Japan Travel Planning Newsletter – 4 November 2018

Japan Travel Planning

Welcome to the Japan Travel Planning fortnightly newsletter for 4 November 2018, which includes information to help you plan your trip to Japan, top travel deals and articles about Japan.

Our Upcoming Japan and Singapore Trip in April 2019

Since the last newsletter we have invested a lot of time to finalise our accommodation bookings for our upcoming trip to Japan.

As we are travelling during the very busy sakura cherry blossom season and also overlapping into Golden Week we decided it was time to make at least our initial bookings, and leave ourselves the flexibility to make changes as new options become available.  The way we do this is to make our initial bookings through Booking.com which have the option to cancel – unlike options like AirBnB which usually require you to make full payment at the time that you make your booking.  By using this strategy we now have most of our accommodation finalised with options that we are happy with.

However there are a couple of destinations where we have had to choose more expensive options or in our less preferred location.  In these instances we have chosen the best option available so at least we do have a workable accommodation solution.  We then aim to then check in on Booking.com every couple of weeks to see if other options open up. 🙂

If you are interested in pursuing a similar strategy then check out the options on Booking.com at this link.

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Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  If you book after clicking on one of these links then we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Key Japan Planning Information

Japanese Baseball Season Finals Tickets

  • The Nippon Series, where the winners of the Climax Finals Series play against each other, is conducted over 27 October to 11 November 2018.   The main option remaining for visitors to Japan is to purchase reseller tickets through viaGoGo at this link.  Ensure you click on the option to sort by date to see the Nippon series matches.

Major Upcoming Events in Japan

Autumn Foliage Season in Japan

For those of you planning to visit Japan from now to mid December you are almost definitely planning to try to see some of the glorious autumn foliage colours throughout Japan.  Click here to check out a comprehensive fall foliage map and schedule for Japan to incorporate these dates into your itinerary planning.  the autumn foliage season runs until mid to late November in the more southern areas of Japan.

Skiing and Snowboarding Season in Japan

As the weather gets cooler many of you will also be looking forward to experiencing the snow in Japan – whether you visit as a sightseer, skiier or snow boarder.  The Japan skiing resorts open from mid December to mid April, with Hokkaido having the longest season and the southern parts of Japan having the shortest seasons.

Snow Play, Skiing and Snowboarding Day Tours from Tokyo

If you would just like to do some snow sightseeing, there are some great day trip options you can take from Tokyo and see Mt Fuji a the same time.  Check out our article on the Top 3 Snow Play, Skiing And Snowboarding Day Tours Near Tokyo to see the options and book in your day tour.  Each of these options are great for sightseeing or beginner skiiers and snow boarders.

Top 3 Snow Play, Skiing and Snowboarding Day Tours Near Tokyo

Snow Play, Skiing and Snowboarding Day Tour from Osaka and Kyoto

You may not realise that you can also do a fun day tour from Osaka or Kyoto to experience the snow near Kobe, to the west of Osaka.  Mt Rokkosan is easily accessible – you can easily travel by train from Osaka or Kyoto to Kobe.  From there you can travel to Mt Rokkosan using the Kobe Rokkosan Tourist Pass, which includes access to the main cable car to get up the mountain, as well as bus access.  Click here to check out and purchase the Kobe Rokkosan Tourist Pass through Klook.  Once you get to the top you can separately purchase your entry into the Rokko Snow Park – click this link to see more details about the park.

Alternatively you can book a one day tour from Osaka to do snow play at Mt Rokko through Veltra.  Veltra is a reputable online travel agency.  Click here to check out pricing and book a Mt Rokko Day Tour through Veltra.

Skiing and Snow Boarding Options Near Nagano

If you would prefer a more natural snow experience then there are many options within a short journey from Tokyo, and the great thing is that you do not need to book a package – you can easily book your accommodation and then have local access to lift tickets and rental equipment.  From Tokyo Nagano is a short 1:30 hr trip on the Shinkansen (bullet train), and from there there are a lot of easy options to get to your planned skiing area.

JR East Pass Nagano & Niigata Area Pass – Flexible 5 Days within 14 Days

If you are planning to travel to the Nagano area for skiing or snow boarding you should definitely check out a great regional Japan Rail Pass which has been custom made with skiiers in mind!  The JR East Pass Nagano & Niigata Area is a flexible pass which provides 5 days of travel within a 14 day period.  This pass includes access to unlimited travel around Tokyo, Nagano, Niigata, and surrounding area.

You can use one day to get from Narita or Haneda Airports to your skiing destination, one day to return and three other days where you can travel within either the Nagano, Niigata or Tokyo areas. The pass also includes the following discounts:

  • Discount on tickets for the Matsumoto – Takayama Limited Express Bus Round Trip (adults save 1,160 JPY, children save 530 JPY)
  • Discounts on car rental from JR Rent-A-Car (AKA Eki Rent-A-Car)
  • Able to buy Sado Niigata Pass, giving discount travel to and around Sado Island from Niigata

You must order this pass before leaving your home country – you can easily order online through Voyagin and receive your e-ticket within 72 hours which you can then use to exchange for your pass after you arrive in Japan.

Click here to check out and order your JR East Pass Nagano & Niigata Area Pass – Flexible 5 Days within 14 Days through Voyagin.

Nozawa Ski Resort

Nozawa Ski Resort is a very popular skiing destination, as as per the name is also an onsen town with many options to bathe in the local hot springs.

To get to Nozawa Onsen the fastest option is to catch the shinkansen bullet train direct from Tokyo to Iiyama Station which takes approximately 1:50 hrs.  From there you can catch a bus to Nozawa Onsen which takes around 20 minutes.  Click here to see more details of the access options for Nozawa Onsen.

Click here to check out the options and availability to stay at Nozawa Onsen through Booking.com

Hakuba Ski Resort

Hakuba Valley is the mother of all ski resorts, with ten different ski resorts located along the valley.  As a result it is a very popular destination for travellers to Japan.

Hakuba is also easy to get to – you catch the shinkansen train to Nagano Station and then a bus to Hakuba Resort which takes approximately 3 hours.

Click here to check out the options and availability to stay in Hakuba through Booking.com.

Myoko Kogen Ski Resort

Myoko Kogen Ski Resort is a less well known option also located near Nagano.  It is a great smaller ski resort which is suitable for families.

Myoko is easy to get to on the train and takes approximately 3 hours – you catch the shinkansen to Nagano and then change to a local train for the final leg of the journey.

Click here to check out the options and availability to stay at Myoko Ski Resort through Booking.com.

Tangram Ski Circus Resort and Madarao Ski Resort

Tangram Ski Circus Resort and  Madarao Ski Resort are located on either side of the same mountain, and you can easily access them through staying at the Tangram Hotel, which provides ski in ski out access and also a lovely onsen experience.  Tangram is well known for being family friendly, while Madarao has more difficult ski runs.

To get to Tangram Hotel you need to catch a train to Kurohime Station which takes approximately 2:15 hrs, and then take a taxi for a 35 minute ride to get to the hotel.

Click here to check out availability and make your booking for the Tangram Hotel through Booking.com.

Other Japan Events

Click on this page for Tokyo and this page for Japan to see the upcoming events.

With winter approaching we are also heading into the season for illuminations and winter festivals, so make sure you check out the above links to see the options!

Voyagin Year End Sale Promotion

Voyagin is currently running their Year End Sale from 1 November 2018 to 6 January 2019 with the following coupon code discounts, note that this deal does not include discounts on Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo Disneysea tickets or whole of Japan Rail Passes:

  • Spend $US 80, Save $US 5, use coupon code`YEAREND5`
  • Spend $US 130, Save $US 10, use coupon code `YEAREND10`
  • Spend $US 350, Save $US 30, use coupon code `YEAREND30`

To see a great range of popular purchase options through Voyagin to take advantage of this sale I suggest you check out our Voyagin Tours and Tickets page at this link.

Voyagin Tours and Tickets for Japan

Everything Sumo!

Upcoming sumo tournaments:

For more information about how to purchase your sumo wrestling tickets check out my article on How To Buy Sumo Wrestling Online Tickets In 2018 and 2019.

How to Buy Sumo Wrestling Online Tickets in 2018 and 2019

Top Japan Travel Deals This Week

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals for Japan

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales are coming on 29 November and 2 December 2019!  Last year there were a great range of deals available for travellers to Japan – which included significant discounts on:

  • flights
  • accommodation
  • package tours,
  • cruises,
  • day tours,
  • guide books, and
  • travel products

Last year we published a dedicated article which included all of the available deals, and we plan to do similar this year.  Keep an eye out and be ready to book quickly when the deals are released!

Blurb Photo Albums – New Customers Save 40%

Blurb is an independent, creative publishing platform and community that enables personal book-makers, authors, designers, photographers and businesses to create, publish, sell, and distribute photo books, trade books, and magazines in print and digital formats.

Blurb ships to over 70 countries.  Printing and binding takes 4-5 business days and then shipping time for each individual country.

Blurb is offering new customers a saving of 40% with code BESTGIFT4T for orders placed between 9-15 November 2018 – Click here to check out the Blurb photo book options and set up your first album!

Tours 4 Fun – Japan Autumn Foliage Tours

Tours 4 Fun has a great range of Autumn Foliage Tours on sale for Japan at up to 15% off the normal price.

Click here to see the Autumn Foliage tours on offer from Tours 4 Fun

Top Articles This Week From the Facebook Group

5 Foods You Have to Try in Japan by Adventure & Sunshine

We were all pretty excited about the delicious foods to try in Japan. We have a Japanese restaurant near our home in Melbourne that we love and visit regularly. The food is different to what many people are used to at home, but we find it to be fresh, tasty and most importantly, kid friendly. There is a huge variation of food types with more than enough options to keep everyone happy.

Japan was the first stop on our 12 month trip around the world and we were sticking to a tight budget. As such, our list of 5 foods you have to try won’t break the bank and doesn’t include visits to any of the countless Michelin starred restaurants dotted around the country. However, the good news is that the food in Japan is varied and delicious and it is possible to enjoy the foods the country is famous for without paying a lot of money. This list is for those who are looking for a cheaper yet still unique food experience in Japan with kids!  Click here to read more…

30 Reasons to visit Japan – Why you should visit Japan once in your life by Chapter Travel

Are you still not sure why you should visit Japan at least once in your life? In this post you can find 30 reasons to visit Japan! It’s one of our favourite destinations in Asia. Probably because it has the perfect mix of culture, history and modern comfort. And lets not forget the amazing food they have! Japan is a unique country, and even though you might have an image of how it will be, this beautiful country will definitely still surprise you!

Below you can read 30 reasons why you should visit Japan. Click here to read more…

The most amazing things to do in Miyajima island by Travelling Dany

Many people plan only a day trip to Miyajima from Hiroshima, thinking that this tiny island off the coast of Japan only has one point of interest. Yet while the floating torii at Itsukushima Shrine is an absolute must see, there are many more amazing things to do in Miyajima island that you shouldn’t miss. Whether you’re planning to stay just for a few hours or if you’re going to book an overnight stay, let us show you what to do in Miyajima and how to get there!  Click here to read more…

Thanks Anne and Tony.

PS. If you have any questions you are welcome to ask questions in the Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group

Other Facebook Groups – Rugby World Cup 2019 and Olympics 2020

If you are planning to visit Japan for either (or both!) of these events you are invited to join the groups with details below

We are just getting started in putting together the content for each of these groups and look forward to having a dedicated area where group members can interact without overloading the main group!

Join the Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group

You are also welcome to join our Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group – it is a great resource to enable you be inspired and to ask questions about your upcoming trip to Japan!

Japan Travel Planning

Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  If you book after clicking on one of these links then we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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