Well you’re probably scratching your heads with the title of this blog post, and if we’re honest we weren’t sure if it was too late to do this either.
However, our trip to Japan last June was one of the highlights of our year (apart from baby Finn of course), and we know that many of you are heading to this amazing country yourselves soon, so we thought WHY NOT!
We managed to get a fantastic deal from Melbourne on Jetstar to the capital city of Tokyo for around $400 return! So make sure you keep your eyes peeled when they have their deals as some of them are incredible.
Even though our trip was over 6 months ago now, we wanted to quickly put together some of our favourite snaps and also our top tips for anyone heading that way in the future.
E & J
Tip 1- Research
We’re the type of travelers that like to research as much as we can before we head away on holiday, and yes we are the spreadsheet type! We think this is really important if you’re going to a bigger country and have little time.
So make sure you take note of all the things you want to see and do in Japan.
One thing we did was create a google map where we could pin all of the things we wanted to see and do. That way we’d know if there was 4 or 5 things that we wanted to see in one area that we could do it all in one go.
Tip 2- Get Out Of Tokyo
While Tokyo is obviously an amazing city, there are SO many other beautiful places to see in this country! We were lucky enough to travel down to Osaka and then do a day trip to Kyoto when we first arrived, and honestly I think we both wish we’d had just a little bit more time.
So make sure you plan your time in Tokyo, but get a short internal flight, or the bullet train somewhere different as well!
Tip 4- The Train System
Now the train system, especially in Tokyo, can be quite daunting and by the end of our trip we still managed to get on the wrong train. (Not great when you have a flight to catch) So I know one thing that we would do differently is do a bit more research on the train systems before we left. I know that there’s also a train pass that you can buy for a certain period of time- if you’re catching the train a lot then this could be a cheaper option. However, make sure you look at the fine print as they didn’t cover some train lines.
Tip 5- Eating Out
You can easily get overwhelmed by the amount of people on the streets of Japan with giant boards and neon signs trying to get you into their restaurants. Sometimes these can be a bit of a tourist trap with prices that are much higher than usual or they’ll add a service charge to your bill at the end.
We found that if you actually google restaurants in the area you’re in then you will get places like Trip Adviser pop up with some great ideas! We found a gorgeous ramen shop and a teppanyaki restaurant, both underground with no proper signage- but filled with locals! You would have never known they were there without researching it.
Also make sure you try out some of the yummy street food that is up for offer, you won’t regret it.
Tip 6- Get Walking
Get some good walking shoes! We knew that Tokyo was big, however, you really don’t understand this until you’re there. We did a huge amount of walking and what kept us going was having a good pair of shoes. Plus walking everywhere meant that you found amazing hidden gems along the way.
Tip 7- Disneyland vs Disney Sea
We REALLY struggled with this before we left. Everyone had told us that Disney Sea was a better theme park for people our age, but we are such HUGE Disneyland fans that we felt like we had to do the original.
For anyone that was following our stories at the time, you would have seen that we ended up doing both- which we personally don’t regret, but would we go back to Disneyland Tokyo again, probably not.
So even if you’re a die-hard Disneyland fan like us, we’d suggest just doing Disney Sea.
Tip 8- Find your nearest Don Quijote!
We cannot even tell you how many of these shops we stopped at! They are just floors of absolute shopping goodness. If you’re looking for anything from snacks to beauty products, tech items to clothing, Don Quijote has it all. Plus if you’re going to Osaka then make sure you visit the Mega Store with the giant ferris wheel that goes around the outside.
Tip 9- Accommodation
Japan is known for its compact living spaces, and that’s no different when it comes to finding accommodation.
If you’re looking for a fancy hotel, with a large room for you and a pool, then be prepared to fork out big bucks!
Our accommodation in both Osaka and Tokyo was small and compact (we could barely lay our suitcases on the floor), but clean and tidy.
Tip 10- Tea Houses
This is one of the things were 100% regret not doing! A traditional tea ceremony is a must for your trip to Japan.