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Halflife
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2021 5:42 pm    Post subject: Travel thread

I searched and nothing came up so started this.

We are planning a trip to Japan and I was wondering a few things

1) how long would you recommend.
2) time of year. I prefer colder but not wet.
3) any must see that is off the radar of the obvious
4) anything underwhelming that you would have missed if you did over again
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C M B
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2021 7:00 pm    Post subject:

10 days if you can afford it

any time of year that Mt. Fuji is open for hiking to the summit

everything is magical. everything.

must do: climb mt. fuji. reserve a sleeping spot unless you want to do that monster hike in one go which I don't recommend unless you're well rested and have above-average fitness

must do: Kyoto - visit every single temple. buy a blank book at one of them and receive every temple's symbol in calligraphy, painted by an artisan at each temple

must do: Kyoto - gyon matsuri festival

must do: buy a Japan Rail pass. It's cheaper for foreigners. Their cross-country high speed rail will take you almost everywhere, and you can use all of the municipal lines that are under JR, too.

must do: Nagoya - sumo tournament

must do: Tokyo - get drunk in Shinjuku with a bunch of strangers

don't do: go karts in tokyo. In fact, skip Akihabara altogether, no matter who tells you that you should go there.
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jonnybravo
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2021 7:56 pm    Post subject:

C M B wrote:
10 days if you can afford it

any time of year that Mt. Fuji is open for hiking to the summit

everything is magical. everything.

must do: climb mt. fuji. reserve a sleeping spot unless you want to do that monster hike in one go which I don't recommend unless you're well rested and have above-average fitness

must do: Kyoto - visit every single temple. buy a blank book at one of them and receive every temple's symbol in calligraphy, painted by an artisan at each temple

must do: Kyoto - gyon matsuri festival

must do: buy a Japan Rail pass. It's cheaper for foreigners. Their cross-country high speed rail will take you almost everywhere, and you can use all of the municipal lines that are under JR, too.

must do: Nagoya - sumo tournament

must do: Tokyo - get drunk in Shinjuku with a bunch of strangers

don't do: go karts in tokyo. In fact, skip Akihabara altogether, no matter who tells you that you should go there.


Nice list. I'll probably take most of this advice when I make it out there.
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lakez34
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2021 9:01 pm    Post subject:

Everything CMB said.

1. Go as long as you can but 10 to 15 days would be great. They have JR Rail Passes for. foreigners that are discounted and are usually 7 or 14 days long if I remember right. Try to max your usage of them.
2. I've been in the winter (Dec to Jan) and it can be rainy or snowy dependent on city but the sights are less crowded and rain is hit or miss. I've been during Cherry Blossom season and I thought the weather was great and the festivities were nice as well. I've also been off peak and it was fine. Just avoid summer and their monsoon period. Hot and humid with typhoons that will make the trip not as enjoyable.
3. Go to smaller temples. I really enjoyed Kyoto but not just the big temples, the smaller ones where locals go. Very nice to see customs and social behaviors. Go to local (outside of the tourist area) restaurants, practice some Japanese and get an amazing service and culinary experience.

I think if time allows do a 2 day visit and stay at an onsen somewhere.
4. Don't care for Akihabara in Tokyo. Don't care much for main parts of Shinjuku either but worth seeing. The ramen or cup o noodles museum in Yokohama is a waste of time.
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XTC
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2021 9:56 pm    Post subject:

As of Oct 1st, they’re reducing the 14 days quarantine to 10 days for travelers who’ve been vaccinated with Moderna, Pfizer, and AZ (sorry J&J + SinoPharm). At least for now, you’ll need to account for 10 days of quarantine in some facility before you’re able to start sightseeing.


https://www.jrailpass.com/blog/coronavirus-covid-19-advisory-info#Reduced_quarantine_for_fully_vaccinated_travelers
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jonnybravo
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2021 10:08 pm    Post subject:

Isn't there a place that's like the mecca for anime fans?
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2021 10:10 pm    Post subject:

XTC wrote:
As of Oct 1st, they’re reducing the 14 days quarantine to 10 days for travelers who’ve been vaccinated with Moderna, Pfizer, and AZ (sorry J&J + SinoPharm). At least for now, you’ll need to account for 10 days of quarantine in some facility before you’re able to start sightseeing.


https://www.jrailpass.com/blog/coronavirus-covid-19-advisory-info#Reduced_quarantine_for_fully_vaccinated_travelers


Looks like the US is still banned no?
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XTC
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2021 2:55 am    Post subject:

jonnybravo wrote:
XTC wrote:
As of Oct 1st, they’re reducing the 14 days quarantine to 10 days for travelers who’ve been vaccinated with Moderna, Pfizer, and AZ (sorry J&J + SinoPharm). At least for now, you’ll need to account for 10 days of quarantine in some facility before you’re able to start s̶i̶g̶h̶t̶s̶e̶e̶i̶n̶g̶.


https://www.jrailpass.com/blog/coronavirus-covid-19-advisory-info#Reduced_quarantine_for_fully_vaccinated_travelers


Looks like the US is still banned no?


According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, yes the US is still on the list of restricted countries. Had been hoping the reduction meant they’re reopening for tourism, but apparently not.

Entry is a possibility for “work/school/special exemptions/family reasons” at this time. So a US citizen may be granted an entry permit if they’re traveling to Japan for one of those reasons.

Looks like the folks in the r/JapanTravel subreddit are now pushing trips to mid-2022 in anticipation of some changes to the restrictions.
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Halflife
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2021 10:26 am    Post subject:

2022 has always been the plan. I really appreciate the posts. I’ve travelled but I’m am certainly not someone who couldn’t live without it but Japan has always been on the bucket list. The people, culture, art and especially food are among my favorites and having an 11yr old whose closest friends are Japanese and his begging to go make this a no brainer.
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Ogrounder
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2021 11:26 am    Post subject:

A week or so.
As for the sights, make sure to visit any sumo tournament
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Omar Little
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2021 3:59 pm    Post subject:

Get off the beaten path and get some authentic yaki soba. I could live on authentic yaki soba (and/or pho, but that’s a different subject).
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2021 4:03 pm    Post subject:

Hiroshima is worth the visit. As is Okinawa (plenty of ww2 era sites to visit). The north island (Hokkaido) is a very different slice of Japan. Tokyo is overrated in many ways. Worth seeing, but much of the beauty of Japan is outside that huge metropolis.
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mykolbeta
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2021 5:03 pm    Post subject:

It really depends. 2 weeks if you're just in and around Tokyo. Add another week if you're going to Osaka, Kyoto, etc.

I went in July 2019, to avoid the 2020 Olympics crowd...

I've been wanting to go back ever since but now I'm just eagerly waiting for them to open back up. At the earliest Spring 2022 might be plausible but not likely. So hopefully summer 2022 is a go.
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DaMuleRules
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2021 5:15 pm    Post subject:

CMBs list is spot on. The only things I would add would be to stay a night in a traditional ryokan up in old Kyoto to really get a taste of the Japanese experience. And try to get off the beaten path and visit a village somewhere well outside of the urban areas. It’s a very different world.
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Shaolin's Finest
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2021 8:30 pm    Post subject:

You guys think Japan will open for tourists in 2022?
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jonnybravo
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2021 8:48 pm    Post subject:

Is winter a good season to go? I'm looking at pictures of Rryokan's in the snow and it's breathtaking.
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