A few people said they’d like to know more about how I organise for a Japan trip so I’m sharing updates about what I’ve been doing. Read all the posts here. You can also read my Tokyo Shopping Guide online and buy my Japan zines.
What have I been doing since the last update?
Buying my Japan Rail Pass
The rail pass voucher has to be exchanged in Japan within 3 months so remember not to book it too early (or leave it too late since it has to be posted out to you). I just bought the standard national pass as that works out as the best option for me. I used this site as I could organise a Pocket Wifi at the same time.
Renting a Pocket Wifi
If you haven’t heard about Pocket Wifi, it’s an extremely handy little device that you can rent for your stay which will give you a high speed internet connection in most areas of Japan. You can bring it everywhere with you so you can check maps and timetables on the go and Instagram your heart out without having to rely on finding free wifi or dealing with terrible hotel internet. You can also connect multiple devices so it’s great for people like me who will be bringing an iPhone, Kindle, laptop and Nintendo DS! It’s not the cheapest option (it’s costing me £80 for 3 weeks) but I’ll be working while I’m in Japan so I have no problem paying that. You can pick one up at the airport without booking but if you order online, it can be posted to your hotel and you just drop it in a postbox when you leave – so handy!
One other thing that usually needs to be booked in advance is the Ghibli museum as it’s still incredibly popular and a bit tricky to book in Japan. I was looking forward to going back since it’s been 10 years since we first went but sadly it’s closed for renovations this Spring. Noooo!!
Buying a new camera + more shopping
I’ll blog about my new camera separately, but it is pretty exciting with lots to learn. I’ve also been picking up (and wishlisting) other things I’ll need like a portable battery charger and some summer clothes. I’m also thinking about what things I can buy in Japan instead, like an entire new collection of amazing socks.
Reading all the Japan guides and blogs
I’ve spent a lot of time this month re-reading my Japan books and guides and favourite blogs and adding anything interesting to my spreadsheet. I only have a couple of books left so soon I will be collating everything into a new guide to share. Every time I look at the food list I get really hungry!
I’m also keeping my eyes open for event announcements. It’s still a bit early (and rather sad to discover I’m just missing out on the Rilakkuma and Miffy pop up cafes!) but there are a few things of interest and loads more to come hopefully.
Updating my Tokyo Shopping Guide
Referring to my own online Tokyo Shopping Guide mad me realise a lot of links were out of date so I’ve created a new page of My Favourite Japan Guides, Blogs & Websites. These are all the sites I read regularly or have been using to plan my trip. There’s some great trip reports, shopping guides and tons of helpful information. It was quite sad to see how many blogs and guides had disappeared or never been updated, but I discovered some fantastic new stuff to replace them. I’ll be doing another update on guidebooks and print things soon too.
Reminder: I’m taking requests!
Since I’m writing another book, I’m planning to do things that might be interesting or helpful for future visitors. Please let me know if there’s anything you’ve wondered about or been too scared to try. I’d also love to do a craft or art workshop or meet up with fellow creatives or kawaii fans. I’ll be in Japan for most of May so holler in the comments if you’ll be around.