Travel

Japan Travel Thread

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  • Dec 10th, 2018 7:28 pm
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Member
Nov 22, 2014
345 posts
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Toronto
Planning a trip for Hokkaido and Tohuku regions for two people and flying out in Tokyo. Those that have been there, is it just better to rent a car or is it do-able with trains/buses?

Right now I want to fly into Sapparo and start from there, eventually make my way to Akita/Aomori and then Tokyo. Thank you in advance and any extra info is welcomed

Edit: I have driven in Japan before so no problems with right hand drive.
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Jul 22, 2017
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Pingu in the city
redflagkiller wrote:
Nov 15th, 2018 10:18 pm
Planning a trip for Hokkaido and Tohuku regions for two people and flying out in Tokyo. Those that have been there, is it just better to rent a car or is it do-able with trains/buses?

Right now I want to fly into Sapparo and start from there, eventually make my way to Akita/Aomori and then Tokyo. Thank you in advance and any extra info is welcomed

Edit: I have driven in Japan before so no problems with right hand drive.
Not sure about renting a car as I have no experience on this at all, but definitely doable with JR trains by Hokkaido Shinkansen starting from Hakodate -> Shin-Aomori, then the regular Tohoku Shinkansen to Tokyo. Since both are in same JR system, it's quite straightforward.
For this particular JR train route, you might able to see the two bullet trains Hayabusa and Komachi connected together into one bullet train, which is a popular sightseeing point for some people. :)


Lot of interesting places to go in Tohoku too if you're into countryside of Japan, such as places within Akita.
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PenguinRei wrote:
Nov 16th, 2018 4:21 am
Not sure about renting a car as I have no experience on this at all, but definitely doable with JR trains by Hokkaido Shinkansen starting from Hakodate -> Shin-Aomori, then the regular Tohoku Shinkansen to Tokyo. Since both are in same JR system, it's quite straightforward.
If you don't plan on getting a JR Pass, or have no need for it, flying is actually cheaper. Even more so if you have only carry-on.
eg: Vanilla Air sale this weekend: Tokyo-Sapporo for as low as 1980yen one way (plus 600yen credit card fee, and about 300-400yen airport tax)
https://www.vanilla-air.com/en/
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Pingu in the city
twotterdhc6 wrote:
Nov 16th, 2018 2:00 pm
If you don't plan on getting a JR Pass, or have no need for it, flying is actually cheaper. Even more so if you have only carry-on.
eg: Vanilla Air sale this weekend: Tokyo-Sapporo for as low as 1980yen one way (plus 600yen credit card fee, and about 300-400yen airport tax)
https://www.vanilla-air.com/en/
It really depends on travel preference. If time is concerned then flight is a better option for sure.

But if you are willing to use JR pass to go through this route, you will be able to do a mini Tohoku trip which is a pretty wonderful experience for onsen and festival as this region is quite traditional and less tourist-sy(Less crowded by tourist, less line up) per se. Personally I went there earlier this year and they were handed out English guidebook at station for free. Here is the image for one of the page of their guidebook. If you are into these kind of traditional Japanese countryside stuff, I'd highly recommend going through this region. :)
Last edited by PenguinRei on Nov 20th, 2018 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Noot Noot!❗😄
Great coffee, better mind!
Aeropress | Hario V60 | French press | Vietnamese coffee filter | Kalita narrow-mouthed pot | %
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Nov 22, 2014
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Toronto
Thanks for the feedback. I'll research more and decide what itinerary I want for Hokkaido first before committing, just saw a travel show and it looks like the driving view is quite nice between each town/city in Hokkaido. Still have a few months to decide lol
Member
Jul 23, 2009
232 posts
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redflagkiller wrote:
Nov 15th, 2018 10:18 pm
Planning a trip for Hokkaido and Tohuku regions for two people and flying out in Tokyo. Those that have been there, is it just better to rent a car or is it do-able with trains/buses?

Right now I want to fly into Sapparo and start from there, eventually make my way to Akita/Aomori and then Tokyo. Thank you in advance and any extra info is welcomed

Edit: I have driven in Japan before so no problems with right hand drive.
Drove last September around Hokkaido. Renting a car was fine. We flew into Hakodate and drove through to Sapporo with stops on the way. The drive was incredibly scenic and not a difficult drive either. it's 1 lane each way on the highway for 75% of the rural driving. Make sure the car rental company includes the toll pass in your package. Otherwise you'd be paying a fortune for tolls.
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Jul 14, 2004
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Chai wrote:
Nov 19th, 2018 11:35 am
Drove last September around Hokkaido. Renting a car was fine. We flew into Hakodate and drove through to Sapporo with stops on the way. The drive was incredibly scenic and not a difficult drive either. it's 1 lane each way on the highway for 75% of the rural driving. Make sure the car rental company includes the toll pass in your package. Otherwise you'd be paying a fortune for tolls.
Some more information on the ETC pass for Hokkaido:
https://www.driveplaza.com/trip/drawari ... ss/en.html
Newbie
Oct 26, 2018
7 posts
Ontario
Spent 5 months in Japan.

This was rule #1. If you spend like a western, you will go broke. But if you spend like the Japanese, a little can go a long while.
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Jul 28, 2008
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Toronto
Any chance there will be any sales for flights to Japan for March/April of 2019 coming up? Looking to book a flight for 2 weeks but seemed like I missed a good window to buy -- tickets were well under $1000 a month ago.
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Oct 12, 2007
94 posts
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Vancouver
Phokus wrote:
Nov 20th, 2018 2:58 pm
Any chance there will be any sales for flights to Japan for March/April of 2019 coming up? Looking to book a flight for 2 weeks but seemed like I missed a good window to buy -- tickets were well under $1000 a month ago.
I'm looking for the same thing. Cherry Blossom season. I'm in Vancouver.

I have no idea about scheduling travels or looking up deals. Would love any help or things I should look out for, though I will keep my eye out here too.
Member
Jan 8, 2012
458 posts
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Williams Lake
Start tracking yvrdeals.com, nextdeparture.ca, and secretflying.com.

I've flown over there twice with ANA. They intermittently offer deals to various cities in SE Asia, and they allow a stopover in Tokyo for an added $100 USD. Two (or more) cities for a little more than the price of one.

You can also search google flights for the dates you're interested in as well.
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Apr 9, 2010
2658 posts
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Montreal
Phokus wrote:
Nov 20th, 2018 2:58 pm
Any chance there will be any sales for flights to Japan for March/April of 2019 coming up? Looking to book a flight for 2 weeks but seemed like I missed a good window to buy -- tickets were well under $1000 a month ago.
There's a chance around boxing day/new year, keep an eye out on nextdeparture. I booked roundtrip tickets for 680$ during that period last year.
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Jul 28, 2008
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Toronto
kenze wrote:
Nov 22nd, 2018 9:06 pm
There's a chance around boxing day/new year, keep an eye out on nextdeparture. I booked roundtrip tickets for 680$ during that period last year.
These tickets are generally for departures / returns on weekdays right? Looking to depart on a Saturday and return leaving on a Saturday as well -- leaving March 30th and returning April 13th would be ideal. From what I've seen in the past prices are cheapest leaving on an odd day like Wednesday and returning on a weekday as well. Wish I could make something like that work but my vacation scheduling isn't that flexible.
Sr. Member
Jul 22, 2010
767 posts
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toronto
what are people's recommendations when it comes to not breaking the bank/living frugally if visiting japan next month and staying till new years? thinking of retreating to osaka, but looks like still crazy expensive for airbnbs...

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