Travel

Japan Travel Thread

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  • Dec 10th, 2018 3:26 pm
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Scavos wrote:
Nov 23rd, 2018 9:19 am
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...
Last week of December and first week of January will be expensive. Go for capsule hotels near train stations, buy some/all of yours meals from convenience stores.
Last edited by twotterdhc6 on Nov 23rd, 2018 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Oct 12, 2007
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wudtsilake wrote:
Nov 22nd, 2018 8:42 pm
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.
Oh man, wow, an expired $672 deal would have been perfect. I forgot I will have Hong Kong in my trip too. Can't let up these deals!
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Phokus wrote:
Nov 23rd, 2018 8:35 am
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.
Yes, normally it's from Monday-Friday but use your imagination a little instead of being a boy scout.. If there's a Thursday night or Friday morning departure you just call in sick for a day.

If the price difference is huge it's definitely worth it.
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Scavos wrote:
Nov 23rd, 2018 9:19 am
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...
- It's warmer in the south so Osaka is better than Tokyo this time of year
- Use a capsule hotel if you can't find a good airbnb
- Eat lots of ramen and udon (cheap and hot meals for the winter.)
- Buy convenience store meals at night when they get discounted.
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kenze wrote:
Nov 23rd, 2018 3:38 pm
Yes, normally it's from Monday-Friday but use your imagination a little instead of being a boy scout.. If there's a Thursday night or Friday morning departure you just call in sick for a day.

If the price difference is huge it's definitely worth it.
Lol yeah, I see Phokus is from Ontario. So use up those sick days before King Ford takes them away :razz:
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Whoaness wrote:
Nov 23rd, 2018 1:07 pm
Oh man, wow, an expired $672 deal would have been perfect. I forgot I will have Hong Kong in my trip too. Can't let up these deals!
Someone just posted on the Hot Deals forum some sweet pricing to Asia, including Japan. Not quite $672, but around $800 on direct flights on AC.
Celebrating 16+ years on RFD!
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wysiwyg wrote:
Nov 24th, 2018 7:31 am
Someone just posted on the Hot Deals forum some sweet pricing to Asia, including Japan. Not quite $672, but around $800 on direct flights on AC.
Oh yeah I see it, but I need to head to Hong Kong for some time, a week? so it'll be multicity.
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Having so much trouble deciding if i want to go to osaka this december or spring... Does anyone know if there are any firework festivals this time of year?
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Still waiting for that deal... I never really fly, so I'm anxious for a good price.
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Dec 3, 2018
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Global, man
Hey,
RFDs newbie...
I've been living for the better part of 20 years in Japan [fluent in Japanese, hold permanent residency, own a home there, etc.], though I'm back in Canada most of the time now.
I've travelled through Hokkaido, most of Honshu [Tokyo and south...], all of Shikoku, all of Kyushu, and most of the Nansei Shoto Islands
trailing down to Okinawa, as well as most of the Okinawa Island group. Also travelled to most of Asia [60+ countries...]
I'm not a travel agent or selling anything, just offering advice if you have any 'general' questions.
Mind you, some of the info may be from my last visit to a certain area, which may have been in 1997 or 2004 or what-have-you, so YMMV.
Cheers
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CallAParamedic wrote:
Dec 4th, 2018 4:54 am
Hey,
RFDs newbie...
I've been living for the better part of 20 years in Japan [fluent in Japanese, hold permanent residency, own a home there, etc.], though I'm back in Canada most of the time now.
I've travelled through Hokkaido, most of Honshu [Tokyo and south...], all of Shikoku, all of Kyushu, and most of the Nansei Shoto Islands
trailing down to Okinawa, as well as most of the Okinawa Island group. Also travelled to most of Asia [60+ countries...]
I'm not a travel agent or selling anything, just offering advice if you have any 'general' questions.
Mind you, some of the info may be from my last visit to a certain area, which may have been in 1997 or 2004 or what-have-you, so YMMV.
Cheers

on a 2 week trip, how long would you recommend to stay in Tokyo for? I was thinking 5 nights or so, or are there more interesting things to visit? I'm a big city person, so going on a 4 hour trek just to see 1 deer in the forest isnt something im interested in. Nature stuff is great if its something amazing, and not something generic that i can see or experience in Canada. I'd be down for something like a natural spring onsen, etc though.

I do have a friend in Tokyo though, and speak with with people from Osaka and the like, in language exchange apps, so I'll have some minor contacts to spend time with in bigger cities.

I'm thinking of doing Korea & Japan in a 1 month trip, so i dont have to suffer the jet lag and flight times twice lol. No timeline though. Maybe in 2019, maybe later. Might also be 1 month in Japan instead, but its all up in air at the moment.

Also, when is it a good time to catch the sakura blooming in Japan? I heard February for southern parts and march for northern? Not sure when the festivals are, but would be nice to catch.

Second also, what times should i avoid going to Japan...i know they have that work break when everyone goes out once a year? Not sure when it happens. lol
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CallAParamedic wrote:
Dec 4th, 2018 4:54 am
Hey,
RFDs newbie...
I've been living for the better part of 20 years in Japan [fluent in Japanese, hold permanent residency, own a home there, etc.], though I'm back in Canada most of the time now.
I've travelled through Hokkaido, most of Honshu [Tokyo and south...], all of Shikoku, all of Kyushu, and most of the Nansei Shoto Islands
trailing down to Okinawa, as well as most of the Okinawa Island group. Also travelled to most of Asia [60+ countries...]
I'm not a travel agent or selling anything, just offering advice if you have any 'general' questions.
Mind you, some of the info may be from my last visit to a certain area, which may have been in 1997 or 2004 or what-have-you, so YMMV.
Cheers
Is Osaka a good time to visit for December/Christmas? I don't have anything going on right now so that's why I want to go but I also want to visit Tokyo in late March.
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Buggy166 wrote:
Dec 4th, 2018 1:49 pm
on a 2 week trip, how long would you recommend to stay in Tokyo for? I was thinking 5 nights or so, or are there more interesting things to visit? I'm a big city person, so going on a 4 hour trek just to see 1 deer in the forest isnt something im interested in. Nature stuff is great if its something amazing, and not something generic that i can see or experience in Canada. I'd be down for something like a natural spring onsen, etc though.

I do have a friend in Tokyo though, and speak with with people from Osaka and the like, in language exchange apps, so I'll have some minor contacts to spend time with in bigger cities.

I'm thinking of doing Korea & Japan in a 1 month trip, so i dont have to suffer the jet lag and flight times twice lol. No timeline though. Maybe in 2019, maybe later. Might also be 1 month in Japan instead, but its all up in air at the moment.

Also, when is it a good time to catch the sakura blooming in Japan? I heard February for southern parts and march for northern? Not sure when the festivals are, but would be nice to catch.

Second also, what times should i avoid going to Japan...i know they have that work break when everyone goes out once a year? Not sure when it happens. lol

Ok - thassalottaquestions!! Smiling Face With Open Mouth And Smiling Eyes

Tokyo: Tokyo is best thought of as a group of smaller cities in a loop on the Yamanote line.
Then I'd pick an area [e.g. Ueno] and spend the day in that area [e.g. Ueno Zoo and various museums there].

So to answer your first question, depending on your interests, you could easily spend a week enjoying Tokyo [Akihabara, Asakusa, Ginza, etc]
Especially if you combined it with great day trips as well, such as Hakone, Yokohama, Fuji, Kamakura...

For onsen, there are many choices as days trips, again to Hakone, as well as Chiba, Saitama, and farther out of course...

As far as having one month and the decision re how long in both Japan and Korea versus all Japan, I have been to Korea many times and think it would be cool to do both.
I'd recommend a split such as 20 days Japan : 10 days Korea.

In that case with 20 days you'd be able to hit many Honshu highlights like Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima etc., as well as make a trip to incredible Kagoshima, party city Fukuoka, and perhaps Nagasaki on Kyushu. That would be one trip East to West, easily accessible by train, and not requiring Shinkansen [but still optional] if you wanted to save money ...

In Korea, in addition to Seoul, I'd strongly recommend "Korea's Kyoto", Gyeong-ju, and seafood in Busan and Jeju Island.

If you were to make your way south in Japan, there are cheap jetfoils [Beetle] between Fukuoka and Busan, S Korea or cheap flights between Kagoshima [KOJ] and Seoul.

RE sakura, there is about a 6 week spread for blooming periods from Okinawa to Hokkaido, which feature in nightly weather reports during season. It's roughly late-March in the southern islands and late-April or early-May in Hokkaido.

Finally, regarding the time to avoid travel, it depends on your reasons for avoidance - weather, closure of public services, crowds...???

I believe the work break you're referring to Golden Week. It's the last week of April/first week of May, and several one-day national holidays are strung together combined with perhaps 2 or 3 paid holiday leave days to take 9 days off. It's true that many places get busy and prices go up during this time.

There's also Silver Week, which depending on the days the national holidays fall on [so not guaranteed every year], permits Japanese to do similar in September.

New Year's is generally a week holiday and many businesses and services [banks, post office, etc.] close.

Weather-wise if depends on when and where - hot in humid in the East during summer, cold and snowy in the West in winter.

Have a great trip!
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SquirreI wrote:
Dec 4th, 2018 8:53 pm
Is Osaka a good time to visit for December/Christmas? I don't have anything going on right now so that's why I want to go but I also want to visit Tokyo in late March.

Visiting any big city in Japan like Osaka around Christmas will be massive Christmas lighting displays, lots of shoppers and crowds, and many Japanese partying it up at Bonenkai [End of Year parties] with coworkers or friends.

I always enjoy Osaka, as the people there are generally warmer and more direct than Tokyoites, but I guess it depends what you hope to get out of your time there.

Is is Osaka at anytime is cool kinda thing or specifically for Christmas?
As perhaps there are nicer cities in other countries for Christmas specifically...

I find Japanese at this time of year very distracted by obligatory Bonenkais, shopping for NYs, and generally fatigued and enduring [what they call 'gaman'] for the NYs break.
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kenze wrote:
Nov 23rd, 2018 3:44 pm
- It's warmer in the south so Osaka is better than Tokyo this time of year
- Use a capsule hotel if you can't find a good airbnb
- Eat lots of ramen and udon (cheap and hot meals for the winter.)
- Buy convenience store meals at night when they get discounted.

Three of those four points are very true about saving money and so are very good advice.

However, as regards the temperature in Osaka being "warmer in the south" the difference in latitude between Osaka and Tokyo is negligible and Osaka will also be cold at NYs.
[Very certain - as I've had 20 years in Japan, and of that 9 months total living in Kyoto Prefecture and regularly in Osaka on weekends over 2 winter periods.]
Finally, if you found this response helpful, please Upvote⬆

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