Monday, May 14, 2007

Tokyo Travel and Travel Photography Summary

In this page I will list some important points I learned during the trip to Tokyo.

Travelling :

  • Two days is NOT enough to visit every great tourist spots in Tokyo. Plan for some 4 days or even more if you plan to shop a lot.

  • Tokyo is probably very expensive for some, but get real, you should not expect to save money during traveling, otherwise the trip itself may be incomplete and you'll regret later. Expect to spend some significant amount of money in eating, transportation, and souvenirs.

  • Buy a Kimono in Japan, it may not be as expensive as you may think of. (Don't expect the ones made with pure high quality silk materials though)

  • There will be a lot of walking involved in Tokyo. It is a very good idea to save some money walking close distances instead of taking trains, as you will see more of the city during the walk.

  • Don't expect to take any taxi in Tokyo, it is that expensive. (20.000-30.000 yen to the airport, roughly 200USD).

  • Food in the tourist sites (like the Disney resort complex) is more expensive than in downtown Tokyo.

  • Even though some people you'll encounter will not be able to speak English (or speak it fluently), don't worry too much. You'll survive even without knowing any Japanese at all.

  • Bring a good travel guide with reliable maps with you. I use the Lonely Planet guide for Tokyo. It helps a lot because train stations does not usually provide English rail maps.

  • If you come in March, bring a warm wool coat with you, it will be very helpful.


Photography

  • When temperature is low (<10degree Celcius, in my case), batteries do not perform normally. Even some memory cards slows down. It is generally a good idea to bring extra rechargeable battery and keep those at full charge whenever possible, because disposable batteries are awfully expensive in Tokyo.

  • Next time, I would prefer to bring a good allaround lens (wide to tele) with me instead of several lenses. Changing lenses takes away the good photo-taking opportunities. Bringing some lens like Nikon 18-200VR will be more comfortable. It's travel photography, not stock photography... Quality does not matter that much (for me). Macro lens is very nice to have if you visit in Spring, as there will be flowers everywhere.

  • I brought a tripod but did not need it much. Bringing a lens with image stabilization instead of a tripod is much much more useful.

  • A circular polarizer filter is most likely the only filter you'll ever need (if you happen to need one). It functions as an ND filter as well.


Those are the tips I learned during my travel to Tokyo on March 11-18th 2007, comments and suggestions are welcome. It will be nice to visit Tokyo in a more prepared way next time. I'll add more if I remember of any.

-Andrian Kurniady

1 comment:

Fiona said...

huuuuuuuuh. enak bener sih... ahaha. tapi salut sama blognya. lengkap skali data japan-trip nya. lain kali kasih trip going-to-japan-freely-for-moron donks. gw ga mungkin pergi ke jepang berbekal otak kiri gw. *Sediiih*

but let see... sapa tau nanti gw menang kompetisi saham. hakakakka