First of all, I want to thank this sub for all the advice. I recently came back from a 2.5 week trip throughout Osaka, Nara, Kobe, Kyoto, and Tokyo. I picked up all the tips on points of interest, rail and metro usage, and food recommendation so I had a painless itinerary getting around Japan.
Unfortunately I have had a painful experience returning to the US. After being on my feet 18 hours a day and clocking 25k-30k steps a day I found my body breaking down on my last couple days in Japan. My feet become unbearable to stand on and my hip and thighs started to give. Even with comfortable running shoes, being on my feet so much wore me out. Mind you I typically weightlift 5 days a week with a 3 mile run a day.
I had to be wheelchaired back home and I’m currently 1 week post my trip but find myself still unable to put much weight on my feet and am in crutches. Doctor says to ice my feet and take ibuprofen but have found the progress slow (maybe a 20% improvement over the last week).
To keep my spirits high and for recovery, have any of you had a similar experience and have advice? I know the RICE cycle but have found my progress to be slower than expected :( could this take a month to resolve?
I'm in the lucky enough situation that my work is letting my work from Tokyo (we have an office in Shibuya) for five months January 1-June 1. As such, I'd like to use this time as best as possible to experience all that Japan has to offer tourism-wise.
Here are some must-do's on my list:
Okinawa in February for Hanami (and to get out of the cold)
Sapporo for Yuki Matsuri
Visit distilleries in Osaka (big fan of Japanese whisky)
Hanami in Tokyo and Kyoto (of course)
A trip to Kobe/Nara
One or two weekend trips to Korea (big fan of Starcraft too)
Are there any less-recommended tourist-y things that I could get away with since I'll be living there for 5 months that a few-week-only traveler would have a hard time prioritizing? I do want to get a good feel for what it's like to live in Tokyo, but also want to do a good amount of weekend travelling around Japan.
In particular for my interests, a big reason I have an interest in Japanese culture is because the quality of their food is unmatched worldwide.
Hey guys, just returned from my trip to Japan yesterday. I don’t think I’m going to do a full trip report but I do have some tips that I think are worthwhile!
I actually had to go to the hospital the first official day I was in Japan. I was experiencing some knee pain the night we flew in that quickly became unbearable. It felt like a Charley horse that never went away. I hadn’t bumped it, and I’ve never had trouble with my knees. Fearing the worst, I thought I might have a blood clot. (I sometimes sat cross legged on the long plane ride) luckily I did NOT have a blood clot.
I went to the center hospital of the National center for global health and medicine in Shinjuku. Unfortunately, I didn’t have travelers insurance so I had to pay in full. The hospital visit + pain relievers and a pain relieving ointment was $179 which is a good price from my standpoint as an American.
The whole process was pretty straight forward. The actual hospital doesn’t open until 7:30 which is weird. Surely Japan has an ER, but I was not able to figure out where that’s located. You fill out a form, and then they assign you to a doctor that fits your specific problem( I went to the orthopedic doctor) I was able to get a translator for the doctor and had no trouble with communication. You’re given a number and you basically just wait until your number pops up on the screen and you walk into the doctors office. It went smoothly. I had an English translator. The doctor reassured that I didn’t have a blood clot but the knee pain could’ve been caused by the long flight. I was still pretty troubled how I could’ve been in so much pain from just that. Luckily, it got better by the 2nd day and I was able to do everything as normal.
Some other things worth mentioning: we stayed in shinjuku. I don’t regret staying in shinjuku—but I will say that if you’re a bit introverted and/or suffer from some social anxiety you will get VERY drained and a bit agitated from the constant stimulation. I’m glad we only stayed in Tokyo for 4 days. By day 3 we went to Minato for a break and went to the Aoyama tea house.
Kyoto was definitely a nice relief from the bustling streets of Tokyo. If you’re planning on a relaxing time in Kyoto, do everything in the morning!! No over crowding, very few tourists. At most there will be a horde of school children, but it’s pretty cute seeing them in their little hats.
We only spent a day in Osaka, so I don’t have too much to say. It seems like I would like it more than Tokyo. We had a lot of fun in Dotombori.
Another thing I’d like to add— I see a lot of people running themselves into the ground trying to “see everything” and they end up getting blisters on their feet, have to recovery for most of the trip, and worse- actual injuries. I took this info pretty seriously. We remembered to relax, enjoy the moments, and we also took naps midday. Did we miss out on things? Yes. We didn’t do Akihabara and we missed out on a few temples. But Im not going to let myself regret it. Honestly, some of my favorite moments were spent just chillin. (sitting by the Kamo river as the sun starts to set) So Don’t forget to just slow down and listen to your body!!! You won’t be able to enjoy it as much if you’re in pain/exhausted.
My son and I just completed our 10 day trip in Japan and we really enjoyed our trip. It was both our first time in Japan and we are definitely looking to come back as there was so much still left to explore. I would just like to offer some tips for other travelers, hopefully to make your visits as pleasant as ours was.
Shinkansen and Subway/Bus planning/purchasing can all be done via your smartphone. Before we left for Japan, we set up our iPhones with a virtual Suica card and downloaded the SmartEX app to buy our bullet train tickets to Kyoto and Osaka. We linked our bullet train tickets to our phones’ virtual Suica card and we were able to simply tap our phones to get inside the Shinkansen platforms. No waiting in line, no purchasing beforehand from a company and have to pay them to deliver it to your hotel. Every transit trip we made, whether Shinkansen, bus, or subway, we used our virtual Suica card on our phone and it made everything super easy. There are the JR rail passes that can save you money, but for us it wasn’t much and we wanted the flexibility to take any train we wanted. Some Shinkansen trains do not accept the tourist JR passes.
All the shops here even breakfast restaurants seem to open at 10:00-11:00. My son and I are early wakers and usually get up at 6:00 so it surprised us that we couldn’t visit most of the restaurants/shops until later on in the day. We checked out Akihabara at 8:00 and found everything pretty much closed so we were a bit disappointed. Haha. If you do wake up early, instead of shops and restaurants, visit the parks and temples that are open. It was nice to see a bunch of the historic landmarks in the early mornings without having to fight through a swarm of tourists.
Visit a local Izakaya, even if you don’t speak much Japanese. If it’s not super busy, most izakaya hosts will go out of their way to help you and introduce you to an array of small dishes. One izakaya owner, who was super sweet pulled out her smartphone for us and showed us pictures of all her dishes to pick from. When my son and I were in Kyoto, one of the most memorable event was visiting a local izakaya there. The small and warm atmosphere of izakayas, and their slower pace of dining is definitely something to experience.
Hello! I'm currently on my way to see the Arashiyama bamboo grove, and it's currently 8:00 with my ETA being around 8:30. I had planned to go earlier but I've never used public transit before and screwed up my bus. Now I'm worried by the time I get there it will be obscenely crowded. I could have sworn I read a comment on here about another, less known grove that was close to the one everyone goes to see, but I can't find that comment anymore. Does anyone know where I'm talking about or have suggestions for other similar grooves that might be less crowded?
I just recently came back from a trip to Tohoku and wish I had gotten a specific souvenir while I was in Akita Prefecture. If anyone happens to be at Tazawako JR Station, would you mind snapping a photo (or two) of the Akita Inu (dog) plushies they had for sale at the convenience store (I think it was a New Days conbini)? I think I saw some in the sitting position that we’re about 8 inches tall. Just wanted to compare and see if I’m seeing the same one online, which is terribly expensive.
Thanks in advance if anyone bothers with this!
I reviewed some of the previous posts about airlines but didn't really find what I am looking for. If this exact question is posted somewhere and I missed it, I apologize in advance.
I am in the planning stages of my trip for next year and looking to fly into Tokyo are (either airport is fine). My SO is 6'6'' so I want to make sure there are comfortable seating options for him. Cost is a factor, but we understand that we may have to pay a little more for what we need. We are leaving from Texas but are willing to look at flights from LAX as well.
Does anyone have any suggestions on which airlines worked best for taller folks?
Sep 5, 2012
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