Asia Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Trip Report Back from 2.5 wonderful weeks in Japan

Jump to last reply

Hello everyone,

My friend and I had found some amazing fares on Japan Airlines from Vancouver to Tokyo in January for a trip from April 21 to May 10th. I spent the next couple of months doing intense research on the internet, and hanging out on the Fodors forum.

When news of the March earthquake/tsunami came out, friends and family wanted (and expected) us to cancel. Our scheduled trip was 6 weeks away at that time, so we told them we would "wait and see", but in the hearts, we were always going to go.

Instead of reading media reports, we spent more time reading personal blogs of people in Japan at the time and monitoring Tokyo's progress that way.

I started a blog and updated while we were there for a couple of main reasons. One, it was a way to let our friends and family know that we were safe. And secondly, I wanted to do my part and spread the word to people to know that it was safe to travel to Japan.

Kristina from this forum was travelling around the same time I was, and I see that she has started her trip report. She has placed some really great tips and observations that I pretty much agree with so I won't repeat that type of information.

However, the only thing that I differ in views is the cost of eating in Japan. That has been a common question from many people--Is it expensive to eat in Japan, especially Tokyo? Maybe it is because Vancouver dining prices have increased so much in the past 5 years or so, and the fact that there is a 12% tax plus a 15-20% tip on top of the bill, that I found eating in Tokyo and Japan really reasonable. The fact that tax is included and there is no tipping made a huge difference in the total dining bill.

We did feel one tiny earthquake while in Tokyo that lasted a few seconds long. It was because we had just gotten into bed so it was quiet. It felt like a train just went by with a couple of creaks but then we realized we were on the 32nd floor so that wasn't possible. But that was it. If we were out and about, I am sure we wouldn't have felt it.

Here is a summary of our Itinerary:

Tokyo - 5 nights at Century Southern Tower
Hakone - 1 night at Fukuzumiro Ryokan
Takayama - 2 nights at Hida Takayama Ouan
Kyoto - 7 nights at Hotel Mume (originally 2 nights in Hiroshima but extended Kyoto stay last minute) - Daytrips to Nara, Uji, Hikone, Hiroshima, Miyajima Island
Kyoto - 1 night at Shiraume Ryokan
Tokyo - 2 nights at Hilton Tokyo Bay (Disneyland/Disneysea)

I read through Tripadvisor reviews thoroughly before picking out these hotels and all of them were just amazing, especially Hotel Mume in Kyoto. We extended our stay there and cancelled our Hiroshima hotel and ended up doing one long day trip to Hiroshima/Miyajima Island instead.

We did try out the luggage delivery service twice and for 2500 yen, we shipped our 2 suitcases between hotels from Tokyo to Hakone, and from Kyoto to Tokyo. Not having to navigate Shinjuku station with a suitcase was luxurious and so well worth the money!

We had an incredible trip. Some of the highlights:

Sushi breakfast at Tsukiji Fish Market
Ryokan experiences in both Hakone and Kyoto
Relaxing in the onsen (Japanese hot springs)
Experiencing Golden Week mayhem
Nishiki Market in Kyoto
Miyako Odori in Kyoto - http://www.miyako-odori.jp/odori_en.html
Dressing up like a Geisha in Kyoto - http://www.maiko-henshin.com/english/index.html
Having an in-room shiatsu massage...wow!
All meals: Hida Beef in Takayama, grilled oysters in Mayajima, Hiroshima-styled okonomiyaki, sukiyaki, shabu-shabu, kaiseki, venturing into an izakaya, and all the snack and sweet stops we made along the way...

Here is a link to my blog: http://travel.suejchiu.com/

If anyone has any questions, or would like me to post restaurant and/or hotel reviews, just let me know. My personal travel journal is a 50 page word document, so I would be happy to share more information but don't want to be information overload!

8 Replies |Back to top

| Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

  • Announcement: Writers Needed for Morocco Guidebook
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Apr 11, 14 at 05:51 PM
View all Asia activity »
  1. 1 Can you bargain tour price?
  2. 2 How is FREEWHEELING?
  3. 3 3 1/2 week trip to Japan advise please!
  4. 4 4 week solo trip through Myanmar/ Burma
  5. 5 Trip Report DENTAL IMPLANT
  6. 6 21 days thailand and vietnam
  7. 7 driver&business assitant&guide in Shanghai
  8. 8 12 day split between Beijing and Shanghai
  9. 9 Help ! How bad is the rain in Bangkok early/mid September? Thanks
  10. 10 Trip Report April in Bangkok, again!
  11. 11 Trip Report Karen and Tom - a romantic Vietnam getaway: ENGAGED!!!
  12. 12 Getting down to details and welcome advice: Tokyo
  13. 13 Haneda to Narita Layover : Need advice
  14. 14 Japan night bus
  15. 15 Recs for Tokyo hotels
  16. 16 Living in Singapore Questions
  17. 17 Thailand - Koh Samui vs Koh Tao
  18. 18 Hua Hin or another family friendly beach?
  19. 19 Trip Report Bangkok, Luang Prabang, Luang Say, Chiang Rai, Singapore (but no Siem Reap)
  20. 20 Help..Want to hire a guide/driver for Golden Triangle
  21. 21 Please help me plan 3.5 weeks in South Korea
  22. 22 Problems at 12,000'
  23. 23 GOING TO SE ASIA , NEED HELP
  24. 24 Sixteen Day in South Korea
  25. 25 osaka to kobe frrom ship to ship
View next 25 » Back to the top