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Travel Itinerary Tips

Posted by crafte on 20/1/2013 at 19:15

We're starting our 3 week trip to SEA in Tokyo for 2 full days. There will be a group of 6. We'll be coming from the states (east coast) so jet lag will be a primary concern.

Day 1: Land at 3:30pm in Narita
- We figure we'll be ready to explorer at 6pm
- Plan to go to Harajuku then walk to Shibuya to catch the crosswalk and grab dinner

Day 2: (FULL DAY)
- Based on Forums, they said we should go to Tsujiki Fish Market early
- Cycle Tour at 9am - 3pm
- Back to hotel to rest
- Go to Shinjuku Gyoen Park ( we're staying in Shinjuku)
- Not sure where to go at night

Day 3: (FULL DAY)
- Wanted to see the country side. Any Suggestions?

Day 4: Need to leave at 1pm to catch a 5:50pm flight
- Maybe Sumida Boat Guide Tour?
- Maybe head over to Electronics District (Akihabara)
- Back to Hotel

Thoughts and any suggestions would be appreciated. We're into Food, Anime, and hiking. Thanks!

#1 crafte has been a member since 29/12/2012. Posts: 7

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Posted by iwillfly525 on 26/1/2013 at 10:11

Hi crafte,

I lived in Japan for 9 years and am more than willing to make some recommendations. I do have a few questions, so I can point you more towards what I think you might like. Any kids going on this trip and if so how old? What kind of budget do you have? This will effect where I suggest for a day trip to the country side. When are you leaving? If it's soon, do you really want to go hiking in winter weather? As for food, do you like Japanese food or are you looking for good western food?


#2 iwillfly525 has been a member since 13/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 50
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Posted by crafte on 26/1/2013 at 12:52

Hi Gina,
Thanks for the help!

Question: Any kids going on this trip and if so how old?
Answer: No kids. Just 6 adults and all in early 30s.

Question: Budget?
Answer: If its an experience, we are def. willing to splurge. We're trying to not going over board though.

Question: When are we leaving.
Answer: We're going to be there only 3 days, so I think you might be right in that hiking in the winter is not a good idea. We are also packing for warmer weather because for the next 3 weeks, we'll be traveling around southeast Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand).

Question: Food
Answer: We're def. looking for Japanese food and not western. A majority of us are adventurous with food.

Thanks so much! Also for April, Looks like its going to be 50 degrees. So we'll most likely not have any nice cloths with us as most of our time will be in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand.

~ Qui

#3 crafte has been a member since 29/12/2012. Posts: 7

Posted by iwillfly525 on 26/1/2013 at 14:08

Hi Qui,

Please forgive any typos, I'm not taking the time to prof read as you are leaving in 3 days and I want to get this info to you quick.

First and can NOT spend 2+ days in Japan with clothes you have packed for SEA weather. Go to a thrift store and buy something cheap that you can leave in Japan when you are done. It will be cold! Most buildings do not have insulation or central heat!!! Dress in layers, the temps will change drastically from building to building. If you are staying in a nicer hotel, you will have control over the heat in your room. If you are staying in a capsule hotel, you will not and will need something warm to sleep in.

For what to do in the evening on day 2 I suggest the Ice Bar If you Google it yourself, be sure it has the current info as it changed locations about 3 years ago and many websights haven't updated their info. The link I gave you has the correct info. It's a short walk from exit 5 Shimbashi Station and there is a police box on the corner when you exit the station, if you show them the address the cop will point you in the right direction. If it's a weekend, you might want to make reservation...the staff will speak English when you call.

As for the fish market, make sure the reviews you read are some what current. About 2 years ago (maybe a little longer...I lost track) it was shut down to tourist for about 6 months because people were being stupid. It is re-opened to tourist now, but in a much more limited capacity. So, if you are basing wanted to go there on older reviews, you will be disappointed. If you have never been a fish market before, it is sill worth a trip. Plus with jet-lag, I bet you will be up early anyway. It is a great place to find good, fresh, cheap sushi shops.

If you are into anime, you have to go to Harajuku and Akihabara. I, personally, don't like anime so I don't have any recommendations in particular, but especially in Akihabara you won't have any trouble finding anime stores, made cafes, and the like.

You have a ? mark by Sumida boat tour, if it's something you want to all means do it. But it's not that great in winter. Spring or summer is the best time to do that. I think a can't miss for tourist is Senso-ji temple in Asakusa. They just finished a long reinvention (like 5 years) on it last year. And the street to the temple has the best place to buy tourist goods. The streests around the temple have a very Japanese feel to them. You can also to from Asakusa to Akihabara with only one train transfer and they aren't too far from each other.

As for the day trip. I don't want to recommend any place north...even though they are great because of the weather issue. So, I'm going to suggest 2 places south that are still an easy, fun day trip.
1) Kamakura. LOTS of temples and shrines including the Daibutsu (2nd largest Buddha in Japan). The nature won't be at its best since it's winter, but still a beautiful location. You said you like hiking, and will it's hiking per-say, but it is a lot of walking. You will need a coat as you will be outside most of the day.
2) Kawaguchiko (the 5 lakes of Mt. Fuji) You can take a ropeway to the top of a mountain that gives great views of Mt. Fuji (in winter the sky is usually clear, so there is a good chance the view will be breathtaking). Lots of museums, and old style-village, and onsens (if your group is up for public bathing) You could spend more time inside and on buses than if you went to Kamakura, but it's at a higher altitude so you will still need a good coat.

I don't like Japanese food...I'm deathly allergic to fish and therefor it very little of it. So, I'm not going to be huge help on the food part. If you are looking for an experience rather than amazing food, I can suggest a could of places in Shibuya.

I hope that helps. If you have any other questions, ask and I'll do my best


#4 iwillfly525 has been a member since 13/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 50
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Posted by crafte on 27/1/2013 at 11:05

Thanks so much! That was very helpful. Apologize, but got confused on your question and we're actaully leaving first week of April. So about 2 months.

As for the clothing, would a wind breaker and layers underneath keep us warm? Sounds like going to a thrift store is a good idea if thats not enough. Thanks for the suggestion.

#5 crafte has been a member since 29/12/2012. Posts: 7

Posted by iwillfly525 on 27/1/2013 at 12:43

Hi Qui,

Sorry, I re-read what you wrote and you said it would wrote and I read it wrong the first time.

In April you should be fine with a wind breaker and lawyers. There might even be a two to hour window where you would be fine in T-shirt...depends on the year. I would suggest a pair of gloves and a hat, just in case because the temps will sill be cool in the evenings or early mornings. (I know in IL they are all 60%-80% off now...I think it would be worth it to buy a cheap pair and toss them at the airport to be comfortable for your time in Japan.) Also, in April you might run into some wind and rain, but that will be a day by day thing.

The first week in April, Kamakura will somewhere between good and beautiful depending on when things start blooming this year. Like I said it's not true hiking since you will be walking on paved roads, but some of the temples of down long winding roads that are surrounded by mostly nature.

Nikko, which is north of Tokyo, is a good day trip with great hiking! In April, it's doable with a coat!!! It's north and in the mountains, I wouldn't try it with a windbreaker. There might still be some snow on the peaks.

The cherry blossoms MIGHT bloom while you are there. The first week of April,is a little early, but I've seen it happen before. If they are I recommend cheery blossom viewing. Shinjuku Park, which are going to has some good ones. Ueno Park and the Imperial Palace are also good spots.

IF it's too early in Tokyo to be in bloom it might be the right time in Kyoto. Kyoto is a doable day trip if you have the budget for shinkansen (bullet train) tickets. If depends how much you want to see the cheery blossoms. If they aren't a priority for you, then I don't think Kyoto is worth the money given the short amount of time you would have there and your short stay in Japan.


#6 iwillfly525 has been a member since 13/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 50
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Posted by mick77 on 7/3/2013 at 07:03

So nice Japan, was in Feb 2010, spent 4 days in Tokyo, then Hakone (Mt fuji), and Kyoto 5 days.

A great experience. Japanese are so kind ! always trying to make you feel nice, in all hotels we did, a great welcome.

In Tokyo all you write si fine, moreover we did Sanrio park attraction (Tokyo Suburb), for kids, but really fun even for adults...

#7 mick77 has been a member since 28/2/2013. Posts: 5
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