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jlai
04-05-2010, 01:10 AM
Jan-March 2011 isn't travelling season for me, I'm afraid.
I'll be lucky if I can see the finals at US nationals live. :(

tangerine_dream
04-05-2010, 02:51 AM
Yoyogi seems to be much larger than the National Gymnasium, where the 2007 Worlds were held. Also, Yoyogi is closer to "major fashion action" such as Harajuku...and closer to Shibuya area, so it should be easier to find nearby hotels.

Yup, I'll be there. One foot is already there, so to speak.

I'm just waiting for the first time that a Worlds might be held in Seoul. Perhaps the next Asian host for a Worlds will be Korea (2013, 2014 or whenever)?

Shibuya and Harajuku don't really have many hotels. You'll want to go to Shinagawa or Shinjuku for that (if you want the really posh stuff or more Americanized - read: larger- hotels), or places like Ikebukuro for smaller, better-priced (but too small by many Western people's needs) hotels.

Most Shibuya hotels are love hotels and you probably don't want to go there. :D

ETA: You'll want to purchase tickets as early as possible. Skating is extremely popular here despite the recession still being felt, and it's not just a few companies selling the tickets. You can buy them from 7-11, 24 hours a day. No waiting.

lukeanthony
04-05-2010, 11:39 AM
Well I am definately in for Worlds 2011. It's a shame that tickets come out so late as we will very likely have to book our flights before we know that we have tickets which is always a little nerve-racking. I'm planning on worlds for 5 days then tour Japan for approx 10 days afterwards.

newfsfan
04-05-2010, 01:33 PM
I'm definitely interested in going group tour, please count me in.
I am also interested in tour Japan after World to experience cherry blossom.

Frau Muller
04-05-2010, 02:45 PM
Shibuya and Harajuku don't really have many hotels..........

There are also a number of mid-priced business hotels. I've already booked the Shibuya Tokyo Inn.

Rock2
04-05-2010, 03:18 PM
A few thoughts about Japan having gone there in Summer 2008 to visit a friend who was in the Navy.

Someone mentioned earlier about travelling in the summer. Yes, flights are cheap but it's deathly hot and humid at that time so be careful. The good news about that is that the Japanese aren't that vain, so I walked around with a small towel that I bought, soaked in cold water and wrapped around my neck....to the envy of many of the suit-clad locals.

There is surprisingly little English spoken there. Europeans and North Americans are accustomed to English being at least the second language spoken. Not there...it's Korean from what I can tell! However, that doesn't stop the friendly locals from smilling, articulating the 2-3 words they know in English and employing hand gestures. All quite fun. Restaurants were particularly tough because menus aren't translated although many restaurants -- but not all -- give pictures. I HIGHLY recommend buying a translation dictionary and memorizing 10-20 words such as "beef", "chicken", "water", "tea", "beer" "toilet", "train", "please", "thank you", "yes", "no"....The locals will really appreciate it.

For all the bustle and activity the city is stunningly quiet. The Japanese don't yell or honk horns or spin tires. I couldn't believe it. Rude to talk on cell phone on trains or speak loudly to the person you are sitting with. Shhhhh....be respectful.

I found prices comparable to Toronto...slightly higher.

Harder for me to comment on hotels since I stayed with a friend. We did spend a night in a capsule hotel if you're ok with being packed in like sardines for $30 a night! Too funny...and all the live porn you would want on your closed circuit television! Also in Kyoto we found a buddhist compound with very traditional accomodations on the floor which was way cool. Complimentary meditation sessions, too. Stuff like that does exist if you get crafty.

I will say though that Tokyo is very much spread out and there is no downtown (the city is zoned for mixed use all over so there is no pure residential area and no pure commercial area). So, just look for a hotel near a train stop and you're good to go. The network is amazing...and you only get really packed in like sardines during rush hour hear Tokyo station. It's fine elsewhere and not that crowded.

Do NOT go just for World's. I highly recommend staying. I was there for 10 days. Spent half the time in Tokyo and then had a rail pass that I used to travel to Osaka (bustling with more of a west coast feel), Kyoto (traditional with amazing walking tours and old world feel) and Hiroshima (go for the war museums). Do these places if you want to do "city". Or if you like the bathing culture, Japan has the most number of public baths in the world with hot springs, etc. Look into this and head in the area north towards Nagano for what I would anticipate would be some stunning spa-like retreats.

Oh, on the rail pass, you only get the great deal as a tourist and you must purchase BEFORE you get to Japan. These are not for purchase inside of Japan although hey are validated there. I can't remember if the rail pass covers Tokyo rail system. I believe it didn't.

Those are my tips. I'm sure the Japanese posters on here can jump in with a LOT more...but good luck. I highly recommend!!

Yunaonlyhope
04-06-2010, 01:17 AM
I found prices comparable to Toronto...slightly higher.


Did you try bentos' at Kombini (convenient) stores or supa (grocery stores)? You get good meals for $5 to $10. Kombinis are your friends. Little hole in the wall udon places (you will see the picture of udon with sign saying, うどん) serve good sobas and udons for 500yens or less.

Languages, you are right. Korean and Japanese are remarkably similar. I suspect common ancestry between these two groups. There is a huge group of Korean-Japanese living in Japan (Zainichi Koreans) and Korean students studying in Japanese universities.

And yes, there are so many places to explore, Kanazawa, Kamakura, Kobe, etc, etc. If I go to Japan, I probably wouldn't bother watching figure skating. Plan for a minimum of 2 weeks

Marge_Simpson
04-06-2010, 01:31 AM
Are there hotels in walking distance of the arena? And what is the subway stop for Yoyogi?

UMBS Go Blue
04-06-2010, 01:47 AM
1) Go to maps.google.com
2) Type in "yoyogi national gymnasium, tokyo"
3) A picture of the arena should come up as the first search result; click on it and a pop-up window will appear within the map
4) In this pop-up, "search nearby..." for hotels; numerous hotels within walking distance will pop up
5) In the map, you will also see that Yoyogi is right next to Harajuku station, a major station, so you could easily hop on a train to anywhere else in Tokyo with hotels.

I don't speak Japanese, but do have familiarity with Chinese characters, so when I was in Tokyo I asked for both an English-language subway map and a Japanese-language subway map that I held side-by-side to figure out where I was going and to read Japanese-language signs more easily. ;)

RunnersHigh
04-06-2010, 02:43 AM
There are also a number of mid-priced business hotels. I've already booked the Shibuya Tokyo Inn.

Shibuya Tokyu Inn may be the correct name, isn't it?
I also was there for GPF 2009. ;)

It took about 15 or 20 minutes on foot to the arena or just one stop(Harajuku-shibuya) by the "Yamanote" line. (And it was about 140$ a day without a breakfast.)

FYI,
-. Camera, cam or something related with them (even phone cam) was strongly prohibited from the opening to the victory ceremony. (Ought to be prohibited during the competition but why on earth during the victory ceremony :()
-. Vending machines for drinks but you have to go out to eat.
-. Lack of toilets both for men and women... except Arena SS and S(Exclusive toilets for them).
-. So many English signs here and there so no inconvenience at all.
-. Staffs were really kind for me. :P

Marroncream
04-06-2010, 04:38 AM
Sure, once an official website / ticketing contact details are available. :)
Pleas let me in on it!

I checked some hotels in Shibuya. (Though I don't have to stay in a hotel. Instead of that I'll have to commute about two hours round every day...)

The following hotels have direct shuttle bus access from Narita Airport. (You have to pay the fare.)
Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu (http://www.tokyuhotelsjapan.com/en/TE/TE_SHIBU/index.html) 22,500yen~
Shibuya Tokyu Inn (http://www.tokyuhotelsjapan.com/en/TI/TI_SHIBU/index.html) 15,600yen~
Hotel Mets Shibuya (http://www.jrhotelgroup.com/eng/code/codeeng126.htm) 11,500yen~
Shibuya Tobu Hotel (http://www.tobuhotel.co.jp/shibuya/index.htm) 13,960yen~ (I can't find their English pages.)
Granbell Hotel Shibuya (http://www.granbellhotel.jp/index_e.html) 13,000yen~

These hotels are cheaper, but they don’t have a shuttle bus stop.
Tokyu Stay Shibuya (http://www.tokyustay.co.jp/e/hotel/SIB/) 8,460yen~
Shibuya City Hotel (http://www.shibuya-city-hotel.com/toppage/index.htm) 9,800yen~ (I can't find their English pages.)
Hotel Unizo Shibuya (http://www.hotelunizo.com/shibuya/index.html) 17,000yen~ (I can't find their English pages.)

I also went to 2009 GPF.
Yes, there were washroom nightmares. Also there were only two concession stands in the arena and you had to be in the line like forever to just buy a cup of coffee. If the operation is the same as GPF, you can’t eat and drink on your seat. You have to go to some spaces around the concession places to do that, and the place will be packed. Be careful some Japanese have a fuss about obeying rules. I was in the cheap seat and had some snacks and a middle aged nice lady made a face at me. :D And apparently there were some many others like me, so someone must have told the staff because they started patrolling and telling the audience during brakes that eating and drinking are only permitted in the designated areas!
And Taking photos is no no. Even just when you use your cell phone, the staff might come to you to make sure you’re not taking pics.

RunnersHigh
04-06-2010, 07:05 AM
If the operation is the same as GPF, you canít eat and drink on your seat. You have to go to some spaces around the concession places to do that, and the place will be packed.

Yeah, it was!
So crowded that I had to stand beside trash cans or be outside in the rain to eat..

I recommend you to carry something to eat & drink in your bag. ;)

shizuka
04-06-2010, 05:12 PM
I'll totally be there!! Last time I attended was at 2007 worlds where I got to see the mens event and only the ladies SP! This time I promised myself I would see the entire ladies competition, wouldn't miss Miki for the world :)

RunnersHigh
04-07-2010, 01:22 AM
^ As a skater or a commentator? :scream:

Batsuchan
04-07-2010, 04:08 AM
Tickets sold out in a minute??? :eek:

Oh no, I *DESPERATELY* want to go to 2011 Worlds!! (And I promised my mom I'd take her!)

Is there no hope for me to get tickets if I'm not in Japan?? :( :(