Dear visitor, if you know the answer to this question, please post it. Thank you!

Advice needed for a visit in September 2019/3/9 16:01
Hello Everyone,

I would really appreciated your advice and input on this.

I will be going with my 12 year old son to Japan in late September.

We will be there from 18th Sept- 3rd Oct.
We will spend a week in Tokyo, 2 days in Hakone, 2 days in Hiroshima and 4 days in Kyoto.

Tokyo 18th (arrive Narita in the morning)
Tokyo 18-24th
Hakone 25-27th
Hiroshima 27-29th
Kyoto 30th-2nd
3rd Oct (flying out early from Itami Airport for our flight home)

I realised after booking our flights that it would be the Rugby World Cup competition from 20th Sept -2nd Nov. I already booked our accommodation in Hakone, Hiroshima and Kyoto, but I am puzzled about which area do I stay in in Tokyo. Which area is safer for a single mother with a child, has a good vibe a train/subway station with good connections?

Our plan in Tokyo in a addition to visiting the usual touristy stuff (Sensoji Temple, Asakusa , Ueno, Akihabara, Meiji Shrine, Shibuya Crossing, Harajuku, Skytree, Fish Market, etc..), we would like to visit Hamarikyo Gardens, Odaiba (Teamlab Borderless) and day trips to Kamakura/Enoshima and Yokohama.
We have no intention to visit Disney or Ghibli.

My dilemma is how to fit a visit to Yokohama and Kamakura/Enoshima around the Rugby World Cup events which we are not interested in at all but I expect a lot of crowding in the train stations and the sites there.

I was planning to visit Yokohama on either 20th or 21st of September but then I found that there will be Rugby games played in Yokohama on both and 21st and 22nd of September, and also in Tokyo on 20, 21st. So trains on 20th to and from Tokyo to Yokohama (and Kamakura/Enoshima) will be pretty crowded. So would be the weekend of the 21st and 22nd.

I already booked activities and tours in Tokyo on 23rd and 24th which I cannot cancel, they were part of the flights deal.

Any advice on how to fit Yokohama and Kamakura between 19th to 22nd of September?
Is it worth going straight from Narita to Yokohama and stay there for 2 nights (18th -19th) to explore it and go to Kamakura/Enoshima as a day trip from there then return to Tokyo on 20th?
And if so, which area in Yokohama do you recommend?
Is it easier to find accommodation in Kamakura or Enoshima instead?
What type of pass (if any) do you recommend for that area?

Thank you for your input and advice
by Mariana (guest)  

Re: Advice needed for a visit in September 2019/3/9 23:14
Hello!
On my travels to Tokio, I like to stay in Asakusa.
It's a save and nice area with really good connections to other areas in Tokio.
For example: With "Ginza Line" you get straight to Shibuya ( or Ueno with good Access to "Yamamote Line" and others)
If you want to go to Kamakura, you take the "Ginza Line" or the "Asakusa Line" to Simbashi Station and then the "JR Yokosuka Line" to Kamakura Station.
And If you want to go to Yokohama Station you get the "Asakusa Line" with changes after 11 Stations in "Keikyu Line" that brings you direct to Yokohama Station.

Have fun! :-)
by Vio (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Advice needed for a visit in September 2019/3/10 01:40
My dilemma is how to fit a visit to Yokohama and Kamakura/Enoshima around the Rugby World Cup events which we are not interested in at all but I expect a lot of crowding in the train stations and the sites there.

I think you need to put your expectation of crowds into perspective.

The Tokyo stadium holds 50,000 spectators and is located in Chofu: https://www.rugbyworldcup.com/venues/tokyo-stadium
Chofu is nowhere close to Yokohama or your possible route from Tokyo to Yokohama, really kind of regardless where you decide to stay in Tokyo. Most people will probably go through Shinjuku to Chofu. Let's assume that 40,000 of the spectators will all go through Shinjuku, however Shinjuku station on average has 3.6 million people travelling through it every day. Add 40,000 to that, not a huge increase.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinjuku_Station

The Yokohama station is bigger at 72,000 spectators: https://www.rugbyworldcup.com/venues/international-stadium-yokohama
And it is admittedly located closer to the way you would take from Tokyo to Yokohama (or Kamakura).
I went to that stadium a few years back for a FIFA Club World Cup game, which had 64,000 spectators: https://www.fifa.com/clubworldcup/matches/round=275782/match=300338752...

Yes, from the station to the stadium streets were packed with people and yes, going back the streets to the station were packed again and it took a while to get into the station. But I don't remember that the trains were specially crowded. Yes, probably a bit more crowded than normal at the same time of the day / weekday, but nothing that amounts to normally packed trains in morning rush hour in Tokyo.

If you want to avoid being packed into a train, the much more important factor is to avoid morning rush hour in Tokyo. I haven't looked it up, but there must be a statistic somewhere out there explaining which lines are most crowded at which time of the day, but as long as you stay in Tokyo and go to Yokohama / Kamakura / Enoshima, even if you travel right in the morning rush hour, you are going to go against the flow at least most of the time (at least from somewhere around Shinagawa onwards). (And no, I am not saying you should stay in Shinagawa which is a rather dull neighbourhood. )

If you don't mind changing hotel, by all means get a hotel for a few days in Yokohama (or depending on your interests Kamakura or Enoshima), but changing hotels is only going to add complication to your trip.

I obviously haven't been to Japan during the 2019 Rugby World Cup (as no one else has), but I just can't see how an event of about 70,000 spectators at most can alter the whole of Tokyo / Yokohama so much when we are speaking about a region with 38 million inhabitants: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Tokyo_Area

Yes, inhabitants aren't tourists, and yes, I would expect more tourists on really any day during that period than in 2018, probably. But still Japan did get a little bit over 30 million tourists last year: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism_in_Japan So with the RWC, what is it going to be? 1 million more? Not really a significant increase, when tourist numbers are probably going to increase anyway. The government works on a plan to have 40 million tourists by 2020 (which probably already includes all the Olympics tourists). Compare that to France who gets over 85 million tourists a year: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Tourism_rankings

Looking at tourists per capita, Japan probably doesn't even rank among the first 80 countries: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/maps-and-graphics/countries-where-t...

So bottom line, do your visit as you plan, and enjoy your trip!
by LikeBike rate this post as useful

Re: Advice needed for a visit in September 2019/3/10 04:58
I agree with LikeBike, I would not change the plan because of rugby games.

Tokyo-Yokohama-Kamakura area is considered "small" due to fast trains running between them, so changing hotels is probably not worth the hassle. One option is to stay in Kawasaki (I do that a lot) which is between Tokyo and Yokohama and close to both. If you want to stay in Tokyo, my recommendation is either near Shinjuku station or Tokyo station. They are both major stations and very convenient as a base camp (you might get lost in Shinjuku station - it's that big but also lots of fun).

From both Tokyo and Shinjuku stations, there are express JR trains bound for Kamakura/Fujisawa. In addition, from Shinjuku there is another train line (Odakyu) that runs express trains to Fujisawa and Enoshima. A very economical pass for exploring Kamakura and Enoshima from Shinjuku is "Enoshima-Kamakura Freepass" which entitles you one RT between Shinjuku and Fujisawa and unlimited rides on Enoden (cute little train that runs between Fujisawa and Kamakura via Enoshima). I highly recommend this pass.
https://www.odakyu.jp/english/passes/enoshima_kamakura/
by O92 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Advice needed for a visit in September 2019/3/10 06:57
There are baseball games happening from April to October in many venues and they hold about 40-50,000 people many days of the week. They all go without a hitch. You have to realize that baseball games usually let out at the latest 10-11pm (if it goes to extra innings and/or a tie) so people can take the trains home. Trains will be busy and full during that time, but nothing else is affected otherwise and not for very long. I would only concern myself with securing accommodations during the sports event.
by John B digs Japan rate this post as useful

Re: Advice needed for a visit in September 2019/3/10 07:03
Sporting games start around mid afternoon and in the evening. So you should have no short distance transport issues as you'll be heading out for your day trips in the morning.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Advice needed for a visit in September 2019/3/10 08:53
My dilemma is how to fit a visit to Yokohama and Kamakura/Enoshima around the Rugby World Cup events which we are not interested in at all but I expect a lot of crowding in the train stations and the sites there.
Official estimates are the WHOLE competition might see 400,000 visitors. That is 10% of the FOUR MILLION regular tourists across the same period. In a city of 37 million people, you will not even notice the additional crowding unless you visit Chofu in western Tokyo (hugely unlikely), or Yokohama Stadium near Shin-Yokohama. Don't worry.
And those tourism figures don't adjust for the people that will be actively avoiding Japan at this time - I know there are some - I've just been talking to some people delaying their trip by a year because of the rugby.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Advice needed for a visit in September 2019/3/10 11:07
Thank you everyone for your valuable input and advice.

@Vio and @O92 thank you so much for your suggestions on accommodation and travel routes. I will look into Asakusa and the Tokyo station area. I don't fancy staying in Shinjuku.

@LikeBike, @hakata14, @JapanCustomTours
Thanks for giving me a" perspective on crowdedness ".
I am generally nervous when it comes to crowds because I am not used to them. I live in a town whose population is 25,000 people at most. I know that the population of Tokyo alone is almost double that of Sydney, and that its trains are normally super crowded during peak hours of the morning and the evening without any special events. So I expected that there will be even more.
My son and I got separated and lost each other previously in a crowded event on New Year's Eve some years ago. Thankfully it ended well and we were reunited after several hours but that has scarred both of us, so I hope you can understand why I am being "paranoid" about crowds and events. But I feel more informed and reassured by your posts and thus not as apprehensive as before.

@John B digs Japan
Thank you for informing me about the trains situation. I will take your advice and work on securing accommodation as soon as possible.

Thank you all once again. I won't change my plans because of the RWC and will stay somewhere in Tokyo. Asakusa and the Tokyo station area seem fine and functional.
by Mariana (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Advice needed for a visit in September 2019/3/10 11:20
Hi Mariana,

I know I am late to the party, but I'm a mother who travels alone to Japan with my child. (My husband has no vacation time.)

I tend to like staying in the Tokyo Station area or the Shiodome area. Where makes the most sense to stay really depends on your budget and what you plan to do. In the moderate range (about 130-170 a night) I've really like the Royal Park Shiodome and the Mitsui Garden Otemachi. This upcoming trip I am paying a little more for the Mitsui Premier Mitsukoshimae.

I hope this helps!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Advice needed for a visit in September 2019/3/10 11:29
I'll put in a word for the Shiodome area too. It's close to lots of things and a little quieter than around Tokyo Station. We usually stay at Mitsui Gardens Shiodome Italia Gai which is an easy walk to Hamarikyu Garden and the old fish market, and in the other direction you can walk up to Ginza. Tokyo Tower and Zozoji are also close by. There are loads of easy food places on that road.

The hotel also has a nice bath for guests.

We make sure we take hotel cards with us when we go out, and if we are site-seeing separately, so we can always get help to get back to 'home' if needed.

The trains are good-Daimon Station and Hammamatsucho Station are close by.
by Who? (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Advice needed for a visit in September 2019/3/10 17:17
Thanks @rkold and @Who? for your hotel suggestions.

And thank you @rkold for reassuring me about travelling alone with a child in Japan.

And @Who? for the tip about taking the hotel cards in case we get lost. I do that too when we travel, and now that my son is old enough to use a mobile, I get him a SIM card when we go overseas in case anything happens.

I looked into both of your hotel suggestions, and I quite like the area of the Shiodome, but availability and price seem a bit problematic. However, I found this hotel in the Shiodome which seems nice (Hotel Villa Fontaine Shiodome) close to Hamarikyu Gardens and the Shiodome station.

I am also considering the Asakusa View Hotel, so I will compare the two and decide- the airport shuttle stops at its door is quite appealing.

Thank you again for your suggestions :)
by Mariana (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Advice needed for a visit in September 2019/3/10 17:35
Happy to hear that we could reassure you.

Regarding hotel. I know the villa fountain hotel in Shiodome. Itfs good. I actually work in that same building.

If price is an issue have a look at Shinbashi Tokyu Stay. Itfs also in that area and should be cheaper. I stayed there in February as I try to keep my business travel costs low so I can stay longer within my departments budget. Itfs a quite new hotel. The bigger rooms come with a washing machine. I am not sure however if the have a breakfast option. I normally just get something in a supermarket and have my milk and yogurt in the room.

Enjoy your trip to Japan!
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Advice needed for a visit in September 2019/3/10 22:34
Hi!

In regards to availability, some hotels don't start releasing rooms until 6 months out and others 5 months out. So that might also be causing a problem. I'm pretty sure the Royal Park is 5 or 6 months and some of the Mitsuis (it's a chain) are 5 and 6 months as well. Though it's Shinbashi and I've also looked at the new Royal Park Canvas since they had some special introductory rates and there was another new hotel opening in that area that I was just discussing with someone in a thread here. The cheapest rate didn't work for me because we need a bathtub, but your child is older than mine. Rates will also go up and down some outside of the currency fluctuations. The Intergate in Kyoto had a much higher rate in January for my June trip than they do now.

Some hotels I've gotten a better deal on with Rakuten, Booking, or Agoda, other websites and some have better rates directly through the hotel. Royal Park Shiodome has a bunch of credit card related discounted rates only available on their website vs. Royal Park Kyoto Shijo and Sanjo seem to have better rates on Booking and its sister companies.

I've taken my daughter to Japan 3x and we're planning our 4th trip. It's always just the two of us. I had been to Japan many times alone before having her though so I knew something about what I enjoyed and where i liked staying. I use to stay at APAs pre child, but their semi-double rooms are really small and I like a larger room, especially the more nights I am staying someplace. We started going when my daughter was 5 and she is now 8. I find the hardest thing is balancing her interests with mine. We do better now since she appreciates temples and gardens more than she use to. She loves Kyoto though and insisted we visit this upcoming trip. I do try to balance how many temples and shrines we visit with other activities because too many temples can be exhausting. Your son might appreciate getting a Goshouin at the first temple or shrine he visits and collecting stamps. It's a wonderful way to remember your trip and have something special from a temple that helps support the temple or shrine.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Advice needed for a visit in September 2019/3/11 12:28
@LikeBike
Thanks for the hotel recommendation. I checked it last night but it has no availability (yet). I guess it's because it might be a bit early as @rkold indicated. I will check it later in the month.
Since you work in the same building as the Villa Fontaine Shiodome hotel, is it easy to access?
I also read on reviews that there were no nearby restaurants or eateries open at night so people went to nearby areas such as Ginza.

@rkold
Thanks for the tips about hotel booking (I will take your advice onboard and check these hotels again later in the month), and how to entertain a child during temple and shrine visits. He likes samurais, ninjas and anime so we will hopefully include some of these activities.
I was thinking of taking him to see the Samurai Museum in Shinjuku and/or the Toei Kyoto Studio Village but I read contradictory reviews about it so I am not sure. I am looking into getting him dressed as a samurai or ninja somewhere so I am researching that.

Balancing interests of parents and children can be hard sometimes, but I am lucky that he is somewhat interested in the culture and the history of different nations (like me). He also likes adventure, thrill, and robotics which is understandable given his age.

I read great reviews about Teamlab Borderless so I will definitely take him there.
It seems that I have a lot of planning to do for our trip but once I secure accommodation I will work on routes and day schedules.

Thanks again everyone for everything
by Mariana (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Advice needed for a visit in September 2019/3/11 15:48
Since you work in the same building as the Villa Fontaine Shiodome hotel, is it easy to access?
Yes and no: the subway station Shiodome is literally in the same building, so if you use Oedo line or Yurikamome line you need to walk only a few hundred meters from the station to your hotel. However Shinbashi is the bigger station with much more and I find gmore useful g train lines getting through. I normally walk to Shinbashi there are two pedestrian only routes between the hotel and Shinbashi. One for rainy/cold/hot days underground and one of nice days above ground between the skyscrapers.


I also read on reviews that there were no nearby restaurants or eateries open at night so people went to nearby areas such as Ginza

Well there are A LOT of restaurants right outside Shinbashi station and actually also a few around Shiodome. Shiodome is a business district, but in some of the skyscrapers there are restaurants at the floor or B1 level and at some also at the top level.
I personally love the area around Shinbashi BUT I donft know if Ifd go with a child there (donft have any myself). Itfs the typical area for business men to have a drink after work. It is totally safe and all but it can get noisy and well it is very animated. You should try it at least once. There are smaller places that can be really crowded and maybe a bit overwhelming but also slightly larger ones. There are hundreds and hundreds of restaurants, but if you like Maguro (a kind of tuna), I would try this one:
Seafood pub Japan Maguro Fishery party Shinbashi store
Japan, 105-0004 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Shinbashi, 2 Chome|14|3 VKʂ4F
+81 50-1709-1848
https://goo.gl/maps/JQGAZQbHmZ92
https://nippon-maguro-gyogyoudan.jp/shinbashi/?utm_source=google_map&u...

Itfs a chain but I like this place for its very unique interior decoration and the food is also tasty.

The restaurants in the skyscrapers around you in the evening will be generally quite quiet. Probably because everyone goes there for lunch, for dinner/a drink we office workers go to the more lively places. I can recommend in Conrad (building next door) the curry restaurant (itfs not normal Japanese curry but itfs not Indian curry either). Just try it. My colleague and I try to go once a week for lunch.
Then there is a Vietnamese place in B1 of Caretta building, a good Taiwanese on 2nd floor in the skyscraper on the same line of buildings just before reaching Hamamatsucho station. So for the few days youfre staying in Tokyo unless you want to have dinner somewhere farer away, you can definitely have a different tasty dinner close to Villa Fountain every night.

With a child it might also be fun to eat Monjayaki, a Tokyo speciality. There are loads of places around Tsukishima station which is just a few subway stops from
Shiodome

Eating in Japan is never a problem. I still need to find a really bad restaurant.

Enjoy!


by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Advice needed for a visit in September 2019/3/11 20:38
Just wanted to pop in again to say there are a lot of restaurants in the street running from Hamamatsucho station to Zojoji/Tokyo Tower. There are also some good side streets off the main drag with many restaurants.

Some chain restaurants, some quite small.

The lovely Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden is just by Hamamatsucho station.

I'd also add a word in support of getting a Goshuin to collect stamps at the temples you visit. It's a very special personal souvenir of your holiday and a pleasure to watch them being added to your scroll and to look back on.

Have a wonderful time!
by Who? (guest) rate this post as useful

reply to this thread