Travel Thread


The old man just rang to gloat that he is off to China again in October. Forget the name of the mob but they had a 4 day sale on where China trips were 2 for 1. Cost $1054 for 9 nights including airfares, accommodation, most meals and several tours. At just over $50pp a day you can’t beat that


I think its Tripadeal We are off to Beijing 12 nights airfare, accom and breakfast Cost $1998 plus $150 each on arrival to cover transfers from airport to hotels, fly home from Shanghai ,all flights Qantas .12 night 2 for 1 deal


Normally, buses are a fine option, however, @sporting_brisbano asked about ‘Golden Week’ - which is a week long holiday (series of public holidays) - when almost all Japanese head away at the exact same time. Out of Tokyo, you are looking at 60km long traffic jams. Worst story I have heard is an 18 hour drive from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji (usually 2 hours).

This year will be especially bad, as Golden Week has been extended to 10 days, due to the Emperor’s abdication. All roads, airports, train stations will be chaotic between 27 April - 6 May inclusive. I highly recommend anyone visiting Japan during Golden Week to avoid all road travel & to stick solely with the trains.

I am taking the clan camping at the base of Fuji-san (as I do every year), but will be departing Tokyo on the 25th April to avoid the mass exodus.


We’re camping at Lake Biwa but leaving on the 29th :grimacing:


I’m guessing 27-28 April will be the worst for departure & 5-6 May for arrival. You may be lucky on the 29 April, but I’d easily double or even triple the time it usually takes to drive from your pad to Lake Biwa. Not sure on Kansai traffic during GW, but Kanto traffic is off the charts. I really can’t exaggerate it.

p.s. Enjoy, man. How long for?


Getting through the Senri/Suita area is nuts. We sat still at the entry to the Chugoku to head west for about three hours one time. I’m sure Kanto is way more insane. But yeah after the w/e it should be a bit better.

Just for a couple of nights, finally I get a chance to take my eldest on a little camping trip, so just a beginner level camping ground with comforts not too far away.


Two years ago, my wife joined us a few days after we had arrived & set up camp. It was right at the start of GW. She caught the shink down from Shin-Yokohama to Fuji Station & we drove down from the campground to pick her up from Fuji station. Usually a 40 minute drive (return) to the campground. Took me 5 hours. I was fuming. :crazy_face:

Anyway, your trip sounds like fun. I’ve never been to the Lake Biwa area before. If you manage a few good pics, hope you’ll share em.


I’d love to hear about that. I tried to book an airbnb on the lake with paddleboards etc. but the dude was poorly organised and we had to find somewhere in Kyoto to stay instead which turned out very well fortunately.


Oh I wanted to stay around Lake Biwa and drive around but was worried with the luggage we had at that point if we could manage it all.

Next time I guess.

I still want to buy a property in Japan. Are you guys Japanese residents or still Australian citizens or some other assumption i’ve missed that makes me racist? Any rules about property ownership in Japan I should be aware of?


I’m a permanent resident here in Japan (and an Australian citizen).

It is fairly easy for Aussies to buy property in Japan. Have you heard of the ‘akiya’ (vacant/abandoned houses) problem in Japan? They can be scooped up for a dime - depending on the location. You’d need to be aware of potential reno costs, but there are plenty of decent joints still around.

Housing in rural areas (non akiya) can also be purchased extremely cheaply - as long as they aren’t in areas like Niseko, etc. I’ll go through my files & PM you some info I have kept. Give me a couple of days.


I was watching TokyoTV during prime time and they had some sort of adventure crew who went and looked at housing out in the country but again not too far from a big city and they had to guess the pricing. Going by the faces they were cheap! Good thing I can read the numbers.

Saying that though even on the train trip out to Fuji I got bored and was looking up property at each station. Stand alone property, 30 minutes out from Shinjuku, two stories, 3 bedroom, under 200k aud!


Australians have generally forgotten how long the housing boom has continued for & housing affordability on an international comparison basis. Travel thread, so I don’t want to clog it up with property discussion, however, yes, you are right, you can easily pick up housing stock here not far from major cities for 1/2 Melbourne’s median. More if you head out into rural areas. You can pick up a joint in Okutama (technically part of Tokyo) for that price you listed. Surrounded by rivers, mountains, temples, etc & less than an hour into central Shinjuku. 1/4 the price of a joint in say Upper FTG.


Anyone watching the news from Paris? Seeing the Notre Dame on fire and collapsing is heartbreaking. Beautiful Cathedral.


Hanoi footy vs tin rattlers who be in Hanoi


Yeah, Biwa has plenty of family camping grounds up both sides and friends of ours go every summer so we thought we’d give it a try. It’ll still be a bit cold for swimming though. The only time we’ve stayed on the lake before is when we got an awesome deal on a plush hotel room with views.


Ah, yes, you mentioned that holiday traffic chaos. Our timing was fortunate, apparently.


Impeccable timing, mate, especially weather wise. After you all left, the weather turned to sheet. Was under 10 degrees for most of last week with plenty of rain. Beautiful this week & 20s.


Actually, I can :sunglasses:

So, finally Qantas got their plane working, 11h to PEK, breezed through immigration, subway into town and at the Guangxi Hotel a bit after an hour from landing.


Take a cab you chicken!
Nothing like belting along at 140km/hr whilst the driver is simultaneously talking on a hand held mobile and having a dart only to stop both to hock up a loogie every 5 minutes :grinning:


When was the last time you were in Beijing traffic? It is at a standstill most of the time.

I was impressed with a previous cab driver who got around the stalled traffic, doing over 120kmh with only the right hand set of wheels on the freeway.