Last Minute Questions

Sep 28th, 2019, 11:04 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 49
Last Minute Questions

Thank you to everyone who answered earlier questions about this trip. I'm leaving on United Airlines on Tuesday for 3 nights in Tokyo and 5 in Kyoto. All my reservations are made, I have a volunteer guide in Kyoto, guided bike rides in both Osaka and Kyoto, tickets for "GEAR" in Kyoto, and plans for Tokyo.

I've compared train prices to a JR Pass for 7 days and don't think the pass is worth it, but feel free to correct me. I will have one round trip between Tokyo and Kyoto and the Narita Express one way within a 7 day period, but probably nothing else except for local trains, busses, and subways.

I'm still a little confused about cards like Suica. I get that it's basically a debit card and you can use it many places instead of cash, but can it also be used as an "IC card" when using local transit? In other words, can I just scan it when entering the train station, bus, etc?

Not a fan of United but they had the best price by far ($722 r/t from Phoenix), so I went for it. Does anyone know if they still hand out blankets and pillows on international flights, or are those days long gone?

Any last minute info is welcomed and appreciated! Sayonara!


Podie is offline  
Sep 28th, 2019, 12:39 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 336
The Suica card is an IC card, not a debit card - though it has some acceptance at some convenience stores, attractions, taxis etc just like a debit card. If you used a 7 day JR Rail Pass for the Tokyo-Kyoto round trip plus the N'Ex just once, you would break even on it. A far better deal though would be the Japanican ticket. If you have not finalized your itinerary yet (though by this time you really should have), try looking though the Tokyo government's official tourism page, as well as the JNTO page, Japan Guide page, and Tokyo Tourist Info. There is also a good collection of sight previews here to whet your appetite.

Also at any local tourist info office as well as at many attractions you can get the Tokyo Travel Guide:



It's over 80 pages and completely free - by all means get one and browse through it - you might get some new ideas for places to go on this or a future trip. Or browse it online right now here.

For Kyoto, same story. Browse the official tourist guide, plus Japan guide and this sight preview. Hopefully you can take at least half a day and see Nara as well. And if you're up for it, you can spend an evening in Osaka as well after a day of sightseeing in Kyoto. There are some great nightspots there, and it's just 30 minutes away by train.

I can't speak for United. Flying US carriers is at the bottom of the list for me. Given the opportunity though, I would take a "United flight" if it's actually a code-share operated by ANA - you get the supremely better Japanese service but at the lower US airfare.
Adastra2200 is offline  
Sep 28th, 2019, 02:31 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,622
As for UAL my experience is ask them right away for blankets and pillows as they seem to run out.
Good luck!
jacketwatch is online now  
Sep 28th, 2019, 02:32 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 934
Yes, United still gives blankets, but they probably haven't been washed since the Johnson administration. I bring my own pillow and blanket. I got my pillow at REI, and my blanket at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
CaliforniaLady is offline  
Sep 29th, 2019, 01:46 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 49
Thanks! I went to Japanican and bought the pass!
Podie is offline  
Oct 1st, 2019, 06:34 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,008
Yes to ANA flights to and from Japan. We earned miles on United but enjoyed superior service on board ANA.
HappyTrvlr is online now  

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