• Abbie

    Thank you so much for posting all of this information, it is incredibly helpful!

    The boyfriend and I are going to Japan (Tokyo and Osaka) at the end of the year and are still unsure about a few things, so sorry in advance if I bombard you with questions 😛

    Did you find Shinjuku was a good location to stay? We are staying in Tokyo for two weeks and have no idea what region to stay in :S
    Did you learn any Japanese phrases or use cards to help you explain what you can’t eat? We are a bit worried because we don’t speak any Japanese except for a few words lol.
    One last question. I’ve never flown internationally before, are you allowed to take pre-packaged food on planes? I was thinking I might stock up so we always have food to fall back on if there’s nothing else to eat!

    • Chelsey

      Hey Abbie 🙂

      Bombard me with as many questions as you want, I’ll answer them as best I can. Firstly, can I come with you? PLEEEEASE?!

      Shinjuku was an absolutely amazing location to stay in! Our hotel was 2 minutes from the station so it made it super easy to get around Tokyo. We were also within 5 minutes walk of a lot of awesome shopping as well as really close to Shinjuku-Gyoen which is a HUGE park. We also spent a lot of time in Harajuku in Shibuya, just a few stops from Shinjuku station on the train. In terms of food, we were within walking distance of Chaya and Mos Burger as well as a short taxi or subway trip to Loving Hut.

      If you plan on going to Vege Kitchen and Cafe, I still can’t find the address but if you jump off at Shibuya station and head out the Hachiko exit, you’ll come to Shibuya Crossing. Instead of going diagonally across the crossing, turn to your left and cross. Keep walking and you’ll see 109 Shibuya, a huge youth shopping centre (go in, it’s awesome), keep heading up the left side of that building. Keep walking until you see a 7-Eleven and across the road you’ll see it!

      I downloaded a couple of Japanese translation apps by Lonely Planet but to be honest I didn’t use them much. You can use them offline which is handy if you’re not going to be connected to a network. In all honesty, most people understood English and when I explained I was “allergic” to certain things they understood. I don’t think you’ll encounter too much trouble here but I’m sure there are come helpful phrases on the internet somewhere.

      Finally, yep, you can take food on the plane 🙂 Just make sure you declare it on the way there and back and you shouldn’t have any trouble. You probably won’t be able to take fresh fruit, vegetables etc but snacks and stuff will be fine.

      Let me know if you have any more questions!

  • Abbie

    Thanks for replying!
    Haha sure the more the merrier 😉

    Plane tickets are booked! We are basing ourselves in Kyoto for the first week, and then Tokyo for the remaining time of our trip.

    So you used the trains pretty much all the time? So it’s definitely worth getting a train pass then?

    Also do you think it’s worth getting an apartment with cooking facilities? Since we are staying for 3 weeks we are not sure whether it will be too expensive to eat out every night. But then once we buy all the ingredients for cooking that may work out just as dear.

    • Chelsey

      Hey Abbie 🙂

      We used trains at least once a day, sometimes a lot more. I’m not sure how much daily trips can cost but I thought $550 for a 2 week rail pass was quite reasonable considering it includes bullet trains. If you’re going to be in Kyoto, you’re probably going to want to go to Osaka and a couple we met told us that on a normal train the trip is an hour and on the bullet it’s only 10 minutes! Especially if you’re planning to train it from Kyoto to Tokyo, you’re probably better off getting the rail pass as individual trips can cost around $160!

      In terms of food I probably wouldn’t be too concerned with finding something with kitchen facilities, I really only saw one or two supermarkets the whole time I was there and if you’re not going to be able to read labels it’s going to be challenging to find ingredients unless you just have fruit and vegetables! As I said in my post about snacking, if you can find somewhere with imported foods you can probably make cheap meals out of those items, rather than worry yourself with cooking (for instance, a couple of nights I ate some imported packaged garlic bread with some olives as a meal). I also found some crackers and peanut butter so you could do that for breakfast or lunch too to save some dough. If you’re after cheap vegan eats, I’d recommend Loving Hut because lunch is about $8 and dinner is about $12. Vege Kitchen & Cafe have lunch options for around $12 as well. Mos Burger you can get for under $10 easy as well as the numerous sushi joints. I REALLY encourage you to save some cash up to do a big blow out meal at Chaya. You can get something for around $35 but if you want to splurge some set meals go for around $80!

  • Abbie

    Thanks that helps heaps.
    Yeah that was my concern, reading labels…since I assume most of it would be in Japanese! Haha.

    We’re planning on getting the rail pass for the first 2 weeks, and the remaining week we will stay put in Tokyo and just pay for travel around the city as we go 🙂

    Thanks again for all of your help! I can’t wait to gorge myself on all of the amazing food haha 😀