Our travels with 3 kids and a wheelchair.

Tag: Japan

Tokyo Top 5. Thinking outside the box.

Tokyo Top 5. Thinking outside the box.

Looking for 5 fun things to do in Tokyo with kids? Looking for something a little different than what’s in the guidebooks? Not looking at going to Disneyland? Then check out these 5 adventures my kids loved while in Tokyo. Hedgehog cafe Where else but […]

Free Tokyo – Just for Kids.

Free Tokyo – Just for Kids.

Japan seems to have a reputation of being expensive and indeed it can be but it can also be explored on a budget with some amazing free finds in such a big city. It is without a doubt an amazing family holiday destination so get […]

Good Morning Travel.

Good Morning Travel.

Hello friends.

My name is Cooper and I am your host of Good Morning Travel.

smithsholidayroad.com-4

Each Sunday I will share with you stories from friends across the globe. I came up with 5 questions to ask kids from around the world so we could journey with them!

Here is some behind the scenes footage of how I work on the questions. I am using a new program to me called Clickr Sentences on my iPad. Mum scribed while I spoke the questions. Then Mum put the words in the program and I read the words and created the sentences again. As you can see it takes me a long time to put one sentence together as my movements ( Dystonia) are uncontrolled from my brain injury. This series is great practise for me to read and write about a topic I love.

 

 

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SHR Travel Series.  Audrey and Skyler.

SHR Travel Series. Audrey and Skyler.

Today we start our very exciting SmithsholidayRoad ( SHR) Travel Series. Each Sunday night I will share with you, new adventures and travels from a variety of families, couples, singles and children. If you would like to share your story please contact me via email […]

Japan

Japan

We spent 1 week child free in Japan in 2013. We explored Tokyo, Nara and Kyoto. We loved the people, their respectful and calm nature and the amazing food and history. We would love to take the kids back when Peanut is a bit older.

Holiday budget:Japan

Holiday budget:Japan

Over the next few weeks I’ll be re-posting some of my favourite travel stories from my previous blog. ( I had a more personal blog for six years before I started this travel themed one last month)
Here is the first one all about Japan. We traveled there in November 2014 as a couple.

People always want to know how much a holiday actually costs. I’ve had a few people ask about this trip and I was also really keen to see how it measured up.

Our last holiday was to Cambodia for three weeks with the five of us and it cost $5,000 in total. This one for a week was around $3,500 all up.

Japan was never really on my travel list as the price always scared me. Everyone would always say how expensive it was, how crowded it was which worried me as a family of five including a wheelchair user.

Flights

First up I booked our flight for October during an Airasia sale in June.

The flights cost $900 through AirAsia. Plus then you pay extra for baggage which for the four legs ( melb-kl-Tokyo return) added a extra $150 as we went with 20kgs one way then 30kg coming home. We also added some meals to our flights at $5 each. The flights were 8hrs and 7.5hrs.

Train

Our JR pass for the trains was purchased in Australia through JTB. It cost $300 each which equalled a return trip from Tokyo to Kyoto if you paid for it when you got there. We added on a return trip to Nara plus lots of JR rail trips around Kyoto and Tokyo. I think we would have saved around $120 between us. JTB in Melbourne were very professional and fantastic at communicating with me via email. Courier delivered pass within a day. ( $20 charge)

Catching the bullet train or Shinkansen was easy. We took our pass to the ticket window, reserved a seat then boarded the train. We got seats with ten minutes to go. There are unserved seats too but I liked the idea of a guaranteed seat. The main thing to remember with the pass is that you always have to go through the ticket window gate rather Thant he ticket turnstyles. We had normal class tickets and the seating was perfectly roomy.

Sleeping

Accommodation in Japan for two is easy to find. The hotels have very small rooms and our hotel for the first night in Shinagawa was $80. It was right opposite the train station. ( which was easy access from Haneda and to Kyoto by bullet train the next day) Tiny room, bathroom. The bed was way too hard but the balcony overlooking the station was nice. Staff were friendly on checkin and no breakfast was included. We stayed at the Tokyo Inn.

In Kyoto we had luxury. This room cost $270 a night but the bed was amazing, the room was huge and the bathroom had a full size bath, heated toilet seat and every toiletry you could need. This could easily fit our family of five. It was the Granvia, right at the train station. Wifi included. Buffet breakfast was included and it was hands down the best buffet we have had ever. It had so much choice in so many cuisines. Great quality and super organised service.

In Nara at the Matsumae ryokan it cost $150 a night plus $52 for dinner. Wifi in the lounge area. Fantastic service, so friendly and welcoming. Traditional Inn and a great way to experience Japan. There was a communal bath too and laundry if you wanted to use it.

Tokyo for our last three nights was $150 a night at the Sunroute plaza in Shinjuku. The rooms were quite small but the bed as super comfy. Breakfast was not included but heaps of options at the station or in the streets. They had a self service laundry for 300yen to wash and an hour of drying for 200yen. Wifi worked well and was included. Vending machines located near the lifts on each level with beer, scotch and soft drinks.

Food

Meals as mentioned before ranged from 300yen to 5200 yen. Drinks were 120yen fro vending machines and a little more if you had a table at a cafe/restaurant.

The botanical gardens cost 200yen entry but everything else we accessed was free.

Robot show 2 for $50

Access.

I kept a keen eye out for access and I was actually really surprised. Hotel rooms would be the big issue but they do have accessible rooms available.

Public toilets always had an accessible one some with sensored seats, flushing, rails, sensor hand dryers.

Railway stations had lifts at all the ones we saw. They also had accessible marked carriages and priority seating.

I would really have to take Coop to do a thorough review but it wouldn’t be out of the question like I initially had thought.

To and from the airport.

To and from the airport was so easy. Makes me cringe that Melbourne still hasn’t added an airport rail service.

Haneda to Shinagawa was on he Keiku line. We landed at 1030pm and were on the train around 11pm with two more services to go. It was 400yen and not covered by the rail pass. We exchanged our rail pass the next day at Shinagawa.

Getting back to the airport we started at yoyogi station at around 8pm ( Sunday) ( during the week at 8pm the trains were incredibly packed) as it was an easy walk from the hotel and easier to navigate than Shinjuku. On the Yamote line we went to Hamamsatsco then changed to the monorail which is covered but the pass. The monorail takes you right up to the departure level at the airport, so easy.

 

Other costs

Of course there are other costs incurred like Andrews 8kgs of vinyl and my stash of kawaii from the 100yen shop. Presents for the kids prob came in at $150.

Travel insurance – $160

Airport offsite car parking – $120

 

So there you have it! If anyone has any more questions just ask.

Street artist, Shinjuku.

Warning signs at Nara park.