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Tokyo: NY Times Top Tips, Ideas?


TLCOhio
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From the New York Times Travel Section this weekend, they will have this headline: 36 Hours Tokyo by Motoko Rich, and images by Andrew Faulk, with these highlights: “For two-and-a-half years, pandemic border controls kept international travelers out of Tokyo, leaving its neon shopping precincts and most popular temples and shrines to the locals. Now, with foreign tourists welcomed back since October, those willing to explore beyond highly trafficked neighborhoods like Harajuku, Shibuya and Shinjuku and wander down side streets in places like Setagaya or Koto will be richly rewarded with offbeat boutiques, cafes or surprising oases of natural beauty. Think of Tokyo as a warren of concealed gems, where you can drink at an artisanal bar tucked up in a small office or apartment building or taste exquisite sushi in a basement at the end of a dark street.”

 

This detailed profile has a wide range of tips, options and potentials, including about eestaurants and bars, shopping and markets, outdoor activities and cultural attractions, where to stay and for getting around.  Here is an example for one tip: "Head back into the urban fray of Ginza, Tokyo’s original luxury retail district, where you can gawk at the Issey Miyake showroom or peruse designer brands like Commes des Garcons, A Bathing Ape, Supreme and Kolor at the Dover Street Market. For far more affordable (and edible) designs, visit Ginza Akebono, a traditional Japanese confectionery shop that dates back to 1948 when Tokyo was recovering from the devastation of the war."

 

In February 2024, we are planning for a Mumbai to Singapore, 18-day cruise.  In going back home from Singapore, our best flight options with American Airlines Frequent Flyer miles would involve going through Tokyo's HND airport.  We are looking at spending a day or two in Tokyo.  First time for India, Singapore, Japan, etc.  What other tips, suggestions, etc., can experienced Tokyo visitors share in reaction to this NY Times story?  Appreciate any and all ideas and insights!!  

 

Full story at:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2023/04/06/travel/things-to-do-tokyo.html

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Sydney to NZ/Auckland Adventure, live/blog 2014 sampling/details with many exciting visuals and key highlights.  On page 23, post #571, see a complete index for all of the pictures, postings.  Now at 242,700 views.

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/1896175-solstice-live-australianzhawaii-many-pix’s-jan-20-feb-3/

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On 4/7/2023 at 10:45 PM, TLCOhio said:

From the New York Times Travel Section this weekend, they will have this headline: 36 Hours Tokyo by Motoko Rich, and images by Andrew Faulk, with these highlights: “For two-and-a-half years, pandemic border controls kept international travelers out of Tokyo, leaving its neon shopping precincts and most popular temples and shrines to the locals. Now, with foreign tourists welcomed back since October, those willing to explore beyond highly trafficked neighborhoods like Harajuku, Shibuya and Shinjuku and wander down side streets in places like Setagaya or Koto will be richly rewarded with offbeat boutiques, cafes or surprising oases of natural beauty. Think of Tokyo as a warren of concealed gems, where you can drink at an artisanal bar tucked up in a small office or apartment building or taste exquisite sushi in a basement at the end of a dark street.”

 

This detailed profile has a wide range of tips, options and potentials, including about eestaurants and bars, shopping and markets, outdoor activities and cultural attractions, where to stay and for getting around.  Here is an example for one tip: "Head back into the urban fray of Ginza, Tokyo’s original luxury retail district, where you can gawk at the Issey Miyake showroom or peruse designer brands like Commes des Garcons, A Bathing Ape, Supreme and Kolor at the Dover Street Market. For far more affordable (and edible) designs, visit Ginza Akebono, a traditional Japanese confectionery shop that dates back to 1948 when Tokyo was recovering from the devastation of the war."

 

In February 2024, we are planning for a Mumbai to Singapore, 18-day cruise.  In going back home from Singapore, our best flight options with American Airlines Frequent Flyer miles would involve going through Tokyo's HND airport.  We are looking at spending a day or two in Tokyo.  First time for India, Singapore, Japan, etc.  What other tips, suggestions, etc., can experienced Tokyo visitors share in reaction to this NY Times story?  Appreciate any and all ideas and insights!!  

 

Full story at:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2023/04/06/travel/things-to-do-tokyo.html

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Sydney to NZ/Auckland Adventure, live/blog 2014 sampling/details with many exciting visuals and key highlights.  On page 23, post #571, see a complete index for all of the pictures, postings.  Now at 242,700 views.

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/1896175-solstice-live-australianzhawaii-many-pix’s-jan-20-feb-3/

Have you booked any accommodation in Tokyo as yet, we are arriving on a cruise ship next April and the accommodation and areas is quite overwhelming in respect of where to stay and some hotels are very very expensive?

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On 4/29/2023 at 4:26 PM, bennybear said:

Have you visited Japan before?  If not do yourself a favour and spend at least a week, preferably more with at least four nights in Kyoto. 

 

Appreciate these follow-ups.  Yes, for subaru94, hotels in Tokyo are many and not cheap.  Supposedly, Tokyo is the most expensive city in the world.  Based on my preliminary research that has been true.  Just need to check researching and checking.  Have been told by those sperienced that location is very important, plus being near good public transit options, depending on what you want to see and do.  

 

For bennybear, this will be our first trip to Japan.  As previously mentioned, in February 2024, we are planning for a Mumbai to Singapore, 18-day cruise, plus pre-cruise time in and around Delhi, Agra, etc.  In going back home from Singapore, our best flight options with American Airlines Frequent Flyer miles would involve going through Tokyo's HND airport.  That's when I came up with a plan for two and a half days for Tokyo and nearby.  YES, it would be nice to do a full week or two in Japan, but the budget and timing limitations do no allow that for much exploring there.  Maybe next time?  

 

That's why I am doing lots of research and planning for the highest priorities and optimum logistics in Japan.  Any and all tips and suggestions are much appreciated.  Clearly must focus on the "Best of the Best"!!

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise from Copenhagen, July 2010, to the top of Europe. Scenic visuals with key tips. Live/blog at 246,693 views.

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The best of the best IMO is Kyoto,  it is so serene.  Tokyo is amazing as well but it’s a city with nearly the population of Canada.    So one ancient city of geishas and temples, and the other the world’s largest city.  But there are beautiful temples there, and not to be missed is the Imperial Palace.   

 

Would it be possible for  you to route through Kansei airport?  It is very near Kyoto.   It is also an international airport. 
 

If not, we enjoyed the Tokyo Hilton Shinjuku,  pricey but with a view of Fuji from the top floor.  If you can upgrade to the level that includes the lounge they have a lovely breakfast,  and afternoon tea and drinks and snacks in the evening.  The service is unbelievable.   The concierge was simply the best. 
 

I am wishing you the best what ever you decide,  happy to answer any questions. 

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16 hours ago, bennybear said:

The best of the best IMO is Kyoto,  it is so serene.  Tokyo is amazing as well but it’s a city with nearly the population of Canada.    Would it be possible for  you to route through Kansei airport?  It is very near Kyoto.   It is also an international airport. 

 

Super appreciate these great suggestions, fun visuals and follow-ups regarding options for Tokyo and Japan from benntbear.  Yes, everything I have heard and read says Kyoto would be excellent to see and do. 

 

From Singapore, I did check and there were no flight options going into the Kansei airport.  The best I could find from American Airlines and their partners, including Japan Airline, using Frequent Flyer miles, was going into the ITM or Osaka, Japan, airport.  But, I would have to fly first into NRT near Tokyo, changing planes, etc., before getting to Osaka.  Kyoto sounds wonderful and excitingly historic.  But, not sure those "logistics" with our limited time would be worth going that direction.

 

It has been suggested that Kamakura might be worth considering.  It was the de facto capital of Japan from 1185 to 1333 as the seat of the Kamakura shogunate, and has an estimated population of only 172,929 (2020).  It is a popular domestic tourist destination as a coastal city with a high number of ancient Buddhist and Shinto shrines and temples.  Am considering that as any option.  Anyone been to Kamakura or any other closer day-trip locations worth considering??

 

Keep it coming with these suggestions and tips.    

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Early 2020, many visuals and details from New Zealand/South Pacific in going from Auckland to French Polynesia.  This includes Bora Bora, Fiji, NZ experiences, etc:  Live/blog;

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2735732-live-terryohio-“new”-regatta-south-pacificnz-pix’s/

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From National Geographic magazine last fall, they had this headline: 10 great food markets around the globe" with this sub-headline: "History, culture, and cuisine mix at these distinctive and tasty destinations.

 

Here are some of their profile highlights: “Around the world, food markets create a place for community gathering and nourishment and they allow visitors to immerse themselves in the culture and history of their destinations, all while serving up delectable—and often adventurous—culinary treats.”

 

For Tokyo, they spotlighted their Tsukiji Fish Market.  Here are some of their details cited: "Tokyo’s wholesale fish market— the world’s largest—has moved to the new Toyosu Market, but the bustling outer market at Tsukiji remains and is still a highlight for sushi lovers. Find freshly sliced sashimi among 300-plus shops and restaurants (generally closed on Sundays and Wednesdays)."

 

Full story at:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/article/10-fabulous-food-markets-around-the-world?loggedin=true&rnd=1682976656778

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Barcelona/Med: June 2011, with stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Great visuals with key highlights, tips, etc. Live/blog now at 256,371 views.

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/1362155-solstice-livefirst-timer-reportspix’s-italycroatian-june-7-19/

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On 5/2/2023 at 9:54 AM, TLCOhio said:

 

From National Geographic magazine last fall, they had this headline: 10 great food markets around the globe" with this sub-headline: "History, culture, and cuisine mix at these distinctive and tasty destinations.

 

Here are some of their profile highlights: “Around the world, food markets create a place for community gathering and nourishment and they allow visitors to immerse themselves in the culture and history of their destinations, all while serving up delectable—and often adventurous—culinary treats.”

 

For Tokyo, they spotlighted their Tsukiji Fish Market.  Here are some of their details cited: "Tokyo’s wholesale fish market— the world’s largest—has moved to the new Toyosu Market, but the bustling outer market at Tsukiji remains and is still a highlight for sushi lovers. Find freshly sliced sashimi among 300-plus shops and restaurants (generally closed on Sundays and Wednesdays)."

 

Full story at:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/article/10-fabulous-food-markets-around-the-world?loggedin=true&rnd=1682976656778

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Barcelona/Med: June 2011, with stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Great visuals with key highlights, tips, etc. Live/blog now at 256,371 views.

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/1362155-solstice-livefirst-timer-reportspix’s-italycroatian-june-7-19/

I mean, do you enjoy simple raw fish sushi/sashimi? If so, Tsukiji or Toyosu is worth a visit for a quality sushi breakfast.

 

Tokyo is huge and there's a lot more to Japanese cuisine than sushi. If you're not a super adventurous sushi eater, Japan also has some of best beef in the world and A4/A5 wagyu is not to be missed. Less well known, but Japanese fruit is also very high quality and delicious and easy to like! If you're here in February, you'll be in the middle of Japan's strawberry season and can sample the classic tochiotome variety from Tochigi prefecture or Amaou variety from Fukuoka prefecture, which I personally prefer.

 

If you're only in Tokyo for a couple days, I wouldn't really waste the commute time on a daytrip out of the city when there's so much to see in Tokyo already. You can find Sensoji, a huge Buddhist temple, and Meiji Jingu, a large Shinto shrine, right in the city and both are impressive examples. Kyoto is without compare but best seen on a land trip where you can dedicate at least a few days to it.

 

Mix in some big city sights in Shinjuku or Shibuya and you'll have a taste of Tokyo that'll hopefully leave you wanting more! 

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7 hours ago, skipsaur said:

I mean, do you enjoy simple raw fish sushi/sashimi? If so, Tsukiji or Toyosu is worth a visit for a quality sushi breakfast.

Tokyo is huge and there's a lot more to Japanese cuisine than sushi. If you're not a super adventurous sushi eater, Japan also has some of best beef in the world and A4/A5 wagyu is not to be missed. Less well known, but Japanese fruit is also very high quality and delicious and easy to like! If you're here in February, you'll be in the middle of Japan's strawberry season and can sample the classic tochiotome variety from Tochigi prefecture or Amaou variety from Fukuoka prefecture, which I personally prefer.

If you're only in Tokyo for a couple days, I wouldn't really waste the commute time on a daytrip out of the city when there's so much to see in Tokyo already. You can find Sensoji, a huge Buddhist temple, and Meiji Jingu, a large Shinto shrine, right in the city and both are impressive examples. Kyoto is without compare but best seen on a land trip where you can dedicate at least a few days to it.

Mix in some big city sights in Shinjuku or Shibuya and you'll have a taste of Tokyo that'll hopefully leave you wanting more! 

 

Appreciate ALL of these great comments and ideas.  Wonderful sharing. 

 

Personally, I am not that big for "raw fish sushi/sashimi".  Liked the beef ideas/insights.  Strawberries sound very good.  Glad that they will be a peak at that time when we will be visiting.  

 

Am still debating and considering the many, various options for Tokyo, nearby, etc.  Good news?  A significant number of options.  Yes, Tokyo is BIG!!  But, the public transit is very good there, right?

 

Any reaction for visiting Kamakura and whether it would be worth it?

 

Keep it coming!!  Great tips and suggestions.  

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Venice: Loving It & Why??!!  Is one of your future desires or past favorites? See these many visual samples for its great history and architecture.  This posting is now at 102,835 views.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1278226

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I think I read that you are staying in Tokyo for 2.5 days (?).  For that limited amount of time for a first time trip, I would tend to agree with @skipsaur and forgo a daytrip.  We went to Kamakura on something like our third trip to Japan.  I thought it was was a nice and easy daytrip but was happy we saved it for a future trip.  

 

I think Tokyo public transit is very good but the metropolis is very large and some of the connections within a station are a bit of a effort.  Eg. It can take like an hour to get from one side of the city to the other (eg Shibuya to Asakusa) by metro.  So you can end up spending a lot of time commuting.  

 

 

Generally, I don't think a visit to the new fish market in Toyosu would be worth it.  It's a lot more sterile and visitor centre experience than the hustle and bustle previously at Tsukiji.  There's some well known eateries that migrated to Toyosu with the market but the lines are going to be long.  

We combined our Toyosu visit with a visit to the teamLab Planets exhibit and Tsukishima Monja Street.  Personally, I highly recommend the teamLab Planets exhibit but it might not be for everyone (eg. My friend didn't want to go because you have to walk through barefoot).  But also as referenced above, the outer markets of Tsukiji didn't migrate and are still potentially worth a visit.  

 

 

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Great points by @Milhouse!  I agree with everything, especially the note about public transportation. The trains are excellent and easier to navigate than you'd expect, but first time visitors almost always say they underestimated how long it takes to get across the city. Grouping your itinerary by area is a good idea so you don't lose too much of your day to commutes, for example Meiji Jingu & Shibuya. Or Sensoji/Asakusa/Skytree.

 

The only caveat I wanted to mention is that Teamlab Planets will probably close before your arrival. It's due to close later this year. But Teamlab Borderless, a larger exhibit in the same style, is due to reopen in a new location summer 2023 to replace it. It should be even better and more popular and won't have the barefoot/wading element so a bit more accessible. 

 

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On 5/6/2023 at 11:37 PM, skipsaur said:

Great points by @Milhouse!  I agree with everything, especially the note about public transportation. The trains are excellent and easier to navigate than you'd expect, but first time visitors almost always say they underestimated how long it takes to get across the city. Grouping your itinerary by area is a good idea so you don't lose too much of your day to commutes, for example Meiji Jingu & Shibuya. Or Sensoji/Asakusa/Skytree.   The only caveat I wanted to mention is that Teamlab Planets will probably close before your arrival. It's due to close later this year. But Teamlab Borderless, a larger exhibit in the same style, is due to reopen in a new location summer 2023 to replace it. It should be even better and more popular and won't have the barefoot/wading element so a bit more accessible. 

 

Great added insights from Skipsaur and Mulhouse.  Very interesting and helpful.  It is only early May and we have time to continue researching and planning.  Keep it coming!!  

 

Have a number of library tour book guides from the Eyewitness series, Fodor and Lonely Planet.  The good news?  Lots of options and potentials!!  But, limited time and money.  That's a manageable and fun challenge.  

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Amazon River-Caribbean 2015 adventure live/blog starting in Barbados. Many visuals from this amazing river and Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, San Juan, etc.).  Now at 71,424 views:

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From the Washington Post, I found this headline: A local’s guide to Tokyo" 
by Yukari Sakamoto
 with these highlights: “The sprawling metropolis is so big that even lifelong residents will never really know certain neighborhoods. There is always something to uncover or a new area to explore.  The food is amazing, and it’s easy to eat like an emperor, even on a budget. There is respect for others, which explains why packed trains are quiet. The city is devoid of litter despite the relatively few trash cans. The country is so safe that 6-year-olds are expected to walk to school by themselves, and attention to detail is evident across the landscape, from how stores present items for sale to how food is packaged. It’s a peaceful society. Our transit-system cars are clean and frequent. And we have the best toilets in the world. It all makes visitors fall hard for Japan.”

 

Here is an example for the many various options offered: "The 'Shibuya scramble' crossing is the busiest intersection in the world and must be experienced — or at least observed. Young Tokyoites come here for food, fashion and secondhand music shops near this busy but very safe station. It is a short walk to explore other hip neighborhoods like Ebisu, Nakameguro and Daikanyama. Shibuya Station has many train lines (including two that many tourists will use: Ginza subway line and Yamanote JR line) that make it convenient for seeing the rest of the city."

 

Full story at:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/travel/japan/tokyo-local-guide/

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

AFRICA?!!?: Fun, interesting visuals, plus travel details from this early 2016 live/blog. At 53,975 views. Featuring Cape Town, South Africa’s coast, Mozambique, Victoria Falls/Zambia and Botswana's famed Okavango Delta.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2310337

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  • 4 weeks later...

Terry,

I am considering a Japan cruise/trip for spring of 2024 and think you are collecting a lot of useful information.  It seems you are somewhat time constrained so your planning thoughts may align with what might work for and interest us. (Retired couple from Michigan).  I think something like 10 - 14 days (16/17 days at the outside) is what I want to consider.  Like you I'd have to pick my itinerary and excursions from many options.

Have you narrowed down your choices for a cruise line or tour operator?  An interesting Oceania Cruise (Tokyo - Tokyo  April 1 - 14, 2024) has virtually all cabins in "WaitList" status.  We are not interested in the megaships, so maybe we'll be limited or need to look further out in the calendar (2025?).  It seems like I read somewhere that there is a lot of interest in Japan and thus capacity is strained and prices are up.

I'd be interested where you are in your research and planning process.  And whether your decision making has coalesced on any options yet.

 

Thanks,

Jim (ourworldnow)

 

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18 hours ago, ourWorldnow said:

Terry, I am considering a Japan cruise/trip for spring of 2024 and think you are collecting a lot of useful information.  It seems you are somewhat time constrained so your planning thoughts may align with what might work for and interest us. (Retired couple from Michigan).  I think something like 10 - 14 days (16/17 days at the outside) is what I want to consider.  Like you I'd have to pick my itinerary and excursions from many options.  Have you narrowed down your choices for a cruise line or tour operator?  An interesting Oceania Cruise (Tokyo - Tokyo  April 1 - 14, 2024) has virtually all cabins in "WaitList" status.  We are not interested in the megaships, so maybe we'll be limited or need to look further out in the calendar (2025?).  It seems like I read somewhere that there is a lot of interest in Japan and thus capacity is strained and prices are up.  I'd be interested where you are in your research and planning process.  And whether your decision making has coalesced on any options yet.   Thanks,  Jim (ourworldnow)

 

Appreciate tor our Michigan neighbor, Jim, for this follow-up.  We are not doing a cruise in and around Japan.  But, from following the cruise business closely, I know that right now Japan is a "hot ticket" as much of Asia was closed down for nearly three years.  

 

Many people are very interested in Japan as earlier, scheduled cruises got scrubbed.  Many travelers are catching up now with bookings, making prices and avails a little tighter/higher than "normal". Also, with China now under certain "pressures" and/or limits, that makes Japan a priority for some.  Agree, there are many pluses with smaller ship and reasons to avoid the larger, "MEGA" ships.  

 

Silversea has many Japan options.  We have done a couple of nice, long cruises with Oceania.  Check out the various options and figure out the right, best balance for itinerary, cruise line, value, etc.  Finding now the best value/option for early 2024 might be challenging.  By 2025 and 2026, there might be better Japan cruise options to consider as things in this business get back what was happening prior to the Coved shut-down.    

 

Seldom is there one, totally-perfect option.  Also, when doing many of our "adventures", we do some good options for pre-cruise and/or post-cruise.  That adds to the depth of the "experience"!!  You can see that in the visual below.  When you are flying a long, long distance from Michigan those combinations allow more variety and depth from these travels.  

 

My Japan research is just starting, so I am limited in my abilities to rate the various ports and options for Japan and nearby.  Keep digging and planning.  Lots of ways to put it "ALL" together for your best trip.   

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Late Summer 2022, many scenic visuals and details from Canada Maritimes doing Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Cape Breton Island, etc., via a Tauck land tour.  Visual Summary:

www.flickr.com/photos/196555480@N08/albums

 

For February 2024, below is a graphic giving an overall idea as to our overall "adventure".  As you can see our time in Japan is limited with the major port of the timing being about sailing with Silversea for Mumbai to Singapore.:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see this visual larger/better!)

image.thumb.png.e03385f51f30a574e606757628168ed7.png

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Thanks Terry,

 

You sound like we are on the same page. I appreciate your sharing your thoughts with me, and appreciate the input.

My inclination is to look away from Japan for now and consider other "adventures" calling to me from areas under less supply/demand pressure.  In a year or so, I'll consider this again, and see how the market changes.

 

Best wishes for your travel adventures!

 

Jim

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On 6/8/2023 at 8:45 AM, ourWorldnow said:

Thanks Terry,  You sound like we are on the same page. I appreciate your sharing your thoughts with me, and appreciate the input.   My inclination is to look away from Japan for now and consider other "adventures" calling to me from areas under less supply/demand pressure.  In a year or so, I'll consider this again, and see how the market changes.   Best wishes for your travel adventures!    Jim

 

Appreciate this follow-up and Jim's nice comments.  

 

From MSN News this morning, they had this headline: 10 Most Expensive Travel Destinations in the World with these highlights for Tokyo and why it is so costly:Tokyo is a city where modern innovations and long-held customs coexist without conflict. This bustling city features various architectural styles, from ancient temples to modern skyscrapers and tranquil gardens to escape the hustle and bustle.   What factors add up to Tokyo being known as an extremely pricey vacation spot? It's a combination of circumstances, such as the high expense of staying in the city center and the extensive variety of dining options available, from cheap street cuisine to Michelin-starred fine dining. In addition, the city's enticing nightlife draws in revelers looking for a place to let loose and party.

 

Tokyo was ranked as the fourth most expensive location.  Ahead of it with higher pricing were Monaco, Switzerland and the French Riviera.  Lower down the most-costly list were: the Maldives, New York City, Los Angeles, Aspen/Colorado, Sydney/Australia and Bora Bora.  

 

Full story at:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/tripideas/the-10-most-expensive-travel-destinations-in-the-world/ar-AA1cunOL

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

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www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2511358

 

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  • 3 months later...

Yesterday in preparation for our first visit to Japan March 2-5, 2024, I had an opportunity to meet with Japan’s Deputy Consul General Shin Ogawa.  Gained some good and interesting background.  This includes for dining quality and value!!   He noted that some of the best chefs in the world are in Tokyo, plus now with currency value changes, prices are about half what they used to be. 

 

Good news, plus he shared that Tokyo is a very safe city.  Right?  I will follow-up later with more questions to his assistant as we prepare for our 2024 visit there.  Any specific questions or areas of interest that I should be asking as a part of the planning and prep?  

 

From the London/UK Daily Mail two days ago, they had this headline: Eat your heart out: The world's best destinations for affordable Michelin dining revealed - Tokyo is the No.1 city with these highlights: “When it comes to cities, the world's top ten destinations for Michelin-rated dining on a budget are all in Asia, according to the study.  Tokyo, Japan, ranks first, with 77 restaurants; followed by Seoul, South Korea, (second, 59); Osaka, Japan, (third, 46); and Bangkok, Thailand (fourth, 43).”

 

Full story at:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-12587737/Eat-heart-worlds-best-destinations-affordable-Michelin-dining-revealed-Tokyo-No-1-city-Italy-named-best-country-UK-ranks-fifth-Europe.html

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

From late 2018, see “Holy Lands, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Dubai, Greece, etc.”, with many visuals, details and ideas for the historic and scenic Middle East. Now at 22,066 views.  Connect at:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2607054-livenautica-greece-holy-lands-egypt-dubai-terrypix’s/

 

From yesterday's meeting, I am pictured on the right with a former top Ohio State University official on the left and Japan’s Deputy Consul General Shin Ogawa in the middle.:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see this visual larger/better!)

image.thumb.jpeg.7fa33a9305226216548afb83be7bf8c4.jpeg

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From Travel+Leisure magazine late last year, they had this headline: Here's What's New in Japan"  with this sub-headline:  "An expert deep-dives into how the Land of the Rising Sun has changed over the last three years.

 

Here was one of the key highlights by experienced travel writer Brandon Presser:There’s a currency Catch-22.  In the 20 years that I’ve been visiting — or living —in Japan, I’ve never seen such a strong U.S. dollar relative to the Japanese yen. It’s made mealtime an absolute pleasure; dining in Japan has always been lower-priced and higher-quality than in Western countries, but now I find myself planning all-day eating excursions to hit up establishments that are no longer aspirationally priced, plus gorging on all of the incredible cheap eats in between. The catch, however, is that accommodation prices are soaring as hotels falsely inflate their rates for the inbound international travelers booking up their rooms.

 

YES, we have found hotel prices high, HIGH in Tokyo.  Part of it is that for our March 2-5, 2024 timing there, that the Tokyo Marathon will be staged that Sunday during our period in Japan.  

 

For another insight offered in this profile, here's a good option/tip: "An interesting aberration of Tokyo’s shop-to-socialize culture is the creation of luxury brand cafes. Take home a piece of Fendi or Louis Vuitton at their branded eateries; a latte at the new glass snake of a building in Ginza will set you back 1,500 yen (around $12), a bargain for the brag and the Vuitton logo-ed paper napkin holder you can take home."

 

Full story at:

https://www.travelandleisure.com/whats-new-and-whats-changed-in-japan-6890821

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Summer 2019 Calgary, Jasper/Banff National Parks, Western Canada Rocky Mountaineer rail adventure, Vancouver, sailing up to Alaska on Silver Muse, post-cruise excursion to Denali, etc.  Many visuals, Our firsts in these scenic areas!  Now at 20,185 views. Live/blog: 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2682584-live-terryohio-silver-muse-alaska-canadarockies-pix’s/

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From the London/UK Daily Mail this past weekend, they had this headline: Fascinating map reveals the 16 most in-demand tourist attractions in the world with two locations cited in this profile by Jessica Hamilton for Japan.  

 

This includes these highlights:3. Ghibli Museum, Tokyo, Japan”  "For admirers of Studio Ghibli's animated masterpieces, the Ghibli Museum in Japan is a dream come true. Located in Mitaka, suburban Tokyo, the museum itself is a piece of art, with its architecture and exhibits exuding charm and magic. From original sketches to life-sized replicas of Ghibli characters, every corner of the museum is brimming with wonder and this appeal is reflected by how far in advance visitors must secure their entry: to embark on a heartwarming journey through the world of Ghibli's extraordinary storytelling, booking a ticket must be done a month (30 days) in advance."

 

Mount Fuji was ranked fifth in the world in this profile.  Here are the details cited: "An iconic symbol of Japan, Mount Fuji's perfect cone is a sight to behold.  To embark on the exhilarating hike to the volcano's summit or simply admire its beauty from afar, visitors should plan their trip and secure necessary permits at least two weeks (16 days) in advance. The climbing season is short, and spots are limited, making pre-booking crucial to experience the awe-inspiring wonder of Mount Fuji." 

 

Anyone been to the Ghibli Museum in the Tokyo area?  How good and that interesting?

 

Full story at:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-12786803/Fascinating-map-reveals-16-demand-tourist-attractions-world-fairytale-castle-Germany-Harry-Potter-studio-tour-trumping-Walt-Disney-World.html

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Early 2020, many visuals and details from New Zealand/South Pacific in going from Auckland to French Polynesia.  This includes Bora Bora, Fiji, NZ experiences, etc:  Live/blog:

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2735732-live-terryohio-“new”-regatta-south-pacificnz-pix’s/

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We've been to Tokyo several times and have never been able to secure tickets to the museum. They're sold via website in advance. Not sure if it's timing, time of year, or we just aren't fast enough with booking, but getting tickets is challenging. I've always assumed that the tickets are snapped up on release by bots for brokers to resell at much higher rates (much like tickets to the Colosseum are these days). From talking to friends that have been, they all highly recommend the experience for Studio Ghibli fans... I'm not sure there's a ton of value for casual guests? 

 

One (unexpected) experience I'd recommend for everyone, fan/not, is the Tokyo Disney Resort, specifically Tokyo DisneySea. DisneySea was created exclusively for Japan, and is widely considered one of the top theme parks in the world. It's also not owned by Disney (it's licensed to a Japanese conglomerate (long story)) so the experience is markedly higher-quality than anything you'd find in Disney's other parks. 

 

If you're only in Tokyo for a night or two you might not have time, but I recommend adding it to your list for the future. 

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On 12/8/2023 at 9:25 AM, AstoriaPreppy said:

One (unexpected) experience I'd recommend for everyone, fan/not, is the Tokyo Disney Resort, specifically Tokyo DisneySea. DisneySea was created exclusively for Japan, and is widely considered one of the top theme parks in the world. It's also not owned by Disney (it's licensed to a Japanese conglomerate (long story)) so the experience is markedly higher-quality than anything you'd find in Disney's other parks. If you're only in Tokyo for a night or two you might not have time, but I recommend adding it to your list for the future. 

 

Appreciate the above tip and idea.  Out time is limited on this first trip, but it is great sharing for others.  Keep it coming!!

 

From Condé Nast Traveler magazine last month, they had this headline: Best Places to Spend Christmas Around the World" by Caitlin Morton with this sub-headline: "Some celebrations are worth the price of a plane ticket.

 

Here are their reporting highlights for Tokyo: Why we go: The city turns the voltage up each year with its winter illuminations, with different districts competing to create some truly sensational displays. Standout illumination sites include the almost 10-foot-tall snow globes with falling snow at Tokyo Midtown and a massive Baccarat crystal chandelier at Yebisu Garden Place. The bright lights are so popular, they stay up well past Christmas day—often through January or February.   The one thing to get you in the spirit: One of the most famous illuminations is the Blue Cavern (Ao no Dokutsu) in Shibuya, which is inspired by the blue grottos of the Mediterranean.” 

 

Full story at:

https://www.cntraveler.com/galleries/2015-12-08/copenhagen-to-quebec-14-cities-that-do-christmas-best?utm_source=nl&utm_brand=cnt&utm_mailing=CNT_Daily_AM_122523&utm_campaign=aud-dev&utm_medium=email&bxid=5db3f99524c17c23c34ecf3e&cndid=6657468&hasha=e1ca3019f9f535a4b98389997c63b892&hashb=7daf2541a0de702392cfe60ed513a5c2d1d23598&hashc=f541a9e649534cc2931bd57d58d8c2cac2bb8c5d298f722bad5b05cc8ad5ece2&esrc=IDCONDENAST_REGGATE&utm_term=CNT_Daily

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio   

 

Sydney to NZ/Auckland Adventure, live/blog 2014 sampling/details with many exciting visuals and key highlights.  On page 23, post #571, see a complete index for all of the pictures, postings.  Now at 247,560 views.

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/1896175-solstice-live-australianzhawaii-many-pix’s-jan-20-feb-3/

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