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Japan Dec20/Jan21


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#1 AnaBeavenhauser

Posted 13 November 2019 - 01:24 PM

Hi all,

I am in the very early stages of planning a family Holiday to Japan Dec 2020/Jan 2021

1 Adult, 2 children 13 & 12 (ages at time of travel)

We live in Cairns and can fly direct to Tokyo or Osaka via Jetstar for approx. $1200 each return.

Essentially we want to experience;
Tokyo - old and new - Robot restaurants, Harajuku fashion, cat cafes, new technology, temples, historical areas.
Snow - maybe try skiing but essential to see snow for a couple of days more so, kids have never seen snow.
Bullet train
Torn about Disneyland/Universal - I am thinking Universal might be more appealing to this age bracket.


Anyone done similar and able give me a rough itinerary, recommendations and an idea of how much I will need to put aside to afford this?

TIA

#2 iwanttosleepin

Posted 13 November 2019 - 09:40 PM

Just remember it will be cold!
We ski almost every year in Japan.  We do a few days Tokyo/Osaka and then go skiing so we have the gear for it.  Uni qlo jackets are excellent.

Do not pay$1200 each with Jetstar from Cairns.  Wait for a sale and pay well under $500 return each.  I’ve done cairns- Tokyo about 6 times and most paid was $500.  I think one time we paid about $300.  Be patient and a sale will come.

Tokyo accomodation is expensive. Although you may squish into one room so looking at 250 ish per night. Food about same price as Australia. Skiing is expensive.  I try not to think about it.  But if you wanted a cheaper ski experience try Madarao.  There is a lodge called ‘chill’.  The owner is Australian and she will help with everything. She has family rooms.

Train to ski resort around $100 each.  12 is adult for trains in Japan. As an idea we have one family with us.  Similar to yours.  1 adult. 2 teenagers and 5 nights. 4 days skiing costs ¥261000.  This includes lift tickets, ski hire and accommodation with breakfast.  Ski lessons about $100 per person per day extra.

I am sure if you wanted to see snow you could go to somewhere like Nagano.  

When we go in jan 2020 we are doing the Ghibli museum and the light museum.  Plus the Ninja Restaurant. (2 days only and our kids are 5, 11 and 14).
We’ve done Tokyo Disney.  In January.  It was cold, so so cold! And busy. Haven’t done universal.

#3 Sunshine streaming

Posted 13 November 2019 - 09:48 PM

I've done Universal and Disney with similar aged kids and would definitely skip Disney. My boys much prefer thrill rides and that's what you get at Universal.

Cool area to check out in Tokyo is Shimokitazawa.

Make sure you visit Kyoto as well as Tokyo.

#4 got my tinsel on

Posted 13 November 2019 - 10:26 PM

DD (then 17) went to Japan on a school trip almost three years ago in April.

I think she enjoyed Universal more than Disneyland but really had a good time at both.

Skiing at Nazawa Onsen Snow Resort - you may need to check if they have snow for your planned time or if it falls later in the season.

She loved Kyoto and Osaka.

Also Hiroshima and Miyajima Island (ferry ride from Hiroshima)

#5 little lion

Posted 14 November 2019 - 05:39 AM

Fuji Q Highland is another amusement park to consider with older children.

In picking a Tokyo base, choosing something walking distance to a station on the Yamanote-sen (Yamanote line) makes things easier.

#6 kerilyntaryn

Posted 14 November 2019 - 05:59 AM

You can get great priced accom through airbnb, we were there 3 weeks last Dec,Jan and the Dec before. We got snow whilst in Kyoto and Nagano had picture postcard snow. We got the Japan rail pass before we went. 7 elevens, family mart and lawson have cheap meals. Our kids went to Pokemon and kingdom hearts places. It's an experience to go to the shibuyu crossing, and the kids loved electric town (Shinjuku).  Hiroshima is an interesting place to visit and Nara is too.  Osaka is a wonderful city to explore too
Some places to visit Sensoji Temple, Kinkaku Temple (The Golden Temple, Tokyo Tower, Imperial palace
Dress in a Kimono, stay in a traditional home. So much to see and do, such a lovely place and lovely people

Edited by kerilyntaryn, 14 November 2019 - 06:16 AM.


#7 Crazyone26989

Posted 14 November 2019 - 08:12 AM

Don’t pay $1200! That’s the most I’ve ever paid and that’s from Sydney with JAL during April school holidays!

#8 Crazyone26989

Posted 14 November 2019 - 08:18 AM

Also, I adore Disneyland but with those ages I’d look at Disney Sea as an option - the adults can also drink while you are there LOL.

If you plan to go to Osaka/Kyoto then the train pass would probably be worth it. If you look up the route (ie Tokyo to Osaka) on google maps it actually tells you how much a trip would cost on the bullet train so you can compare the cost. I’d personally just stay in Osaka and do day trips to Kyoto and Nara but I’ve done the traditional ryokan and personally can’t stand the crowds in Kyoto.

I’d allow 3-4 days in Osaka area. I’d also do 3-4 days in Tokyo but I love Tokyo as we lived there for 5 years and we spend over a week there every year with family.

#9 born.a.girl

Posted 14 November 2019 - 08:49 AM

Definitely don't pay that much!  We are paying $1900 return business from Melbourne.  In to Osaka and out of Tokyo.  Jetstar recently had a sale whereby you got return airfares free (but in and out of same airport).

That would be worth thinking about, going in to one and out of another.

Remember the Kansai airport is not in Osaka, it's part way down the peninsula. Perfect for us as we're doing the Kumano Kodo down that peninsula but you'd need to add time to get back to Osaka and the flight doesn't get in until about 7:30pm.


Pinching some of these other ideas for our trip, too. Must start a thread some day soon for advice from the Japan experts here.

Edited by born.a.girl, 14 November 2019 - 08:50 AM.


#10 kerilyntaryn

Posted 14 November 2019 - 11:08 AM

Narita is a long way from central Tokyo too, Osaka was closer to the airport, depends where you stay

#11 Crazyone26989

Posted 14 November 2019 - 11:23 AM

View Postkerilyntaryn, on 14 November 2019 - 11:08 AM, said:

Narita is a long way from central Tokyo too, Osaka was closer to the airport, depends where you stay

Yes, agreed. I find it easier to get from Kansai Airport to Osaka than Narita to certain parts of Tokyo.

#12 iwanttosleepin

Posted 14 November 2019 - 12:25 PM

Don’t worry too much about the distances between Tokyo, Osaka and the airports.  All are doable and the trains are quick and easy.

From cairns you choose Narita ( Tokyo) or Kansai (Osaka) Terminal 3 at Narita (where Jetstar goes) is dismal but the flight is cheap.  I went child free last year and did Osaka, Kyoto and Nara.  Travel around and between was easy.

The flight to Tokyo from cairns is more reliable.  Osaka less so.  If it’s not full Jetstar is prone to cancelling and putting you on the Tokyo flight.

#13 born.a.girl

Posted 14 November 2019 - 12:40 PM

View Postiwanttosleepin, on 14 November 2019 - 12:25 PM, said:

Don’t worry too much about the distances between Tokyo, Osaka and the airports.  All are doable and the trains are quick and easy.

From cairns you choose Narita ( Tokyo) or Kansai (Osaka) Terminal 3 at Narita (where Jetstar goes) is dismal but the flight is cheap.  I went child free last year and did Osaka, Kyoto and Nara.  Travel around and between was easy.

The flight to Tokyo from cairns is more reliable.  Osaka less so.  If it’s not full Jetstar is prone to cancelling and putting you on the Tokyo flight.

Knowing Jetstar's reputation, I've allowed for some fat before our Kumano Kodo hike so an extra day won't be an issue except for a lost hotel booking.

Jetstar are the reason I commented on Kix being out of Osaka.  I had a look on a couple of random days, and it was as much as two hours late. A bit more again and our transport will have stopped running.  I'll deal with that if it happens. :)

Not looking forward to Narita.

#14 iwanttosleepin

Posted 14 November 2019 - 12:49 PM

That said. I personally have never had any problem with Jetstar to Japan....

#15 yeah

Posted 14 November 2019 - 02:10 PM

My DD (22) is in Japan at the moment. She has done Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka.

She loved universal (especially Harry Potter world) but thought Disney Sea was the biggest waste of time and money.

Can’t wait to pick her up from the airport tomorrow morning.

#16 Crazyone26989

Posted 14 November 2019 - 02:19 PM

View Postborn.a.girl, on 14 November 2019 - 12:40 PM, said:



Knowing Jetstar's reputation, I've allowed for some fat before our Kumano Kodo hike so an extra day won't be an issue except for a lost hotel booking.

Jetstar are the reason I commented on Kix being out of Osaka.  I had a look on a couple of random days, and it was as much as two hours late. A bit more again and our transport will have stopped running.  I'll deal with that if it happens. :)

Not looking forward to Narita.

Re Kansai Airport there are also airport buses that run until 12.30 am ish and it wouldn’t be too much to grab a taxi from the drop off point to a hotel.

You’d run into issues getting trains at either Narita or Kansai if the flight was 4 or more hours late.

ETA I should add that I don’t think it likely to run into issues just that either airport would have similar problems in the event of a very late flight

Edited by Crazyone26989, 14 November 2019 - 02:19 PM.


#17 born.a.girl

Posted 14 November 2019 - 02:44 PM

View PostCrazyone26989, on 14 November 2019 - 02:19 PM, said:

Re Kansai Airport there are also airport buses that run until 12.30 am ish and it wouldn’t be too much to grab a taxi from the drop off point to a hotel.

You’d run into issues getting trains at either Narita or Kansai if the flight was 4 or more hours late.

ETA I should add that I don’t think it likely to run into issues just that either airport would have similar problems in the event of a very late flight

Thanks, we are going in the other direction to Wakayama, last bus 11pm.  Bus is door to door, train is changing trains, so haven't bothered to check that timetable, will do as a backup if needs be.

I like to have a vague idea of what I'll do if the worst comes to the worst - it rarely happens. If we get stuck in the airport overnight, well, at least we're undercover.

#18 Crazyone26989

Posted 14 November 2019 - 02:54 PM

View Postborn.a.girl, on 14 November 2019 - 02:44 PM, said:



Thanks, we are going in the other direction to Wakayama, last bus 11pm.  Bus is door to door, train is changing trains, so haven't bothered to check that timetable, will do as a backup if needs be.

I like to have a vague idea of what I'll do if the worst comes to the worst - it rarely happens. If we get stuck in the airport overnight, well, at least we're undercover.

Ah got it! Trains would probably stop around a similar time - most in Japan stop around midnight. You could always do a cab. Not cheap but probably around $150 or so.

#19 born.a.girl

Posted 14 November 2019 - 03:01 PM

View PostCrazyone26989, on 14 November 2019 - 02:54 PM, said:

Ah got it! Trains would probably stop around a similar time - most in Japan stop around midnight. You could always do a cab. Not cheap but probably around $150 or so.


Needs must sometimes on holidays!   Yes, we'd probably take a cab, if worst came to worst. Thanks for the cost hint!  I wouldn't have had a clue.

#20 IamOzgirl

Posted 18 November 2019 - 08:06 PM

Also, Japanese hotels/accom don't release rooms until approx 3mths before.

So I websites it might show that rooms are unavailable 4mths out. But they really aren't.

For an idea price up a trip as if you were going this year.

#21 LoveMyMuffins

Posted 18 November 2019 - 10:42 PM

How Long are you going for?

Firstly, Jetstar and scoot do cheap flights. $1200 is crazy! Keep an eye out for sales. And secondly, try flying into one city and out the other if you want to do both Osaka and Tokyo. And Haneda is much easier to get to than Narita in Tokyo. Although might not have flights to cairns from Haneda.

May I suggest you fly into Osaka? I love Osaka at Christmas. Beautiful! They go all out! More Christmas than Australia esp with the cold! Universal and LEGO land are near each other. Disneyland is much loved by us but Disney sea is rubbish.

We have stayed all over Osaka. Our favourite 1) grasmere Osaka hotel Monterey. Fantastic location! All the trains underground. Heaps of shops. A huge supermarket under the hotel. The bus from the airport stops at the bus terminal right next door to the hotel.

Second choice hotel Nikko. Across the  shinsaibashi shopping street.

From Osaka, you can train it to Nara to the famous deer Pak. Or to Kobe to see the himeji castle. You can also bullet train it to Hiroshima for a day trip.

From Osaka, Kyoto is on the way to Tokyo via bullet train. It is 15 mins. Kyoto is old city with lots of Temples! Must do. Google and pick the Temples that interest you. Bamboo grove in arashiyama. Bullet train it to Tokyo.

We have stayed all over Tokyo too. The day trip to Mount Fuji is A full day trip but absolutely worth it if you luck out and get a clear view. We did. It was unreal.

Food can be cheap if you eat local! Also loads of good stuff in the supermarket, family mart and Lawsons.

Go into a daiso!!

Some Things are cheaper there. Shoes for example, you get lovely leathers for $30-50 in the street shops. You also get Nikes for under $50. We stock up on kids shoes. Always pay $30/40 for Nikes. Uniqlo is cheaper.

Tokyo airport sells Royce chocolate made in Hokkaido. If you see it, buy it! Best chocolate in the world. We used to buy back for family and friends. Everyone loves it.

Always carry a little bag with you for rubbish. It’s getting better now but quite often you won’t find bins on the streets. Ppl keep their rubbish with them to bring back home to bin. Family mart and Lawson’s always have bins inside them.

The Japanese do amazing desserts! Go into the basements of Malls! So much food!

Oh and plenty of outlets all around osaka and Tokyo if you are into them.

Download the Google translate app. Plenty times, there are no English words on packages. Google will help you translate ingredients.

Local trains are easy to work out. Have fun using them!

Bullet train tickets must be bought outside japan for foreigners last we knew.

Have fun! Japan is amazing! I love it there. We try to go back every year or 2. We just moved to a new location now and are too far away to visit yearly!

Edited by LoveMyMuffins, 19 November 2019 - 02:50 PM.


#22 Crazyone26989

Posted 19 November 2019 - 05:18 AM

View PostLoveMyMuffins, on 18 November 2019 - 10:42 PM, said:

How Long are you going for?

Firstly, Jetstar and scoot do cheap flights. $1200 is crazy! Keep an eye out for sales. And secondly, try flying into one city and out the other if you want to do both Osaka and Tokyo. And Haneda is much easier to get to than Narita in Tokyo. Although might not have flights to cairns from Haneda.

May I suggest you fly into Osaka? I love Osaka at Christmas. Beautiful! They go all out! More Christmas than Australia esp with the cold! Universal and LEGO land are near each other. Disneyland is much loved by us but Disney sea is rubbish.

We have stayed all over Osaka. Our favourite 1) grasmere Osaka hotel Monterey. Fantastic location! All the trains underground. Heaps of shops. A huge supermarket under the hotel. The bus from the airport stops at the bus terminal right next door to the hotel.

Second choice hotel Nikko. Across the  shinsaibashi shopping street.

From Osaka, you can train it to Nara to the famous deer Pak. Or to Kobe to see the himeji castle. You can also bullet train it to Hiroshima for a day trip.

From Osaka, Kyoto is on the way to Tokyo via bullet train. It is 15 mins. Kyoto is old city with lots of Temples! Must do. Google and pick the Temples that interest you. Bamboo grove in arashiyama. Bullet train it to Tokyo.

We have stayed all over Tokyo too. The day trip to Mount Fuji is A full day trip but absolutely worth it if you luck out and get a clear view. We did. It was unreal.

Food can be cheap if you eat local! Also loads of good stuff in the supermarket, family mart and Lawsons.

Go into a daiso!!

Some Things are cheaper there. Shoes for example, you get lovely leathers for $30-50 in the street shops. You also get Nikes for under $50. We stock up on kids shoes. Always pay $30/40 for Nikes. Uniqlo is cheaper.

Tokyo airport sells Royce chocolate made in Hokkaido. If you see it, buy it! Best chocolate in the world. We used to buy back for family and friends. Everyone loves it.

Always carry a little bag with you for rubbish. It’s getting better now but quite often you won’t find bins on the streets. Ppl keep their rubbish with them to bring back home to bin. Family mart and Lawson’s always have bins inside them.

The Japs do amazing desserts! Go into the basements of Malls! So much food!

Oh and plenty of outlets all around osaka and Tokyo if you are into them.

Download the Google translate app. Plenty times, there are no English words on packages. Google will help you translate ingredients.

Local trains are easy to work out. Have fun using them!

Bullet train tickets must be bought outside japan for foreigners last we knew.

Have fun! Japan is amazing! I love it there. We try to go back every year or 2. We just moved to a new location now and are too far away to visit yearly!

Great information and advice but FGS for someone who apparently loves japan could you not use a racist slur? I am literally shaking with disgust.

#23 LoveMyMuffins

Posted 19 November 2019 - 03:08 PM

View PostCrazyone26989, on 19 November 2019 - 05:18 AM, said:



Great information and advice but FGS for someone who apparently loves japan could you not use a racist slur? I am literally shaking with disgust.

Thanks for pointing that out. I have changed it. I didn’t mean as a slur and I have a few Japanese friends, my generation who refer to themselves and other Japanese aa Js and I obviously have started thinking the same subconsciously! Bad.

Edited by LoveMyMuffins, 19 November 2019 - 10:12 PM.





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