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Two days in Japan

 
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GeminiTiger



Joined: 15 Oct 2004
Posts: 999
Location: China, 2005--Present

PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:43 am    Post subject: Two days in Japan Reply with quote

I'm going to be in Japan in two weeks for only two days on a requested layover. I'm going to arrive at NRT airport at 5pm and leave night later at 1pm.. I would like some suggestions on how to spend those 44 awesome hours.
Laughing

I've never been in Japan (outside the airport) and don't speak Japanese. I would like to see some iconic Japanese stuff either old or modern.

Thanks for all help.
-GT
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Solar Strength



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 560
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:55 am    Post subject: Re: Two days in Japan Reply with quote

GeminiTiger wrote:
I've never been in Japan (outside the airport) and don't speak Japanese. I would like to see some iconic Japanese stuff either old or modern.


44 hours.

What do you expect to see, in terms of iconic sites, in 44 hours? Keep in mind that you would need 3 hours alone, each way, just to go to and from Narita into, say, Tokyo. So take 6 - 7 hours for travel off of that 44 hours if you plan on venturing into Tokyo or Yokohama and you're left with about 35 hours, roughly.

You could check out Shinjuku and Shibuya, I guess and have a walk around Harajuku. It depends when you get into Tokyo and when you have to be back at Narita. Stay in a capsule hotel for the night.

Does Chiba have any "iconic Japanese stuff"?
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GeminiTiger



Joined: 15 Oct 2004
Posts: 999
Location: China, 2005--Present

PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not really enlightened on what is iconic Japanese stuff either to be honest. Stuff in the back of my mind-- I would like to see a temple, a video arcade, an anime store and something like "downtown Tokyo" that might conjure up images of an alternate plane of existence of Times Square.
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kah5217



Joined: 29 Sep 2012
Posts: 265
Location: Ibaraki

PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Then you are lucky- there is a temple right in Narita that you can visit.
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nightsintodreams



Joined: 18 May 2010
Posts: 314

PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do a google search or read a travel guide.
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GeminiTiger



Joined: 15 Oct 2004
Posts: 999
Location: China, 2005--Present

PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nightsintodreams wrote:
Do a google search or read a travel guide.

I am doing this, however on the ground, real-time experience should not be overlooked and has been useful in the past in other countries and other forums.

I'm still looking for specifics, including a hotel ($50/night), suggested transport methods and specific things that would be cool to see.
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sicklyman



Joined: 02 Feb 2013
Posts: 421

PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GeminiTiger wrote:
specific things that would be cool to see.

tourists to japan, particularly Tokyo, often make this mistake. Japan is one of the few countries in the world where normal street life is often more interesting for newbie tourists than top listed guide book destinations. If I were you I would just get into tokyo, emerge from the ground, make sure I know how to get back to the train and just start walking until my time runs out. Accommodation? Have you tried couchsurfing.org? Capsule hotel if you have to pay for it... or you might be able to find a 24 hour onsen so you can have a Japanese bath experience and then just collapse on a tatami mat and sleep for a few hours.
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 867

PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, my suggestions, for what it's worth. Arrive NRT, head to the train station, get the Suica Nex return package for Y5,500. That'll get you a return ticket on the Narita Express (bullet train experience) and Y1,500 on a Suica card which is a pre-pay travel card you can use on the various trains, metro, buses in London.

Head into town on the Nex, stop for a photo op in Tokyo station. Find somewhere to stay (sorry can't help with that bit), either central or handy for the Yamanote line, you could look round the Ueno area, it's sometimes a bit cheaper over there. That evening head to Shibuya/Shinjuku for a look at the city at night and see the typical city scenes, e.g. the big crossing at Shibuya. Get dinner.

Next day get up early and here's two possible options.

1) Head to Ueno park for a short walk. Then go to the Tokyo skytree and have a wander round there. You can go up the Skytree if you are feeling flush, (I've never bothered) but the area round the base is interesting for a quick look at a modern Japanese tourist attraction. Then head over to Asakusa, wander round there to get your fill of old style Japan, temples and whatnot. Depending what day it is you might be able to join one of the tourist office's free walking tours. Eat in Asakusa, you'll be spoilt for choice.

2) Alternatively, if you'd rather do less, and spend more time in places, spend the day around the Omotesando area, visit Meji shrine, Yoyogi Park, Takeshite street, down to the designer hell of Omotesando Hills, checking out the architecture on the way.

Back to your hotel ready to go back the airport in the morning. If you have money left on your travel card you can get a refund at the airport train station, less a couple of hundred yen service charge.

Either of those would give you a pretty broad range of sites in a short period.
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GeminiTiger



Joined: 15 Oct 2004
Posts: 999
Location: China, 2005--Present

PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the advice, especially the last poster. I have purchased my tickets now and I'm on the way to Japan in just one week. Any last minute tips or advice would be greatly appreciated too.

domo
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TokyoLiz



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1073
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the advice so far - See Narita-san, right there in Narita City, if you'd like to see a temple town and experience life on the street. That's worth it for one afternoon.

Head to Shinjuku, go up the tower in the metropolitan building at night.

Have a drink in Omoide Yokocho, the narrow lane of yakitori and drinking holes in Shinjuku - http://www.shinjuku-omoide.com/english/

Next day, go to Shibuya and walk down Takeshita Dori and Omotesando to get a feel for two sides of Shibuya/Harajuku. That's cool on a Sunday morning, but any day is good.

Absolutely go see Asakusa Kannon for an afternoon. Eat either at Asakusa or Ueno - http://www.bento.com/ra-ueno.html

I really like the little places in Ameyokocho, just outside Ueno Station. If you have time, take the Joban line to Matsudo City and see a exemplary Edo-Meiji period house, Tojotei. It's a short walk from Matsudo Station.

Whether you can do all that depends on your timing, of course.
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Solar Strength



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 560
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go for Devil Craft Pizza and microbrew in Kanda!

best pizza in tokyo - deep dish, chicago style.

http://en.devilcraft.jp/
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move



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 109

PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:23 am    Post subject: Re: Two days in Japan Reply with quote

Solar Strength wrote:


What do you expect to see, in terms of iconic sites, in 44 hours? Keep in mind that you would need 3 hours alone, each way, just to go to and from Narita into, say, Tokyo. So take 6 - 7 hours for travel off of that 44 hours if you plan on venturing into Tokyo or Yokohama and you're left with about 35 hours, roughly.



3 hours each way? Try an hour to an hour and a half each way depending on the transportation. http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2027.html
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 1009
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may be biased, because I live there, but I would strongly advise you to spend at least your first day in Narita itself. For a short trip, the best things in Japan are the temples, gardens, and so on, and there's an excellent temple complex practically next door to the airport. Save Tokyo for your second day, when you're less tired and better able to handle the crowds and confusion.

There are two train lines that leave the airport: the Keisei line and the JR line. Narita city is the next stop from Narita Airport, on either line. If you're not sure which line to take, the Keisei is probably the best. (The same is true if you're heading into Tokyo.)

In Narita city, the two train stations and the temple approach road are all bundled together on a little ridge. When you reach Narita city, leave your station via the main exit (i.e. don't go down the stairs) and then turn left if you came on the JR line, or right if you came on the Keisei Line. It's a very pleasant 20 minute stroll to the temple, down a steep hill, with lots of interesting shops, cafes and restaurants on the way.
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PhoenixSpirit



Joined: 31 Jul 2013
Posts: 20
Location: Russia

PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your on a weekend, it's worth going to Yoyogi Park. Meiji Shrine is next to the park too, so you get to kick off two things in one, and the crazy fashion of Harajuku.

If not Asakusa has Sensoji Temple to see, and a nice old-town feel of the neighbourhood.

Akihabara is interesting to wander round, more-so as a tourist. Living in Japan, it held no appeal to me but I could see why people would want to go there. Shibuya is the equivalent to Times Square, and has the best night-life, if you forget the shit-hole of expat Ropponggi.

If you have time, I recommend going to some traditional Japanese gardens. There are too many to recommend, but even though I'm not a big garden fan, I do love Japanese ones. You could go to Koshikawa or Rikugien off the top of my head. Even Shinjuku has one, but feels bit less Japanese than the other two.

Shinjuku is worth wandering round too, to get a good scale of how big Tokyo is. They have the Government towers around there which are free to go up, and give an excellent view of the city, and if your lucky Mount Fuji. The Red Light District is around here though, but you'll notice it straight away by guys trying to drag you into sleazy bars. Golden Gai Area is interesting to go to at least once too, but can be a bit expensive. Though as I spoke some Japanese, I could at least commerce with the locals who went there, whereas my friend who was over couldn't.

To be honest though, Tokyo won't give you the best idea or vibe of Japan. There are many more interesting areas, and I always find people spend too much time there. But in your case, 44 hours is perfectly fine to get a good idea of Tokyo.

Either way, enjoy yourself. Japan is one hell of an awesome country.
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