DETAILED TRIP NOTES
Are you wondering if this is the right trip for you? We want you to enjoy your trip with us so please consider the following points carefully before booking your trip.
This trip is strictly for those over the age of 18.
Due to the subject matter of the trip and the tragic events that happened around Fukushima some people may find this trip in parts quite upsetting.
The two days we spend in Fukushima will be busy days, early starts and late finishes and quite often involves a good amount of walking. While the walking itself is not too demanding we need to warn you that walking conditions are not always the best with bricks, stones, uneven surfaces and glass found on the floor in parts of the trip.
It can get quite warm and humid in Japan during summer, please remember the two days spent exploring Fukushima you will need to have your body covered, no shorts, dresses etc.
We have given this trip a 2 out of 5 physical rating.
The meeting point for this trip is our hotel “Hotel Lumiere Kasai”. The hotel is approximately 8 miles away from Tokyo city centre, however the Kasai Subway Station is just a short 3-minute walk away.
Hotel Lumiere Kasai
5 Chome-41-２０ Nakakasai,
We will be welcoming all guests at our hotel “Hotel Lumiere Kasai”, Tokyo. Please let us know your flight information so we know what time to expect you. The meeting point will be at the main reception, if you are unable to locate us please ask the reception staff who will point us out.
Traveling by taxi from from Haneda Airport will take approximately 20 minutes depending on traffic. Please always agree a fee with the driver before getting into the car as taxis in Japan can be very expensive, priced between 55 to 70 pounds for this journey.
Traveling by bus from Haneda Airport will take approximately 30 minutes and costs around £7. The bus will take you to Kasai Subway Station which is a short 3-minute walk from our hotel. Buses run every 15 minutes from terminal 1,2 & the international terminal. Buses are run by Keisei Bus.
Traveling on the subway from Haneda Airport will take approximately 50 minutes and costs between 5 and 11 pounds.
Our advice is to travel by bus, its quick, inexpensive and easy travel.
Hotel Lumiere Kasai
5 Chome-41-２０ Nakakasai,
We will do everything we can to offer you the most enjoyable holiday experience possible, however we recognise that due to the locations we visit and the sometimes unpredictable nature of travel that there are times when things can go wrong.
If any issues occur during your trip your local representative or group leader will do everything they can to resolve the problem and ensure that any negative impact on the remainder of the trip is mitigated.
If your group leader or our local partner is unable to resolve the problem to your full satisfaction then you should ask them to discuss the issue with their manager. If you experience a genuine emergency or crisis then you can call our team by telephone on: +441942 202124
ONCE YOU RETURN HOME:
Within thirty days of your trip being completed you may provide us with online feedback. We welcome all feedback but would remind you that it is difficult for practical assistance to be offered after the conclusion of any trip.
For general enquiries and comments you may contact us via the following page: http://www.lunatravel.co.uk/contact-us/
Irasshaimase to Tokyo, Japan. Upon your arrival at our hotel “Hotel Lumiere Kasai, Tokyo” we will get you checked in and settled into your room before we meet up as a group for the first time. We choose to hold our welcome meetings in a relaxed environment over some delicious local cuisine, it’s a great way to break the ice and for you to get to know us and your fellow travellers.
Hotel Lumiere Kasai 3* – Breakfast
At 2:46pm on Friday the 11th March 2011 Japan was hit by a devastating earthquake measuring a magnitude of 9.0, the earthquake caused major damage to the region but it would be the 15 meter high tsunami the earthquake created that would have a catastrophic impact on Japan.
The tsunami devastated over 500 sq kilometres destroying over 1 million buildings in the process.
At the time of the earthquake 11 reactors at four nuclear power plants were in operation, all of which automatically shut down when the earthquake was detected, the reactors withstood the earthquake with no significant damage.
Around an hour after the earthquake the area was hit by the huge tsunami which flooded the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Stations cooling systems causing catastrophic damage. A 12-mile exclusion zone was created and everyone within it evacuated. Sadly in total over 15,000 people lost their lives due to the earthquake and tsunami, with over 2,500 still missing.
An early start this morning as we travel from Tokyo to Fukushima a journey that will take around three and a half hours. Over the course of the next two days you will explore, learn and understand what happened in Fukushima and more importantly see how locals are rebuilding their lives as they slowly return to the area.
Our first stop of the day is to the newly opened TEPCO Decommissioning Archive Centre in Tomioka, a museum dedicated to the disaster. The museum features exhibitions in two parts covering the disaster in Fukushima.
The first floor of the building is dedicated to the current decommissioning work, it also features equipment the workers wear for protection, a model robot which was designed to extract nuclear fuel debris from within the plant. Visitors have the opportunity to watch a short eight-minute video on the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster which includes an apology from TEPCO for its misplaced faith in nuclear power safety.
On the second floor visitors can use augmented reality technology to learn about the disaster, over the course of 11 days from the earthquake hitting to power being restored in the plant.
The rest of the day will be spent exploring the areas affected by the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. Later we will head to our hotel and enjoy some local food.
Hotel Sankyo Fukushima 3* – Breakfast
Your Fukushima journey continues, you will visit many areas in and out of the exclusion zone today. See abandoned rice fields which now store mountains of bags filled with contaminated soil from the area.
Visit the rural villages of Odaka, meet with local resettlers who have slowly been returning to the area and rebuilding their lives since the evacuation order was lifted in 2016.
Enjoy a delicious lunch at a local sushi restaurant.
View the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant from a nearby hill and hear about the ongoing work and it’s decommissioning.
Walk around towns left absolutely abandoned and frozen in time since the evacuation order was given in 2011.
Visit Ohkuma and see how the area is developing with new building projects ongoing including a new town hall, shopping mall and apartment buildings.
We will leave the area and make our way back to Tokyo at around 3:30 pm.
Hotel Lumiere Kasai 3* – Breakfast
Enjoy a full day of sightseeing in Japan’s capital city Tokyo, starting off with a visit to the ancient Sensoji Temple, Tokyo’s oldest and most significant Buddhist temple, it’s also one of the most photographed.
Hear the moving story of the 47 Ronin (masterless samurai) as we visit the final resting place of these selfless warriors. A legendary Japanese historical event of samurai honour which saw the 47 Ronin avenged the death of their master, ultimately leading them to preforming Seppuku – a ritual suicide.
Next visit the Tokyo National Museum, Japan’s oldest museum establish in 1872. This fabulous museum houses one of the largest collections of items in the world (over 110,000) with approximately 100 classed as National Treasures.
Finishing the day off enjoy a walk around Ueno Park, a little bit of paradise in the heart of Tokyo with hundreds of cherry trees blooming towards the end of March. The park has many attractions including some of Tokyo’s most popular museums, Ueno Zoo, Japan’s oldest zoo famous for its adorable pandas, the Aqua-Zoo one of Asia’s largest aquariums plus numerous temples.
Hotel Lumiere Kasai 3* – Breakfast
After breakfast we will make our way to the Kamakura, which at one point was the capital of Japan and the most populous settlement during the shogunate rule from 1200 to 1300 AD. Kamakura is a beautiful city bursting with history, home to an incredible number of ancient Buddhist and Shinto temples and shrines.
Included in this half day tour are visits to some beautifully unique locations such as Meigetsuin Temple known as the ‘Temple of Hydrangeas due to it breathtaking hydrangea blooms, Zeniarai Benten, a shrine with a natural spring that’s said to multiply money washed in it. See the “Great Buddha” at Kotokuin Temple, a designated National Treasure. Relax in the tranquil settings of Hokokuji Temple famed for its beautiful bamboo garden. Visit Hasedera Temple and the eleven-headed 9 meter tall statue of Kannon. Finally Tsurugaoka Hachimangu the most important Shinto shrine in Kamakura, dedicated to Hachiman deity of samurai and war.
Tonight enjoy a mind blowing visit to Tokyo’s Akihabara Electric Town famed for its in your face colourful advertising displays which line the main street, home to the world’s largest electronics store Yodobashi Akiba which is packed with high tech equipment. Visit one of the many themed restaurants or cafes such as the popular Maid Cafe, a themed restaurant where you are served by waitresses dressed as French maids, it’s a super friendly environment with the maids engaging in conversation and even playing games with the customers.
Hotel Lumiere Kasai 3* – Breakfast
Today is a free day to further explore Tokyo at your own pace. Enjoy unlimited travel on the metro system with your 3 day ticket.
This evening all head out for a goodbye meal and a few drinks.
Hotel Lumiere Kasai 3* – Breakfast
Trip ends in Tokyo. Checkout time at the hotel is around 11:00am.
Your safety is our number one priority, to ensure your safety we impose a few simple rules.
Over the course of your two-day trip into Fukushima you will be exposed to approximately 14μsv (microsieverts) which equates to 0.015mSv (millisieverts). To put that into context, your total exposure for the trip will be a little over what you would receive from a dental x-ray which is 10μsv (microsieverts) or 0.01mSv (millisieverts).
You will actually be exposed to much more radiation on the flight over, for example on a 14 hour flight your radiation exposure would be approximately 42μsv (microsieverts) or 0.042mSv (millisieverts). This information can be verified here.
Please make sure you have your passport to hand when visiting Fukushima.
Please wear clothes that fully cover your body, so no shorts, skirts or dresses, tshirts or short sleeved clothing. No sandals or flip-flops. While not required simple dust masks will be available should you wish to wear one.
No alcohol is to be consumed before or during our time out exploring Fukushima. You are free to enjoy a drink once we get back to our hotel.
For those who smoke including the use of ecigs we will have designated smoking stops on the trip.
Food and Drink (outside).
No eating in the open air, we will have regular stops on the trip for food and refreshments. Drinking from bottles and cans is allowed. You must not drink from any water sources including lakes, wells and rivers. Water in the hotel is perfectly fine to wash and shower. While the water in the hotel is safe to drink we recommend bottled water to avoid any unwanted stomach bugs.
Do not touch anything.
Please don’t touch anything including buildings, belongings within the buildings, any vegetation including grass, flowers or trees. Please do not sit or kneel on the floor, be mindful where you are placing any bags or camera equipment. Above all never take anything out with you, not only because these are people’s belongings but it could be dangerous.
Photos and Video.
You are free to take photos and video. However please never photograph or film any checkpoints, guards or government officials without the consent of your tour leader. More information will be supplied about what can and can’t be filmed.
Please listen to the instructions of your guides, they are there to help keep you safe as well as providing an unforgettable trip.
Hotel Lumiere Kasai
5 Chome-41-２０ Nakakasai,
The hotel has excellent access to the subway station, regular buses run to the international terminal at Haneda Airport. We don’t recommend taxis as they can be quite expensive, however if you decide to take a one please always agree a fee before entering the car.
We do everything we can to ensure that the information published in our brochures is accurate but it is sometimes necessary to update an itinerary during the year to include new information gained from our research, or the comments of past travellers. This possibility means that the final itinerary may vary slightly from your brochure. To avoid any inconvenience please review and print out the latest copy of your ‘Essential Trip Information’ a few days before you travel.
We operate trips to the region throughout the year, and seasonal changes to timetables or inclement weather may result in alterations to advertised transport routes and the timing of events included at each location, so please be prepared for the possibility of modifications to your itinerary.
If you discover any changes that raise queries please get in touch. We want to ensure that you enjoy the best possible travel experience with us.
On some trips, alongside the day-to-day itinerary we have made available a variety of optional activities. The list of available activities isn’t exhaustive and is intended as a guide of what may be available in each location. The quoted prices are the approximate entrance fee to each site and do not include the costs of transport or a local guide unless this is specifically mentioned.
All listed activities are subject to availability and given the limited time available at each location it may not be possible to include every activity.
Some of the activities listed may be classed as medium or high risk activities. For these activities we have carefully assessed the credentials and safety protocols of those with whom we partner. It may be possible for you to find the same activity available at a lower price from an alternative operator at the destination, however, we are unable to vouch for the quality or safety of any operator other than those listed in our promotional material. If an activity is not listed above it has not been assessed by us and our team will be unable to help you to book the activity. If you choose to engage in any activity not listed above you do so on your own discretion and at your own risk.
We would love to hear your feedback on how we did delivering your holiday. Your feedback is very important to us, we read every single submission carefully. Your feedback give us a better understanding of things we did well on your trip, equally any aspects of the trip you think we could improve on, we can address.
Once you have completed your booking for the trip we will get in touch via email to request your passport information which is needed to apply for your permit to enter the Fukushima Exclusion Zone. If you could get this information sent over to us as a matter of urgency that would be great.
It is a condition of entry that the appropriate permit has been gained, without one you will be denied entry.
We will need you to send us your Full Name as it’s shown in your passport (including any middle names), DOB, Nationality along with your Passport Number.
As a general rule when traveling, passports should be valid with a minimum of 6 months remaining at the time of your scheduled return date.
Individual travellers are responsible for obtaining a valid visa for their trip. National entry requirements are subject to change at any time, so it is recommended that you check the appropriate consular website for your destination to ensure that you are aware of the relevant visa information for your nationality. If you are unfamiliar with the process of obtaining a visa your consultant will be able to point you in the correct direction to obtain the visa you need.
Processing a visa application may take several weeks so it is important that you determine whether a visa is required and what the requirements are as soon as your trip is booked, so your visa application will be processed in good time for you to travel.
UK Nationals do not require a visa to enter Japan. Other nationalities should consult with their local embassy for upto date travel requirements.
Before travelling you should speak to a medical professional for the latest medical travel information and to determine whether any anti-malarial precautions or other vaccinations are required. We recommend that all travellers should bring with them any medical equipment they will require for the duration of the trip, including spare glasses if needed, and a first aid kit for any minor injuries, as it may not always be possible to find these things at the destination.
To participate fully in the trip all travellers will need to be in good physical health. Before selecting a trip please read the itinerary thoroughly and determine whether you will be able to cope with all the activities and methods of travel described there.
Please be aware that if, in the opinion of our designated local guide or group leader a traveller is not able to finish the itinerary without risking injury to themselves or others, we reserve the right to exclude that traveller from part or all of the trip without issuing a refund.
NOTE: Our tour managers are unable for legal reasons to administer any drugs, including paracetamol.
During your trip with us you will have an opportunity to experience some of the exciting food choices available at your destination. Some basic breakfasts have been included on this trip. These may include pastries or toast/bread, butter and jam, tea/coffee or juice. However, to allow you the flexibility to select the menu, location, and dining companions most appealing to you not all meals have been included in the price of the trip. While our groups do tend to choose to eat together the majority of the time there is no obligation for you to do so if you prefer to eat elsewhere. If you would like some direction on the most suitable eating places your group leader will be able to suggest some restaurants you may want to try.
SPECIAL DIETARY NEEDS:
Wherever it is possible to do so we will cater for special dietary needs, but there may be occasions when those with special requirements need to cater for their own needs.
Please contact us to let us know of any special dietary requirements you have. While we will do everything we can to help you and your dietary requirements it’s important that you understand you are personally responsible for what foods you eat on the trip.
HOTEL (6 NIGHTS)
The type of accommodation listed in your day-to-day itinerary is intended to act as a guide. There may be rare occasions when alternative accommodation is used due to a shortage of available rooms at our normal accommodation. We will try to select alternative accommodation of a comparable standard if this situation arises.
TWIN SHARE BASIS
Unless indicated in the itinerary all your accommodation is provided on a twin share basis. From time-to-time there may be occasions when facilities will need to be shared rather than being provided en-suite.
We always request that our hotels have our booked rooms prepared in advance of our arrival, but there may be times when this isn’t possible, especially if we are arriving before the usual check-in time. If we are unable to check-in immediately upon arrival we will be able to store our baggage before exploring the destination.
PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you have purchased accommodation for use either before or after the group trip you may be asked to change rooms for these additional dates.
Hotels in Japan can sometimes have small rooms compared to other countries you may have stayed in. The accommodation with which you are provided may not always include air-conditioning or private en-suite facilities.
Private Minibus, Metro, Bus
Travel from Tokyo to Fukushima will be on our own private coach or minibus, they are generally comfortable.
We will make use of the Metro system when traveling into Tokyo for our city tour. The metro station is approximately a 3-minute walk from our hotel.
The Japanese Yen (JPY) is the official currency of Japan. 1 GBP = 138.07 YEN. Japanese Yen is a common and easy to obtain currency.
ATM’s are readily available in most cities and are seen as a reliable way to access funds. It is advisable to talk to your bank in advance of your trip and ensure you are aware of any fees that will be incurred if you use your card overseas. Credit cards are not always accepted in restaurants and stores so you will need to carry sufficient cash to cover your meal costs and other small purchases. Local currency can usually be withdrawn at population centres and amenities such as; major train stations, airports, and city centres. It is advisable to carry emergency cash with you in a major currency in case you discover upon arrival that no working ATM is available. Don’t leave home without memorising your PIN, and make a note of the telephone number you will need to call in case your card is lost or stolen.
CONCERNING YOUR BUDGET:
No two travellers have identical spending habits. Read through your trip itinerary carefully so you know which costs are included and which aren’t and then have a think about your spending habits. You will need to decide a sensible budget for meals, laundry, snacks, shopping, and all the optional activities not included in the price of your trip. It is always a sensible idea to bring slightly more money than you expect to use. You will need to budget for all the meals that are not included in price of the trip, as well as your additional expenses. Based on feedback from past travellers we recommend a total of £350 for these additional meals & drinks but you may choose to spend as little or as much as you wish.
Providing a tip for good service is usually appropriate. It may not be your usual custom but it is valuable for the people with whom you will interact during your trip. Tipping inspires great service and is an established feature of the tourist industry. We suggest the following amounts per person based on established local considerations and feedback from previous travellers. In most cases a tip equivalent to 5% of the total bill will be appropriate. For the duration of your trip there may be times when a local guide is employed in addition to your tour leader, a tip of £2-£3 per day would be appreciated for such a guide. If a local driver is employed for your trip then £1-£2 per day would be appropriate, perhaps more if they are more involved with your group, although you are of course, free to tip more or less, or not to tip at all if you prefer. As a guide we would suggest a budget of between £5-£6 per day to cover tips during your trip.
We always try to plan for every possibility but there will always be situations that we can’t control. We ask that you ensure that you have access to an additional £500 to cover any emergency situations that could arise. Extreme weather, natural disasters, civil unrest or similar occurrences may result in itinerary alterations at short notice. Airport closures, transport strikes or service cancellations can cause changes at the last minute and unavoidably involve additional expenses to allow the trip to go ahead.
Your packing should be determined by the nature of your chosen trip, the time you travel, and the countries you will be visiting. As a general rule you should avoid bringing more than absolutely necessary. On most trips you will need to carry your own bags, and while you won’t need to transport them for long distances it will be easier for you if your bags are smaller and lighter.
Travellers often choose to store their luggage in a rucksack or backpack to make transportation easier. A wheeled suitcase can be helpful although you should ensure that it is fitted with carry straps in addition to wheels as not all surfaces will be suitable for wheeling.
In addition to your main luggage you will also need a bag for carrying items you need during the day, such as a camera and a water bottle.
SECURE YOUR BAGS FOR LOCAL TRANSPORT:
When we travel on local transport your luggage may sometimes be stored in an unattended area or stowed separately from the travelling party so it is essential that your luggage can be locked to secure your belongings.
DON’T FORGET TO BRING A WATER BOTTLE:
Staying properly hydrated is vital to maintaining your health during the trip. If you are concerned about the quality of the water available while travelling then please consider using iodine, micropur or similar water purification techniques rather than purchasing bottled water. You can also bring a water bottle with you and use the water dispensers provided at our accommodation to refill the bottle instead of purchasing multiple bottles during your journey. The global sale of bottled water creates a significant environmental problem with each 1 litre bottle consuming 200ml of oil and 2000ml of water just to manufacture the bottle. Once emptied much of the waste material is consigned to landfill or left to pollute the natural environment.
During the summer months it can get very warm in Japan. If you are not used to the heat you may find these temperatures uncomfortable. Equaly winters do get very cold often with snow. Please consider your physical suitability to the seasonal conditions when deciding what time of year you would like to travel.
Before you leave home you should check that your travel insurance policy will cover you for all of the areas you will be visiting and familiarise yourself with any recently updated advice or safety concerns relating to international travel which have been produced by your national government. You may also want to browse our website safety page for links to any significant travel advisories that may impact upon your trip.
We will work hard to keep you safe during your trip but there are also many things you can do to make life more difficult for potential thieves.
To keep your cash, passport, and essential documents safe we suggest that you consider a money belt or neck wallet for use while travelling. Rather than carry expensive jewellery around with you it is best to leave it at home or to keep it securely in the hotel safe. Providing a lock for your luggage is encouraged to prevent easy access for thieves during those times when your bag is stored out of your sight.
For all designated activities that form part of your agreed itinerary you will be accompanied by your group leader. During your trip there will be periods of free time with opportunities for you to explore the area at your leisure. Your leader may be able to assist you in discovering what is available at a particular location but if you decide to take on any additional activities these do not form part of your agreed itinerary and you must use your own judgement as to the safety and suitability of each activity and the safety standards of the operator.
To learn more about the safety standards you should expect during your trip please take a look at the operational safety policy displayed on our website. We always welcome feedback on how this policy is implemented in the field.
Fire safety standards vary around the world. The local laws which apply to tourist facilities at your destination will be different to those in your home country and not all the accommodation we will use may be equipped with smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, or a designated fire exit.
Not all countries have the same traffic laws. You may find that traffic in your destination country travels on the opposite side of the road to what you have been used to. Please remember to look both ways before attempting to cross any road. You should also consider that the prevailing traffic conditions may be slightly more chaotic than usual. While travelling on the roads you may be required to use transport that does not provide seatbelts, as fitting seatbelts is not always a local requirement.
Travelling always brings with it the risk of petty theft and being targeted by pickpockets especially in areas that receive large numbers of tourists. While thieves are always a concern there are plenty of things you can do to avoid becoming a victim. If you are walking outside after dark it is advisable to stay in well lit areas and to remain as part of a group as much as possible.
While travelling on the metro or other public transport you should exercise care with your belongings. Try to carry any bags in front of you so that they remain clearly visible at all times. You can also decrease the likelihood of any valuables being lost by keeping them in a money belt and out of public sight.
AVOID THE SCAMS:
Tourists are always going to be a target for anyone perpetrating a scam. Please be vigilant.
Everyone taking part in one of our trips has the right to feel safe throughout the entire journey. We work on the principle of respect towards each other and everyone we will meet on the journey. Violence, either physical or verbal is always unacceptable, as is any sexual harassment between passengers, local operators, or our leaders.
In some parts of the world use of opium or marijuana is culturally acceptable but it is not permitted by any travellers on our trips. No illegal drug use will be tolerated on any of our trips. Not only does having drugs in your possession break the law it also places the rest of your travelling group at risk. Discovery of illegal drugs in the possession of any group member will result in them being permanently removed from the trip.
Any form of sexual misconduct, including the use of prostitutes will lead to your removal from the trip. No sexual relationships, whether or not consensual, between a passenger and a group leader will be permitted. If you ever have cause to feel that inappropriate behaviour is taking place on your trip please do not hesitate to contact us using our emergency phone number.
Travelling as part of a group will expose you to both the pleasures and possible frustrations of spending time with others. Your travelling party is likely to be comprised of a cross-section of people from different cultures and different age groups. We request that you show consideration to the different preferences and needs of the various members of your travelling party and extend patience when their needs must be accommodated.
When travelling with a group please remember your own responsibilities towards others. Try to arrive at any agreed meeting point punctually to avoid keeping the rest of the group waiting. In our experience the trips that work best are those where the inter-group dynamics function well – achieving the right group dynamic requires just a small amount of effort from you.
Note: To maintain the privacy of our travellers we cannot share any personal information or contact details relating to anyone else booked on your trip before departure.
A single supplement is available on this trip
For your own protection we insist that travel insurance is purchased before embarking on any of our trips. You will not be able to join your travelling group until your group leader has seen evidence of your insurance policy and has had sight of your insurance company’s emergency contact details.
Your minimum level of cover must include medical costs including emergency repatriation if required. We would also encourage you to obtain a policy that covers cancellation, curtailment, personal liability, and lost or damaged baggage and personal effects.
Should you choose to take out credit card insurance you will need to provide your group leader with details of the insurer or underwriter, the policy number, and the coverage level, along with the emergency contact number. You should obtain this information from your bank before departing for your trip.