Travel • Winter Tokyo Itinerary (Dec 2017)

Hey there! We brought the boys on another Japan trip during the year end school holidays last month (or should I say last year, that's 2017!)
We were in Tokyo again and made 2 separate day trips to Yokohama. A few of our friends were surprised that we did a Tokyo-Yokohama trip again barely 1 year after the previous one in 2016. However as you know, Tokyo itself is really big...one can never cover all the attractions on 1 trip! In fact we already excluded places like Tokyo tower, Sky tree (we were there but did not go up), Akihabara, gyoens (gardens) which were not much of interest to our kids, and yet there are still many more places we have not covered over these 2 Tokyo vacations!

  • I'm sharing our Winter Tokyo 2017 Itinerary here and will update the details and information to each individual attraction along the way. (highlighted yellow)



Let me share some Tokyo travel tips first:

1)We rented a pocket wifi from Changi Recommends for our trip. We also received a pocket wifi provided by the host of our Airbnb apartment. These helped us stay connected and we could look up more info while on the go. We also use Google map very often for locations.

2)The rail system network can be really confusing in Tokyo. I relied on Hyperdia to get real-time schedules. Just open http://www.hyperdia.com on safari, key in the necessary info at the "search condition" box located on left side of its page. It may take some time to get used to how it works, so it's always good to start figuring out before the vacation begins. I also use Hyperdia when planning our itinerary months before this vacation, I want to minimize the daily travelling chaos as much as possible and plan the route that seem most logic especially on days when we went 2-3 places. That was how I developed this itinerary.

3)We were commuting on their rail system daily with at least 1-2 transfers required. Having a Suica card is the most convenient way to go. There's no need to figure out how much to pay for each single trip ticket. It works just like the EZ Link card we use in Singapore, just top up to a certain value and tap on the card reader to enter/exit gantry at train station. Suica can also be used for bus rides and paying for purchases at convenient stores/vending machines. Suica can be applied at major Japan Rail (JR) stations, we got ours at Narita Airport. Here's the link for reference to their office located at Narita Airport. In my opinion, there's no need to get the JR pass unless you are travelling from prefectures to prefectures extensively during the usage period, and/or your itinerary involves travelling on Shinkansen.

4)As we were in Tokyo during the winter season, we tried to minimize the amount of clothes we brought in order to maximize our luggage space for omiyage (heh! Souvenirs, that is!). I booked an apartment via Airbnb, it was the same host as year 2016 but another unit of the block. As with most apartments, there was washing machine and laundry dryer available. Therefore we only brought 5-6 days worth of clothes for our 13 days trip and the drying function at this apartment was so awesome, it took only 3hrs to completely dry our thick sweaters and jeans! Renting an apartment in Japan is also much cheaper compared to booking a hotel room plus an apartment is much spacious too for family travels.

Ok I'm done with the tips which I hope you found useful in some ways. Here's the itinerary.
I included the "day" we went because some attractions are closed on different day of the week. If you are following my itinerary to a T, for example, going to Shirohige Cream Puff Shop on a Tuesday will mean a wasted trip as they'll be closed. :/

Day 1
FRIDAY
•Arrive at Narita Int'L Airport.
Check-in to our Airbnb for the next 9 nights.

Day 2
SATURDAY
Odaiba (Toyota Mega Web, Venus Fort, Diver City)

Day 3
SUNDAY
Shinjuku and Harajuku area
(Pre-book Fujisan highway bus tickets for Day 10)
Meiji Shrine

Day 4
MONDAY
Yokohama Zoorasia

Day 5
TUESDAY
Tsukiji Fish Market
Tokyo Station
(Optional: Ameyoko-cho and Skytree, considered as along the way but we gave these a miss as Ameyoko-cho will be similar to Tsukiji in some ways.)



Day 6
WEDNESDAY
Tokyo Disney Sea

Day 7
THURSDAY
Shiro-Hige Cream Puff Shop (Totoro Cream Puff)
Suntory Musashino Brewery (Free!)

Day 8
FRIDAY
Yokohama Sea Paradise

Day 9
SATURDAY
Tokyo Fire Museum (Free!)

Day 10
SUNDAY
•Check-out of Airbnb apartment and en-route to Fujisan station.
Kachi Kachi Ropeway
Check-in Fujisan Station Hotel.


Day 11
MONDAY
Fujiten Snow Resort

Day 12
TUESDAY
Thomas Land
(Optional: the initial plan was to go Fuji Safari but it required 2 transfers,that is 3 bus rides total to 3hrs+! After matching the bus schedule timings, we decided to forego this safari trip as the bus leaving Gotemba was not frequent. Miss that bus and it'll result in a 1.5hrs wait for the next bus! So this's more suited for those who self drive.)
Gaspard et Lisa Village



Day 13
WEDNESDAY
•Kawaguchiko station for Keisei highway bus to Narita Int'L
(Please pre-book in advance at Kawaguchiko ticket office as there were only 2 bus timing available.)
❤️ And we had an awesome tempura lunch at Idaten, about 4-5 minutes walk from Kawaguchiko station before boarding the bus.


Do copy & share this itinerary if you find it useful! (╹◡╹)

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