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 Narita Airport is located outside of Tokyo and it takes approximately one to two hours to make it to Tokyo depending on time and mode of transportation. So depending on your budget and time availability, there are many options available to choose from.

We quickly eliminated 2 options off our list

  • TAXI  – Not advisable because it is very expensive. Since we will be arriving around the rush hour, it will be even more expensive.
  •  Keisei Skyliner – For this train, you will have to get off at Nippori Station and the transfer to the JR Yamanote line to get to Shinjuku Station. Definitely not recommended for first time travelers because it can be very confusing.

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Activate Japan Rail Pass

If you are reading this, that means that you would have already purchased the Japan Rail Pass. If you are still not sure, read HERE to learn whether you need to buy a Japan Rail Pass or not.

Now you have arrived at the Narita airport in Tokyo with your Japan Rail Pass voucher. What next? The first thing to do is to activate the pass.  You can activate the Japan Rail Pass at the JR East Travel Service Center. There are 2 offices in the Narita airport. One in Terminal 1 and the other office in Terminal 2&3.The JR East Office in Terminal 1 is at the bottom floor(B1), same level as the trains.

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Top 10 travel tips for family travel in Iceland

Travel tips Iceland

First trip to a new destination is always nerve-wracking especially when traveling with kids. However, if there is enough pre-planning, it will reduce a lot of unnecessary stress and headaches. Here are my top 10 travel tips before traveling to Iceland that will be very helpful in making your trip just a little smoother.

1. Decide where to go in Iceland

Deciding where to travel in Iceland is very dependent on when you are going and of course, weather conditions. My ultimate trip in Iceland will be to do a road trip around the entire Ring Road. However weather conditions from October to April could be harsh and thus making some of the Ring Road impassable or just terribly icy. We went on April 1 and some of the roads were still closed to traffic. So  due to time constraint (we only had 6 days) and weather conditions, we decided to travel just the Golden Circle and the South Coast. Maybe someday we will be back in the summer and explore the entire Ring Road.

Our final itinerary will be posted soon.

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Fushimi Inari Shrine @ Kyoto, Japan

Fushimi Inari Shrine

During my 1st visit to Japan, I visited a lot of temples and while they were interesting, I think after a couple of temples, they were all starting to look the same. So this time around, we decided that we would skip most of the temple visit and only visit a few really interesting ones.  On the top of the list  is the Fushimi Inari Shrine in southern Kyoto. Fushimi Inari Shrine is famous for its vermillion gates – thousands of them!

 From Kyoto Station to Fushimi Inari Temple (JR Inari Station):
 Train: JR Nara Line
 Costs: ¥140 (USD$1.30) (child price is 50%) *FREE if you have the Japan Rail Pass
 Travel Time: 5 minutes

JR Inari Station
JR Inari Station

After getting out of the JR Inari Station and walking for about 5 minutes, you will get to this main entrance. This was at 8:30 am and it was already starting to get crowded.

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Arashiyama Bamboo Forest @ Kyoto, Japan

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Whenever I plan a trip, there is a list of “MUST VISIT” and a list of “Visit if we have time” attractions. On the top of the “MUST VISIT”list in Japan is the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest.

From Kyoto Station, we took the JR Sagano train to the Saga-Arashiyama station. It took us 15 minutes and usually costs ¥240 but free if using the JR Pass. Then from the Saga-Arashiyama Station, it is just a short walk to the Bamboo Forest aka Bamboo Grove.

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Once there, there is a path that you can walk through the bamboo grove. If you do not want to walk, you can also hire one of the rickshaws to bring you around.

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