Trip to Tokyo!

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities

Trip to Tokyo!

Postby Wannaretireearly » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:48 am

Hello, we have a trip to Tokyo booked for June this year for our 10 yr anniversary :)
First trip without the kiddos, for a week, so want to make it special.

We've never been to Tokyo, but love Sushi :)
Looking forward to the trip.

Any advice on:
1. Where to stay in Tokyo. I need to book a hotel. Dont mind splurging some given its a special trip.
2. Places to go in Tokyo.
3. Worthwhile day/weekend trips.

Cheers!
Wannaretireearly
 
Posts: 520
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby tokyoleone » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:52 am

Shinjuku on the west side of Tokyo is a good area to stay. Lots of hotel choices, huge transportation hub with train/subway access to all parts of Tokyo and beyond, lots of restaurants and shopping. It's about a 10-minute train ride from Meiji Jingu, one of the most important Shrines in Japan and worth visiting.

Other places to visit:
- Takeshita-dori (near Meiji Jingu, a long street full of teeny bopper fashion and culture that many people find interesting)
- Ameyoko (a street market along the train tracks of the Yamanote train line in Ueno - it used to be the black market area after WW2)
- Asakusa (Temple district on the east side with lots of small shops and restaurants)
-Akihabara (if you're interested in the latest electronic gadgets)
- Tsukiji (largest fish market in the world. Some areas may be closed to the public as too many tourists were getting in the way of the fish auctions ....)

Day trips from Tokyo:
- Hakone: about 90 minutes on the Odakyu train line, has lots of onsen (outdoor spas/hot baths), views of Mt. Fuji, a lake.
- Kamakura: about 60 minutes on the JR train, very quiet with many lovely temples and the Daibutsu, which is the largest Buddha statue in Japan and one of the largest in the world

Hope that helps
User avatar
tokyoleone
 
Posts: 376
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:36 pm
Location: Tokyo, Japan

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby bpp » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:15 am

Another worthwhile day trip is Nikko, about two hours by train from Tokyo.

The Tokyo Sky Tree is the newest tourist attraction in Tokyo, if that is to one's taste.

The Edo-Tokyo Museum in Sumida-ku is interesting for historical details on life in the Edo period.

The graves of the 47 Ronin at Sengaku-ji in Minato-ku.

Take in a kabuki play at Kabuki-za? (Which is currently being rebuilt, supposed to re-open this year, but not sure when this year.)
bpp
 
Posts: 1642
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:35 pm
Location: Japan Age:%bonds+10

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby hlfo718 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:30 am

You should also check out the morning seafood auction, but is really early like 4am. Also, is really hot and humid in Japan during summer so be prepare to sweat but there are tons of 7 Eleven and other similar shops for you to get some refreshments.

Bring a translation dictionary since most people don't speak english.

Have fun
hlfo718
 
Posts: 650
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:17 am
Location: NYC

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby stan1 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:38 am

There are three rail card options: JR Pass, SUICA, and PASMO. I've found the PASMO to be very useful as it covers Tokyo Metro plus some JR trains a little further out than Tokyo -- but it does not cover Shinkansen (bullet trains). SUICA and PASMO are very similar -- just offered by different rail operators but they have an agreement to accept each other's cards.

Rail transportation in Japan in Tokyo and other tourist centers is easy for English speakers these days. All the station signs have English subtitles. The rail cards are very helpful because there are a large variety of different ticketing schemes which can get confusing. With the card you just scan in and scan out. If you need help with English at the train station look for someone under the age of 30 and you'll probably get by. Taxi drivers probably do not speak English.

As you walk past Tokyo Tower look carefully at the top to see the "leaning tower" caused by the recent earthquake.

Taking the elevator ride up to the Tokyo Tower, Skytree, or Mori Tower on a clear day is definitely worth the cost, as the view of the complexity of the city below is amazing.
stan1
 
Posts: 3552
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby reggiesimpson » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:54 am

Havent been in years but ryokans were interesting places to stay. Tokyo is a massive city and to get a concept of its size a trip to the top of the Tokyo Tower is a must. One of the best deals in expensive Japan were the "day spas" for men. A great and reasonably priced place particularly for men to relax at the end of the day. Hot/cold baths, massages, head to toe scrubbings and just hang out and read the paper and watch TV. No its not that kind of "spa". The Japanese have some interesting bathroom etiquette that you may want to review before you go. Enjoy.
reggiesimpson
 
Posts: 1279
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:47 pm

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby halfnine » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:59 pm

a trip on the shinkansen
a visit to an onsen
a stay at a ryokan
a baseball game
shinjuku during rush hour
shibuya crossing
the food (can't really go wrong here)
any festival anywhere (as far as June goes I have not been to any but most of the ones I have heard of are around mid June)
a stop at the massage chairs at Narita before the flight back
halfnine
 
Posts: 330
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:48 pm

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby Wannaretireearly » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:41 pm

reggiesimpson wrote:Havent been in years but ryokans were interesting places to stay. Tokyo is a massive city and to get a concept of its size a trip to the top of the Tokyo Tower is a must. One of the best deals in expensive Japan were the "day spas" for men. A great and reasonably priced place particularly for men to relax at the end of the day. Hot/cold baths, massages, head to toe scrubbings and just hang out and read the paper and watch TV. No its not that kind of "spa". The Japanese have some interesting bathroom etiquette that you may want to review before you go. Enjoy.


Thanks! Already got a toto washlet, if that what you mean ;)
Wannaretireearly
 
Posts: 520
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby Wannaretireearly » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:43 pm

Wow great responses by all. Thanks!
Wannaretireearly
 
Posts: 520
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby Wannaretireearly » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:53 pm

tokyoleone wrote:Shinjuku on the west side of Tokyo is a good area to stay. Lots of hotel choices, huge transportation hub with train/subway access to all parts of Tokyo and beyond, lots of restaurants and shopping. It's about a 10-minute train ride from Meiji Jingu, one of the most important Shrines in Japan and worth visiting.

Other places to visit:
- Takeshita-dori (near Meiji Jingu, a long street full of teeny bopper fashion and culture that many people find interesting)
- Ameyoko (a street market along the train tracks of the Yamanote train line in Ueno - it used to be the black market area after WW2)
- Asakusa (Temple district on the east side with lots of small shops and restaurants)
-Akihabara (if you're interested in the latest electronic gadgets)
- Tsukiji (largest fish market in the world. Some areas may be closed to the public as too many tourists were getting in the way of the fish auctions ....)

Day trips from Tokyo:
- Hakone: about 90 minutes on the Odakyu train line, has lots of onsen (outdoor spas/hot baths), views of Mt. Fuji, a lake.
- Kamakura: about 60 minutes on the JR train, very quiet with many lovely temples and the Daibutsu, which is the largest Buddha statue in Japan and one of the largest in the world

Hope that helps


Thanks Tokyoleone! Obviously a Tokyo expert :)
We are in Tokyo for a week, would a side trip to Osaka be worthwhile? e.g. 4 days Tokyo, 3 days Osaka? Not sure.
I'm leaning more towards just staying in Tokyo (Hyatt looks good in Rappongi) and doing a couple of day trips. Both Hakone and Kamakura look great .
Wannaretireearly
 
Posts: 520
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby missybon » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:23 pm

I would vote for Asakusa.
A good hotel (Ryokan) is Asakusa Shigetsu- very simple though compared to a Hyatt.

Asakusa is at the end of a train line that runs right back through places most of us recognize as Tokyo- the city is sprawling the different train lines can be quite disorienting. So being at the end of the line makes it really hard to get lost and it means no crazy crowds at the station.
As far as Tokyo goes, Asakusa is the Japan fantasy: giant Tori gate, wide open temple complex. Narrow, neighborhood lanes, smaller houses. If the kiddos are true kiddos- there is a quaint amusement park, long car free pedestrian shopping streets and on and on.
All of this is right out of the train station, so again, you can't get lost.

Hakone has Hot Spring resorts and the Hakone Open-Air Museum- lots of outdoor sculptures.

The Tsukiji fish market has been forced to restrict much of the way folks like you and I can watch it all happen.

An interesting suburb of Tokyo, Mitaka, hosts the Ghibili Museum (Totorro, Spirited Away, Ponyo)- its very well done but gets very crowded.

Enjoy your planning!
missybon
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:32 pm

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby BillyG » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:38 pm

Wannaretireearly wrote:We are in Tokyo for a week, would a side trip to Osaka be worthwhile? e.g. 4 days Tokyo, 3 days Osaka? Not sure.
I'm leaning more towards just staying in Tokyo (Hyatt looks good in Rappongi) and doing a couple of day trips. Both Hakone and Kamakura look great .


No, don't split the trip between Osaka and Tokyo. I like Osaka but if you're there for only a week keep Tokyo as your base. Now Kyoto might be a different story...

Billy
BillyG
 
Posts: 343
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:02 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby centrifuge41 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:52 pm

We are going to Japan for about 6 days. We are flying into Osaka, spending a day there, then a few days each in Kyoto and Tokyo before flying out of Tokyo Haneda.

From speaking with others, if you are going to Japan for a week, you should be going to Kyoto too. The hotel + train packages from Japanican (http://www.japanican.com/tours/tourdeta ... OOVJH2KAKE) seem decent considering how expensive the Shinkansen is. To really save any money over this, you'd probably have to take overnight buses to Kyoto and back.

If you really really want to live it up, Park Hyatt Tokyo is supposedly one of the nicest hotels in the world. Super expensive though!
centrifuge41
 
Posts: 1001
Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 9:04 am

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby eddiejov55 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:50 pm

Get a JR rail pass and experience the country. The train system is great and efficient. You don't want to spend all of your time in Tokyo. Use this opportunity to see one of the most people countries in the world. If you like to ski, go to Nozawa Onsen. Amazing place. If you want to experience a Ryokan and soak in natural hot springs, spend a night in Minakami. If you want to see amazing history and beautiful temples then spend a few days in Kyoto. From Kyoto you can take a day trip to Hiroshima, experience the history, and see the floating Torii gates. If you like castles, then go to Matsumoto. There is a great castle in Kyoto as well.

I've been to Japan several times and love everything about this country. Enjoy your time there but spend every minute soaking up the beauty.
eddiejov55
 
Posts: 107
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:01 am

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby eddiejov55 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:52 pm

Oh...and visit vrbo.com and see if you can find a dig you enjoy. We stayed in an apartment in Kyoto and the price was great and location fantastic.
eddiejov55
 
Posts: 107
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:01 am

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby BillyG » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:32 pm

centrifuge41 wrote:If you really really want to live it up, Park Hyatt Tokyo is supposedly one of the nicest hotels in the world. Super expensive though!


The New York Bar at the top is very nice; you'll recognize it from the movie Lost in Translation.
Billy
BillyG
 
Posts: 343
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:02 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby bpp » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:03 am

stan1 wrote:As you walk past Tokyo Tower look carefully at the top to see the "leaning tower" caused by the recent earthquake.


That's been fixed, hasn't it?
bpp
 
Posts: 1642
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:35 pm
Location: Japan Age:%bonds+10

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby bpp » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:05 am

missybon wrote:An interesting suburb of Tokyo, Mitaka, hosts the Ghibili Museum (Totorro, Spirited Away, Ponyo)- its very well done but gets very crowded.


To avoid disappointment, note that that museum requires reservations in advance.
bpp
 
Posts: 1642
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:35 pm
Location: Japan Age:%bonds+10

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby Needtoknow » Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:09 am

I spent nearly two months in Japan. I had a great time there traveling the country. It will be difficult for you to see too much if you are only going to be there for a week. However a week in Tokyo alone and you can see it well. I stayed in the Ginza area. It was fine with lots of stores and restaurants. It was like being in downtown New York on 5th Avenue. There is public transportation to get you everywhere. Others have mentioned the main spots. I would add the Tokyo fish market. That was an interesting spot as it is the main location where all of the fish that goes throughout Tokyo is picked up by all of the local restaurants and stores. You can eat well there too. Get there early in the morning as you will see all of the activity begin around 5 a.m. Bring your camera as you will see live fish in great quantity and watch them prepare the fish to sell. Also, a trip to the Toyota Plant is great. They have tours, but you need to make your reservation before you get there. You will see why Toyota is such a great company and why they make great cars. You should be there during the Kabuki Theatre performances. Those would be great to see as well.

I believe Kyoto is a must if you are going to Japan. However, you have to plan what you would see and spend one night. If you don't spend the night to see Kyoto it will not be worth it as there is no much to see. All of the temples and history there is just phenomenal.

One thing I would say to do is to climb Mt. Fuji. You will have fun doing it if you can physically do it. Most people go at night and climb to see the sunrise. It's fun, but it gets cold up there so bring warm clothes that are layered.

I used a Frommer's guide book for my trip and it saved me lots of time and lots of money. I would strongly suggest you get such a book.
Needtoknow
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:19 am

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby tokyoleone » Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:04 am

BillyG wrote:
Wannaretireearly wrote:We are in Tokyo for a week, would a side trip to Osaka be worthwhile? e.g. 4 days Tokyo, 3 days Osaka? Not sure.
I'm leaning more towards just staying in Tokyo (Hyatt looks good in Rappongi) and doing a couple of day trips. Both Hakone and Kamakura look great .


No, don't split the trip between Osaka and Tokyo. I like Osaka but if you're there for only a week keep Tokyo as your base. Now Kyoto might be a different story...

Billy


I agree with the above. If you only have a week in Japan, I would stay in Tokyo and make a day trip or 2 to Hakone/Kamakura/Nikko and/or go to Kyoto (it's near Osaka). Kyoto has so many wonderful places to see it would be difficult to cover many of them in only a few days, but some of my favorite places are Ryoanji (UNESCO world heritage site zen temple with a famous rock garden which you can look at and contemplate the meaning of life), Kinkakuji (Golden Pavillion temple with a beautiful garden in classical Japanese style), and Kiyomizudera (another temple with a great view from the veranda and in a neighborhood with lots of small shops).

Kyoto is about 2 hours or so from Tokyo Station on the fastest Shinkansen trains. Japanese people travel a lot in their own country, so if you go, try to avoid weekends and holidays and visit places in the mornings when possible. The crowds will be much smaller then!
User avatar
tokyoleone
 
Posts: 376
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:36 pm
Location: Tokyo, Japan

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby dickenjb » Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:07 am

I like to stay in Ginza but that is just my preference.

All of Tokyo is convenient by rail/subway to the rest.

Kamakura is very cool and some nice hikes through the woods there.

Tsukiji is a must if you want the freshest sushi in the world. To my knowledge the tuna auctions have been closed to gaijin for some time now.

No way I would go to Osaka. If you feel a need to visit a city in the Kansai region, Kyoto is the way to go.
Philly Chapter Coordinator
dickenjb
 
Posts: 2941
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:11 pm
Location: Philadelphia PA

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby reggiesimpson » Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:23 pm

Wannaretireearly wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:Havent been in years but ryokans were interesting places to stay. Tokyo is a massive city and to get a concept of its size a trip to the top of the Tokyo Tower is a must. One of the best deals in expensive Japan were the "day spas" for men. A great and reasonably priced place particularly for men to relax at the end of the day. Hot/cold baths, massages, head to toe scrubbings and just hang out and read the paper and watch TV. No its not that kind of "spa". The Japanese have some interesting bathroom etiquette that you may want to review before you go. Enjoy.


Thanks! Already got a toto washlet, if that what you mean ;)

Have no idea what a toto washlet is but i meant more like the mundane procedures of changing into house slippers before you enter the house proper and changing again into toilet slippers on entering the bathroom area. Laying on top of the top bed cover??? I further made the mistake of the water droplets on my head hitting the other men in the common wash area (from shaking my head). If looks could kill! Thats why they call us "gaijins".
reggiesimpson
 
Posts: 1279
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:47 pm

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby ddunca1944 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:41 pm

I agree with the above. If you only have a week in Japan, I would stay in Tokyo and make a day trip or 2 to Hakone/Kamakura/Nikko and/or go to Kyoto (it's near Osaka). Kyoto has so many wonderful places to see it would be difficult to cover many of them in only a few days, but some of my favorite places are Ryoanji (UNESCO world heritage site zen temple with a famous rock garden which you can look at and contemplate the meaning of life), Kinkakuji (Golden Pavillion temple with a beautiful garden in classical Japanese style), and Kiyomizudera (another temple with a great view from the veranda and in a neighborhood with lots of small shops).

Kyoto is about 2 hours or so from Tokyo Station on the fastest Shinkansen trains. Japanese people travel a lot in their own country, so if you go, try to avoid weekends and holidays and visit places in the mornings when possible. The crowds will be much smaller then!


+1
For only a week I'd stay in Tokyo and do a 1 or 2 day side trip to any of the aforementioned areas. I really enjoyed Nikko. For Kyoto, a week would be barely enough. Even though the train ride itself is only about 2 hours, you still have to get to/from stations, check out, check in lodging. Kills at least 1/2 day each way. And there is too much to see in Kyoto to limit to a couple of days.
ddunca1944
 
Posts: 812
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:49 pm

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby freebeer » Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:48 pm

I visit Tokyo 2+ times a year on business. I highly recommend optimizing for a place very near subway and, ideally, also a JR line (train) station. Shinjuku is OK but there are other options inc. Shinagawa, Ebisu, Shibuya. Roppongi and Asakusa can be less convenient but it depends on the hotel.

In Tokyo I find newly opened hotels can often be great deals as locals and visitors tend to go back again and again to the same places. Also a major non-business use of hotels is for weddings so someplace that has not booked a wedding may be offering a great deal a couple months before the trip. Conversely famous hotels like Park Hyatt (every gaijin knows it from the movie), Imperial Hotel, Akasaka Prince, Hotel Okura, ... tend to be overpriced. Be careful of older hotels with high # of stars: Hilton and Hyatt Regency in Shinjuku for example.

Take the old-style Arakawa line tram which goes through some of the remaining old-style neighborhoods.

Enjoy specialty restaurants. In US we think of Japanese food = sushi but there are places that specialize in small tapas-style sharing plates (izakayas), formal cuisine (kaiseki), eel, family-style food like curry or pork cutlet (tonkatsu), oden, ramen, tempura, ... even seafood and vegetable pancakes (okonomiyaki). And Tokyo has top ones in each and every of the dozens of categories.
freebeer
 
Posts: 1309
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 8:30 am
Location: Seattle area USA

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby Wannaretireearly » Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:13 pm

freebeer wrote:I visit Tokyo 2+ times a year on business. I highly recommend optimizing for a place very near subway and, ideally, also a JR line (train) station. Shinjuku is OK but there are other options inc. Shinagawa, Ebisu, Shibuya. Roppongi and Asakusa can be less convenient but it depends on the hotel.

In Tokyo I find newly opened hotels can often be great deals as locals and visitors tend to go back again and again to the same places. Also a major non-business use of hotels is for weddings so someplace that has not booked a wedding may be offering a great deal a couple months before the trip. Conversely famous hotels like Park Hyatt (every gaijin knows it from the movie), Imperial Hotel, Akasaka Prince, Hotel Okura, ... tend to be overpriced. Be careful of older hotels with high # of stars: Hilton and Hyatt Regency in Shinjuku for example.

Take the old-style Arakawa line tram which goes through some of the remaining old-style neighborhoods.

Enjoy specialty restaurants. In US we think of Japanese food = sushi but there are places that specialize in small tapas-style sharing plates (izakayas), formal cuisine (kaiseki), eel, family-style food like curry or pork cutlet (tonkatsu), oden, ramen, tempura, ... even seafood and vegetable pancakes (okonomiyaki). And Tokyo has top ones in each and every of the dozens of categories.


Thanks FreeBeer.
Any recommendations for new hotels in good locations where deals can be had? Cheers!
Wannaretireearly
 
Posts: 520
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby Easy Rhino » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:21 pm

Mrs. Rhino and I got to spend a whopping two days in Tokyo on our honeymoon, so we didn't get around nearly enough.

tokyoleone wrote:- Takeshita-dori (near Meiji Jingu, a long street full of teeny bopper fashion and culture that many people find interesting)


is this the same as harajuku? I remember that being nerr the Meiji shrine, and it was a fun stroll.

- Tsukiji (largest fish market in the world. Some areas may be closed to the public as too many tourists were getting in the way of the fish auctions ....)

And it misses a lot of the allure when we went, which was, I think, a sunday afternoon when the wholesale work was very closed. :)

And I'll vouch that tokyo in the Summer (we were there in July) is as hot as [unprintable], especially if they're on energy-savings mode after fukishima!
Easy Rhino
 
Posts: 2831
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 11:13 am
Location: San Diego

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby wholeinone04 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:25 pm

I visited Tokyo a couple years ago and it was a blast. I stayed with a friend so I can't speak to the hotels but if you're only there for a week that's plenty of time but I wouldn't spend more than one night or one day outside of Tokyo. There is so much to do in Tokyo! I loved the food so I'd be sure to try fresh tuna at one of the restaurants near the fish market, japanese bbq(i think it's called yakitori?), soba noodles, oolong hi(some type of alcoholic tea drink), etc.

My favorite sites were hatchko the dog/shibuya crossing, the giant clock, emperor's palace, and the hot springs in hakone are pretty awesome. Although, I've heard not as fun for couples since the best ones are all male or all female. good luck and have fun! Oh yea don't forget to try a bidet at the airport, possibly the nicest bathroom ever haha
wholeinone04
 
Posts: 197
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 12:45 pm
Location: Newport Beach, CA

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby Wannaretireearly » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:16 pm

Thanks for everyone's responses. The quality of the responses here is just awesome.
Bogleheads rock :)
Wannaretireearly
 
Posts: 520
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby Wannaretireearly » Wed May 29, 2013 11:30 pm

Bumping this as our trip is next week. Appreciate any recent info or advice.
We did book a bullet train trip to hakone and then overnight in Kyoto. Other than that we have 5 days in Tokyo!
Wannaretireearly
 
Posts: 520
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby TheGreyingDuke » Wed May 29, 2013 11:54 pm

Edo outdoor architectural museum,restored homes and shops from Tokyo looked like before the double whammy of the 1923 earthquake and the 1945 firebombing:

http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/spot ... tural.html

Railway museum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railway_Museum_(Saitama)

edo-tokyo museum, see what Tokyo/Edo looked like over the years
http://www.edo-tokyo-museum.or.jp/english/index.html
User avatar
TheGreyingDuke
 
Posts: 677
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:34 am

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby dickenjb » Thu May 30, 2013 6:38 am

I am not sure if Kabuki-za has reopened but if so taking in at least one act of a Kabuki play is very worthwhile. Be sure to rent the English language headphones. An unforgettable experience. "Seats" on the 3rd floor (standing room only) are cheap and available for one act only - the first and second floors require purchase of an entire play which can run 3+ hours.
Philly Chapter Coordinator
dickenjb
 
Posts: 2941
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:11 pm
Location: Philadelphia PA

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby tokyoleone » Thu May 30, 2013 8:23 am

dickenjb wrote:I am not sure if Kabuki-za has reopened but if so taking in at least one act of a Kabuki play is very worthwhile. Be sure to rent the English language headphones. An unforgettable experience. "Seats" on the 3rd floor (standing room only) are cheap and available for one act only - the first and second floors require purchase of an entire play which can run 3+ hours.


The new Kabuki-za theater reopened in April this year. Tickets generally range from ¥22,000 - ¥4,000, may be cheaper for 3rd floor one act option. And one act might be plenty for most people unfamiliar with Kabuki - the costumes are magnificent, the music and dance can be mesmerizing, but some may find it to be an acquired taste. The English headphones are a great help in understanding what's going on.
User avatar
tokyoleone
 
Posts: 376
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:36 pm
Location: Tokyo, Japan

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby letsgobobby » Thu May 30, 2013 8:33 am

Tokyo has a phenomenal city of Tokyo museum about its history.... must see. Glad you are getting to kyoto!
letsgobobby
 
Posts: 7249
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:10 am

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby rotosound » Thu May 30, 2013 8:40 am

The Tsukiji fish market is a must. You can watch the local fish merchants butchering the freshly caught fish. The market is really fascinating and very busy. There are a number of sushi bars all around the market. I think Sushi Dai and Daiwa Sushi are the more popular ones, but all the ones I tried were very good. I've gone there several times and never get tired of it.
rotosound
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:28 am

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby JamesSFO » Thu May 30, 2013 8:45 am

Wannaretireearly wrote:Thanks Tokyoleone! Obviously a Tokyo expert :)
We are in Tokyo for a week, would a side trip to Osaka be worthwhile? e.g. 4 days Tokyo, 3 days Osaka? Not sure.
I'm leaning more towards just staying in Tokyo (Hyatt looks good in Rappongi) and doing a couple of day trips. Both Hakone and Kamakura look great .


Grand Hyatt Roppongi is quite nice, but _slightly_ out of the way for trains compared to some other locations. I like Kamakura also recommend a mt fuji day bus trip.
User avatar
JamesSFO
 
Posts: 2182
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:16 pm

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby centrifuge41 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:35 pm

Now that I've come and gone, here's some thoughts.

We had a rushed trip. 1/2 day in Osaka (only stayed an evening and saw the castle), 1.5 days in Kyoto, and 3 days in Tokyo.

Osaka could have used just a little bit more time, to go walk around the downtown and to go to the aquarium.
1.5 days in Kyoto was slightly rushed but sufficient. Enough time to see Ginkakuji, Kinkakuji, Heian Shrine, philosopher's walk, and at least 5-10 other shrines too. It starts to look the same after a while, so no need to stay too long.

3 days in Tokyo was more than enough to check out almost all of the major stations and districts. Even Odaiba, which is a bit farther. We stayed in the NE of the city, where hotels were cheap. About 1.5 miles north of Asakusa's Senso-ji shrine.

If we had longer than 5 days in Japan, we'd also have added 2 days in Nara and a day in Beppu.

People are super polite, and the food really isn't expensive :)
centrifuge41
 
Posts: 1001
Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 9:04 am

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby MIGIHIDARI » Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:05 pm

Without reading all the wonderful suggestions, If you can not make it to Kyoto, do go to Kamakura.
You will have a funfilled time!
MIGIHIDARI
 
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:24 pm

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby FedGuy » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:48 pm

If I were to go to Tokyo, I would try to set aside a little time to visit the Elvis statue, because that photo would make some of my friends laugh.
FedGuy
 
Posts: 703
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:36 pm

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby JamesAt15 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:27 pm

FedGuy wrote:If I were to go to Tokyo, I would try to set aside a little time to visit the Elvis statue, because that photo would make some of my friends laugh.


If you're talking about the one that was in Harajuku, you'd be in for a disappointment as it was apparently moved to Kobe in 2009.
JamesAt15
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:12 am

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby FedGuy » Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:58 am

Thanks, James. I hadn't heard about that. The statue wasn't exactly my only reason to visit Tokyo someday, but I did think it would be fun to send that photo back home. Oh, well.
FedGuy
 
Posts: 703
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:36 pm

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby Valuethinker » Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:46 am

bpp wrote:Another worthwhile day trip is Nikko, about two hours by train from Tokyo.

The Tokyo Sky Tree is the newest tourist attraction in Tokyo, if that is to one's taste.

The Edo-Tokyo Museum in Sumida-ku is interesting for historical details on life in the Edo period.

The graves of the 47 Ronin at Sengaku-ji in Minato-ku.

Take in a kabuki play at Kabuki-za? (Which is currently being rebuilt, supposed to re-open this year, but not sure when this year.)


How long would it take to get to Hiroshima? Nagasaki?

I've done Auschwitz, and I will do the World War One trenches at some point. Omaha Beach too.

I've been to Coventry and the Cathedral there, and some day I will no doubt see Dresden-- the Cathedral has just been rebuilt, partly with British money.

If you want to understand the 20th Century, Auschwitz and Hiroshima are the bookends of the library. With the Trenches in the middle.
Valuethinker
 
Posts: 25444
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby tokyoleone » Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:47 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
How long would it take to get to Hiroshima? Nagasaki?



Tokyo - Hiroshima takes about 4-5 hours on Shinkansen trains, Tokyo - Nagasaki about 7-8, depending on type of train and schedule. You can fly to either in 1-3 hours from Tokyo's Haneda airport.
User avatar
tokyoleone
 
Posts: 376
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:36 pm
Location: Tokyo, Japan

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby bpp » Sat Jul 06, 2013 8:52 am

Valuethinker wrote:
bpp wrote:Another worthwhile day trip is Nikko, about two hours by train from Tokyo.

The Tokyo Sky Tree is the newest tourist attraction in Tokyo, if that is to one's taste.

The Edo-Tokyo Museum in Sumida-ku is interesting for historical details on life in the Edo period.

The graves of the 47 Ronin at Sengaku-ji in Minato-ku.

Take in a kabuki play at Kabuki-za? (Which is currently being rebuilt, supposed to re-open this year, but not sure when this year.)


How long would it take to get to Hiroshima? Nagasaki?

I've done Auschwitz, and I will do the World War One trenches at some point. Omaha Beach too.

I've been to Coventry and the Cathedral there, and some day I will no doubt see Dresden-- the Cathedral has just been rebuilt, partly with British money.

If you want to understand the 20th Century, Auschwitz and Hiroshima are the bookends of the library. With the Trenches in the middle.


I've been to Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Omaha Beach. All very powerful experiences, all quite capable of making one thoroughly ashamed of the human race. I imagine Auschwitz is even more so.

Been to Coventry Cathedral, too, now that I think of it.

On that topic, if one is in Tokyo (the OP has already visited and gone), some of the old air raid shelters are apparently open to the public as well.
bpp
 
Posts: 1642
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:35 pm
Location: Japan Age:%bonds+10

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby halfnine » Sat Jul 06, 2013 2:24 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
How long would it take to get to Hiroshima? Nagasaki?

I've done Auschwitz, and I will do the World War One trenches at some point. Omaha Beach too.

I've been to Coventry and the Cathedral there, and some day I will no doubt see Dresden-- the Cathedral has just been rebuilt, partly with British money.

If you want to understand the 20th Century, Auschwitz and Hiroshima are the bookends of the library. With the Trenches in the middle.


For Hiroshima and Nagasaki you might consider flying into Fukuoka instead of Tokyo but that would depend on the rest of your itinerary as well. I merely suggest the option as personally I don't have any experience with Fukuoka or its airport nor Nagasaki although I have been to Hiroshima and most places north of there.

I found Auschwitz, D-day beaches, and Hiroshima all to be powerful experiences.
halfnine
 
Posts: 330
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:48 pm

Re: Trip to Tokyo!

Postby LadyGeek » Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:39 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (travel).
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
 
Posts: 20064
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia


Return to Personal Consumer Issues

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Alex Frakt, bgaspard, dianna and 58 guests