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Japan Travel Thread

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  • Apr 27th, 2017 6:17 pm
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Deal Addict
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Aug 6, 2007
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DefconZero wrote:
Jan 26th, 2017 4:48 pm
You'll be hit with annoying service fees if you use your TD debit card.

AFAIK the best option is to use a Tangerine debit card at one of the Scotibank partner ATM's http://www.scotiabank.com/ca/common/pdf ... -banks.pdf as it only charges a $2 fee.

Next best option is to use a Chase Visa (Amazon or Marriott) as it only charges a $5 fee or 1% of the total amount (whichever is higher).
There aren't any Scotiabank partner ATMs in Japan. So I guess it is best to use Amazon credit card
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Sep 4, 2007
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Cheapo-Findo wrote:
Feb 6th, 2017 12:19 pm
Hold on your nose till June.
Is that when the Tokyo deals usually come back? I'm looking to go in May ... not flexible with the dates.
The best I can get is $748 for Toronto -> Tokyo , then on the last night at 6pm Tokyo -> Ho Chi Minh , and finally on the next day at 7am its Ho Chi Minh -> Toronto. so I basically lose 1 night for 12 hours of flight time.
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You should jump on that before it's too late. May is coming up fast!!
LyGuy wrote:
Feb 23rd, 2017 10:47 am
Is that when the Tokyo deals usually come back? I'm looking to go in May ... not flexible with the dates.
The best I can get is $748 for Toronto -> Tokyo , then on the last night at 6pm Tokyo -> Ho Chi Minh , and finally on the next day at 7am its Ho Chi Minh -> Toronto. so I basically lose 1 night for 12 hours of flight time.

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
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Sep 4, 2007
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I'm hesitant cause on the last night, I'm basically flying from Tokyo to Ho Chi Min, stay at airport for 7 hours, then fly back to Tokyo as layover, then flying back to Toronto.
It's about 36 hours of no bed & shower. Unless I find a place to stay for 7 hours near the airport.
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Just tough it out. Unless you going with kids.
LyGuy wrote:
Feb 23rd, 2017 11:03 am
I'm hesitant cause on the last night, I'm basically flying from Tokyo to Ho Chi Min, stay at airport for 7 hours, then fly back to Tokyo as layover, then flying back to Toronto.
It's about 36 hours of no bed & shower. Unless I find a place to stay for 7 hours near the airport.

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
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Apr 9, 2010
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LyGuy wrote:
Feb 23rd, 2017 11:03 am
I'm hesitant cause on the last night, I'm basically flying from Tokyo to Ho Chi Min, stay at airport for 7 hours, then fly back to Tokyo as layover, then flying back to Toronto.
It's about 36 hours of no bed & shower. Unless I find a place to stay for 7 hours near the airport.
http://www.narita-airport.jp/en/guide/s ... ist/svc_37
Newbie
Feb 23, 2017
1 posts
I'm looking for some advice.
We are looking for flights to Tokyo for May 27-June 18. I'd really prefer to do the direct flight out of YYZ.
I've been looking for a while and the price seems to be sitting around $1700 per person.
With the date getting closer, I'm wondering what the chances are of getting a better price for this flight or if we should just book it?
Thanks in advance
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KORKAS wrote:
Feb 24th, 2017 12:53 am
I'm looking for some advice.
We are looking for flights to Tokyo for May 27-June 18. I'd really prefer to do the direct flight out of YYZ.
I've been looking for a while and the price seems to be sitting around $1700 per person.
With the date getting closer, I'm wondering what the chances are of getting a better price for this flight or if we should just book it?
Thanks in advance
There were many sales between 680-780$ per person direct with Air Canada, even some with summer availability.

Do not book at 1700$. Just keep an out for sales on Nextdeparture.ca and secretflying.com
Newbie
Feb 25, 2017
6 posts
Hi all, I'm planning to travel to Japan this August with two of my university friends (Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto and Osaka if possible), we're planning to leave after Aug. 11th and coming back before Sept. 5. Currently I have few questions that I want to ask for help with:

1. What is consider a decent airplane ticket price around this time, we must leave after Aug.11th but come back date is flexible before Sept 5th (not really a flexible timing), will there be discount ticket available or should I secure the ticket right now as I have seen the direct flight for Air Canada is around $1800, but I don't mind one stop tickets.

2. Is it doable for visiting major attraction places of all four cities in 21 days (3 weeks), I'm thinking we will be spending most of our time in Tokyo and Kyoto, and only few days in Hakone and Osaka if time is permitted.

3. Also, is funding of $3000-3500 enough for the trip per person? Any money saving tips for food, transportation (JR Pass?) and resistant options?

4. For the resistant I'm thinking about booking airbnb, but how long in advance should I book it for? Also, what are the cheap hotel options in Kyoto and Osaka. And if there's any recommendation on great hotel options in Hakone for mt Fuji, My plan is to book cheap places to live for the Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka but a great one for Hakone since we won't be stay long there.

At last, thank you so much for the help.
Newbie
Feb 25, 2017
6 posts
Hi all, I'm planning to travel to Japan this August with two of my university friends (Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto and Osaka if possible), we're planning to leave after Aug. 11th and coming back before Sept. 5. Currently I have few questions that I want to ask for help with:

1. What is consider a decent airplane ticket price around this time, we must leave after Aug.11th but come back date is flexible before Sept 5th (not really a flexible timing), will there be discount ticket available or should I secure the ticket right now as I have seen the direct flight for Air Canada is around $1800, but I don't mind one stop tickets.

2. Is it doable for visiting major attraction places of all four cities in 21 days (3 weeks), I'm thinking we will be spending most of our time in Tokyo and Kyoto, and only few days in Hakone and Osaka if time is permitted.

3. Also, is funding of $3000-3500 enough for the trip per person? Any money saving tips for food, transportation (JR Pass?) and resistant options?

4. For the resistant I'm thinking about booking airbnb, but how long in advance should I book it for? Also, what are the cheap hotel options in Kyoto and Osaka. And if there's any recommendation on great hotel options in Hakone for mt Fuji, My plan is to book cheap places to live for the Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka but a great one for Hakone since we won't be stay long there.

5. For exchange of CAD to JPY, should I exchange everything to cash here (if so, what are the better options for exchange, I heard Kantor is a great option but how does it work? or should I just go to the local bank for exchange ) or use my TD visa there or should I get a Amazon visa card for better rate?

At last, thank you all so much for the help.
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Oct 5, 2004
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I can only offer an advice based on my experience.
$1800 to Japan is what I would call "full retail price". Expensive and I personally do not think it will rise. If I was in your shoes, I would wait until end of March or April to see if there will be any deals. A couple of years ago I flew to Japan for less than $1000 with a stop in Vancouver. Booked it 4 months prior, which seems to be the sweet spot for booking the cheapest airfare in my experience.

If you budget everything correctly, your budget should be adequate, especially if you all stay in 1 room, eat, and hang out together. Some attractions are free and some will cost $. Beef is expensive so any dishes with it will cost significantly more.
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ipikachue wrote:
Feb 26th, 2017 6:32 pm
Hi all, I'm planning to travel to Japan this August with two of my university friends (Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto and Osaka if possible), we're planning to leave after Aug. 11th and coming back before Sept. 5. Currently I have few questions that I want to ask for help with:

1. What is consider a decent airplane ticket price around this time, we must leave after Aug.11th but come back date is flexible before Sept 5th (not really a flexible timing), will there be discount ticket available or should I secure the ticket right now as I have seen the direct flight for Air Canada is around $1800, but I don't mind one stop tickets.

2. Is it doable for visiting major attraction places of all four cities in 21 days (3 weeks), I'm thinking we will be spending most of our time in Tokyo and Kyoto, and only few days in Hakone and Osaka if time is permitted.

3. Also, is funding of $3000-3500 enough for the trip per person? Any money saving tips for food, transportation (JR Pass?) and resistant options?

4. For the resistant I'm thinking about booking airbnb, but how long in advance should I book it for? Also, what are the cheap hotel options in Kyoto and Osaka. And if there's any recommendation on great hotel options in Hakone for mt Fuji, My plan is to book cheap places to live for the Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka but a great one for Hakone since we won't be stay long there.

At last, thank you so much for the help.

First off Hakone is more of a couple's destination and they often only have rooms for 2 people but I'm pretty sure you can still find a place if you really want to go. One night there is enough. Book a high end Ryokan if you can afford it, it's a memorable experience.

For pricing, 1800$ is probably the most expensive it can get so you won't be paying more by waiting. I've personally managed to snag roundtrip tickets for less than 700$ during the spring and fall!

Your current itinerary can easily be done at a comfortable pace in 12-13 days.

If I were you I'd add the following : Nara, Himeji/Kobe (Himeji and Kobe can be done together in a daytrip), Hiroshima/Miyajima.

That's a sufficient budget if you book via Airbnb and most Airbnbs will include free pocket wifi so you end saving even more money. The problem is that there's a certain risk in Japan.. Some airbnbs do not have a license to operate and if you get really unlucky and the neighbors complained for months, you could be the unlucky one that ends up looking for another accommodation.

I personally never had such an experience, but just letting you know the 1% possibility. In my opinion, it's worth it because you're literally saving 70 bucks per night or more. If you decide to book an Airbnb then make sure the listing has a 5 star rating, includes pocket Wi-Fi, washer/dryer in the room. (clothes drying function in the bathroom is ok too.)

Also don't forget to book a fully refundable hotel/hostel as a backup and cancel it 3-5 days before the trip if you use Airbnb!

I'd give you my recommendation for the ryokan but it's still too early to reserve for the month of August so you should wait till April at least. Also, I'm going back to Japan at that time so I'll be able to confirm if the level of service is still the same.

PM me in mid April if you want my recommendation. Airbnb can be booked now if you find something good.
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The good Airbnb's are almost booked for mid-april. Booked mine like 2months ago for mid april.
kenze wrote:
Feb 27th, 2017 11:03 am
First off Hakone is more of a couple's destination and they often only have rooms for 2 people but I'm pretty sure you can still find a place if you really want to go. One night there is enough. Book a high end Ryokan if you can afford it, it's a memorable experience.

For pricing, 1800$ is probably the most expensive it can get so you won't be paying more by waiting. I've personally managed to snag roundtrip tickets for less than 700$ during the spring and fall!

Your current itinerary can easily be done at a comfortable pace in 12-13 days.

If I were you I'd add the following : Nara, Himeji/Kobe (Himeji and Kobe can be done together in a daytrip), Hiroshima/Miyajima.

That's a sufficient budget if you book via Airbnb and most Airbnbs will include free pocket wifi so you end saving even more money. The problem is that there's a certain risk in Japan.. Some airbnbs do not have a license to operate and if you get really unlucky and the neighbors complained for months, you could be the unlucky one that ends up looking for another accommodation.

I personally never had such an experience, but just letting you know the 1% possibility. In my opinion, it's worth it because you're literally saving 70 bucks per night or more. If you decide to book an Airbnb then make sure the listing has a 5 star rating, includes pocket Wi-Fi, washer/dryer in the room. (clothes drying function in the bathroom is ok too.)

Also don't forget to book a fully refundable hotel/hostel as a backup and cancel it 3-5 days before the trip if you use Airbnb!

I'd give you my recommendation for the ryokan but it's still too early to reserve for the month of August so you should wait till April at least. Also, I'm going back to Japan at that time so I'll be able to confirm if the level of service is still the same.

PM me in mid April if you want my recommendation. Airbnb can be booked now if you find something good.

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
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Apr 9, 2010
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He's going in August not April. I'm going in April.
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Done this trip three times already (Twice with Hakone, and one with Nara instead). You can probably do this in 13 days if you wanted to as another poster mentioned.

Hakone: 1-2 days in Hakone is enough. We stayed at Green Plaza Hakone. Not cheap but they have rooms for 2+. They have an outdoor onsen that has a view of Mt Fuji (Fog dependent).
Osaka: We stayed here. There are 3 beds, a cook top, and on top of a JR station AND a 7-11. (1 stop away from JR Osaka) https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/10755073?el ... e16d675032

Our itinerary has always been the following.
Land in Tokyo mid afternoon / early evening.
JR to Osaka. Stay in Osaka for 5-6 days (Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Nara)
JR to Odawara. Take the bus to Hakone. Stay 1 night.
Take the mountain tram car route back to JR then to Toyko. Stay 3 days.

Last trip we did was with Airbnb instead of hotels. No issues. I would book a couple months in advance in case you run into some holiday.
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