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  • Planning a big Japan trip with some days at the Resorts- any recommendations?

    Hi all! I've read some of the advice threads on here, so I think I know how much time I want to spend at the Disney parks. I'm thinking about three weeks in total for the trip in mid-October.

    So far I've got a per-day plan of:
    1) Ueno Zoo (is this any good? I've heard from an American friend who vacationed there that it sucked)
    2) Osaka Aquarium
    3) Disneyland
    4) Disneyland
    5) DisneySea
    6) Odaiba island
    7) Shibuya
    8) National Museum of Science & Nature
    9) Tokyo Museum (I forget the actual name- the big museum of their history)
    10) Akihabara

    Days 11-21 I'm undecided about. I could do an extra Disney day if I haven't seen enough in the three. Can you get Park Hoppers there? I might take some day trips to other cities (Kyoto, Osaka). And naturally, most of the stuff closing at 5 allows me to travel around the city a bit more.

    For Hotels, I'm thinking of one of the ones close to Ueno, as it's close to the subway stations and some of the stuff I wanted to see.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

  • ErikInTheCity
    replied
    Make sure you hit up an onsen at some point on your trip. LaQua at Tokyo Dome City is a great introduction to the onsen world.

    Instead of exchanging money at the airport, we withdrew from our bank accounts at the Seven Bank atm located there. It's part of the 7-11 Japan Corporation. The exchange rate was great and the fee was minimal.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jabroniville
    replied
    I was planning on going to the Disney parks on Oct. 12-15th, but apparently that Monday is a "National Sports Day" or something. As as public holiday, would that increase the amount of people in the park overly-much? The "Park Crowd" sites I'm looking at both have that Monday & Tuesday at the same crowd levels, and based off of what the holiday's about (school athletic competitions), I figured more kids would be doing that than going to the parks. Does that Monday seem okay to go?

    Naturally I'm going to avoid the weekend, but I could go on Friday instead (it has the same crowd-level as Mon & Tues, though).

    I'm noticing October's slightly busier than Sept or November on the sites, which is too bad- I chose October because I was told it was one of the cheaper times to visit. Oh well- I'm sure the usual "arrive before park opening" trick still works for getting the most done as quickly as you can.

    Leave a comment:


  • iheartglaciers
    replied
    Originally posted by Jabroniville View Post
    You need a lottery for certain shows? I wasn't aware of that- what shows are there? I was mainly concerned with the rides (I planned the trip so the largest number of rides would be open and not being refurbed).
    Here is info about the lottery for shows. Unfortunately I didn't win any during my 2-day trip, but I had lots of fun anyway. I was very amused by the Table in Waiting show, which is in the American Waterfront in DisneySea and you don't need a lottery ticket for it.

    http://tdrexplorer.com/how-to-use-th...disney-resort/

    Leave a comment:


  • Jabroniville
    replied
    You need a lottery for certain shows? I wasn't aware of that- what shows are there? I was mainly concerned with the rides (I planned the trip so the largest number of rides would be open and not being refurbed).

    I'm thinking of getting the rail pass just for the convenience- it's a 17-day trip, but I might get the 21-day pass just for convenience. It's only a hundred dollars or so more.

    Of course, I could ALSO just pay the minor fees getting from place to place (across Tokyo seems like around 690 yen), and save the pass for the big cross-country trips.

    Leave a comment:


  • iheartglaciers
    replied
    I thought 3 days was enough for TDR, but with 4 you could really take your time (and increase your chance of seeing the shows you need to win the lottery for). For Kyoto, I highly recommend renting a bike to take a self-guided tour of the temples!

    Leave a comment:


  • Jabroniville
    replied
    OK- I've finally got most of the logistics worked out:

    Days 1-10 in Tokyo (10 days)
    Days 11-15 in Osaka (3.5 days)
    Days 16-19 in Kyoto (3.5 days)

    Tokyo Stuff:
    * 4 days at the Disney Parks
    * Odaiba Island
    * Shibuya
    * National Museum
    * Museum of Science & Nature
    * Akihabara
    * Ueno Zoo (still on the fence about this one, but it's close enough to other things that I can bail early if it sucks)
    * Seno-ji, Asakusa Temple, the Pokemon Center, and a few other things.
    * Arcade crawl: Joypolis, HEY!, Club SEGA, Bar-A-Button, Super Potato, Taito (might be fun to check out randomly)
    * Hakeijima Aquarium (maybe- Yokohama isn't too far)

    * A bunch of these days will also include walking tours through different neighborhoods and stuff like that, plus enough extra time to fill with other things. Maybe a day trip here or there.

    Osaka:
    * Osaka Station City
    * Nipponbashi Dendentown (sounds like Akihabara)
    * Tenjinbashisuju (Shopping district)
    * ****ennoji Temple and a few other Temples
    * Osaka Aquarium

    Kyoto:
    (still working on stuff to do here. Apparently the walking tours are ideal if you split up the one big historical district into two different days)


    Thanks for the advice, everyone!

    Leave a comment:


  • nish221
    replied
    Re: Planning a big Japan trip with some days at the Resorts- any recommendations?

    I always get one of these pre-paid cards when I'm in Tokyo for more than a few hours.

    Leave a comment:


  • vanessarose96
    replied

    Leave a comment:


  • robbiem
    replied
    Re: Planning a big Japan trip with some days at the Resorts- any recommendations?

    I forgot to add HyperDia | 乗換案内 路線検索 時刻表 旅費精算 通勤費 ダイヤ作成なら is great for trip planning. You can get timetables for almost any trip in Japan and search for JR and shinkansen only routes.

    If if you travel away from Tokyo Kyoto is amazing and Himeji has the most fantastic castle I've ever visited. I'm sure no matter where you go you'll have a great time

    Leave a comment:


  • greenkai3000
    replied
    Re: Planning a big Japan trip with some days at the Resorts- any recommendations?

    Ueno was a big disappointment for me. I would suggest skipping it altogether.

    As far as your free days are concerned, why don't you go to Kyoto and Nara. Both places are really cool!

    Leave a comment:


  • TDS Traveller
    replied
    Re: Planning a big Japan trip with some days at the Resorts- any recommendations?

    Me too.

    Save your local Tokyo sightseeing days and just pay the Y200(about $2.00) or so from place to place. Keep the rail pass for the long shinkansen trips.

    Leave a comment:


  • nish221
    replied
    Re: Planning a big Japan trip with some days at the Resorts- any recommendations?

    Originally posted by robbiem View Post
    If you plan your holiday right you don't need a rail pass for the whole time but it saves a lot if you plan to travel the country by shinkansen (the bullet train). Although you can use it in Tokyo for the JR lines it's really more economical for longer trips. When I've been to Japan I've stayed locally in Tokyo then activated my pass and done big day trips, traveling around getting back to Tokyo or TDR when it runs out. It's no use at TDR so try not to be paying for days when you're there if you get one
    Good tip! I've done that as well.

    Leave a comment:


  • Darth Goofy
    replied
    Re: Planning a big Japan trip with some days at the Resorts- any recommendations?

    Yes, I recommend you have fun!!!:yea: Sounds like a nice trip. Would love to go to the Tokyo Resort someday!!

    Leave a comment:


  • robbiem
    replied
    Re: Planning a big Japan trip with some days at the Resorts- any recommendations?

    If you plan your holiday right you don't need a rail pass for the whole time but it saves a lot if you plan to travel the country by shinkansen (the bullet train). Although you can use it in Tokyo for the JR lines it's really more economical for longer trips. When I've been to Japan I've stayed locally in Tokyo then activated my pass and done big day trips, traveling around getting back to Tokyo or TDR when it runs out. It's no use at TDR so try not to be paying for days when you're there if you get one

    Leave a comment:


  • TimmyTimmyTimmy
    replied
    Re: Planning a big Japan trip with some days at the Resorts- any recommendations?

    Originally posted by Fukai View Post
    You won't get robbed in Japan: carry cash (like the Japanese). Convert your money at Narita Airport: they have great rates.
    Safest city on earth.

    Leave a comment:


  • DisneySeaFan
    replied
    Re: Planning a big Japan trip with some days at the Resorts- any recommendations?

    Originally posted by Jabroniville View Post
    OK, thanks for the responses!


    I hear a lot of names, but I don't know what they all mean . What's so great about those regions? What do they have to offer? I want to see lots of what Tokyo has to offer, but I want to narrow it down.
    This link: japan-guide.com - Japan Travel and Living Guide can give you some details about the places I mentioned.

    Essentially, Kamakura is a former capital of Japan with lots of temples and pretty beaches. Its most famous landmark is a large outdoor Buddha.

    Nikko is the burial site of important historical figure Tokugawa Ieyasu and its spectacular.

    Hakone is a hot spring resort town with beautiful lake views of Mt. Fuji.

    Harajuku is home to Japanese cos-play and lollita fashion and it has become iconic even in western pop-culture. It's a must-see in Tokyo even if you just walk Take****a Street.

    Asakusa is home to Senso-ji, the most ornate Buddhist temple Tokyo has to offer.

    Shimokitazawa is hipster paradise. Thrift stores, narrow streets, cat-cafes, and coffee shops everywhere you look.

    Shinjuku is home to the world's busiest train station. It's in many ways the "hub" of Tokyo and is a great place to experience the hustle and bustle that Tokyo is famous for.

    Leave a comment:


  • Fukai
    replied
    Re: Planning a big Japan trip with some days at the Resorts- any recommendations?

    I usually spend 5 days at the Tokyo Disney Resort.

    Leave a comment:


  • Fukai
    replied
    Re: Planning a big Japan trip with some days at the Resorts- any recommendations?

    You won't get robbed in Japan: carry cash (like the Japanese). Convert your money at Narita Airport: they have great rates.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jabroniville
    replied
    Re: Planning a big Japan trip with some days at the Resorts- any recommendations?

    OK, thanks for the responses!

    I LOVE Ueno Zoo. Maybe it's because I've never been to another zoo that had pandas before so I associate it with that, but I've been several times and really enjoy it. It's got some really beautiful, natural looking habitats. The crocodile tank is especially fun because the water is at eye level and it likes to jump in the water and stare down everyone that comes up to the glass. Ueno park and Ameyoko street are also must-sees while you're in the area. I highly recommend it.

    Are you planning a day trip to Osaka just for the aquarium? If you're basing your trip in Tokyo, I would advise day trips to either Kamakura, Nikko, or Hakone. They're closer so you'll have more time to see things, plus I find them more fascinating than Osaka, honestly. I've lived there and it isn't my favorite city.

    Shibuya, Akihabara, and Odaiba are great indeed, but as others suggested, don't miss out on Harajuku, Asakusa and Shinjuku. I also LOVE Shimokitazawa.

    And don't let people dissuade you from going to museums just because of their personal preferences. There are stellar museums all over Japan, especially the two you've listed and if you like museums, you should go or you'll regret it.
    I hear a lot of names, but I don't know what they all mean . What's so great about those regions? What do they have to offer? I want to see lots of what Tokyo has to offer, but I want to narrow it down.

    I was planning on staying in Toyko as "base camp" and making day trips, but the suggestions of others (not just here- a few others I know have said the same) have led me to think I should just stay 10-12 days in Tokyo, and spend a couple days each in some other areas. I'll probably stay in Osaka for the Aquarium, and possibly their Universal Studios park.

    Thanks for the tip on museums- I guess some people just really aren't into that kind of stuff.

    14MPH: Thanks for the park advice- I figure four days should about do it, then. And I generally try to arrive early to the parks in any case- I ride all the "Must See" stuff good and early, and then I can sightsee or re-do rides for the rest, with no pressure!

    Is the Japan Rail Pass worth doing for the full three weeks, or could I get away with just the two-week version and then do the rest? How expensive IS it to get around for a week in Japan? All the travel guides basically tell you in no uncertain terms to buy one before arriving and to not even both with the tolls.

    By "dork" do you mean you like anime and manga? How I respond to your post will depend on that answer. And if your answer is "yes", what do you like/collect most of...things like doujinshi, or figures? More shoujo-ish, or shounen-ish? I ask because I can help you learn how to navigate events that you'll love.

    My husband and I have been 4 times, and we're going back in February- we're anime fans as much as Disney fans, so through a lot of trail and error, we've found some cool stuff (some of which has already been mentioned).
    I used to love manga & anime a lot (I went on the school exchange almost entirely because I loved Sailor Moon and whatever anime I could get my hands on, which in 1998 wasn't a lot), but have kind of soured on a lot of it in recent years (it's really just as formulaic and bad as Western animation was). It's really hit or miss with me these days, but thankfully both Japan & Western animation can still hit great heights. I haven't seen any "recent" anime works, though. I'd be interested in what you're talking about- part of my trip involves checking out Akihabara for that kind of stuff (would that neighborhood be just a full-day thing, or would a thorough search involve numerous days?).

    Leave a comment:

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