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defiant
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  Reply # 1683510 6-Dec-2016 21:21
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Hm, when I was there the good deals on cameras only came in Japanese language with no way to change it to english even with a firmware flash.

 

There's a Sony store in Ginza, from memory, that sell english versions of cameras however they seemed to be a generation behind e.g. they didn't have the Sony RX-100 IV at the time only the III

 

Might have better luck with audio but wasn't something I was looking out for but there's plenty of electronic stores e.g. Bic Camera and Yodobashi some of which have 10+ levels to wonder through.

 

Also don't forget they're 100v there


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  Reply # 1700517 9-Jan-2017 14:11
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Just back from 3rd business trip. Love Japan a little more every time I go. 

 

Its hard advise people on what to see/do unless you know what kind of trip you want. I'm somewhat over shrines and castles now as I've seen a lot of them, so now more focused on food, technology and music. So I try check out the best local food in each new city, see a new museum or feat of Japanese engineering, and try catch some cool new local music. 

 

I spent some time in Hiroshima this trip and have to say its now my favorite Japanese place. There is something very different about the locals there compared to Tokyo etc. Really positive and optimistic, friendly and outgoing. My favorite bar is there, a rock bar called Koba, check it out if you go! The trip out to Miyajima was awesome. Peace park and museum sobering but very good. The local Hiroshima dish of friend noodle omelet is epic! 

 

Also got really into Japanese whiskey on the last trip, and there is a lot of very good quality craft beer made over there too. 

 

I also find the JapanTravel section of Reddit really good to read and get ideas from. 

 

Happy to help with any specific questions. 

 

 


 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 1700518 9-Jan-2017 14:32
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^ Thanks

 

I have pretty much narrowed down my potential itinerary, but need to lower my hotel standards just a touch to have any chance of actually affording the trip (at the moment looking at $5500 for airfares and accommodation, need to chop a grand from that - however included in that are trips to Singapore and Sydney on the way home)

 

Actual "what am I going to do while on the ground" plans are still very much up in the air, but with only a few days in each place I am sure that the time will fly whatever I choose to do, and then I will need another holiday to recover from the holiday


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  Reply # 1700531 9-Jan-2017 15:20
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Yep its very expensive when using the poor old Kiwi dollar. Have you thought about Air BnB as well? I hear great things from friends about Japanese air bnb experiences. 

 

Just make sure and include relaxing in your itinerary! One of the best things Japanese do when they're not working (which isnt that often) is just soak in a lovely hot onsen overlooking some lovely scenery, then lounge about in a very comfortable kimono, followed by a luxurious dinner. There's a huge temptation to rush around the country and see as much as possible, rushing through train stations, being packed into subways, queuing at airports...so don't forget to just stop wherever possible to relax and drink in the peaceful vibes somewhere nice and relaxing. 

 

Eat everything as well. Don't ask what it is just eat it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1700543 9-Jan-2017 16:00
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One thing to expect when you go, is earthquakes. They have them a lot more frequently over there. They had one as soon as I arrived in Chiba airport. 

 

There are so many things to see, temples, towers (they have a tower that looks like the Eiffel tower), technology districts. Although I don't think it is really much cheaper to buy things over there. They have  monorails and trains. But things I find are quite sterile. Even Disneyland was a bit sterile. Nowhere near as good as the US versions, although also not as a busy, which is a good thing.


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  Reply # 1700593 9-Jan-2017 17:59
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nzkiwiman:

 

^ Thanks

 

I have pretty much narrowed down my potential itinerary, but need to lower my hotel standards just a touch to have any chance of actually affording the trip (at the moment looking at $5500 for airfares and accommodation, need to chop a grand from that - however included in that are trips to Singapore and Sydney on the way home)

 

 

Lots of Japanese "business" hotels are very good and the pricing with examples such as Tokoyo Inn, Richmond Hotel and Dormy Inn (just a few I've stayed in). These are typically super compact and normally super clean and efficient.

 

While I love staying at nice hotels over there (had some great Hilton upgrades with my status when I was there in Nov) if you want that sort of experience you will pay a lot for it.

 

 


defiant
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  Reply # 1700613 9-Jan-2017 18:10
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sbiddle:

 

nzkiwiman:

 

^ Thanks

 

I have pretty much narrowed down my potential itinerary, but need to lower my hotel standards just a touch to have any chance of actually affording the trip (at the moment looking at $5500 for airfares and accommodation, need to chop a grand from that - however included in that are trips to Singapore and Sydney on the way home)

 

 

Lots of Japanese "business" hotels are very good and the pricing with examples such as Tokoyo Inn, Richmond Hotel and Dormy Inn (just a few I've stayed in). These are typically super compact and normally super clean and efficient.

 

While I love staying at nice hotels over there (had some great Hilton upgrades with my status when I was there in Nov) if you want that sort of experience you will pay a lot for it.

 

 

 

 

+1 to that. Some of the "business" hotels feel nicer than hotels I've stayed at in NZ.

 

Some of them offer free ramen for dinner as well, well worth looking at




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  Reply # 1700717 10-Jan-2017 08:40
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I went through accomodation yesterday, seeing what was around and rough pricing so I knew if I could book the cheaper AirNZ flight over to Tokyo.

 

Tokyo (Shinjuku) - pretty decent prices 
Osaka - pretty decent prices
Hiroshima - cheap
Kyoto - expensive, really expensive

 

As a result of Kyoto being so expensive I'm trying to see how I could modify my itinerary.


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  Reply # 1700736 10-Jan-2017 09:55
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You could easily stay in Osaka and get the train up to Kyoto for sightseeing. 

 

You probably know but AirNZ have a new year sale on right now btw...i'm just booking Tokyo flights for June. 


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  Reply # 1700747 10-Jan-2017 10:21
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From the last post, seeing that AirNZ has a sale on at present, I feel a bit miffed !  We booked six months out for flights starting April first to Tokyo return. Had to travel on fixed dates due to work schedule. Best price when booking was $2800 return on cattle class, but I now see that we could book for $2000 return. I booked early so we were asure of seats and that I could book the rest of the trip with confidence. What we did do in this instance, after years of travel in ecconomy, with the high fare quoted, I asked what was the Premium economy fare and that was only $400 more each return so I we are shouting ourselves a bit more comfort on this trip as it is an overnight flight home and my wife has to go to work next day.If we had got the present $2000 fares (ex ChCh) I would not have paid the extra for P. Economy. These sales never seem to be on when I plan and book !


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  Reply # 1700755 10-Jan-2017 10:25
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Nearly all airlines do NY and mid year sales to fill seats :)

 

Premium Economy is well worth the extra dollars for a long flight, the food and service are excellent and you get much better legroom. The 787 cabin comfort is better then the 777. 

 

But I feel your pain, I often book seats far ahead of when I fly thus missing out on the inevitable sales that come around. 

 

 

 

 




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  Reply # 1700913 10-Jan-2017 14:15
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If I stuck to my original dates, PE seats are on sale (around $1400 vs 1800) while Economy is $900 (Dunedin to Tokyo)
A week earlier, Economy is just under $200 cheaper and therefore the gap between E and PE was too much to allow myself an upgrade. 

 

I am trying to get myself sorted to take advantage of the sale ..

 

 

 

I booked tickets in December 2015 for my May 2016 Hong Kong trip and got caught out with sales in January; however my thinking was that I had already secured tickets and didn't have to change any of my dates due to things being sold out.


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  Reply # 1705120 18-Jan-2017 11:11
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Camden:

 

From the last post, seeing that AirNZ has a sale on at present, I feel a bit miffed !  We booked six months out for flights starting April first to Tokyo return. Had to travel on fixed dates due to work schedule. Best price when booking was $2800 return on cattle class, but I now see that we could book for $2000 return. I booked early so we were asure of seats and that I could book the rest of the trip with confidence. What we did do in this instance, after years of travel in ecconomy, with the high fare quoted, I asked what was the Premium economy fare and that was only $400 more each return so I we are shouting ourselves a bit more comfort on this trip as it is an overnight flight home and my wife has to go to work next day.If we had got the present $2000 fares (ex ChCh) I would not have paid the extra for P. Economy. These sales never seem to be on when I plan and book !

 

 

 

 

I really wouldn't advise this,  the flights tend to land around 9am in Auckland now, and traffic issues/customs/immigration holdups normally mean you get out of the airport around 10am-10:30am.  (this is assuming auckland based and not any other connections etc). 


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  Reply # 1705191 18-Jan-2017 12:58
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Wibbleman

 

I assume by that you mean arriving in Auckland and walking straight off the plane into work?  In our case my wife arrives home early Sunday morning then starts work next day, Monday.The only stress for her will be if the Tokyo flight is late into Auckland and she misses her booked connecting flight to Christchurch and has to get a later one.

 

 


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  Reply # 1705192 18-Jan-2017 13:03
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Camden:

 

Wibbleman

 

I assume by that you mean arriving in Auckland and walking straight off the plane into work?  In our case my wife arrives home early Sunday morning then starts work next day, Monday.The only stress for her will be if the Tokyo flight is late into Auckland and she misses her booked connecting flight to Christchurch and has to get a later one.

 

 

Sorry,  yeah thats what I had assumed.  Work the day after is fine :)   Too used to red-eyes from aus. 

 

However the timelag will be quite hard to deal with on only one day,  I try to arrive home from japan on a friday or saturday so I at least have the weekend to adjust to the 4 hour difference.


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