Japan 2022/23 Travel plans and ideas.

Donza

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What I was meaning, if you wanted to go to Narita on ANA direct from Australia, you'd have to go via Perth.... Doesn't make sense when you can go direct to Haneda
Ana fly Sydney to Haneda twice a day.
 

Annabuzzy

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I’m flying ANA through to Sapporo this time around so don’t really care which airport we’re landing in.

Edit: Or wait is it JAL? JAL or ANA or Qantas I’m happy
 

Balsta

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I’m booked with JAL, Canberra - Sydney - Tokyo (Haneda). Seemed convenient to me and was well priced at just under $1000 return, although I sprung for premium economy on the return leg for an extra $480ish (I hate over night flights as I struggle to sleep, hoping the better seat will help with that).

Been following all the Japan 2023 threads and getting lots of good info. Waiting for more certainty about actually being able to enter the country before I lock anything else in at this stage.
 
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Tanuki

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Flew with JAL ex Haneda last week and there was a 10,000yen charge for oversized bags. Luckily mine was a QF flight code share so convinced them it was free. Not sure what that means for JAL flights ex Australia. Might be worth checking if you booked with JAL.
Yep, they tried that on us on return from Tokyo (but not the Melb - Tokyo leg)
 

Marty McSly

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OTOH, I think you may be making the mistake of assuming that there's only one international airport at Tokyo (Narita NRT).
No, I'm aware there are 2. Skyscanner lets me choose a generic Tokyo destination that includes both. However the QF website requires selection of each in turn. 2 separate searches.

I need to go back to the ANA and JAL websites and do some more research. I looked the other day but didn't carry out searches when NTL wasn't an option.

I'll look a bit deeper into extra baggage options on domestic flights NTL/MEL and NTL/BNE too.
 

Annabuzzy

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Flown JAL 5 times.

Never had a issue.

Just keep those bags under 23kgs
About to say the same thing…keep it under 23kg.

With one pair of skis I’m regularly around the 18kg mark now*. It’s getting 2 pairs of skis and everything else below 23kg which is the challenge.

* Boots, helmet, goggles and iPad are in a separate boot backpack, which I carry on.
 

Annabuzzy

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Yes, I could manhandle a ski bag, a suitcase and a carry-on backpack through 2 trains to the airport.

But I'd prefer to take whatever I can manage without looking like Mr Bean. LOL
Lol I’ve taken a packed ski bag on peak hour trains in Milan and Tokyo…Newcastle to Sydney ain’t got nothing :).

I use 2 bags though - Burton Wheelie Gig Bag, which takes virtually everything, and a boot backpack, probably a Burton one next trip.
 

Marty McSly

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To clarify its not 'extra baggage' if all your baggage combined is within the weight limits. Its over size which is all board, ski and surfboard bags they wanted the surcharge for.
I meant if I had to take a standalone domestic flight from Newcastle to Brisbane or Melbourne. The domestic baggage limit would apply, which is usually way less than the international allowance. IIRC it's 7kg carry on only on the cheapest flights.

Compared with a single ticket, effectively an international flight originating at Newcastle, where I get the international allowance for the entire flight. Even flying the same plane domestically.
 

Donza

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Maybe a new precedence for oversized snowboard/ski bags? Hope not.
Its been raised a few times before.


LOL
 

PiggabeenBoarder

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Quick question, when you send you gear from your lodge back to the airport via the Black Cat service, is there a set duration that you have to be at the airport to grab it...so for example if we were to do a couple more days in / around Tokyo and then head to the airport, maybe 4 days after we sent our gear, is that going to cause a problem or are they OK to hold it. Alternatively there's a chance I could get the lodge at the resort to hold it for an extra day or 2 and then on-send it??
 
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Donza

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Quick question, when you send you gear from your lodge back to the airport via the Black Cat service, is there a set duration that you have to be at the airport to grab it...so for example if we were to do a couple more days in / around Tokyo and then head to the airport, maybe 4 days after we sent our gear, is that going to cause a problem or are they OK to hold it. Alternatively there's a chance I could get the lodge at the resort to hold it for an extra day or 2 and then on-send it??
My stuff has been there a week before.
I think thats around the cut-off.
 

Lucky Pete

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Quick question, when you send you gear from your lodge back to the airport via the Black Cat service, is there a set duration that you have to be at the airport to grab it...so for example if we were to do a couple more days in / around Tokyo and then head to the airport, maybe 4 days after we sent our gear, is that going to cause a problem or are they OK to hold it. Alternatively there's a chance I could get the lodge at the resort to hold it for an extra day or 2 and then on-send it??
Black Cat will hold it for a week. If its going to be longer you have your hotel hold it until then. You just give them your flight details and it will be there ready on the day.
 

Sandy

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Quick question, when you send you gear from your lodge back to the airport via the Black Cat service, is there a set duration that you have to be at the airport to grab it...so for example if we were to do a couple more days in / around Tokyo and then head to the airport, maybe 4 days after we sent our gear, is that going to cause a problem or are they OK to hold it. Alternatively there's a chance I could get the lodge at the resort to hold it for an extra day or 2 and then on-send it??
You can specify the day & time you want it delivered.
 

Pat42

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Looks like hopefully jan 2023 will be my first return to Japan since 2019

anyone had any experience booking a hire car in yuzawa?
 
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PMG

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Looks like hopefully jan 2023 will be my first return to Japan since 2019

anyone had any experience booking a hire car in yuzawa?
Long time no hear Pat42. There's a Toyota outlet across the road from the station. They're pretty good. A bit on the expensive side.
 

M_G

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To clarify its not 'extra baggage' if all your baggage combined is within the weight limits. Its over size which is all board, ski and surfboard bags they wanted the surcharge for.
It was on ANA when we flew in April. Overall we were well within total limits but because 2 bags were overweight I had to repack everything. If they didn't I was going to get slugged.
 

Crispy013

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Its been raised a few times before.


LOL
Yeah I figured. The >203cm ABC oversized rule always seems to come out on the Japanese end.
This FAQ response on the JAL website seems to suggest that only surfboard / windsurfing is explicitly deemed oversized.

FBDA2DA0-D6CC-433A-B72D-5827377704C3.png
 

Sandy

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Just make sure you write the date in the right format.

I didn't.

Lol
Yes day and month are the reverse of what we write.
Actually, it's not. When they default to English, all of a sudden 60% of the time it's American date format....
But to be clear, 28th November 1972:
- Australian & British: 28/11/1972 or 28-11-1972 or 28-11-72 (and most other places)
- American: 11/28/1972 or 11-28-1972 or 11-28-72 (makes no sense)
- Japanese western format: 1972/11/28 or 1972-11-28. (this makes sense, largest time period to smallest)
- Or if you use Japanese Japanese format, it's: 47-11-28. That the 47th year of the Emperor Showa

Isn't the Japanese format YY/MM/DD?
Yes, that's correct, or more precisely: YYYY/MM/DD

Of course, there's confusion in Japan when you use the American format:

06/07/2022 is it 6th of July or 7th June 2022?
I ALWAYS use the Japanese western format so there is NO confusion.

On the Black Cat form, it's always YYYY/MM/DD. If you write it DD/MM/YYYY then the American system comes into play, sometimes
 
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Donza

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Actually, it's not. When they default to English, all of a sudden 60% of the time it's American date format....
But to be clear, 28th November 1972:
- Australian & British: 28/11/1972 or 28-11-1972 or 28-11-72 (and most other places)
- American: 11/28/1972 or 11-28-1972 or 11-28-72 (makes no sense)
- Japanese western format: 1972/11/28 or 1972-11-28. (this makes sense, largest time period to smallest)
- Or if you use Japanese Japanese format, it's: 47-11-28. That the 47th year of the Emperor Showa


Yes, that's correct, or more precisely: YYYY/MM/DD

Of course, there's confusion in Japan when you use the American format:

06/07/2022 is it 6th of July or 7th June 2022?
I ALWAYS use the Japanese western format so there is NO confusion.

On the Black Cat form, it's always YYYY/MM/DD. If you write it DD/MM/YYYY then the American system comes into play, sometimes
That's what happened to me.
 

Heinz

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Actually, it's not. When they default to English, all of a sudden 60% of the time it's American date format....
But to be clear, 28th November 1972:
- Australian & British: 28/11/1972 or 28-11-1972 or 28-11-72 (and most other places)
- American: 11/28/1972 or 11-28-1972 or 11-28-72 (makes no sense)
- Japanese western format: 1972/11/28 or 1972-11-28. (this makes sense, largest time period to smallest)
- Or if you use Japanese Japanese format, it's: 47-11-28. That the 47th year of the Emperor Showa


Yes, that's correct, or more precisely: YYYY/MM/DD

Of course, there's confusion in Japan when you use the American format:

06/07/2022 is it 6th of July or 7th June 2022?
I ALWAYS use the Japanese western format so there is NO confusion.

On the Black Cat form, it's always YYYY/MM/DD. If you write it DD/MM/YYYY then the American system comes into play, sometimes

Which is why I will typically use the format dd mmm yyyy ie. 28 Nov 1972, although I don't recall using a date on a Japanese luggage transport form as I have only used it to send from airport not to.
 

Tanuki

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This concerns me regarding Japan opening. Time will tell.
Hmm, yeah. I wouldn't want to be travelling with family in Japan Jan 2023 and they have a massive wave / surge of covid.

Based on the policy response since the pandemic begun it could get very messy.
 

Sandy

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This is the date format in Japan:

IMG_20220622_122844506.jpg


IMG_20220622_123104532.jpg


Year 1st
Month 2nd
Day 3rd

And Japanese format on my driver's license, also Year, Month, Day, but the renewal year is next year, the 35th year of the previous emperor: (which will also be year 5 of the current emperor, since the previous emperor abdicated)
IMG_20220622_123513298.jpg
 
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Sandy

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Crispy013

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Japan inches the door open to tourists​

The popular global destination has opened its borders to tour groups, but with heavy restrictions. Nor is there any sign of when the country will allow the return of independent travellers.

3603821535792280456ab18e416bca657d76032e.png

Michael SmithNorth Asia correspondent
Updated Jun 12, 2022 – 11.46pm,first published at 11.29pm
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Nagano, Japan | Crowds of thousands queued for hours on the weekend to visit one of Japan’s most popular temples for a glimpse of an ancient Buddhist statue which is only revealed once every seven years.
In Nagano, a city north-east of Tokyo known to many Australians as the gateway to the region’s ski fields, hotels were full, and it was difficult to get a table in the local soba noodle restaurants. Outside the Zenkoji temple, the souvenir stalls were doing a roaring trade and the lines snaked for several kilometres down the street.
272d19e2241741af5d3d19dd7c216e71d325de97.jpg

Slow start. A rickshaw puller carries tourists near Sensoji Buddhist temple at Tokyo’s Asakusa district Friday. AP
On the surface, Japan’s post-pandemic tourism sector looked like it was booming. Apart from the mandatory mask wearing there was little sign that life had not returned to normal. Except for one thing.
Besides a handful of expatriates visiting from Tokyo for the weekend, there was not a single foreigner in the crowd of Japanese temple go-ers. Before 2020, foreign tourists would have made up a significant chunk of visitors to Japan’s popular cultural sights, but they have been absent since the country’s borders were slammed shut in the early days of the pandemic.
Japan finally opened its borders to tourists on Friday, but with strict rules. Tour groups from 98 countries, including Australia, can now visit the country - but only if they wear masks, have insurance and are closely monitored by guides from “arrival to departure”. The visa application is complex and Japan has a daily cap on arrivals of 20,000.

Tour operators are unhappy with the onerous conditions and the government’s refusal to give a date for independent tourism to resume, something many Australians are watching closely. However, they say it is a small step forward to rebuilding an industry devastated by two years of pandemic restrictions.
“We have had no foreign tourists coming here for two years, so it has been deserted. The number of local people travelling though is back to normal though,” Hidemasa Nakamura, a Nagano City government official responsible for inbound tourism told The Australian Financial Review.
f24320d4b27459518ade0b00d389bc55e9cd67b0

Shintaro Fujii, chief executive of the Yoshinomon Sake Brewery Company in Nagano, says sales have halved since the borders closed in 2020. Michael Smith
“A lot of companies based here in Nagano have really struggled to sustain their businesses. Many are just hanging on. It’s exciting through group tourists are allowed in and I hope it will continue to open to welcome Australian tourists during the summer season and also winter.”
It is unlikely many Australians will be get to Japan for the Northern Hemisphere summer, though. The ski season from this December, however, looks slightly more promising.
Qantas has delayed resumption of Tokyo flights until September. Tourism operators and diplomats say privately they do not expected the Japanese government to make an announcement for a full opening until after a lower house parliamentary election in July. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s tough position on border openings is popular with voters.
While Japan is the last holdout among G7 countries to limit visitors, it has had one of the lowest death and infection rates during the pandemic. Its large elderly population, fearing another spike in cases, would rather not see a flood of arrivals into the country.
There are also concerns that foreigners will not respect Japanese social etiquette which encourages social distancing and mask-wearing indoors and outdoors even though it is not mandated legally.
Japan became one of the world’s top tourist destinations in the years leading up to the pandemic and is popular with Australians, particularly during the ski season. A record 31.9 million people visited in 2019, spending ¥4.8 trillion ($529 billion), news agency Kyodo says. There was a huge amount of investment in new facilities and hotels, particularly in cities like Kyoto, just before COVID-19 decimated the industry in the year the country was supposed to host the summer Olympics Games.
“My sales have dropped to half of what we used to get,” says Shintaro Funji, chief executive of the Yoshinomon Sake Brewery Company in Nagano, which used to rely on cellar door sales from the throngs of tourists visiting the nearby temples.
“We also used to run some restaurants around here, and they have closed. We are now focused on just making sake and selling it domestically,” he said during an interview the distillery which has been in his family since the 16th century.
With the weaker yen and Japan’s economy struggling to rebound for the pandemic, economists say it desperately needs the injection of capital that tourism could bring. However, tourism operators warn of staff shortages and say they have been unable to make investment decisions and prepare properly for reopening because of the mixed messages coming from the government on the issue.
Tourism operators in Japan have mixed views about when they think the border will open again, although government sources have briefed local newspapers saying this could happen as early as August.
“I hope it is soon,” says Chika, an instructor at the Kanazawa Salon cooking studio in Nagano which specialises in teaching foreign visitors to cook Japanese food. “I have almost forgotten how to speak English. You have to use different muscles in your mouth,” she laughs.
 
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snowgum

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I’m flying ANA through to Sapporo this time around so don’t really care which airport we’re landing in.

Edit: Or wait is it JAL? JAL or ANA or Qantas I’m happy
Sounds like a good plan - I’m musing about trying Sapporo for my next (second) J visit.

But Melbourne gets dudded by outer own national airline - and to be fair, most airlines who fly to Aussie.

Does anyone have any General or specific advice for going Mel to Sapporo in the ski season?

Is it better to aim for fewer stops (assuming 1 so 2 legs if available) even with my own skis and a fair amount of gear?

Or is it better to do the extra leg (say 3) and save the $ - and put funds into the actual skiing?

I’m a bit concerned about a possible transfer at Sydney - would I have to re-check luggage or is it considered one international trip?

Cheers.
(Apologies if you answered this previously over the years). :thumbs:

PS:
Oh and in Feb 2020, I took JAL to Narita - I thought they were good.

Is there any pecking order between JAL and ANA & Qantas? Esp if considering going to Sapporo?

Is it worth going one or both ways via the Shinkansen or is it too much of a faff changing trains in Southern Hokkaido? Thanks.
 

skichanger

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I’m a bit concerned about a possible transfer at Sydney - would I have to re-check luggage or is it considered one international trip?
I fly Cnberra - Sydney - Haneda and return often. I check my bags in at Canberra and do not see them again till Haneda. On the return leg I collect my bags at Sydney to go through Customs. I check them back in before catching the bus to the domestic terminal. To easy.
 
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snowgum

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I fly Cnberra - Sydney - Haneda and return often. I check my bags in at Canberra and do not see them again till Haneda. On the return leg I collect my bags at Sydney to go through Customs. I check them back in before catching the bus to the domestic terminal. To easy.
Cheers, I think someone on this site alluded it’s simpler than the old days? I did change once in Sydney for Vanuatu. Ages ago. I usually avoid changing in Sydney, strangely? :whistle:
 

Sandy

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Sounds like a good plan - I’m musing about trying Sapporo for my next (second) J visit.

But Melbourne gets dudded by outer own national airline - and to be fair, most airlines who fly to Aussie.

Does anyone have any General or specific advice for going Mel to Sapporo in the ski season?

Is it better to aim for fewer stops (assuming 1 so 2 legs if available) even with my own skis and a fair amount of gear?

Or is it better to do the extra leg (say 3) and save the $ - and put funds into the actual skiing?

I’m a bit concerned about a possible transfer at Sydney - would I have to re-check luggage or is it considered one international trip?

Cheers.
(Apologies if you answered this previously over the years). :thumbs:

PS:
Oh and in Feb 2020, I took JAL to Narita - I thought they were good.

Is there any pecking order between JAL and ANA & Qantas? Esp if considering going to Sapporo?

Is it worth going one or both ways via the Shinkansen or is it too much of a faff changing trains in Southern Hokkaido? Thanks.
When flights are back to normal, you could consider Korean Airlines. They used to do Melbourne -> Seoul -> Chitose(Sapporo), with only one stop.
Right now, you can only book via Sydney with two stops: Melbourne -> Sydney -> Seoul -> Chitose(Sapporo)
 
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