We’re Going to Japan!

Update on Japan 10/26

We went with Rentafone Japan because of their lower rates. They bill at the end so we’ll see what that means and let you guys know.

Instead of an electronic translator we went with the Lonely Planet Phrase Book at the recommendation of a friend at work.

We are staying in Daiba at the Le Meridian Grand Pacific – we used Starwoods points for the trip except for the last night. I though we would get more points for the wedding, but it turns out you get 1 point for 3 dollars when it is a meeting and 3 points for a dollar when you are Platinum.

We are flying Delta on miles, we opted to go coach instead of first class since we could go for free on miles.

We have been buying a lot of stuff for the trip – We both bought Clarks boots. They are the Mucker’s line so they are comfortable for walking, waterproof for the fish market, and still nice enough looking so that we don’t have to bring dress shoes (rather I won’t, Erin will probably bring shoes).

We are not bringing a GPS, we have a map instead. We did buy compasses though.

ATMs in Post Offices, big hotels, and at the Airport take cards represented by the common American banks (Cirrus, STAR, Plus). We put travel alerts on our credit cards so that they don’t get blocked when we are traveling (note, Downey Savings did not have this option).

I bought a ScotteVest Evolution jacket instead of a vest to carry everything in. It is not a very stylish jacket according to the reviewer in the Boston Globe, but it is waterproof and carries everything. We also bought waistband pockets to stash valuables in.


Okay, so Tokyo is a weird place to go for a honeymoon, but we aren’t exactly normal.

We need all sorts of advice. We don’t plan to travel that much but to take one day trips.

Here are the essentials http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/arrange/essential/index.html.

Which place is the best to rent cell phones? Do I go with this recommendation? I am interested in this one. Are there cheaper ones, better places? http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/arrange/essential/telephone.html.

Is there a GPS unit that I can get to download Japanese maps? I like the Nuvi and hear I can download some, but it isn’t clear.

What is the best translator unit? ECTACO Partner XL-1500? I heard these are for learning languages and a Lingo would be enough.

I heard from George that ATMs don’t work in Japan. http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2208.html

We are planning to go to the fish market, Mt. Fuji Lakes and Hakone, Akihabara http://www.akihabara-tour.com/en/index.htm, gardens at the Imperial Palace among other places.

I plan to buy a Nakaya pen and visit the Pilot Pen Station. Maybe go antiquing.

Japanese airline rules are similar to the US’s http://www.mlit.go.jp/koku/03_information/13_motikomiseigen/poster.pdf.

Here is a page about low cost alternatives http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/arrange/attractions/affordable/index.html. There are also 100 yen shops.

Here are “Welcome Cards,” essentially coupons for tourists: http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/arrange/essential/welcome.html.

Erin told me about the free tours: http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/arrange/essential/guideservice.html.



One Reply to “We’re Going to Japan!”

  1. i lived there for a year, right in tokyo. then again, (1) that was about six years ago and (2) you may not see this until you get back.

    * atms? it’s better that you look specifically for the citibank centers / atms in most of the major areas. getting money out of the other local banks can be a right pain in the butt.

    * if you are travelling outside of major cities or going to smaller places, be prepared cash-wise. esp if you are going to ryokan. those were mostly cash-only and you could only withdraw $500 / day so plan accordingly.

    * 1-day trips? nara, nikko, hakone. simple. most depart out of shinjuku station.

    i had a lot of people come to visit me while i was living out there. i pretty much had a stock 4-day tourist agenda for those visitors. it’s here at: http://www.ttsai.net/2005/11/stuff-you-must-do-in-tokyo-if-youre-there/

    good luck. i love tokyo.

    osaka and kyoto, i went to once and really want to go back to that.

    do not forget yokohama. it’s a great little day trip outside of tokyo. the raumen museum, yes, but also the port area.

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