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Japan Do 2023 - Tokyo - 6-9 April 2023

Old Mar 11, 2023, 9:41 pm
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Last edit by: pudgym29
List of Events

Thursday 6 April 7pm - Meet and Greet Drinks - Mikkeller Kanda (see post #67)
Friday 7 April - Walking tour of Ueno Park, Kappabashi shopping street and Asakusa with an optional water bus trip down the Sumida River (see post #76)
Friday 7 April 7-9pm - Official Do Dinner - Kakoiya, 7-9-20 Ginza, Tokyo (see post #73)
Saturday 8 April - Day trip to Okutama (mountainous area of western Tokyo), a short hike along Hatonosu Gorge and a cablecar ride up Mt Mitake (929m) (see post #75)
Sunday 9 April - Explore Shibamata in northeastern Tokyo (see post #106)

* * * * * * * * * *
Do Dinner Attendees - No further changes please
A table has been booked for the 9 people listed below for the Do Dinner on Friday 7 April. Details in post #73. Late cancellations and no shows will be charged in full.

NewbieRunner
ClaudiSTR
cocobird
chrisflyer66
nomadic.relief
TravelKane
elliott44k
firstglobal
pudgym29

* * * * * * * * * *

Attendees:

cocobird - Comfort Hotel Kanda (8 days Wed to Thur)
NewbieRunner - Remm Hibiya
beckoa (arrive Fri pm)
beckoa+1 (arrive Fri pm)
nomadic.relief - Comfort Hotel Kanda
TravelKane - Westin
ClaudiSTR - Friday evening to Sunday noon, Courtyard Tokyo Station
ChrisFlyer66 - Hilton Shinjuku Wed-Sat, Comfort Hotel Kanda Sat-Monday
tuchop
BigRedBears - Comfort Hotel Kanda
lowjhg (part of the DO)
Flier John - local
elliott44k (Thurs & Fri evening)
svimonoff - local
firstglobal - Courtyard Ginza
pudgym29 - Shimbashi
bpe - local-ish (Thursday evening)


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Japan Do 2023 - Tokyo - 6-9 April 2023

Old Feb 3, 2023, 4:00 am
  #1  
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Japan Do 2023 - Tokyo - 6-9 April 2023

Japan Do 2023 will be back in Tokyo! Details are still being worked out but evening activities may take place in Yurakucho and Ginza area rather than Shinjuku. If you are looking for accommodation you might like to bear this in mind though as many of you already know travelling in central Tokyo (e.g. between Shinjuku and Ginza) is quick and easy.

See next post for list of events.

Last edited by NewbieRunner; Mar 17, 2023 at 6:33 am
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Old Feb 3, 2023, 4:01 am
  #2  
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List of Events

Thursday 6 April 7pm - Meet and Greet Drinks - Mikkeller Kanda (see post #67)

Friday 7 April 10am - Walking tour of Ueno Park, Kappabashi shopping street and Asakusa with an optional water bus trip down the Sumida River. Meet at JR Ueno Station Park Exit. Approx. 3 miles depending on detours. Monjayaki (similar to Okonomiyaki) lunch. Water bus from Asakusa to Hamarikyu Park, Hinode Pier or Odaiba Seaside Park depending on timing. (see post #76)

Friday 7 April 7-9pm - Official Do Dinner, Kakoiya, 7-9-20 Ginza (see post #73). Registration now closed.

Saturday 8 April 8:30am - Day trip to Okutama (mountainous area of western Tokyo), a short hike along Hatonosu Gorge and a cablecar ride up Mt Mitake (929m) weather permitting. Chance of cherry blossom viewing. (see post #75)

Sunday 9 April 10am - Explore Shibamata, an old-fashioned neighbourhood which was preserved thanks to a long-running movie series. (see post #106)

Last edited by NewbieRunner; Mar 31, 2023 at 1:30 am
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Old Feb 3, 2023, 4:02 am
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Practical Information

Entry requirements

Visa waiver has been restored for visitors from most countries but you are expected to submit information to the Japanese authorities before you fly via the Visit Japan Web site. You will need to show a valid certificate confirming at least three COVID vaccinations. If you cannot prove you are triple-vaccinated with any of the COVID-19 vaccines on the Emergency Use List of the World Health Organization (WHO), you must take a PCR test within 72 hours before your flight and show a negative certificate in the approved format. Proof of prior infection does not afford exemptions. (Tips for registering a vaccination certificate.) Registering with Visit Japan Web is not mandatory, however it helps going through the entry procedures in Japan faster.

Haneda Airport (HND) to central Tokyo

Haneda Airport is in central Tokyo. All international flights arrive and depart from Terminal 3 (formerly International Terminal). Two of the most commonly used ways to travel from Haneda Airport to other areas of Tokyo are:

- Tokyo Monorail which links with the JR Yamanote Line at Hamamatsucho
- Keikyu Railways which links with the JR Yamanote Line at Shinagawa and continues (as Subway Asakusa Line) to Shimbashi, Higashi-Ginza, Nihonbashi, and Asakusa.

Airport Limousine Buses run directly to a number of hotels taking approx. 70 minutes from HND T3 to the Hilton Tokyo in Shinjuku depending on the time of day and costs 1,300 yen one way. Currently Airport Limousine Buses are running a reduced service.

Narita Airport (NRT) to central Tokyo

Narita Airport is located about 60km outside of Tokyo.

Narita Express runs twice hourly during most of the day from T1 and T2 of Narita Airport to Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shibuya, Shinjuku and Yokohama. If making a round trip within 14 days the N'EX Tokyo Round Trip Ticket at 4,070 yen is a good value. Otherwise it costs 3,070 yen one way from Narita Airport to Tokyo and 3,250 yen to Shinagawa/Shibuya/Shinjuku. It takes approx. 60 minutes from Narita Airport to Tokyo and 85 minutes to Shinjuku. If changing from N’EX to the JR Yamanote Line do so at Shinagawa rather than at Tokyo station.

Keisei Railways run fast trains between Narita Airport and central Tokyo including the Keisei Skyliner, Access Express and Rapid Limited Express. The Skyliner to Keisei Ueno takes 44 minutes and costs 2,300 yen one way and 4,480 yen return if purchased up to 30 days in advance at https://www.keisei.co.jp/keisei/tetu...r/e-ticket/en/. If changing from Keisei to the JR Yamanote Line it’s better to change at Nippori.

Airport Bus TYO-NRT operates several times per hour between Narita Airport, Tokyo Station and Ginza Station. One way fare is 1,300 yen during the day and 2,600 yen for late-night and early-morning departures. It takes between 65-80 minutes to Tokyo Station depending on the time of day. https://tyo-nrt.com/en

Alternatively Airport Limousine Buses run directly to a number of hotels as well as some railway stations in Tokyo taking between 120 to 140 minutes from NRT T1 to the Hilton Tokyo in Shinjuku depending on the time of day and costs 3,200 yen one way. Currently Airport Limousine Buses are running a reduced service.

Getting around Tokyo

You are likely to use various metros and JR commuter lines during the Do. Tokyo's metro network is quite complex as you will see on this map.
https://www.tokyometro.jp/station/pd..._number_en.pdf

For a number of years I have used jorudan (in Japanese) which is a comprehensive public transport route navigation website and is available in English as Japan Transit Planner as well as in other languages. Another website is Japan Route Finder & Calculator, an English version of a popular navigation website navitime. Google Maps work well as well.

IC cards (Suica, Pasmo, etc.)

If you don't have one already you should get a Suica or a similar IC card for travelling around Tokyo as well as purchasing drinks and snacks from vending machines and convenience stores in and around railway stations, using coin lockers, paying some entrance fees, etc. You can now have a Suica on a mobile device but I have not tried it yet. Check further down this thread for more info.

A Pasmo card is the private railway equivalent of a Suica (there are many others in different parts of the country) and for all practical purposes they are interchangeable. Don't worry if you have credits left on your Suica at the end of the trip. Unless you know you definitely won't return to Japan, credits on these IC cards are valid for 10 years after last use.

ATM

Many ATMs in Japan do not accept credit, debit, and other cash cards issued outside Japan. But there's no need to panic. You will find Seven Bank ATMs in 7-Eleven convenience stores everywhere which do accept foreign credit and ATM cards. These ATMs are available 24 hours a day and can display English, Japanese, and several other languages. Assistance is available using the handset in English, 24 hours day, year-round. There are also ATMs in Post Offices (Japan Post/Yucho Bank) during the Post Office hours. Family Mart convenience stores and Aeon Bank also accept cards issued outside Japan. Some ATMs may charge fees.

Partly due to Covid-19 more shops and restaurants in Japan now accept credit cards.

Hotels

International chain hotels in Tokyo seem to be charging 150-300% of what they did in 2020! Unless anyone has tons of points to burn you may like to consider Japanese (chain) hotels which are still reasonably priced. There are several recent threads in the Japan forum which might be useful. I’m usually a Hilton person but Hilton hotels in Tokyo are ridiculously priced this year. I have used Trivago, Agoda and Rakuten Travel to search for affordable hotels but Saturday night (8 April) may be a particular challenge.

There are many Japanese hotel chains but ones I have personal experience and can recommend are: Richmond, Tokyu Stay and Remm. Some of them offer member discounts and it’s fairly easy to become a member for free. Unless otherwise stated most Japanese hotel reservations are flexible and may be cancelled up to 1-3 days before arrival. If you find something acceptable I suggest you make a reservation while you look for alternatives. Bear in mind some hotels in Japan still have smoking rooms and the only available rooms I could find at some properties were smoking rooms.

Japan Rail (JR) Pass

If you have used the Japan Rail (JR) Pass in the past, you may be interested to know that there has been some change in 2020. Instead of being a booklet it is now a paper ticket with a magnetic strip just like other JR tickets. Here's a video explaining how to use a new JR Pass. https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/35002184-post766.html
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Last edited by NewbieRunner; Mar 5, 2023 at 4:54 pm
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Old Feb 3, 2023, 12:24 pm
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I'm so excited to be joining you all at the Japan Do. This will be my first visit to the country and can hardly wait. Thank you for all the encouragement to keep trying.
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Old Feb 3, 2023, 1:18 pm
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is it better to fly into HND vs NRT? what about returning, are the business lounges better at NRT?
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Old Feb 3, 2023, 1:34 pm
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Originally Posted by novickd
is it better to fly into HND vs NRT? what about returning, are the business lounges better at NRT?
HND is much more connected and central to Tokyo. Narita is a schlep. The lounges are more or less the same with Narita having more space. I personally try to avoid Narita like the plague.
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Old Feb 3, 2023, 2:42 pm
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Originally Posted by novickd
is it better to fly into HND vs NRT? what about returning, are the business lounges better at NRT?
Which airline or alliance? Some NRT lounges are being closed as more flights are moved to HND.
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Old Feb 3, 2023, 5:32 pm
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Originally Posted by cocobird
I'm so excited to be joining you all at the Japan Do. This will be my first visit to the country and can hardly wait. Thank you for all the encouragement to keep trying.
I look forward to it!

I'm coming in on April 5th at NRT and leaving on April 10th out of HND.

Last edited by Majuki; Feb 3, 2023 at 6:42 pm
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Old Feb 3, 2023, 5:47 pm
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I'll be working in Tokyo so I'll do my best to at least go to the dinner.
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Old Feb 3, 2023, 11:08 pm
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One thing to note on SUICA and PASMO on mobile - these are really only an option on iPhone. For Android phones, these will only work on phones sold in Japan - while latest model iPhones (8 and later) sold anywhere in the world will be compatible.

I used mobile SUICA though Apple Wallet on my iPhone during my trip last month and thought it worked well. No data or WiFi connection is required to make it work at the stations (just recharge on WiFi at the hotel), and you can recharge with foreign credit cards.
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Old Feb 4, 2023, 1:24 am
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Just a note, I believe Chase may still have the visa processing issues with for recharging a Suica via apple pay. US Chase cards weren't working as of early January this year
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Old Feb 4, 2023, 1:45 am
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Originally Posted by elliott44k
Just a note, I believe Chase may still have the visa processing issues with for recharging a Suica via apple pay. US Chase cards weren't working as of early January this year
It's not a chase thing, it's a VISA thing with non-japanese VISA cards, and it's still going on unfortunately. Foreign Mastercards (mostly) and AMEX can be used without issue.

https://atadistance.net/all-about-ap...uica-recharge/
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Old Feb 4, 2023, 2:56 am
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Originally Posted by elliott44k
Just a note, I believe Chase may still have the visa processing issues with for recharging a Suica via apple pay. US Chase cards weren't working as of early January this year
Originally Posted by pesos
It's not a chase thing, it's a VISA thing with non-japanese VISA cards, and it's still going on unfortunately. Foreign Mastercards (mostly) and AMEX can be used without issue.

https://atadistance.net/all-about-ap...uica-recharge/
I didn't try my Chase Visa, but my Apple Card (US Mastercard) worked just fine. And, don't worry, that's not my go-to card, but it's the default for Apple Pay, and I never bother changing it ;-)
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Old Feb 4, 2023, 2:58 am
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Originally Posted by ElevatorEnthusiast
I didn't try my Chase Visa, but my Apple Card (US Mastercard) worked just fine. And, don't worry, that's not my go-to card, but it's the default for Apple Pay, and I never bother changing it ;-)
Yeah the AC works fine and is what I have been using since August since it at least gets 2%.
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Old Feb 4, 2023, 3:01 am
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Originally Posted by ElevatorEnthusiast
One thing to note on SUICA and PASMO on mobile - these are really only an option on iPhone. For Android phones, these will only work on phones sold in Japan - while latest model iPhones (8 and later) sold anywhere in the world will be compatible.

I used mobile SUICA though Apple Wallet on my iPhone during my trip last month and thought it worked well. No data or WiFi connection is required to make it work at the stations (just recharge on WiFi at the hotel), and you can recharge with foreign credit cards.
One problem is that since August VISA cards issued outside of Japan are not working to reload iPhone Suica. I am able to use Mastercard without problem and have heard AMEX works as well.
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