To do/see/experience in Japan

Dunedin Travel Blog

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Good morning!

Ok, I've come to the conclusion from my research into Japan that my accomodation and transportation planning will revolve heavily around what I actually want to do/see/experience. So without further ado here is an 'in-the-works' list:

  1. Climb Mt. Fuji. I've read a a really fantastic article detailing everything you need to know about climbing the mountain. See the link for more, but I've gathered from it than anyone can climb so long as you come prepared with a few essentials and are a bit fit! I'll probably climb at night so that I can see the sunrise too!
  2. Watch a sumo wrestling match. This gets a bit tougher to figure out because to my researching knowledge the main tournaments are held in May and September and a few other months. But the June/July period I'm visiting seems to be tournament free. However Google did me proud once again and I managed to find this site with a tournament on just before the middle of July and this site that allows you to sit in on some sumo training instead.
  3. Vist Tokyo Tower. This should be an easy one to plan. The price isn't too bad (1420 Yen) to get to the special observatory (the top floor). Apparently you can see Mt. Fuji in the distance which should be cool to photograph because then I'll be climbing it hopefully!
  4. Vist the Sony Building. Eight floors of all the latest gadgets and gizmos!
  5. See the Imperial Palace gardens.
  6. Walk across the Rainbow Bridge in the early evening.
  7. Visit the Tokyo Animation Centre.
  8. Go to the Tsukiji fish markets and eat something random.
  9. Soak in an onsen.
  10. Dine at a maid cafe! Yay for cosplay! (the video on the page in the link is so very amusing)
  11. Go Tokyo DisneyLand/Sea. Because the kid inside you NEVER dies!
  12. Now apart from climbing Mt. Fuji, this has to be my second ABSOLUTE must do. Vist the Pokemon Centre in Tokyo.
  13. Can you tell I've got lazy because all I'm doing is listing and linking?
So there's a nice list to start with. I'm also working on a google map at the moment that encompasses the locations of all the things I want to do. Feel free to have a look at it. I'm going to keep updating it so there will be new stuff up all the time.


fransglobal says:
Enjoy Japan. It is by far my favourite country outside of Europe. If you need any tips, let me know.
Posted on: Oct 24, 2009
Airportman says:
Great blog! :) You're going to visit a lot of places I have visited. If you need information, feel free to message me.
Posted on: Oct 23, 2009
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Insomnia and excitement has led to flagging the wait to post some more about my upcoming trip to Japan! Let the rambling continue!

So in my previous post, mere minutes ago, I looked at Visa requirements, a vague price for flights (that included airport taxes by the way) and dabbled a bit in accomodation options. Again this is all just research and about seeing what's out there and looks good before committing to anything. I'd really like broach the topic of the railway system. If you don't know anything about the Tokyo rail lines then here's a nice picture to clue you in. First thoughts? Mine went something like this: "Oh it's so pretty with all the colours"

Panic has set in and I'm over seven months away from this trip. I mean the picture is confusing enough, but the idea of standing in a foreign country where I know how to speak jack all Japanese trying to suss out which line to get on is not appealing. This is the part where my common sense kicks in (finally). Naturally I decided rationally it would be easier to look at what I want to do in Japan, find the location and plan in advance the way I can get there from my hostel. Of course if I want to have a random unplanned day then it would be sort of funny to just hop on somewhere and go where ever the rail line takes me (famous last words???). I'm considering buying a Japan Rail Pass which you can buy for 7, 14, or 21 consecutive days which allows you to go everywhere basically. But again I'd need to figure out what I want to do to weigh up the costs of buying a ticket day by day versus a pass.

I do know that said passes are only available to those with a 'temporary visitor' status. But all the info is in the link above if you'd like a read. You have to order the pass before arriving in Japan though so I think that my decision to either buy one or not will be a big one.

Right, now that I've stressed a bit more about rail lines I think I'll attempt sleep. Next post will probably be a large, long list devoted to my agenda in Japan! I think I may be one of those sad people who enjoys planning the trip almost as much as the trip itself. Sigh, such is the life of someone who has controlling issues.

marksreynolds says:
HOLY ETCH-A-SCETCH...that train map looked...interesting!! ;)
Posted on: Oct 24, 2009
travelman727 says:
Good information! Da da da da da da da da BATMAN :-D
Posted on: Oct 23, 2009
Oh my god.
I love Google but seriously how do I even begin to sift through this amount of information????

Results 1 - 10 of about 588,000,000 for Japan

Well the first step I imagine is figuring out flights.
Luckily for me I have a Kiwi passport as well as my South African one. New Zealand happens to be one of the countries that have 'Visa Exemption Arrangements' with Japan. So to fly in all I have to do is fill out one of the application forms on the same sight. Now to look into flights. This is the toughest part in my opinion. At the moment Jet Star has prices at about 600 NZD each way but since I'll only have the money to pay for the flights just after Christmas, I don't want to get my hopes up about paying that little. Possibly might look into asking a few travel agents when I get back home to Auckland (I'm currently studying at my university in Dunedin). Does anyone reading this know about prices variations over a couple of months?

Right, so looking beyond flights and getting into actually being there. Accomodation is the next big one. I happen to be the type of person who doesn't care where she stays so long as it's safe and has a plug for my hair straightener. If I have two weeks there, majority of my time spent in Tokyo, I'm thinking this place: Tokyo-Backpackers. It's only 2100 Yen per night which sounds damn decent. I was also thinking it'd be a really fun and interesting experience to stay in a capsule hotel for one night. If I decide to travel outside of Tokyo then I'd probably look up some cheap backpackers there as well although I am currently trying to get in contact with a friend who lives in Osaka who may be able to have me stay for a couple of days!

That's all my musings for the moment. Wish me luck for tackling my next task - figuring out the transportation system vis-a-vis the railways!
Aopaq says:
Sounds like you have a wonderful trip planned! Don't worry about the Tokyo subway map, it does make more sense once you have been on the system once or twice. Just realize that if you do go off the beaten track a bit, your Rail Pass may not work with some of the train lines as well (should you decide to get such a Pass).
Happy planning!!
Posted on: Oct 24, 2009
marksreynolds says:
Sounds like you are planing things out very well! I'm sure you'l be fine and I know you'll have a great time!! Looking forward to your future postings!
Good Luck!! :]
Posted on: Oct 24, 2009
photo by: crystalware