Japan 2018 – Trip Planning

Well our trip to Japan is coming along nicely and is now around 3 weeks away… (well 23 days to be exact). This trip has been on the books for quite some time and in reality has been planning officially since Heidi and I were first together in 2014. Because we got married back in 2014 we had to cancel our vacation to Japan that we had planned. Although different to this trip we had it planned to be able to visit both Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka. It was meant to be a trip that included the Park Hyatt Tokyo, the SCMaglev Museum in Nagoya and Singapore Suites.

Well we had to cancel that trip and we got our Singapore Suites flight when we went back to Australia back in 2016. So that left the SCMaglev and the Park Hyatt to make sure we get the things we wanted back in the loop. With some work benefits available to me it meant I could try and make this whole trip something decent to make up for the last time. I wanted to make sure that whatever we did we could make up for lost time, so it meant we had to find a way to get to stay at the Park Hyatt this time around.

A number of credit card churns later we could get 3 nights at the Park Hyatt. That meant that we just had to add in Nagoya. Rather than 1 night this time we decided on two nights (so we could relax into our time in Japan) and at the very start of the trip. That way we could come off the flight mid afternoon and hop on a train (or two) all the way through to Nagoya and get a good nights sleep. That way we could spend the next day exploring Nagoya (and the SCMaglev) and have a good nights sleep again before moving on. Adjusting slowly rather than quickly.

Kyoto we could use work benefits for our hotel and pick up a free tour guide to help show us around. For Osaka it would be the midpoint of our trip so by looking for a serviced apartment (in a brand that I used to deal with back home) would mean we could catch up on reality easier (laundry etc). Osaka we haven’t got much planned but there is so much to do so we will see how it goes. From Osaka we can head back to Tokyo and spend the last part of the trip in the nations capital. Tokyo we could get 3 of our 5 nights at the Park Hyatt thanks to points and figure we could spend another two with work benefits.

All up we only have to pay for 5 nights of accommodation in cash, the rail passes and our flights. But what about flights. We only have two options for getting to Japan out of Seattle, Delta or ANA. Delta is an airline my wife doesn’t like flying (because of her family’s Alaska loyaltys and they see Delta as “the enemy”) plus they are hard to find points deals out of (paid fares are rough). ANA it was so with some transfers of points to Virgin Atlantic (goodbye all my Citibank and Amex points!) we could get round trip tickets in Business Class for just the taxes and fees.

So that is all our trip planned out now, JR Passes in hand, flights and hotels booked, tour guides arranged. All the planning is done, time to just wait….

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