Travel Japan

basashi

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If you can get to Hiroshima, do it. Definitely a castle at Hiroshima, not worth going out of your way to see though. A Bomb Dome and Peace Park well worth it, and follow it up with an okonomiyaki.
My best bit of advice for Japan though is take your own pillow. Some of those things that they pass off for pillows in hotels are brutal.
Definitely go the okonomiyaki. You have to sit at the counter too. They might ask you what extra toppings you want. Cheese, mochi (chewy rice cake), are pretty popular. For the Aussie palate, I would go the cheese. Once they have made it you will have extra sauce and mayo to add to it. Order a beer to go with it. I am no west japan expert but I have always had good success in the arcades around Hon Dori when looking for Okonomiyaki, but others may know better.

As ever in Japan, copy other diners or ask "do desu ka?" (sound like "dough dess ka") to get advice on how to eat it.

If there are any Osaka people reading this, sorry, your okonomiyaki is a poor substitute and only acceptable when it is clear that there is no Hiroshima style nearby.
 

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Hawk Dork

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Just got my Ghibli tickets, what an ordeal had to get them from JTB for triple the price because the Lawson website crashed at the 10AM on the 10th and our concierge doesnt understand English enough to go and buy us 2 from the Poli machine next door to them.
Got 21 Day JR pass too and a few Suicas.
Now I have to work out some more magical mystery train tours to eat my ekiben on and get my moneys worth.

Is it worth getting a mobile wifi ?
Or do you just go get a coffee and use theres ???
 

Cockliff38

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Just got my Ghibli tickets, what an ordeal had to get them from JTB for triple the price because the Lawson website crashed at the 10AM on the 10th and our concierge doesnt understand English enough to go and buy us 2 from the Poli machine next door to them.
Got 21 Day JR pass too and a few Suicas.
Now I have to work out some more magical mystery train tours to eat my ekiben on and get my moneys worth.

Is it worth getting a mobile wifi ?
Or do you just go get a coffee and use theres ???
I recommend pocket wifi purely for maps
 

crafty_bernardo

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Try get a SIM, especially if you’re travelling in a group of people it’s so convenient. Pocket wifi don’t last very long.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

swingdog

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Just got my Ghibli tickets, what an ordeal had to get them from JTB for triple the price because the Lawson website crashed at the 10AM on the 10th and our concierge doesnt understand English enough to go and buy us 2 from the Poli machine next door to them.
Got 21 Day JR pass too and a few Suicas.
Now I have to work out some more magical mystery train tours to eat my ekiben on and get my moneys worth.

Is it worth getting a mobile wifi ?
Or do you just go get a coffee and use theres ???
We did AirBnB and a lot of the places offered free pocket wifi as part of the deal. Very jealous about Ghibli - they were sold out months in advance when we went.
 

Hawk Dork

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Try get a SIM, especially if you’re travelling in a group of people it’s so convenient. Pocket wifi don’t last very long.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Only me and my wife

We did AirBnB and a lot of the places offered free pocket wifi as part of the deal. Very jealous about Ghibli - they were sold out months in advance when we went.
Ive booked hotels they have free wifi in them but not mobile.



Do people use the luggage transfer so you dont have to lug your luggage from trains to hotel ?
Any recommendations ?

Im catching the bus from the airport for the first hotel in Tokyo and its only a 5 minute train ride and a 10 minute walk so no problems but the Kyoto one needs a a few trains including a Bullett then a another train and a walk ?
and then repeat back to Tokyo and then the Airport
 

swingdog

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No, we just walked but it was never that far. Japanese train stations are pretty well laid out for transfers from the Bullet to local trains. Kyoto station's not that big.
 

wadistance

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If you’re near Shibuya two things you really must do.

1) ichiran ramen

Ichiran Shibuya
Japan, 〒150-0041 Tōkyō-to, Shibuya City, Jinnan, 1-chōme−22−7 岩本ビルB1F
+81 3-3463-3667
https://goo.gl/maps/oqedZnpWBaq

2) about life coffee

ABOUT LIFE COFFEE BREWERS - Specialty Coffee Stand
1-chōme-19-8 Dōgenzaka, Shibuya City, Tōkyō-to 150-0043, Japan
+81 3-6809-0751
https://goo.gl/maps/Ks9KzCjVfSR2

Ichiran is on another level to any ramen I’ve had


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Cockliff38

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If you’re near Shibuya two things you really must do.

1) ichiran ramen

Ichiran Shibuya
Japan, 〒150-0041 Tōkyō-to, Shibuya City, Jinnan, 1-chōme−22−7 岩本ビルB1F
+81 3-3463-3667
https://goo.gl/maps/oqedZnpWBaq

2) about life coffee

ABOUT LIFE COFFEE BREWERS - Specialty Coffee Stand
1-chōme-19-8 Dōgenzaka, Shibuya City, Tōkyō-to 150-0043, Japan
+81 3-6809-0751
https://goo.gl/maps/Ks9KzCjVfSR2

Ichiran is on another level to any ramen I’ve had


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Can confirm #2 if you're into coffee but never understood the fuss over Ichiran. Might've just been my experience but it was just so meh. My most recent trip to Japan was with a friend who is a ramen fiend - he wanted it everyday and I reckon we would've averaged two bowls in every three days, so fair to see we got around. Would've had Ichiran ranked near the bottom
 

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Ishikawa

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Eh Ichiran is pretty average it’s just a franchise.

The best places to go are where there’s no English menu especially the ones where you press the vending machine buttons for your choices.
This place - Fu-Unji was absolutely unreal. Chicken and fish broth like nothing I have tasted before or since.

Screen Shot 2019-04-13 at 12.31.04 pm.png


And know it's a chain (though smallish), but love Afuri every time I go. Yuzu :thumbsu:

Screen Shot 2019-04-13 at 12.28.42 pm.png

Screen Shot 2019-04-13 at 12.34.53 pm.png
 
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robbieando

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Ive booked hotels they have free wifi in them but not mobile.
You'll be fine with just getting SIM's for your phones. Pretty simple to get at the airport and if you run out of data just pop into a Bic Camera and pick up another.

Do people use the luggage transfer so you dont have to lug your luggage from trains to hotel ?
You'll be fine as long as you have rolling cases, there is plenty of room on the skinkansen for luggage and as long as you don't travel on the metro at peak hour that won't be an issue either. Just take a case and backpack between you each. Also keep in mind most hotels have coin operated washing machines, so you don't need to bring too much clothing.
 

wadistance

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Eh Ichiran is pretty average it’s just a franchise.

The best places to go are where there’s no English menu especially the ones where you press the vending machine buttons for your choices.
That’s what I loved about ichiran. Granted I was only there for two days so didn’t get to eat much, I loved the whole idea of underground level single seat booth dining. Wish I’d heard of the other places when I was there


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Hawk Dork

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Just got back last week from a month there
Feet are killing me I have never walked so much in my life.
Ive got dodgy Achilles and all the stairs in train stations and lots of flat hard paths from one platform to another
Wife ended up with blisters
We caught a bullet train for a few hours every couple of days just to not have to walk.

Great place loved the people, the food,the culture, the landscape,the precision,the professionalism ,the zen.

21 day JR pass was well used
IC card was well used
I got a Wifi and that was well used.
Citibank debit card for cash from Lawsons was well used

Everything seemed cheaper than Australia, food, drinks ,accommodation, local trains and buses.
So many of the girls in Tokyo were stunning
The people are the nicest people you would ever meet
No one rips you off everyone goes out of their way to help

A bottle of Calvados from Bic Camera was cheaper than Duty Free (if you can find it) (about $30)
The food and French wine in Lawsons Family Circle or the supermarket was very good
Bottles of Bourdeaux or Tempanillo for about $13
The French pastrys and Italian food was also excellent
I will return
 
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juss

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Just got back last week from a month there
Feet are killing me I have never walked so much in my life.
Ive got dodgy Achilles and all the stairs in train stations and lots of flat hard paths from one platform to another
Wife ended up with blisters
We caught a bullet train for a few hours every couple of days just to not have to walk.

Great place loved the people, the food,the culture, the landscape,the precision,the professionalism ,the zen.

21 day JR pass was well used
IC card was well used
I got a Wifi and that was well used.
Citibank debit card for cash from Lawsons was well used

Everything seemed cheaper than Australia, food, drinks ,accommodation, local trains and buses.
So many of the girls in Tokyo were stunning
The people are the nicest people you would ever meet
No one rips you off everyone goes out of their way to help

A bottle of Calvados from Bic Camera was cheaper than Duty Free (if you can find it) (about $30)
The food and French wine in Lawsons Family Circle or the supermarket was very good
Bottles of Bourdeaux or Tempanillo for about $13
I will return
It's an amazing place. One month for a first trip would be amazing, I went for 2 weeks in 2015 and have a long to-do list left.
 

Hawk Dork

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It's an amazing place. One month for a first trip would be amazing, I went for 2 weeks in 2015 and have a long to-do list left.
Even after a month I still have a fairly long one.
I would like to spend more time just hanging at night so would like to be closer to the action next time.
Late May early June was great weather for people to be outside at night eating and drinking
 

deathevocation

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Just got back last week from a month there
Feet are killing me I have never walked so much in my life.
Ive got dodgy Achilles and all the stairs in train stations and lots of flat hard paths from one platform to another
Wife ended up with blisters
We caught a bullet train for a few hours every couple of days just to not have to walk.

Great place loved the people, the food,the culture, the landscape,the precision,the professionalism ,the zen.

21 day JR pass was well used
IC card was well used
I got a Wifi and that was well used.
Citibank debit card for cash from Lawsons was well used

Everything seemed cheaper than Australia, food, drinks ,accommodation, local trains and buses.
So many of the girls in Tokyo were stunning
The people are the nicest people you would ever meet
No one rips you off everyone goes out of their way to help

A bottle of Calvados from Bic Camera was cheaper than Duty Free (if you can find it) (about $30)
The food and French wine in Lawsons Family Circle or the supermarket was very good
Bottles of Bourdeaux or Tempanillo for about $13
The French pastrys and Italian food was also excellent
I will return
Japanese women are my favourite. Haha.
 

SonOfScray

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Recently returned from 3 weeks in Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka. We packed in as much as we could travelling with our 3YO daughter. She had a great time, people were so nice and welcoming, she had lots of attention and random interactions.

I caught a home run ball at a Buffaloes game. It was unbelievable, been to hundreds of ABL games and not ever got close, goto one NPL game and bingo, shag one of Yoshida. Baseball was a great experience. Tried Mos Burger in the stadium, really good fast food chain.

Beers and yakitori while spending the day at Sumo tournament was a fun day. Loved the atmosphere outside and the build up over the day. I'd happily go just for that. A few people I spoke to really emphasised it as a cultural thing, but honestly, it's just as much a great day of sport. Watched heaps of tournaments on YouTube in the past 12 months. Fan for life now.

Legoland was a lot of fun with our little tacker. Fair dinkum, close to the happiest day of my life. The resort is perfect for families, just a bright, happy place, really friendly staff and accessible, engaging interactions. Stayed at the hotel, you get a free lego set as a gift.

Disneysea I didn't enjoy as much as I expected. It was cool, but maybe not ideal for a young family. We spent ages queuing up for stuff, was a bit too much. Curry buns were a highlight and the shows on the water made it a fun day out, but it didn't compare to California.

Mt Fuji was incredible. First day in Tokyo we had clear views from Tokyo Tower. The next day we went out to Hakone and Fifth Station. Got incredible views and photos. If the weather wasn't as favourable it might have been a downer, but we were very lucky. I busted up when I saw the mountain, such an iconic sight.

Arcades were good fun.

Hanayishiki amusement park was a good way to kill a few hours with our daughter. Old theme park, a bit like Luna Park. It broke up our day of sightseeing and walking all around Asakusa and Ueno.

I practiced my Japanese for a few months in the lead up, it helped us out a few times but mostly we got by comfortably with English. It was good fun having a go though, I learned a bit as a result. A handful of phrases and the real basics would be a benefit I reckon.

Had a portable wifi. Would've been RS without it in terms of getting around. We had a stroller, so finding the exits etc after searching for lifts/ramps was a mission. The stations were so big you could get lost easily. WIFI saved us from a few domestics when I got us a bit lost.

Grabbed a different drink every day from vending machines/conbini- good fun. Some winners in the mix, a couple of WTF was that moments. Worth doing, some flavours etc you just won't experience here.

JR pass was great, easy to reserve seats on the Shinkansen and we found we could get to most tourists spots on the JR loops in Tokyo + a heap of walking. Used the subway a bit as we got our bearings. Had to use the subway more in Osaka and Kyoto for getting around. Didn't have those myki type cards, but it was easy enough to buy tickets at the machine. Good way to offload coins!

I loved Arashiyama and Fushimi Inari, can see why they are insanely popular tourist spots.

Dango was my favourite street food/snack. Melon bread with matcha ice cream too. It was my favourite overseas trip. Awesome place. I'm going to go back.
 

Ishikawa

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Yeah what a wonderful place, these posts bring back memories. Been a few times now but a couple of those have been around work so nothing like a month there! Of course that naturally has the benefit of a network to show you the ropes so can't complain at all.

Teamworks is another great experience I would recommend, book tickets in advance though. Looks super busy lining up (presuming it's as busy as it was earlier in the year when it opened), but nice once in can enjoy without feeling overwhelmed.

 

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