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-   -   Tokyo help (https://www.fodors.com/community/asia/tokyo-help-1645148/)

searknight Jan 7th, 2018 04:40 PM

Tokyo help
 
I’m hoping I could get help from someone, my wife and I are planning on traveling to Tokyo around December for about 9 days. I just need help in figuring out how much money I should save to take with me, do I need a visa, what can we do while we are up there? I know these questions are quite vague but If you have any idea on how to help I’d appreciate it. Thanks

thursdaysd Jan 7th, 2018 05:19 PM

Sounds like you need a good guidebook. You could also spend time on https://www.japan-guide.com/.

Whether you need a visa depends on your nationality. Probably not.

Are you sure you just want to see Tokyo? There is a whole lot more to Japan than the capital.

searknight Jan 7th, 2018 05:36 PM

Yeah we had hoped for Japan mostly cause unfortunatly we don’t have much time to spend up there. My wife is really into anime and gaming so we know we want to visit that aspect. If you recommend any other place I would appreciate it

thursdaysd Jan 7th, 2018 05:48 PM

For a first visit most people pair Tokyo with Kyoto - the modern and the historical. But it sounds like Kyoto may not match your interests. You really need to read up on the country so you can decide what YOU will enjoy.

searknight Jan 7th, 2018 05:54 PM

Thank you I went to the website and there are quite a bit of things I would like to see and I know my wife will too!

janisj Jan 7th, 2018 08:15 PM

>> I just need help in figuring out how much money I should save to take with me<<

Don't take a bunch of cash with you. Use your ATM card to get cash (mostly at 7-Eleven stores and post offices), and credit cards for many purchases.

BigRuss Jan 9th, 2018 08:53 AM

<<do I need a visa>>

How can we tell? You don't state your passport nationality. Whatever that is, your issuing state department/foreign office can tell you better than we can.

<< what can we do while we are up there?>>

A lot. Go to japan-guide.com and rely on it. You need to get with the research.

Adastra2200 Jan 9th, 2018 02:14 PM

It's not easy to suggest much if you give little info on your interests. If anime and manga, there is Akihabara in Tokyo, and lots of related shopping in Nakano Broadway. There is so much more to Japan though - the food, festivals, historic castles, traditional gardens, city views, hot springs, temples and shrines, and on and on.

If you can travel at the beginning of December, there is also the chance that you could catch some of the autumn colors, which are extremely beautiful.

As mentioned, it's up to you to do some more research - at least you have the time and you won't be going at a peak time (unless the end of December, if so, look out). Japan Guide is one good place to browse, but don't rely on them or any other single source for info. I keep finding errors and outdated info on some of their pages - usually though not catastrophic and they're good at fixing things quickly. You can also look at the JNTO page www.jnto.go.jp as well as some other useful places, like:
http://www.japanvisitor.com
http://www.tsunagujapan.com
https://en.japantravel.com
http://www.thejapanfaq.com/the-best-japan-travel-tips/
http://www.tripadvisor.com

Be very careful about the tourist guidebooks - all have gaping holes on the best sights to see, as well as most being made a few to several years ago. There are changes happening all the time.

kja Jan 9th, 2018 05:58 PM

All sources of information are flawed, but guidebooks can be an invaluable resource, as they include a wealth of information in a single place and include answers to questions you don't even know to ask. I'm squarely with those who are recommending that you get one (or more)!

Adastra2200 Jan 9th, 2018 07:10 PM

The problem is that you will not know what is accurate and what isn't. I can usually tell since I've traveled and lived enough in Japan to know better (or at least know where to find out). If you can benefit from the books then fine, but I would suggest you verify anything you take a chance on. Wasting time and money on a mistake would be a terrible shame.
And that's hardly just me. It includes many like these unfortunate souls who relied on Lonely Planet and in the end were calling it "the book of lies".
http://bit.ly/2Fl4ZoL

kja Jan 9th, 2018 07:38 PM

Things can change on any day. No one source of information will always be accurate -- and that's true for guidebooks and web-sites, too. IME, a wise traveler usually consults a guidebook or two, and checks the web sites of places of interest to confirm information. And of course, many things DON'T change with any frequency, and many things of interest to a first time traveler will be covered with a degree of accuracy that is sufficient for the purpose of planning, or at least all but the last "finessing" stage of planning.

Unfortunately, there are many things that people won't know to ask -- and asking is key to internet searches. ALL of that information is in a good guidebook, even if one might want to confirm the currency of that information.

And a good guidebook will have extensive information about local cuisine (identified in both English and Kanji); a small vocabulary section, with key words in both English and Kanji -- something that can be VERY useful if anything goes wrong; a section on local norms that might differ from one's own; etc.

Adastra2200 Jan 10th, 2018 12:49 AM

>>No one source of information will always be accurate -- and that's true for guidebooks and web-sites, too.

While I don't disagree, the difference in keeping accuracy between books and online is quite significant. The books may be out of date for many years. For websites, it varies of course, but weeks, or worst case months, is usually the case. Historical sites don't get up and wander off the planet of course, but other info - like restaurant listings, can change a lot due to turnover, moving, closings, etc. You'd be foolish not to double check the info.
And as I have noted many times, you simply don't find a broad listing of so many of the best places to see in the books. If you don't know it exists, then you won't go there. Many times in the books I've read a couple of lines on somewhere, basically glossing over it - if it is mentioned at all. The overwhelming majority of the book's content is on Tokyo and Kyoto, which is not surprising, but so much else gets shortchanged.
In the end, it would behoove you to use a broad range of resources, more than a couple of books, to find what is the best itinerary for you.

kja Jan 10th, 2018 01:26 AM

@ Adastra: It seems that we are in agreement that the BEST strategy will involve a combination of resources. Nonetheless, I find it unfortunate that you refuse to endorse the potential benefits of guidebooks, particularly for people who have never traveled to Japan (or any other country). IME, the better guidebooks provide coverage that is at least as good as some websites -- and again, they provide information that wouldn't be readily accessible to novice travelers on those websites. FWIW, I never use (or recommend the use of) a guidebook for lodging or dining -- and that's true for Japan or anywhere else in the world. As you say, those postings are outdated even before publication. And there are some LOUSY guidebooks out there -- no question! But there are, IMO, guidebooks that are quite helpful -- some for the richness of the detail they provide, some for the information they provide to novice travelers about how they might prioritize their time, some for suggestions about how much time to devote to this or that....

I think you provide a wealth of helpful information to travelers -- kudos! I just wish you would be less critical of resources that many people might find invaluable. JMO.

Boveney Jan 10th, 2018 03:55 AM

searknight, given your wife's interests, I imagine the Ghibli Museum will be high on the list. Book tickest as early as possible, ie September 1 for a December visit: http://www.ghibli-museum.jp/en/ticket-information/ Also given the specific interest in anime/manga, you will probably get more info from blogs/various forums than the general sources cited above. Eg take a look at Spoon and Tamago website. As for how much money to bring, janisj is right - use your card at the ATM. There was a big cos play event in Tokyo (Odaiba) in December 2017 - not sure if that's annual or not but definitely something to investigate.

Adastra2200 Jan 10th, 2018 01:24 PM

@kja
You're welcome to your views, but if you find me critical of the books, it's because I objectively compare the info given in them with what's online. I never said avoid the books - I said to use them with caution. It's an honest look - online materials can be updated easily, while the published books can't be unpublished. But in the end it's about what is most beneficial. Plus to me the books waste a forest of trees on restaurants and hotels which are of little benefit to me. But they'd be double their size if they included everything. Online, bits and bytes don't weigh much.
I've learned (and continue to find) tons of great places by looking online - the same can't be said about the books. In fact it's quite clear I know a lot more than the authors about many areas - which is no boast - it's because they set such a low bar with all their glaring omissions.
If you want to read a book before your trip, then fine. But I'd say using a smart phone or tablet with a pocket wi-fi (plus google maps, hyperdia, translators etc) is far more beneficial than hauling a book around. FWIW.

kalihiwai2 Jan 10th, 2018 09:29 PM

https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fod...4a28196eb.jpeg
I tend to agree with Adastra that the best resources for travel are now found on internet
On saying that however the books I go back to are not so much travel books but books on culture, history and art
Going to Tokyo...... check out Time Out Tokyo on the web but do some homework with books.
Iím going to test the new format by sending photo of some of my favorite books on Japan travel

kja Jan 10th, 2018 10:35 PM

I share the concern about the environment. e-books are a great option!

kalihiwai2 Jan 10th, 2018 11:32 PM

Open Library has a wide range of ebooks
This 1903 guide has some interesting descriptions and information
https://archive.org/details/handbookfortravejohn

bussa17 Jan 11th, 2018 07:38 PM

9 days is a decent time to visit Tokyo. U shouldn't need a visa....cash money i would say easily $2000 plus hotels and transport.....Things to do....an infinity!!! From shopping and technology wards, to parks to museums, to Tokyo zoo....also you can visit Nikko or a day in Kamakura to see the DaiButsu. and FOOD!!! sushi at the Teukiji fish market.....God i miss Tokyo!

flygirl Feb 20th, 2018 03:38 AM


Originally Posted by Adastra2200 (Post 13173315)
It's not easy to suggest much if you give little info on your interests. If anime and manga, there is Akihabara in Tokyo, and lots of related shopping in Nakano Broadway. There is so much more to Japan though - the food, festivals, historic castles, traditional gardens, city views, hot springs, temples and shrines, and on and on.

If you can travel at the beginning of December, there is also the chance that you could catch some of the autumn colors, which are extremely beautiful.

As mentioned, it's up to you to do some more research - at least you have the time and you won't be going at a peak time (unless the end of December, if so, look out). Japan Guide is one good place to browse, but don't rely on them or any other single source for info. I keep finding errors and outdated info on some of their pages - usually though not catastrophic and they're good at fixing things quickly. You can also look at the JNTO page Japan National Tourism Organization Web Site as well as some other useful places, like:
http://www.japanvisitor.com
tsunagu Japan
https://en.japantravel.com
The Best Japan Travel Tips ? The Japan FAQ
http://www.tripadvisor.com

Be very careful about the tourist guidebooks - all have gaping holes on the best sights to see, as well as most being made a few to several years ago. There are changes happening all the time.

Good list of resources, thank you!


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