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Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong Theme Parks Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong Holiday Planning Questions, Suggestions and Tips.

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Old 7 Jan 18, 12:34 PM  
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AntonyJ
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Japan - to those that have been...

Geoffa prompted me to type this up, following up on some questions on another thread, so here we go.

I have long wanted to go to Japan, well Tokyo really with a look in at the Disney parks too. Also, my partner works for Virgin Trains am we want to go on the bullet train.

I really do not have a desire to go see much else of Japan, not tour and see the countryside, temples etc - it really is Tokyo I want to see, so about 5 days there am thinking?

With it being such a long trip was thinking about doing a few days going / coming back at a stop - say Hong Kong on way out, and Singapore on the way back.

I have got 161,000 VA air miles at the moment, and slowly adding more through Tesco Club Card exchange, and VA Amex card.

I am 6 foot 1, he is 6 foot 4 - and cannot see is managing in economy seats all that way, added to the fact that I get very bad jet lag when I come back from the States (thank God for Melatonin now! ) I have a concern that will fly all the way there and then feel so ill / zombie like for 3 or more days.

My biggest fear in life is throwing up, and when I got jet lag bad in the early days of Orlando trips, I used to take another week off work to recover - so would need 3 weeks leave. Then melatonin arrived, yeh!

So I want to try and get us there on a plane seat where I might have a chance of sleeping. Ideally want that on way back also, but fear that will be too much money / points. That is why I thought VA to Hong Kong in PE might be a goer, could of days there, then fly to Tokyo from there as we can sit in an economy seat for the 3 hours if need be.

VA also fly to Shanghai - another great place to stop over for a day or two...

now the Tokyo let of things lol

Thanks to the reports of Geoffa, kevin_cambs_uk and others (and the great Tokyo 2020 show on NHK TV on Sky) I feel a lot more comfortable about getting around Tokyo on the trains etc. and think could manage it.

Few things still on my mind are:

Bowing / being respectful - I would be mortified if I did it wrong and somehow offended someone by not doing it enough, or too much. One of the many things that appeals to me is the politeness of the Japanese people.

Food - I am one of the most boring people when it comes to food, I do not try new things easily and have a fear I would be spending my time eating the McD and KFC. YES - I do like tempura, some noodles, rice - but just a worry I would struggle to find things to eat, as I could not ask about them and the contents due to language barriers, and then if I try it (by some miracle!) and do not like it, cause offence by leaving it.

Lets leave it at that for a start
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Old 7 Jan 18, 02:18 PM  
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kevin_cambs_uk
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Originally Posted by AntonyJ View Post
Geoffa prompted me to type this up, following up on some questions on another thread, so here we go.

I have long wanted to go to Japan, well Tokyo really with a look in at the Disney parks too. Also, my partner works for Virgin Trains am we want to go on the bullet train.

I really do not have a desire to go see much else of Japan, not tour and see the countryside, temples etc - it really is Tokyo I want to see, so about 5 days there am thinking?

With it being such a long trip was thinking about doing a few days going / coming back at a stop - say Hong Kong on way out, and Singapore on the way back.

I have got 161,000 VA air miles at the moment, and slowly adding more through Tesco Club Card exchange, and VA Amex card.

I am 6 foot 1, he is 6 foot 4 - and cannot see is managing in economy seats all that way, added to the fact that I get very bad jet lag when I come back from the States (thank God for Melatonin now! ) I have a concern that will fly all the way there and then feel so ill / zombie like for 3 or more days.

My biggest fear in life is throwing up, and when I got jet lag bad in the early days of Orlando trips, I used to take another week off work to recover - so would need 3 weeks leave. Then melatonin arrived, yeh!

So I want to try and get us there on a plane seat where I might have a chance of sleeping. Ideally want that on way back also, but fear that will be too much money / points. That is why I thought VA to Hong Kong in PE might be a goer, could of days there, then fly to Tokyo from there as we can sit in an economy seat for the 3 hours if need be.

VA also fly to Shanghai - another great place to stop over for a day or two...

now the Tokyo let of things lol

Thanks to the reports of Geoffa, kevin_cambs_uk and others (and the great Tokyo 2020 show on NHK TV on Sky) I feel a lot more comfortable about getting around Tokyo on the trains etc. and think could manage it.

Few things still on my mind are:

Bowing / being respectful - I would be mortified if I did it wrong and somehow offended someone by not doing it enough, or too much. One of the many things that appeals to me is the politeness of the Japanese people.

Food - I am one of the most boring people when it comes to food, I do not try new things easily and have a fear I would be spending my time eating the McD and KFC. YES - I do like tempura, some noodles, rice - but just a worry I would struggle to find things to eat, as I could not ask about them and the contents due to language barriers, and then if I try it (by some miracle!) and do not like it, cause offence by leaving it.

Lets leave it at that for a start
All I can add is about the bowing
The Japanese do not expect you to do the same however if you learn the basics such please and thank you then you will get by.

After a few days I started to realise that you start to naturally bow towards people as they help etc but itís not to be expected.

A smile and a thank you in Japanese goes a long way

When you walk into a shop they say mase mase or something which is welcome and I tended to look at them if they looked at me bowed a little and said konichiwa!

They do not like physical contact so you would not shake hands but of all the things about japan I learned a lot about the etiquette especially when eating

Aboard in japan on YouTube had just done a thing on the top 10 things not to do

However he also missed out a biggie in that you generally never give money for purchases directly to people but place it in a tray next to The cash register

The best thing in japan is that they are so polite and the place is so safe that you never feel uncomfortable

As for the food

One of the best things about japan was that for every meal you never really knew what you were getting although most restaurants have an English menu

For me and the wife we loved that every meal was an adventure and even the vending machines were like a lottery cause you never really knew what was coming!

Just typing this makes me want to cancel the contemporary resort and go back for the third time!

But I dropped the hint today for 2019... after I have done the kitchen and the house it will be my reward!

I would be fascinated to know what your partner thinks of the train system as well...
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Edited at 03:54 PM.
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Old 7 Jan 18, 07:06 PM  
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KarenG
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You can use your VA miles to fly to Tokyo with ANA - subject to availability. Miles costs were quite high but actual cash needed for taxes etc low. I rang to ask this exact question this morning, as Iíve got 500k miles and want to use them if poss!
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Old 7 Jan 18, 10:53 PM  
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PrincessBower
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Do not worry about the bowing/ respect thing, as a visitor you are the guest and the person who is bowed to...like Kevin said, you'll find yourself nodding your head as a small bow, but it's not something you need to consciously concern yourself with. Same goes for the food, you really don't need to be concerned, you will find just about every cuisine there is in Tokyo. The Japanese people are wonderful & helpful. You will love it!
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Old 8 Jan 18, 06:26 PM  
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sky13
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I'm not sure going through Singapore between London and Tokyo is really feasible - Singapore is 13 hours from London and 6 hours from Tokyo so you'd be effectively making a rather significant detour to transit through Singapore.

Food wise there is amazing food in Japan. If not adventurous, things like ramen and sushi and onigiri (rice with things) are easy to find. There is also MOS burger which is a fast food chain with burgers and fries that is hands down my favourite fast food chain (they have franchises local to me and I eat there a lot) - they have typical burgers but also interesting things like rice burgers which are quite good. At least it will be different from McDonald's/KFC!
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Old 10 Jan 18, 10:32 AM  
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AntonyJ
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Thanks to you all for taking the time to reply, I feel much better about the bowing and also the food now.

Just need to decide on a date and do it!
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Old 12 Jan 18, 06:07 PM  
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We are about to fly to Hong Kong (you can do BA or VA I believe) and then on to Narita through Hong Kong Express.
It will be our second time in Japan - we were bowled over by the hospitality and awesomeness of the place!
Do go; do eat (noodles aplenty, okonomiyaki is great, Katsu is very safe for western tastes!) so visit a ryokan with traditional Onsen baths.
You wonít regret going, itís amazing.
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Old 12 Jan 18, 06:44 PM  
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Just a note on etiquette. You never hand anything over with one hand. That's rude. Even your credit card should be handed over with two hands. They will process the transaction and then they will wrap the receipt around the card and hand it back to you with two hands and a bow. It's nice if you nod and smile with an "Arigato" (Thank you). Makes such a pleasant change from the reception you get in some British shops! And incidentally, there is no tipping in Japan (except taxis). They take the view that they are paid to do their jobs so don't expect a reward on top. If you leave money on a table they will chase after you to return it!
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Old 21 Jan 18, 12:31 PM  
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I wouldn't worry too much about etiquette. We found that if we had the basics, please, thank you etc they appreciated our effort more than if we did it right or not.

Foodwise, you shouldn't worry, European food is BIG in japan and even more so in China, so you'll always find something you fancy. In Hong Kong and Shanghai we ended up eating pizza on one night and italian on another!
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