Japan: Prep

The excitement is building….. IJT’s InfoPack for their HYPERJAPAN J-Pop & Go! tour arrived today for Rosa’s 18th birthday trip – a manga / anime / J-pop themed tour of Japan – kawaii!!

It's here.... IJT's InfoPack for HYPERJAPAN J-Pop & Go!
IJT’s InfoPack for HYPERJAPAN J-Pop & Go!

There’s a map of Japan, a more detailed itinerary booklet with names, addresses and maps of each of the hotels. Our tour leader is Charlea Jefts and she will already be at our start hotel – the b ikebukuro – when we arrive, so we should be able to meet up with her to get tips on what to do on our two extra days at the start. Other than get through the jet lag.

Rosa and I spent a lovely afternoon looking through the trip itinerary and what we could do with our extra time, and talking through what to take. Here are the main things:

Money

The trip notes recommend taking ¥‎100,000 cash for a 2 week trip, for food, drinks and entrance fees (some are included, others aren’t, and we’ve got 2 extra days of Doing Things). That’s about £700, which works out at about £50 a day. We have to buy lunch and dinner most days.

So I’ll be keeping an eye on rates on offer at FairFX and Thomas Exchange Global.

I’m going to take some GBP in cash for emergency funds, and my debit/credit cards too.

Wifi/Internet

There’s wifi in most of the hotels and the tour leader has a portable wifi base station (might not be the right term but you know what I mean!) . That’ll do me.

Packing

There’s a packing list in the itinerary. The main things I’d not anticipated were:

  • long trousers & long sleeved top/light jumper – for air con train and restaurants
  • mosquitoes – so I’ll be packing mozzie repellent and take a vvv light long sleeved cotton top as cover up too
  • umbrella
  • overnight bag – our luggage gets forwarded twice, and we’ll need a small overnight bag for those nights. I’ve just treated myself to a navy SPAHER Ultra Lightweight Packable 20l Daypack courtesy of Amazon.
  • water bottle(s) – to avoid buying plastic bottles. I’m taking an empty 0.75l Volvic-type one. Maybe a couple.

My packing list for this trip is a bit different from the usual one!

We need to be able to carry our own luggage on/off public transport and from stations to hotels. I’m taking my 40l rucksack – last used in Libya – but then I do pack little and travel light.

Where next: Japan

Rosa’s 18th birthday trip – hence the manga / anime / kawaii / kitschy Japanese popular culture theme!

Not strictly ‘next’, as I’ve got Winter Walking in Austria in December and next spring’s Dolpo Expedition first, but Tom and I have just booked flights (ANA (outbound), Lufthansa (return) courtesy of BudgetAir / Kayak), so it’s all systems go!

Destination: Japan (日本国)

When: August 2016

How: HYPERJAPAN’s J-Pop & Go! with Inside Japan Tours, plus 2 days DIY in Tokyo before the group trip starts.

Itinerary:

Weather:

Map: Itinerary map from the trip page