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Jagosaurus
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Tokyo Vacation Suggestions and Costs?

by Jagosaurus Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:48 pm

Hi all, this thread is likely planning years in advance but I have to start somewhere. Mrs. Jago & I would like to take a week vacation to Tokyo at some point in our lives.

I know we have a few forum members who live there & others who have traveled there for work and business. Suggestions?

Any areas to avoid? I also know the entire Tokyo metro area is vast. What areas should we focus on? She is a Disney nut so I'm sure we'll spend at least a day there.

Also, looking for anything that might help us with cost savings. Those flights are very expensive. We want a nice, clean hotel but nothing crazy. What about traveling once we're there? Maybe it's a big enough trip to get a travel agency involved?

I speak zero Japanese. Will that be an issue? Worth learning some basics?

It may seriously be 2025 due to kiddos & putting real life first, but this trip will happen :).
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jmbarnes101
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Re: Tokyo Vacation Suggestions and Costs?

by jmbarnes101 Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:42 pm

That's a great goal Vacation. I want to go as well but mostly for Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea. Unfortunately I can't offer any suggestions but I hope you get there.
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Re: Tokyo Vacation Suggestions and Costs?

by emwearz Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:22 pm

The best areas to stay from my experience are as close to Shinjuku or Shibuya as you can, they are both on a train line that lets you visit everything you most likely want to see in Tokyo (Akiba, etc). You can also catch the fastest and easiest train to and from the airport from both as well as being awesome places themselves.

Shibuya also has a pretty sizeable Disney store, but if you go to Disneyland, don't forget to look into DisneySea, pretty much DisneyLand for adults (you can drink there, etc)

The last trip I did with my girlfriend we stayed at places off AirBNB and did not have a single problem. As a whole Japanese people are really clean and respectful and it shows in their homes. Just read up on tips like taking your shoes off, etc. You get use to it fast.

As for not speaking Japanese, my girlfriend could read none and speak about 5 phrases (Hello, Thank You, good bye, etc) and she got along fine. The train system is all color coded and mostly in English. There is heaps of free Wifi, you more than likely won't get lost. As for communicating, while not a great deal of people speak English there are always tourists around in areas you will most likely be who can help out and again I found Japanese people go well beyond what you would expect to help. My girlfriend was asking for directions to find me (I can speak and read Japanese somewhat as I took classes in high school) and the store owner actually walked with her a block to someone she knew could speak English.

If you have any questions feel free to PM me, I am sure others have more experience but always happy to share what I know / past experiences.
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isiolia
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Re: Tokyo Vacation Suggestions and Costs?

by isiolia Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:08 am

It may have been changed by now, but when I went, Tokyo Disney was nearly identical to Disneyland minus the Matterhorn (possibly some other things). Same layout and all that.
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Jagosaurus
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Re: Tokyo Vacation Suggestions and Costs?

by Jagosaurus Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:52 pm

All great tips. I'm really starting from ground zero here. I need to look into the areas & transportation much further.

I'll have Mrs. Jago research Disney. She'll be all over it. As someone who has been to Disney World multiple times, but never Disneyland, think we'd be ok with 1 day there? Not having to experience everything, but getting a good chunk of it in?

We were thinking 5 full days due to our work schedule & kiddos. Should we make it 6 or 7 due to the cost of those plane tickets? Maximize that investment.
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Re: Tokyo Vacation Suggestions and Costs?

by laurenhiya21 Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:56 am

Unfortunately I can't be too much help since I only stayed in Tokyo for three full days during my mid-September Japan trip (and one of those days was mostly taken up by going to the temporary Kirby Cafe haha), but I do have a few suggestions. Not really sure what you like but I'll just say what I enjoyed doing.

Kyu Furukawa Gardens - A small but really nice garden (if you enjoy that sort of thing, which I do haha). Very relaxing to just sit down on a bench and have a snack or something. Unfortunately I went at the wrong time for the roses or really anything else to be in bloom, but it was still nice and the cicadas were neat to listen to. Rikugien Garden is also really close (and more well known I think), but I didn't have time to go to it.

Nakano Broadway - A little mall thing with a whole bunch of nerdy stores. Antique figures, video games, comics, animation cells... that sort of thing. I didn't buy too much there, but it was fun just looking at all the stuff that was there. Also there's a good icecream place there. Can't go wrong with icecream :P

Oedo Onsen Monagatari - A onsen with a cool vibe. Might be a bit of a touristy trap, but I still had fun haha. Inside looks pretty cool and you get to wander around in a yukata. I couldn't try the actual onsen (ran out of time), but the foot bath where little fish nibble on your feet was pretty cool. Also the train I took to get there had an open front window and so you could see a lot of the city on the way there.

Those are probably the main things I would generally recommend that I've personally been to. A few other things I enjoyed would be the Ghibli Museum (It's not something I would do again and cafe food is bad, MUST get advance tickets), Kabuki-Za Theatre (watching a kabuki play isn't for everyone imo and it's a bit pricey but I liked it), and Peter Rabbit Cafe (food is actually pretty good and I like cute things haha).

As far as other tips...

I know a bit of less basic Japanese things, but honestly 90% of the time I said good morning/afternoon/evening, thanks, yes, and excuse me. I did say things like "looks tasty", "is this amount ok?", and maybe some other minor things but I rarely had to interact with someone who didn't know some English. I did find it helpful to read numbers once or twice (for prices), but most places use roman numerals anyway so that didn't make or break anything. Maybe knowing the man and woman kanji might help (for washrooms), but I can't remember what most washroom signs used right now haha.

I can't help too much with hotels, but when looking for one, try and find one that is close to a train station. That's the easiest way to get around in Tokyo, and probably cheapest as well. And speaking of trains, you'll want to get a Suica, PASSMO, or other similar IC card. It's just a card which you put money on to use the trains. You don't get any discount on the fare (at least I don't think so), but it saves a TON of hassle since you don't have to calculate the fare yourself and buy a ticket every time you go on the train. It doesn't matter which IC card you get, as they all work the same, (personally I got a Suica because of the cute penguin) but just get one for both you and Mrs Jaggo. They also work at some convenience stores (which are actually good to go to if you need a quick snack or drink) and vending machines!

Final suggestion... Unless you really have to or there's some other event that you MUST see, I wouldn't really suggest going in September. It's HOT and muggy! For me it was either go in September or not go at all, but man that weather was miserable. If you're used to that sort of thing then maybe it wouldn't be so bad for you, but I hate the heat. Probably October or November would be better if you went in the fall, but that's just a guess.

Ah sorry if that's a lot to go through! :lol:
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Jagosaurus
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Re: Tokyo Vacation Suggestions and Costs?

by Jagosaurus Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:31 am

laurenhiya21 wrote: Final suggestion... Unless you really have to or there's some other event that you MUST see, I wouldn't really suggest going in September. It's HOT and muggy! For me it was either go in September or not go at all, but man that weather was miserable. If you're used to that sort of thing then maybe it wouldn't be so bad for you, but I hate the heat. Probably October or November would be better if you went in the fall, but that's just a guess.

Ah sorry if that's a lot to go through! :lol:


Lauren, All awesome suggestions. Appreciate the time that went into that post! Yes, still digesting them all. Might have a few questions after.

I grew up around & still live near Houston which runs triple digit heat and humidity often, but we will absolutely try to avoid those months if possible in Japan. I was just reading their spring in March to May which lines up pretty nice schedule-wise, and we'll get to see the cherry blossoms.
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jmbarnes101
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Re: Tokyo Vacation Suggestions and Costs?

by jmbarnes101 Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:04 pm

Jagosaurus wrote:All great tips. I'm really starting from ground zero here. I need to look into the areas & transportation much further.

I'll have Mrs. Jago research Disney. She'll be all over it. As someone who has been to Disney World multiple times, but never Disneyland, think we'd be ok with 1 day there? Not having to experience everything, but getting a good chunk of it in?

We were thinking 5 full days due to our work schedule & kiddos. Should we make it 6 or 7 due to the cost of those plane tickets? Maximize that investment.


I would think you'd need at least two if you wanted to do both parks any justice. If you're ok just going with one park then a day would likely work, though you may not get to see/do everything.
My FS/FT/WTTF list:
http://www.racketboy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=14867&p=149112#p149112

Game Systems Owned:
NES, NES 2 (AV mod), SNES, SNES 2, N64 (Pikachu), Gamecube (Pokemon, Purple JPN modded), Wii, Wii U (Zelda), GB Pocket, GBA (2x-Arctic & Indigo), GBA SP (3x), DS Lite (Crimson/Black), 3DS (Aqua Blue), Sega CDX, Saturn, Dreamcast, Game Gear, Lynx, PSP (2x)
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