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Back to Tokyo but this time with my teenager

Back to Tokyo but this time with my teenager

Old Apr 20th, 2008, 05:36 PM
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Back to Tokyo but this time with my teenager

It's been a few years since our last trip to Japan (6 1/2 years), and I've decided that I better use up some of my miles before they become defunct, and take my manga-anime engrossed daughter with me. I will probably stay about 10 days to 2 weeks, while my daughter will stay 6 to 7 weeks, provided I can even book the flights during summer using mileage. Lots of questions.

What would be the recommendation for renting cell phones? Mine for 2 weeks and my daughter's for 2 months? We don't need to make international calls as I think I will have access to internet.

Which manga and/or anime tours to take in Tokyo? What about stores selling manga merchandise?

Approximately how much does it cost for a round trip train ride from Tokyo to Kanazawa? I'm debating whether it will be worth buying the rail pass or not. I doubt if we'd be using it for anything else, aside from daily train rides around Tokyo. We are staying in Tama and catching trains from Tama Center.
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Old Apr 20th, 2008, 10:09 PM
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Renting cell phones--no particular recommendations, but there are several boothes when you arrive at Narita. I would rent one phone, for you for the first 2 weeks and for your daughter to keep for the rest of her stay. I would also just check if there are any incoming charges from overseas. I recall you have to specifically request if you want to get an itemised bill (probably a good idea). Japanese phones are so advanced--3G internet connection and video clips are standard features. Though it is HIGHLY frawned upon to talk on the mobile while on public transport.

No idea about manga/anime tours. The only thing I know are Akihabara and Harajuku goth-lolitas on Sunday afternoons.

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Old Apr 20th, 2008, 10:17 PM
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Tokyo-Kanazawa: you might want to check discounted local fares on ANA/JAL as an alternative. JAL's one is called Yokoso fare, I got my Tokyo-Kanazawa about JPY10,000 +tax one way, having used OneWorld airline to get to Japan. Haneda airport is pleasure to go through, and it saved a lots of travelling time. The caveat is, I don't think you can use this fare during the peak summer hol season. Still worth checking--which airlines are you using to get to Japan?

Tama--I believe it is on non-JR line (Keio line?). Probably more than 1hour out of central Tokyo, could be 1.5hrs. Just avoid travelling during the morning rush hour.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 06:30 PM
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Narita Airport has lots of rental places to rent phone:

Two of the more popular phone rentals are Vodafone and NTT DoCoMo.

There are some anime tours you can take (Pop Japan Travel comes to mind), but you can just as easily do your own touring at these places:
1) Ghibli Museum in Mitaka (on the JR Chuo Line). This features the work of Hayao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli. If you are going there, consider getting your tickets outside of Japan via JTB as I believe tickets bought inside Japan require you to show up at a certain time slot on a scheduled day, but the JTB ticket allows you in at any time on a scheduled day – and lineups can be long.
2) Suginami Anime Museum in Suginami
3) Tokyo Anime Center in Akihabara
4) Gundam Museum in Chiba
5) Sanrio Puroland in Tama City

As for stores selling anime and manga items, there are quite a number. Akihabara contains a large concentration of anime stores, but is not the only location in Tokyo. Some of the more popular stores are:
1) Mandarake. One of the best places to go. There are three branches in Tokyo: Akihabara, Shibuya, and Nakano. The Nakano Broadway location is an absolute must visit for any anime/manga fan.
2) Animate. Blue color store with locations in Akihabara, Shibuya, and Ikebukuro.
3) Comic Tora no Ana (“Tiger’s Pit”). Located in Akihabara, it’s the orange color store with a picture of a giant girl mascot wearing cat ears at the top of the building.
4) Manga no Mori (“Manga Forest”). Green color stores located in various locations including Shibuya, Shinjuku and Ikebukuro.

One word of warning for your manga-anime engrossed daughter is that in America, anime fans proudly call themselves "otaku" (obsessed fan) and wear this term like a badge of honor. However, the term otaku has extremely negative connotations in Japan and can be an insult. So, it is best not to say that you or anyone else is one over there.

Based on Hyderdia site, the cheapest fare from Tokyo to Kanazawa is around Y11810 (with return about Y23620). The cost of a 7-day JR rail pass is Y28300. If you are taking any other side trips, the rail pass would be a good bet.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 06:54 PM
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You could try and get an open-jaw award ticket. Fly into Tokyo and return home from Komatsu airport. Or fly from home to Komatsu and return from Tokyo. Then you would just have to get a ticket one way on plane or train.

Flying to or from Toyama, instead of Komatsu, would work. It is a bus and train, 60 to 90 minutes, from Kanazawa.

Which airline FF miles?
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Old Apr 24th, 2008, 09:34 PM
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I have both American and United miles. With the current airlines situation, I am having serious doubts of getting any seats using mileage. So far I haven't had any luck with AA.
Are chances better if I upgrade to Business or 1st class?

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