Slideshow – to get you in the mood 🙂

(Single click on first photo then arrows to see at full screen – best viewed on a DeskTop computer).

How to do it…


  1. Fly ‘Business Class in Economy 🙂
    Travel pillow –
  2. Baggage Transfers:
    Luggage Shipping: The Smart Way to Travel in Japan
    Baggage Restrictions
    Travelling with oversized baggage
    How much luggage can I bring on the Shinkansen and Japanese trains?
  3. Carry-on bag worth considering:
  4. SIMs & e-Sims :
    (please of others available too – essential so we can all communicate)
  5. Passport – please make sure your passport has 6 months validity
  6. Insurance – please remember to take insurance
    Compare Travel Insurance
    Credit Card Travel Insurance
    Always check out your credit card company first to see if they provide insurance. This can save you fortunes and in many cases it will also cover your excess when you rent a car.
  7. Books – I have bought:
    Rough Guide To Tokyo
    The Rough Guide to Japan
  8. Japanese Etiquette:
  9. Useful read: Boutique Japan Blog
  10. Getting Around Japan: A Complete Guide to Train Travel
  11. 5 things every traveller should know before catching a bullet train in Japan
  12. Restaurants reviews:
  13. Japan Rail Pass:
    Only persons with a Temporary Visitor stamp or sticker in their passport may purchase, pick up, and use a JAPAN RAIL PASS.
    Note that if you use the automated immigration gate, you will not receive a stamp or sticker in your passport. Either go to a manned automated gate or request a stamp or sticker from staff. Only persons with a stamp or sticker in their passport may purchase, pick up, and use a JAPAN RAIL PASS.Haneda Airport:
Tourist Information Center
Haneda Airport Terminal 2
(inside the Welcome center)

Narita Airport:

  • Japan Rail Pass Seat Reservations:
  • Rail Travel Timetables
  • The 3 convenience stores in Japan are:
    Family Mart
    These corner stores sell delicious fresh food – salads, sandwiches (egg sandwiches are delicious) + sushi/bento boxesVending machines also sell fresh food.
  • Japan likes cash
    Seems like a good option is to order your cash online (cash not cash card) through someone like Travelex and have it delivered to your closest Post Office.
    I am thinking of taking about A$300-A$400 per person and according to my calculations the cost is about A$12 for A$300. Not too bad. This means you don’t have to do it at the departure or arrival airports with its assorted problems (like ATM’s not working – it has happened to me a couple of times).
  • Do Japan train stations have lifts?

    Most stations have very good accessibility; elevators, almost no steps and gaps between platforms and train cars. You may have difficulty at times in finding elevators from the street, because terminal buildings have many entrances.,on%20and%20off%20the%20train



Dee Martin:


Dormy Inn Premium Ginza
Chuo Ward, Tokyo, 6-16-8, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Japan
Phone: +81 3-6226-5489

Onyado Nono Matsumoto Natural Hot Spring
Matsumoto, Fukashi 1-5-17, Japan
Phone: +81 263-37-5489

Residence Hotel Takayama Station
Takayama, Hanasatomachi 6-105, Japan
Phone: +81 577-57-5578

Dormy Inn Hiroshima
Hiroshima, Naka-ku Komachi 3-28, Japan
Phone: +81 82-240-1177

Tamano, 1-1-12 Chikko, Japan
Phone: +81 863-33-1172

Smile Hotel Okayama
Kita Ward, Okayama, Kita-ku, Togiyacho 10-8, Japan
Phone: +81 86-223-5577

Hotel Musse Kyoto Shijo Kawaramachi Meitetsu
Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, Nakagyo-ku Naraya-cho 301-1, Japan
Phone: +81 75-241-3535

Hotel JAL City Haneda Tokyo West Wing
Ota Ward, Tokyo, Asahi-cho 4-16, Haneda , Japan
Phone: +81 3-5735-2525


Flight Arrivals in Tokyo:
22March – Melbourne – Tokyo (Narita Airport)

Sydney – Tokyo (Haneda Airport)

Is there a shortage of Pasmo in Japan?
Due to a global shortage of semiconductors, sales of Japan’s two largest types of IC Cards (eminently convenient, once-omnipresent, charge-and-tap transit cards) Suica and PASMO, will be suspended as of August 2nd, 2023.

Apple phone:
Android – does not work unlees you have a Japanese phone 🙁


Daniel’s notes on recent visit to Japan:
Loft store in Tokyo. There is one in Ginza. Daniel went to the one in Shibuya

Grandfather’s bar in Shibuya – DJ playing vinyl – Cool Listening bar for a drink. – map
Blue Bottle cafes in Tokyo – Architectural coffee shop in trendy area – map
Daikanyama – upmarket area. Daniel went to a bar with lots of models. Many places don’t have street signs so you don’t know they are there, have to be in the know.
Ebisu, Yokocho – Fun alleyway dining – – not good review on TripAdvisor – map

SG LOW · 4.5★(208) · Izakaya restaurantlink
Good restaurant in Shibuya

Sushi Onikai · 4.5★(173) · Sushi restaurant – Better for people who like fish – map

Hakone Day Trip

Tour Options:

There are many others….  (varies from A$70-A$200)


Do it yourself – Tokyo to Hakone with the JR Pass & Hakone Day Pass

Here’s how to get from Tokyo to Hakone with the bullet train:
(Included in Japan Rail Pass)

for a really huge day
(I suspect I will go for the Hakone day pass and if time permits, just buy a separate ticket to Gotemba Station and take the shuttle up to the 5th station – Mt Fuji & Hakone (Approx A$96)

Nikko Day Trip


Ginza-Shinjuku->Matsumoto 09.04am-11.51pm (via Nagano)

Matsumoto Free walking Tour:
(no response so will most probably do a DIY)

25 Things to Do Around Matsumoto

The Japanese Alps

Matsumoto – Takayama – TBA


Bus from Matsumoto to Takayama (approx 3 hours)
Considering chartering a bus

Takayama free walking Tour?? – 10am – 2.5 hours (on request)

Top attractions in Takayama

Car Rental to visit Shirakawa-gō Village – Day Trip


Day trip TBA – maybe self drive or local bus (will confirm)

Miyajima Day Trip

Hiroshima – Uno Port (Day trip to Teshima Island)

08.22am – 10.07am 1.75 hour by train then ferry at 11.10 – 12.10pm

Ferry time table

Map & Bus timetable

What to do on Teshima Island

(Day trip to Naoshima Island) – Okayama

Ferry to Naoshima
09.22am – 09.42am

Rentals and more info:
Best cycling route:

NAOSHIMA – What to See/Top Attractions



Naoshima’s museums and art installations are found on the southern coast of island.

Ferry to Miyanoura

1. Chicu Museum: advance reservation required. Y2100. 10 mins bike ride from Miyanoura ferry terminal.

Buy online tickets here:

See Q&A re buying tickets:

2. Lee Ufan Museum: Y1050 – 5 mins walk from Chicu

3. Benesse House: Y1300 – gallery and hotel (museum, oval, park, beach) – artworks in hotel and surrounds. 15 mins walk from Chicu. Open 8am-9pm (last admittance 8pm)

– Hiroshi Sugimoto Gallery: Time Corridors 11am-3pm (last entry 2pm) Y1500 incl tea and sweets – reserve in advance.

4. Art House Project: Y420 per house or Y1050 for all except Kinza. In port town of Honmura: collection of abandoned houses, a temple and a shrine that have been converted into art installations or galleries, they are scattered around the town:

– Kadoya

– Minamidera

– Go’o shrine

– Ishibashi

– Gokaisho

– Haisha

– Kinza – reservation required.

See: – for details on each.

See for details on each.

At the Honmura Lounge (a few steps from bus stop in centre of town) serves as information centre for the Art House Project

5. Ando Museum – Y520 – also in Honmura. A traditional house with unusual interior.

Honmura is a 2.5km (10 min) bicycle ride from Miyanoura

6. I Love Yu – Y660 – a public bath house that is also an artwork. Hours 13.00-21.00.

7. Miyanoura Gallery 6/Setouchi Archive Y520 – 1pm-5pm (last admission 4.30pm)

Local places to eat:

As well as gallery and hotel restaurants, there are plenty more to chose from. Our favourites were Ishii Shouten for an udon lunch, Cafe Nakaoku for the best curry omelet, Shioya Diner for a classic outdoor barbeque, Mikazukishoten for craft coffee and for their specialty seafood curry.

Okayama – Kurashiki Day Trip Day Trip

Okayama – Kurashiki Day Trip
20 minutes each way

What to do in Kurashiki



What to do in Okayama

Okayama to Kyoto via Himeji Castle

Okayama -> Himeji -> Kyoto
20 minutes then 1.26-2 hours

What to do in Himeji

Arashiyama Day Trip

Nara Day Trip

The end 😥