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A couple traveling to Tokyo Japan Over new yr 2012/2013

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A couple traveling to Tokyo Japan Over new yr 2012/2013

Hi experienced travelers , my boyfriend and I (ages 28 and 26) are traveling to Japan for over the new year period. Were probably staying in shinjuku Tokyo for four nights which will cover new years eve. Q1: what is an amazing experience for new years other than just clubbing , that you could suggest?

Q2 does disneysea and Disneyland have awesome nye celebrations ?

after staying around that area were moving to some snow fields . I've never been to the snow in my life. My boyf snow boards but hasn't skiied, so he thought a good idea might b for both of us to ski so were both beginners . We plan to stay 2 or 3 nights at a snow field- so Q3 which snow field is recommended and a beautiful place to see?

Q4 any suggestions on where to move to after that ? Thinking bout Osaka? All up we only have 11 full days in Japan .

Q5- any certain places to see or things that shouldn't b missed ?

Q6- anything/anywhere to particularly avoid?

Q7- what kind of clothes would be weather appropriate for the times were not in the snow?

Anything at all that can be suggested , answers or other info , very appreciated thanks :-)

As u can tell it's my first over seas trip!!!

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Rotorua, New Zealand
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1. Re: A couple traveling to Tokyo Japan Over new yr 2012/2013

I feel like I am reading my own questions. We are in the same position, our first overseas trip. And staying over new years. We are uncertain what to do overs New years other than clubbing.

Our friend who is coming with us is a snowboard instructor and we are going to Hakuba for three days before new years. It has wide trails and is a large ski field. Might see you on your travels.

We are coming from NZ are you from Oz?

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2. Re: A couple traveling to Tokyo Japan Over new yr 2012/2013

1. Amazing is defined by your interests. What do you want to do? If you want to experience culture and traditional instead of the commercial side, go to the shrines with Japanese people. Note that on Jan 1, many places will be closed.

3. Somewhat near Tokyo, Yuzawa is very convenient. Karuizawa is another possibility although it doesn't offer challenging runs to the experienced skiers. Check out Snowjapan for more info:


4. If you want to see something historical and cultural, go to Kyoto for a few days. From Kyoto, do a day trip to Nara. Osaka would be optional if you have spent time in Tokyo.

5. Do some research at Japan Guide.


6. Japan is very safe throughout. Nothing to avoid in general.

7. Depends on your cold tolerance. In Tokyo, it can be anything from 0 to 15 degrees around that period. Be sure to have protection for your ski trip.

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3. Re: A couple traveling to Tokyo Japan Over new yr 2012/2013

Thank you for your info that's great !!

Yeah we are from Oz! :-) possibly run into you guys ! Your a couple too are you? Will u be in central Tokyo at some stage of ur trip?

Another question if anyone knows? How much is it to buy the train pass that will get us around everywhere (not sure what it's called) and is it cheaper buying it here before hand or when we get there?

Thanks all appreciate it :-)

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4. Re: A couple traveling to Tokyo Japan Over new yr 2012/2013

Hi Miss B, and Diz186 - we are also from this side of the world, Wellington, NZ! We will be in Japan over New Years as well and have a similar itinerary to yours so let me try to answer your questions from a foreigners perspective

Q3 which snow field is recommended and a beautiful place to see?

After extensive amounts of research, from Tokyo you can choose to go to Yuzawa or Hakuba (which is where we are going!). Yuzawa, you can go for one day from Tokyo, and I would recommend Gala Yuzawa. If Hakuba, we are staying overnight in nearby Nagano at a ryokan and planning to make skiing a day trip. Would be good to see other faces around if you think you will head that way

Q4 any suggestions on where to move to after that ? Thinking bout Osaka? All up we only have 11 full days in Japan .

Our trip consists of Nagano, Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Osaka. If we had more time (we only have 7 full days) we would also try to go to Nikko, Nara and Nagasaki. That should bulk your time out nicely

Also in terms of the JR rail pass, it costs 432AUD over 7 days, maybe the 14 day pass may be more suited for you which is nearly double the price of the 7 day. You need to buy this pass before you get into Japan, you cannot buy it there!

Hopefully we may see you on the skifields :)

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5. Re: A couple traveling to Tokyo Japan Over new yr 2012/2013

Oh wow some more great info. Thank you for that :-) which city are you guys staying over NY ? Shinjuku was fully booked so were not staying there anymore !! But no matter where we r I'm sure it's going to b an amazing place to see.

The boyf is in charge of which snow field but I was looking at those u suggested just last night.

Would b unreal to meet other A.NZ travelers !! Thanks again for ur help :-)

Tokyo, Japan
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6. Re: A couple traveling to Tokyo Japan Over new yr 2012/2013

Hi miss b,

I've been living in Tokyo for 3 years now and I can hopefully give you some more information!

Q1: Most of the New Year Celebrations take place at the shrines. On New Years Eve there are no fireworks or anything like this, but you can experience a very special atmosphere if you go to the shrine at midnight. At the larger and most famous shrines like the Meji Shrine it will be very crowded, but if you're not afraid of this and prepared to wait in line for a while (take warm clothes!), you will never forget it. Otherwise go the the smaller shrines which you find all around the city. There will also be food stalls and sake to warm you up!

1st of January is the only day in the year I think when everything's closed, apart from the shrines and temples of course, that's where everybody goes. A nice itineray could be this one:


Q3: I would also recommend Hakuba. From there you've got several resorts to choose from: Happo-One, Hakuba 47, Goryu, Cortina for example). There is all sort of accomodation available, from budget to luxuary.

What else should you see? Definitely Kyoto (2 days minimum). Osaka is not a "must" if you spend some days in Tokyo I would say.

If you have more time, go to Miyajima (http://japantourist.jp/view/miyajima-island), a small island close to Hiroshima.

To see Mount Fuji you can do that in a day trip from Tokyo.


Last but not least, the weather: Usually the weather is great around that time of the year. Temperatures might vary as stated previously, but usually the sky is blue and the air really clear. It's a great time to visit the city!

I recommend you check out this website. Foreigners living in Japan are writing up their experiences here, so it's all first-hand information! You can even book hotels/ryokans via the site:


If you have any further questions, let me know! You will have a wonderful trip!

7. Re: A couple traveling to Tokyo Japan Over new yr 2012/2013

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8. Re: A couple traveling to Tokyo Japan Over new yr 2012/2013

Thanks Nicole B some awesome info there!! :-) we ended up still booking Osaka accomm so I hope now that we will find things to see and do around there. Is it really far to travel from Osaka to Kyoto? I am getting so excited!!

Have you any idea if there are any dance schools that hold open classes in styles of hip hop and jazz in Osaka or Tokyo and if they are open over that period? I hope so !! That would b an unreal experience .

So hakuba has many varieties of slopes from beginners up ? Do you kno are they majority wide trails? I haven't seen the snow in my life and I'm quite nervous about it being my first time to ski or board in such a massively popular country for the snow! I'm still unsure whether to ski or board too!!!

About the trains and getting around - I hear we need to purchase a pass from Australia as it cannot be bought in Japan , however I

Am so confused about it all, are there a few different types of trains ? Will the pass we purchase allow us on any of them?

I have so many questions , thanks for your patience and effort in responding so well already, appreciate it heaps !! :-)

Tokyo, Japan
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9. Re: A couple traveling to Tokyo Japan Over new yr 2012/2013

miss b, I'm glad that I can help!

Please don't worry, Kyoto is not far from Osaka, only 30 minutes by train, so you can easily do it from Osaka. However, I highly recommend to spend an evening in Kyoto too, the Gion area is so special at night when it's lit. Geishas and Maikos walking around the old wooden buildings will make you feel travelling back in time!

Oh, in Osaka there're great things to see too. For example the castle (http://japantourist.jp/view/osaka-castle-park). the Aquarium is very famous too. I went there myself and have to say it's the best aquarium I've visited so far (japantourist.jp/view/kaiyukan-osaka-aquarium…)

Nightlife in Osaka ist great too: http://japantourist.jp/view/kyobashi

Regarding the dance classes I'm not sure, but I will ask some friends!

Hakuba has everything for beginners and advanced skiers / boarders, slopes are usually wide, so no need to worry. You will probably be overwhelmed by the amount of snow there :-)

Regarding the trains. You can buy the JR PASS online (and yes, you HAVE to buy it from overseas), it's very easy, for example here:


It's basically valid for all trains run by JR (Japan Rail), which is the majority of trains. It also includes the bullet train (Shinkansen). Although there are some exceptions, it does not matter for the plans you have (Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagano). When you buy it online you will get a so-called "exchange order", it's like a voucher, which you have to exchange when you come to Japan. You should do this at the airport when you arrive. Go to a JR (Japan Rail) office at the airport and you will receive the real pass, which will then already be valid for your train ride into the city! It's also valid between Osaka and Kyoto, so it's a very good deal for you.

I'll get back to you regarding the dance classes as soon as possible. When are you leaving? Let me know if you need anything else!

Tokyo, Japan
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10. Re: A couple traveling to Tokyo Japan Over new yr 2012/2013

miss b,

this is a studio in Tokyo that has a "visitor" plan, so you can join without becoming a member. Hope this helps!