Tokyo Disney on site vs. off site?

Discussion in 'Tokyo Disneyland' started by meryll83, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. meryll83

    meryll83 All it takes is faith and trust...

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    I understand there's quite a saving to be had by not staying on site in a Tokyo Disney resort hotel...

    Just weighing up what to do, we usually stay on site at WDW as we enjoy the experience and we're all about convenience - I'd love to stay at the Miracosta with a harbour view but we're looking at a 5 night stay and I'm sure that'll carry a pretty hefty price tag!

    The Disneyland Hotel with a park view might be more affordable, but is it harder work getting to the parks from there?
    And are any of the nearby hotels just as well located, e.g. it's not really any more difficult to get to the parks? Obviously the Miracosta has it's own park entrance, so I realise nothing will be THAT convenient!

    Any recommendations for the best option that won't blow the budget?
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
  2. wanderlust7

    wanderlust7 DIS Veteran

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    The Disneyland Hotel is literally steps away from the monorail station, then past that, Tokyo Disneyland. It only takes a few minutes door to door to TDL. We also stayed at the Sheraton Tokyo Bay (an "official hotel") and that was very convenient as well. The monorail station is just across the street - only takes a few minutes to walk over, though there is a shuttle as well (which kind of baffles me...). Next to the Sheraton are the Okura and Hilton, which I imagine would be just as convenient.

    We did a triple split stay - Sheraton, TDH, MiraCosta, which was a little too much. If I could go back, I would just do the Sheraton and MiraCosta. The Sheraton sent our luggage to TDH, which was very convenient.
     
  3. swooshbear

    swooshbear Mouseketeer

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    We have stayed at the Tokyo Hilton Bay, also a "good neighbor" hotel and it's really easy to get to the parks using either the bus or the monorail. We have also stayed in Tokyo (Shibuya) and it is a pain to get up super early for rope drop and stay all night, then do it again if you are doing both parks. But work was paying for my trip so I can't really complain about the costs.
     
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  5. Agent 86

    Agent 86 Mouseketeer

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    I'd recommend a "good neighbour" hotel IF you can afford it. I haven't stayed in one myself, but it would be preferable to staying in Tokyo and catching public transport every day.

    The trains are awesome, but most stations would require at least two or three transfers to get to Tokyo Disney and although extremely efficient, this can still take up to an hour each way. Disneyland and DisneySea require a lot of walking to get the most out of each day (especially with efficient use of Fast Passes), so that extra two hours travel time can really eat into your energy levels.

    I'll be staying at the Tokyo Hilton Bay on my next trip later this year.
     
  6. OldSchoolReasons

    OldSchoolReasons Mouseketeer

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    Before deciding to splash out on a split stay between the Miracosta and Tokyo Disney (our booking window opens in a few weeks) we were looking at the Hilton Tokyo Bay - it's much more affordable and offers park view rooms. It's also close to both the parks.

    It really depends on whether you want to spend money for an immersive (but spenny) Disney Hotel experience, or save money on a hotel and use the money elsewhere.
     
  7. shelemm

    shelemm DIS Veteran

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    We've been twice and stayed offsite both times. No way was I going to pay the huge costs of any of the onsite or even the good neighbor hotels. Plus, we were visiting Tokyo also, so it was not going to make it more convenient. Of course, hotel costs change depending on time of year, when you reserve, and other factors. So maybe if you get a good deal......
     
  8. meryll83

    meryll83 All it takes is faith and trust...

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    I'm wondering whether to do a split stay to save a bit of cash... Was trying to avoid it as we're already doing a lot of hopping around between hotels when we visit the rest of Japan, but it might be the best way to get the experience without breaking the bank!

    If we did e.g. 2 nights at the Sheraton, followed by 2 nights at the Miracosta, am I right in thinking we can still get a 4 day pass but wouldn't be able to hop until days 3 and 4?
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  9. wanderlust7

    wanderlust7 DIS Veteran

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    Right, you would get the regular 4 day ticket with hopping on days 3 and 4. The Sheraton sells them and they take credit cards (not all hotels do for the tickets).

    Now - if you wanted the special Disney hotel tickets that has hopping on all days, you might be able to get that by staying at the MiraCosta first, though I don't know if there's an issue with buying a 4 day ticket when you're only staying 2 nights.
     
  10. rkold

    rkold Mouseketeer

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    I'm just curious, did the Sheraton forward on your luggage for free to the MiraCosta or are you talking about using the takyuubin service?

    Just a heads up for anyone planning to do a split stay or move around Japan... while it's not free, most hotels and ryokan offer takyuubin service so that you never need to schlep large bags around Japan. It's why you only see foreigners with huge bags on trains outside the NEX and Haruka. I think it cost around 2500 yen to takyuubin my bags between Tokyo and Kyoto. You can also use that service to send your bags onwards to the airport (or from the airport) but going to the airport they request 36 or 48 hours, I can't remember which. Some places like Hakone and I believe Maihama and the Tokyo Disney Resorts offer same day transfer, most hotels your luggage arrives 1 day later. Many hotels will also hold your bags for a few days until check in. So for example, I am going to takyuubin my bags from Osaka to Tokyo and use an overnight bag for 2 night in Kyoto. you can takyuubin to a home address like an Air BnB, but it helps to know more Japanese because you will need to arrange delivery (vs. with a hotel or ryokan.) It's also possible to have pick up from a hoe address but again, Japanese skills help for arranging.

    I've only been to Tokyo Disney Resort once before. I stayed in Ikebukuro. It was a mistake. It took close to an hour with transfers. I am honestly not sure I would want to do it from Tokyo Station. I admit, we've gotten use to staying on property in FL so I hope to stay on property in TDR. I guess if I can't I'll look at the Hilton and Sheraton. I don't want to have to do a 20+ minute ride to Maihama plus monorail ride again.
     
  11. wanderlust7

    wanderlust7 DIS Veteran

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    The Sheraton Tokyo Bay forwarded our luggage to DLH for free. :) Actually - from what they said, it sounded like someone from Disney comes and picks it up. I wasn't sure they would do this and was prepared to take it on the monorail, so was happily surprised.

    I love the takuhaibin service! We sent our big luggage from our hotel in Tokyo to the Sheraton while we went to Nikko for a couple days. When we got to the Sheraton, it was already in our room.
     
  12. rkold

    rkold Mouseketeer

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    NICE! I transferred from the Fujiya Yumoto to the Fujiya Original in Hakone and had to pay for my luggage to be transferred though I did get a free shuttle from Miyanoshita to the hotel, which was pretty nice because it rained most of the time we were in Hakone. I think they also loaned us free umbrellas.

    I adore Takyuubin too, but I admit, I've seen lots of foreigners who don't seem to know about its existence. I saw a nice Australian family with suitcases taller than my daughter and wider than me in Kyoto Station who were planning to try to fit said suitcases on a bus in Kyoto. o_O; I learned the hard way that this is not an option. I've mostly done Japan solo (and once with my young daughter) and I just can't imagine handling all my suitcases by myself. I'm debating whether to takyuubin between Tokyo Disney and Osaka just because I am staying in the Tokyo Station Hotel the night before I leave for the West and they are literally right above the station. For shinkansen and NEX they'll meet you, but I don't know if they do that with the Keiyo line.

    I'm also debating a 7 day vs a 14 day pass. It would be nice not to have to stay in Tokyo for my last few days. I like Tokyo, but I'd love to find a way to visit Nagano and Bessho onsen.
     
  13. AquaDame

    AquaDame Disney Cruise Line Moderator

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    Takyuubin sounds great, until you hit the part where you have to wait for your luggage to arrive... what I might do instead is send our large suitcase to storage/be delivered to Miracosta and go to Osaka with less on us at least. When we arrive in Tokyo and when we leave DLR we'll be at Airbnbs and my Japanese is very limited.
     
  14. wanderlust7

    wanderlust7 DIS Veteran

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    Takkyubin definitely is more convenient when staying in hotels. When we stayed at a vacation rental in Kyoto, the owner had some sort of arrangement with a nearby address to receive luggage. We had it sent there and picked it up. Maybe worth asking the owner of the Airbnb if you haven't already.
     
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  15. rkold

    rkold Mouseketeer

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    There use to be a website that had helpful hints on how to schedule your takyuubin in English, since the pick up and deliveries are in 1 or 2 hour blocks if I remember correctly, and that way you weren't waiting for long periods.

    I've done the shinkansen (On limited express trains and shinkansen, you can sometimes place large suitcases behind the last row of seats in the car.) with suitcases as well as local trains and subways, and it's doable, but the buses in Kyoto are a completely different story. If you're visiting Kyoto and not takyuubinning, make sure you can either get to where you are staying via subway or train because you don't want to take anything bigger than carry on size on a bus in Kyoto. If your group is small enough you might be able to cab it, or split your group with some using the bus and 1 person with the bags in a cab.

    I've stayed in a few wonky locations where the subway station did not have an elevator or escalator, which made traveling with larger bags most unpleasant. And I also don't enjoy going on crowded trains or through crowded stations with a lot of bags. I've done it, before my friends introduced me to takyuubin, but I won't do it again.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  16. AquaDame

    AquaDame Disney Cruise Line Moderator

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    We are not... we are using the train from the airport to our first airbnb then going from Shinjuku to Tokyo Station to get on the Nozomi shinkansen to Osaka. From there we'll be doing day trips without luggage and then taking the Hikari shinkansen back probably to TDLR and then from there to another airbnb. I don't *think* we have anywhere to go that would be on a bus with luggage - just trains. My husband seems to think we will need two large suitcases (mostly for swag we buy - they will be pretty empty on the way there at least) and then our small carry on bags. Mine is weekender duffel from jansport and his is his camera bag. I'm terrified of trying to bring anything else since I know just maneuvering that one bag is going to take both hands! Frankly I'd prefer ONE large bag and then a normal roller bag which is what we usually bring everywhere - including our three week romp in Europe so I know is doable - but he is not wrong that we may want to bring back something larger. I think we could just ship it but $$$... we get free checked luggage on Delta since we bought the comfort+ seats.
     
  17. CupcakeLisa

    CupcakeLisa Mouseketeer

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    We have booked to stay at Hilton Tokyo Bay but really want to stay onsite. I think onsite in Tokyo is like no other Disney so I think if you can afford it you should go for it
     
  18. rkold

    rkold Mouseketeer

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    May I ask, why are you doing the Nozomi one way and the Hikari the other? If you have a JR Pass, you can't take the Nozomi and must pay out of pocket and if you don't have a JR pass why take the Hikari back unless you are trying to go to some place like Odawara to do a side trip to Hakone. A 1 week pass will pretty much be the same as taking the shinkansen round trip from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka (It's 29,110 for the pass and 14,110 one way on Hikari and 14,450 one way for the Nozomi, so if you do the Hikari round trip with the pass you just need to have 890 yen in additional fares to break even which is less than a round trip by JR from Osaka Station to Kyoto Station) unless you are doing one of those weird special Tokai Kodama tickets and then you are stuck on the Kodama. I don't mean to be offensive, I'm just curious since it's an unusual plan. Usually people either rail pass the entire trip or just pay out of pocket and use the Nozomi both ways. (Usually people who can't get a pass.) BTW Hyperdia recommends from JR Shinjuku it is faster to take the Yamanote line to JR Shinagawa though you might need to wait a minute at Osaki. Have you used Hyperdia before?

    The problem is where is your AirBnB in relation to JR Shinjuku station. If it's not walking distance, you're going to have to transfer to the subway or private lines or a JR line, and the lines closest to JR Shinjuku will probably have an escalator, ones further out can be more dicey. I once stayed at the worst budget ryokan ever near Shin-Nakano station. Not only was the "ryokan" beyond awful, but Shin-Nakano had stairs only. It was miserable, I think I just dragged my suitcase when I left. Before that I had always stayed at the Kimi in Ikebukuro and not long after that I learned how to use Rakuten and book cheap Japanese business hotels. Now I prefer low end luxury hotels, like the Royal Park chain. If you've not been to Osaka before, once again you're going to have to transfer from Shin-Osaka to something else unless you are staying near Shin-Osaka. I find Shin-Osaka is a great station to navigate (much nicer than rebuilt Osaka station which I do not like) but at least last time I stayed there, not someplace I enjoy staying. (It's perfectly safe, just sort of nondescript.) Finding the exits with escalators/elevators can be hard with some of the subways in Osaka. Osaka has more underground shopping centers than Tokyo and they can be a bit confusing. The one in Namba goes on a long long way and I admit, I find rebuilt Osaka station more confusing than old Osaka station.

    For me, personally, I buy a lot of SWAG in Japan. In the past I would bring a small carry-on sized bag with mostly my stuff (and would do coin op laundry in Japan) and a giant suitcase that had gifts for friends and could be emptied for souvenirs. I still sometimes ran out of space, so have bought quite a few spare suitcases in Japan. >>; You can buy them cheap in Nakano and on Odaiba and I think I bought one in Kobe once or Osaka? I don't spend more than 6000 yen which is much less than what it would cost to ship everything home via EMS, but not necessarily sea mail. Last trip, it was just me and my daughter who was 5 at the time. (My husband has no vacation time, so I often travel with just my daughter.) We had one huge suitcase, a small carry on bag from Red Oxx (which I often put in the suitcase) and a small carry on size wheelie I had bought previously in Japan. I think I overpacked clothes and shoes for us, so will be more careful this time and I will not let my daughter bring so many toys. >>; We came home with the giant suitcase, the Red Oxx bag, the wheelie, and a new 4000 or 5000 yen suitcase bought in Nakano. I didn't know airlines didn't give you a free check-in for International flights. I usually fly JAL or ANA because I enjoy watching subbed Japanese/Korean movies.

    Feel free to PM if you want to talk about your specific locations. I admit, I usually do hotels or friends (though now that I have a child, I mostly do hotels, most people I know have tiny spaces, but one friend who was a JET had a huge place in Kii-Tanabe.) Our next trip we're planning: 2 nights at Tokyo Disney (the part I still need to book) 1 night at the Tokyo Station Hotel (for convenience and because I love that hotel, but so expensive!) 3 nights at the Keihan near Universal in Osaka. We're not going to Universal this trip, but my daughter loved the hotel. The rooms are quite large and she loved the unusual "Western" breakfast buffet and top floor onsen, 2 nights at the Royal Park in Kyoto and then 5 nights at the Royal Park Shiodome. We've stayed in both Royal Parks before. Both have good locations. I will probably take my bags to Tokyo DL and might take them to Tokyo Station Hotel just because it is directly above JR Tokyo Station. But we will definitely send them onto Osaka other than a small bag for our first night in Osaka. We will send them from Osaka back to Tokyo and possibly from Tokyo onto the airport depending on how much we purchase. I did from the hotel to JR Shimbashi and then to JR Tokyo and then the NEX before and it was not too bad because the hotel was so close to JR Shimbashi Station. We might do a flight into Narita and back from Haneda, it depends on times. I think the Narita flight gets in earlier and leaves later, so we won't need to rush.

    I am still debating a 2 week pass. I really would love to go back to Nagano or visit Matsumoto, but I also need to balance what my daughter would enjoy. As it is, we're going to be making the long trip out to Miyajima. We also might go the scenic route between Kyoto and Tokyo. (aka Kyoto to Kanazawa, Kanazawa to Nagano/Ueda/Tokyo.) I'm really curious what the Nagano to Kanazawa shinkansen is like, my last time on the line it ended in Nagano.

    Oh! And make sure your AirBnB if it's not an entire home/first floor has an elevator in the building. My good friend was a JET in Kainan and her apartment was a 4 or 5 floor walk up. It's not unheard of in Japan to have buildings without elevators and sometimes the elevators are tiny, like 1 person with a big suitcase tiny.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  19. AquaDame

    AquaDame Disney Cruise Line Moderator

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    Sure you can ask! My husband really wants to go on the Nozomi route, so we will in one direction but I think Hikari is a little cheaper so I assumed we'd do that on the way back. I did think the difference would be more substantial though! We are not getting a rail pass because every time I go to look up how to get where we want to go the quickest routes or lines that are suggested aren't covered under it anyway. Fuji 5th station, Yoshino, Hakone, and again the Nozomi don't seem to be covered... We'd get a two week pass if we got one since we will be there April 2nd (we depart the 1st but get in late on the 2nd) and leave on the 16th but then it's even harder to justify. It will end up costing us more but for our sanity we'd rather just be able to pick the quickest trains with less transfers without worry we are on a wrong train/have to top up. I have never heard of Hyperdia...? It's been 12 or so years since I've been to Japan and things are certainly complicated if not downright impossible (my husband is crushed that he can't ride the Maglev if its running the day we go since we aren't Japanese), the Ryokans in Yoshino were sold out before they became available on the english website and getting the reservation for Miracosta harbor view was a teeth grinder as they kept changing the rules as the window was going to open for us. 6 months out became 5 became impossible due to credit card issues until we got a master card that would work, then I stalked the site until one happened to open up. The only way to get Ghibli Museum tickets ahead of time was to go through an agent here that added a $14 handling fee to it. >_>

    It is a 12 minute walk from Shinjuku station or 6 minutes from Higashi-Shinjuku - it's just to the east of it above the park. In Osaka we are staying close at the Namba Oriental Hotel so yes, we'll have to transfer. We're fine with stairs even if the luggage is large and heavy.... it should only be a few flights of them anyway. I've warned my husband about the tight corridors and such and we've hit snags like these in Europe and laughed them off. I will be floored if I don't get lost at least a few times in Japan because heaven knows I did several times on my first two trips.

    Double checked to make sure I'm not crazy and it looks like Delta gives EVERYONE a free checked bag to Japan - 50 lbs or less. We got comfort for the better seat & legroom (my husband needs it on the long hauls) so no harm no foul. A second bag would be $40 so I don't think we'll buy an extra one or anything... whatever it is beyond that to ship if absolutely necessary I'll consider a convenience fee and I'd be fine with a slow boat shipping method. We fill up the iPad with whatever movies & shows we want so I've never thought to check for the different ones airlines show..! We really wanted to try ANA since they have 787s but it was more expensive to stopover in SFO and ride one for us... Delta has a nonstop flight that is much cheaper, even with the comfort seat surcharge.

    If I was traveling alone or with a small child I would do the same...! It does help to have four adult arms to do the heavy lifting where needed. That trip sounds fabulous!

    I got to go to Miyajima the last time we were in Japan, and its such a pretty place..! Both airbnbs do have elevators and are entire apartments so we'll have a kitchen we likely won't use and a bathroom to ourselves. We stayed with a friend last time that only had stairs as you say though so I definitely know what you mean..! He has since moved back to the states though so no such luck this time. Taking turns in the elevator won't be a problem - I just hope we don't annoy any of our neighbors. I've cautioned my husband about some things like speaking more quietly in the room and not eating/drinking while walking but... he thinks I worry too much even at home so we'll see how it works out. ^^;
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  20. rkold

    rkold Mouseketeer

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    Was it through JTB or somewhere else for Ghibli? I am debating if I will go that route or just see if a friend can get the tickets for me. Last trip it was closed. ~.~

    I understand about the Nozomi being much faster and more convenient. I'm particularly frustrated with the fact I can't use the Mizuho from Hiroshima to Shin-Osaka because it would be so much more convenient, but for me the savings vs not having a pass are substantial. But yes, the price difference for a reserved seat on a Nozomi vs. Hikari is only 400 yen per person, and personally for less than $8 I would just Nozomi both ways. You can make the transfer to Odawara from Shin Osaka via Hikari, but I'm not sure how that works with your plans. We stayed 2 nights in Hakone last time. It rained a lot though the hydrangeas were gorgeous. I would go back, but only if Owakudani was fully open. Right now, it is not.

    This is Hyperdia. I was given the website by a JET friend in 2005. It comes in handy for plotting the best method to get from one location to the next as long as it doesn't involve buses. (I was once trying to get from Tsuroka to Yamagata and while there are JR trains, the highway bus is much faster and runs more often.) It will give you fares as well. So for example, from JR Shinjuku, it recommends taking the Yamanote Line to Osaki and then continuing to Shinagawa to catch the shinkansen vs. going to Tokyo Station because it is faster.

    I spent some time on the Japan-Guide forums, and while I don't always agree with them (they're very into staying as cheap as possible) they helped me reorganize my vacation last year so I only needed to get a 1 week pass, but still got in a lot of travel. I'm probably doing that again this trip. I just know, I'm not going to be making lots of expensive day trips from Tokyo because all involve 1+ hour worth of travel and I just don't think that makes sense for us. (Now if I was on my own....) I might possibly go to Hakone again, but I would be paying out of pocket as a day trip from Tokyo after my pass is over. I've also thought about taking her to Nikko. I went in 2000.

    It makes sense you couldn't get Yoshino during your dates, you're there for cherry blossom season and that is the season for Yoshino. I'm having an easier time with most bookings because June is off season for hotels, though I am getting hammered on airfare since all the ex-pats go back when US schools ends. I've not gone to Yoshino because I never seem to hit cherry blossoms full on. I got close to peak in Fukuoka, Kakunodate, and Hirosaki, but I was specifically cherry blossom chasing.


    If it was me going to Namba, I would just catch the Midousuji line outside Shin-Osaka station and take that to Namba vs. changing in JR Osaka station. It might cost a little bit more, since you would get to Osaka/Umeda for free with your shinkansen ticket, but I think the transfer at Shin-Osaka is easier with bags. There are lots of escalators vs walking through lots of crowds in Osaka. If you day trip to Kyoto, then I would definitely go through Osaka. Are you planning to get a Suica/Pasmo card? I have one for me, but need to get a special one for my daughter this trip so that she only pays the child fare. I think Namba is a really fun area to stay in.


    I totally understand paying more for more legroom. I did that going to Japan and almost did that going home last trip. My daughter brings her tablet with lots of movies and TV shows, but I find I enjoy getting to watch something different and it's something I look forward to. We can get directs on JAL/ANA as long as we drive to NYC. I use to mostly do United because I had a lot of miles with them, but now they mostly use Newark so I don't fly with them often.


    Thanks, so does yours. I am so jealous you will be there soon and for sakura season. Someday, I would love to perfectly hit it like you are.

    I'm awful and eat while walking even though I know I shouldn't. It's just so hard because it's part of NY culture. lol I am always trying to explain to my daughter why we don't put feet on seats if we have shoes on and how rude it is. I use to stay with my 2 friends in JET in Wakayama-ken, but they are both in the US now too and I couple of time stayed with a few other friends who had larger spaces. I do have friends in Japan, but most have tiny studios and it just seems like an imposition. Usually I try to make the effort to see them since they have work and can't travel as easily as me.

    I went to Miyajima a few times, but the last time I went I fell on Mt. Misen and hurt myself. This trip we are not going up the ropeway and will just feed the deer, see the main shrine and buy some momiji cookies. I thought about staying there overnight, but all the ryokan I liked best were more than I wanted to pay. lol It also just made it hard to get back to Osaka at a reasonable time. My daughter is fascinated with Itsukushima because it's part of the Japan pavilion at Epcot. I am hoping to use that to go to Horyuji in Nara as well.

    Are you going to an onsen?

    Since you've not been to Japan in a while, do you know if your cell phone works in Japan? I would highly recommend finding out and finding out roaming charges as well and if not renting a smartphone/sim card. I have found it really helps to be able to use Google Maps when I need to find something in Japan. I was trying to walk from Kitano Tenan-gu to Kinkakuji and it was nice being able to see how we were doing. I also used it when going from dinner back to my hotel in Kyoto when I didn't want to take the subway. It might be rather helpful in finding your way around Tokyo and to your accommodations. I know if I set up my roaming, my phone works in Japan and it is surprisingly not all that expensive. I called my husband several times. I also used an app that helped with translation. It came in handy when my daughter left a beloved shrine charm in a shop in Arashiyama.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  21. AquaDame

    AquaDame Disney Cruise Line Moderator

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    Oh no! I hope you can make it this time... I've heard so many good things! We got them through JTB. The tickets were $10pp and the handling fee was $14.

    I absolutely hear you! I think my husband and I have gotten travel fatigued. We want to keep going places but pinching pennies has gotten us into some uncomfortable situations on our last few trips. Something snapped and now its just, we can afford it, lets make it easy on ourselves. After a couple of these kinds of trips I bet we will be back to pinching pennies though since it does feel a bit wasteful... but honestly an hour here and an hour there, taking 25 hours and three stop overs to get to Europe to use miles (and no A/C in the tropics - that was our worst offense and cost us in the end) broke us. One of the promises my husband made to me was that we would be OK spending money in Japan this time. My first two trips everything was a struggle. I went as a broke college student with my brother the first time and we skipped a lot of things to save money, and when I went back with my boyfriend after graduation we had arguments over costs too. After two weeks of fried food, sushi go round and noodles I made myself sick. He wouldn't go to Disney, wouldn't pay for an english touring device at museums without a translator (should've just got my own), would only stay in cheap hotels when we went to Hiroshima and Kyoto (Tokyo we were with a friend so it was just a couple nights even) and didn't want to shop at all. He would deign to eat very little due to being a very picky eater so stopping 2-3 places at every meal trying to find something for him to eat each day was awful. Splurging on nicer food now and again or even cooking a few times in our friend's apartment would have spared me some stomach issues...

    I am SO going to play with this site when I get home tonight - thank you!!

    Really our travel parts will be in the middle too, so if not for the Nozomi we'd get the pass... I don't think you can top up for that one though. I was expecting it to be difficult, but I was stalking the site every day waiting for the dates to release - Disney style stalking. They never showed... but as you say its THE most popular time I am sure, and we are going to save a bundle just doing it as a day trip so I am only a little disappointed. :) You have no idea how relieved I am to see the sakura cooperating this trip..! Last trip we aimed for cherry blossoms and I went home right as they were opening in Tokyo. I have some lovely early shots in Kyoto but they aren't in full bloom... to add insult to injury my boyfriend at the time who had made the trip miserable got to stay an extra week and enjoyed the full festivities. I went home since I was working full time and used up my vacation... he has no affinity with Japan and didn't enjoy it saying the parks were full and it was awkward for him which is what you should EXPECT... have you been in June before..? I kind of wanted to enjoy Japan in the summer sometime but I am not sure if the humidity trumps Florida's/Hawaii's during that time. I may just plan the next trip in the fall which I have never been during.... I love chestnuts, sweet potatoes and all the seasonal foods as well as want to see the leaves too.


    Definitely going to put this in our notes to remind me, thank you! We're definitely going to go with Suica - am I correct that it works in Osaka as well or would we need a different pass for there and Kyoto..? Namba seems to be nice and lively with lots of places to eat - very important for my husband! :) I think we will eat more than our fair share of okonomiyaki...

    United miles somehow add up so quickly, don't they? We keep ending up on them because they have great options and times but I don't really have brand loyalty beyond Alaska Air for the same reason - lots of nonstop options! I haven't flown out of Newark yet, so I'm not sure what that would be like..!


    I feel so, so lucky.. weather is such a fickle thing and I was honestly worried it would end up being early! Now fingers crossed the weather cooperates as much as the trees!

    Same here..! Especially with drinks, no-one thinks a thing of it. We have a large food cart culture here as well and ice cream just begs to be eaten on the go... I'm sure your friends really appreciate you going out of your way to say hi!

    Oh, I hope not badly hurt..! I have an irrational worry that either my husband and I will get hurt and need to go to the hospital. My Japanese is very rudimentary and so it would probably be a trainwreck since I don't know any medical terms... trying to get cough syrup when I developed whooping cough in Mexico in 2008 was awful. We finally found medicine but it was so nasty I couldn't take it. I felt like i was 5 but it wouldn't stay down it tasted so horrid... Id have gone back and bought something nicer if I could have conveyed what was wrong but I speak zero Spanish. I saw the real one before Epcot so I am the opposite... I love seeing it there because it reminds me of Japan! :) I had to look up Horyuji I admit... and now I can't remember if we went there or not! Eek! We did go to Nara and I remember feeding the deer but I don't remember the temple so maybe not... My main priority for Kyoto would be to take my husband to Kiyomizu-dera since i have never been, followed Fushimi Inari Taisha and/or Daikakuji depending on time and weather. Everyone says one day only go to Nara though... oh well.

    I really want to but I am so body shy I am not sure I will be able to. We have no tattoos or anything to worry about and I KNOW no one cares how toned I am but I feel if Im going to be in a state of embarrassed panic the whole time whats the point? I am so angry at myself for being an idiot but.. Im an idiot I guess.

    It won't... ok it will but AT&T would take my entire paycheck if I try regardless. Even with roaming paid for they are not very generous. It will be much cheaper to just get a sim when I arrive for a local carrier so that is my plan. Both airbnb's have free devices for us to use but that won't help us when we are in the hotel in Osaka or at TDLR so I am just going to get one for the length of our stay. Do you find 3G to be speedy enough? Im surprised there aren't more LTE options since thats what I have here but maybe 3G over there is better? Which app did you use...? We have been playing with google's translate but it has NOT done well with product packaging or signs we've pulled up an image of and tried out so thats a no go.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017

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