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Old 06-07-2012, 09:37 PM   #1
BecBennett
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I don't know a word of Japanese! - A COMPLETED TR!

In just over a month, DH and I will be heading over to Japan for a 2 week holiday. Very exciting!

We had some bad news earlier this year, so we decided to take the advantage and head off on a holiday. We tossed around a few ideas, skiing in New Zealand came up, as did another trip back to the US.

Our trip to the US was going to be flying into LAX, driving from LAX up to San Fran along the coast, cruising from San Fran up to Alaska and back, flying from SFO to JFK to spend 2 weeks with DH’s family and then back to LAX for a few Disney days before heading home. We started planning this trip and figured that we’d need probably four weeks for it.

Which is where the problems started.

DH runs his own business, so taking time off isn’t the issue, but taking extended time off can cause a lot of problems. So we did a bit of research into how long his current job was expected to last, and how soon he would have to start his next job. What we could do with his apprentice while we were away, and a lot of other stupid things you don’t think about until you own your own business and try and have a holiday…

We could do 2 weeks. So back to the idea of New Zealand, except I don’t like the cold. And hey what a coincidence! There are some cheap flights to Japan how about we look at that!?!

We tossed up flying Jetstar because their prices really can’t be beat, or Qantas because they offer a lot more for the price you pay. However it was looking like it was going to cost $2000 more to fly Qantas then to fly Jetstar, but with Jetstar we’d have to make connecting flights in Australia, and that seemed annoying, but $2000 is a lot of money.

We ummed and ahhed over it for a couple of days but figured we’d end up booking with Jetstar because we’re not crazy. Then I received an email about internation flights on sale, so of course I looked into it. The flights for the days I was looking at were a little cheaper, but still not comparable with Jetstar, and then I played around with the dates and found that if we flew out the following Saturday then the price difference was only $400! Done, I told DH and he said “Book it! I hate flying Jetstar”

So with that long story out of the way, we’re now flying from Sydney to Narita direct on Saturday July 14th and returning from Narita to Sydney July 29th.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:59 PM   #2
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YAY!! Very exciting!! Can't wait to read more of your trip!!

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Old 06-07-2012, 10:07 PM   #3
BecBennett
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I don't usually do PTR's, I usually wait until I've gotten back and just do a TR, but I think this area of the boards needs a bit more movement, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to start one.

Hope you enjoy reading along
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:10 PM   #4
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Currently I don’t know a word of Japanese, and while I am a believer in the whole “If you’re coming to our country learn to speak our language” thing, part of me wants to not learn any Japanese, so I can pass on to others what it’s like trying to get around without knowing any. The other part of me wants to study it, but I know I’m not going to pick up any between now and when we leave.

We’re currently booked in at the Century Southern Tower Hotel in Shinjuku from the 15th (when our plane arrives) to the 24th, and then from the 24th to the 29th we’re at the Hotel Granvia in Kyoto.

Century Southern Tower Hotel

compliments of their website

Hotel Granvia Kyoto

compliments of the hotels.com website

So far our time line looks like this:

15th – Arrive and check into our hotel, we’ll be arriving early and wont be able to check in until 2pm, but we’re planning on dumping our luggage and trying to work out our bearings a bit – particularly with the Shinjuku train station. Since we’ll be using this station the most it wouldn’t hurt to work out where everything is. I’ve been told that its not uncommon to reduce lost tourists to tears because they can’t find their way out of it!

16th – This is a public holiday, so we might head with the masses into the Imperial Palace, otherwise just general site seeing.

17th – Disneyland!!!

18th – Disney Sea

19th – either Disneyland or Disney Sea or both.

20th – either Disneyland or Disney Sea or both.
We haven’t bought our tickets for Disney yet, as I’ve heard that guests staying onsite can sometimes purchase 4 day tickets that are hoppers from day one. So we’re going to wait a bit and see if any good Disney Hotel prices just magically turn up, and maybe change a few things around then.

21st – More Tokyo site seeing. Maybe head to Nikko for the day.

22nd – This is the last day of the Sumo tournament in Nagoya. So we might head to Nagoya for the day, or alternatively we might take the free option and just visit a few Sumo Stables to see some training etc.

23rd – More site seeing.

24th – Check out of the Century Southern Tower and hop on the Nozomi shinkansen to Kyoto. Check into Hotel Granvia.

25th – Spend the day in Osaka – there’s a festival on today with lots of fire works and stuff and I really want to see it.

26th – Kyoto site seeing.

27th – Kyoto site seeing.

28th – Kyoto site seeing.

29th – Check out of Hotel Granvia and head back to Tokyo on the Shinkansen. Our flight home isn’t until 8:30pm, but we’ll probably just make this a travel day so we don’t feel rushed to do anything.

The things we would like to do include Ueno park, the New Otani hotel garden, a visit to Nikko, maybe get a bit closer to Mt. Fuji – no need to climb it, but I’d like to see it, and being the middle of summer it can get pretty hazy, so I think a trip to it is in order. Lots of shrines and temples, Harajuku, and probably a lot more.

I’ll look into any and all recommendations!
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:11 PM   #5
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Looking forward to following along! If I can't get back to TDR right this minute, the next best thing is living vicariously through others!
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:08 AM   #6
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You know I am following along - I am impatiently waiting for airfare deals for April 2013.

That is the same sort of itinerary I am looking at. Will you get JR passes or just the one return tix. I dont think you can use the fastest shink to Kyoto on the normal JR pass.

You are right, this subforum needs more action!
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Old 06-08-2012, 06:02 AM   #7
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Very exciting Bec - Japan is a fantastic holiday!

I'd recommend an overnighter to Nikko - there is a lot to do and it takes 3 - 4 hours to get there.

Do your research on Japan cause it is FANTASTIC!

BTW: the shinkasen for the JR pass is still as good as the other - the time difference was like 20 mins. Hyperdia is great - you can plan your routes, get the costs and do your price comparison to see if you are better off getting the JR Pass.

About.com and Tripadvisor have very good advice and active japan boards
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:06 AM   #8
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it is an exciting count down ticker isn't it? lol.

I feel like I've left everything to the last minute though. I think next holiday we'll go back to booking 6 months in advance!
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BecBennett View Post
it is an exciting count down ticker isn't it? lol.

I feel like I've left everything to the last minute though. I think next holiday we'll go back to booking 6 months in advance!
Sometimes, these ad-hoc spur of the moment holidays are the best.
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:56 PM   #10
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Just got a call from the bank, my Yen has turned up, so I'm going to go pick it up at lunch

Today is my last day at work, so I've booked myself in the office all day to try and get all of my paperwork under control. I'm actually surprised with how under control I've got it

Then I've got an action packed week of tieing up a heap of loose ends. Which includes my trip to Newcastle to see Flight of the Conchords I'm only going to spend 2 nights in Newie though because I have so much to get done!
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:42 PM   #11
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Enjoy your well deserved break. Have fun at the FotC.
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Old 07-07-2012, 06:36 AM   #12
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Thanks, I'm really looking forward to it, I played there songs all day today.

I got my yen

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Old 07-12-2012, 01:38 AM   #13
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Toby wants to come too



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Old 07-12-2012, 02:46 AM   #14
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Well....there is lots of sushi in Japan.


Toby looks like a slim-line version of my cat Moses.

Glad to see that you're practically packed and ready to go. If I don't catch you, have a great trip. Looking forward to your TR and pics.
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:42 AM   #15
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Thanks, flight takes off Saturday night, so still a little time.

Which is good... Have you ever had that feeling that you're forgetting something..?
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