Author Topic: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?  (Read 5383 times)

Villanelle

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #50 on: March 16, 2017, 05:22:38 AM »
These ideas were great, thanks everyone.

We're in Tokyo right now and loving it!

We saw the Hachiko statue today!  :D

(I used to read this story with my students--movie is meh. The end of Futurama's Jurassic Bark episode with Fry's dog Seymour was based on this story, and always makes me tear up.)

Bumping in case anyone else sees this while we're still here and chimes in with other ideas (or for future people visiting and reading the thread, even if it's after we've left).

my favorite was akihabara, if you are a giant nerd like me and like videogames, manga, collectible toys, this is the place for you ! I spent so much time here ( think it was 3 days total) and I still don't feel like I experienced half of it.

So this is where we're staying.  About a 5 minute walk from the Akihabara train station. 

But what exactly should we be looking for?  Like, I know this is the electronics district, or something, but aside from wandering in the area around the train station (lots of skyscrapers.. okay?), where do we go in/what do we look for?  Building names or addresses (if you can find on Google maps) you found cool would be appreciated.  :)

Depending on how long you are staying, you may well catch some decent sakura blossoms.  Hanami--basically a picnic adn celebration under the cherry blossoms--is sort of a cultural phenomenon.  If you are staying in a hotel, the desk may be able to point you toward some early blooms.  I was in Tokyo on Monday and saw some trees with blossoms, but they were lining streets rather than in parks..  I don't know if any are out yet in Yoyogi park or Ueno.  Even if you don't want to picnic and linger, if you can get a recommendation for a good spot, seeing the trees in full bloom can be pretty moving, especially if you read up a bit on the significance of the season (ephemeral beauty/life).

westtoeast

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #51 on: March 16, 2017, 05:51:27 AM »
Thanks for tip on Google Translate, now I need to figure out how to use it on my phone without data roaming.

Download Japanese within the options.  You can't do picture translate without data, but you can type stuff and have it translate to the Japanese characters to show someone on your phone.

Thank you!!

Also thanks for mentioning that Futurama dog episode... that episode was heartbreaking and I still think of it sometimes! Didn't know what it was based off before.

arebelspy

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #52 on: March 16, 2017, 07:00:03 AM »
These ideas were great, thanks everyone.

We're in Tokyo right now and loving it!

We saw the Hachiko statue today!  :D

(I used to read this story with my students--movie is meh. The end of Futurama's Jurassic Bark episode with Fry's dog Seymour was based on this story, and always makes me tear up.)

Bumping in case anyone else sees this while we're still here and chimes in with other ideas (or for future people visiting and reading the thread, even if it's after we've left).

my favorite was akihabara, if you are a giant nerd like me and like videogames, manga, collectible toys, this is the place for you ! I spent so much time here ( think it was 3 days total) and I still don't feel like I experienced half of it.

So this is where we're staying.  About a 5 minute walk from the Akihabara train station. 

But what exactly should we be looking for?  Like, I know this is the electronics district, or something, but aside from wandering in the area around the train station (lots of skyscrapers.. okay?), where do we go in/what do we look for?  Building names or addresses (if you can find on Google maps) you found cool would be appreciated.  :)

Depending on how long you are staying, you may well catch some decent sakura blossoms.  Hanami--basically a picnic adn celebration under the cherry blossoms--is sort of a cultural phenomenon.  If you are staying in a hotel, the desk may be able to point you toward some early blooms.  I was in Tokyo on Monday and saw some trees with blossoms, but they were lining streets rather than in parks..  I don't know if any are out yet in Yoyogi park or Ueno.  Even if you don't want to picnic and linger, if you can get a recommendation for a good spot, seeing the trees in full bloom can be pretty moving, especially if you read up a bit on the significance of the season (ephemeral beauty/life).
We'll be in Japan for a month, so we'll definitely see some cherry blossoms. :)

« Last Edit: March 16, 2017, 07:02:49 AM by arebelspy »
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TheAnonOne

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #53 on: March 16, 2017, 08:15:43 AM »
Hey OP here,

We are down to 49 days away from our trip and are starting to actually peg things to do.

We are really iffy about going to kyoto and osaka.

Reasons:

Train ride is long, (not enough time to do anything there..)
Train ride is spendy (can't remember the cost but 300+ USD for sure)

Are we making a mistake? Is it worth a day trip over there?

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Tetsuya Hondo

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #54 on: March 16, 2017, 09:03:26 AM »
Hey OP here,

We are down to 49 days away from our trip and are starting to actually peg things to do.

We are really iffy about going to kyoto and osaka.

Reasons:

Train ride is long, (not enough time to do anything there..)
Train ride is spendy (can't remember the cost but 300+ USD for sure)

Are we making a mistake? Is it worth a day trip over there?

Sent from my SM-G935T using Tapatalk

That depends, are you trying to do Kyoto in a day? If so, maybe not.

However, Kyoto would be #1 on my list of places to go in Japan. It's the heart of Japan and the origin of many elements that we now associate with Japanese culture, from tea ceremonies to haiku to kaiseki meals, etc. Stay in a ryokan if you can. It's worth the money.

The train ride is pretty quick from Tokyo (~2 hours on the Shinkansen bullet train). Pack a lunch to make it go quicker. Get an awesome bento box from the train station.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2017, 09:05:35 AM by Tetsuya Hondo »

TheAnonOne

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #55 on: March 16, 2017, 09:06:05 AM »
Hey OP here,

We are down to 49 days away from our trip and are starting to actually peg things to do.

We are really iffy about going to kyoto and osaka.

Reasons:

Train ride is long, (not enough time to do anything there..)
Train ride is spendy (can't remember the cost but 300+ USD for sure)

Are we making a mistake? Is it worth a day trip over there?

Sent from my SM-G935T using Tapatalk

That depends, are you trying to do Kyoto in a day? If so, maybe not.

However, Kyoto would be #1 on my list of places to go in Japan. It's the heart of Japan and the origin of many elements that we now associate with Japanese culture, from tea ceremonies to haiku to kaiseki meals, etc. Stay in a ryokan if you can. It's worth the money.

The train ride is pretty quick (~2 hours on the Shinkansen bullet train). Pack a lunch to make it go quicker. Get an awesome bento box from the train station.
Well, we have all 11 nights booked on points in Tokyo, so getting another room in kyoto might be a "waste". Something to ponder

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limeandpepper

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #56 on: March 16, 2017, 09:13:40 AM »
However, Kyoto would be #1 on my list of places to go in Japan.

+1  Can't imagine going to Japan and not going to Kyoto... unless you're planning to come back to Japan again to go there, or if all you want is the hustle and bustle and bright lights of Tokyo so you don't mind missing it.

Heroes821

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #57 on: March 16, 2017, 09:26:33 AM »
I didn't read all the replies yet but I wanted to add my experience.

First exchange for Japanese currency before you leave.  Unless making an expensive purchase ($500+) you can't use your cards. Cash is king. 

Second if you plan to travel anywhere order your japan rail pass while in the US.  the JRPass is for 90 day passport visitors and it will be very helpful if you are going to ride the trains. Unlimited train riding all over the country even on the bullet trains. This must arrive at your home address before the trip.

If you hold a US government ID card like a CAC you can stay at a hotel in downtown Tokyo called the New Sano (Sanno?) anyway they took debit cards spoke good English had the Air Force Network on TV. It was a nice breather, but I only stayed there two nights.

Akihabira was awesome.  I also went to the Square Enix HQ they have a store outside with some cool stuff for sale.  With the Train pass you can probably extend your travel range. See Kyoto, Hiroshima etc.  If you plan a whole day of moving about Tokyo make sure to buy the day pass for the subway, it's way cheaper than a bunch of short trip passes, but the train pass can probably get you everywhere inside Tokyo just a little bit slower than the subway.

Also all stores will have little trays to place your cash on, don't physically hand the money to them it's considered rude.  When I needed more cash ATMs worked fine with my USAA debit card, but USAA is used to out of country transactions so make sure your bank is good with this. 
 
I mostly stayed in Osaka which was amazing.  Kyoto I visited the nightingale floor castle which was cool and the oldest Buddhist temple in Japan.  I went into the mountains about 4 hour train ride north of Tokyo to the famous Fox Sanctuary, no one up there speaks English so it was an experience.  The Hiroshima Peace Museum was really cool and not overly guilt trippy, it definitely provided information that is not taught in American schools. 

I avoided places like Mt Fuji simply because I wanted to force myself to visit Japan a second time. Google Translate app was pretty good about 70% ish at translating signs at tourist attractions.
I was lucky enough to have two close friends who had lived in Japan for 5+ years each teaching English to be my guides often, but even when alone in Japan it was relatively easy to communicate. If I was lost and needed a Taxi or something I would type the English into google maps for where I wanted to go and show the results (in Japanese) to the driver and had no issues with that.

Oh also 100 Yen is roughly 1 USD so those 500 yen coins are 5 dollars don't shove them all in your pocket and only use bills to pay for things... took me a week to realize I was change hoarding like I do in the US. 

If you get a chance to see Sumo wrestling it was really cool, but I did it as a group activity with several of my friend's co-workers. 

Every restaurant I ate at had pictures of everything on the menu so it was easy to pick food without reading.  Good luck and have fun.   In regards to the train to Kyoto, I think it's about 3 hours on the super fast train, but the trains stop at midnight so if you started early and caught the last train back to Tokyo you could have a full day in Kyoto, which in my opinion was the second best part of my trip.  The best was the Fox village, but that's an even longer day of train riding.  I had to stay the night in Sendai because the tiny village of Shiroishi was out of rooms.

Edit: I think this is the site I used  https://www.japan-rail-pass.com/   I was in Japan for like 16 days so I bought the 14 day pass, but the 7 day pass is 250 per person which is cheaper than 1 round trip train pass to Kyoto and back and you can use it ALL OVER THE COUNTRY.  Seriously its made for tourists it was awesome.  Only caveat is if a bullet train (shinikansen?) is full of normal ticket paid people you can't use your pass, but I rode many bullet trains and never had them say a word to me.   Also the pass you get in the mail, I forgot was like a voucher and then in japan you go to the rail people office (should be many of these in Tokyo) stand in line for like 10 minutes and they give you the actual pass to get on the trains, this might of required your picture being taken, I forget.  It was a very simply process.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2017, 09:35:38 AM by Heroes821 »

limeandpepper

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #58 on: March 16, 2017, 10:01:59 AM »
Hey people, looks like I'm going to Japan as well! Most likely from sometime around mid-October to mid-November. Question, how important is it to book accommodation in advance at this time of the year? Can we book at short notice or even do walk-ins, or will we have difficulty doing so? Are prices more likely to be higher or cheaper at the last minute?

TheAnonOne

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #59 on: March 16, 2017, 10:05:13 AM »
Hey people, looks like I'm going to Japan as well! Most likely from sometime around mid-October to mid-November. Question, how important is it to book accommodation in advance at this time of the year? Can we book at short notice or even do walk-ins, or will we have difficulty doing so? Are prices more likely to be higher or cheaper at the last minute?
We booked our rooms for May back in OCT 2016

We had points though, so bookings can be harder for award nights.

I wouldn't risk walk-ins for an international trip.

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Villanelle

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #60 on: March 16, 2017, 10:39:00 PM »
Hey OP here,

We are down to 49 days away from our trip and are starting to actually peg things to do.

We are really iffy about going to kyoto and osaka.

Reasons:

Train ride is long, (not enough time to do anything there..)
Train ride is spendy (can't remember the cost but 300+ USD for sure)

Are we making a mistake? Is it worth a day trip over there?

Sent from my SM-G935T using Tapatalk

IMO, Kyoto is way, way better than tokyo, but I guess that depends on your interests and how you like to travel. 

Someone else advised exchanging cash ahead of time.  Terrible idea.  You'll get a much better rate from an ATM (found at almost any 7 11, as well as at the airport), especially if you have a card that waives the out-of-network fees.  More and more places are also taking credit cards.  I saw a difference even between when I lived her in 2010-2012, and now.  But many places are still cash only. 

Limeandpepper,
I am a worrier, so I can't really imagine any trip without bookings.  (I tell you that to give you context.)  But depending on where you are going, that could be fall foliage season, which in some areas is extremely popular, making it a mini-busy season.  Kyoto when the leaves are changing is absolutely spectacular, but that means everyone wants to be there, so hotels would be busy. 

limeandpepper

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #61 on: March 17, 2017, 02:27:59 AM »
We booked our rooms for May back in OCT 2016

We had points though, so bookings can be harder for award nights.

I wouldn't risk walk-ins for an international trip.

Limeandpepper,
I am a worrier, so I can't really imagine any trip without bookings.  (I tell you that to give you context.)  But depending on where you are going, that could be fall foliage season, which in some areas is extremely popular, making it a mini-busy season.  Kyoto when the leaves are changing is absolutely spectacular, but that means everyone wants to be there, so hotels would be busy.

Thank you both for the input!  We have done walk-ins and last-minute bookings before for international trips, but it does seem like it would be a bit too much of a gamble in Japan. The (firstworld)problem we have is that we'll be travelling through Korea beforehand and not quite sure yet how long we want to stay there before we move on to Japan, so the dates are still a bit fuzzy at this stage. It looks like many online booking sites have a generous free cancellation policy these days though, so maybe we'll just guesstimate the dates and go ahead with bookings.

arebelspy

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #62 on: March 17, 2017, 04:41:44 AM »
Ate fresh sushi at the famous Tokyo fish market today, right after the fish auction ended.

So good.
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Heroes821

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #63 on: March 17, 2017, 06:36:33 AM »
Hey OP here,

We are down to 49 days away from our trip and are starting to actually peg things to do.

We are really iffy about going to kyoto and osaka.

Reasons:

Train ride is long, (not enough time to do anything there..)
Train ride is spendy (can't remember the cost but 300+ USD for sure)

Are we making a mistake? Is it worth a day trip over there?

Sent from my SM-G935T using Tapatalk

IMO, Kyoto is way, way better than tokyo, but I guess that depends on your interests and how you like to travel. 

Someone else advised exchanging cash ahead of time.  Terrible idea.  You'll get a much better rate from an ATM (found at almost any 7 11, as well as at the airport), especially if you have a card that waives the out-of-network fees.  More and more places are also taking credit cards.  I saw a difference even between when I lived her in 2010-2012, and now.  But many places are still cash only. 

Limeandpepper,
I am a worrier, so I can't really imagine any trip without bookings.  (I tell you that to give you context.)  But depending on where you are going, that could be fall foliage season, which in some areas is extremely popular, making it a mini-busy season.  Kyoto when the leaves are changing is absolutely spectacular, but that means everyone wants to be there, so hotels would be busy.

Weird, I was there in March 2015 and the money I got before leaving at a Chase bank in Denver was close enough to be the same exchange rate as when I used an ATM in Kyoto to pull out more money about a week later.

As far as cards go, I was able to use mine at a hotel in Sendai, a hotel and Tokyo, and a Callaway store in Tokyo and that was all I found to use my card.

FLBiker

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #64 on: March 17, 2017, 07:31:19 AM »
Big question.

We want to do Mt. Fuji (hike a bit probably not climb the whole thing, plus I think the summit is closed in MAY)

and we want to do "Lake Ashi"/"Mt. Hakone". Fuji and Ashi area are what it looks like, only an hour away. So far we are planning on making these two spots two separate days.

Does this make sense? Has anyone been to these areas? Should/could it be done in one day?

I did a Hakone trip with my dad (so I'm not sure how much it cost).  It was some sort of package ticket (though we were travelling solo, w/o a group) that included a bunch of different modes of transit.  If memory serves, we started out on a train or bus, then took a goofy boat (w/ a fake pirate on it), then took a "rope way" (which was cool, we could see Fuji).  We stopped at some sulphury springs and had boiled eggs and wasabi icecream.  It was pretty fun, although touristy.  There's a bunch of info here: http://www.odakyu.jp/english/deels/freepass/hakone/

Oh, and on the way home from Hakone (we were on the train) we stopped off at the outdoor sculpture park.  I love sculpture parks, and it was a very good one.

We also did the early AM fish market / sushi thing, which was great.  And I went to a sword museum that I found when wandering around.  It was small, but cheap and pretty cool.  We also went to Odaiba, which was very cool with futuristic buildings and a Sega arcade that had some great "huge" games -- like a skateboard sim that actually swung me around a little halfpipe.  It was really fun.  This was in 2003, though, so I can't speak to current day.  I also liked the Imperial Gardens.

And while I'm sure Kyoto and Osaka are great (and are definitely places I'd like to go), I personally don't like to worry about seeing every place when I plan a vacation.  I'd rather spend more time in one or two places than hit all the spots.  There are lots of great places in the world and you'll never see them all and that's totally fine.  This time, you're going to Tokyo.  Enjoy it!

Tetsuya Hondo

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #65 on: March 17, 2017, 08:11:47 AM »

Well, we have all 11 nights booked on points in Tokyo, so getting another room in kyoto might be a "waste". Something to ponder

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Surely, you can cancel a few nights, right? I would do it. Kyoto is worth it. If I had 11 nights there, I would spend at least at least half in Kyoto (hell, I'm ready to move there). I would also consider side trips to Osaka and Nara.

TheAnonOne

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #66 on: March 17, 2017, 08:13:58 AM »

Well, we have all 11 nights booked on points in Tokyo, so getting another room in kyoto might be a "waste". Something to ponder

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Surely, you can cancel a few nights, right? I would do it. Kyoto is worth it. If I had 11 nights there, I would spend at least at least half in Kyoto (hell, I'm ready to move there). I would also consider side trips to Osaka and Nara.
Hmm, making me think!

On a side note: we also plan on extended stays in japan after FIRE (few months maybe)

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Tetsuya Hondo

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #67 on: March 17, 2017, 09:29:34 AM »

Well, we have all 11 nights booked on points in Tokyo, so getting another room in kyoto might be a "waste". Something to ponder

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Surely, you can cancel a few nights, right? I would do it. Kyoto is worth it. If I had 11 nights there, I would spend at least at least half in Kyoto (hell, I'm ready to move there). I would also consider side trips to Osaka and Nara.
Hmm, making me think!

On a side note: we also plan on extended stays in japan after FIRE (few months maybe)

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Ok, if you're going to be back in the not too distant future, you can always go deep in Tokyo. There's so many neighborhoods and things to explore that you could burn 11 nights there. However, it would probably be nice to get out of town here and there. At a minimum, I would consider side trips to Kamakura (kind of a mini-Kyoto) and Mt. Fuji. Other side trip ideas: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3051.html

But then, if FIRE is a ways off I would still work in Kyoto.

Either way, I'm jealous of you.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 09:31:18 AM by Tetsuya Hondo »

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #68 on: March 20, 2017, 04:25:22 AM »
However, Kyoto would be #1 on my list of places to go in Japan.

+1  Can't imagine going to Japan and not going to Kyoto... unless you're planning to come back to Japan again to go there, or if all you want is the hustle and bustle and bright lights of Tokyo so you don't mind missing it.
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limeandpepper

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #69 on: November 23, 2017, 09:04:59 PM »
Heyyyyyyyy everyone. I'm currently in Tokyo with my partner, and don't lynch me but everyone talks it up so much and I feel like maybe it's a bit overhyped, for me at least. I suspect partly because we've already been in Japan for a month so far (and was in Korea for a month before that) so I've already seen lots of cool stuff and eaten lots of delicious things. Sure, Tokyo may be bigger and brighter and busier... but... not quite extraordinary to me yet... I would love to have my mind changed, though!

We've so far been to:

Shinjuku - this is our base
Shibuya - hung around a bit, saw the Hachiko statue and famous crossing etc
Harajuku - might visit again on a weekend to see the young'uns dressed up
Ginza - enjoyed a big pedestrian area where the road was closed to vehicles (apparently that happens on weekends but we got it on a Thursday?)
Tsukiji - the main fish market was closed on the day we went, might go back another day, not sure if we'll bother waking up super early for the fish auctions though
Akihabara - pretty cool, visited a massive electronics shop and adult shop, might go back again and check out more of the games stuff
Ueno - popped by briefly at night, will probably go back during the day

Places that I'll probably visit over the next week or so: Asakusa, Shimokitazawa, Kichijoji. Also might do a day trip or two out of Tokyo somewhere nearby (possibly Yamanashi and/or Nikko)?

So with that in mind... anything really awesome or interesting or unusual or surprising I should see or do here that would totally stand out? That would make me go, "right, NOW I see what the fuss is about Tokyo"? The MariCar experience seems like it would be really really good and and be something different that I haven't already had a taste of elsewhere in Japan, but I don't drive. Hah.

Villanelle

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #70 on: November 23, 2017, 09:49:36 PM »
I kind of agree with you.  I don't love Tokyo.

That said, this time of year is amazing.  You are probably too late for the fall foliage around Tokyo.  However, the Christmas illumination season has begun and many of them are pretty impressive.  If you are at a hotel, as them about any illuminations nearby. 

I think Hakone still has a lot of the foliage up, but that's probably too far for a day trip (but would be a fairly easy over night if you wanted to get a room). 

The Harajuku scene is not what is used to be.  I think it got kind of played out, so there are fewer kids now.  Check out Takeshita Street for the spectacle, including the Monster Cafe (outside; actually dining there is pricey).

For nightlife, consider Piss Alley and Golden Gai (both near Shinjuku).

If you want a fancier experience for an only semi-fancy price, the Park Hyatt (hotel from Lost in translation) has a happy hour at their Peak Bar (not the bar from the movie).  All you can drink and light appetizers for I think 4000 or 5000 yen.  (Yes, still quite spendy.) Get there a few minutes before it starts (or maybe 15-20 before is you go on a weekend night) as there is a limited number.  View is gorgeous. 

Asakusa has a nice temple and shrine and is fun to wander. 

arebelspy

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #71 on: November 24, 2017, 06:13:09 AM »
Robot restaurant?
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limeandpepper

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #72 on: November 24, 2017, 09:16:54 AM »
I kind of agree with you.  I don't love Tokyo.

That said, this time of year is amazing.  You are probably too late for the fall foliage around Tokyo.  However, the Christmas illumination season has begun and many of them are pretty impressive.  If you are at a hotel, as them about any illuminations nearby. 

I think Hakone still has a lot of the foliage up, but that's probably too far for a day trip (but would be a fairly easy over night if you wanted to get a room). 

The Harajuku scene is not what is used to be.  I think it got kind of played out, so there are fewer kids now.  Check out Takeshita Street for the spectacle, including the Monster Cafe (outside; actually dining there is pricey).

For nightlife, consider Piss Alley and Golden Gai (both near Shinjuku).

If you want a fancier experience for an only semi-fancy price, the Park Hyatt (hotel from Lost in translation) has a happy hour at their Peak Bar (not the bar from the movie).  All you can drink and light appetizers for I think 4000 or 5000 yen.  (Yes, still quite spendy.) Get there a few minutes before it starts (or maybe 15-20 before is you go on a weekend night) as there is a limited number.  View is gorgeous. 

Asakusa has a nice temple and shrine and is fun to wander.

Thanks, Villanelle! I read upthread that you prefer Kyoto - so maybe I'm in that camp, too. Tokyo's fall foliage is supposed to peak late November to early December, so we're right on time - we went to Yoyogi Park the other day, and will likely check out more parks. We've seen bits and pieces of Christmas lights already but will look into where we can see more elaborate ones.

We took a walk down Omoide Yokocho our first night but didn't eat there, tonight we did at a yakitori place and it was great, and I think the delicious combination of grilled skewered things and plum wine cocktails helped me warm up more to Tokyo. ;)

The Park Hyatt experience sounds nice, we went to a free observatory already though so probably won't splurge on that (unless perhaps we have extra yen to use up towards the end)!

We have been to Takeshita Street but it was on a weekday, will try again maybe on Sunday. Asakusa is definitely on the list.

Robot restaurant?

We were half-considering it, but after seeing the ticket prices, we decided we weren't interested enough to fork out that much. Did you go and if so, was it worth it for you?

arebelspy

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #73 on: November 24, 2017, 09:20:04 AM »
Robot restaurant?

We were half-considering it, but after seeing the ticket prices, we decided we weren't interested enough to fork out that much. Did you go and if so, was it worth it for you?

Yes, and yes.

But I also try to keep expectations low, so I will enjoy things instead of being disappointed. I inevitably find when people rave about a book/movie, I'm disappointed in it.

This sounds like what's happening to you and Tokyo, re:
I'm currently in Tokyo with my partner, and don't lynch me but everyone talks it up so much and I feel like maybe it's a bit overhyped, for me at least.

So you may not like it.

If you do go, don't pay retail, there's plenty of places to get discount tickets, including the Internet.

It's super weird. If you just want to laugh and have an experience and just go with the craziness, it's great.
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GuitarStv

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #74 on: November 24, 2017, 09:47:09 AM »
Are you into martial arts at all?  I've always wanted to visit the Kodokan in Tokyo.  You're allowed to sleep there for very reasonable rates and can train Judo for cheap (I think it's about 5$ a day?).
« Last Edit: November 24, 2017, 09:53:56 AM by GuitarStv »

limeandpepper

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #75 on: November 24, 2017, 11:13:24 AM »
Thanks ARS. :)  I will continue to ponder it further. I actually don't have high expectations for Robot Restaurant, so I might be pleasantly surprised... but then the fact that I'm not that excited about it (i.e. only considering it because I'm a bit curious, on the off-chance that I could potentially find it awesome) means I probably shouldn't go unless the amount of money is little to me.

GuitarStv I am a little bit into martial arts, I used to train capoeira. I was thinking about checking out a sumo stable actually but it appears that it is currently a bad time for it in Tokyo as the wrestlers are away for a tournament elsewhere. So perhaps we will check out Kodokan instead!

JetBlast

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #76 on: November 24, 2017, 12:16:26 PM »
Honestly, Tokyo isnít my favorite area of Japan either. Too busy and hectic for me. Itís a great city though to just pick a neighborhood and go wandering without any set plan. The weirdness just finds you.

If you want a slower pace and more of a traditional Japan feel then Kamakura might be worth a day trip. I know it was mentioned upthread. Itís only about an hour away by rail and has several beautiful temples and shrines. The giant Buddha is quite impressive.

Villanelle

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #77 on: November 24, 2017, 11:00:12 PM »
If you want a cultural experience, you could consider going to one act of a kabuki performance.  You stand in line to get tickets, and you can get a translator device. 

The Monster Cafe seems to get better reviews than the Robot Restaurant, if you are looking to do something along those lines.

And a friend when to Shinjuku Gyoen to view the leaves yesterday and posted spectacular photos.  She said it's maybe a hair past prime, but the ginkos are still stunning.   

Sankeien Garden in Yokohama is gorgeous, though I don't know the state of the foliage.  Not the easiest to get to, but you can train and then walk maybe 10-15 minutes to get there, or busses will get you a bit closer, but still a walk. 

limeandpepper

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Re: I am going to Tokyo! Ideas?
« Reply #78 on: December 07, 2017, 07:51:02 AM »
Belated thanks to JetBlast and Villanelle! I considered doing a day trip out somewhere but we ended up being too lazy.

The update is, Tokyo did grow on me a bit after all! Though it didn't sweep me off my feet immediately (perhaps it would if I haven't already been to other big cities like Shanghai and Seoul), I found that I enjoyed gradually peeling off the layers and discovering different aspects to it, via visiting various neighbourhoods.