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Enoshima on New Year's Day? 2022/9/19 04:16
Hi, my partner and I are planning to travel to Japan during the New Year's holiday. We will arrive Tokyo on Dec 30 and stay at the Yotsuya/Shinjuku area (Dec 30 to Jan 3). We expect most touristy sites / restaurants will be closed during the New Year's holiday. We still want to experience Japan in New Year's. We are thinking to take a day trip to Enoshima taking the Romance Car. What is the best time/day to do so? Will Jan 1 be too crazy? Are the street vendors / shops open on the holidays? We love street food!

We will be taking the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagano (Shibu Onsen) on the 3rd. Most likely will us the luggage forwarding service so we don't need to haul our luggages through the busy train stations and with limited storage inside the cart. Will the luggage forwarding service open during the time and easy to arrange? I assume we can just arrange with the front desk of the hotel in Tokyo the night on the 2nd. But things may be different during the holidays, not sure...

With the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagano on the 3rd, any specific time in the morning is less busy? We will just use a one-way Shinkansen ticket with reserved seat since we will only activate our 7 days JRPass on the 5th (will use the pass from Nagano > Nagoya > Osaka > Tokyo the last day on the 11th).

Thanks for all your comments in advance!
by JPbunny (guest)  

Re: Enoshima on New Year's Day? 2022/9/19 10:36
"Nagano > Nagoya > Osaka > Tokyo"
Check the cost of that trip - should be less than the 7-day pass unless you are doing lots of trips around Kansai (that also assumes you are staying in Nagoya).
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Enoshima on New Year's Day? 2022/9/19 11:28

We will only stay one night in Nagoya and 4 nights in Nanba, Osaka before head back to Tokyo for the last night before we fly home.

Yeah, it is probably cheaper (about $25 difference) to use individual tickets without the JRPass. But we may have a day trip from Osaka to Kyoto or even go back to Nagoya from Osaka for the day trip if we can get the tickets to the Ghibli theme park (this will be another topic), so it will most likely just break-even in terms of cost.

by JPbunny rate this post as useful

Re: Enoshima on New Year's Day? 2022/9/20 05:32
OK, I've not been in Japan on New Years since Dec 2005-Jan 2006, so please take this with a grain of salt.

From what I remember, my friends left our hotel to return to their homes in Japan on the 3rd and they used takkyubin without an issue. However, takkyubin will not get your suitcases to your destination until about 24 hours later (the same would likely be true on the night of the 2nd, so either way you're not going to be getting bags until sometime on the 4th so unless you are spending two night in the Shiga kogen area, you would need to send bags to your accommodation post Shiga kogen.) Depending on your bags size and assuming you have reserved seats to Nagano (which if you use a Kagayaki is a prerequisite and honestly, if you're not using a Kagayaki shinkansen you want a Kazutaka at the least, Asamas really are quite a bit slower.) taking a regular sized carry on should not be an issue.

Nagano station has a baggage delivery service that will get bags to most hotels and ryokans in the Yudanaka onsen/Shibu onsen/Shiga-Kogen area as long as the bags are left by I believe noon and they will arrive on the same day. (It's similar to the service at Hakone Yumoto Station to accommodations in the Hakone area.) I did not use this service post Covid or during New Years, but I did use it in February 2020 to get my bags from Nagano to Hotel Senjujaku near the monkey park. My daughter and I then took the bus to Shiga Kogen. We took one of the highway buses with lots of storage when leaving Kanabayashi onsen for Nagano, though we only had our carry on sized bags, our large suitcase was in Tokyo. Nagano also has some of the largest lockers I've ever seen, possibly because it's a popular starting point for a bunch of ski areas.

i have used takkyubin a lot and I've never yet had a problem with a hotel or ryokan sending or receiving bags. The only complication I've ever had, is there are very strict rules around bags going to airports. I want to say it is 48 hours in advance, but you can drop it to 36 hours if you use an actual Yamato Transport office. I had to do this in the late 2000s when I missed the 48 hour deadline and wanted to get some bags from Kyoto to KIX.

Good luck!
In terms of New Years, again this is going back to 2004 or 2005, Shibuya and Harajuku were insanely busy on the 1st. A lot of restaurants, cafes, and stores were open, and I think there were street food vendors at Meiji Jingu. It was also positively packed. In general, big shrines are super popular and the bigger the shrine the more likely the area surrounding it is open. Harajuku had a ton of stores selling New Years Fukubukuro (lucky bags) which are always a lot of fun. The most popular ones you need to actually enter a lottery for (I'm looking at you Pokemon Center.) I know I went to Kamakura (but not Enoshima) during that trip, but I can't remember when in terms of New Year and I can't find my digital pictures from that trip to help jog my memory. Since the Enoshima section of this website shows no closing days for most attractions, I would think it would be busy like Harajuku is.

We were staying near Ningyocho and everything in that area was completely closed for many many days, until the day I left which also coincided with a marathon through Tokyo!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Enoshima on New Year's Day? 2022/9/20 10:23

Thanks for taking the time to write all the helpful info!

We will be staying 2 nights at Shibu Onsen, but going by your comments and during New Year's period, may be better to take the luggages with us. We took Shinkansen with our luggages before and there was no problem, I was just not sure how crazily busy at the station will be on the 3rd. I will check with the hotel and Ryokan and see what they say when the time is closer.

I was planning to do some cultural stuff on the 1st like visiting the shrine and surrounding. Then on the 2nd, as you have mentioned, goofing around at the city for Fukubukuro shopping (more like window shopping since we don't need more stuff lol)... may be get some food related Fukubukuro. Regardless getting any Fukubukuro or not at the end, it will still be a fun experience we think.

3rd will be the travel day, hope it's not too insane. We are going to the "countryside" direction... so hopefully not too overwhelming. We will have 2 days relaxing time at the Onsen.

Then one day transitional time at Nagoya before we head to Osaka for 4 nights and back to Tokyo for our flight home. We did the similar trip at 2019 April (feels like a decade ago!), but we started at Osaka, this time we will be started at Tokyo, the opposite loop.

We're so anxious to go back visiting Japan!

by JPbunny rate this post as useful

Re: Enoshima on New Year's Day? 2022/9/20 10:51
There are many temples and shrines in Kamakura, near Enoshima - which means the area will be quite crowded with New Yearfs worshippers from the night of the 31st into the New Yearfs Days. Particularly Tsurugaoka Hachimangu in Kamakura is a place where people do queue up for long, if i remember it right. (I donft know if there will be any restriction in this coming new year for visitors to the site.)
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Enoshima on New Year's Day? 2022/9/20 11:33
Even during gnormalh times, luggage forwarding service has certain gcut-off/closing timeh each day for delivery the next day. An example: if i drop off a parcel at a convenience store near my home before 15:00, it will be delivered to most destinations (for example, Osaka, Hiroshima, but not to Okinawa or Hokkaido) within the next day.

If you request your hotel the previous gnight,h it is likely the luggage wonft arrive at your destination till two days later. So if that is OK, you can pack a day bag with just the essential for one night/day and take that with you.
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Enoshima on New Year's Day? 2022/9/23 11:25

Thanks for your comments!

We've been to Kamakura, it's a really lovely place especially in Summer time at the beach. We may not have enough time to visit both Enoshima and Kamakura at the same day assuming everywhere near those areas will be very busy. Thinking lots of locals will be there to visit temples and see the first sun raise with Mt. Fuji view. I think we may just make an impulsive decision once we are in Tokyo. If the Romance Car tickets still available at that time, we will for sure give it a try.

Going by all the comments here, I think taking the luggages with us probably is the safest option. We will try to pack light, but it's a bit harder in Winter with extra clothings. Regardless, our luggages won't be over 25", so should be ok.

And yeah, it's official that Japan is open to independent travellers!
by JPbunny rate this post as useful

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