Art and Photography

Going to Japan in April, what to bring?

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 13th, 2018 8:41 am
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Newbie
Feb 20, 2006
29 posts
2 upvotes
Big miss, especially in cherry blossom season. I am going to Japan in the beginning of April this year too, but I allocated 9 days in Nara and Kyoto, with day trip to Himeji Castle. There are just so many World Heritage sites to cover in these 2 areas.
Deal Addict
Aug 4, 2008
3279 posts
743 upvotes
Toronto
I went into Henrys recently and held the recent the Sony 16-35 GMaster in hand, its much lighter than the Canon 16-35 2.8.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 28, 2005
1713 posts
408 upvotes
rebel_rfd wrote:
Jan 4th, 2018 12:32 pm
I went into Henrys recently and held the recent the Sony 16-35 GMaster in hand, its much lighter than the Canon 16-35 2.8.
That’s great, but I am not sure how that’s relevant...
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Aug 4, 2008
3279 posts
743 upvotes
Toronto
unshavenyak wrote:
Jan 4th, 2018 12:49 pm
That’s great, but I am not sure how that’s relevant...
Most people think mirroless just shaves weigh off the body, but gains are made on the lenses too.

For your case, stick with your wide zoom and longest reach lens.
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Nov 19, 2006
3364 posts
177 upvotes
Toronto
hchai wrote:
Jan 4th, 2018 12:01 pm
Big miss, especially in cherry blossom season. I am going to Japan in the beginning of April this year too, but I allocated 9 days in Nara and Kyoto, with day trip to Himeji Castle. There are just so many World Heritage sites to cover in these 2 areas.
Nara is nice but it's quite filled with tour buses. I find places like Koya or enryakuji worth a visit due to the distance from big city (not many tourists)
Deal Fanatic
Jan 27, 2006
7919 posts
2512 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
If you are looking at picking up a lens or two, then I would look at the used market in Japan which, in my opinion, second to none. Most of the used stuff is mint or close to mint and a shop will typically have multiple copies of the product for you to choose from. The prices are pretty good as well. As a bonus, it's a good experience shopping for a lens where the local shop but be prepared that very little English is spoken.

When I got my 50mm f1.4 a few years ago, I actually found a few shops have their entire used inventory online with full pricing so you can get an idea of how much and where so that it won't be a wasted trip. The downside of shopping for used stuff in Tokyo is that it could be hard to find the shop as none of the street signs are in English so the directions and your ability to follow a map needs to be good.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 28, 2005
1713 posts
408 upvotes
craftsman wrote:
Jan 4th, 2018 2:15 pm
If you are looking at picking up a lens or two, then I would look at the used market in Japan which, in my opinion, second to none. Most of the used stuff is mint or close to mint and a shop will typically have multiple copies of the product for you to choose from. The prices are pretty good as well. As a bonus, it's a good experience shopping for a lens where the local shop but be prepared that very little English is spoken.

When I got my 50mm f1.4 a few years ago, I actually found a few shops have their entire used inventory online with full pricing so you can get an idea of how much and where so that it won't be a wasted trip. The downside of shopping for used stuff in Tokyo is that it could be hard to find the shop as none of the street signs are in English so the directions and your ability to follow a map needs to be good.
Thanks for the advice. I hadn't even thought about shopping for lenses as the last time I was in Tokyo for work the watches were more expensive than in Canada.
[OP]
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Dec 28, 2005
1713 posts
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MoonDoggy wrote:
Jan 4th, 2018 2:04 pm
Nara is nice but it's quite filled with tour buses. I find places like Koya or enryakuji worth a visit due to the distance from big city (not many tourists)
Darn. Too late, I already cancelled my Nagoya reservation and booked a non-refundable room at the Centurion in Nara :(.
Newbie
Feb 20, 2006
29 posts
2 upvotes
You won't regret it and it is going to be extreme busy in the cherry blossom season anyway. If you have enough time in Nara, go check out Tōshōdai-ji (唐招提寺) and Hōryū-ji (法隆寺) as well. The best way to do it is stay over night in Nara, and next morning, start EARLY to visit Tōdai-ji and Nara Park area, and then go to Tōshōdai-ji and Yakushi-ji after lunch.
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Nov 19, 2006
3364 posts
177 upvotes
Toronto
unshavenyak wrote:
Jan 4th, 2018 2:35 pm
Darn. Too late, I already cancelled my Nagoya reservation and booked a non-refundable room at the Centurion in Nara :(.
lol next time. Nara is still so much better than Nagoya. I've been to Nagoya for my brother's wedding. You can see the difference between Nagoya and the rest of Japan when your shinkansen have a stopover in Nagoya (on your way to Kyoto).

Koya was probably the most memorable area for me on the last trip (the journey and the stay at a temple).
Deal Fanatic
Jan 27, 2006
7919 posts
2512 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
unshavenyak wrote:
Jan 4th, 2018 2:34 pm
Thanks for the advice. I hadn't even thought about shopping for lenses as the last time I was in Tokyo for work the watches were more expensive than in Canada.
Many new products generally are as there's a big market for new. However, used prices not so much as very few people want used over there!
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Nov 19, 2006
3364 posts
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Toronto
craftsman wrote:
Jan 4th, 2018 4:27 pm
Many new products generally are as there's a big market for new. However, used prices not so much as very few people want used over there!
I bought the new zeiss zm 50/2 at Map camera in Tokyo cause it was 1/2 the price of what i can get here for. the only downside was that the warranty is only for Japan. if i ever go back to tokyo in the next couple years, i'll grab another zeiss lense
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 28, 2005
1713 posts
408 upvotes
bhrm wrote:
Jan 1st, 2018 10:45 pm
12-32 & 20 sounds like a nice light combo.

My travel combo used to be 12 & 20, but I just sold the 20 and ordered the 17mm 1.8...so thinking of selling the 12mm....
Why’d you sell the 20?
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 28, 2005
1713 posts
408 upvotes
spiritsBB wrote:
Jan 2nd, 2018 3:02 pm
Just do some more research on it - it's not as easy as purchasing and popping a Japanese sim card onto your phone.
Could you elaborate a bit more? Based on my research, it seems my (unlocked) iPhone 6S should work with a B-Mobile visitor data SIM. The only setup required would be the APN and access code, right?
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Sep 3, 2005
2670 posts
302 upvotes
Vaughan
I've never understood these threads, where some one ask "I'm going to xxx (insert city/country), what lens(es) should i bring". Just bring whatever you normally shoot with. I've been to many places in the world. Lots of different cities and countries including Japan. When i was in Japan, I had a 16-35, and an 85 f1.8 lens. I currently own 5 lenses now, all primes. An 18mm, 25mm, 55mm, 85mm, and 90mm macro. If i were to re-visit Japan, I'd take everything except for my 90mm macro. Reason being, I only use macro to take photos of insects mainly.

The only time I bought a new lens before going on a trip, was when i went out to western Canada. I bought a used 70-200mm off kijiji, because I was planning to do whale watching. So unless you have a specific need for a certain lens. Just bring whatever you normally shoot with. Also, fyi, when i got back from the West coast, I ended up selling the 70-200mm and made a $50 profit.
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