Six More Top Japan Travel Tips

After another trip to Japan, we have six more tips that can help keep your expenses down while holidaying in The Land of the Rising Sun. You are free to mix and match them to suit your style of travel, your interests, and your budget.

Ditch International Roaming, Get a Rental Pocket Wifi Device

Six More Top Japan Travel Tips

International roaming is pretty nifty to have, but it’s really expensive. One of the cheapest ways to stay connected to family and friends in the Philippines is to rent a pocket wifi device from a Japanese service provider and use messaging services like LINE, Viber, or FB Messenger. The pocket wifi device will also help you stay connected to navigate around unfamiliar places, translate signs from Japanese into English, or book accommodations on the go!

Get A Japan Rail Pass for Multiple City Stops

Six More Top Japan Travel Tips

Although fifteen days isn’t enough to explore Tokyo alone, it’s also great if you could get out of the city and explore other areas. To make the most out of your limited time, you should take advantage of Japan’s shinkansen bullet train system. But tickets can be expensive, so try to save money by purchasing a Japan Rail Pass Exchange Coupon while you are still in the Philippines. Japan Rail Passes let you travel on all JR operated lines in 7, 14, and 21-day blocks — including JR local trains, JR bullet trains, JR buses, and JR ferries.

But be warned: you can only buy JR Rail Pass Exchange Coupons outside of Japan! They are not available in Japan — even in airports, train stations, and travel agencies. We get ours from our favorite travel agency Attic Tours, but they are also available from HIS, Universal Holidays, and the Japan Airlines ticketing office. Also, be careful with your JR Pass — if it is lost, stolen, or soiled, it is considered void and no refunds will be given.

Pre-purchase Your Tickets

Six More Top Japan Travel Tips

When you’re on holiday, every minute is precious — so why waste time waiting in line for tickets when everything you need can be purchased online? From theme parks to musicals, buying your tickets online can significantly reduce your aggravation. Sometimes, there are also online-only offers — such as discounts, free meal vouchers, and free merchandise!

Get a Night Pass for Major Theme Parks

Six More Top Japan Travel Tips

If you don’t relish the idea of spending an entire day at a crowded theme park, but there are one or two attractions just too good to pass up, try getting a night pass! Night passes can be up to 50% off original ticket prices, with entry timed at 3:00 PM onward — so there is still plenty of time to do stuff before they close the park. Tokyo’s Disney Resorts call theirs Starlight Passport, while Osaka’s Universal Studios call theirs Twilight Pass — so give it a try, it’s great value for money!

Go Outlet Shopping

Six More Top Japan Travel Tips

People complain a lot that shopping Japan is expensive — and it is, unless you know where to look. We like to go outlet shopping a lot — especially in Tokyo’s famed Odaiba district. Unlike outlet shopping in the Philippines where the discounts are measly and sparse, outlet shopping in Japan really feels like you are getting a great deal! Take our visit to the Nike outlet in Venus Fort Odaiba: we scored three pairs of Nike trainers for just JPY 10,000 or roughly PhP 3,700! โค

Make Don Quixote Your One-stop Souvenir Shop

Six More Top Japan Travel Tips

Although most other blogs and sites recommend going souvenir shopping in Daiso 100-yen stores, there is another store that is seemingly untapped by Filipino tourists (but not to Chinese tourists hahaha): Don Quixote. Don Quixote is a department store that offers crazy selections, deep discounts, long store hours (sometimes 24 hours!), and Duty Free purchases for foreign tourists. At Don Quixote you can score home electronics (Zoujirushi rice cookers are hot items), Japanese cosmetics (even high end brands like Shiseido and Shu Uemura), and uhm Tenga.

Do let us know if our tips have helped, or if you have some tips of your own, via our Comments section ๐Ÿ™‚

See also: Our Top Six Japan Travel Tips.

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20 Comments Add yours

  1. I can’t stress enough how renting your own pocket wifi is a must when traveling in Japan! Free wi-fi is scarce and complicated (other than in Narita and Starbucks). Don Quixote being untapped by Filipino tourists…this is spot-on! haha the one in Akiba is a bit unwelcoming (maybe because of the Chinese tourists?)

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    1. LOL I go to Don Quixote Akihabara a lot and they seem fine — maybe you caught them on a bad day ๐Ÿ™‚ Having to deal with Chinese tourists AND overseas otaku gawking at the AKB theatre can take a lot out of you ^^;;;;;;;;;;

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      1. The AKB geeks exactly! I only managed to stroll the 2nd floor and it got confusing with all the people around so I decided to waste my time on BL dojins in Toranoana instead. Also, quick question, I’ve only been using Suica on my trips to Tokyo when doing “compra” and found out that a considerable percentage of my funds are wasted on train fares, and I’ve decided to take advantage of a JR Pass for a multi-city itinerary on my next trip, is it necessary to arrange reservations ahead for shinkansen trips? Or can you simply flash your JR Pass on the actual moment you’ll be boarding the train?
        Kudos to your trip diaries btw, it really helps me arrange my itineraries more efficiently (taking advantage of multiple-entry privileges while it lasts lol) and I always find myself visiting the places you guys visited! Hope to see you guys in person, maybe come BLush in August ๐Ÿ˜‰

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        1. To use your JR Pass for shinkansen rides, you have two options: 1) head for a Midori no Madoguchi ticket office to get reserved seats; or 2) flash your JR Pass at the manned ticket gate and head directly for the shinkansen cars with non-reserved seats. Both methods, however, require that you show your JR Pass at the manned ticket gate and inside the shinkansen when the inspector walks by.

          Now for some pros and cons: reserved seats are better during periods of heavy travel like holidays, O-bon, and Golden Week because non-reserved seats are first come, first served. Non-reserved seats on the other hand are great if you are not running on a strict schedule and cannot wait for the next train with empty reserved sections — just hop on to the train and grab the first seat you find.

          One last thing: JR Passes are not valid on the super-premium lines like Nozomi — always check the train schedule as getting on a Nozomi (accidentally or accidentally on purpose) comes with a hefty add-on fee of JPY 13,000 thereabouts.

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          1. ๅˆ†ใ‹ใ‚Šใพใ—ใŸใ€‚ๆณจๆ„ใ—ใฆใ‚ใ‚ŠใŒใจใ†ใ”ใ–ใ„ใพใ™ใ€‚็ท‘ใฎ็ช“ๅฃใงใ€๏ผช๏ผฒใƒ‘ใ‚นใ‚’่ฆ‹ใ›ใฆใŠใ„ใฆใ ใ‘ใงใ™ใญ๏ผŸ I mean, after showing your JR Pass, you can give them your preferred time you want to ride the shinkansen yes? Can this be done a day or two before the actual day? And once you get a reserved seat, do they give you some kind of ticket? Luckily I travel off-season. Thanks again for the Nozomi-train warning. I hope to catch that new Shinkansen to Hokuriku soon ๐Ÿ˜€

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          2. Yes to all your questions ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. bomalabs says:

    Hi Roch! Can the Ghibli Studio Tickets really be bought online? ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve tried googling but the options just seem to be the JTB sites from overseas – nearest is Hong Kong.

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    1. Yes, they can be bought online but only through the Japanese site: http://www.lawson.co.jp/ghibli/museum/ticket/

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      1. Odeth Andaya says:

        Hi! I was glad I came across your blog. I am so desperate to have the studio ghibli tickets, I inquired on different travel agencies here but already told me that tickets were sold out for my April travel date. I tried your link and found out that they will release the ticket on the 10th of the current month for the following month (April). Keeping my fingers crossed here. But can I ask if you need to exchange the reservations within 3 days after? http://www.lawson.co.jp/inquiry/ghibli/#qa_8

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        1. Hello! I’m not sure but I do recall having a friend book the tickets about two weeks before we went so I guess three days should be no problem?

          Please be warned though that April is a peak month so you may not be able to secure tickets even if you wanted to ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Best of luck!

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          1. Odeth Andaya says:

            Crossing my fingers for tomorrow. The website says that it will release April tickets on the 10th day of the prior month. Is it easy to figure out the japanese website? Is it like the USJ and express pass tickets? I can’t see any guides online on how to purchase it thru their website but I’m still hopeful. Will the website be still valid even if you google translate it (USJ tickets will have an error if you do that just before payment)? Sorry if I have too many questions but you are the only one I saw who did purchased it online and I don’t want to ruin my chances. Thank you!

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          2. Yes, it’s pretty intuitive especially if you shop online a lot! One caveat though: the site might maybe possibly only accept Japanese credit cards. It didn’t use to be the case, but they’ve started cracking down on overseas cards lately due to fraud ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Fingers crossed for you too!!!

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  3. I agree about Don Quixote! I frequent the one at Asakusa as it’s open for 24hrs (I think). I buy souvenir chocolates there. But since it’s near Sensoji Temple, stocks at night are depleted as tourists buy them in bulk during the day. And the staff there does seem a little unwelcoming. :/

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    1. Hahaha I guess Don Quixote has problems with their staff being unfriendly — but then again dealing with pushy Chinese tourists all day long can piss even the nicest people off. Still — I would recommend that people drop by ๐Ÿ™‚ I think the friendliest store I have been to was Osaka Dotonburi — they really go out of their way to welcome tourists. Once we were in line at their Duty Free counter when a security guard went around offering bottled water to everyone in the line ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. Gnet says:

    Hi. Will be traveling to Japan next week. Was wondering if one can buy Kit-kat (the different/ unique variants) at Don Quixote. If not, may you kindly share where these can be bought with main Tokyo or Osaka areas? Thanks much.

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    1. Yes! The specialty variant stocks change everytime we go, but the standard flavors are darck chocolate, green tea, and strawberry ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. Adette says:

    Hi! I hope it’s okay to ask this here ๐Ÿ™‚ From which company did you rent your pocket Wifi device? I’m traveling to Japan with my sister spring of next year (at least if we’re able to get visas), and having the device shipped to our hotel seems extremely convenient. But I’ve read in TripAdvisor that some people have had issues with having their device delivered to the hotel on time. :/

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    1. Hello! We use econnect Japan — zero issues with delivery so far (and we were not paid to say that!) ๐Ÿ™‚ One tip I have though is if for example you are arriving at the hotel in the wee hours of Monday morning, pay for the preceeding Sunday as well to make sure your device is waiting for you at the hotel conciege when you get there ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a just a few more pesos but money well spent ๐Ÿ™‚

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  6. Tsukki says:

    Hello! Sorry for the trouble, I hope I can ask if your Japan visa then was temporary or multiple visa when you bought JR Pass. Thank you!

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    1. Rochelle says:

      Hello! It was a Multiple-Entry Visa. Hope that helps!

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