Share thoughts, photos, and reviews from visits to Carowinds or any other amusement park
#97010
Sounds like Yokohama and Joyopolis might not be out of the question since the coaster(s) would only be a sidebar to hanging out in the general area.

We haven't planned much specifics about what to do to be honest. We've compiled a ton of suggestions from some friends and co-workers who visited or lived in Japan (and always open to more). Usually what I do is put them all into Google Maps then use that as a general guide to what neighborhoods we should spend time in walking around.

This is our schedule:

Sunday - Seoul
Monday - Seoul
Tuesday - Seoul
Wednesday - Seoul
Thursday - Arrive in Tokyo around lunchtime
Friday - Tokyo
Saturday - Tokyo
Sunday - Kyoto
Monday - Kyoto
Tuesday - Hiroshima/Miyajima
Wednesday - Hiroshima/Himeji Castle/Spend the night in Osaka
Thursday - Osaka/Tokyo
Friday - Tokyo
Saturday - Fly out of Tokyo in the evening
#97012
You sure you’re gonna try Hiroshima and Himeji on the same day? We initially wanted to, from Kyoto, but ended up getting to Himeji and being there quite a while (a recurring theme for the trip). And on top of that, almost every time we tried to plan two things in two cities in one day (since looking and making it out with their amazing transit), it never worked because mapping out looks way easier than it is. Himeji closes at 4pm. I think we ended up just going back to Kyoto.

I would suggest being fluid and not trying to plan two major things in one day. That was our biggest downfall. Otherwise your schedule looks fine.
#97017
In that case you should be fine. I will say, once at Himeji, you won’t want to leave. So much to explore there.

Later tonite I’ll give u a suggested plan based on what we did and where you’ll be. Honestly tho, you could just randomly venture out and find amazingness in Japan. We sure did.
#97020
Okay, so here are some tips, and some suggestions for your schedule.

Again, change purse. You'll need one. Any denomination of Yen from 500 below will be in coins. Japan is a cash society, and you won't believe how many places don't accept debit or credit cards. 7/11 convenience stores are everywhere and have ATMs, so get used to going. They also have good fast food and bento boxes. Family Mart is great too.

Get green tea ice cream as much as you can.

You may get addicted to Pocari Sweat (Don't forget to try Calpis or Skal either).

Enjoy sushi once or twice, then remember that Japan has amazing food beyond that. Udon, Ramen, so many great things.

Beds will be small for the two of you. Your feet will likely hang over the edge at times. Enjoy the toilets. Seriously.

Other than Tea being on every table, don't get used to water served at sit down restaurants, and don't expect refills.

DO NOT TIP. I repeat DO NOT TIP.

Get your Japan Rail pass. You'll get the transit system quick, and you can go to any JR Rail office for help.

Learn 'Excuse Me', 'Thank you', 'Hello' (it will be different during the time of day), and 'good bye' and use them as often as you can, you'll be appreciated and people will be even more eager to help.

Don't mistake pushing on a train as being rude. Everyone does it, you will too. Theres always room for one more on a crowded train.

Learn where the lockers are at transit stations, you'll use them for your luggage when transferring.

Now on to a schedule suggestion:

Thursday - Arrive in Tokyo around lunchtime
Once you get in and settle in to your hotel, I'd head over to Hanayashiki park for a little while (or longer). Don't miss the 2 haunted houses (Skip the other 2 'haunted attractions', not worth it). Get an english map. I really think you'll enjoy the park, knowing what you like. It is VERY charming. Very urban. Very unique.

Head to Senso-ji/Asukasa Kannon Temple and explore. It's beautiful, amazing, and we just stumbled upon it. Enjoy!

Then Head across Sumida River and on the river walk over to Sumida Park (great shine there, the first one we found).

So, it was dark by 6pm when we were there in September, and I don't think they do daylight savings. It'll be getting dark between 5-6. I'd head to Tokyo Skytree at this point, especially if there's daylight left, to get a great view at night and during the day. This is currently the second tallest building in the world. It was like 2000 Yen. There is a food court at the bottom, if you eat there, I highly suggest the noodle place all the way at the end facing the rest of the food court (it's an L shape). It was busy, it was worth it.

Friday - Tokyo
I'd suggest doing DisneySea this day. Saturday will be overloaded. Friday will be busy. GET THERE EARLY! Grab a fast pass for Journey, then head to Tower of Terror and wait it out. Then plan the rest of your day accordingly. Again, get an english map. The Volcania restaurant and the Sailing Day Buffet restaurants were both great. But I doubt you can go wrong with food there. Don't skip the little Togo Kiddie coaster.

Saturday - Tokyo
I would probably start the day trying to get over to Tokyo Dome City. Do what you want to in the area, then head over to Odaiba Seaside Park (This is by Joypolis). Its kinda of touristy, but in a good way. Theres a beach there. I'd get Joypolis out of the way early. If you do the half pipe game thing, or any of the haunts, tell me how they are, but don't miss the coaster. Its kind of like DDR, in that you hit buttons to the beat, then get launched. It's cool. I'd end the day in Yokohama. You will LOVE Yokohama. It feels very classic seaside park stacked on top of each other.

Sunday - Kyoto
If you're interested, do the Imperial Palace. The complex is large. We got there around 7-8am and it was pretty dead. The actual Imperial Palace is a self guided tour (maybe an hour, but it's beautiful). When you get a chance, as early as possible, apply for the Sento Imperial Palace Gardens Tour (You must apply, take your passport, it's free, but it's very limited. They don't allow children under 18, but it's a LARGE beautiful garden, and the main house is where the current Royal Family resides when in Kyoto). Also the Kyoto State House, which was like 1500 Yen, but totally worth it, is here as well. Look in to it and see if interested. We enjoyed it, and they give english tours. The rest of the day is up to you.

Monday - Kyoto
Mt. Inari! There are dozens of shrines and this is where the famous thousands of Torii Gates are that you walk thru. Spend a couple hours, but don't get lost! Then you're free for whatever in Kyoto for the rest of the day

Tuesday - Hiroshima/Miyajima
Wednesday - Hiroshima/Himeji Castle/Spend the night in Osaka
You will Love Himeji Castle, just spend a lot of time there, and don't miss anything. There's a nice viewing spot outside of the castle grounds, just follow the signs. Small public amusement park near by (No credits, I don't think), that we didn't check out. As for Osaka? I wish we'd had more time there. Nite time was electric, even in the midst of a typhoon. Lots of people going out and happy and enjoying the city. We mainly hit up an Onsen. If you 2 get a chance and have no problems with public nudity (don't worry, there are coed or segregated depending on your preference), I can't suggest Onsen enough. Spa days in the US ain't got nothing on Japan's Onsen.

Thursday - Osaka/Tokyo
Let Tokyo be fluid and just explore and enjoy.

Friday - Tokyo
I would head to Tobu Zoo early. It's about an hour train ride, then a good 30 minute walk from the station to the Zoo. You won't need lots of time for the rides, but ride the ferris wheel if you have time, and enjoy the zoo before heading back. Also don't plan too much for the day you fly out. I promise, just go with the flow, and you'll find amazing things.

Saturday - Fly out of Tokyo in the evening

I hope this helps. You'll have an amazing time and I can't wait to hear what you think of it. I can't wait to go back already (planning to go back for the Olympics in 2020).
#97047
Great stuff. Thanks again for all of this. We're actually staying in Shinjuku for the first part of the trip, then in Asakusa after we get back from Osaka, so Hanayashiki will be near the end of the trip. Definitely planning on one of the two Fridays for Disney (hopefully the first one).

We've already got our JR Pass vouchers and I also reserved pocket WiFis in Korea and Japan (thanks for the tip on that).

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