Saturday, December 22, 2012

Japan Planning

I think ever since I got into Anime, I've been wanting to go to visit Japan. I wanted to see Ghibli studio/museum every since they aired Kiki 's Flying Delivery service in the US. Plus, I was huge Kirsten Dunst fan back in the late 90's. I even planned my childhood dream trip to the Kanto region and stay in Denen-chofu area where they have Sanrio Strawberry House right outside of Tokyo. Then I would take the JR bus to Ghibli and also wanted go the Sealife park as well. Well now that I'm older there are lot more things I wanna do and see when I save up to go buy me a ticket to "Land of the Rising Sun.

 JR Train Pass


When can I buy a pass?
3 months before the date of  the trip.

When is the best time reserved seats for Shinkansen?
Non-Holidays/Matsuri (Festivals)/New Years Seasons

*Seat reservations cost roughly 300 to 700 yen, but are free with the Japan Rail Pass.


Which pass should I choose?

There is a Green/First class and Ordinary/Coach class pass, which includes 7-day, 14-day, or 21-day standard passes.

Where can I can buy it?
JTB is where you can buy exchange order/voucher.Then you can redeem it once you get to Japan at a
Japan Rail Pass Exchange Office.

For the Tokyo/Kanto area, you want to apply for JR East passes, which includes 5-day, a 10-day, a Flexible 4-day PASS.

What other transportation can you use the pass for?
JR most local lines (kakueki-teisha or futsu-densha)
JR local/HWY Bus lines
JR Ferries
  
What other documents do I need when I exchange my order/voucher?
Tourist Visa/Student Visa/ Working Visa...
You can acquire a visa when you land in Japan you may be charged fee(s).
 But check your Countries Embassy Policies for more information about acquiring a Visa.


 *As of July 2013, Japan had taken measures concerning the Visa Exemption Arrangements with 66 countries and regions as the chart below.
Nationals and citizens of those countries and regions shown below are not required to obtain a visa to enter Japan when the purpose of their visit is tourism, commerce, a conference, visit to relatives/ acquaintances, etc. However, when foreign national engages in paid activities in Japan, or the period of stay stipulated in each arrangement of short-term stay, visas will be required to enter Japan.

・Period of Stay
 The period of stay granted at the time of the landing permission shall be the shortest period out of "15 days," "30 days" or "90 days," that is long enough to cover the purpose of the stay of the foreign national. (for nationals of Brunei and Thailand is 15 days) 

 *A visa is NOT necessary for US passport holders visiting Japan for a short-term stay of less than 90 days with the purpose of tourism and business. 
USA's Japan Embassy
http://www.us.emb-japan.go.jp/english/html/travel_and_visa/travel_and_visa_index.htm


Convenience Cards / Prepaid Cards


If your planing on doing multiple trips to Japan throughout your life time especially those who have no credit to begin with and want to go to Japan then these cards are truly right for you. These cards are available at card vending machines at the train stations.

Suica, which is a rechargeable contactless smart card used as a fare card on train lines in Japan. While Suica's primary usage is as a fare card for currently in the Kantō region, at JR East stations near Sendai and Niigata (transportation services), it can also be used as electronic money for general purchases. a version called Mobile Suica has been incorporated into mobile FeliCa wallet phones by Japan's mobile operators such as to recharge the Suica card stored in the mobile phone, allows for Suica charges to be added directly to the phone bill, eliminating the requirement to constantly add to and monitor the remaining balance.

The card can also be used interchangeably with JR West's ICOCA card in the (JR West rail network) Kansai region and San'yō region in Okayama, Hiroshima, and Yamaguchi Prefectures, and also with JR Central's TOICA. JR Kyushu's SUGOCA, Nishitetsu's Nimoca, and Fukuoka City Subway's Hayakaken area in Fukuoka City and its suburb areas. The card is also increasingly being accepted as a form of electronic money for purchases at stores and kiosks, especially within train stations.

Also, Suica is completely interchangeable with the Pasmo card another rechargeable contactless smart card ticketing system for public transport.Pasmo is a development of the Passnet system used by many non JR railway lines in the Tokyo region. The system offers interoperability with the JR East



You can also rent a Sim Cards or a Phone if  you want get in touch with friend or family during your stay in Japan which you can in the Airport.



Here are are some popular carriers in Japan:

Softbank
Docomo
KDDI
NEC

What other technical stuff I need to know?
Most signs are written in Kanji and Hirgana so you might want to bush up on those characters but some do have English but it might be in Romanji.

Airports

Haneda Airport to Tokyo
Bus 46 mins
Train 55-115mins

Narita Airport to Tokyo
Train 2hrs.

Top Tokyo Resting Spots

Standard Hotels

 "The word hotel is derived from the French hôtel (coming from hôte meaning host), which referred to a French version of a townhouse or any other building seeing frequent visitors, rather than a place offering accommodation. In contemporary French usage, hôtel now has the same meaning as the English term, and hôtel particulier is used for the old meaning. The French spelling, with the circumflex, was also used in English, but is now rare. The circumflex replaces the 's' found in the earlier hostel spelling, which over time took on a new, but closely related meaning. Grammatically, hotels usually take the definite article – hence "The Astoria Hotel" or simply "The Astoria."

Other Types Hotels

"Love hotels can usually be identified using symbols such as hearts and the offer of a room rate for a "rest" (休憩 kyūke) as well as for an overnight stay The period of a "rest" varies, typically ranging from one to three hours. Cheaper daytime off-peak rates are common. In general, reservations are not possible, leaving the hotel will forfeit access to the room, and overnight stay rates only become available after 10:00 p.m. These hotels may be used for prostitution, although they are sometimes used by budget-travelers sharing accommodation. Love hotel architecture is sometimes garish, with buildings shaped like castles, boats or UFOs and lit with neon lighting. However, some more recent love hotels are very ordinary looking buildings, distinguished mainly by having small, covered, or even no windows.?


Love Hotels 

 Romance hotel

Fashion hotel

Leisure hotel

 Amusement hotel
3.Royal Hotel (Hello Kitty)

 Couples hotel
1.Tokyo Kiba Hotel (Capsule Hotel)

Boutique hotel
[Tokyo Sumidagawa Youth Hostel]

Hostels 

"Hostels provide budget oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels may include a hot meal in the price. Hostels are generally cheaper for both the operator and the occupants; many hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk clerks or housekeeping staff in exchange for free accommodation."



 Ryokan/ Inn

"A ryokan (旅館) is a type of traditional Japanese inn that originated in the Edo period (1603–1868), when such inns served travelers along Japan's highways. They typically feature tatami-matted rooms, communal baths, and other public areas where visitors may wear yukata and talk with the owner.Ryokan are difficult to find in Tokyo and other large cities because many are expensive compared to hotels, and Japanese people increasingly use hotels for urban tourism. Nonetheless, some major cities do have reasonably priced ryokan, with some costing as little as $40 a night. However, ryokan are more typically located in scenic areas, such as in the mountains or by the sea, and tend to be more expensive."

"Minshuku (民宿) are a budget version of ryokan, roughly equivalent to a British boarding house or a bed and breakfast. The facilities are similar to a hotel or may simply consist of spare rooms in a family home. Minshuku often serve as the only type of accommodation in towns or villages too small to warrant a dedicated hotel or ryokan. The overall experience is much the same, but the food is simpler, dining may be optional and is often communal, rooms do not usually have a private toilet, and guests may have to lay out their own bedding."

 Onsen(Hots springs/bath houses)

"An onsen (温泉) is a term for hot springs in the Japanese language, though the term is often used to describe the bathing facilities and inns around the hot springs. As a volcanically active country, Japan has thousands of onsen scattered along its length and breadth. Onsen were traditionally used as public bathing places and today play a central role in directing Japanese domestic tourism.Onsen come in many types and shapes, including outdoor (露天風呂 or 野天風呂 roten-buro or noten-buro) and indoor baths. Baths may be either public run by a municipality or private (内湯 uchiyu) often run as part of a hotel, ryokan or bed and breakfast (民宿 minshuku)."


Online Sites

Exciting things to do around Tokyo:

Tokyo/Chiyoda 

Kanda Shrine 

Cool Maid Cafes

1.Danso Cafe (handsome women)
2.Popopure
3.Royal Milk 
4.St. Grace's Court(nun)

 North

1.Bandai Museum(1000 yen)(A-Day Trip)
2.Namco Namjatown(300-3900 yen)
3.Ikeburko
     Depachika:Tobu, Seibu
     Owl statue
     Pokemon Center Mega Tokyo
     Toyota Amlux Building
4.Tokyo University
5.Ueno/ Taito/ Asakusa
     Senso-ji Temple
     Asakusa Shrine 

     Zoo(600 yen)/Park
6.Tokyo Dome/Hotel
7.Akihabara
     Eorzea Cafe (Final Fantasy)
     Popopure Cafe & Animation Studio(couple blocks north-west from the station)
     AKB48 Cafe and Shop
     Gundam Cafe
     Tokyo Anime Center

 Maid Cafe for all you Otaku:

    1. Cure Maid  Cafe
    2.Cafe Mailish
    3.Candy Fruit Strawbery Cafe
    4.Cafe @ home
     Tsudere Cafe 
    1. Little Sister Maid Cafe
    2. Nagomi Bar & Cafe
    3. Cafe and Kitchen Cos-Cha

West

1.Shin-Okuno (Korea Town)
2.Shinjuku
    Depachika: Takashimaya, Isetan 
    LOVE Statue
    Hoshoji Temple

    Artnia Square Enix Cafe
    Namco’s Ani-ON! Station: Sailor Moon Cafe
3.Yoyogi 
4.Tama
      Sanrio Puroland (3000yen)

5.Tama Themed Train Lines (Run from Wakayama and Kishi station)
      Tama Train
      Ichigo (Strawberry) Train 
      Omocha (Toy) Train.

South-West

1.Shibuya
      Depachika:Tokyu Toyoko-ten
      The Infamous Kabukichou(Red Light Distrist)
      ButlerScape Cafe
      Alice in Wonderland Restaurant 

      Hachikō Statue
      Gyaru (GAL) Cafe
      Shibuya 109
      PARCO
      LOFT
      Kawaii Monster Cafe
      Harajuku
      Meji Shrine
      NHK
      Togo Shrine
      Yogogi Hachiman Shrine
      SUNDAY JAM: My Little Pony Cafe
2.Roppongi
3.Mitaka
       Ghibli Museum(1000 yen)

South

1.Ginza
      Sony Building
      Depachika:Mitsukoshi,
                          Matsuya
2. Minato
        Tokyo Tower 
        Rainbow Bridge
        Pokemon Center 
        Myogonji Temple
3.Denen-chofu 
      Sanrio Strawberry House
3.Yokohama
4. Fuji Q land
    Evangelion World 
    Thomasland
4.Mt. Fuji (A-Day Trip)

South-East

1.Tsukji
     Tsukji Fish Market
2.Daiba 
     Lego land Discovery Centre Tokyo (1500-2000yen)
     Joypolis(800yen)
     Fuji TV
3. Chou-Ku
       Depachika: Nihonbashi Takashimaya, Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi,

East

1.Koto 
     Gundam Front Tokyo/ Cafe(1000yen)
(this where you can find the large scale Gundam model)
2. Kasai Rinkai Park
3. Tokyo Sealife Park(700 yen)
4. Tokyo Disneyland(6200yen)

North-East 

 1.Sumida 
      Tokyo Skytree
2. Chiba
       Sweet Paradise Cafe


Here is my specialty made plan guide (I love looking at maps a lot lol)  I made this a year ago because I thought I would be able go soon but I hope this planned helps you but it's pretty geared to girls but kept you males in mind as well. 



Hint: To go around, all of these sites I've listed, Tokyo takes about a 3 weeks to a month.

More fun guides:

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