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  1. #46
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    1. The Narita airport website has a good guide to arrival procedures. It looks like a lot, but in practice the quarantine steps are only for certain circumstances. You would usually walk straight past the people at step 1 unless you look like a hospital case. The whole thing is very efficient. I've got through in as little as 15 minutes.
    Information on departure and arrival procedures | NARITA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT OFFICIAL WEBSITE
    2. A couple of hours beforehand is fine.
    3.If you've done any tax-free shopping while in Japan, there will be some forms stapled inside your passport. You're supposed to have these collected at the airport, but sometimes this doesn't happen. Just remove them yourself once you're through to the departure area.
    4. Bringing some cash is useful. Otherwise use ATMs - 7-11 and Japan Post ATMs are reliable with foreign cards.
    Last edited by Denises; 04-13-2017 at 03:29 PM.
    A30 in original halcyon/wasabi. Side Kick in verde/northwest sky and cloud/viridian, Pop Tote in Mars Red, Travel Cubelet in Mars Red, A30 packing cube backpack in northwest sky, large travel tray in sitka, packing cubes, pouches and cubelets

  2. #47
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    I just got back from 10 days in Tokyo and Kyoto (LOVED it!) and would be happy to answer any questions (as best as I can). I definitely echo the suggestions to have a coin purse of some kind (I used a mini organizer pouch) and to have at least some cash before you land. I didn't look at the airport exchange rates, but my guess is they'll be higher than what you can get at home. I could only load my Pasmo card with cash and buy the airport limousine bus ticket with cash.

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by automaticsoap View Post
    have at least some cash before you land. I didn't look at the airport exchange rates, but my guess is they'll be higher than what you can get at home.
    I used to stress about exchanging money right away, but have since switched to using the airport ATMs. I've always had good luck at the JP Bank / Seven Bank ATMs with my cards, but YMMV. And for people who hate fees, is the Charles Schwab Debit still reimbursing for international? **Edit** Looks like they still do.

    My bank stopped this year :/
    Last edited by squaredot; 04-14-2017 at 06:54 PM.

  4. #49
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    I just returned from my first trip to Japan last night. Regarding a coin purse, just want to add that, indeed, you should have one. Having read that here beforehand, I bought a mini Q-kit for the purpose. But even with all the coins you get there, they never half filled the Q-kit. Also, there are so many cute coin purses available everywhere, I kind of wanted to buy one there, but made myself use what I'd already purchased.

    7-11 ATM's do appear to be the best way to get your yen, especially if you have an account with a bank that doesn't charge ATM fees. And 7-11's are everywhere, including at Narita.

    Enjoy! Japan is a delight to travel in.

  5. #50
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    I'm gearing up for my and my partner's first trip to Japan in about two weeks!

    Just re-reading this thread, wondering how everyone else's trips went?

    I have a Fidelity check / debit card that I'm planning to use for ATMs - it worked great on our trip in Europe last winter. Their map says they have ATM locations in Narita airport. Is there any reason not to wait until I arrive and use those airport ATMs? Just maybe difficult to find them after a long flight?

    This weekend I will probably do a test pack. Hopefully we'll bring just an A45 and A30 like we did for our similar length trip last year. The weather should be more mild so I think we can go even lighter. Japan Airlines has a weight limit of 10kg/22lbs. I think I'll bring a Packing Cube Backpack for a daypack instead of the Daylight Backpack, mainly for the weight savings. Still undecided about what shoes to bring. But I can't wait!

  6. #51
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    I just noticed this thread and some of the earlier comments. I wanted to say in regard to the question from @squaredot in #48: Yes, the Schwab card is a great one for international use and reimburses for ATM fees, and I'd imagine the Fidelity card works similarly. My advice on either is to not only file a travel alert, but also use the card at the airport when you land, which makes it less likely that it will be flagged as fraud when you use it again later at an in-country ATM.

    I don't know about Japan, but in general I travel with a few US $50's as backup. In the unlikely event that the card doesn't work, I figure I could change them at a Travelex or bank. So far, I've never had to actually do this.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  7. #52
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    We pulled Japanese Yen (JPY) in the states in the amount of what we thought was a good budget for spending. The exchange rates (at the time) for JPY in the Narita airport wasn't strong for the USD. We did end up withdrawing money and found that the 7-11's will be your best friend. Prior our trip I called my credit union to place a travel alert, and we were all set.

    A45 served me well in all the trains, subways, and stairs. My daypack was my Pilot and it was great!
    Husband | Father | Creative | Photog | Subaru Pilot | Horologist | Foodie | Carryologist

  8. #53
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    Does anyone have any tips/ ideas for toting around the Japan Rail Pass? I'd like to keep it anchored (somehow) to my bags because I'm afraid of losing it. I'd also like to keep it protected from the elements because when it rains in some parts of Japan, it REALLY rains. On my last trip, I put it into a Ziploc baggie, but that didn't solve my first problem.

    (I tried putting one into a clear organizer pouch, but the pass is just a bit too big.)

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by eviltracey View Post
    Does anyone have any tips/ ideas for toting around the Japan Rail Pass? I'd like to keep it anchored (somehow) to my bags because I'm afraid of losing it. I'd also like to keep it protected from the elements because when it rains in some parts of Japan, it REALLY rains. On my last trip, I put it into a Ziploc baggie, but that didn't solve my first problem.

    (I tried putting one into a clear organizer pouch, but the pass is just a bit too big.)
    How big is it? What about a size 4 (square) knitting pouch? It is slightly taller than a small OP (1cm difference) and about an inch and a half narrower.

  10. #55
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    The Japan Rail Pass is 4” x 6”. It’s a little too small for the small size organizer pouch or the #1 stuff sack. I used the bag within a bag method for keeping ours safe while traveling. They were in my Side Effect which was in a small café bag. We did get some rain but everything in the café bag stayed dry.

    First Trip to Japan-jr-pass-jpg

    Inside a Side Effect

    First Trip to Japan-jr-pass-se-jpg

    Inside a pocket in the Side Kick

    First Trip to Japan-jr-pass-sk-jpg
    Seeking Solar shop bags and Solar packing cube shoulder bag Also coveting an Iberian Synapse or Copilot

  11. #56
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    I'm about to go to Japan, and will be getting the JR Pass. My plan is to use a small double organiser pouch and keep the JR Pass and my passport in the larger compartment, and seat reservation tickets in the front part. I will report back on how this works.
    A30 in original halcyon/wasabi. Side Kick in verde/northwest sky and cloud/viridian, Pop Tote in Mars Red, Travel Cubelet in Mars Red, A30 packing cube backpack in northwest sky, large travel tray in sitka, packing cubes, pouches and cubelets

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denises View Post
    I'm about to go to Japan, and will be getting the JR Pass. My plan is to use a small double organiser pouch and keep the JR Pass and my passport in the larger compartment, and seat reservation tickets in the front part. I will report back on how this works.
    Yes, please do let us know how that works for you. I tried to fit the JR Pass in one of my small double organizer pouches and it wouldn't fit. I thought it might given that it's halcyon. I wish there was an organizer pouch in a size between small and medium, almost like an XL small.
    Seeking Solar shop bags and Solar packing cube shoulder bag Also coveting an Iberian Synapse or Copilot

  13. #58
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    The small double organizer pouch is the same size as the regular small organizer pouch. The JR Rail Pass will not fit in one, even in the larger compartment. You'd have to get a medium dop or op, although a medium size is a bit roomy for this task.

    Most office supply places (at home or in Japan) will have 5x7 inch clear vinyl pockets that are flat and zip up. In Japan, they can be found for about 100 yen ($1 usd). I put my rail pass in one for waterproofing and protection against folds and tears, and then slip it in my TB bag.

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluff View Post
    The small double organizer pouch is the same size as the regular small organizer pouch. The JR Rail Pass will not fit in one, even in the larger compartment. You'd have to get a medium dop or op, although a medium size is a bit roomy for this task.
    Oh really? I am disappointed. I thought with it being 5x7 and the pass being 4x6, there would be enough room.
    A30 in original halcyon/wasabi. Side Kick in verde/northwest sky and cloud/viridian, Pop Tote in Mars Red, Travel Cubelet in Mars Red, A30 packing cube backpack in northwest sky, large travel tray in sitka, packing cubes, pouches and cubelets

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denises View Post
    Oh really? I am disappointed. I thought with it being 5x7 and the pass being 4x6, there would be enough room.
    Unfortunately, the zipper opening of a small dop (or a small op) is about 5.5 inches. I just measured mine, along with my old rail pass (which I confirm is 6 inches). You'd have to squish and bend the pass to get it in and out of there.

    The 5x7 vinyl pocket/photo protector that I mentioned, is something that opens across one of the sides, either the full 5 inches on the short side or the full 7 inches, allowing you to put the pass straight into it. Both sides being clear would also allow you to hardly ever need to take it out (since the rail employees can see it).
    Last edited by Fluff; 10-21-2017 at 04:26 PM.

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