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Unread 1 Aug 18, 02:46 PM  
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#1
kk20
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Start to plan our first Tokyo Disneyland

After much family deliberation on a disney holiday we have booked flights to Tokyo (into Narita and out of Haneda). A shade under 2k for 4 of us on KLM (and air france return) plus another 115 for seat booking (I was camping skyscanner daily for the second the seats were released). I managed to snag the 4 seats at the serving bulkhead too so noone will be reclining seats into us.

We have never been to Tokyo or disneyland either. We are arriving in Narita on the Monday so my plan was use the bus transfer to go to disney area for the day staying at the Hilton for 4 nights. That gives us 3 full days in disney(sea).

Then the idea is transfer to central Tokyo (via express train) "somewhere" for 6 nights, then transfer to Horiuchi beach area (train to Zushi, Taxi to Horiuchi) for a final 4 nights before going to Haneda for departure (taxi, train with single change)

Now for the questions!
  • Is there enough to do for 4/5 hours without going into disney on the first day? We land at 10:30 so I expect to be arriving in disney area about 13:00 to 14:00. Is there a "downtown" type area? I know if i'd never been to DLP then there is definitely enough to keep me busy for 4/5 hours (DD would be in the lego shop the whole time I suspect... )
  • Hilton Tokyo Bay is coming in about 21.6K inc breakfast. This is about 150pn (depending on exchange of course). Is this a reasonable price to expect for room plus breakfast or am I best waiting? I have no experience of tokyo or disney area, this (on the face) seems a little steep but then again is IS in the disney area.
  • do disney tickets (for the park) have offers or is is "book as quick as you can because the price only goes up!"?
  • now that airbnb will be a "no go" by the time we go next July, I will be looking at a cheap apartment. How are taxi fares in Japan compared to say London? I intend using the train to get from Disney to central Tokyo then a taxi from the station to a "central ish" apartment. Foot and bus will suffice when we have gotten rid of our cases.
  • is a seaside hotel move to Zushi area (I believe Horiuchi is nicer than Zushi) for a few days worth it? Or not worth fully decamping? I think the train to zushi (from tokyo central) is just over an hour.
  • From what I am led to believe you dont need to pre-book train or transfer tickets like to do in the UK etc as there are no discounted travel options - simply get a ticket from the machines on the day - is this accurate?

So now all I have to do is book some hotels and get disney tickets!
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Edited at 02:47 PM.
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Unread 1 Aug 18, 03:23 PM  
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AntonyJ
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Ohhhh another one of us off to Tokyo ! You did not say what time of year you are planning to go, so may I ask when?

Mr "kevin_cambs_uk" is Mr Japan Trains (other here know loads too! ) so I will leave that side of it for him to come back on I think.

<<Is there enough to do for 4/5 hours without
<<going into disney on the first day? We land at
<<10:30 so i expect to be arriving in disney area
<<about 13:00 to 14:00. Is there a "downtown" type
<<area? I know if i'd never been to DLP then there
<<is definitely enough to keep me busy for 4/5 hours
<<(DD would be in the lego shop the whole time I
<<suspect... )
Much like DLP, there is a Downtown Disney Area called IKSPIARI - ikspiari/ - but it is in Japanese, so use Google Chrome and let it translate for you, but it has shopping , food etc. there. Walk out of the Hilton and less than 5 mins (at bottom of hotel driveway!) is the Bayside Disney Monorail station one of the stops on that is Ikspiari. The monorail costs but it is like a quid or two.
Have you thought how tired you might be after a long flight, and perhaps an hour or so might be all you need to kill before you need to go to bed?

<<Hilton Tokyo Bay is coming in about 21.6K inc breakfast.
<<This is about 150pn (depending on exchange of
<<course). Is this a reasonable price to expect for room
<<plus breakfast or am I best waiting? I have no experience
<<of tokyo or disney area, this (on the face) seems a little
<<steep but then again is IS in the disney area.
There is a Sheraton hotel next to the Hilton, that people here have been to and think is excellent, how the prices look for there?
The breakfast price at the Hilton, how does it look without breakfast, perhaps grabbing a snack in the park might do you, and save a lot of money?
Tokyo Disney is often part of the semi-regular flash Hilton sales, but you have to be quick to nab them, but you might be going at a busy time for Japan so not sure if would work for you.
Are you a member of the Hilton Honors scheme? Free to join and knocks a 1000 or so Yen off the price each night.

<<do disney tickets (for the park) have offers or is
<<is "book as quick as you can because the price
<<onlygoes up!"?
If you stay at the Hilton or Sheraton you can buy them in the hotel remember you need to pay for them in cash, they do not let you buy them with credit card. They have the benefit of selling tickets that guarantee you entry, even if they close the parks as they have reached capacity. Avoid going to parks at weekend if you can, quieter during week. You can buy them at places like the Disney Stores around Tokyo too, and there are places that let you buy them before you travel if you wanted to, but do not know about them sorry. I plan to buy at the hotel.

Edited at 03:25 PM.
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Unread 1 Aug 18, 04:01 PM  
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kk20
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we are going 1st week in July. I plan on going into the parks tues/wed/thu (i guessed that it would be the same as DLP - i.e. busy at weekends and slightly better on the queues outside of Japanese school holidays).

ref tickets, so you can buy them "on the day" at the concierge *(cash only) assuming we book the Hilton? That seems mighty risky to my "want to plan ahead" mind. eek.

Siesta will be had in the afternoon, but as on our other trips to singapore and china, we tend to "hard core" it the first day and at least try to make it past evening meal.

Not sure when the best time to start booking central Tokyo hotels will be either. Im guessing around the 6/5 month mark? Ive done some trial expedia bookings and there are very few available for next july (probably too early yet) but loads for november etc.
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Edited at 04:12 PM.
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Unread 1 Aug 18, 05:43 PM  
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I can't really help with the first couple of questions as we went in to Tokyo itself first and on to Disney a few days later. We did visit IKSPIARI one evening whilst were at Disney - it is essentially like a huge shopping centre, so you can almost certainly kill time there but it may not be the most interesting.We didn't stay at the Hilton (we managed to book Disney's Ambassador at a good rate so stayed there instead!).

We bought our tickets when we arrived, which feels odd when you are used to doing everything in advance. I think the prices are pretty set. We paid a small amount extra to have park hopping after the first two days, but I seem to recall that there was no option to hop on the first two days and you had to nominate which park you would be in.

Why do you consider Airbnb a no-go for next year? There has been a change in the law which has placed restrictions on where and who can offer rooms via Airbnb, and formalised the registration process. This caused short term chaos earlier this year, but anything which is properly licensed in an allowed area is fine. Airbnb - and the Japanese authorities it seems - are very "on" this, and won't be allowing listings that don't meet the regulations, so I'd still happily book with them.

Uber operate in Japan, so are a potential option. We had planned to used them for our transfer from Tokyo to Disney, but unfortunately Uber went down that morning! I used instead a very similar service called MyJapanTaxi which was excellent (although the confirmation email was entirely in Japanese, so I needed to make use of translation!) The cost seemed reasonable to me (sorry, cannot recall it) but I was happy to pay a bit for an easy life. On returning from Disney to Tokyo Station, we just had the hotel call us a taxi. This was definitely slightly more expensive than the MyJapanTaxi service.

Can't help with the seaside either, as not been there. However with 4 nights you have plenty of time to get to somewhere like Kyoto, which is my real must-do. It's a fantastic city and a real contrast to Tokyo.

Train tickets - broadly, yes, you can buy as you go, however there are some tourist options that may be worth thinking about. For example Tokyo Metro have tourist passes available only to foreign visitors tokyometro.jp/lang_en/ticket/value/travel/
However, you need to have some sort idea of where you might want to travel, because unlike in the UK, you need different tickets to travel with different operators. So the pass I've linked to is only valid on Metro and Toei lines, not JR lines.

Based on the itinerary you have here, a JR Pass probably isn't going to be worthwhile, but if you do look in to travelling around then you need to start adding costs up to see if it will save you money.
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Unread 1 Aug 18, 08:40 PM  
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excellent stuff. hadnt thought of uber and since i dont have to pre book transport anyway i can just get uber quotes on the day then decide.

ta!
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Unread 2 Aug 18, 06:10 PM  
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uh oh. kids have found a universal with harry potter stuff "only 2 and a half hours on the bullet train mum!" in Osaka. looking more like 4 days arrive then disney. 2 days Universal. 2/3 days in Osaka and finally 6/7 days Tokyo.

Airbnb will probably be the best budget bet now the licensing has been sorted.

Edited at 06:11 PM.
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Unread 2 Aug 18, 06:49 PM  
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Originally Posted by kk20 View Post
uh oh. kids have found a universal with harry potter stuff "only 2 and a half hours on the bullet train mum!" in Osaka. looking more like 4 days arrive then disney. 2 days Universal. 2/3 days in Osaka and finally 6/7 days Tokyo.

Airbnb will probably be the best budget bet now the licensing has been sorted.
If you are going to Osaka then you may well want to consider a JR Pass. The cost of a 7 day pass is almost the same as a return from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka. If you have a few journeys on JR lines or JR buses within either city, it will definitely pay off. JR Pass is not valid for the fastest services (Nozomi) though. Hikari and Kodama services take a little longer to reach Osaka (3-4 hours). japanrailpass/en/about_jrp.html
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Unread 3 Aug 18, 09:11 AM  
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I saw you mention the JR pass earlier, it does seem to make sense as we could time a 7 day pass to coincide with the majority of our travel. Todays family job is to look at squeezing USJ into the mix. With the JR pass we could probably stop in Kyoto (over the weekend) and "commute" from Kyoto to USJ on a Tuesday (best queuing days - usjinfo/ ). Using hyperdia/en/ to only look at JR pass compatible trains.

Ignoring the arrival, departure and 2 half travelling days that would give us 3 full disney, 1 full USJ, 3 full kyoto, 5 full tokyo. The "half days" would be spent doing stuff locally to the accommodation or evening related stuff.
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