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Old Feb 4, 12, 3:30 pm   #1
 
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First trip to Toyko

Hello all,
I am planning a trip to NRT from FLL at the end of June and would appreciate some advise. First off I am getting too old to spend 13+ hours in coach and through much research have found business class on Air Canada at a very reasonable fare, the only problem is a 14 hour lay-over in Canada... I have also found a similar fare on JAL in Premium Economy with a very short lay-over. Does anyone have an opinion on the differences in these two options? JAL's web-site seems to indicate a fairly high class of service in this offering, how is Air Canada's business class?
Also, would love some hotel suggestions in the 4 star, $300. per night range.
I am thinking that a hotel in the Ginza area would be a good base as my wife is
a "shopper". Thank you in advance, 2 years ago we traveled to Hong Kong and received invaluable advice on places to stay,eat and day-trip from the members of this site, which is why I won't proceed any further until you guys weight in!
Michael
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Old Feb 4, 12, 3:49 pm   #2
 
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Originally Posted by cmtobin View Post
Also, would love some hotel suggestions in the 4 star, $300. per night range. I am thinking that a hotel in the Ginza area would be a good base as my wife is a "shopper".
You may want to take a look at Japan Forum first. This Tokyo sticky thread has lots of pointers.

I read that you are going to pay for the tickets. So you don't have enough miles to burn for this trip to Japan? I'll leave the airline comparisons comments to others for the moment being.
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Old Feb 4, 12, 4:28 pm   #3
 
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Can't help you with flights, since we didn't have the miles at the time and braved the 14 hours in coach from TPA!

As for hotels, we absolutely LOVED the Grand Pacific Le Daiba. We stayed 15 nights. Service was phenomenal (as it seems to be in most Japanese hotels), rooms were large, and everything was spotlessly clean. Several onsite restaurants, but the meals were as much as a night at the hotel!

The hotel is on the "island" of Le Daiba which involves taking a 5 minute monorail ride over the rainbow bridge. The Le Daiba area itself is very relaxed with numerous attractions (Toyota Museum) and three or four HUGE newer malls, as well as a large Ferris Wheel.

While the 5 minute monorail ride was not the most fun to do everyday, we loved the location overall, and would not hesitate to stay again. Looks like the current rates for June are about $140/nt.

Not sure if you have visited Tokyo before, but the best piece of advice that we got prior to our trip was to get a Suica (sp?) or Passmo card. Really takes much of the hassel out of public transit, and any remaining balance can be cashed out!

Jim
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Old Feb 4, 12, 5:16 pm   #4
 
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Originally Posted by jtopicz1 View Post
Can't help you with flights, since we didn't have the miles at the time and braved the 14 hours in coach from TPA!

As for hotels, we absolutely LOVED the Grand Pacific Le Daiba. We stayed 15 nights. Service was phenomenal (as it seems to be in most Japanese hotels), rooms were large, and everything was spotlessly clean. Several onsite restaurants, but the meals were as much as a night at the hotel!

The hotel is on the "island" of Le Daiba which involves taking a 5 minute monorail ride over the rainbow bridge. The Le Daiba area itself is very relaxed with numerous attractions (Toyota Museum) and three or four HUGE newer malls, as well as a large Ferris Wheel.

While the 5 minute monorail ride was not the most fun to do everyday, we loved the location overall, and would not hesitate to stay again. Looks like the current rates for June are about $140/nt.

Not sure if you have visited Tokyo before, but the best piece of advice that we got prior to our trip was to get a Suica (sp?) or Passmo card. Really takes much of the hassel out of public transit, and any remaining balance can be cashed out!

Jim
Thanks,Jim
This looks very nice for the price, I will put it on my"short list".
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Old Feb 4, 12, 7:16 pm   #5
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maybe four seasons chinzan-so?
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Old Feb 4, 12, 7:22 pm   #6
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Maybe the Palace Hotel if its renovations are finished.
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Old Feb 4, 12, 7:49 pm   #7
 
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I would fly AC J for two main reasons.

Fully flat seats in AC J are way more comfortable on a long haul flight that any variety of traditional seat (JL Y+). Soft product may be better with JAL being an asian carrier with typical asian carrier (excellent) service but YMMV.

AC's little publicized stopover program for business class and full fare Y pax. Link here. AC will pay for a hotel room for you for international connections over 6 hours. I would take that opportunity to spend some time in Canada's biggest city and see some other sights.

But then again, best schedule may prevail over all if time is precious.
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Old Feb 4, 12, 8:21 pm   #8
 
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Would love FS, but more than $300-400 a night...
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Old Feb 4, 12, 8:25 pm   #9
 
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Originally Posted by zoobtoob View Post
I would fly AC J for two main reasons.

Fully flat seats in AC J are way more comfortable on a long haul flight that any variety of traditional seat (JL Y+). Soft product may be better with JAL being an asian carrier with typical asian carrier (excellent) service but YMMV.

AC's little publicized stopover program for business class and full fare Y pax. Link here. AC will pay for a hotel room for you for international connections over 6 hours. I would take that opportunity to spend some time in Canada's biggest city and see some other sights.

But then again, best schedule may prevail over all if time is precious.
I did not know about AC stop over program, that would make it a little more enticing.
Thanks for that...
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Old Feb 4, 12, 9:33 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoobtoob View Post
I would fly AC J for two main reasons.

Fully flat seats in AC J are way more comfortable on a long haul flight that any variety of traditional seat (JL Y+). Soft product may be better with JAL being an asian carrier with typical asian carrier (excellent) service but YMMV.
What he said. Any modern J offering, especially a fully-flat-bed kind, is going to be a night-and-day improvement over Y+. On those long flights, being able to sleep comfortably for several hours makes all the difference.
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Old Feb 4, 12, 9:48 pm   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtopicz1 View Post
Can't help you with flights, since we didn't have the miles at the time and braved the 14 hours in coach from TPA!

As for hotels, we absolutely LOVED the Grand Pacific Le Daiba. We stayed 15 nights. Service was phenomenal (as it seems to be in most Japanese hotels), rooms were large, and everything was spotlessly clean. Several onsite restaurants, but the meals were as much as a night at the hotel!

The hotel is on the "island" of Le Daiba which involves taking a 5 minute monorail ride over the rainbow bridge. The Le Daiba area itself is very relaxed with numerous attractions (Toyota Museum) and three or four HUGE newer malls, as well as a large Ferris Wheel.

While the 5 minute monorail ride was not the most fun to do everyday, we loved the location overall, and would not hesitate to stay again. Looks like the current rates for June are about $140/nt.

Not sure if you have visited Tokyo before, but the best piece of advice that we got prior to our trip was to get a Suica (sp?) or Passmo card. Really takes much of the hassel out of public transit, and any remaining balance can be cashed out!

Jim
Odaiba. I think this thread is better served in the Japan forum.
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Old Feb 5, 12, 7:45 am   #12
 
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Originally Posted by Steve M View Post
What he said. Any modern J offering, especially a fully-flat-bed kind, is going to be a night-and-day improvement over Y+. On those long flights, being able to sleep comfortably for several hours makes all the difference.
I guess that's what I thought to be the case.. Did not know if maybe JAL Y+ seats would be close enough in comfort to make up for the 14 hrs layover.
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Old Feb 5, 12, 10:33 am   #13
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Let's move this thread to our dedicated forum on travel to Japan. Ocn Vw 1K, Moderator, TravelBuzz.
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Old Feb 5, 12, 2:02 pm   #14
 
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There are countless hotels in Tokyo, and if you don't need luxury but will settle for a plain but serviceable room, then the list is almost infinite.

Depending on what your wife wants to shop for, Ginza may or may not be the best place to stay.

I suggest getting a Tokyo city guidebook, figuring out which part of the city you want to stay in (although the excellent public transit system makes this less of an issue than in some cities), finding out which hotels in your preferred price range are there, and then going to the websites of the hotels on your short list to determine which one to go to.

If you want luxury, that's certainly available. If all you want is a place to lay your heads at night and take a shower in the morning, there are literally hundreds of clean and safe options available.
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Old Feb 5, 12, 2:35 pm   #15
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Originally Posted by cmtobin View Post
I guess that's what I thought to be the case.. Did not know if maybe JAL Y+ seats would be close enough in comfort to make up for the 14 hrs layover.
I've flown in Y+ on JAL and in Business class on AC.

There's no comparison.

JAL's Y+ seats just give you a bit of extra leg support. I was opped up on a LHR-NRT flight whilst I was pregnant and valued the extra support but there's no way I could have slept in those seats. Other benefit I remember was noise cancelling headsets.
I was in the front row of the Y+ cabin and those seats have no actual foot rests. Those behind had foot rests attached to the seats in front of them... I would have loved to have traded despite the very generous leg room for those on the front row. The more I remember, the more I recall that it wasn't quite as comfortable as I would have liked, even though it was an improvement on regular Y.

However, a 14 hour layover is a significant downside and unless I could make some use of the time I'm not sure it's worth it. Can't your wife do some shopping in Canada? With the yen exchange rates, it might be the cheapest outlet she'll find for her passion for retail therapy. If you can make your layover into a holiday feature then the AC option would look attractive. Unless you are rather wide you can sleep pretty well in these seats. I remember wishing my honeymoon London-Toronto flight was longer as I was arriving into Canada.
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