Planning a trip to Japan April 2016, any advice?

zavandor

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 22, 2011
After countless visits to Disneyland Paris, WDW and Disneyland, we've finally decided to visit Japan and Tokyo Disney Resort.
We have a tentative plan for April next year. Flight already booked, so dates are set, however what and where to go is still fluid.
Here's the plan:


- April 7th: Arrival in Osaka at 8:05 so we have some time to visit the city
- April 8th: Universal Studios Japan
- April 9th: Hiroshima + Miyajima

Move to Kyoto
- April 10th: Kyoto. Kiyomizu-dera
- April 11th: Kyoto. Higashiyama nord and Nijo Castle
- April 12th: Kyoto. Ryoan-ji, Kinkaku-ji, Daitoku-ji
- April 13th: Kyoto. Arashiyama
- April 14th: Nara

Move to Tokyo
- April 15th: Ueno – Asakusa
- April 16th: imperial Palace
- April 17th: Shibuya – Harajuku – Shinjuku
- April 18th: other stuff in Tokyo and move to TDR in the evening

Tokyo Disneyland
- April 19th: Tokyo Disneyland
- April 20th: Tokyo Disney Sea
- April 21st: Park hop
- April 22nd Park hop

April 23rd: Back home


The idea is to save a bit buying the Japan Rail pass only for one week, from 4/9 to 4/15. We land in Osaka and come back from Tokyo.

What do you think about this plan?
We may end up cutting one day in Disneyland to add on eto Tokyo. 3 of us are hard core Disney fans, while the others less so, so they might want to spend 2 or maximum 3 days in TDR. Are 3 days enough?

Any suggestion would be much appreciated.
Thnak you!
 

Agent 86

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 31, 2013
I think you should check the dates for "golden week" in Japan in 2016. It's a HUGE holiday for Japan and dramatically impacts all tourist related activities.

Also, I would just double check your Disneyland ticket options. I know that with the three day pass you can park hop on the third day, but I'm not sure if the four day pass (if there is one) lets you park hop on the third and fourth days.

In terms of the amount of time required at Tokyo Disney, I would say that three days would be the absolute minimum required. But, this will also depend upon where golden week falls in 2016. I just remembered that I saw this the other day:

http://tdrexplorer.com/when-to-visit-tokyo-disney-resort-in-2016/

http://tdrexplorer.com/golden-week/

It looks like you will avoid golden week. I still think three days is the absolute minimum unless crowd levels are irregularly low. Isn't it possible to separate on some days, so X people go to Disney and Y people can continue to explore Tokyo?

Otherwise, the plan looks pretty good. Four days in Kyoto is more than I have ever spent, but it's a lovely city. Depending upon your accommodation, you could potentially just do day trips to Kyoto from Osaka on the high speed trains. That's what I did on my first visit (although I stayed in Kyoto the second time).
 

Corbisblue

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 13, 2010
Also, I would just double check your Disneyland ticket options. I know that with the three day pass you can park hop on the third day, but I'm not sure if the four day pass (if there is one) lets you park hop on the third and fourth days.
Thank you for linking to our site! The maximum number of days you can buy a ticket for is 4 days. The 3rd and 4th days you can park hop. We give a full run down of the ticket options over on our site!

http://tdrexplorer.com/buying-park-tickets-for-tokyo-disney-resort/

If you can swing going for 4 days, I would do that. Since there is a lot to do at the parks, but if you have to go for 3 that is OK too.

As for the Imperial Palace, unless you have a reservation to go inside the whole thing will take you maybe an hour or two. You won't need the entire day for it. You could roll it into the 15th since it is somewhat close to Ueno and Asakusa. Or you could visit Ginza and the area around Tokyo Station after the Imperial Palace, since they are right beside each other.
 
  • zavandor

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2011
    As for the Imperial Palace, unless you have a reservation to go inside the whole thing will take you maybe an hour or two. You won't need the entire day for it. You could roll it into the 15th since it is somewhat close to Ueno and Asakusa. Or you could visit Ginza and the area around Tokyo Station after the Imperial Palace, since they are right beside each other.
    Thank you for your suggestions!
    I really appreciate your website and I'm reading it all to get all teh valuable information.

    What would you suggest to add as a 2 days destination in case we decide to split?
    Thanks
     

    Corbisblue

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2010
    Thank you for your suggestions!
    I really appreciate your website and I'm reading it all to get all teh valuable information.

    What would you suggest to add as a 2 days destination in case we decide to split?
    Thanks
    Thank you so much for reading!

    If you want to get outside of Tokyo, there are a number of places you can go. I would highly recommend heading north and visiting Nikko in Togichi Prefecture. I used to live up in that area and it is stunning. That is more of a 1 day trip out of Tokyo, but you can easily stretch it over to 2 days. The city nearby called Utsunomiya is a lovely city, albeit smaller, and it's worth visiting for an afternoon.
     

    bc7ate9

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 30, 2013
    We did 1 day at Tokyo Disneyland and 1 day at DisneySea last April and did EVERYTHING multiple times...We consulted a crowd calendar and were able to visit on 2 VERY slow days. It was perfect!

    I'd do more research on Kyoto. We usually spend about an hour at temples, max, so you might want to find some other things to do on some of your days. Arashiyama and Nara are full days for us. In Arashiyama, I highly recommend visiting the Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple. It's not as well known as some of the other temples - and it's easy to miss because it's at the end of the line. It's my favorite temple in Kyoto. :)

    Also, getting around Kyoto is a huge pain, compared to Tokyo and Osaka. Be prepared to have zero personal space on extremely crowded buses. Like, beyond anything you've experienced in the US crowded...Also, Japanese people don't always wear deodorant. I like Kyoto...but getting around there just drives me crazy. We usually end up walking a TON because it's just so much more comfortable (even when I want to cut my feet off because they hurt so badly.)

    I find the Imperial Palace totally boring, but to each their own. I can't imagine it taking an entire day. There is TONS to see in Tokyo and it's super easy to get around.
     
  • Agent 86

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2013
    Re: Getting around Kyoto

    Our friends hired bicycles when they stayed in Kyoto. It's something that I wish we had done.
     
  • Mrsjvb

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 5, 2007
    My NSHO: Ueno is worth at least a day and a half. the Palace can be done in a few hours unless the Inner Gardens are open( IIRC this is only in December for Birthday celebrations). even if you do not go inside all of the Museums, the Rodins outside the Western Art Museum are drool worthy on their own.

    Outside of the immediate area, and even beyond Yokohama, look at Daibutsu in Kamakura. if you are into Naval History, Mikasa Park in Yokosuka( immediately adjacent to the US Naval base) has a great museum of the Battleship Mikasa.

    and you must absolutely dine at a CoCo Curry at least once.
     

    zavandor

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2011
    Is it possible to upgrade tickets at TDR as it's possible at WDW? A couple of people in our group would like to buy 2 days ticket and then decide if they want to add a third day. Is it possible?
     

    Agent 86

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2013
    I believe it is possible to upgrade.

    On my first visit, I had received a one day pass as a gift and I upgraded it to a two day pass. I'm not sure about upgrading from two days to three days, but I don't see why they wouldn't allow you to upgrade on the second day.
     

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