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  • jonnycat1013

Turning Japanese

Traveling to the far east is an incredible experience. Japan is a country with deep cultural roots as well as the luxuries of cutting edge technology. Then there is the food. From Teppanyaki, to Ramen to Sushi, there is something for any appetite.

The Japanese culture is warm and inviting. They hold a tremendous level of respect, not just for one another but for the job they do and the pride they take in doing it. Though not everyone speaks english, they likely know more english than you know Japanese and they seem to feel bad if the cannot assist you.

Our trip to Japan had us arrive in Tokyo first to immerse ourselves in its frenetic energy. We took time to soak in the culture and style of Japan. We made sure to enjoy traditional Japanese theater, authentic Japanese cuisine and the shopping. Japan is the Mecca for all things small and cute including the likes of Pokemon and Hello Kitty. The kids were beside themselves at Pokemon Mega Tokyo and had a great time at Sanrio Puroland, an entire town dedicated to the likes of Hello Kitty and her friends.

Our time in Tokyo including the Tsukiji Fish Market Auction, shopping in Odaibo and a visit to Tokyo Disney Sea.

We did venture out from Tokyo to visit Kyoto. Kyoto is a bullet train away with a bit less hustle and bustle as is Tokyo. This leg of our trip included visits to some of iconic temples and a few day trips including Edo Wonderland (Traditional Ninja Village) and to Nagoya for some Sumo Wrestling, Japan's national sport.

  • July 7 (Thu)

Newark International Airport

Air Canada Airline

- Flight AC765 (Air Canada): Depart: Newark, NJ Terminal A (EWR) @ 10:05 am; Arrive Toronto,

Pearson Int'l Terminal 1 (YYZ) @ 11:44 am (Flight Time: 1H 44 min).

- Flight AC001 (Air Canada): Depart: Toronto, Pearson International (YYZ) @ 2pm; Arrive Tokyo, Narita Terminal 1 (NRT) @ 3:50 pm (next day, Fri., Jul. 8, 2016)

 "Temporary visitor" entry status, according to Japanese Immigration Law, allows a stay in Japan of 15 days or 90 days for "sight-seeing, etc." If you apply for a "stay for sight-seeing" when you enter Japan, entry personnel will stamp your passport "temporary visitor". Only persons who have a passport bearing this stamp can use a JR Pass. When you exchange to JR Pass, you must submit the original Exchange Order. A copy is not acceptable.

 Directions to The Westin Tokyo:

- Narita Express Train (N´EX)

 Ticket: One way Narita Express Train ticket can be bought at the Train Ticket Booth

close to the airport luggage carousel.

 Cost: Adult: 3,190 JPY ($30); Children 6-11 years: 1595 JPY ($15)

 Travel time: 60 minutes

- Taxi from N’EX

 Shibuya Station is the 3rd stop from Narita Airport Terminal 1. At Shibuya Station, take a

taxi to the hotel.

 Cost: Approximately 1500 - 2000 JPY ($20)

 Give Taxi Driver the name: "The Westin Tokyo at Yebisu Garden Place" (in Japanese,

"Yebisu Garden Place ni arimasu Westin Hotel Tokyo madeh ohnegai shimasu")

July 8 (Fri)

Tokyo, Japan

The Westin Tokyo

 Phone: (81) (3) 5423 7000

 Address: 1-4-1 Mita, Meguro-ku, TK, 153-8580, Japan

 48,000 SPG Points for 5 nights

 Check-In: July 8, 2016; Check-Out: July 13, 2016; Room Type: Traditional, non-smoking: King Bed

 Dinner: Check out restaurants in Yebisu Garden Place Shopping (There’s a Burger King & Starbucks)

 *Must Have Pocket Wifi*

  • Global Advanced Communications (Pocket Wifi Rental)

- Phone (Japan): +81-3-5413-7395

- Hours: 9:00-17:00 Japan Time 365days

- Email:

  • Shibuya Crossing

 The busiest pedestrian crossing in the world. It's one of the best spots to photograph Japan.

 Nearest Station: JR Shibuya Station

July 9 (Sat)

Tokyo, Japan

Kabukiza Theater (Traditional Japanese Theater)

 Address: Ginza 4-12-15, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan

 Phone +81 (0)3-3545-6800 (10:00AM-6:00PM)

 Single Act Performance:

 Duration: 1-2 hours

 Admission: 600 -1400 yen/pp

 Directions:

 Subway: Hibiya Line or Asakusa Line, "Higashi Ginza" Station. Exit 3

 Subway: Ginza Line, Marunouchi Line, Hibiya Line, "Ginza" Station. Exit A6 - 5 minute walk.

 JR and Subway: "Tokyo" Station.

 Taxi: 10 minutes by taxi.

  • Ginza (Japan's biggest luxury shopping and entertainment district)

 Nearest Station: Ginza Station

 Attractions:

 Chuo Street: Main shopping area. Pedestrians' Paradise: 12N -5pm every Sat & Sun

 Mikimoto Boutique (known for its irregular windows that glow with interesting light)

 Hakuhinkan Toy Park (A four story toy store)

 Ginza Wako: An iconic department store at Ginza Crossing

 Sony Building

Pokémon Center MEGA Tokyo (Northwester part of central Tokyo)

 Hours: 10:00a.m. - 8:00p.m.; Phone: 03-5927-9290

 Address: Sunshine City alpa 2F, 3-1-2 Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, 170-6002

July 10 (Sun)

Tokyo, Japan

Sanrio Puroland

 Hours: 10:00a.m. - 6:00p.m.; Phone: +81 42-339-1111

 Address: Japan, 〒206-8588 Tokyo, Tama, Ochiai, 1−31

 Admission: Adults: 3,800 yen, Children 2,700 yen

 Directions:

 Go to Ebisu Station (12-min walk from hotel), to Keio-Tama Center (closest station to Sanrio

Purorand). Traveling time is 44 minutes and fare ticket is 500 JPY ($5) one way per person.

  •  Sanrio Puroland is about 15 min walk from Keio-Tama-Center station.

 Take the South Exit of Keio Tama Center, Odakyu Tama Center Station and walk straight

toward Parthenon Tama. Turn left at the Okanoue Plaza cross. You will see Sanrio Puroland in

front of you.

 Attractions:

  •  Lady Kitty House

 Sanrio Character Boat Ride

 My Melody & KUROMI~ Mymeroad Drive

 Kiki & Lala~ Twinklingtour

 Sanrio Character Hills

 Show: Illusions of Light

 Eat: Character Food Court

July 11 (Mon)

Tokyo, Japan

Imperial Palace (Emperor’s Home)

 Address: 1 Chiyoda Chiyoda-ku

 Phone: +81 3 3213 1111

 Hours: East Gardens only: 9:00 am -4:30 pm except Mon & Fri (no entry inside palace)

 Subway: Chiyoda line to Ōtemachi, exits C13b & C10


 Getting there by train:

 From hotel go to Ebisu station and take the JR Yamanote Line. Get off at Shimbashi and

transfer to the Yurikamome line (driverless automated train). Train crosses the Rainbow Bridge

with a 270-degree loop for some great views of Tokyo bay. Trains depart every few minutes,

and a ride between Shimbashi and Daiba Station. Yurikamome is not covered by the Japan Rail


 Train Cost: One-way from Shinbashi to Daiba station is ¥310 (any station farther will be ¥370).

One-day pass cost ¥800 (get pass if riding more than once).

 Attractions:

- The Japanese Statue of Liberty

  • - Miraikan, Japan's National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation

- Shopping: Odaiba VenusFort

- Fuji TV Building

- Hours: 10:00 to 18:00 (some restaurants until 20:00, 22:00 on weekends)

- Closed: Mondays (or Tuesday if Monday is a national holiday).

- Admission: Free (observation deck: 550 yen)

- The headquarters of Fuji Television, one of Japan's private, nationwide TV

stations. You can see some exhibits on popular programs, buy Fuji TV

goods at a shop and access the futuristic looking building's observatory

deck housed in the sphere shaped part of the building.

July 12 (Tue)

Tokyo, Japan

Edo Wonderland

 Hours: 9:00a.m. - 5:00p.m.; Phone: 0288-77-1777

 Address: 〒321-2524 Tochigi Prefecture, Nikko City, Karakura 470-2

 Admission: Adults: 4,700 JPY, Children: 2,400 JPY

 Closest station: Kinugawa-Onsen Station

 Attractions:

 Ninja Experience

 Grand Ninja Theatre

 Access By Train (2 hours)

 From Ebisu Station, take the JR Yamanote line to JR Shinjuku Station (about 10 minutes)

 From JR Shinjuku Station, take the direct express Kingawa-go or Spacia Kinugawa-go to

Kinugawa-Onsen Station and then take a taxi (10-min ride; Cost: 1600 JPY) to Edo


July 13 (Wed) Tokyo, Japan

Tsukiji Fish Market (Limited Time--The Fish Market is unfortunately scheduled to be moved)

Phone: (81)(47) 355 5555

Closest JR station: Shimbashi

Restaurant: Sushidai (Best Sushi in the market)

5-2-1 Tsukiji | Tsukiji Fish Market 6th Bldg., Chuo 104-0045, Tokyo Prefecture (Ginza / Tokyo Nihonbashi)

Phone: +81 3-3547-6797

Japan Rail (JR) Pass

JTB USA Inc. (Company we bought JR Pass Voucher from).

Phone : (800) 223-6104

Hours : 9:00 - 22:00 Eastern Time (Mon-Sun)

E-mail :

Exchange voucher at the any JR Travel Service Center. When you exchange to JR Pass, you must submit the original Exchange Order. A copy is not acceptable.

Shibuya Station Tourist Information Desk

Address: 2-21-13 Shibuya , Shibuya-ku, Tokyo (Inside Shibuya station of Tokyu line and Tokyo Metro line, on the second basement floor, near Miyamasuzaka Center Exit)

Hours: Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

At the office, fill out the form with your details and show your passport. Decide on a start date.

Reserved Seats

Shinkansen and most limited express and ordinary express trains have reserved Green car seats and both reserved and non-reserved ordinary car seats. A non-reserved seat can be used simply by showing your JR Pass. To use a reserved seat, apply at any Travel Service Center or reserved-seat ticket office (Midori-no-madoguchi) at a JR station, or at a sales office of a JR-associated travel agency. There, show your JR Pass, and obtain your reserved-seat ticket before your trip.

Do not use an automatic ticket-reading gate with a JR Pass. Please show the Pass at a manned ticket gate.

JR Rail Pass is also valid at:

JR Bus: local JR Bus on a large number of lines

JR Ferry: JR Miyajima Ferry

Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel

Phone: (81)(47) 355 5555

Address: 1-9 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba 2790031 Japan

Check-In: July 13 @ 3pm; Check-Out: July 15 @ 12N; Room Type: Standard, 2 Double Beds



From JR Ebisu Station take the Rinkai line (track #4). After 8 stops, get off at JR Shinkiba Station and transfer to the Keyo line (track #1). After 2 stops, you will be at the JR Maihama Station. Travel time: 30 minutes. Cost: 710 JPY.

At Maihama JR Station, locate the hotel service counter (open from 8am to 3pm) for transportation options.


Cost: Approximately 8,000 JPY- 10,000 JPY ($95)

Travel Distance: About 40 minutes

Tokyo Disneyland

Phone: +81 45-330-5211

Address: 1-1 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture 279-0031, Japan

Hours: 8:30 am -10:00 pm

After 6 Passport: Adults/Children: 4,200 JPY ($40)

Directions: Complimentary shuttle bus service between hotel and Bayside Station. The Disney Resort Line monorail stops in front of the hotel at Bayside station and departs every 3 to 10 minutes. One Way Cost: Adults: 260 JPY, Children (11 years old & below) 130 JPY. Get off at Tokyo Disneyland Station (Last departure from station is 11:57 pm)

July 14 (Thu)

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Disney Seas

Phone: +81 570-008-632

Address: 1-13 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture 279-0031, Japan

Hours: 8:30 am -10:00 pm

Admission: Adults: 7,400 JPY; Children: 4,800 JPY (Ages 4-11)

Directions: Complimentary shuttle bus service between hotel and Bayside Station. The Disney Resort Line monorail stops in front of the hotel at Bayside station and departs every 3 to 10 minutes. One Way Cost: Adults: 260 JPY, Children (11 years old & below) 130 JPY. Get off at Tokyo Disney Sea Station (Last departure from station is 12:04 MN)


DisneySea Transit Steamer Line (Mediterranean Harbor)

Venetian Gondolas (Mediterranean Harbor)

FP: Toy Story Mania! (American Waterfront)

Turtle Talk (American Waterfront)

Aquatopia (Port Discovery)

FP: StormRider (Port Discovery)

FP: Indiana Jones® Adventure (Lost River Delta)

DisneySea Transit Steamer Line (Lost River Delta)

Caravan Carousel (Arabian Coast)

Sindbad's Storybook Voyage (Arabian Coast)

FP: The Magic Lamp Theater (Arabian Coast)

Ariel's Playground (Mermaid Lagoon)

Jumpin' Jellyfish (Mermaid Lagoon)

FP: Mermaid Lagoon Theater (Mermaid Lagoon)

FP: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Mysterious Island)

FP: Journey to the Center of the Earth (Mysterious Island)

July 15 (Fri)

Kyoto, Japan

The Westin Miyako Kyoto

Phone: +81-75-771-7111

Address: 1 Awataguchi Kachocho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0052,Japan

Check-In: July 15 @ 3pm; Check-Out: July 18 @ 11am; Room Type: Deluxe Garden View: King Bed


Take the JR Keiyo line or Musashino Line from Maihama station (nearest station from The Sheraton Grand Bay Hotel) to Tokyo station (It takes about 20 minutes).Then change to Bullet train Hikari from Tokyo station to Kyoto station. Travel time: 2.5H. JR pass can be used to take these trains except for Nozomi.

Leave Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel no later than 2pm.

Take a taxi from Kyoto Station to the hotel (Cost: 2,500-3,000 JPY; Travel time: 20 min)

Higashiyama District (Shopping) – 5 min drive from hotel

This a great place to experience traditional old Kyoto.

Stores open at 9am and closes between 5-6pm.

July 16 (Sat)

Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto International Manga Museum

Phone: +81-75-254-7414

Address: Karasuma-Oike, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-0846 Japan

Hours: 10:00am - 6:00pm (admission until 5:30pm)

Admission: Adults 800 JPY; Elementary Students: 100 JPY

Kinkaku-ji Temple (the Golden Pavilion)

Address: 1 Kinkaku-ji-cho, Kita-ku (English) or 北区金閣寺町1 (Japanese)

Phone: 461-0013; Hours: 9am-5pm

Admission: Adults: \400; elementary school students: \300

Nearest Transport: In front of Kinkaku-ji-mae Bus Stop, Kyoto City Bus 205 from Kyoto Station

Sumo Wresling at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium

Ticket Type: Box 'A' tickets (shipped to hotel). Tickets are valid for the entire day. Most people arrive about 2:30 pm (Top-division entrance ceremony starts at 3:45pm). Matches finish by 6pm.

Agent Contact: Jeff from www., phone: +81 (0)50-5532-3092


Take the shuttle from hotel to Kyoto station. (30 min ride). Then take the bullet train Hikari from Kyoto station to Nagoya station using JR pass (40 min ride). Take a taxi to stadium. (Cost: 2,000 JPY, Travel time: 15 min)

Use website to check the time schedule in English

July 17 (Sun)

Kyoto, Japan

Chion-in Temple (used as a set in the 2003 Tom Cruise film The Last Samurai)

Address: 400 Rinka-cho, Higashiyama-ku (English) or 東山区林下町400 (Japanese)

Phone: 461-0013; Hours: 9am-4:30pm, last entry 4pm


Grounds: Free

Inner buildings and gardens: Adults: 300; elementary school students: 150

Nearest Transport: 5min walk from Chion-in-mae Bus Stop, Kyoto City Bus 206 from Kyoto Station; 15min walk from Higashiyama Station, Tozai subway line

Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Address: 294 Kiyomizu 1-chome, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0862, Japan

Phone: +81-(0)75-551-1234; Hours: 6:00am – 6:00pm

Admission: Adults: 300; elementary school students: 200

Kiyomizudera can be reached from Kyoto Station by bus number 100 or 206 (15 minutes, 230 yen). Get off at Gojo-zaka or Kiyomizu-michi bus stop, from where it is a ten minute uphill walk to the temple. Alternatively, Kiyomizudera is about a 20 minute walk from Kiyomizu-Gojo Station along the Keihan Railway Line.

Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine

Address: 68 Yabunouchi-cho, Fukakusa, Fushimi-ku (English) or 伏見区深草藪之内町68 (Japanese)

Phone: 561-1551; Hours: Dawn to dusk

Admission: Free

Nearest Station: 5min walk from Inari Station, JR Nara line; 10min walk from Fushimi Inari Station, Keihan line

July 18 (Mon)

Kyoto, Japan

Air Canada Airline

Flight AC002 (Air Canada): Depart: Tokyo, Narita Terminal 1 (NRT) @ 5:30 pm; Arrive Toronto,

Pearson Int'l Terminal 1

Flight AC7604 (Air Canada Express Sky Regional): Depart: Toronto, Pearson International (YYZ) @ 6:50 pm (Terminal 1); Arrive Newark, NJ Terminal A (EWR) @ 8:15 pm


Take the shuttle from hotel to Kyoto station. (30 min ride). Then take the bullet train Hikari from Kyoto station to Shinagawa station and change to Narita express from Shinagawa station to Narita airport. You can use the JR pass for Narita Express. Travel time: 3.5-4H

Leave hotel no later than 10:30 am.

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