Japan? Japan!

Discussion in 'Holidays & Travel' started by chainbolt, May 29, 2012.

  1. Orphan

    Orphan Member

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    Just purchased some tickets to Japan for three weeks late Oct/early November. It was the recent Jetstar special and ended up around $500 return each, probably good to remember whenever advertised ticket prices are cheap ($405) there are often booking fees and baggage fees on top of that.

    So far we are looking at doing Tokyo > Hakone (for one night at a nice ryokan with onsen) > Osaka > Hiroshima > Kyoto > Back to Tokyo to fly out. Any comment on if it might be worth heading down to Fukuoka for a day or two or that would be trying to do a bit too much?

    Also are there any typically slow days at Universal in Osaka or just avoid the weekends?

    I remember discussion about credit cards that don't have exchange rate fees or something similar. What are the go to methods of bringing a decent amount of money without having it all in cash? Can anyone advise on options for short term phone/data sim's for internet access and maps etc or a wireless hotspot for the same purpose?
     
  2. OP
    OP
    chainbolt

    chainbolt Member

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    It can be done. But it's twice half a day in the train. There are many very interesting points to see in Kyushu, but they are further down from Fukuoka, and would take more time than 2 days.
     
  3. Orphan

    Orphan Member

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    Alrighty, might give it a miss then. A lot of the stuff I was interested in down in Kyushu tended to not be anywhere near the main train lines too.

    Chainbolt, any suggestions for short term data sim's or wifi hotspots and accessing money without constant exchange rate fees etc?
     
  4. dicer

    dicer Member

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    I got mine from travel sims direct. Convenient receiving it before the trip but you can also hire 3G 4G hotspots or sims from some shops at the airport.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    chainbolt

    chainbolt Member

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    Most hotels have free wifi, in Tokyo there is also free WiFi for tourists.

    NTT is offering 14 days free for tourists.

    http://flets.com/freewifi/index.html

    NTT (docomo) has the broadest network in Japan, hotspots are everywhere.

    Otherwise I would buy a prepaid SIM card at one of the big electronic shops like Biccamera or Yodobashi.
     
  6. BluBoy

    BluBoy Member

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    Sill trying to plan a Summer holiday...
    Having previously done Hiroshima to Tokyo, I thought we could do Tokyo to Sapporo this time (at the same time, escape the worst of the humid weather :)

    I wanted to do ~ a week in Tokyo, ~ a week *somewhere relaxing* and ~ a week in Sapporo. We will be travelling with an infant, so won't really be able to have as many bases as I'd usually want, but the occasional day trip is possible.

    I'm now at a loss as to what to do between Tokoyo and Sapporo.
    I'd originally been hoping to spend a week in Aomori. With the Aomori nebuta festival and it being an ideal location for day trips to other areas this seemed perfect.
    But even a few months ago, I've not been able to find accomodation IN Aomori and concerned that any travel to the festival will be over crowded and not really baby friendly.

    The other option was to find a nice ryokan/airbnb on the beach or in the wilderness. But Tohoku is such a big area, I'm not even sure where to start looking. Ideally it'll be somewhere on the JR train line to Sapporo and baby friendly. It should somewhere we can just relax for a bit (ie be the polar opposite of our first week in Tokyo). Hoping to go off the beaten track and pay a little less for this!

    Does anyone have any suggestions? Most guides I've found don't really cover the smaller towns north of Tokyo.

    From my notes:

    Free Unlimted WiFi @ 0.5 Million hotspots: http://cdn.softbank.jp/en/mobile/set/common/pdf/special/freewifi/brochure_FREE_Wi-Fi_PASSPORT.pdf

    $30 to $35 unlimited SIM card http://umobile.jp/d/lp/prepaid/eng.html
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2016
  7. ewok85

    ewok85 Member

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    Tohoku is nice, but it's badly documented as you've found. Really depends what you are looking for.

    From Tokyo I'd probably check out Kawagoe (~2hrs from Tokyo by normal train), then Nikko (~2.5 hours from Kawagoe, about 2 hours from Tokyo by express).

    Further north it really depends what you want to do with a baby. Hawaiians indoor water park might be a good one - http://www.hawaiians.co.jp/

    Apart from that I'm not really sure - there are some nice science and air museums, aquariums and that sort of thing in Fukushima and Aomori. Most of the "interesting" stuff tends to be fairly adult - important temples, castles, sites of historic importance, etc.

    There's also British Hills - might be worth a visit for the novelty value alone - https://www.british-hills.co.jp/english/access/
     
  8. gmphoto

    gmphoto Member

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    This is the mob I used Feb 2015, probably better deals available but it worked for me. Just use skype/facetime/viber for calls.

    https://www.econnectjapan.com/products/wifi/4g

    Used ours for 2 x iPhones, 1 x iPad Mini, 1 x Macbook Air simultaneously. Big advantage over a SIM in a phone.

    And for hotels I took a miniature wifi router and hooked that to the lan connection in the room. Nobody snooping my devices! And saved having to put up with the hotel's over subscribed generally shitty wifi.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
  9. GoneFishin22

    GoneFishin22 Member

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    @Bluboy - Hakodate is a nice place and worth spending a day there before heading to Sapporo.
     
  10. OP
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    chainbolt

    chainbolt Member

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    A couple of weeks ago I was with guests for the 3rd time in Nikko. It's exhausting to do it as day trip from Tokyo, but absolutely worth!!
     
  11. Szemen

    Szemen Member

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    We did the Nebuta festival last year. The best way obviously is staying in Aomori but it's VERY hard to find accomodation as most tours book them out in advance. You might have better luck closer to the date. What we did was stay in Hachinohe. There's shinkansen from Aomori to Hachinohe so it makes it easier. Though it was a shame we didn't stay to the end. The preference would've been to stay in Aomori but staying in Hachinohe was fun also.

    We also did the Akita Kanto festival and we stayed in Akita proper which made the experience a lot better.
     
  12. Orphan

    Orphan Member

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    What is the public toilet situation like in the main cities of Japan? Are there many, is there a map that has them listed haha?
     
  13. danyell

    danyell Member

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    Do you suffer from a weak bladder? IBS? Or is it just an overriding need to powder your nose hourly? [emoji1]
     
  14. OP
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    chainbolt

    chainbolt Member

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    Why do you ask? There are plenty of them, and they are normally quite clean.
     
  15. Boneman

    Boneman Member

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    The best public toilets are the ones you can see into. Nothing beats walking around the park and seeing some old man shaking it. :lol:
     
  16. danyell

    danyell Member

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    It's seriously the weirdest question to ask about a first world country, is it not?
     
  17. GoneFishin22

    GoneFishin22 Member

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    They have at least as many as we do in Australia - but the majority are far cleaner and have a sanitiser spray for the seat before you sit and many are the "squirty bum" style (once you've tried them you can't go back and you do miss them).

    They are very comfortable and at times have "funny" functions, in the cold regions the seats can have heaters and occasionally they have a "fake" flushing noise button in case your being very "loud" you can mask your sounds by pushing the flushing noise button.

    On the rare occasions you may find they only have the tradition "squatting" toilet which I was not game to try and held on until the next location.

    Pro-tip: going overseas to any country can cause an upset tummy in the first week or two as your gut adjusts to the new foods/cuisine - make sure to take some Gastro-Stop to improve your control of possible IBS.
     
  18. OP
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    chainbolt

    chainbolt Member

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    Indeed. That's one of the first things I realized when coming to Japan. Public toilets in Japan are indeed almost "public". :leet:
     
  19. Winterheart

    Winterheart Member

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    I didn't realise until I was reading some of the tourist info sites that Hokkaido and Sapporo have only recently finished the sakura blossoms. Wonder how busy it gets up there for Sakura as I'd love to see it next year if I can :D
     
  20. mtma

    mtma Member

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    Actually, comparably speaking I found that public toilets in Japan were certainly fewer in some areas if compared with western first world countries. Particularly if you are in older shopping areas, the people density to toilets ratio is well out of balance.

    Eateries can be particularly underwhelming at times. What might be a fairly reasonably sized McD's could have only one unisex stall.

    But generally the more recently revamped buildings, popular train stations and highway rest stops are fitted out as you would expect.
     

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