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Old 11-27-2012, 03:38 PM   #271
BecBennett
Statistically, 6 out of 7 dwarves are not happy.
 
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What time of year are you going? Check crowd calendars to see how busy it will be, but we really could have done it in 2 days.

Also don't forget that Nara is closer to Kyoto which is 3 hours away from Tokyo on the bullet train. It's a day trip from Kyoto but probably not from Tokyo
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:59 PM   #272
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I checked the distance and it seems Nara will be a bit far out for this trip! We will just be sticking to Tokyo! We are going to be there mid December so I am assuming it may be busy with the Christmas season being in full swing! Not too sure what the parks in japan do for Christmas but that is something else I will add to the research list!!!
I think we will just allow 3 days for Disney and 1 day sight seeing/shopping in Tokyo itself!
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:45 PM   #273
BecBennett
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Today was our last day in Japan, and was mostly a travelling day. We were booked on a 1:33pm bullet train and an evening flight home. Unfortunately I think I’ve only got 1 pic for all of today.

We more or less just hung around our hotel until check out at 12pm packing our bags and watching a movie about Stephan Hawking on TV.

We checked out and left our bags with concierge so we could have a last look around the shops.

We headed underground to have a look around porta, as we really hadn’t seen much of it. It goes further then it looks, and then there’s a short hallway, which joins onto another underground shopping centre, which goes on even further.

I wasted some money on some really pretty blingy hair accessories – which I still haven’t worked out how to use.

At around 1:00pm we picked up our bags from Hotel Granvia and headed into the train station. We asked for directions to the right platform and waited there for the train. There wasn’t a nice air conditioned waiting room like there was at Tokyo, so we waited with everyone else in the heat.



We had another quick and seamless ride back to Tokyo, and once again found that one minute it would be rainy and crappy outside, then we’d pass through a tunnel and find ourselves in blue skies with the sun shining brightly. Weird…

We transferred at Tokyo station onto the Narita express and continued on the journey. The narita express is great, they have TV screens which rotate between the news and whether flights from the airport are leaving on time or are delayed. Our flight was apparently on time!

Unfortunately once we got to Narita airport there was some confusion with our tickets. We couldn’t get through the turnstiles and could not work out why. We weren’t the only ones who were stuck either. There was quite a line up of people at the larger gate trying to work out why their tickets weren’t allowing them through the turnstiles.

When it got to our turn we were advised that we had to pay more for our ticket… I really don’t get why… We’d paid for our train rides all the way from Kyoto to Narita airport and the tickets specifically said they included the Narita express, but for some reason we still had to pay something like an extra 1400Y to get through…

Maybe someone here can explain why we had to pay extra?

It didn’t matter too much though, as I was able to use the rest of my Japanese Yen to get through, and didn’t have to worry about having worthless Yen once we arrived in Australia.

We checked in for our flight and sent our bags off, and decided to try and find some dinner, as DH was getting hungry and grumpy.

We caught the monorail over towards our gate to find a sit down restaurant to relax in, but there were only 2 food options, a noodle house and a little convenience store like place. We didn’t really want food from either place, so we thought we’d go back across to the other side of the air port and try our luck over there. So back on the monorail we went.

Narita might be really well organised and efficient, but after going through security it’s pretty crappy. Seriously there are next to no food options, a handful of duty free, all selling the same stuff.

Eventually we found a counter service restaurant that had a menu that appealed and plenty of tables to eat at.

I didn’t get photos, sorry, but DH had a wasabi beef hamburger, which he really enjoyed and I had some fried chicken, which was OK, but nothing to write home about, and we shared some chips.

Eventually we moved to our gate and boarded another fully booked flight home.

It was another quick uneventful flight. I think I watched two movies, and slept a bit.

We arrived in Sydney pretty tired and smelly. There was a long nasty line at customs and immigration and it was moving slowly. We let a woman in front of us who was worried about missing her connecting flight. Eventually we were waved through and headed outside to where we’d parked our car.

Stupidly we had boarded in Japan during 40 degree temperatures – and were dressed accordingly – and landed in Sydney to minus temps as it was something like 6:30am. It wasn’t very nice and straight away I missed the heat. It may have only been a couple of hundred metres from the door to our car, but wearing shorts and a singlet top made it very uncomfortable.

We then settled in for a five hour drive home. I tell you what there is no longer drive than 5 hours when you’ve just gotten off a long flight. We’ve done it a couple of times and it never gets any easier…

Here's my stash!













And my puppy dog in his Mickey Jumper!







The drinks, the hand fans, the slippers and the baby outfit and a few other things are all souvenirs. So we didn't really buy much

So that's pretty much the TR completed! I promise once I get around to editing all of my pics I'll post my favourites. I have so many more compared to the ones I've already posted!
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:18 PM   #274
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Thank-you so much for finishing - I have been intently reading along - but will go back now and read through from the start.

I hadnt considered Nara, but will put it on the itinerary now

Love the photos of your doggy!!

We plan on making the same journey back to Narita from Kyoto - Was the 1400 extra per person or for the both of you - I will be mighty unhappy if we are charged an extra 7000 yen for the five of us!
We will have a JR pass if that makes a difference.

Do you remember the average cost of your meals? I am budgeting for $250 per day for the family - hopefully some days will be under.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:10 PM   #275
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I'm pretty sure the 1400 was for the two of us. We had JR passes as well - maybe there wasn't enough credit left on them for our tickets?

Meal prices over there are pretty similar to here - you can spend a fortune on a nice sit down meal with fancy table service, or you can find a little hole in the wall like place where you sit at a bar surrounding the kitchen and get a quite cheap noodle like meal. I think I preferred the hole in the wall places. Just find one that offers an English menu, and there will be someone inside that also speaks English.

Or you can always get fast food - Maccas, KFC, or similar places are everywhere. You know what you're getting, and you can work out how much it will cost before you order it. I can almost guarantee you'll opt for this once or twice when the language barrier becomes too much!
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:18 AM   #276
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Your puppy is super cute! It was fun reading your trip report!
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:19 AM   #277
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Thanks, I know we will hit up the chains but gosh I hope we don't go there too much. I always avoid using credit on holiday, so like to have a pretty good idea of what our costs are going to be. If I could buy a dining plan I would!
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:11 AM   #278
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamSweetsLove View Post
Your puppy is super cute! It was fun reading your trip report!
Thanks, he turned 8 this year, but he'll always be my puppy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by battymum View Post
Thanks, I know we will hit up the chains but gosh I hope we don't go there too much. I always avoid using credit on holiday, so like to have a pretty good idea of what our costs are going to be. If I could buy a dining plan I would!
Yeah I know! It's so hard! I think if you budget up to $50 per person per meal at the expensive places, and up to $10 per person per meal at the cheap places will be more then enough.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:57 AM   #279
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I love your stash....and all those Bambi pictures.

And I was off the Dis for a couple of days only to come back to find that you're completed your TR??

So sad....I was so enjoying your pictures and your days. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:57 AM   #280
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Hello fellow Aussie

I have just read all of your trip report and have enjoyed every minute so far! ( in fact I think I have put on a few kilos looking at all that food but then lost them again after the big trek up the hill !!!!!)

I am very very interested as we have just finalised the dates and itinerary for our next big trip. We will be doing 4 castles in the one trip - Sydney to Hong Kong to Tokyo to Orlando to Anaheim to Sydney with a few stops in between! It is still 2 years away yet, but I will need that much time to get it all organised being the uber planner that I am!

So, thanks so much for your report. I have some tips written down all ready!
Congrats on the new plan. 4 castles would be an awesome trip to plan for.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:30 PM   #281
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I will put more pics up. I've just been a bit lazy recently, so it's going to take a little time
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:53 PM   #282
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So what was your final verdict?

Was it awesome, would you do it again, recommend to others, everything you imagined ....
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:50 PM   #283
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hmm... OK

We'd do it again, but differently - either learn some of the language or take someone who was fluent - I'd also make sure I had a lot more money with me as the shopping over there is amazing, but expensive...

I loved Nara and would recommend it to everyone.

TDL was amazing and almost felt like my own private DL, even when it was really busy.

After discussion, I think we enjoyed Mexico more, but Japan is something completely different and well out of our comfort zone, so I'm extremely happy we did it.

I would go back in a slightly cooler temperature. Maybe around high 20s. While I really enjoy the heat, and my ideal holiday is on a beach in 30 odd degree temps, for Japan, and the amount of touring we did, it would have been better if it was cooler. I'm aware that we would need to trade off crowds for the better temperature, but I think it would be worth it.

If we were to go to Kyoto again I wouldn't stay in the same area. It was really handy for transport, but it wasn't near anything, and I feel we missed out on a lot of Kyoto, simply because we didn't really know where to find it. I don't think I saw one geisha while there.

The electronics weren't really everything I imagined. I think I was picturing really high tech gadgets and stuff every where, and that wasn't the case. Their technology didn't seem any more advanced then ours, but they had a lot more variety.

So to sum up - Yes it was awesome, I'd go again, I'd recommend it to others, but you can't imagine Japan until you've seen it, it's unlike anything else
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:19 AM   #284
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Thanks - I still go through waves of "yes it's going to be great" and "OMG what was I thinking" but it's too late to change my mind now. So i am grateful for some reassuring words.
I am thankful we are going in April and hopefully weather will be mild, if anything I think it will be on the cool side, planning to wear jeans and long sleeve tees, but am worried about crowds at that time. I have no control over either, so whatever will be will be.

I
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:19 PM   #285
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You'll love it! Just remember if you're starting to feel overwhelmed then just take a step back. Find a nice park and just sit and people watch.
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