk to the top of Fushimiinari.
- Kinkakuji (temple made of gold) is very touristy but it's worth seeing.
- Go to arashiyama. There's a bamboo forest, some nice temples and a monkey sanctuary. If you go there in early-mid afternoon you can feed them by hand, and the feeding area has an incredible view of the city.
- give yourself 3 - 4 days full days here. I wish I could have stayed longer.

Osaka:
- The castle is worth a visit.
- Definitely do a day trip to Nara.
- I didn't actually do much in Osaka apart from going out drinking...I hear the aquarium is good.

Went to Japan just a couple weeks ago and did all these aside from Nara. I second their recommendation.

If you're doing the Kyoto stuff (especially Fushimiinari and the monkey sanctuary) bring really comfortable walking/hiking shoes. Fushimiinari in particular is much larger than I expected. The monkey sanctuary is about a 15-20 minute walk uphill.

Pure Water temple (Kiyomizudera) is also a fantastic place to go in Kyoto. Just make sure that when you enter the temple proper (the 100yen special buddhist birth simulation thingy) you are not followed by loud high schoolers.

It's possible to do Golden Temple (Kinkakuji), Silver Temple (Ginkakuji), Pure Water Temple and Fushimiinari in one day, but I would recommend spacing out the big walks.

Osaka Castle is great, best of the castles I've been to aside from maybe Himeji (which I heard is currently under construction). Much more history than the other castles I saw.

Osaka Aquarium is also great, you can reach it via the subway + a short walk. They have a ton of really cool exhibits including a whale shark in one of the tanks and a manta ray / small shark petting zoo. Lots of cool jellyfish, otters, etc. as well as the standard fish. Tickets are about $20, which might seem expensive, but at that point a kilometer walk in a covered, air-conditioned area sounded great.

Osaka also has some good retro game shopping if you go to Den Den Town. The Super Potato there didn't have much (nicknamed it "subpar potato" later) but the shops across the street are good.

Other general advice:

Osaka can be done as a day trip (or multiple day trips) from Kyoto so you can use Kyoto as a base for both, it's about a 30-45 minute train ride at worst. Saves you booking more hotels and moving luggage around.

I've stayed at both K's House Kyoto and Tour Club Kyoto, K's House is cheaper and more hostel-y but they only have private rooms if you have a group if I recall correctly. Tour Club's a bit pricier (was $70/night for two) but a shorter walk from Kyoto Station.

If you go, search out public baths. They're a great way to relax after a long day of walking!
Last edited by Niahak; 06-18-2013 at 06:42 PM. Reason: more advice
wowzors
Member
(06-18-2013, 06:39 PM)
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After my time at school I got a hotel in ikebukuro and really enjoyed it, at least for Tokyo, itabashi was also nice and close to shibuya, ikebukuro, akihabara, and shinjuku. Only about 12 minutes by train from itabashi, the hotel was very reasonable swell, and they upgraded me for free, I think it was called APA.

If you get a chance get a flight from Tokyo to Sapporo Hokkaido, such a beautiful place and tickets can be had through jet star for under 8000 yen round trip. Hostels in Sapporo are pretty nice swell, sorry can't remember the name.
scogoth
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(06-18-2013, 06:43 PM)
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Originally Posted by wowzors

After my time at school I got a hotel in ikebukuro and really enjoyed it, at least for Tokyo, itabashi was also nice and close to shibuya, ikebukuro, akihabara, and shinjuku. Only about 12 minutes by train from itabashi, the hotel was very reasonable swell, and they upgraded me for free, I think it was called APA.

If you get a chance get a flight from Tokyo to Sapporo Hokkaido, such a beautiful place and tickets can be had through jet star for under 8000 yen round trip. Hostels in Sapporo are pretty nice swell, sorry can't remember the name.

And I've heard there is all you can eat bbq lamb and all you can drink beer there too!
http://www.sapporo-bier-garten.jp/foreign/english.php
RapidCancel
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(06-18-2013, 06:44 PM)
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Go to a hot springs! Me and my gf spent a whole day there and it was great. Go to the springs for 10-15 minutes, come out and relax, drink, eat, repeat for the rest of the day. Best thing I did while I was there.

What's everyone using to purchase tickets? I've been using sites like bing, expedia, priceline, etc. and last year I ended up paying $1400 for a round trip ticket for December. I'm planning to go back this December, but I'm trying to find a better price. Any recommendations?
scogoth
Member
(06-18-2013, 06:48 PM)
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Originally Posted by RapidCancel

Go to a hot springs! Me and my gf spent a whole day there and it was great. Go to the springs for 10-15 minutes, come out and relax, drink, eat, repeat for the rest of the day. Best thing I did while I was there.

What's everyone using to purchase tickets? I've been using sites like bing, expedia, priceline, etc. and last year I ended up paying $1400 for a round trip ticket for December. I'm planning to go back this December, but I'm trying to find a better price. Any recommendations?

I used Expedia last time for convenience. I usually book my tickets directly with Air Canada (they usually have the best prices and its the only airline that flies Canada-Asia) and book hotels myself directly. Just keep looking at airline prices as they will fluctuate over the next few months until a good price pops up. Where are you flying from?
Niahak
Member
(06-18-2013, 06:53 PM)
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Originally Posted by RapidCancel

Go to a hot springs! Me and my gf spent a whole day there and it was great. Go to the springs for 10-15 minutes, come out and relax, drink, eat, repeat for the rest of the day. Best thing I did while I was there.

What's everyone using to purchase tickets? I've been using sites like bing, expedia, priceline, etc. and last year I ended up paying $1400 for a round trip ticket for December. I'm planning to go back this December, but I'm trying to find a better price. Any recommendations?

I had luck looking at Expedia/TripAdvisor for the few days around when I was planning to leave. If you see an unusually low price, check out the airline's website a bit. When I did that, I found out I could save $300ish by getting the tail end of an Air Canada special, leaving a day earlier than planned. Helped out quite a bit.
hwalker84
Member
(06-18-2013, 06:53 PM)
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Originally Posted by RapidCancel

Go to a hot springs! Me and my gf spent a whole day there and it was great. Go to the springs for 10-15 minutes, come out and relax, drink, eat, repeat for the rest of the day. Best thing I did while I was there.

What's everyone using to purchase tickets? I've been using sites like bing, expedia, priceline, etc. and last year I ended up paying $1400 for a round trip ticket for December. I'm planning to go back this December, but I'm trying to find a better price. Any recommendations?

I used Kayak and set a price alert for under $1200 (lower than I had ever seen it). Finally got the alert email Saturday.
RapidCancel
Member
(06-18-2013, 07:00 PM)
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Originally Posted by scogoth

I used Expedia last time for convenience. I usually book my tickets directly with Air Canada (they usually have the best prices and its the only airline that flies Canada-Asia) and book hotels myself directly. Just keep looking at airline prices as they will fluctuate over the next few months until a good price pops up. Where are you flying from?

Expedia is who I booked with last year, how much earlier should I plan ahead for? I'm flying out of Houston, TX.

Originally Posted by Niahak

I had luck looking at Expedia/TripAdvisor for the few days around when I was planning to leave. If you see an unusually low price, check out the airline's website a bit. When I did that, I found out I could save $300ish by getting the tail end of an Air Canada special, leaving a day earlier than planned. Helped out quite a bit.

Thanks, I'll try that out too.

Originally Posted by hwalker84

I used Kayak and set a price alert for under $1200 (lower than I had ever seen it). Finally got the alert email Saturday.

Where are you flying from? How much earlier are you booking?


It seems like no matter what, I'll have to have a layover somewhere else since I'm in Texas. It's not a huge deal, but the layovers this year on the flights I'm finding are ridiculously longer than last year. Last year was about a 4 hour layover, but this year I'm seeing 9 hour layovers. There are direct flights, but they seem to cost $500+ more.

Bing also doesn't seem to have any sort of price predictor for me and I'm trying to stay over there for 2 weeks. Ideally, I'd like to spend $1400 or less this year for airline tickets alone. I'm planning to propose while me and my gf are in Tokyo this year, so I'd like to save money on airline tickets if possible.
hwalker84
Member
(06-18-2013, 07:09 PM)
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Originally Posted by RapidCancel

Expedia is who I booked with last year, how much earlier should I plan ahead for? I'm flying out of Houston, TX.



Thanks, I'll try that out too.



Where are you flying from? How much earlier are you booking?


It seems like no matter what, I'll have to have a layover somewhere else since I'm in Texas. It's not a huge deal, but the layovers this year on the flights I'm finding are ridiculously longer than last year. Last year was about a 4 hour layover, but this year I'm seeing 9 hour layovers. There are direct flights, but they seem to cost $500+ more.

Bing also doesn't seem to have any sort of price predictor for me and I'm trying to stay over there for 2 weeks. Ideally, I'd like to spend $1400 or less this year for airline tickets alone. I'm planning to propose while me and my gf are in Tokyo this year, so I'd like to save money on airline tickets if possible.

Coming from Pittsburgh Nov 8th - Nov 30th
RapidCancel
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(06-18-2013, 07:13 PM)
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Originally Posted by hwalker84

Coming from Pittsburgh Nov 8th - Nov 30th

You aren't too far inland, do you have to take a connecting flight or anything?
hwalker84
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(06-18-2013, 07:14 PM)
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Originally Posted by RapidCancel

You aren't too far inland, do you have to take a connecting flight or anything?

Yes. Here to Vancouver then Vancouver to Tokyo.
Zoe
(06-18-2013, 07:48 PM)
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If you go to Kinkakuji, be sure to try the treats at the end of the trail. I'm normally not a fan of anko, but these are coated in sugar and served with tea. Really wish we had bought some to take home :(

Last edited by Zoe; 06-18-2013 at 07:56 PM.
scogoth
Member
(06-18-2013, 08:11 PM)
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Originally Posted by RapidCancel

Expedia is who I booked with last year, how much earlier should I plan ahead for? I'm flying out of Houston, TX.



Thanks, I'll try that out too.



Where are you flying from? How much earlier are you booking?


It seems like no matter what, I'll have to have a layover somewhere else since I'm in Texas. It's not a huge deal, but the layovers this year on the flights I'm finding are ridiculously longer than last year. Last year was about a 4 hour layover, but this year I'm seeing 9 hour layovers. There are direct flights, but they seem to cost $500+ more.

Bing also doesn't seem to have any sort of price predictor for me and I'm trying to stay over there for 2 weeks. Ideally, I'd like to spend $1400 or less this year for airline tickets alone. I'm planning to propose while me and my gf are in Tokyo this year, so I'd like to save money on airline tickets if possible.

Pre-congratulations! I don't have plans to propose anytime soon but my gf loves Tokyo so when the time comes I will be doing to same.

Previous trips I booked at least 4 months in advance. Seems for Air Canada 4-6 months before is the sweet spot for lowest prices. I assume you are going through LAX? You have lots of airline options so just keep an eye on great deals in the next few weeks. I just looked for December and ironically the cheapest is Houston to Toronto (where I live) then direct Toronto to Tokyo for $1200 but that with an overnight layover. There also seem to be a Houston->LAX->Tokyo with United then Malaysia for $1300 only 3 hour layover.
RapidCancel
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(06-19-2013, 04:31 AM)
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Originally Posted by scogoth

Pre-congratulations! I don't have plans to propose anytime soon but my gf loves Tokyo so when the time comes I will be doing to same.

Previous trips I booked at least 4 months in advance. Seems for Air Canada 4-6 months before is the sweet spot for lowest prices. I assume you are going through LAX? You have lots of airline options so just keep an eye on great deals in the next few weeks. I just looked for December and ironically the cheapest is Houston to Toronto (where I live) then direct Toronto to Tokyo for $1200 but that with an overnight layover. There also seem to be a Houston->LAX->Tokyo with United then Malaysia for $1300 only 3 hour layover.

Thanks =]

I booked about 4-6 months last year too and went to LAX for both departure and return. I'll shoot you a PM shortly so hopefully you can help school me on some stuff for finding tickets.
Biff
Banned
(06-19-2013, 05:05 AM)
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Alright guys so here's how my itinerary is looking (me + gf). Any comments/critiques would be greatly appreciated!

Day 1: Flight arrival in afternoon (Narita). N'EX to Tokyo. Check-in at Ryokan (home base #1), explore immediate area, eat/sleep.
Day 2: Tokyo sightseeing.
Day 3: Tokyo sightseeing.
Day 4: Morning departure for Kyoto. Check-in at home base #2. Afternoon/evening in Arashiyama.
Day 5: Day trip out to Nara (keeping Kyoto as home base).
Day 6: Day trip out to Hiroshima (keeping Kyoto as home base).
Day 7: Morning to early afternoon in Kyoto (Kinkakuji). Train back to Tokyo for final home base #3.
Day 8: Tokyo sightseeing.
Day 9: Tokyo sightseeing.
Day 10: Day trip out to Mt. Fuji (we *may* try to climb it... But we are back-and-forth on this).
Day 11: Slow and steady final morning in Tokyo. Lunch, then back to Narita for an early evening flight home.

Anyone try to climb Mt. Fuji? Are hiking boots essentially mandatory?
the_painted_bird
Member
(06-22-2013, 02:11 AM)
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My lady and I will be flying into Tokyo November 23rd. Staying for a little more than 2 weeks. I am so excited! This thread is going to be very helpful. Keep recommendations coming! Anyone currently live in Japan that we can stay with a night or two? We're into couch surfing and finding cheap places to stay. Anyway, this is a childhood dream come true for me. I'm reading a book on the language so I can get by as best I can.
Formless
Member
(06-22-2013, 02:19 AM)
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Stay at Guesthouse Naramachi in Nara if possible, the guy who runs it is hilarious.

I actually disagree with the others about Osaka Castle -- I found it quite boring and the fact that they've turned it into a museum where not everything is english doesn't help.

In Tokyo definitely check out the Asakusa area, it's got traditional things right next to their new Skytree tower. Also go to the Tsukiji fish market in the morning to get fresh sushi (Closed on certain days though).
navii
My fantasy is that my girlfriend was actually a young high school girl.
(06-22-2013, 02:33 AM)
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Originally Posted by ChefRamsay

Alright guys so here's how my itinerary is looking (me + gf). Any comments/critiques would be greatly appreciated!

Day 1: Flight arrival in afternoon (Narita). N'EX to Tokyo. Check-in at Ryokan (home base #1), explore immediate area, eat/sleep.
Day 2: Tokyo sightseeing.
Day 3: Tokyo sightseeing.
Day 4: Morning departure for Kyoto. Check-in at home base #2. Afternoon/evening in Arashiyama.
Day 5: Day trip out to Nara (keeping Kyoto as home base).
Day 6: Day trip out to Hiroshima (keeping Kyoto as home base).
Day 7: Morning to early afternoon in Kyoto (Kinkakuji). Train back to Tokyo for final home base #3.
Day 8: Tokyo sightseeing.
Day 9: Tokyo sightseeing.
Day 10: Day trip out to Mt. Fuji (we *may* try to climb it... But we are back-and-forth on this).
Day 11: Slow and steady final morning in Tokyo. Lunch, then back to Narita for an early evening flight home.

Anyone try to climb Mt. Fuji? Are hiking boots essentially mandatory?

I would say perhaps you are trying to do too much, thus might get too tired and not enjoy it as much as you could and not see all the good things each area offers. I know that with your schedule I would be exhausted by the time I reached day 10, Mt Fuji.
NinjaMouse
Member
(06-22-2013, 02:54 AM)
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Originally Posted by Meier

My fiancee and I are going on our honeymoon in 11 days. We'll be there from 6/30 (arrival date) until 7/10. Super excited although we're not going to be traveling around outside the Tokyo area much. Maybe if we ever go back we'll figure out a route that brings us to a number of cities but this trip is just Tokyo and Kyoto.

That's awesome...my wife and I took our honeymoon in Tokyo in 2007, and oddly enough, it was around the same time you'll be there (wedding anniversary is 6/30). We were there for 8 days and didn't have time to make it outside of Tokyo as most people say places like Kyoto etc. are better served with multi-day stays and not crammed into a day trip. We're heading back to Japan at the end of July this year, but will be staying with family and only there for a few days, so again we won't make it outside of Tokyo. That's ok, I know a bit more Japanese than last time and I'm not so scared of the differences in culture, so I'm looking very forward to getting more out of this trip than the first.

Enjoy your time there...it's a pretty fascinating place. Not nearly as "nerdy" as I had hoped (as I was expecting this wonderland of video games and such) but the people there are fantastic. I was impressed.
BuRT!
Member
(06-22-2013, 06:58 AM)
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My girlfriend and I are going in November. I was watching ticket prices for a few months and finally found a sale in April for $672 round trip. The average price was usually $1200 when I was looking too. I think I used kayak.
Biff
Banned
(06-26-2013, 02:37 AM)
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Originally Posted by navii

I would say perhaps you are trying to do too much, thus might get too tired and not enjoy it as much as you could and not see all the good things each area offers. I know that with your schedule I would be exhausted by the time I reached day 10, Mt Fuji.

Thanks, that's good advice. I'll take that into account, and perhaps switch out Nara with another full day in Kyoto,
hwalker84
Member
(06-26-2013, 03:48 AM)
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Originally Posted by BuRT!

My girlfriend and I are going in November. I was watching ticket prices for a few months and finally found a sale in April for $672 round trip. The average price was usually $1200 when I was looking too. I think I used kayak.

From where???? $672 holy crap.

Edit: Not the site. From where to where?
Last edited by hwalker84; 06-26-2013 at 03:52 AM.
maomaoIYP
Member
(06-26-2013, 04:02 AM)
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Originally Posted by ChefRamsay

Alright guys so here's how my itinerary is looking (me + gf). Any comments/critiques would be greatly appreciated!

Day 1: Flight arrival in afternoon (Narita). N'EX to Tokyo. Check-in at Ryokan (home base #1), explore immediate area, eat/sleep.
Day 2: Tokyo sightseeing.
Day 3: Tokyo sightseeing.
Day 4: Morning departure for Kyoto. Check-in at home base #2. Afternoon/evening in Arashiyama.
Day 5: Day trip out to Nara (keeping Kyoto as home base).
Day 6: Day trip out to Hiroshima (keeping Kyoto as home base).
Day 7: Morning to early afternoon in Kyoto (Kinkakuji). Train back to Tokyo for final home base #3.
Day 8: Tokyo sightseeing.
Day 9: Tokyo sightseeing.
Day 10: Day trip out to Mt. Fuji (we *may* try to climb it... But we are back-and-forth on this).
Day 11: Slow and steady final morning in Tokyo. Lunch, then back to Narita for an early evening flight home.

Anyone try to climb Mt. Fuji? Are hiking boots essentially mandatory?

Depending on how much you like a sprawling metropolis versus a more quiet and peaceful town, you might want to adjust your time in Tokyo versus Kyoto.
distantmantra
Member
(06-26-2013, 04:13 AM)
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Originally Posted by polg

http://katsutaro.com/annex_index.html

stay here... very japanesey yet western enough to have private bathrooms, in a residential area (japanese shopping street around the corner), close to transport... love it.

My wife and I have stayed there twice in the past. Great place in Yanaka.

Howevever, we're renting an apartment in Shimokitazawa for our upcoming April 2014 trip. Awesome neighborhood.

Still not sure where we'll stay in Osaka, but probably something on AirBNB.
jaxword
Member
(07-01-2013, 12:44 AM)
jaxword's Avatar
This thread has been a great read, thanks to everyone who replied.

1. Anyone have any good suggestions for 2 person hostels in the Tokyo region?

2. Should I spend time looking for a coupon code for a JP rail pass or just grab one now?
SleazyC
Member
(07-01-2013, 12:49 AM)
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Is August really unbearable? I am planning to hit up Japan for a month this coming summer and wanted to time it for the Hiroshima memorial (a coworker went and told me it was pretty amazing). I had wanted to do cherry blossoms but don't think I can pull off going that much earlier in the year.
Zoe
(07-01-2013, 12:49 AM)
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I've never heard of coupons for the rail pass...

Just try to buy it when the yen is in your favor and with enough time to pick up the voucher before your trip.
jaxword
Member
(07-01-2013, 12:54 AM)
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Originally Posted by Zoe

I've never heard of coupons for the rail pass...

Just try to buy it when the yen is in your favor and with enough time to pick up the voucher before your trip.

I thought I had to have it mailed to me back here in NA?
Zoe
(07-01-2013, 12:57 AM)
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Originally Posted by jaxword

I thought I had to have it mailed to me back here in NA?

That's what I meant. Though you could pick it up directly from a travel agency if you live near one.
jaxword
Member
(07-01-2013, 01:21 AM)
jaxword's Avatar
Great, thank you.

So I am planning out a schedule for visiting some places and some friends in the Southern part of Japan. Tokyo is the last stop and gets a full week at the end of the trip.

For the southern island trek, I am thinking:

Start at Osaka.
-1 day for Kyoto
-1 day for Kobe
-1 day to take the train to Fukuoka, this is the longest trek and takes 5 hours.
-1 day to Spend time in Fukuoka area
-1 day to train back to Hiroshima and spend time there, I think it can be done in a day
-1 day back from Hiroshima to Osaka

Seem reasonable?
gotoadgo
Member
(07-01-2013, 01:41 AM)
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You want more time in Kyoto in my opinion, my girlfriend and I spent 4 days there and still felt rushed. That is of course if you'd like to see most of the temples and things.
Zoe
(07-01-2013, 01:46 AM)
Zoe's Avatar
Yeah, we only managed to see Kinkakuji and Kiyomizudera in one day. We got there kinda midday though.

I really wanted to see the deer at Nara :(

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