Sightseeing Tips

Tips for Kyoto: 

  • If you plan on spending one day there, start extremely early (we got there around 12:00 p.m., way too late).
  • Don't cram too many things on your list of things to see. If you are there for only a day, plan to see three places, maybe four max. Remember, Kyoto is huge.
  • You can buy a bus pass. One of those special bus passes that will get you around the town for the day. I believe you can also get it for more than one day as well. The bus terminal is located outside of the main entrance of Kyoto Station. 
Tips for Fushimi Inari Shrine: 
  • As anywhere else in Japan, avoid a weekend. 
  • There are no entrance fees here.
Tips for Nara: 
  • Go early! There is a lot to see in Nara. Luckily, they are all located in the same place and you can walk to most of the attractions. 
  • Go in the fall! I'm sure any other time is probably equally as beautiful, but I am totally biased. I have an obsession with fall leaves and I just want others to share in my obsession. 
  • Pay for the temples. The entrance fees are very cheap, and everything is really worth seeing. 
  • Feed some deer. Watch as they bow for their food!
Tips for Kaiyukan Aquarium: 
  • Dedicate at least three hours to this place. If you love sea life, you are going to gawk at every tank that you come to. Plan some time for that!
  • Go on a weekday. I'm not sure how crowded it gets on the weekends, but I would imagine it would be full of families with small children, people on dates, things like that. It was relatively quiet when we went, no huge throngs of people.
  • At the train station, they offer a package deal for train fare as well as admission to the aquarium. A very friendly station attendant told us this, and led us to the station master's office, where we procured our packages that included the train pass (for a round trip), admission ticket, and a map of the aquarium. I can't remember exactly how much it was, but it supposedly saved us a little bit of money. It's convenient, either way.
  • When you get to the train station, there are signs everywhere showing you how to get to the aquarium. Even on the street, there are signs. It's impossible to get lost! 
Tips for Osaka Nightlife: 
  • Don't make any big plans for the following day. Like, for reals. 
Tips for Universal Studios Japan/The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: 
  • As most places in Japan, go on a weekday. There was not much of a crowd when we started our day (around 11:00am). Lines for rides, even really popular rides, took no more than half an hour, if at all. But it definitely started to fill up as the day went on, when people started to get off of work, and kids got out of school. It was also a Friday, so if you want to avoid big crowds, stick to a weekday.
  • Get a fast pass if it is really, really crowded. You can pay extra to ride either four, seven, or 10 rides, that will get you right to the front of the line. If you don't want to pay extra for that service and don't mind riding things alone, you can always jump in the singles line, which pretty much gets you right to the front. If you have an annual pass from anywhere other than that particular Universal Studios, it is sadly not valid.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. Or shoes with great insoles. I honestly don't know how those girls walked around in those shoes all day long. 
Tips for Tokyo DisneySea and Disneyland: 
  • Again, as at USJ, invest in the fast pass if it is crowded. Even on a week day, this place is crowded and the lines are long. 
  • Night time is a little more magical than daytime. Make sure you stay and catch the show! 
  • Keep your eye on the time and plan accordingly so you can get a good position near the water to watch the show (DisneySea) or near the castle (Disneyland). 
  • If you have kids, it might be fun to stay in one of the nearby resorts. 
Tips for Odaiba: 
  • If you go to Sega Joypolis, you can purchase the pass for $30.00. This will get you unlimited access for all the games and rides (except the carnival games, you only get one free game there, and it's not valid for the claw machines). 
  • Stay till night time to see the Gundam, as well as Rainbow Bridge, lit up.
Tips for Robot Restaurant: 
  • We asked our concierge to make a reservation for us. Do this at least one day in advance, as this place is very popular and has limited seating. The concierge also wrote us directions to give to the taxi driver, in case you decide to take a taxi. 
  • If you are tall, do not sit in the front row. You WILL be smacked in the face with equipment. That is how close they get to you. 
  • If you are epileptic, do NOT go to this show. You will probably have a seizure just walking through the door. 
  • Do not come here to eat. The food is not that great. Eat something before, or afterwards. Instead, get a beer or some other cocktail and enjoy the show!
Tips for Harajuku: 
  • If you do not like crowds, do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT go on a Sunday. You will drown. It will be awful. 
  • If you want to see the girls and guys dressed up all fun-like, DO go on a Sunday. That will probably be the only time you will get to see them en masse. 
  • Check out the Daiso. It was one of the bigger ones I had gone to (I went to three in Japan). Big as in wide, and not cramped. 
  • Eat a crepe. I did not get to eat one, so I just want to live vicariously through you. lol 
  • Buy things. Takeshita Dori stores, for the most part, do contain cheap items. I got $19.00 shoes, and a $25.00 purse that was on sale. I also got earrings from Paris Kids, which is like a Claire's, for about $3.00 each. Japan can be very expensive, but it can also be very cheap! 
  • Don't be afraid to ask someone to take their picture. If they are dressed up the way they are, chances are they are not going to mind you asking, and they will probably be thrilled to take a picture for, or with you. 
Tips for Ninja Akasaka: 
  • Make your reservation either earlier in the day, or the day before, so you are able to eat dinner at a decent hour. 

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