Main TOM BIHN website
 
emailus@tombihn.com

COMMUNITY FORUMS

Welcome! We're glad you are here. This is the place to ask for bag advice, help other people out, post reviews, and share photos and videos.

x

First, select your desired search engine:

  • Google Search
  • DuckDuckGo
  • Original Forum Search Engine

User Tag List

Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 72
  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    123
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    First Trip to Japan

    Hi all,

    The wife and I are planning our 1 year anniversary, and it's to visit Japan sometime early June. We're most likely going to stay at an 'American' hotel/resort in Tokyo. What tips and tricks might you have for us for our trip? Outside of typical travel needs, what other specific items should we bring to maximize our visit to Japan?

    I have to admit, I'm excited to travel internationally with my A45 and DLBP. (Of course I'm excited for our time together as a 'newly weds' )

    Thanks in advance!

    PandaOps
    Husband | Father | Creative | Photog | Subaru Pilot | Horologist | Foodie | Carryologist

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Share
    New Zealand
    Posts
    262
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Early June is a great time to visit Japan. Its early summer and the gardens will be in full flower then, particularly with irises and hydrangeas. It can get quite hot in Tokyo at that time. One visit the temperature reached 32 Celcius in early June.
    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. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    14
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have been to Japan twice, so am sharing some tips here.

    - Bags-wise, a A45+DLBP combo is quite recommended. I travelled recently with a A45+S25 to Tokyo/Osaka recently and the A45 was quite easy to maneuver about on the trains/moving about. The A45 fits rather well on the luggage rails of most trains. While there are escalators/lifts in the train stations, more often than not you will end up using the stairs, so a A45 is much easier than wheeled luggage. The DLBP will be a good daypack, especially on crowded trains and tourist spots.
    - Hotels - if you are willing to be more adventurous, try staying in a ryokan (Japanese inn). These often come with onsens (hot baths) that are quite good for relieving tired muscles after a long day; and if you pay more, come with fairly filling dinners and breakfasts.
    - Transport - The train networks are quite extensive within the cities, so you wont need a car in the metropolitan areas (and parking is quite expensive). For movement using the public trains and buses, you buy a IC card that is rechargeable. IC cards can also be used for payments at supermarkets, convenience shops and some restaurants. If you are staying within a specific region, there are region-specific passes you can purchase for unlimited rail and bus travel, plus discounts at tourist spots. If you are moving between cities, you can look in purchasing the region-specific and country-wide Japan Rail passes that offers unlimited travel on shinkansen, rail and buses. (You can recover the cost of 7-day JR pass just from making a Tokyo-Osaka return trip on Shinkansen alone).
    - Cash and credit cards - While credit cards are widely accepted at hotels, big ryokans, major departmental stores and stores, Japan is still very much a cash society. As robbery/pickpocketing is fairly rare, it is fairly common for folks to carry huge amounts of yen. Cashiers may not blink if you use a big note for a small purchase . For credit cards, Amex acceptance is low. Some merchants may also only accept either Visa or MC. On the other hand, sometimes some retailers give discounts for Visa payments (electronics shops such as Yodabashi Camera).
    - Duty free shopping - Duty Free shopping rebates is available (8% GST) for purchases above 10,000 yen but you will need to have your passport available. It can be done at the store counter, or the designated counter at major shopping centres. The cashier will fill up the details, and staple a form to a page in your passport. The form has to be returned to customs, but usually you can just drop it off into a box at the customs counter and there is no need for the customs officers to check your goods. Japan is also a good place to pick up Japanese whiskey, which is of quite good quality (try the Yamazaki and Hibiki brands).

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    1,143
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You're going to have a wonderful time! Enjoy every minute. Traveling in Japan is amazing. Take some train trips if you can. I found the whole experience to be amazingly relaxing, from the way people line up to enter each car to the way the conductor or conductress would bow to each car of passengers when exiting to the next car to check train passes. The way that change is placed on a tray in a shop instead of being handed directly into your palm. The beautiful bento boxes available for purchase. The stationery stores, temples, floral arrangements in hotels, gardens and parks. Happy Anniversary! First anniversary is paper, and your tickets to Japan are certainly special ones!

    Many on this forum can give you more detailed advice - but just soak it all in and enjoy. I did invest in a book of maps for Tokyo, as there is a particular technique for naming and locating an address within a particular neighborhood, and buildings weren't always in clear numerical order.

    Food is wonderful, whether you choose Japanese or other international food. There are American places like Subway and Starbucks if you want a quick taste of something from home, but we also had some great Indian food, lots of delicious baked goods, beautiful fresh fruit, and my favorite Japanese sweet (wagashi, traditional sweets, my favorite is shaped like a triangle and stuffed with crushed nuts).
    Last edited by GoStanford; 01-11-2017 at 09:58 PM.

  5. #5
    Forum Member Duggy'sMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    145
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    So much to do and see in Tokyo. What kinds of things do you like to do? How adventurous are you re food?

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Share
    New Zealand
    Posts
    262
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Regarding finding your way around, I've found the CityMaps2Go app very reliable for Tokyo. I prepare by marking on it the places I'm going to see and the nearest subway station. Japan Guide is really helpful for giving directions to a wide range of tourist attractions. You can also look up on the website for the attraction, restaurant etc. Access information is routinely provided due to Japan's unique addressing system making places difficult to find.

    Thinking about the first wedding anniversary being the paper anniversary, perhaps a visit to a Japanese paper shop is in order? There is well-known and long-established one, Kurodaya, which is on Nakamise st just to the right of the Kaminarimon gate in Asakusa, which is an area you quite likely will visit.

    Although there are the regular US chains, these do adapt to Japanese tastes and it can be quite fun trying out some of the limited time menu items. Last year I had a "spring set" at McDonalds featuring a cherry McFizz soft drink (not trying that again) and plum flavoured fries (amazingly yummy!).
    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

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Share
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    5
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've went to work in February; Here is what I found essential:

    1) Cash - You will use cash everywhere. GET A COIN CASE. I got a dedicated coin case at the Imperial palace (the foldy-up kind with a snap that you can poke around in to get specific coins when buying metro tickets). Also, when you're buying things, there will almost always be a little tray to put your money into when you pay. They'll also put your change there. They probably will be confused if you just try to hand them money (it's considered a little rude... well, maybe not rude, maybe equivalent to not holding the door for someone in the US).
    2) Tips - Most people aren't going to accept them.
    3) Pocket WiFi - Pre-arrange one to pick up at the airport, it will come with a shipping pouch to mail it back when you leave. I found it easier than dealing with the phone company.
    4) The following Apps: Navitime for Japan Travel; tokyosubway. The former is a private app, useful for planning train travel long distances and outside Tokyo; The latter is the Tokyo Metro's official app, and is awesome when in the city. Though, it only uses routes on Tokyo Metro trains, always compare with Navitime to pick the best route.

    Thins I wish I'd taken:
    1) A better camera; I only had my iPone 6S Plus, and managed to take some of my favorite photos I've ever taken. I got back and got a Fuji X-T1 with 16mm and 35mm lenses. Japan is a photo taking dream.
    2) Rain pants. I had a raincoat, but my legs got wet. It rains in Japan a good bit, but you should be there in the "dry" season. It'll probably still rain.

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    123
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you all for the great insight! I've started a folder on my iPhone with your recommended resources.
    Husband | Father | Creative | Photog | Subaru Pilot | Horologist | Foodie | Carryologist

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    123
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Duggy'sMom View Post
    So much to do and see in Tokyo. What kinds of things do you like to do? How adventurous are you re food?
    To clarify, my wife has been to Japan once while studying abroad (almost 10 years ago). It was one of the things that really attracted me to her--her love for Japan. Her favorite movie is Memoirs of a Geisha. And she owns a DVD copy of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, but she have never seen the other movies in the series. When we knew that we wanted to have each other in our lives to grow old together, she said that I needed to go to Japan. It's always been my dream as a kid growing up on video games, robot toys, anime, and Japanese cars! Go go Skyline GT-R!

    We both have an affinity with Japan, Japanese things, and it's culture. We live in Southern California, and visit Little Tokyo seasonally. We like eating food! We're moderately adventurous with our palette. We have no reservations on Japanese menus found in the US. We love ramen, katsudon, red bean cakes, sashimi, curry, etc. Nothing outrageous as you can see.

    My wife absolutely loves cherry blossoms and cherry blossom shaped things. And I would love to see courtyards of these beauties and take pictures. She also has a Yukata from when she studied abroad there. It'd be great to get one of my own.

    A small list of things that interest us:
    food
    yukata
    cherry blossoms
    TOKYO DISNEY! (we're big big disney fans)
    kawaii things
    technology
    video games (we both game together online)
    anime (currently got her on Attack on Titan)
    fashion/shopping/window shopping
    Shibuya Crossing (it's famous right?)
    Japanese language
    Seiko and Citizen boutiques (I'm a watch collector)
    onsens (maybe)
    Fish market (for freshest sushi)
    samurais/ninjas/ancient Japan

    ...well that became a longer post than expected...
    Husband | Father | Creative | Photog | Subaru Pilot | Horologist | Foodie | Carryologist

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Share
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,646
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    What is pocket WiFi?

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    123
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    What is pocket WiFi?
    I was wondering the same? Similar to a hot spot? I have VZW, or is this not through a US-based wireless provider?
    Husband | Father | Creative | Photog | Subaru Pilot | Horologist | Foodie | Carryologist

  12. #12
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    123
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    How much Japanese will I need to communicate?
    Husband | Father | Creative | Photog | Subaru Pilot | Horologist | Foodie | Carryologist

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    579
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by PandaOps View Post
    I was wondering the same? Similar to a hot spot? I have VZW, or is this not through a US-based wireless provider?
    It is a mifi unit. It provides internet access in Japan. We also have Verizon but do not have an international plan. So after a lot of research we went with Global Advanced Communication. For two weeks, it was JPY11,450. We were supposed to pick it up at the post office at Narita, which would have been very convenient; however, our flight was diverted from Tokyo Narita to Osaka due to weather. When we arrived at the Hilton Tokyo Bay, the staff was extremely helpful in communicating with Global Advanced and explained how we were unable to pick up the mifi from the airport. Global Advanced was great and overnighted a new unit to the Hilton. At the end of our stay, we popped the unit into the envelope they provided and dropped it off at the airport post office. Obviously this is very common because the lady at the post office knew exactly what we were doing and gave us a receipt. I would highly recommend them.

  14. #14
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    579
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by PandaOps View Post
    How much Japanese will I need to communicate?
    Honestly, very little, if any. We found almost everyone spoke English with the exception of taxi drivers. I printed out the address of hotels in Japanese so I could give it to the driver and not have miscommunication. Also, the hotel staff was very helpful in telling the driver where we needed to go. Restaurants had English menus too so that wasn't an issue. You will be fine.

  15. #15
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Share
    New Zealand
    Posts
    262
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by PandaOps View Post
    How much Japanese will I need to communicate?
    Train station signs are in English as well as Japanese, and on board trains there are signs advising the upcoming stop in both Japanese and English. Some trains and subways have bilingual announcements.

    Learn a few basics such as greetings and polite expressions, and you'll be fine. Also look up the Japanese characters for male and female, as this will be useful in times of urgent need. In fact, look up how to use a Japanese washlet toilet before you encounter one. In hotels catering to foreigners, there will probably be English instructions, but you can't necessarily count on this.
    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

Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 ... LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •