Planning Japan trip for February 2020, including Disney!

Sandeep1

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 20, 2018
We love Kyoto! Would definitely visit again if we go to Japan for another trip. I am taking note of this pizza place. I ate pizza in Rome once and have not been able to find any other place that is as good. Will give it a try though we usually stick with local cuisine when travelling to Asia.
The chefs studied pizza making in Italy. And no, they don't put corn. They have 3 pizzas, that's it. Margherita, Marinara, and a special Bianca (off menu) pizza. You may end up thinking this pizza was better than what you had in Italy, I struggle with that.

If you decide to go on a weekend, please make a reservation. If you go on a weekday, I suggest getting there very early (at opening) is possible. Many, many people get turned away. This is serious business :)
 

Chisoxcollector

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 4, 2013
I went to Japan last May and I'm planning on a return next year, both to return to some spots I loved and also explore a bit more. Ended up doing 6 nights in Tokyo, 3 in Kyoto, 2 in Osaka, think it worked out well, maybe a bit too much time in Tokyo for a vacation but it's been high on my list for awhile so I wanted more than enough time to take it all in. Some random recommendations:

- Tsukiji Market for sushi, preferably early in the day. The fish will be as fresh as you can possibly get.
- If you've seen Jiro Dreams of Sushi, his restaurants are that good. Very expensive, but I went to his son's, it was easier to get a reservation, you can call direct for one, and the experience is easier going compared to dad's spot (Takashi speaks English, allows more time to enjoy the meal). For Jiro's place you have to stay at certain hotels and make reservations through those hotels, and one of those happens to be the Park Hyatt, so that would be an option for you. It'll be a flawless meal but from what I understand, it's very fast.
- Two day trips: Arashiyama from Kyoto, and Nara Park from either Kyoto or Osaka (I went from Osaka). Understand that you've got a lot on your plate and these do take up quite a bit of time but if you haven't looked into them already, I recommend it
- Know there's been talk about the Robot Restaurant but I thought it was fun, very touristy but it's a good time, and doesn't take too much of your night.
- Fushimi-Inari in Kyoto. It's a bit of a hike but you don't have to walk up the entire way if you don't want to
- The Dotonbori area in Osaka is fantastic
- There's no end to amazing ramen over there but my personal recommendation, if you like it really spicy, and I mean really spicy, is Karashibi Kikanbo
- Memory Lane in Tokyo, which also goes by another name that is inappropriate for Disney message boards, but it's great
- For shrines, you're probably right to hit the biggest ones in each city (all worthwhile), that's what I did and otherwise you kinda end up wandering by others randomly, they're all over the place, especially in Kyoto.

And this is a biiiiiig if but if you're in Japan during one of their big sumo tournaments, it's a must. I was extremely lucky to be in Tokyo for the first day of the tournament in May and wasn't sure what to expect but it was great, especially with a guide to help navigate.
Tons of good stuff here, thanks! I especially appreciate the tidbit about booking Jiro reservations through the Park Hyatt. I would LOVE to eat there.

So the sushi scene at Tsukiji hasn’t gone downhill since Toyosu opened? That’s good to know.
Another vote for TeamLab! We did Planets because we didn’t realize you had to buy tix in advance and Borderless was booked for the day. Do both if you have time. It only took us about an hour to get through Planets but you can stay as long as you like. So amazing...wish there was something like that near us.
TeamLab is definitely a must do. Thanks for the tip about booking in advance.
Don't have much to add as others have already covered it. I almost pulled my hair out when I saw "day trip to Kyoto" because Kyoto is one of the most magical, amazing cities in the entire world. But you'll be back hopefully so you can explore.

You've got enough time in Tokyo so make sure to go to the very famous, amazing Savoy Pizza. I know who goes to Japan to eat pizza? A lot of people. The pizza scene in Tokyo rivals Italy. So make sure you go to Savoy Pizza and then remember to come back here and thank me after.
Haha, didn’t mean to make you pull your hair out! I think we’ll be back in 2022, 2023 at the very latest. If our day trip to Kyoto is successful, I’ll plan on 3-4 days there on that trip. I’ll definitely look into that pizza!
 

fatmanatee

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 25, 2017
So the sushi scene at Tsukiji hasn’t gone downhill since Toyosu opened? That’s good to know.
Oh wow. Ummm... this happened months after I went and I had no idea about it, that's a huge bummer. I might visit both just out of curiosity when I go back? But yeah I'm not sure if Tsukiji is still good in that case. Sounds like Toyosu has been a bit disappointing too.
 

greenkai3000

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 10, 2011
Hey everyone!

The wife and I are finally tackling our bucket list trip, and spending 2 weeks in Japan next February!

I've got the basic outline of the trip nailed down, but still have to fill in the daily itineraries. I figured it wouldn't be a bad idea to post my outline here, and see if anybody has any suggestions!

Flights and hotels have already been booked. Nothing else has, including theme park tickets. We are doing quite a bit of hotel hopping during this trip. We plan on taking taxis when we change hotels, and using trains for transportation otherwise. I know taxis are expensive, but we really don't want to use public transportation with all of our luggage. So taxis will be our one extravagance this trip.

Alright, here we go!

February 3 - Flight lands at Haneda airport at 3:25pm. Plan on taking a taxi to the Hilton Tokyo Bay (link), where we will be staying for the next 5 nights. Depending on what time we get to the hotel, we may buy the After 6 Passport and check out one of the parks!

February 4 - 7 - Four full days of Disney!

February 8 - Probably spend the morning at Ikspiari. Then take a taxi to our next hotel, the Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel (link). This hotel is located in the Shibuya area, where we will stay for the next 2 nights.

February 9 - Shibuya area stuff

February 10 - Take taxi to the Park Hyatt Tokyo (link), where we will stay for the next 2 nights. This hotel is in the Shinjuku area. I am so excited to stay at this hotel. My all-time favorite movie is Lost in Translation, and much of that film takes place in this hotel.

February 11 - Shinjuku area stuff

February 12 - Take shinkansen to Osaka. Check in to Hotel Keihan Universal Tower (link) , where we will be staying for 3 nights. This hotel is right next to Universal Studios Japan. Depending on what time we get there, we may check out the park this evening.

February 13 - USJ

February 14 - Day trip to Kyoto, most likely via shinkansen. May consider hiring a private tour guide, unless the price is really crazy.

February 15 - Take shinkansen back to Tokyo area. Check in to Hilton Tokyo Odaiba (link). While in this area, we plan on doing teamLab Borderless and checking out some of the touristy stuff, including the giant Gundam statue.

February 16 - Check out some more touristy stuff in the morning, then make our way back to Haneda for our 7:20pm flight.

I'm putting a list of things we want to do while in Japan below. At this point I just have to figure out when/where to do them!

- Eat sushi! (I'm a sushi fanatic. I typically eat sushi about twice a week. I can't wait to try the real deal)
- Eat blowfish (I know this is sushi, but I kind of think of it separately)
- Other foods on our list: ramen, fluffy pancakes, okonomiyaki, eel, wagyu beef, etc)
- Robot restaurant (maybe)
- Harajuku
- Akihibara
- Asakusa
- Ghibli museum
- Sanrio puroland
- Tons of shopping
- Shrines (we don't want to spend a lot of time on shrines, but would like to hit a couple of must-do spots, probably in Kyoto.
- Maybe a must-do museum? We don't want to do a lot of museums on this trip, but are open to one or two if they are really great!
- One thing we aren't interested in at all is an onsen.

If anybody has any recommendations, I'm all ears!

My recommendation is to arrive super early at the parks. they were extremely crowded on all 4 days we were there last February. Like twice as crowded with school kids as they've been the other times we've been there. However, they did have Frozen theme events , snacks, and merch in DL. Also Duffy's Valentine slike celebration happens around the same time over in DS. They even had early-released Sakura/ Cheery blossom merch on our last day.

Everyone at USJ runs first to the back of the part to ride Flying Dinosaur, then over to Forbbiden Journey, Jaws, and then go over to the Cool Japan themed rides. If you want to splurge and skip the lines, USJ offers an express pass option, but they tend to sell out rather quickly and you can only skip the line once per ride, certain rides only

Food wise I highly rcommend Coco Ichibanya Curry, Ichi-ran Ramen in Tokyo, and Acchiichi Honpo Takoyaki in Doutonbori, Osaka

Also I wouldn't skip riding the Shinkansen train . Their service is great, and even have a first class (Green clas) section on board.
 
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corgi_monster

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 10, 2007
I just wanted to chime in to say that Puroland is very well done and worth visiting imo. My brother was an awkward 17yo when I dragged him to Puroland and even he was impressed. The whole experience is very bizarre, but so quintessentially Japanese. We only planned to spend a half day there but ended up staying to closing. The gift shop sells a lot of merchandise that is exclusive to Puroland, so I think your wife would love it.

Also, you might want to consider the Hyatt for the entirety of your Tokyo stay. Shibuya and Shinjuku are very close together, and I wouldn’t say one is better or more convenient than the other.
 

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