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  1. #61
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    Austin, TX
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    Thanks, all. I got my rail pass vouchers in my mail today I'll see if I can get my hands on some yen before leaving.

  2. #62
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    OK, I can confirm the JR pass does not fit in the double organiser pouch. It's not just the zip opening, it's also the rounded corners that it off a bit of space.

    On a happier note, the front pocket of the Side Kick was just made for a JR pass!
    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

  3. #63
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    Bumping this thread - my husband and I are heading to Japan with my parents to see my sister & her family. We're flying into Narita, then taking the shinkansen up to Misawa, spending some days up there, then my husband and I will head south to Osaka & Hiroshima for a few days before rejoining my family in Tokyo. We're planning on going with a JR pass as flights to Osaka are looking a little tight right now (we're going during Obon), and just planning on traveling via rail instead of plane - I think it will be more cost efficient, but would welcome thoughts from you more experienced travelers. We're committed to going with just our A45s and personal items and I'm trying to convince my parents that yes, they can make it work too...

    I'd love any additions in advice besides what is already been posted here - this is our first international trip together (besides Canada) and I'm both nervous and excited.
    A30 - Original Halcyon/UV MB - Aubergine/NWS LCB - Original Halcyon/Wasabi! MCB - Steel dyneema/Wasabi! STT - Wasabi! SE - NORDIC/Solar TC - Viridian/Dawn TT - UV/Sitka/Monarch

    TB Newbie First factory visit - 9/21/2018

    Heartís desire: a S19 or S25 in original NORDIC.

  4. #64
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    Trains may be a bit tight too, being Obon. You can look at availability and make reservations online before you arrive in Japan. For JR East trains (Tokyo to Misawa), look here:
    https://www.eki-net.com/pc/jreast-sh...Menu/Menu.aspx

    For JR Central trains (Tokyo to Shin-Osaka), you won't be able to reserve online in advance if you want to use the JR Pass. There are more trains on this route so it may not be so critical. I would still make reservations at the time you exchange the order for the actual pass.

    Also, have you checked how long the train journey will be? It might be an idea to plan a stop between Misawa and Osaka.
    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

  5. #65
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    We're heading to Japan this year, as well. Thanks for anyone who has or will contribute tips. It's much appreciated.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by jessmakes View Post
    Bumping this thread - my husband and I are heading to Japan with my parents to see my sister & her family. We're flying into Narita, then taking the shinkansen up to Misawa, spending some days up there, then my husband and I will head south to Osaka & Hiroshima for a few days before rejoining my family in Tokyo. We're planning on going with a JR pass as flights to Osaka are looking a little tight right now (we're going during Obon), and just planning on traveling via rail instead of plane - I think it will be more cost efficient, but would welcome thoughts from you more experienced travelers. We're committed to going with just our A45s and personal items and I'm trying to convince my parents that yes, they can make it work too...

    I'd love any additions in advice besides what is already been posted here - this is our first international trip together (besides Canada) and I'm both nervous and excited.
    Hi, we just got back from our first trip to Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto with day trips to Nara, Nagano and Hiroshim). I took just my A30 with a small crossbody bag and it was perfect. Only issue was I took too many clothes as I was trying to avoid washing (which was stupid as it was so easy to wash in all our hotels) and didn't have much space for souvenirs!

    We used the JR pass loads and thought it was really good value. We used it from Tokyo to Nagano (day trip) then Tokyo to Osaka, Osaka to Hiroshima (day trip) then Osaka to Kyoto then back to Tokyo. I think the trains are amazing there, especially with Tom Bihn luggage.

  7. #67
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    I'm trying to go as minimal as possible with luggage, but since a small Yeoman will fit folded up in my MCB (thanks Kat for checking!), I'm planning on taking that as a backup so that I don't have to worry about not having room for souvenirs. I can check the YD with dirty clothes in it. :-)
    A30 - Original Halcyon/UV MB - Aubergine/NWS LCB - Original Halcyon/Wasabi! MCB - Steel dyneema/Wasabi! STT - Wasabi! SE - NORDIC/Solar TC - Viridian/Dawn TT - UV/Sitka/Monarch

    TB Newbie First factory visit - 9/21/2018

    Heartís desire: a S19 or S25 in original NORDIC.

  8. #68
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    As the OP for this thread, I am so amazed by all the helpful members in this forum! My wife and I are planning another trip within the next few years here. This time with a toddler!
    Husband | Father | Creative | Photog | Subaru Pilot | Horologist | Foodie | Carryologist

  9. #69
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    I am planning to go to Japan by mid November just waiting for my Visa to arrived. Tips here really helped me. Thank you very much! I will share my travel experience once I am there.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sydneygirl View Post
    Hi, we just got back from our first trip to Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto with day trips to Nara, Nagano and Hiroshim). I took just my A30 with a small crossbody bag and it was perfect. Only issue was I took too many clothes as I was trying to avoid washing (which was stupid as it was so easy to wash in all our hotels) and didn't have much space for souvenirs!

    We used the JR pass loads and thought it was really good value. We used it from Tokyo to Nagano (day trip) then Tokyo to Osaka, Osaka to Hiroshima (day trip) then Osaka to Kyoto then back to Tokyo. I think the trains are amazing there, especially with Tom Bihn luggage.
    Any recommendations on where to stay in Osaka? We have 2 nights there before we go to Hiroshima and I haven't arranged lodging yet... Also, what kind of things did you do there?
    A30 - Original Halcyon/UV MB - Aubergine/NWS LCB - Original Halcyon/Wasabi! MCB - Steel dyneema/Wasabi! STT - Wasabi! SE - NORDIC/Solar TC - Viridian/Dawn TT - UV/Sitka/Monarch

    TB Newbie First factory visit - 9/21/2018

    Heartís desire: a S19 or S25 in original NORDIC.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by jessmakes View Post
    Any recommendations on where to stay in Osaka? We have 2 nights there before we go to Hiroshima and I haven't arranged lodging yet... Also, what kind of things did you do there?
    We stayed at ďHotel the FlagĒ in Shinshibashi which was really amazing. Itís right in the middle of a very busy area but the hotel itself is very calm and modern with a very cool vibe. Highly recommend it. They also gave us complimentary breakfast which was an amazing buffet of loads of traditional Japanese food (plus western food if you donít fancy that for breaky).

    https://en.hoteltheflag.jp/

  12. #72
    Forum Member kathryn's Avatar
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    @ jessmakes In Osaka I stayed at Hotel Monterey Le Frere. It was pretty close to the main train station, modern, clean and had friendly staff. I was really just using it as a place to sleep and do a load of laundry, so I can't comment on things like the restaurant, but overall I'd recommend. I want to echo @Sydneygirl about how easy it is to wash clothes at hotels. I think every one that I stayed at had washers and dryers available for a reasonable cost. The machines even dispense soap, so you don't need to worry about bringing it.

    I took my A30 as my only bag, with a PCSB in one end pocket to pull out on the plane. I had more than enough space for what I brought and some space for souvenirs, but nowhere near enough for all I bought.

    I solved the luggage problem at a Don Quixote in Osaka by buying a hardside rolling case. I ended up bringing home (ahem) "several" bottles of whiskey, for myself and family, so it was worth it. It was on clearance and I think cost around $50. Anything you think you forgot or discover you need while there, you can probably find it in Don Quixote stores. Things like toiletries are likely available in 7-Eleven stores, too, and you can grab food while there.

    Trains are great. I didn't get the JR pass, because I did take a few flights, too. My shinkansen leaving Osaka was delayed then cancelled, but the station staff were able to put me on a later train. I also had another mishap where a train I was on in Hokkaido broke down. I was on a day trip, so luckily Google maps and Rome2Rio provided info on a bus route to take instead. I don't know what happened to the train, but when I was headed back to Sapporo that day, all the trains were still not running, and I took the bus back. I think I'm the only person I've heard of to have that many issues on Japanese trains--definitely atypical, so don't worry!

    As I said, I did a couple flights, too. Kobe to Sapporo and then Sapporo to Tokyo. The smaller airports in Japan are surprisingly pleasant to someone used to US regional airports.

    I rented a camper van in Hokkaido, and it was amazing. If I had it to do over again, I might do Tokyo-->Kyoto-->Hokkaido and skip all the other stuff I did (although Miyajima was beautiful, the Suntory distillery tour was fun, and Osaka is exactly the Japanese city as I pictured it growing up).

    I wish I'd had way more time to spend, but even so I did so much I couldn't sum it all up in a forum post. I'm by no means an expert, but I'll keep an eye on this thread in case there are questions I can help answer.

    All of you headed to Japan soon: don't forget to come back and share some photos with us!
    "I'm more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares.Ē ― Maria Semple, Where'd You Go, Bernadette

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