Resource Japan 2018 thread

Discussion in 'Japan' started by M_G, Apr 23, 2017.

Tags:
  1. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    19,753
    Likes Received:
    6,629
    Let's hope not
    :emoji_face_palm::emoji_face_palm:
     
    hotsaki likes this.
  2. hatto

    hatto Dedicated Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,032
    Likes Received:
    357
    I hope you have a great season LMB. I hope to do the same one day.
    Bobgnarly does my head in as he sends a pic or message of great powder and no people every couple of days. To be able to hit it when it dumps and sit and wait for it again all season would be great
     
    LMB likes this.
  3. Paradox

    Paradox New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2016
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    28
    Agreed. I also found that Tangram is a place where the right board (or ski's I guess) makes all the difference. Anyone who thinks that there is marginal difference between a generic mountain twin and a dedicated Japan focused directional is kidding themselves. We had a huge day there after a 40cm dump where I convinced both a boarder and a skier in my crew to dump their beloved usual gear and hire more specific pow/tree rides for the day. Both were stunned at the difference.
     
    LMB likes this.
  4. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    19,753
    Likes Received:
    6,629
    Right tool for the job.
    :thumbs:
     
  5. Lifes2good

    Lifes2good Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    15
    Hi there, just joining the thread as we have just booked our first ever Japan ski trip and are a bit excited! We are taking the kids (ages 11 & 7) to Niseko (which I understand is a bit passe here but suited our first-time needs). We are going with another family, also with two kids although we are staying in separate accommodation.

    We are flying with JAL and arrive in Tokyo on 28 Dec, then fly to Sapporo on NYE, 2 weeks in Niseko, back to Tokyo 13 Jan, then back home 15 Jan.

    We fly in at 5pm-ish to Narita and have to travel in to Tokyo to our accommodation (yet to be booked). I was thinking of booking a private transfer as there will be the four of us and quite a bit of luggage. Does anyone have suggestions on this?
     
    LMB likes this.
  6. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    19,753
    Likes Received:
    6,629
    I highly recommend packing the items you need for Tokyo into carry on luggage (and maybe your smallest checked bag if you really need more room) and sending the rest of your bags straight to your accomodation in Niseko from the airport before you head into Tokyo. You'll travel light and carefree and your bags will be in your room when you arrive up North.
     
    gaz35, DeskRider, Froff Life and 3 others like this.
  7. Crispy013

    Crispy013 Dedicated Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    851
    Yep use the baggage forward service and also train is super super easy to navigate.
     
  8. Lifes2good

    Lifes2good Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    15
    What is a luggage forwarding service? How do I arrange that? I think we will need more than carry on luggage for Tokyo as we are there for 3 nights, but I'd be interested in splitting our luggage and forwarding on any we don't need in Tokyo.
     
  9. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    19,753
    Likes Received:
    6,629
    Brilliant Japanese efficient option.
    Right there in the airport.
    For Narita.
    https://www.narita-airport.jp/en/service/svc_05
    For Haneda
    http://www.haneda-airport.jp/inter/en/premises/service/delivery.html#delivery

    Re: what you'll need for 3 nights - be ruthless. If you're in a hotel you won't need your own soaps/shampoos etc. pack a pared down toiletries pack that will just last your 3 nights. Clean t-shirts, socks and underwear. You'll wear or carry your jackets so no need to pack them. A change of jeans and you can send the ones you wore on the plane out for hotel laundry the first thing. Pair of PJs - your set!
     
    #109 LMB, May 6, 2017
    Last edited: May 6, 2017
    Crispy013 and Lifes2good like this.
  10. Lifes2good

    Lifes2good Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    15
    That sounds wonderful! Thanks for the tip.

    I'm still thinking with young kids it might be best after a ten hour flight arriving in the evening to jump in a private transfer and just be driven to our hotel. The prices I have managed to find seem to be around $250.
     
  11. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    19,753
    Likes Received:
    6,629
    Probably not.
    The train is comfortable and fast.
    And it's something you won't do at home.

    Stop in the airport to grab a drink or two, and some fun things to eat on the train. It'll amuse and perk the kids up.

    Some of the hotels have train stations at thier base or just a few metres walk from a station. You might get some recommendations from others here.

    The other option is BUS. The luggage goes underneath, bus is a coach and it stops at many of the popular hotels. You just book the bus that matches your destination. I'd choose a train over a bus over a taxi personally. But bus IS easy.

    If you're training it without heaps of luggage it will be fun. With piles of heavy bags - not so much.

    When you've selected the accomodation if you let us know arrival airport and accomodation name Id be more than happy to help you work out the best route and method.
     
    Froff Life and Heinz like this.
  12. PMG

    PMG Dedicated Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,229
    Likes Received:
    763
    Where are you staying in Tokyo?
     
  13. Lifes2good

    Lifes2good Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    15
    Thanks, I'll do that. Haven't booked anything in Tokyo yet. Our friends are staying at the Four Seasons near Tokyo Station but that is out of our price range.

    I just know the kids will be beyond exhausted by the time we arrive at Narita and won't be all that interested in anything. The train experience can wait for another day.
     
  14. Zimboo

    Zimboo Addicted Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2014
    Messages:
    6,626
    Likes Received:
    2,639
    Tokyo has 2 airports ( Narita and Haneda). If you are flying JAL all the way to Sapporo (both international & domestic) there is a very good chance some days later after arriving into Narita you will depart from the other airport Haneda to Sapporo. . It's important to suss that out before booking accom in Tokyo (for easy transport connections to and from hotel). Happy to help. If you expect that your kids will be exhausted after the international flight, you can get a nights sleep at a very good Narita Airport hotel before heading into Tokyo the next day. The airport hotels have free airport shuttles to and from the airport every 15 minutes.
     
    #114 Zimboo, May 6, 2017
    Last edited: May 6, 2017
    Froff Life, Lifes2good, Heinz and 2 others like this.
  15. Tonester

    Tonester Dedicated Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    3,670
    Likes Received:
    597
    You can forward your ski stuff direct to your accommodation in Niseko. You can do this once you step out of customs at the arrivals concourse. A private transfer is a little over the top IMHO. It's Japan....it just works. How to get to your accommodation wil ldepend on WHERE your accommodation is. But have faith, even with kids, it's all too easy in japow.
     
    Lifes2good likes this.
  16. Tonester

    Tonester Dedicated Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    3,670
    Likes Received:
    597
    Also, don't underestimate the robust nature of your kids. You're flying the daytime flight, right? Bored maybe, prob not exhausted. I've done it a number of times on both the day and red-eye with kids. They can surprise you. Don't over think it, has been the lesson I've learnt .
     
    Lifes2good likes this.
  17. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    22,512
    Likes Received:
    4,387
    I endorse the other comments above. Your schedule of stopping a couple of days in Tokyo on the way in and out perfectly suit the luggage forwarding option. This is an excellent service in Japan - locals use it all the time to send gear then travel light on the trains etc, so it just works, so easy. You'll find a couple of counters just after your collect your bags at the airport. Just need the address of your accommodation in Niseko (in Japanese also helps). It will be there in a couple of days waiting for you. Costs around Y1500-2000 per piece.

    Have you booked the flights to Sapporo(Chitose)? Are you flying from Narita or Haneda. This does make a difference. Get that sorted first, then work out best location for Tokyo hotel. I really don't think it is worth booking private transfers. Arrival procedures and regular transfer services are very good in Tokyo.

    If you are arriving at 5pm you should be on a bus or train by 6-6:30 and at your hotel before 8pm - not late at all and most people should easily handle that. If it was later and you wanted an easy option you could get a free shuttle to a Narita hotel for a night and transfer to Tokyo the next day. As suggested above there are limousine bus services between major hotels and both airports which would be the easiest option. Those hotels will be a bit more expensive though, but you can also find cheaper ones a short walk away and if you are travelling light having forwarded ski gear that shouldn't be a problem.

    Let us know what airport you are flying to Sapporo from and we can suggest possible convenient locations to stay.
     
    #117 Heinz, May 7, 2017
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
    Froff Life and Lifes2good like this.
  18. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    14,996
    Likes Received:
    4,417
    In my experience in travelling with our kids on numerous long haul flights since they were babies (now 11 and 7 yrs old) they often arrive at the destination in much better shape than the adults. They normally have a sleep on the flight and can bounce back quicker than me.

    We generally follow LMBs advice sending all our ski gear and other checked bags onto our ski accommodation and then each of us have a carry on for the few days in Tokyo. It's only 3 days, how many clothes can you wear ? Maybe do a test run packing a carry on bag to see what you need. :)

    P.S And just in case you're not aware, kids under 12 are half price on the trains. :thumbs:
     
    Lifes2good and Pelm1 like this.
  19. M_G

    M_G Dedicated Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    4,860
    Likes Received:
    1,157
    And kids 6 and under are free (without seat)!
     
  20. Lifes2good

    Lifes2good Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    15
    Thanks so much for all the advice, it is greatly appreciated. We took the kids around Europe for 2 months last year so they are pretty good travellers now, though they don't sleep on flights. My little guy is pretty good at falling asleep around about 12 hours into a 13 hour flight though. The Narita hotel option also sounds kind of appealing but then we would waste half of the next day getting to another hotel, so it probably isn't worth it.

    We fly to Narita from Sydney and then we fly from Haneda to Sapporo 3 days later. Same thing in reverse on the way back.

    Our friends are staying near Tokyo Station so we want to be able to get to them easily as well as to see a few sights.

    I would love to know which train stations are best to stay near for easy transfers to/from the airports.
     
  21. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    22,512
    Likes Received:
    4,387
    Narita is good overnight option if you are flying in and out of there the next day or just get in late. There is a bit to see in Narita city. But for longer stays definitely better to head into Tokyo.

    My preferred location in Tokyo is Ueno as it has direct train access from Narita and the Shinkansen.
    For flying out of Haneda though somewhere around Shimbashi or Shinagawa with convenient access to Haneda would be an option. From what I recall there isn't much in the way of accomodation around Tokyo station itself.

    But if you are sending ski gear onto Hokkaido and so travelling light, it doesn't really matter that much where you stay. Stay somewhere near a station on the Yamanote JR line which is a circle line very good for getting around the city including Tokyo station or the subway network.

    This gives you a summary of Tokyo districts. http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2164.html
     
    Froff Life likes this.
  22. Lifes2good

    Lifes2good Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    15
    That's the exact ages of our kids when we go to Japan!
     
  23. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    19,753
    Likes Received:
    6,629
    I like Ueno a lot, and Yamanote line gets a fair workout when we are hanging out in Tokyo.

    Entry fees to Ueno Zoo are CHEAP....good inexpensive side trip to amuse the kids after wandering through Ueno park.

    You can get the monorail to Haneda from Hamamatsucho station. This is close to Shiba Park. Quite a few hotels around there which would make your exit from Tokyo simple. It also has the Yamanote line run through there. And it's the closest station to Tokyo Tower and Zojoji temple. There is very often entertaining street performers in Shiba Park itself also. Location could work.
    Narita Limousine Bus stops at Shiba Park Hotel, not that you have to stay there, but it will get you into the vicinity.
     
    Paradox likes this.
  24. M_G

    M_G Dedicated Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    4,860
    Likes Received:
    1,157
    Another vote for Ueno.
     
  25. Zimboo

    Zimboo Addicted Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2014
    Messages:
    6,626
    Likes Received:
    2,639
    Yep, another vote for accommodation close to Ueno station.
    Keisei Skyliner train from Narita airport to Ueno.
    http://www.keisei.co.jp/keisei/tetudou/skyliner/us/ae_outline/index.php
    At Ueno, I like to use the Ikenohata Exit of Keisei Ueno Station, walk across the road and into the hotel. So easy.
    Anywhere around "APA Hotel Keisei Ueno Ekimae" is great. IMO.
    https://www.google.com.au/maps/plac...3!3m1!1s0x60188e9c07c81d5f:0x591f41b697ff2442
    After your days in Tokyo, it's a easy transfer to Haneda.
     
    M_G likes this.
  26. chicski

    chicski Dedicated Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    1,137
    Likes Received:
    1,421
    So true. We did the overnight flight into Tokyo, arrived at 6am, spent the day in Disneyland. Kids went through to fireworks, I retired to our Disney hotel.
     
  27. Mufts

    Mufts Dedicated Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Messages:
    4,189
    Likes Received:
    2,676
    We're already taking bookings... :D
     
    LMB likes this.
  28. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    19,753
    Likes Received:
    6,629
    Are you going to get an oppprtunity to pop over yourself @Mufts ?

    Anyone looking for a very nice place in cooee of the Fridge bar would be well served checking if you have availability - really beautiful home!
     
    Mufts likes this.
  29. silva

    silva Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Messages:
    287
    Likes Received:
    147
    My advice travelling around Tokyo with kids - Train. If you are arriving at Narita in the evening I would stay in Ueno. Book early as family hotels are not easy to come by. I use booking.com as it has a map feature to show you the hotel locations. The Skyliner station is across the road from the main Ueno station on the Ueno Zoo/park side. Within 5 minutes wander from the Skyliner station are an astonishing amount of places to grab a quick bite to eat.
    Here is an example available for your dates:
    https://www.booking.com/hotel/jp/hotel-mystays-ueno-inaricho.en-gb.html?aid=304142;label=gen173nr-1DCAEoggJCAlhYSDNiBW5vcmVmaA-IAQGYAS64AQbIAQzYAQPoAQGSAgF5qAID;sid=f0258fb0d647353401b4f60346ff75ba;age=11;age=7;all_sr_blocks=24561710_100249795_0_0_0;checkin=2017-12-28;checkout=2017-12-31;dest_id=257033;dest_type=landmark;dist=0;group_adults=2;group_children=2;highlighted_blocks=24561710_100249795_0_0_0;hpos=8;no_rooms=1;place_id=257033;place_id_lat=35.713768;place_id_lon=139.777254;place_id_ss=Ueno Station;req_adults=2;req_age=11;req_age=7;req_children=2;room1=A,A,11,7;sb_price_type=total;srfid=adeae18a705368d0ae1fad495f7077bba602ca62X23;type=total;ucfs=1&#hotelTmpl

    Family rooms are not easy to find in Tokyo but we have found the Mystays chain reasonable. Just dont expect anything spacious. If the kids are tired pick up a cab from the station to your hotel. Just make sure you have the address and name in Japanese and English as well as the phone number.

    On the way home I would stay somewhere different - we stayed in Shinjuku as a Ueno alternative.
    If you have a late arrival into Haneda here:
    https://www.booking.com/hotel/jp/ar...ype=total;ucfs=1&#rt-lightbox-open-RD57060751
    is a good option - a quick monorail ride from the airport.
    Staying anywhere on the Yamanote loop will make your life simple for getting around Tokyo.
    Definately Black Cat as many bags as possible and have a ball in Tokyo. Train transport is super easy and fast.
     
    #129 silva, May 8, 2017
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
    Lifes2good likes this.
  30. Lifes2good

    Lifes2good Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    15
    #130 Lifes2good, May 8, 2017
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
  31. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler Addicted Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Messages:
    5,708
    Likes Received:
    2,614
    Are kids free on the Shink too? Going from Tokyo to Nagano somewhere
     
  32. M_G

    M_G Dedicated Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    4,860
    Likes Received:
    1,157
    6 and under, yes. However, if the train is full they have to sit on your lap.

    Not ideal, but probably only 5 minutes walk from Keisei-Ueno (Narita Skyliner terminus) or about 10 from JR Ueno (last shink stop before Tokyo). Close to Yamanoate Line (Okachimachi Station) so can also access Haneda with only one change.
     
  33. silva

    silva Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Messages:
    287
    Likes Received:
    147
    This hotel does look good and is not too far from Ueno. Very expensive though - $2200 for 3 nights
     
  34. Pelm1

    Pelm1 Dedicated Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    1,735
    Likes Received:
    1,988
    @Lifes2good

    If you are looking for convenience, stay in Nippori. It is the first stop on the Keisei line on the way to Ueno. It is on the Yamanote line 11 minutes to Tokyo station by train to meet you friends.

    Lots of hotels close to the station. I have stayed at this one, it is across the road and I mean 25 metres from the station. http://www.hotelsunny.co.jp/index_en.html Not sure if they have family rooms...

    This is two minutes from the station http://www.hotellungwood.com/ Again, not sure if they have family rooms...
    Both are lower cost but the beds are good...

    One tip.... make sure you know which exit you need to take out of the train stations and use Google street view to walk the route before you leave home...
     
    LMB and Heinz like this.
  35. Born2skii

    Born2skii Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2016
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    467
    Holy cow ! :eek:

    Not sure what your price range is @Lifes2good but these are two places we've stayed at in Ueno with our family of four. They're small rooms, like many are in Tokyo, but they both provide a breakfast and are reasonably priced.
    http://www.hotel-sardonyx.com/ueno/eng_room/#new_en

    http://www.superhoteljapan.com/en/s-hotels/ueno/

    Another option if you need a place with a kitchen in Tokyo is to look at www.airbnb.com.au .
     
  36. Froff Life

    Froff Life Dedicated Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Messages:
    3,470
    Likes Received:
    978
    AirBnB is king for families/couples looking for anything bigger than a shoebox hotel room in Tokyo. Get on it
     
    smackies likes this.
  37. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    22,512
    Likes Received:
    4,387
    Yep, good tip. Saves losing your way if you take wrong one. Keisei Ueno is pretty simple - 2 main exits but other stations have several. Remember the exit name/number.
     
  38. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    19,753
    Likes Received:
    6,629
    Thanks for all the hotel suggestions in Tokyo. I'm checking them all out!

    I need to book for 6 in mid Feb and again for late March/early April - Sakura time! So it'll be busy and exxy!

    Feb: 1dbl + 4 singles (us + offspring)
    March: 2xdbls + 2 singles. (us + parenti + a friend)
     
  39. smackies

    smackies Addicted Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2002
    Messages:
    7,252
    Likes Received:
    1,082
  40. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    19,753
    Likes Received:
    6,629
    The 20yr old used airBnB for a solo night in Sapporo for a gaming competition - intrepid (well I thought so - never having used AirBnB before!). He said it was brilliant.

    We've used it for the first time to book accomodation in Dunedin in August for a Wallabies match. Fingers crossed!
     
  41. Froff Life

    Froff Life Dedicated Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Messages:
    3,470
    Likes Received:
    978
    Give it a shot LMG, especially because you have a group. You can save a decent amount of cash whilst also getting bonus's like a kitchen, lounge area
     
    LMB likes this.
  42. smackies

    smackies Addicted Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2002
    Messages:
    7,252
    Likes Received:
    1,082
    Also, you can stay in places that are otherwise hard to find hotels in (e.g. Shimokitazawa).
     
    LMB likes this.
  43. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    19,753
    Likes Received:
    6,629
    Well...there's my productive morning vanishing before my eyes LOL
    I'll be scouring AirBnB now! :p

    Cheers guys.
    The cumulative knowledge here really is a valuable commodity. I appreciate the shares. :thumbs:
     
    M_G and Froff Life like this.
  44. skivet

    skivet Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    77
    Qantas on sale now Brisbane to Narita direct 8th Jan to end March from $857. I had already booked in feb but now $1034. I think deals from Melbourne as well
     
  45. Thommo79

    Thommo79 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2016
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    11
    The fares I saw out of BNE went via Melbourne or Hong Kong. And from what I saw the fares are one way, so if you want to comeback it is still $1500+.
     
  46. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler Addicted Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Messages:
    5,708
    Likes Received:
    2,614

    We used Airbnb throughout Europe and it was brilliant - easy with kids as have more space for them to burn odd some energy. Obviously not as consistent as hotels - some better, some worse, but you just have to take that!
     
  47. Froff Life

    Froff Life Dedicated Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Messages:
    3,470
    Likes Received:
    978
    Melbourne from as low as $900 direct. Not bad.....
     
  48. Lifes2good

    Lifes2good Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    15
    We used Airbnb all through Scandinavia last year, it was wonderful. Planning on hotels for Tokyo though.
     
  49. Thommo79

    Thommo79 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2016
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    11
    Does anyone no what they are doing at Nozawa? They appear to be reshaping the slope a little at Hikage but I'm only guessing.
    [​IMG]
     
  50. Froff Life

    Froff Life Dedicated Member
    Season Pass Gold

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Messages:
    3,470
    Likes Received:
    978
    Hopefully making the top part that comes off from Skyline a little steeper!
     
    Budgiesmuggler likes this.