Over Christmas/New Years, I went to Hakone, Tokyo, and Hokkaido. I posted a ton of pictures on social media and got some messages from people saying they wanted to visit the places I went to.
I dumped all of my links into a table below so you can sort by location/type and plan your own trip. Below the table, you’ll also find my rough itinerary.
|Yumoto Fujiya Hotel||Hotel, hot spring||Hakone||
|Hakone Yuryo||Hot spring||Hakone||
|Hatsuhana Soba||Food, restaurant||Hakone||
|nana’s green tea||Food, cafe||Tokyo (Shinjuku LUMINE EST)||
|Maidreamin||Food, maid cafe||Tokyo (Akihabara, Shinjuku)||
|Coco Ichibanya||Food, fast food||Tokyo (everywhere)||
|Ichiran||Food, fast food||Tokyo (everywhere)||
|Junisoh||Food, omakase sushi||Tokyo (Shinjuku)||
|Sushiro||Food, conveyor belt sushi||Tokyo (everywhere)||
|Hedgehog Cafe HARRY||Animal cafe||Tokyo (Harajuku)||
|Penguin Bar||Animal cafe||Tokyo (Ikebukuro)||
|Ouroji||Food, restaurant||Tokyo (Shinjuku)||
|APA Hotel Shinjuku Kabukicho Tower||Hotel, public bath||Tokyo (Shinjuku)||
|Hotel Hokke Club Sapporo||Hotel, public bath||Hokkaido (Sapporo)||
|Nijo Market (Nijo Kani Ichiba – literally Nijo Crab market)||Food, fish market||Hokkaido (Sapporo)||
||Sea urchin / salmon roe bowl|
|Teshikaga Ramen (Ramen Alley)||Food, restaurant||Hokkaido (Sapporo)||
|北海道焼肉プライム (“Hokkaido Yakiniku Prime”)||Food, restaurant||Hokkaido (Sapporo)||
|Sapporo Beer Museum||Sightseeing, museum||Hokkaido (Sapporo)||
|Soup Curry GARAKU||Food, restaurant||Hokkaido (Sapporo)||
|Sankaku Fish Market||Food, fish market||Hokkaido (Otaru)||
||Hakkaku sashimi, crab, sea urchin|
|Noboribetsu Bear Park||Animal park||Hokkaido (Noboribetsu)||
|Dai-ichi Takimotokan||Hotel, public bath||Hokkaido (Noboribetsu)||
|MUJI Hotel Ginza||Hotel||Tokyo (Ginza)||
||Room (Type C)|
|WA (MUJI Hotel)||Food, restaurant||Tokyo (Ginza)||
Here’s a rough sketch of how I spent my time and how I handled transportation:
- Tokyo (0 nights)
- Landed at NRT, took Narita Express to Shinjuku Station (~1.5 hours)
- Hakone (4 nights)
- Immediately took Hakone Romancecar from Shinjuku Station to Hakone Yumoto station (~1 hour)
- Probably should have looked into the Hakone Free Pass but didn’t know about it
- Pretty much stuck to walking around the Hakone Yumoto area and didn’t venture out much because I was tired and there was lots of stuff to do there
- Tokyo (Shinjuku) (7 nights)
- Took the Romancecar back to Shinjuku Station, stayed in Shinjuku the whole time
- Probably should have squeeze in a few days in Kyoto, but I planned this trip while super busy at work and didn’t have much time to think about it
- Sapporo (4 nights)
- Took Narita Express, flew Jetstar from NRT to CTS
- Regretted not booking from HND because getting to NRT is such a pain
- So much snow
- Took a day trip to Otaru during this time via a ~1 hour rapid subway
- Noboribetsu (1 night)
- I really wish I had stayed here for more than 1 night! It was great and there were so many things I wanted to do that I didn’t have time for.
- I took a 1400 yen bus from Dai-ichi Takimotokan (my ryokan) straight to CTS airport.
- Tokyo (Ginza) (1 night)
- I landed in Terminal 3 at NRT and was surprised to find out that there is a 1000 yen bus that will take you to Tokyo Station or Ginza Station in about 90 minutes. I now feel like a chump for having taken the Narita Express (roughly USD$30 for a 70 minute trip) this whole time. The bus was great.
- I took the bus back to NRT the next day for my return flight.
- It was silly of me to go all the way back into the city for just one night, but I wasn’t thinking clearly when I booked all of this, and in retrospect I probably wouldn’t have done this. All’s well that ends well, though – I had such a blast at the MUJI Hotel that I don’t really regret how this turned out.