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Planning a Tokyo itinerary

cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm RegentBears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
edited March 2016 in Help / Advice Forum
So yeah, I'm finally heading to Japan on April 9th. I only have a week sadly(until the 16th), so I plan on pretty much staying in Tokyo.

My hotel(inn really) is in Shinagawa, about a block west of the aquarium(which I plan on seeing before long).
https://www.expedia.com/Tokyo-Hotels-Seaside-Inn-Omori.h8788136.Hotel-Information I'm also hoping to check out the Rainbow Bridge/Wangan if any drivers allow for that kind of thing.

Tokyo Tower, Shibuya Crossing, Nakano Broadway, and Akihabara's Try Amusement Tower are all on the short list, as well as the Imperial Palace and the Buddha statue.

Anything else of note I should be after? What'll be the best place to go for cherry blossoms upon arrival, if I'm not too late?

I'm kind of on a tight budget, so advice on how much I'll need spending-wise is welcome(i.e. how much cash should I carry VS card usage). I was planning on around $200 pocket money?

As for transportation, I was planning on using a rechargeable Suica card for the duration?
http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pass/suica.html

I'll be sure to share pictures upon return.

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cj iwakura on

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    baudattitudebaudattitude Registered User regular
    You'll save a few bucks coming in from Narita by buying a combo Suica/Narita Express Ticket, if I remember right.

    Cards are much more widely accepted than they used to be, but cash is still probably the best idea for any purchase under Y5000.

    If by Buddha Statue you mean the Kamakura Buddha, you are looking at quite a few trains and a day's commitment, but if you're already out there you should check out Enoshima, is very scenic and covered in cats. Everyone loves cats yes?

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    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    What does the Narita Express portion do? I'm figuring the best way to get from Narita to Shinagawa would be mass transit, unless a bus or something would be better.

    And yeah, that's that one. I do love cats.

    Wow, that is pretty far out there.... may have to rethink it.

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    baudattitudebaudattitude Registered User regular
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    What does the Narita Express portion do? I'm figuring the best way to get from Narita to Shinagawa would be mass transit, unless a bus or something would be better.

    And yeah, that's that one. I do love cats.

    Wow, that is pretty far out there.... may have to rethink it.

    There's basically three ways to get from Narita into Tokyo. There's a taxi, which will take a couple of hours and cost you a few hundred bucks. Don't do this.
    You can take the "limousine bus" which is fairly cheap but still takes a couple of hours and can get caught in wonderful Tokyo rush hour. It has the advantage of stopping directly at some hotels, maybe not yours. I recommend this to people with kids or lots of luggage who are staying at a major hotel.
    The best way is the Narita Express (N'EX) , which is a limited-stops train that will take you from the airport to Tokyo Station in 53 minutes. From there you can transfer to the Yamanote line and ride it to Shinagawa station, it's like 3 or 4 stops. From there, transfer to the Keikyu line and take it to Omori-Kaigan station and it looks like that will have you very close to your hotel. Your Suica will figure out the correct fares at every exit point and everything is plainly-labeled and color-coded. Suica and Pasmo are also now interchangable which is a tremendous convenience, no more carrying multiple rail passes.


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    CantidoCantido Registered User regular
    Tokyo?!

    Okay, so how much partying is part of the plan here? I have some ridiculous stories about Rappongi. :winky:

    3DS Friendcode 5413-1311-3767
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    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    I'm not a wild party-goer or anything. I enjoy clubs and EDM, but I'm not a heavy drinker, and I am alone so I want to be cautious.

    Beyond that, if Roppongi's safe, I'll be sure to check it out.

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    MrBlarneyMrBlarney Registered User regular
    I went to Tokyo last November for a week and wrote up a document on what I saw, since some of my co-workers were also planning on Tokyo trips. I guess that makes this a good opportunity to post it here too: Link

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    baudattitudebaudattitude Registered User regular
    Roppongi is kind of the neighborhood foreigners go to for drinking and... I'm not sure what else one does at a club, I am old enough that my Tokyo evenings usually end around 10 PM. On the plus side, people get up and give me seats on the train, and that is always nice.

    BECAUSE it caters to foreigners, it should be plenty safe. If a club does not want you in it, there will be a No Foreigners sign. If a pretty girl wants to spend time with you and you are not normally accustomed to pretty girls wanting to spend time with you, you are about to be taken for as much as you have on you, but I expect that is not news :)

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    TehSlothTehSloth Hit Or Miss I Guess They Never Miss, HuhRegistered User regular
    I went last October, used cash pretty much everywhere although with the exception of nice meals things were very reasonably priced. Definitely hit up Ichiran Ramen when you do shibuya crossing. The only time I had any issues getting around was when I first got off the NEX, and transferred and was trying to leave but hadn't bought a suica/pasmo yet and since I was just transferring had no idea how any of that worked -- I don't know if there's something you're actually supposed to do in that situation but I just went to one of the manned gates (of which there aren't many of but you'll find them) and showed them my nex ticket and they figured out how much my fare should be and I paid right there. Suica/Pasmo are great, makes getting in and out of the stations a breeze and from what I recall a lot of vending machines and convenience stores accepted them (and at least with pasmo you can get one with your name printed on it which makes a neat souvenir, dunno about suica).

    I don't know what kind of fees your bank will charge but I was able to easily take out cash from 7-11s at a better rate and no fees vs getting money changed at the airport or ahead of time. How much cash you carry mostly depends on if you plan on buying much stuff, I ate a ton of ramen when I went and most places ran like 500-800 yen which was like $4-7 when I was there for a good sized meal so if you are looking to keep things reasonable it's very doable I think the NEX was like 2700Y each way and I think I put about 5,000Y on my pasmo card and that easily lasted my first week, the yamanote line (green) was pretty good for getting most places and is like <200Y per trip. There's also hot food at Lawson's which is totally ok and reasonably priced, better than any of the fast food places I tried.

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    Mr KhanMr Khan Not Everyone WAHHHRegistered User regular
    Cash is best across the board. The country is safe and ATMs at the 7-11s at least do link up to banks back here, just be wary of transfer fees. I usually pulled down 10,000 Yen a shot. So my experience differs from TehSloth in terms of fees.

    As for Suica, i still recall the slogan on the train; "Suica naraba suica naraba mondainai" (if it's suica, no problem.)

    I'd recommend other stops around the Tokyo Yamanote circle, easiest to figure out. Up north you have Ueno Park. Shinagawa should be on the southern end of the loop. Tokyo is east, close to Akihabara (Tokyo in this case meaning the palace area). Ueno Park has a zoo and a lot of cool sakura blossoms which should be in or near their peak right around that time, although if they had an early spring like we did in the northeast US it may be past by now.

    Roppongi i've actually heard is one of the less safe neighborhoods, because of the higher concentration of foreigners, but i also recall spotting a group of elementary school kids wandering around there after dark one time, so it can't be that bad.

    Try to wander off the beaten path. You get a lot of neat little shrines that aren't tourist traps but are still beautiful in their own right.

    I'd recommend Matsuya for cheap dining when you don't have something big in mind. McDonald's is also pretty accessible over there for when you're not feeling adventurous and just want something to eat. 7-11 stuff is also good cheap fare (i'd recommend a trip through there anyway, it's a hoot to see all the stuff they carry).

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    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    Roppongi is kind of the neighborhood foreigners go to for drinking and... I'm not sure what else one does at a club, I am old enough that my Tokyo evenings usually end around 10 PM. On the plus side, people get up and give me seats on the train, and that is always nice.

    BECAUSE it caters to foreigners, it should be plenty safe. If a club does not want you in it, there will be a No Foreigners sign. If a pretty girl wants to spend time with you and you are not normally accustomed to pretty girls wanting to spend time with you, you are about to be taken for as much as you have on you, but I expect that is not news :)

    Yeah, that'd send up a red flag. :P I don't really plan on being out late at night, since I'm relying on subways to get around. Doubt I'd be out later than 10ish unless I thought I could walk back to Shinagawa (highly unlikely).

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    SkeithSkeith Registered User regular
    Another cheap franchise is kakuya. It's an udon and soba place-- the menu has pictures and you order from a vending machine, all you have to do is specify the kind of noodle and hot or cold. A good meal ran me 720 yen.

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    CauldCauld Registered User regular
    I found food in Tokyo surprisingly inexpensive. I really like how the menu price is the price you pay, taxes/tips are included.

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    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    Does anyone from here actually live there or plan to be there around that time?

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