Japan/Shanghai First Time - Need Advise

May 1st, 2019, 10:38 PM
  #1  
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Japan/Shanghai First Time - Need Advise

Hi, this year November (last 2 weeks), we will be traveling to Asia for the first time. Our kids (8 and 4) will join us too. This is what we have in mind, if you can please help if this is doable.

Day 1 - airport to shanghai (stay for 4 days) -- still debating between Shanghai and Taiwan
Day 5 - fly from shanghai to Tokyo Japan (stay for 5 days)
Day 11 - Tokyo to Osaka (4 days)
Day 15 - fly home from Osaka

Do you think that'll give us enough time to visit and explore? Can we take a bullet train to Osaka from Tokyo to save time as I understand it's pretty far from each other. If not, any other cities that are just as beautiful that are close to Tokyo that you would recommend for a visit?

What hotel would you recommend in both cities? or if not, do you know if they have airbnb there? And where is the central location that is best so that we can reduce travel time since we have small kids, preferable close to the train station? Any advise, tips are appreciated it. Any suggestions on restaurants and things to do in both Japan and Shanghai are super appreciated it as well.

Last question, which airline would you also recommend? Is China Air any good?

Last edited by jlee; May 1st, 2019 at 10:48 PM.
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May 1st, 2019, 10:47 PM
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Well, Kyoto would be the obvious choice.

i liked Osaka, but Kyoto, in a lot of ways, IS Japan. Osaka is interesting. I’d say Kyoto is “beautiful”. That time of year, maybe I’d pick an onsen town to stay in for a night between the two cities.

Look at Japan guide website. I think you need to do a lot more research.

the nice thing about Japan is that the budget hotels are plentiful and clean. Pick one near a train station for convenience.

With kids that age, I’d fit in a day at the Disney parks. I have not been to Shanghai, but Disney Sea is fantastic.


personally, I think you’re trying to do too much. Pick one country or the other. 9 days really isn’t long in Japan. 4 days in Shanghai OR Taiwan seems very short.

Following for airline information. I’m curious too. I flew ANA and really liked it.

Last edited by marvelousmouse; May 1st, 2019 at 10:49 PM.
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May 1st, 2019, 10:51 PM
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thanks marvelousmouse! Yes, i know i have to do more research, and I will. I feel the same way too, perhaps i'm too ambitous trying to visit 2 countries in such a short time. since airline is affordable to do so, i wanna maximize the cost.
Yes, Disney Sea is on our list too, will take the kids there. Just not sure which hotel is close to the train station and major attractions so that we dont have to walk or travel so much and lose time.
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May 1st, 2019, 11:08 PM
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Hmm, I think transit is so good in Tokyo that you can stay pretty much anywhere in the tourist areas and be happy. Or conversely, Tokyo is composed of so many different parts that no where is truly central.

But: I stayed in two different locations in Tokyo. One was in a quiet neighborhood near only one subway station. Second one was near different lines that were only a few stops from one of the major train stations. Much better in terms of convenience. If I went back on a shorter trip with kids, I’d probably stay within a short walking distance of Tokyo Station or Ueno station. The Ueno Park is right at Ueno station, and I think that’d be ideal with kids. I think I went through Tokyo more, though, and I’d stay near that just for the sheer variety of food options.
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May 1st, 2019, 11:17 PM
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marvelousmouse thank you again!
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May 2nd, 2019, 01:52 AM
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kja
 
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Osaka, not Kyoto?

I think marvelousmouse means japan-guide.com, and yes, you need to spend time with it -- a LOT of time. AND read some of the planning threads here on Fodor's.

You can have a wonderful trip; it will be even better if you invest some time into researching your options.

Enjoy!
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May 2nd, 2019, 08:21 PM
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Do you know if Japan takes visa? I read that you can buy Suica card (?) Which one can put $$ in there to use as a debit card, but I'm thinking since my cc offers zero conversion fee, I can use credit card, but unsure if Visa is common over there.
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May 2nd, 2019, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by jlee View Post
Do you know if Japan takes visa? I read that you can buy Suica card (?) Which one can put $$ in there to use as a debit card, but I'm thinking since my cc offers zero conversion fee, I can use credit card, but unsure if Visa is common over there.

sure, visa can be used. I used mine to buy train tickets, at least.

I think cash is king, though, especially for smaller purchases. ATMs are literally everywhere—either in the gas stations or the train stations. I don’t think I’d bother with Suica.
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May 2nd, 2019, 11:38 PM
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tt7
 
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Originally Posted by marvelousmouse View Post
I think cash is king, though, especially for smaller purchases. ATMs are literally everywhere—either in the gas stations or the train stations. I don’t think I’d bother with Suica.
Indeed, cash is (still) king in Japan, to a surprising extent. As for ATMs, most Japanese ATMs will not accept non-Japanese cards, the major exceptions being the ATMs at 7-11 (of which there are about 20,000 in Japan, most open 24 hours) and at Japan Post Offices (which, like most post offices throughout the world) are definitely not open 24 hours. Need cash - find a 7-11. You obviously want to use a debit card, not a credit card, to get cash and, preferably, one with no foreign currency conversion fees and no issuer-imposed ATM fee. It doesn't matter whether your (debit) card is affiliated with Visa or Mastercard, it should work. As for 7-11 ATM fees, 7-11 charges a fee for Visa-affiliated withdrawals (IIRC, ¥108 for up to ¥20,000 and ¥216 for more than that) but no fee for Mastercard-affiliated cards. If it's going to charge you a fee, it tells you that upfront and it's itemised on the receipt.

As for Suica, get one! Use it to pay for all local train, subway, bus trips, at vending machines, left luggage lockers, conbini stores (7-11, Lawson, Family Mart etc.) and some supermarkets and cafes. Travelling is far, far easier with a Suica (or its equivalent) - no mucking about to get a ticket, trying to figure out how much the fare is etc. etc. If you have an iPhone 8 or later, you can add a virtual Suica to Apple Wallet and top it up with any card you have in Apple Pay.... otherwise top-ups are cash only (at a ticket machine or conbini).
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May 3rd, 2019, 12:09 AM
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Oh—right—sorry! To clarify, I DID use Suica for transit. It was awesome. I was referring more to putting money on it for snacks. Just easier to use cash for that, at least for me.

I’ve seen stand alone ATMs that let you use us debit at shopping centers as well. I thought it would be much harder to find an atm than it was.

Last edited by marvelousmouse; May 3rd, 2019 at 12:11 AM.
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May 4th, 2019, 02:12 PM
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Why Osaka when you be so close to beautiful Kyoto?
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May 5th, 2019, 09:55 PM
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Shanghai is a China Eastern Airlines hub.
Taipei would be China Airlines or EVA Air
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May 9th, 2019, 12:49 AM
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need to plan a vacation to Japan
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May 9th, 2019, 01:13 AM
  #14  
tt7
 
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Originally Posted by selinacantrell View Post
need to plan a vacation to Japan
Start by using these sites -

Japan Guide

Kyoto

Tokyo

After you’ve had a chance to spend time with these sites, please start a separate thread with any specific questions you may have.
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May 9th, 2019, 02:10 PM
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We flew LAX- NRT-LAX on ANA Business Class and everything was perfect, lie flat beds, food and service.. We will definitely fly ANA again,
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