Traveling

Kaitii

The face of true betrayal
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Messages
2,256
#1
So it's pretty much official, I'm going to Japan in August with my girlfriend for 10 days. It'll be my first time going out of the continent. I've gone to Vegas and Tijuana, but they don't really count as "traveling" to me because they're pretty close by.

I've never been on a plane, I'm still getting my passport and everything is completely new to me. I'm not sure what to pack how much to pack or anything. Like where do I put all the stuff I know I'm gonna buy or what should I carry on for an 11hr plane ride.

Have any of you been to Japan? I wanna know how it went for you, where did you go where did you stay, etc etc

Also just looking for overall first time traveling advice, like I literally have nothing rn.
 

SFSFun

Ship from Store: Don't call it Ship To Store!!
Joined
Jan 12, 2015
Messages
6,087
#2
I've never been to Japan, but I do fly several times per year and can give tips on that:

- As soon as you get your flight booked, change your seat. I personally prefer to be as close to the front of the plane as possible and in a window seat. For an 11 hour flight over mostly ocean, I'd probably want an aisle seat (easier to get to the bathroom). Check out Airline Seat Maps, Flights shopping and Flight information- Best Airplane Seats - SeatGuru to get an idea of what kind of seat you'll want.
- Put tons of music and a few movies/TV episodes on your phone/tablet/laptop, and bring your best headphones.
- Do not check any bags if you can avoid it!!! It usually costs extra, takes time to check in and pick up, and your vacation will be not as pleasant if the airline loses it. You can put one average sized suitcase in the overhead bin and one personal item (like a backpack or a purse) under the seat in front of you.
- Plan to arrive 2-3 hours early (I've missed a flight out of a major airport in a large city because of terrible traffic and long lines at security).
- Get familiar with the TSA 3-1-1 rule if you are not already. Make sure your 3-1-1 bag is easily accessible when you pass through security. Explain 3-1-1 Rule for Air Travel

That's all I can think of at the moment.
 
Joined
May 29, 2012
Messages
7,388
#3
Yeah, do the 3-1-1 thing if you've never traveled before. I haven't done that in years, and have never had the TSA give my suitcase a second glance. (I stick with the limits and try to remember to put it all in a zip lock bag so it won't leak, but I never pull it out of my suitcase).

Yep...arrive early at the airport.

Aisle seats are overrated. Every single person who walks by will either bump into your seat or you or grab the back to use to steady themselves. After 11 hours of this, you will want to kill someone. If you stick your foot into the aisle to stretch a bit, likely you will injure yourself or someone else. And if you manage to fall asleep, one of the people next to you will want to get out to use the restroom.

You must contact any credit/debit card companies ahead of time to give them your destination and dates of travel. Otherwise they will likely turn off your card after the first use.
 

NPC

特別な目を開けるためにパトリックを殺す
Joined
May 23, 2015
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7,061
#4
I've never been to Japan either, but it's one of the few places I actually want to go to. So I've done a lot of unnecessary research about traveling to Japan. Lol.

Also, real quick, that 3-1-1 bag...you're supposed to take it out of your suitcase when you go through security. The first time I flew, I accidentally left it in my bag, and they didn't say shit. Now, I make it a point to leave it in there every time I fly, to see what happens. I've flown 4 times now...not once has it been an issue. I'm not telling you to do what I did. I'm just sharing a story. What the fuck, TSA? What if I was the ultimate terrorist?! Lol.

ANYWAY, tips for Japan, based on my research and not experience.
  • Don't forget your deodorant! Japan has a shitty selection of deodorant, it's very different that deodorant in the states.
  • Bring medicine! Allergy meds, cold meds, Anti-Diarrhea meds. You're in a new environment with new food. Just play it safe.
  • Call your bank! Figure out what cards you can use in Japan, and let your bank know too so they don't flag you for suspicious activity. Make sure you have cash on hand too, as cash is the preferred payment method in Japan. Of course you'll have to get Yen, so plan to convert your money before hand in the US, or right away in Japan.
  • Obviously, learn some Japanese! You can download apps on your phone too that will translate what you want to say into Japanese. I've had foreigners in Target use that on me, when looking for items. They just show me their phone screen, and it has what they want in english. It's pretty cool.
  • I'd also read up on Japanese manners too. Like what they consider polite and rude.
  • Pack as compact as you can! If you're going to be using the trains in Japan, you don't want to have bags or pillows or excess clothing and books hanging off you. Be conscious of the space you take up!
  • Figure out your transportation. Learn the trains!
  • Don't forget underwear! Always bring more underwear than you think you need. Lol
  • *cough*bringfemininehygienestuff*cough*
  • Create an entertainment arsenal! Load your phone with books, movies, music, and what have you. Stay entertained, and don't forget your headphones!

  • Wear comfortable shoes that are easy to take on and off.
 

NPC

特別な目を開けるためにパトリックを殺す
Joined
May 23, 2015
Messages
7,061
#5
For the Airport....

Look up the suitcase guidelines for your Airline. I would avoid checking your bag. Sure, people do it all the time, but personally, I'm absolutely terrified of my bag getting lost. Most airlines allow you to bring a suitcase to store in the overhead compartment, as well as one carry on (a purse, laptop bag, backpack.) However, there's usually a size and weight limitation for your suitcase. So I'd look that up. Last I checked, the limit was no larger than 51" or no heavier than 50 pounds. Worst case scenario, checking your bag is fine. Some would say it's better, but I disagree. Lol. Also, don't forget to label your bag with a tag with your contact information. In the event that you do end up checking your luggage, make sure it's easy to identify. Put a patch on it, or something, to make it easy to distinguish. So many luggages are just plain black.

Keep your bag of toiletries (the 3-1-1 bag) at the top of your suitcase. What I mean is, when you go through security, you're supposed to take out that bag, and it's easier to do that if it's not shoved at the bottom of all your clothes.

With that in mind...keep essential items in your Carry On (wallet, passport, phone, ect.), and anything you DON'T need right away in your suitcase.

Dress comfortably. Wear things that are easy to take off and put back on. Especially for shoes.

Take Vitamin C! You don't want to get sick on that germ ridden airplane. Seriously, boost up on the health goodness before and while flying.
 

Onizuka

Service Desk TM
Joined
May 12, 2015
Messages
74
#8
I went to Japan last November and it was absolutely amazing, you're going to have a great time. Are you going to Tokyo or traveling around Japan? I visited Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, and Nakanojo on my trip. As far as packing goes, pack light. Especially if you want to bring lots of stuff back. It's pretty easy to find coin laundry in Japan, and many hotels have laundry facilities as well. Many hotels, even cheaper ones, provide lots of toiletries, so you don't need to pack too many unless you have specific skin or hair conditions that require certain products. 7-11 in Japan is going to be your go-to when you're lost, you need anything, or you want to withdraw money. All 7-11's have an ATM that takes foreign debit cards. Trip Advisor is a great resource for hotel, restaurant, and attraction reviews. If you're in Tokyo, you must try Mutekiya Ramen! Best ramen ever, but the line is usually pretty long during peak times. It is so worth it though. If you have any specific questions feel free to ask me. If you can give me an idea of what area(s) you'll be in and what kind of budget you're working with I can give you better advice.

EDIT: I recommend exchanging most of your USD to yen after you get to Japan. It's probably smart to transfer some beforehand but the exchange rates at 7-11 and in the Narita Airport are much better than what you can get here. Like TargetNPC said, Japan is very cash based so keep some on you at all times. Your cards are likely to not be accepted, and some establishments are cash only.
 
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Onizuka

Service Desk TM
Joined
May 12, 2015
Messages
74
#9
Also, Japan is generally a very safe country. I never felt scared or uncomfortable, even late at night and the few times I was alone. People are so nice, many of them will go out of their way to help if you seem lost or confused. If you ask for help they will help you. Try to learn a bit of Japanese if you can, they really appreciate when foreigners try to speak Japanese. Even simple phrases like ありがとう arigatou (Thank you), すみません sumimasen, こんにちは konnichiwa (hello/good afternoon) and ごちそうさま gochisousama (Thanks for the meal) will impress them.

Another edit lol: The trains are actually pretty easy to figure out, nearly all the trains we took had English signing throughout, and some even had English announcements at each stop.
 
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KingBear

Don't let me talk
Joined
Nov 17, 2015
Messages
172
#10
If you buy any DVDs to take back to the states, make sure they're region 1! I've made this mistake before when I bought a friend a copy of The Wicker Man starring Nic Cage as a joke and sent it overseas and didn't remember that they have this whole weird region lock thing.

Can't say I've been on an international flight before but having flown cross-country quite a few times, I can say that I usually do okay with bringing a portable game system and something I can get lost in, plus probably new podcasts to dive into or a bunch of albums to immerse myself in or just chill shit. But again, 11 hours is pretty dang long. A friend of mine who lives in Japan suggests, like, forcing yourself to sleep on the plane when it would be time to sleep in the country you're arriving in, to minimize jet lag. I can't personally testify to how well it works but on paper it makes sense, and any time she's come back to the states she's practically a rock star at not being hit with jet lag.
 

Onizuka

Service Desk TM
Joined
May 12, 2015
Messages
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#11
If you buy any DVDs to take back to the states, make sure they're region 1! I've made this mistake before when I bought a friend a copy of The Wicker Man starring Nic Cage as a joke and sent it overseas and didn't remember that they have this whole weird region lock thing.

Can't say I've been on an international flight before but having flown cross-country quite a few times, I can say that I usually do okay with bringing a portable game system and something I can get lost in, plus probably new podcasts to dive into or a bunch of albums to immerse myself in or just chill shit. But again, 11 hours is pretty dang long. A friend of mine who lives in Japan suggests, like, forcing yourself to sleep on the plane when it would be time to sleep in the country you're arriving in, to minimize jet lag. I can't personally testify to how well it works but on paper it makes sense, and any time she's come back to the states she's practically a rock star at not being hit with jet lag.
America and Japan share a region for blu-ray DVDs. :)
 

NPC

特別な目を開けるためにパトリックを殺す
Joined
May 23, 2015
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7,061
#12
Wait wait wait....are we all just glossing over the fact that Kaitii is finally meeting her lover from down under?! :D In the magic wonderland of Japan?!
 
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Kaitii

Kaitii

The face of true betrayal
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Messages
2,256
#13
Man I love you guys. Okay this is gonna be a clusterfuck of replies to all of you along w my own ramblings

That Seatguru site is A+++ and I found my flight on there for 719 bless. Laptop will be loaded with Miraculous Ladybug and probably an anime or 3 I've been putting off. I'm HOPING I'll be able to knock the fuck out because I have slept 12 hours before so I hope I can do it again. I'll probably pack as light as possible because I'm planning on buying an absolute fuck ton so I won't have to pay for shipping online -shakes fist at shipping prices- I arrive at work 2-3 hours early, I can arrive at an airport....5 hours...early. Yeah that's probably what's gonna happen. I'm going to be leaving from LAX so l m a o

3-1-1 seems easy enough to get acquainted with (and then watch as I fuck that one up)

Not looking forward to calling my card company for that. God I hate phone calls. Planning on mostly using cash, but I got a credit card for that just in case thing.

I know a pretty decent amount of beginner Japanese and mannerisms (thank u jpn 1), so I can ask for things like directions and where the restroom is and all that. My gf is pretty much fluent in Japanese though, so I'll be relying on her for the most part.

I'll be sure to shove in some meds, since that part completely slipped by me that my poor immune system is gonna be so confused by new place. Sobs at the thought of possibly starting my period while I'm supposed to be enjoying a nice vacay w the bae.

We're gonna mostly be in Tokyo. We actually have a "to do" list and it is totally open to more suggestions.

Any thoughts on this suitcase thingy? It's my fave colour so I'm a bit biased there for that. But I mean I'm not overly picky. Also where do I put all the stuff I buy. Like. Would I have to shove it into the suitcase or buy another or

Nah we're not glossing over that fact, we're just all festering the joy on the inside until it eventually can longer be contAINED AND THEN WE (I) START SCREAMING IM GONNA MEET MY GF IN JAPAN ITS GONNA BE GR8 AND FUN AND IM SO EXCITED AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
 
M

MrGeppetto

Guest
#16
I would look up what bag dimensions are allowed for carry on and plan accordingly

nevermind its approved didn't see that.
 
Joined
May 29, 2012
Messages
7,388
#17
Color is great. Because if you end up checking it on the way home, it will stand out on the conveyor belt.

Some credit card companies, when you call them, are all automated now with this information. So you may just have to talk to a human less voice.

I am so excited for you!
 

SFSFun

Ship from Store: Don't call it Ship To Store!!
Joined
Jan 12, 2015
Messages
6,087
#18
You might consider packing an empty duffel bag in your suitcase. You can throw your clothes and any non-breakable souvenirs in there during your trip and check that now full bag for the return flight.
 

HardlinesFour

Super Ninja & Site Mod.
Staff member
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Oct 7, 2011
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4,537
#19
You'll officially win the tackiest luggage of the year award.. but if your clever.

Open Word on your Computer, and Type in your name in the biggest print possible. And Print it in a nice font, with some color.
Take the sheet of paper, and place it into a Ziploc Bag. Then tape it onto the front.

Your bag will stand out so well, when your at the luggage carrousel. :p You'll be completely horrified how many people have the exact same bag as you though.
 
G

Guest

Guest
#20
Go to a maid cafe and see if they will let you take a pic with them. I've heard those places are not what you think they are. People think they're nasty places that whore out girls in maid outfits but from what I've heard it's far from that and harmless. Also, try pizza from a vending machine. I've heard that Japanese people love buying food and drinks from vending machines.
 

Onizuka

Service Desk TM
Joined
May 12, 2015
Messages
74
#21
You might consider packing an empty duffel bag in your suitcase. You can throw your clothes and any non-breakable souvenirs in there during your trip and check that now full bag for the return flight.
This is exactly what I did. I brought a small carry on backpack, a small carry on size suitcase, and a foldable duffle bag that I packed with souvenirs on the way back.
 

KingBear

Don't let me talk
Joined
Nov 17, 2015
Messages
172
#23
Nah we're not glossing over that fact, we're just all festering the joy on the inside until it eventually can longer be contAINED AND THEN WE (I) START SCREAMING IM GONNA MEET MY GF IN JAPAN ITS GONNA BE GR8 AND FUN AND IM SO EXCITED AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
i hit like on this post earlier while i was on my phone but i wanted to just add on:

helL YEAH HELL YEAH HE'LL YEAH H E E E E E E E E L L L L L L L L L Y E A A A A A A A A A A A A H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H

That's so fucking cool!!! I hope you two have a great time!!!! And I don't know where to tack on "good call on swinging by the Monster Hunter shop" so i'm tacking it on here!! Hot damn!!!
 
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Kaitii

Kaitii

The face of true betrayal
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Messages
2,256
#25
Automated credit card numbers. My love. My precious.

But damn ya'll are geniuses. I would have never guessed an empty duffel bag. I always associate bodies with those.

Comic sans in a giant font? Hell yea

My gf doesn't wanna go to a maid cafe because she's afraid of being judged to hell and back by the guys who do go there. I know they're extremely harmless and they're the most adorable things tho. But since I can't speak enough Japanese to get through a maid cafe alone, I am at the mercy of my gf.

Tomorrow Imma go do my passport stuff. God I am not looking forward to getting my passport photo taken. Ughghghghghghghghghgh

BUT IT'LL BE WORTH IT. Man I am so hype for the MH shop. I wanted to go to the Haikyuu!! store too but alas it was only temporary and is now gone ;n;

I will be sure to buy a camera and document eVERYTHING so it will almost be like you guys were there with me!!
 
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