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Japan Travel Thread

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  • Apr 27th, 2017 6:17 pm
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Member
Jan 30, 2008
300 posts
63 upvotes
Toronto
ipikachue wrote:
Feb 26th, 2017 6:39 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.

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.
Hey ipikachue,

1. I went for 3 weeks in August 2015 (August 1 to August 21) with 3 other people. We paid $1,580 pp for direct flight with Air Canada. I thought the price was fair for direct flight in August.

2. For the cities you listed and as other posters already mentioned, 3 weeks is more than doable.

3. I budgeted $3.5K USD (excluding flight but including accommodations) and personally, it was enough for me to spend for 3 weeks. Food was affordable in Japan. We only splurged on maybe 3 meals where it was about $80-$100 each. On most days, I generally did not spend more than $100 for food daily. In Kyoto and Hakone, you'll definitely pay for local transit as you won't be able to use the JR pass much to see attractions (not at all in Hakone but you might for some attractions in Kyoto).

4. I booked all my hotels and one AirBnb by end of June for my trip in August, and options were still available by then. I booked 3 star hotels with user ratings 8.7/10+ on booking.com, none of which disappointed me during the trip. We splurged one night on a 5 star ryokan next to Mt. Fuji. We only used AirBnb when we went to Kyoto since hotels seemed more expensive than in other cities.
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Apr 16, 2009
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Vancouver
LyGuy wrote:
Mar 3rd, 2017 7:59 am
Found this flight for $919 for the exact date I want to go .... its with United /ANA ...I can't seem to find United's cancellation policies?

https://www.google.ca/flights/#search;f ... DYYZ0UA843
If it's an econo flight than there usually is none. You can get a full refund if cancelled within 24 hours after booking, after that, zilch. If you book with a CC that has travel benefits then that will cover you if you have to miss the flight due to medical reasons, but that's about it.

https://www.united.com/ual/en/ca/flight ... aptcha/rev
Deal Fanatic
Sep 2, 2008
9968 posts
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Hi, I was hoping someone could help me out with something! My wife is travelling alone to KIX and immediately going to be finding a train to Tokyo (or maybe a flight, haven't booked that part yet).

I want to buy a pocket wifi rental for her but she doesn't want to pick up at KIX in case she has to rush to catch a train or flight to tokyo. She will be staying at an airbnb near shinjuku, and the airbnb already said we can't send packages there before the stay as other guests will be there.

Is there a place you can pick them up near shinjuku and would I have to order ahead or could she just drop by?

For anyone using chase Amazon visa cards with no exchange fee to withdraw cash, any particular machines recommended for that?


Thanks!
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Nov 23, 2010
500 posts
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Toronto
slowtyper wrote:
Mar 3rd, 2017 2:44 pm
Hi, I was hoping someone could help me out with something! My wife is travelling alone to KIX and immediately going to be finding a train to Tokyo (or maybe a flight, haven't booked that part yet).

I want to buy a pocket wifi rental for her but she doesn't want to pick up at KIX in case she has to rush to catch a train or flight to tokyo. She will be staying at an airbnb near shinjuku, and the airbnb already said we can't send packages there before the stay as other guests will be there.

Is there a place you can pick them up near shinjuku and would I have to order ahead or could she just drop by?

For anyone using chase Amazon visa cards with no exchange fee to withdraw cash, any particular machines recommended for that?


Thanks!
Most pocket wifi places can get the package there by a particular date.

If your wife is arriving on Monday for example, I am assuming the other tenants should be gone the day before? So would receiving the pocket wifi on the day of her stay start be any issue?
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Sep 2, 2008
9968 posts
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I'd rather not arrange to have a package delivered during her stay at an airbnb. I would hate it if something happened with the package and she would have to pick it up at a post office or something. Also the Airbnb may not even provide access to the mail, as from what I've read, this one is kind of just has a key in a lockbox. Would prefer if there is a shop you could pick one up from.

Not ideal, I know!
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Nov 23, 2010
500 posts
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Toronto
Hmmm if hotel/airbnb is not an option you mentioned that either

A) Shes taking a train to Tokyo
b) Flying to Tokyo

If shes flying to Tokyo, Im assuming shes going through the airport of either Narita or Haneda - so she could pick up at the post office when she gets to the Tokyo airport.

Or alternatively, if she was going to catch a train - transportation I found was pretty frequent in Japan. So when she lands in KIX she could spend maybe 10 minutes to go to the post office after picking up her luggage to pick up the pocket wifi from the KIX airport post office then continue on to her train.

It really does not take long to pick up. Once you leave your gate, you make your way within the airport perhaps another 10 minutes to find the post office. If theres no line, they will ask for your ID (likely your passport will be handy since you just arrived), show it to them then you get it and off you go. So literally should take 15 minutes to pick up max.

Osaka is a good 3 hours away even by bullet train, so I think its likely she would take this if going by train. And if so, the bullet trains are relatively frequent.

Most pocket wifi I have seen are either pick up at the airport post office, or you get it at your hotel front desk.
Deal Addict
Apr 9, 2010
2272 posts
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Montreal
LyGuy wrote:
Mar 3rd, 2017 7:59 am
Found this flight for $919 for the exact date I want to go .... its with United /ANA ...I can't seem to find United's cancellation policies?

https://www.google.ca/flights/#search;f ... DYYZ0UA843
April-May prices tend to hover around 950$ but they can drop to something like 600$ if you're lucky.

I'd wait a bit more and see if you can get a lower price. Personally, 700$ is my trigger price to book right away.
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Nov 3, 2006
3412 posts
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Mississauga
slowtyper wrote:
Mar 3rd, 2017 2:44 pm
Hi, I was hoping someone could help me out with something! My wife is travelling alone to KIX and immediately going to be finding a train to Tokyo (or maybe a flight, haven't booked that part yet).

I want to buy a pocket wifi rental for her but she doesn't want to pick up at KIX in case she has to rush to catch a train or flight to tokyo. She will be staying at an airbnb near shinjuku, and the airbnb already said we can't send packages there before the stay as other guests will be there.
No need to worry about catching the train, unless you're thinking about the last train for the night. You can just buy a ticket for the next train whenever you're ready. JR Haruka from KIX to Shin-Osaka is every 30 minutes; Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka to Tokyo has many departures per hour.
Newbie
User avatar
Nov 30, 2015
4 posts
Vancouver, BC
Hi everyone,

I'm going on vacation this Sept.-Oct. and I'm flying out of Japan to Vancouver. The first leg of my trip is in another city in Asia. Was wondering how low can a one-way ticket go? I prefer non-stop to Vancouver. Air Canada is quoting $1,200+ per person for a flight this Oct. Thanks
Deal Addict
Apr 9, 2010
2272 posts
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Montreal
luckypal wrote:
Mar 15th, 2017 1:51 pm
Hi everyone,

I'm going on vacation this Sept.-Oct. and I'm flying out of Japan to Vancouver. The first leg of my trip is in another city in Asia. Was wondering how low can a one-way ticket go? I prefer non-stop to Vancouver. Air Canada is quoting $1,200+ per person for a flight this Oct. Thanks
Very expensive for September-October. I'd definitely wait and pay around 700-800 bucks for a roundtrip flight
Newbie
User avatar
Nov 30, 2015
4 posts
Vancouver, BC
Thanks kenze, but I'm going to another Asian city before Japan.

Vancouver - Manila
Manila - Osaka
Tokyo - Vancouver

When I search for all three flights, there are options with stopovers amounting to $1k-1.2k/person for all three flights which isn't bad. If I go for all nonstop the prices it jumps to around 2k/person because of the non-stop flight from Tokyo to Vancouver which is $1.2k+++ per person. Was wondering how low can a one-way ticket go?
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