Trip to Japan

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Vermilion
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Vermilion » Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:09 pm

If you fancy trying some of the food before you go, you might want to pop into the Japan Centre food hall near Leicester Square, it's well worth checking out, see here...



I ended up buying lots of sweets, including a bag of cat branded gummies shaped like paw prints.

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Bunni
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Bunni » Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:14 pm

Do they offer anything specialist that isn’t already available from Chinatown next door?

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Minty14
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Minty14 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:30 am

Yoshimi wrote:Hey folks. I'm planning a trip to Japan/Korea in October 2019, with my daughter.

Seems like the cheapest option is return flights to Seoul (KLM from Edinburgh to Seoul for £721 each), then having a trip to Tokyo in the middle of the holiday (return flights Seoul > Tokyo for £210 each).

We'll have 12-13 nights in total. I'd welcome advice and recommendations. Not sure if we should keep to the 2 cities, or try to visit more places. Don't want to spend the whole time travelling, but we want to get as much out of the holiday as possible.

Tokyo's my favourite city in the world, but you should definitely get out of it for at least one day and see something different. I'd recommend looking up the 'Hakone Loop'. It can be easily done in a day from Tokyo if you want to keep travelling down to a minimum and not lose too many days in Tokyo.

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Vermilion
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Vermilion » Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:16 am

Bunni wrote:Do they offer anything specialist that isn’t already available from Chinatown next door?


Their range is pretty extensive, I spend quite a bit of time in Chinatown and there's a lot of stuff i've not seen down there (especially since the Chinatown market hall closed a couple of years back).

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Yoshimi
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Yoshimi » Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:08 am

Thanks for the recommendations so far.

We'd like to visit the Ghibli Museum while we're there. Anyone been? I found this tour, but not sure if it's the best way to visit.

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Sandy
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Sandy » Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:41 am

If you can muster the enthusiasm to travel for 3 hours then you can get to Matsumoto on the Shinkansen. It's up there as one of my favourite places I've ever been.

I haven't been there since 2012 but when I went the local council would provide you with free bikes to get around. We were the only tourists that I saw. There were tonnes of options for food. Theres a river running through the centre of the city. Great options for shopping and also an amazing castle. There tonnes of other little bits as well that all come together really well. If I was going to live anywhere in Japan this would be the place.

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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Lotus » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:39 am

Yoshimi wrote:Thanks for the recommendations so far.

We'd like to visit the Ghibli Museum while we're there. Anyone been? I found this tour, but not sure if it's the best way to visit.

I went earlier this year. It's worth going to, but I'm not sure that tour is necessarily the best option, unless you specifically want to go to the architecture museum and it all works out cheaper doing it like that. It's very straightforward to get to Mitaka from Tokyo, not expensive to do so, and you don't have a 2 hour time-limit there like you would with the tour. If you're just interested in the Ghibli museum I'd say make your own way there, take your time, and explore some of Mitaka as well.

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Yoshimi
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Yoshimi » Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:49 pm

Lotus wrote:
Yoshimi wrote:Thanks for the recommendations so far.

We'd like to visit the Ghibli Museum while we're there. Anyone been? I found this tour, but not sure if it's the best way to visit.

I went earlier this year. It's worth going to, but I'm not sure that tour is necessarily the best option, unless you specifically want to go to the architecture museum and it all works out cheaper doing it like that. It's very straightforward to get to Mitaka from Tokyo, not expensive to do so, and you don't have a 2 hour time-limit there like you would with the tour. If you're just interested in the Ghibli museum I'd say make your own way there, take your time, and explore some of Mitaka as well.


How did you book tickets? The ticket system looks really confusing. Is it really hard to get tickets?

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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Lotus » Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:26 pm

Yoshimi wrote:
Lotus wrote:
Yoshimi wrote:Thanks for the recommendations so far.

We'd like to visit the Ghibli Museum while we're there. Anyone been? I found this tour, but not sure if it's the best way to visit.

I went earlier this year. It's worth going to, but I'm not sure that tour is necessarily the best option, unless you specifically want to go to the architecture museum and it all works out cheaper doing it like that. It's very straightforward to get to Mitaka from Tokyo, not expensive to do so, and you don't have a 2 hour time-limit there like you would with the tour. If you're just interested in the Ghibli museum I'd say make your own way there, take your time, and explore some of Mitaka as well.


How did you book tickets? The ticket system looks really confusing. Is it really hard to get tickets?

Yeah I'm not sure why they make it so confusing and use such an odd/restrictive process, but in practice I didn't find it difficult. I filled out the form here https://www.japanspecialist.co.uk/ghibl ... uest-form/ and sat back and waited for them to contact me. You can only book (I believe) 3 months ahead of when you're looking to go. So I went in March 2018 and booked my tickets in December 2017. You have to pick the day you want to visit and then a couple of back-up choices as well (we got given tickets for our second-choice day). So, it's not difficult per se, but it is popular, and you'll need to be flexible. I booked pretty far in advance (given what was 'allowed' in terms of timings) and didn't get the day I wanted. You can buy them when you're in Japan through Lawson stores, but I didn't want risk there being none left or not being able to understand the machine!

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Minty14
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Minty14 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:38 pm

Yoshimi wrote:
Lotus wrote:
Yoshimi wrote:Thanks for the recommendations so far.

We'd like to visit the Ghibli Museum while we're there. Anyone been? I found this tour, but not sure if it's the best way to visit.

I went earlier this year. It's worth going to, but I'm not sure that tour is necessarily the best option, unless you specifically want to go to the architecture museum and it all works out cheaper doing it like that. It's very straightforward to get to Mitaka from Tokyo, not expensive to do so, and you don't have a 2 hour time-limit there like you would with the tour. If you're just interested in the Ghibli museum I'd say make your own way there, take your time, and explore some of Mitaka as well.


How did you book tickets? The ticket system looks really confusing. Is it really hard to get tickets?

I booked mine through Viator, in a package that included a bus from the same hotel as the one you've linked, but you had to make your own way back. It was good value but unfortunately looks like it doesn't exist anymore.

There's a ticket only package here: https://www.viator.com/tours/Tokyo/to-P ... 4-27666P29 which is much cheaper if you're not interested in the other stops.

One thing I would definitely recommend is, if you are heading to Tokyo after you've been to the museum, head to Kichijoji station rather than Mitaka and take a route through Inokashira park and round the lake there.

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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Outrunner » Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:36 pm

Yoshimi wrote:Hey folks. I'm planning a trip to Japan/Korea in October 2019, with my daughter.

Seems like the cheapest option is return flights to Seoul (KLM from Edinburgh to Seoul for £721 each), then having a trip to Tokyo in the middle of the holiday (return flights Seoul > Tokyo for £210 each).

We'll have 12-13 nights in total. I'd welcome advice and recommendations. Not sure if we should keep to the 2 cities, or try to visit more places. Don't want to spend the whole time travelling, but we want to get as much out of the holiday as possible.


As others have said, Kyoto is definitely worth a visit. You can also do a day trip to Nara (which is lovely) from Kyoto. Personally I didn't enjoy Osaka either time I was there. I'm not sure how much of that was circumstances though (both times coincided with feeling depression related mood dip and my anxiety levels ratcheting up.

Nikko is worth a trip from Tokyo and there are various places that are technically in Tokyo but would feel like a day trip outside of Tokyo if you fancied a change of scenery. Mount Takao springs to mind.

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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Preezy » Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:04 pm

I've been listening to the back catalogue of the Abroad in Japan podcast (I've been a subscriber to his youtube channel for a few years but only just discovered the podcast), and he's done a couple of great episodes where he goes through all of the tops things to do when visiting Japan, worth checking out. The series in general is great, talks about all the oddities and cultural complexities that he's faced living in the country.

Just thought I'd throw that out there in case anyone was interested.

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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Rightey » Sat Dec 15, 2018 8:29 am

I'm here :toot:

It's just as weird as I remember.

This is a band...

No idea why the colour theme of their suites is garbage man.

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Literal robots working in the subways...

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View from our first hotel room in Tokyo...

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I also got a view of Mt. Fuji when we went from Tokyo to Osaka...

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I also went to TeamLab Planets while in Tokyo, I would post photos but it really doesn't do it justice, if you are going to Tokyo it's really worth a visit. It's like a bunch of interactive art installations. They have a room where the floor is made of bean bags.

Pelloki on ghosts wrote:Just start masturbating furiously. That'll make them go away.

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Vermilion
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Vermilion » Sat Dec 15, 2018 7:03 pm

Awesome piccies, be sure to post more asap.

Silent Right wrote:This is a band...


Neat, a friend of mine used to send me Japanese music mags which featured all sorts of unusual artists and bands, one of the favourites at the time was Porno Graffiti.

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DML
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by DML » Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:47 pm

So this looks like being the year I finally go to Japan.

Hoping to go in April/May for 10 days, spending maybe 5/6 days in Tokyo (I have a friend there as well) and then travelling to maybe Osaka and other day trips. But I really don't know where to start regards booking it. I know its high season with it being blossom season, but thats okay if I can start on a coherent plan. Any websites or pointers anyone could give me would be great, because the sooner I put stuff togetter the more likely its going to become a reality.

Can anyone help with how they go about booking flights or good websites for booking hotels/packages etc? I know about the Japan Rail Pass so will probably use that for travelling to other destinations.

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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Denster » Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:28 pm

I got flights from Manchester on Skyscanner for 580.

Hotel from booking.com was 385 for seven nights.

Shop around but they're not bad as a reference point.

The flights were booked with gotogate and I flew with Lufthansa (to Frankfurt) and all Nippon airways. Both were excellent.

Get the kite, Beavis.
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Outrunner
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Outrunner » Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:13 pm

I use skyscanner for flights. I then check the the airlines official website as sometimes it's cheaper than the skyscanner price.

booking.com should be fine but any similar website like agoda.com will be absolutely fine. I tend to use booking.com (and I'm using them for my current trip) and have never had an issue.

japan-guide.com is a great site for ideas for day trips etc

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Green Gecko
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Green Gecko » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:36 pm

DML wrote:So this looks like being the year I finally go to Japan.

Hoping to go in April/May for 10 days, spending maybe 5/6 days in Tokyo (I have a friend there as well) and then travelling to maybe Osaka and other day trips. But I really don't know where to start regards booking it. I know its high season with it being blossom season, but thats okay if I can start on a coherent plan. Any websites or pointers anyone could give me would be great, because the sooner I put stuff togetter the more likely its going to become a reality.

Can anyone help with how they go about booking flights or good websites for booking hotels/packages etc? I know about the Japan Rail Pass so will probably use that for travelling to other destinations.

Look at some young persons travel agents like H.I.S. https://no1japantravel.com/en/, that's where I got my return flight for around £640, which was with Qatar Airways (really good). I can't really remember but I think I only e-mailed and maybe called them once or twice.

Also that isn't really cherry blossom season, it is march and the festivals that celebrate the falling of the petals is around then. You'll see some blossoms in April but they will be gone by the time you leave. You don't want to go later than that because it gets REALLY hot and humid and most English people I hear can't deal with that... (even those that live there).

I went to Kyoto in April 2011 and visited Osaka for a day and then Nara.

Edit: here are some contact details

H.I.S. Europe Ltd.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7484 3337 - Leisure Sales (English)

english@his-euro.co.uk

They also have a web form here with new details https://no1japantravel.com/en/contact-us

It was a good experience as they took care of everything for me and I got a flight itinerary including a stop off in Qatar and just, well, went.

The cost is probably down to how much of a packaged experience you want and whether you get a rail pass but my brother just sent me places and showed me stuff so I was fortunate not having to worry about that. I also got lost on my bike and found Nintendo HQ literally by accident. :lol: I actually really valued that experience of just cycling around and finding stuff for myself so I would recommend not being too obsessive about exact times and dates if you have 10 days unless you thrive on knowing what's next etc. I found that things popping up every 10 seconds that interested me was more than enough fun in the city than worrying about how much time I had before my next thing etc.

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DML
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by DML » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:02 pm

This is all really helpful stuff, thank you.

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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Outrunner » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:41 pm

I forgot to mention, it's Golden Week at the end of April and into May. I've not experienced it myself but I've heard it can be busy and a lot of tourist places will be booked up. I've taken this into account for my trip and will be leaving just before it starts.

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2282.html


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