The Ultimate One Month Japan Itinerary

The Ultimate One Month Japan Itinerary

When we were planning our one month Japan itinerary, we knew we wanted to fit in as much as we could into those four weeks. Japan might be a fairly small island, but there’s an incredible amount of things to see and do. It would take an entire lifetime and then some, to just explore Tokyo. We wanted to visit as many cities as we could, tick off as much as possible, and have the time of our lives while we were at it.

Well, we are happy to report that all three of those goals were achieved!

We managed to travel to six different cities over a four week period. Starting in Yokohama, we then traveled to Osaka, Hiroshima, Nagoya, Nagano and finally, Tokyo. We didn’t want to spend the entire four weeks only exploring Japan’s major cities. We wanted a taste of traditional Japan amongst all of the bright neon lights. So, we broke up the bustling cities with some more historic towns across Japan.

Although there were some things we didn’t manage to see and do, like experiencing the 6 best places to view Mt Fuji, visiting Nara and heading further North, we still did quite a lot! Here is our one month Japan itinerary.

The Ultimate One Month Japan Itinerary

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

Days 1 to 3 – Yokohama

We were quite sluggish when we arrived at Haneda Airport at around 6:30 in the morning. We were running on almost no sleep, after suffering through two six hour flights, plus a seven hour layover at Singapore Airport. That was before we even arrived in Japan.

Before leaving Australia, we researched the best way to get from Haneda Airport to our hotel in Yokohama. It ended up being super easy, and all we had to do was catch a bus to Yokohama City Air Terminal (also known as YCAT), then catch a train to Shin Yokohama Station. Click here for more information on getting from Haneda Airport to YCAT.

Finding our way from Yokohama City Air Terminal to our hotel was quite overwhelming. We arrived during the morning peak hour rush, so combine that was almost zero sleep and being thrown into a foreign country – it was pretty intense! In an exciting way, of course. We eventually managed to manoeuvre our way through the hundreds of business people, rushing in every direction through the station, and found our way out.

Where to stay in Yokohama

We stayed at the Shin Yokohama Kokusai Hotel for our first two nights in Japan. The hotel was fairly close to the Shin-Yokohama Station, however it took us a while to find our bearings when we first arrived, and we definitely took a few wrong turns along the way! Be sure to have an offline map with directions to your hotel, before arriving in Japan.

Note: Something that we didn’t realise before arriving in Japan, is their hotel check-in policy is quite strict. Check-in time starts at 3pm (in most hotels across Japan) and if you arrive early, you are not allowed to check in without paying to do so. We arrived at around 10am, but were so desperate for a shower and nap, we paid the extra fee to check in early. From memory, it costs around 1,000 yen per hour before check-in time. For us though, paying the 5,000 yen was definitely worth it.

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Visit the Cup Noodle Museum

We decided to visit the Cup Noodle Museum on our first and only full day in Yokohama. If you’ve never heard of the Cup Noodle Museum before, it’s basically exactly what it sounds like. You can learn all about the history of cup noodles throughout the world, and even design your very own cup of noodles!


We have an entire post about our experience at the Cup Noodle Museum. So go give that a read for a full recap of our noodle cup designing adventure! It’s an awesome experience, and so very Japanese! 

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Shopping in Yokohama

If shopping is something you’re keen to do while in Japan, Yokohama has quite a few shopping malls. Queen’s Square and Landmark Plaza are two of the more generic shopping centres that you’ll find. However, if you’re looking for a more unique shopping experience, visit World Porters. This mall attracts a younger crowd, so you’ll definitely find some bargains if you shop around.

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Yokohama Ramen Museum

On our last night in Yokohama, we decided to set off on foot to the Yokohama Ramen Museum. We had read about this place during our Japan research, and it was added straight onto our bucket list. The Ramen Museum is essentially a museum filled with everything you didn’t think you needed to know about ramen.


To make the experience even better, you’ll find two floors downstairs, that are designed to replicate streets and houses from an old town in Tokyo. These two floors contain around a dozen different ramen restaurants. Choose your meal using the vending machine outside of each restaurant, and take a seat inside. You can also purchase mini ramen bowls, if you would prefer to sample more than just one.

Note: The bowls are hugeEven the mini bowls were just about all the food I could manage. Keep this in mind if you want to try as many bowls of ramen as you can!


The atmosphere and design of the Ramen Museum is definitely unique. Entry to the museum and access to the restaurants costs 310 yen per person, plus whatever you decide to spend on ramen. There is also a bar with super cheap alcohol. That had me sold, for sure!

Days 3 to 10 – Osaka

Day three of our one month Japan itinerary started with a Shinkansen Bullet Train ride from Yokohama to Osaka. The journey only took around three hours, and we even saw Mt Fuji from the train! We’ve already published our Osaka Itinerary in a seperate post, simply because we had so much to talk about.

There is so much to see and do in Osaka, that we highly recommend staying in the city for at least a few days. We stayed in Osaka for seven days, and even that wasn’t enough time. That being said, we did manage to tick off quite a bit from our list.

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Where to stay in Osaka

We stayed at the Hotel MyStays Sakaisuji-Honmachi during our time in Osaka. This was a great location, putting us super close to the main shopping and entertainment district of Osaka – Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi Street. We were also close to major train stations, tons of food options and plenty of things to see and do.

Note: Osaka is a great starting point to explore nearby cities and prefectures. Japan’s train system is world class. It’s super quick and easy to travel to almost any city across Japan. We suggest making the time to visit Kyoto and Nara during your time in Osaka.

Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to visit Nara, but we did take a couple of day trips to Kyoto and absolutely loved it. You can read all about Kyoto in our Osaka post as well!

Shopping in Osaka

There are plenty of places to shop in Osaka. The most popular shopping districts, Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi Street, were only a twenty minute walk from our hotel. You’ll find hundreds upon hundreds of chain stores, Japanese souvenir stores, boutiques, street food, restaurants and much more.

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Universal Studios

Universal Studios was one of the main reasons we wanted to visit Osaka in the first place. We’re both huge Harry Potter fans, and as soon as we realised there was a Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Osaka’s Universal Studios, we just had to go. If you love Harry and his friends as much as we do, definitely set aside a day to be a magician at Hogwarts.

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Day trip to Kyoto

Kyoto quickly became one of our favourite places in Japan. It’s such a beautiful way to get an insight into traditional Japan. With endless shrines, temples and beautiful places to sit and relax, you’ll fall in love with Kyoto just as much as we did. We spent one day exploring Arashiyama and another visiting the Fushimi Inari shrine.

Tip: If you’re hoping to come across some traditional Japanese Geisha’s during your stay in Kyoto, here are some awesome tips on how to do so, and the best places to see them!

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Days 10 to 12 – Hiroshima

The first thing we are going to say about Hiroshima, is that we wish we stayed longer. After spending such a long time amongst the crazy hustle, bustle and flashing neon lights of Osaka, Hiroshima was a very welcome change of pace. The people are incredibly kind and friendly, and there’s a beautiful peaceful vibe about the city.


It took roughly two hours to get from Osaka to Hiroshima on the Shinkansen Bullet Train. Compared to the rest of our Bullet Train journeys, this one was fairly quick. When we arrived at Hiroshima Station, we then had to catch a tram to our hotel. The tram ride cost a flat rate of 160 yen for adults, which you drop into a clear container before departing the tram. Super easy!

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Where to stay in Hiroshima

We stayed at the Comfort Hotel in Downtown Hiroshima. This was the perfect location, as it was within walking distance to almost everything we wanted to see during our short time in Hiroshima. There was a train station nearby and the tram stop that we needed to get back to the airport was right outside our hotel.

Shopping in Hiroshima

Hondori Shopping Arcade is the main shopping mall in Hiroshima. It’s very similar to Osaka’s Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi Street, but a lot less busy. You’ll find tons of familiar chain stores, restaurants, pharmacies for some reason, boutiques and street food. We walked up and down this mall quite a lot, and found something new each time!


Don’t miss the Book Off store in Hiroshima. If you love finding classic gaming consoles, super cheap electronics, Japanese and English books for less than a cup of coffee and an endless amount of toys, Book Off is going to feel like heaven. It’s essentially a second hand store, but it’s the best second hand store you’ll ever visit. I promise.

Cheap food in Hiroshima

During our time in Hiroshima, we discovered a wonderful little Italian food chain called Saizeriya. Their menu is loaded with delicious, super cheap meals to suit almost anyone’s taste in food. Some of their menu items include foccaccia (100 yen), garlic bread (170 yen), soup (150 yen), various pasta and pizza (400 yen), chicken and steak meals (up to 900 yen) and desserts (400 yen or less).

Other than food, you can also get unlimited soft drinks, juice and iced teas from the drink bar for 190 yen. Water is free. And the best part of all, you can get half a bottle of wine for 200 yen.

Yes, I had some with lunch.
Yes, it’s cheap house wine but still, 200 yen?
Can’t complain about that. It was drinkable, and that’s all that matters!

Hiroshima Peace Memorial and A-Bomb Dome

Our first and only full day in Hiroshima was spent at the Peace Memorial and A-Bomb Dome. It’s pretty difficult to explain the feeling you get when visiting this area of Hiroshima. The park is extremely clean, quiet and relaxing. We highly recommend paying the 200 yen entrance fee to visit the museum, even if you don’t know anything about the history of the Atomic Bomb devastation.

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We didn’t know a great deal about Hiroshima’s history, but it’s a surreal experience learning about the devastating events that happened. It will give you a new perspective about why the people of Japan are such friendly, accepting and wonderful people.

Cost: 200 yen
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 6pm
Closed: The main Museum building will be closed until July 2018.

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Hiroshima isn’t a city with lots of tourist attractions or crazy things to see and do. But if you’re looking for a relaxing and peaceful city to visit, to help break up the hustle and bustle of big city Japan, we definitely recommend adding Hiroshima to your itinerary. It’s a beautiful city with lovely people and an inspirational history.

Days 12 to 14 – Nagoya

If there’s one thing we regret from our trip to Japan, it’s cutting our time in Hiroshima short to visit Nagoya. Each to their own, but we weren’t too fond of Nagoya. Although it’s Japan’s fourth most populated city, compared to Yokohama, Osaka and Hiroshima, it was pretty dirty and uninspiring. There isn’t a whole lot to see and do, besides the Nagoya City Science Museum and Planetarium and Toyota Museum which were both closed the day we visited.

Where to stay in Nagoya

We stayed at Hotel Trusty during our two days in Nagoya. This wasn’t a very good choice in regards to location, because we had to walk quite far to the main part of the city. It was also one of the dirtiest Japanese cities we had seen so far. Choosing a hotel that’s closer to the main attractions will make your experience a lot more convenient.

Learn from our mistakes

Be sure to check opening hours for main attractions before planning out your day. Two of the things we wanted to see during our time in Nagoya was the Planetarium and Toyota Museum. Both were closed on our only full day in the city. Don’t end up like us, bitter at Nagoya, wishing we were still in Hiroshima. Plan your visit better than we did!

Shopping in Nagoya

Oasis 21 is a modern shopping complex with a ton of cool shops and restaurants. Oh yeah,  it’s also conveniently a bus terminal! There is almost always some sort of event held underneath the epic glass roof filled with water. There are also a few larger shopping malls in the area, dozens of restaurants and in true Japanese fashion, an endless amount of convenience stores.

Days 14 to 17 – Nagano

Nagano was on our itinerary for one main reason: snow! We spent quite a long time during the planning stage of our Japan trip, trying to find an easily accessible way of seeing snow. Eventually, we settled on Nagano.

We arrived in Nagano early afternoon on March 14th, via the Bullet Train from Nagoya. Nagano Station is fairly small – as is the city itself – so finding our hotel wasn’t difficult. It took around 20 minutes to walk from the station to our hotel (Hotel Kokusai 21).

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Where to stay in Nagano

We stayed at Hotel Kokusai 21 during our time in Nagano. Our hotel was in a pretty good location, taking us roughly twenty minutes to walk to the station. There were a few convenience stores within walking distance, plus plenty of vending machines and even a Japanese style Denny’s restaurant. Our hotel room was huge, and definitely one of the biggest Japanese hotels we had so far!

Shopping and Dining in Nagano

We were pretty hungry the day we arrived in Nagano, after not having enough time that morning to eat breakfast before leaving Nagoya. So the fact that we spotted a Japanese style Denny’s a few minutes from our hotel was pretty exciting and super convenient.


Right next to Denny’s is a Family Mart convenience store. If you’re not familiar with Japanese convenience stores, they’re basically the best thing in the world. Selling everything from water and alcoholic beverages to quick snacks, toiletries and hot meals. I bought a bottle of wine, Russell bought a bottle of whisky and we also stocked up on snacks.

Day trip to Hakuba

Our first full day in Nagano was the day I finally ticked see snow off my bucket list. Excitement was bubbling over the edge, as I added layer after layer of warm clothing onto my body, and made sure my camera battery was fully charged. It was the moment I had been dreaming about for most of my life.

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We took a bus from Nagano Station to Hakuba, and ended up in the beautiful snow village of Happo One. Something cool about Happo One, is the 1998 winter Olympics were hosted there! The Ski Jumping Stadium is still there, Olympic rings and all. For around 500 yen, you can take a ski lift to the very top, and be rewarded with a view like the one in the photo below!

To read all about our day in Hakuba, click here. It was such an unbelievable experience. I’m so glad I can say that I saw snow for the very first time, in Japan.

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Nagano is a great city whether you visit during the warmer or colder months. Similar to Hiroshima, it’s a nice place to rest and recharge, especially if you’re headed to another big city.

Or, like us, the mother of all big cities: Tokyo!

Days 17 to 29 – Tokyo

Ahh, Tokyo.
Japan’s capital and the world’s most populated city.

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With a population of around 13 million people, 47 different prefectures and endless things to do, you’ll need an entire lifetime to explore the city. Once again, because we talk a lot, we have a seperate post all about our time in Tokyo. If you’re interested in reading about everything we did during our twelve days in Tokyo, click here for a full recap!

Where to stay in Tokyo

We spent twelve days in Shinjuku, which is one of Tokyo’s most popular cities. Shinjuku is in a great central location, and is the perfect base to explore Tokyo. We stayed at Shinjuku New City Hotel, which was only a 20 minute walk from Shinjuku Station, the biggest train station in Japan.

Shopping in Tokyo

The shopping in Tokyo is probably the best I have ever experienced. With an endless amount of shopping malls, outdoor shopping streets, boutiques, souvenir stores, department stores and more; there’s something for everyone! Even Russell had a great time browsing each store, and he doesn’t even like shopping!

We had a ball shopping on Takeshita Street in Harajuku. Shibuya is filled with familiar chain stores like Forever 21, H&M and Gap. Don’t miss Shibuya Crossing – the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world! Enjoy the view from Starbucks or one of the shopping buildings surrounding the crossing.

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Dining in Tokyo

Whether you love sushi, fried meat on a stick, tasty desserts, noodles, pizza, pasta or almost anything else – Tokyo is a city filled with cuisine from across the globe. Restaurants in Tokyo have more Michelin Stars than Paris and New York combined. Regardless of your budget, you will have no problem finding something delicious to eat during your time in Tokyo.

Attractions in Tokyo

There are so many different things to do in Tokyo. From spending a couple of days at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea, to enjoying a Robot Restaurant show in Shinjuku. Don’t miss the beautiful gardens, shrines and temples throughout Tokyo. Visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building for an incredible FREE view of Tokyo!

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Tips for First Time Visitors to Japan

Now that you have some ideas for your own one month in Japan itinerary, here are some tips and tricks to help make your visit as smooth sailing as possible!

Purchase a pair of comfortable sneakers

One thing we noticed during our month in Japan, was that we walked a lotOur phones have an inbuilt pedometer (as do most smartphones these days) and there were multiple days where we walked over 20,000 steps!


If you enjoy exploring new places on foot like us, you’ll definitely need to invest in a good quality pair of sneakers or walking shoes. There are tons of different styles available for both men and women.

Invest in a good backpack

Japan is one of the best places in the world for day trips. You can explore so much more of the country, simply by taking the Shinkansen Bullet Train to smaller towns from major cities across Japan. If you’re keen on doing some day trips during your time in Japan, you’ll need a good quality backpack, or daypack to keep all of your essentials safe and sound.

Don’t forget your camera

Almost everywhere you travel to across Japan, is incredibly beautiful and worthy of the millions of photos you’re going to take. Before arriving in Japan, consider purchasing a good quality camera, if you don’t have one already.

I have the Sony Alpha a5000 Mirrorless Digital Camera, and I love it. It takes incredible photos and has a whole bunch of awesome features and settings that I’ve had lots of fun testing out.


If you would prefer to try your hand at a more in-depth camera, consider a DSLR like the beautiful Canon EOS.

Bring plenty of entertainment for the Bullet Train

If you plan to travel between cities and prefectures in Japan, you’ll probably be catching the Shinkansen Bullet Train quite a bit. Depending on the distance you travel, the journey could take more than two hours. Think of the Shinkansen as a much more comfortable plane.


We like to have plenty of options available when it comes to keeping ourselves amused. General things like a good book, laptop to watch movies or to get some writing done, or a Kindle filled with tons of classics to read.


So there you have it, our one month Japan itinerary. Just remember, there is a lot to see in Japan. One month is definitely not enough time to see everything. But it’s still a good amount of time to tick lots of awesome places off your Japan bucket list. Use this guide as a starting point to plan an amazing and memorable visit to the incredible Japan.

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook to follow along with our travels. You can also find us on Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram!

Have you been to Japan before? What was your favourite city? Tell us in the comments!

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

Post updated in March 2018. All prices and facts are correct at time of last post update. 

13 Long Haul Flight Essentials to Stay Entertained

13 Long Haul Flight Essentials to Stay Entertained

If you’re new to the world of travel, you’re about to discover something unfortunate. International flights suck. Whether it’s your first or tenth overseas trip, you’re gonna need some long haul flight essentials.

Some people underestimate how boring, frustrating and plain awful long haul flights are. Not only are you stuck in a cramped and uncomfortable chair that’s way too small for most humans, you also run the risk of being seated near an annoying fellow passenger. I’m talking about those people who kick the seat in front of them, and the ones who think it’s okay to have loud conversations with someone from across the aisle.

Those people are not fun to travel with. So in order to make the best of a potentially more than likely bad situation, you’ll need to be prepared. We’ve come up with 13 of the best long haul flight essentials, no matter your age.

13 Long Haul Flight Essentials to Stay Entertained

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

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1. Read a book

If you love to read, doing so on a long haul flight is one of the best ways to stay entertained. Whether you prefer to go the modern route and bring along your Kindle, filled with an endless amount of ebooks to read.

Or stay true to your classic self and pack your favourite real life book. There are plenty of options out there for the avid readers. A Kindle is the perfect option for someone who wants to travel light, but still have plenty of ways to stay entertained while flying.

2. Watch a movie or TV show

Watching a movie or your favourite TV show is the perfect way to stay entertained on a long flight. Most international airlines provide TV’s on the backs of each seat, for passengers to watch a small collection of movies and TV shows selected by that airline.

But if you would prefer to choose your own movie, bring along your laptop, tablet or even smartphone! Purchase and download a few of your favourite movies or TV shows before you leave for the airport, and you’ll have plenty of entertainment for your flight!

3. Organise your life

Getting some organising done is one of my favourite things to do on a long flight. If you’re traveling to your destination, you could plan out the first couple of days of your trip. If you’re on the way home, you could make a list of the things you need to do to settle back into a normal routine.

4. Edit travel photos

This is a great idea for anyone who is active on social media and documents their travels on a platform such as Instagram. I don’t do this as often as I should, but spending an hour or two on a long haul flights editing photos, is a great way for a blogger or photographer to get things done!

Even if you aren’t active on social media, it’s still nice to have edited photos to look back on. Maybe you could print them out and put them in a photo album, or put some of your favourites in pretty picture frames!

5. Use a gaming console

There are so many gaming consoles available that are perfect travel entertainment ideas. From the new and growingly popular Nintendo Switch, to the more classic Nintendo DS. If you’re more of a PlayStation person, check out the Playstation Portable (PSP) and the Sony PlayStation Vita.

Both are great options for gamers, and will keep you entertained for hours on long flights. Most games can be downloaded digitally these days, which makes it even easier to travel with a portable gaming console.

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6. Play travel sized games

If you’re traveling with children, travel sized board games are one of the best things to do on long flights, and are guaranteed to keep your kids entertained for hours. You can find magnetic game sets with favourites like Checkers and Tic-Tac-Toe, Uno and even travel sized Yahtzee!

There’s definitely something for everyone, both kids and adults alike. Keep a collection in your house and have your kids choose their favourite to pack for the plane!

10. Listen to music

These days, most of us probably just listen to music on our phones. Whether you have an Apple or Android phone, they’re all very similar and do pretty much the same thing. Before leaving for the airport, purchase and download some new music to your phone, and don’t forget to pack your favourite pair of headphones!

Throwback or classic songs are also great for travel. These generally bring back memories from a particular time in your life, which could put you in a better mood and help you to forget that you’re stuck on a plane for hours on end.

11. Write or journal

Writing is another one of my favourite things to do on a long flight. Since I’m a travel blogger, I usually start or continue a new post while on flights or traveling by train. If you have a journal on your phone, tablet or laptop, use this time to do some writing. It’s a great way to combat anxiety if you’re afraid of flying, and can help to calm nerves.

You could also go the old fashioned route and start a pen and paper journal. Purchase a blank or lined notebook or journal and start writing about your day. This is a great way to record your travels, because you can even stick any tickets, boarding passes or travel mementoes inside!

12. Draw or colour in

Colouring books aren’t just for kids anymore – there are actual colouring books made for adults! I had one a while back, and although I didn’t actually use it on any flights, it was super relaxing. There are a ton of different varieties to choose from, for children and adults of all ages.

Note: Don’t forget to bring along some coloured pencils in a convenient travel case, too.

13. If all else fails, sleep (or drink)

I personally can’t sleep on planes. I’ve tried many times, in almost every position. Yes, I was probably that annoying kid who used to kick the back of your seat while you were trying to watch a movie. But as I’ve grown up, I’ve realised it isn’t actually socially acceptable to do this.

So instead, I’ve either accepted defeat and realised I’m never going to sleep anyway, so why bother trying; or drank my way to sleep in free (included) alcoholic beverages. Both options have their perks, but I generally choose the second. Now, I’m not one to promote unnecessary drinking, but if you’re of legal age to do so, and it will help you to forget you’re stuck on a plane for the next 10 hours, why not?


So there you have it, 13 of the best long haul flight essentials to stay entertained. Flying for the first time can be nerve-wracking, so why not combat those nerves with some fun travel entertainment options! As long as it’s travel sized, doesn’t make a lot of noise and is safe to take on an aircraft, you can pack almost anything for some fun flight entertainment. Happy flying!


Did you like the sound of anything on this list? Tell us in the comments below what two of your favourite travel entertainment ideas were! If you are a regular flyer, be sure to tell us what your go-to things to do on long flights are! 

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The Top 20 Best Things About Japan

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan

There are so many reasons to visit Japan. We didn’t know much about the country before visiting for the first time back in March 2017, but after doing a ton of research before we arrived, we knew it would be an incredible adventure. It’s hard to narrow down the best things about Japan, because there are simply so many of them. But once we arrived in the country, we quickly learned what we would miss once we returned home to Australia.

We did so much research before arriving in Japan, reading dozens of blog posts and watching hundreds of videos, but we still weren’t expecting Japan to be as incredible as it was. If you’re looking for your next travel destination, read the top 20 best things about Japan. One of the most beautiful, traditional, modern, unique, safe, friendly and foodie heaven countries in the world!

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan

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1. The people

These 20 reasons to visit Japan aren’t in any particular order, but we feel as though this one should be mentioned first. Japanese locals are definitely the nicest group of people we’ve ever met. At no point during our month long stay in Japan, did we come across a Japanese local that didn’t go out of their way to help us – whether we asked for it or not.


Everybody that we met was incredibly friendly, helpful and a joy to be around. There was more than one occasion during our four weeks in Japan, where we must have looked totally confused and/or lost. We know this because we had people offer their help, purely out of the goodness of their hearts.

One woman stopped us on a street in Osaka, while we were heading to the train station on our way to Hiroshima, to ask if we needed directions. Another young woman noticed that we were struggling with our luggage in Tokyo Station, and pointed us in the direction of an elevator we didn’t know was there.

If you ever need help while in Japan, don’t be afraid to ask. You’ll be shocked to experience such a widely friendly and genuinely kind group of people.

2. The convenience stores

There’s only one word for Japanese convenience stores: epic.

If we could choose one overall, stand-out thing about our time in Japan, it would absolutely be the convenience stores. That probably sounds like an incredibly weird thing to admit, but we don’t have anything like them in Australia. At least not in Adelaide where we are from! So it was quite a fun novelty during our time in Japan.


Japan convenience stores sell a huge variety of snacks, hot and cold drinks, hot food, alcohol, toiletries, cigarettes, everyday household items and so much more. Plus, everything is incredibly cheap. So if you’re ever in a jam and need an emergency umbrella or a quick bite to eat, visit one of Japan’s millions of convenience stores.

3. Vending machines

We can guarantee one thing to anyone who is visiting Japan for the first time: you will never go thirsty. There are literally vending machines on every single corner. Some even have more than one vending machine. In winter, you’ll find a combination of hot and cold beverages. During summer, there are generally only cold drinks available.

In bigger cities such as Tokyo and Osaka, you’ll find even more vending machines almost everywhere you go. Some even sell unique items that you wouldn’t find anywhere else.

Here’s a fun game: every time you come across a vending machine, buy something that you haven’t tried before. Most items are around 100 yen, so it’s a super cheap and fun way to experience Japan’s quirky food and beverages!

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

4. It’s a very safe country

Japan is definitely the safest country we have ever visited. We traveled together, but even if I had traveled alone, I would have felt perfectly safe walking down any street by myself at night. Just like everywhere in the world, there are going to be parts of Japan that aren’t entirely safe. But generally speaking, we both felt very comfortable exploring even the overwhelmingly busy streets of Tokyo.


Even the train stations are incredibly safe, which is great news for solo travelers. If you decide to explore Japan alone, we’re happy to confirm that it is one of the safest places in the world to visit. That being said, it’s always best to have common sense and remain alert, especially when traveling alone.

5. Japan’s train system

One of the things we underestimated most about Japan, is their public transport system. Before arriving in Japan, we knew that it is a very punctual and smoothly run country. Everything and everyone is on time, and there is a system in place for absolutely everything. Not to mention the pure convenience of having almost everything you need, at super easy access.


The public transport system in particular though, runs more smoothly than anything else we’ve ever experienced. Given the fact that we were Westerners in an Asian country, we expected to see little to no English. Well, that wasn’t the case at all! The signage in almost every train station is written in both English and Japanese. This is great for travelers, as it means you won’t need to stop and ask for directions as often as you would somewhere else.

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

Other than the trains being precisely on time (if you’re 10 seconds late to the station, too bad, you’ve missed the train), trains run as frequently as every two minutes in most major Japanese cities during day-time hours. This came in handy many times, when we were a bit hesitant to catch a particular train incase it took us in the wrong direction. We simply made sure we were in the right place, and hopped on the next one a few minutes later!

6. The Shinkansen Bullet Train

This is one of the coolest experiences we have ever had. If you’re not familiar with the Shinkansen Bullet Train, it’s a super high-speed train that takes Japanese locals and international visitors between cities across the country.


We used the Shinkansen five times during our month long visit to Japan, and never got sick of it. It’s essentially an airplane on the ground, and is an awesome way to travel around Japan. We have an entire seperate post about the Shinkansen Bullet Train and the Japan Rail Pass, which you can check out here.

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

7. Heated toilet seats

Funnily enough, this is probably one of the things we miss the most. Being able to sit on a warm toilet seat in the middle of winter, is definitely one of the best things about Japan. Although we only had this experience for one month, it was hard going back to living a life without heated toilet seats when we arrived home to Australia. They’re a game changer, especially during winter. Come on, Australia. Hop on the heated toilet seat bandwagon already!

If for no other reason, please visit Japan to experience their heated toilet seats. You won’t regret it. we promise!

8. Japan’s snacks and Cup of Noodles

Maybe it’s the convenience or the wildly cheap prices, but Japanese snacks are awesome. There is such a huge variety, and half the time, you won’t even know what on Earth you’re eating. But that’s half the fun! Not to mention the Cup of Noodles. You’ll find a huge variety in convenience stores and vending machine across the country, for super low prices.

Towards the end of our trip when we had barely any money left, I ate cup noodles for almost every meal. They were delicious, and I got pretty good at using chopsticks, too.

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

9. Combination of modern and beautifully traditional 

You’ll notice that there is a wonderful combination of incredibly modern and beautifully traditional all over Japan. Even in the capital city of Tokyo, you can be shopping for quirky fashion one minute, and strolling through a beautiful garden up to a shrine or temple the next.

You will always be able to find a relaxing place to spend the morning or afternoon. Not to mention the large array of temples and shrines, for that little bit of beautiful Japanese history and to break up the craziness of Japan’s big cities.

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon TravelsThe Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

10. There are so many things to see and do in Japan

It would literally take an entire lifetime to experience everything there is to see and do in Japan. We visited for one month, and didn’t even scratch the surface. Not only are there hundreds of incredible cities and prefectures to explore, there are tons of small towns and off-the-beaten-path experiences to be had.


We have a seperate post with our month long itinerary, sharing everything we did during our four weeks in Japan. This should give you a good insight into just how huge Japan really is, and how many incredible things there are to see and do all over the country!

11. Japanese cuisine

I’m not a foodie, in fact I’m quite the opposite. I’m a picky eater and always have been, so I tend to stick to what I know. But Russell had a blast trying all sorts of crazy Japanese cuisine. Whether you love meat, seafood or crazy snacks and desserts – Japan will feel like heaven. Dotonbori in Osaka is one of the best places to go to experience some of Japan’s best food, so be sure to add Osaka to your bucket list.


Other than Japanese cuisine, you’ll find a ton of western options available if you’re like me and stick to the basics. From McDonalds to Subway, KFC and plenty more – there’s a wide variety of options to choose from.

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

12. Japan’s love of gaming

Now, although I don’t technically play video games, I do enjoy watching Russell play them. There are certain areas within Japan that are a gaming lovers heaven.

Akihabara in Tokyo is one of the brightest, bustling, exciting and unique places we’ve ever been. There are an endless array of stores to browse until you run out of money or the store itself closes – whichever comes first. So bring along plenty of cash, wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to leave with a suitcase filled with gaming goodies.

13. Cherry Blossom Season (Sakura)

We visited Japan at the beginning of Cherry Blossom season, which begins in April. This is one of the busiest times of the year in Japan, and it’s easy to see why.

For a few weeks at the end of March to middle of April, Cherry Blossom trees (or Sakura) bring beautiful, breathtaking colour to streets and gardens all over Japan. It’s quite an incredible sight, and if you plan your trip perfectly, you might be able to experience the falling petals.


We had unfortunately already returned to Australia when the petals began to fall, but it was still an amazing experience seeing the gradual blossoming of the trees and Sakura petals during our last week or so in Japan.

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

14. Japan’s gardens and parks

Japan has an endless amount of beautiful gardens and parks to explore. Some have a small entry cost and some are entirely free to wander around. Our favourite two gardens were Shukkeien Garden in Hiroshima, and Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden in Tokyo. These are both incredible gardens, and although they cost around 300 yen to enter, we definitely think it’s worth the price.

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

15. The shopping in Japan

No matter what your interests are, there is something for everyone in Japan. Tokyo’s Akihabara is the gaming hub of Japan. Takeshita Street in Harajuku is perfect for experiencing Tokyo’s quirky fashion scene. Osaka’s Dotonbori is absolutely insane, and you’ll be bumping shoulders with people no matter which time of day you go (but the shopping is totally worth it).

Japan was one of the best shopping experiences I’ve ever had. There’s something for everyone, and if I didn’t run out of money, I would have definitely needed a second suitcase. Even Russell who isn’t normally one for shopping, had a blast browsing the stores and scoring some fun clothes!

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

16. How easy it is to buy alcohol

We both love alcohol. Not in any negative way. We don’t drink it all day, every day. But we do appreciate a good glass of wine or Scotch. Not only is alcohol in Japan incredibly cheap, it’s also legal to consume on the streets. You can bet your bottom dollar we took full advantage of this.

We live in Australia, where takeaway alcohol can only be purchased from a bottle shop, so it was pretty fun buying Vodka from a convenience store and strolling around the streets of Tokyo drinking it. Honestly, that’s probably the second reason we miss Japan so much!

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

17. Japan’s convenience and punctuality 

If you thought the fact that there’s a vending machine on every corner is convenient, wait until you experience things like using an elevator. Other than the trains running precisely on time and being able to drink alcohol while exploring the streets of Japan, there is even a system in place for using an elevator.


In all cities except Osaka, it’s customary for people to stand on the left side of the elevator, leaving the right side free for people who want to walk up or down. This was so strange to us, but it was incredibly helpful and convenient. I even find myself getting annoyed at people in Australia who don’t do this.

18. Hiroshima

We eel the need to mention Hiroshima separately, because we adored it that much. For a city with such a devastating history, it’s one of the most beautiful and peaceful places we’ve ever visited.


From the beautiful Hiroshima Peace Park and Memorial to the incredible Shukkeien Garden, there are plenty of things to see and do. We spent two full days in Hiroshima, and to this day, we still wish we stayed longer. The people are some of the kindest we’ve ever met, the streets are 100% clear of any rubbish and it’s definitely one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been.

If you get the chance, please visit Hiroshima and see for yourself, just how wonderful the city truly is.

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

19. Japan’s countryside

We spent a couple of days in Nagano, which is a town in the Northern Japan Alps. We visited at the end of the snow season, which is the main reason we decided to detour north on our way to Tokyo, and we’re so glad we did! Japan’s countryside is absolutely stunning, and although we can only share our experience about a snow covered countryside, we’re almost positive it’s just as beautiful during the rest of the year.

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

20. The options are endless

There are so many things to see and do in Japan. Whatever your interests are, whether you would prefer to spend the entire time shopping, or visiting as many shrines and temples as you can, the sky is the limit. Since it’s impossible to cross off everything from your Japan bucket list, that gives you the perfect excuse to go back again and again!


We hope you found this post on the best things about Japan helpful. There is so much to love about Japan. It’s an amazing country with incredible people and a ton of things to see and do.

Have you visited Japan before? Tell us in the comments below what you think are the best reasons to visit Japan! We would love to hear your thoughts. 

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook to follow along with our travels. You can also find us on PinterestTwitter and Instagram!

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

Cost of Travel Around Australia For First Time Visitors

Cost of Travel Around Australia For First Time Visitors

Australia may be one of the most beautiful countries in the world (in my very un-biased opinion), but the cost of travel around Australia can be pretty high. If you’re planning a trip here, you’ll have to save quite a bit for your stay. That being said, visiting Australia can be done on a budget. There are some ways around all of the high costs, and if you’re a regular budget traveler, it won’t be too difficult.

I’ve created this guide with the cost of every day items in Australia. Whether you’re staying for one week, four weeks or even an entire year, you will definitely need to know this information before arriving.

Are you a wine drinker like I am? Keep reading to find the best places to score a decently priced bottle of white or red. Heading off on a road trip? I’ll tell you where to find some cheap, every day staple items for life on the road. You’ll also find the rough costs for popular modes of transport throughout Australia.

The Cost of Travel Around Australia: Food, Alcohol, Data, Transport & More

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

Alcohol

Ahh alcohol, my favourite topic. Well, one of. That doesn’t make me sound too good does it?

I’m just gonna put this out there, and say that alcohol in Australia is expensive. Whether you purchase from a takeaway bottle shop or indulge in a few drinks at the local pub or restaurant, there is a huge tax on alcohol Australia wide, so prepare to pay up.

That being said, there are some cheaper option, you just have to be willing to sacrifice that top notch, high quality taste. This is probably shameful to admit, but I’m not too fussed about the taste. As long as it gets me tipsy, I’m happy! I drink $8 litre bottles of white wine, and they taste good to me.


Cask wine, also known as goon, is a budget traveler’s best friend. Throughout Australia (except certain areas, but more on that soon) you can purchase 4 litre or 5 litre boxes of wine for under $20 each. Bottle shops have sales quite often where you can get three 5 litre casks for around $35. That’s fifteen litres of wine for less than $40. Yeah, us Australian’s love our alcohol.

We are known for our wine here in Australia. There are an endless amount of vineyards and wineries all over the country, and it’s a wonder the entire population (who are over 18 years of age, of course) isn’t always drunk.

I live in South Australia, which is home to quite a few wine regions. From the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek, Eden Valley, Coonawarra and Clare Valley; not to mention various smaller wineries throughout the Adelaide Hills.


Here’s a quick guide with some general alcohol prices both from a bottle shop and a restaurant or pub and club.

Cost of Alcohol in Australia – Bottle Shop

Wine (White, Red & Sparkling) – From $3+ (average around $10 a bottle)
Beer (6 pack) – From $12 to $30
Beer (Carton) – From $30 to $70
Beer (Pint/Bottle/Can) – From $4 to $10
Vodka & Gin – 700ml bottle between $28 and $50
Bourbon – 700ml bottle between $40 and $60
Malt & Blended Whisky – 700ml bottle between $30 and $200
Premixed Light & Dark Spirits (Single Bottle/Can) – From $5 to $10
Premixed Light & Dark Spirits (4 & 6 Packs) – From $15 to $30
Cask Wine – Between $10 and $15 for a 4L or 5L box

Cost of Alcohol in Australia – Restaurant/Pub/Club

Wine (White, Red & Sparkling) – From $5+ (average around $7 a glass)
Beer (6 pack) – N/A
Beer (Carton) – N/A
Beer (Pint/Bottle/Can) – Average around $8 to $10
Vodka & Gin – Cocktails average between $8 to $10
Bourbon – Average between $8 and $10
Malt & Blended Whisky – Average between $8 to $15
Premixed Light & Dark Spirits (Single Bottle/Can) – Average between $10 to $15
Premixed Light & Dark Spirits (4 & 6 Packs) – N/A
Cask Wine – Around $5 a glass (house wine)

Note: These prices are a rough guide. The cost will vary between cities and the particular bottle shop, restaurant, pub, club or bar that you visit. As a general rule, budget a bit more for alcohol if that’s what you are happy to spend money on. We are a lot more expensive than most of the world.

Note for anyone visiting the Northern Territory

Alcohol is very heavily restricted in Alice Springs. Cask wine (goon) isn’t available, and on average everything is more expensive than what you’d pay in the rest of the country. You are required to have a valid identification card scanned at the time of purchase, and alcohol can only be bought once per day. Keep this in mind if you’re traveling through rural Northern Territory, or making your way to Uluru (where alcohol is about ten times more expensive than Alice Springs).

Cost of Travel Around Australia For First Time Visitors | Rhiannon Travels

Food: Groceries and Staple Items

If you’re a budget traveler, it is possible to purchase groceries without spending hundreds of dollars. There are two major shopping brands throughout the country: Coles and Woolworths. Both are great in their own way, but we are loyal to Coles. Each company also has a loyalty card, which allows you to bank up points which can then be converted into dollars. This means that once you’ve collected enough points, you’ll essentially be able to buy groceries for free.


Along with Coles and Woolworths, there are local supermarkets in each individual city around Australia. These can sometimes be a bit more expensive than the bigger chains, so keep that in mind. Here are some of the costs of every day staples, based on a home-brand Coles or Woolworths shop.

Milk – A 2L home-brand carton of milk costs around $2. Of course you can purchase better quality milk for up to $5 for a 2L carton. We also have a good variety of soy and almond milks.

Bread – I buy a $2 loaf of home-brand multigrain bread from Coles. I’ve been buying the same bread for years, have toast every morning for breakfast, and I still look forward to it each day!

Fruits & Vegetables – The cost of fruit and vegetables in Australia depends on the time of year. Summer in Australia is between December and February, so if you love your summer fruits, it’s best to visit during the summer months. Off season fruit can be pretty expensive in Australia. I had a specific request to mention the cost of avocados. The last time I purchased avocados, they were two for $5.

Cashews, Peanuts & Other Nuts – You can purchase supermarket brand bags of nuts from around $5. If you’re a regular eater, buy the bigger bags as opposed to smaller snack bags that you can find in service stations or bottle shops. These will obviously last longer and are much better value for money.

Snacks – Chocolate, Potato Chips etc – There are always great deals on snacks, no matter where you shop. If one supermarket doesn’t have something for a good price, it’s almost a guarantee their competitor will. So shop around, especially if you’re heading out on a road trip. Generally you can score a share size bag of chips for a couple of dollars, and a block of chocolate for around $3. Again, shop around especially if you’re buying in bulk.

Meat – It’s hard to compare the cost of meat to other countries, because I’m not much of a meat eater. When it comes to chicken, we normally purchase a pack of pack of two (chicken breasts) for around AUD $7. A pack of four chicken breasts is usually around $11. Red meat can cost anywhere from $5 upwards, but it depends on your preferences and which type of meat you enjoy.

Coffee – I had my first ever cup of coffee back in March at a Starbucks in Osaka, Japan. From that moment, I was hooked. Don’t ask why it took me 25 years to start drinking coffee, but I’m definitely making up for it now. Australia is well-known for having incredible coffee. No matter which supermarket you decide to shop at, you’ll find a huge range of instant coffee. Some are cheap and nasty, and some are super expensive but totally worth it. My favourite instant coffee is Moccona.


You can purchase a jar or tin in various sizes of instant coffee for anywhere between $8 and $30. It all depends on how picky you are, and whether or not you’re willing to budget when it comes to your morning (and mid morning, late morning, then early afternoon….) cup of coffee.

Cost of Travel Around Australia For First Time Visitors | Rhiannon Travels

Food: Restaurants, Cafes, Coffee Shops

No matter which city you visit, you can easily come across some mid-range restaurants and cafes for a quick bite to eat. All it takes is a bit of Google searching to find one near you. On average, you can get a pub meal (pizza, schnitzel, burger and salad etc) for anywhere between $10 and $30, which is the middle of the range price. Side meals such as a bowl of chips or wedges are generally between $5 and $8.


If you’re willing to spend a bit more, there are tons of high class and fancier restaurants around where you’ll more than likely pay an arm and a leg for the same meal you would find in a middle range restaurant. The quality will probably be better, but if you’re looking for budget friendly dining, stick to the meals that don’t cost an entire month’s rent.

Fish and Chip Shops

In Australia you will come across an abundance of places called fish and chip shops. These are especially popular in beachside towns, but can also be found throughout major cities and suburbs. This is the perfect option for someone on a budget, as you will get quite a large serving of fresh, hot chips (just think fries, but bigger) for under $10. You can also get burgers, fish and chicken for a very reasonable price.


Fish and chip shops (also known as chicken shops) are popular for family gatherings, as it’s a cheap but delicious take away option.

Coffee Shops and Cafe’s

Coffee is very popular and extremely delicious here in Australia. There are tons of coffee shops around, and the price will vary depending on the location. On average, though, you’re looking at between $3 and $5 for a takeaway cup of coffee. If you were to visit a more tourist heavy location such as the Gold Coast in Queensland, you might have to pay a little bit more than you would in the suburbs of Melbourne.


A lot of coffee shops – especially big chain ones – also sell lunch and light snacks. These are probably going to be more expensive than what you would pay at a supermarket, but for convenience and laziness, it’s generally worth it.

Bus, Tram & Train Travel in Australia

Once you’re in Australia, traveling around cities and from state to state is pretty easy. There are always awesome domestic flight deals, it’s just a matter of keeping an eye out for them! However, for inter-city travel, public transport is the best way to go (in most states). Keep reading for more information about the bus, train and tram system in Australia, and which states have the most reliable public transport system.

Adelaide (Adelaide Metro)

If you plan to stay in Adelaide for longer than a day, and will be using public transport as your means of getting around the city, I recommend purchasing a Metro Card. These cost $5 and will get you cheaper fares than a regular ticket. Using the Adelaide Metro is pretty pricey, with a regular single-trip peak hour ticket costing between $3 and $5. If you have a Metro Card, though, you’ll only need to pay between $2 and $3.

Melbourne (Public Transport Victoria)

Melbourne has a similar system to Adelaide with their myki card. You can purchase one of these for around $6, which works the same way as an Adelaide Metro Card. If you’re looking for free transport, keep an eye out for the Free Tram Zone. This is a service that allows passengers to travel around Melbourne’s general CBD for free. This tram takes you to a lot of the major sights and attractions throughout Melbourne’s CBD, which is an awesome (and free) way to see the city.

Sydney

If you plan to spend some time in Sydney’s CBD, get yourself an Opal Card. This will allow you to travel around the city a lot easier (much like using Adelaide’s Metro Card or Melbourne’s myki card). Adult Opal Card fares depend on the distance you travel and type of transport you choose, but will generally cost between $2 and $8.50.

Perth (Transperth)

Get yourself a SmartRider Card if you’re going to spend some time exploring Perth. Again, very similar to other states’ public transport cards, it will get you around the city a bit cheaper. The initial cost of a SmartRider card is a little more expensive at $10, but it’s still something to consider if you plan to spend some time exploring the CBD.

Queensland (TransLink)

Get yourself a Go Explore Card if you plan to spend time on the Gold Coast. For only $10 per day ($5 for children), you will get unlimited bus and tram travel around the Gold Coast. This is an awesome option for travelers and tourists, as the Go Explore Card will take you to the best Gold Coast destinations.


Note: All prices are in Australian Dollars. If you’re reading this and thinking wow, that sounds super expensive you’re right. Public transport in Australia is pretty pricey, but in some states it’s the most convenient way to travel around major cities. Click here to convert these prices into your own currency, for a better understanding on pricing.

Cost of Travel Around Australia For First Time Visitors | Rhiannon Travels

Uber and Taxi (Best for Airport Transfer)

Honestly, unless you’re desperate, I would avoid using a Taxi. They’re very overpriced, and you’re better off using Uber if you choose not to catch public transport. Uber will cost almost half the price of a taxi, and is usually going to be much more reliable. If you have an early or late flight, book an Uber to take you to the airport. Depending on where your hotel is, an Uber will rarely set you back any more than $50. I can’t say the same for a Taxi, however.

Domestic Flights to and From Australia

Once you arrive in Australia, flying between states is generally pretty easy and can be cheap, depending on the time of year.
For example, flying one-way from Melbourne to Sydney in the middle of Australia’s summer season (December through to February) can cost around AUD $100 per person with Virgin Australia.


However, an off-season flight in June from Sydney to Brisbane, will generally cost around AUD $90. It’s pretty easy to score domestic Australia flight deals, though. Keep an eye out for some sales on Webjet. They’re a great source for last minute, spontaneous trips once you’re in Australia.

[bctt tweet=”Keep an eye out for some great deals when it comes to domestic flights within Australia! The most convenient and fastest way to travel around the country!” username=”rhiannontravels”]

Car Hire in Australia

We recently hired a car for our upcoming trip to Queensland in October. For an SUV over 10 days, it cost us around $400. That price included basic insurance and a pretty sweet ride. If you’re interested in hiring a car but are a bit nervous about driving in Australia, consider purchasing comprehensive car insurance. This can cost anywhere from $100 extra on top of the cost of the car hire itself, depending on the type of cover you choose. But it’s definitely worth it for that extra piece of mind.

There are a few car hire companies in Australia to choose from: Avis, Thrifty (we hired our car with these guys), Hertz and Budget. You can also use a comparison website like VroomVroomVroom or DriveNow to compare prices amongst all companies. This is a good way to find the best deal, and find a car that works for you.


Note: Remember that in Australia, we drive on the left hand side of the road. While living in Alice Springs, I witnessed someone casually driving on the right hand side of the road, through the centre of town, as if it were no-one’s business. Don’t be that person, and please drive on the correct side!

[bctt tweet=”Thinking of hiring a car for your trip around Australia? Here are some tips and information! ” username=”rhiannontravels”]

Cost of Petrol in Australia

Petrol (or gas) prices vary, depending on the time of year and whether there’s a long weekend or holiday. It also depends on where you are located, as the more rurally you travel, the more expensive petrol will be. On a good day, you can find petrol for around $1.25 a litre. On a bad day, it can be anywhere up to $1.50 a litre. Most cars use unleaded petrol, which is the cheapest option. If you’re hiring a car, make sure you check the type of petrol that the car uses, before filling up.

Affordable Clothing in Australia

Of course everyone has different tastes when it comes to clothing and fashion. But if you’re a budget traveler, the best place to go is Kmart. I’ll be honest, Kmart is my favourite store. I shop there for almost everything, and if Russell and I ever buy our own house, I’m going to decorate the crap out of it in Kmart homewares.


Their clothes are also very decently priced and fairly good quality. They won’t last forever, but they will get you through your stay in Australia at the very least. Essentials like shoes, underwear, basic shirts and pants will generally cost less than $5. Kmart is the perfect one-stop-shop for almost everything you need. There are stores Australia wide, so jump on their website to find one near you.

Medicine, Sunscreen and Toiletries

Given that Australia is a very beach heavy country with a lot of sunshine and outdoor activities, sunscreen is important. If you are planning to spend any amount of time outside, especially during summer, be sure to purchase a high quality SPF 50 sunscreen. If you plan to stay for an extended period of time, purchase a larger bottle of sunscreen. You’ll save more money compared to purchasing multiple smaller tubes.

Cost of Travel Around Australia For First Time Visitors | Rhiannon Travels

Pain killers are another common query, especially for people prone to headaches. I personally suffer from quite a few headaches during summer, so if this sounds like you, keep reading. There are a couple of major pain killer brands in Australia, which are Nurofen and Panadol. Chemist Warehouse is great for buying in bulk, where you can find 96 packs for under $20.


If you suffer from hay fever, Chemist Warehouse is also a great places to go for antihistamines. Again, you can purchase these in bulk for under $30. That may seem like a lot of money, but if you suffer regularly from hay fever, you’ll happily pay the $26 for an 80 pack of those bad boys. Anything to stop the sneezing and itchy eyes.

Phone Data & Wifi

The best option for phone data while in Australia, is to purchase a prepaid SIM card. This will obviously require your phone to be unlocked, in order for the international SIM card to work. Optus have a $40 prepaid SIM card, which gives you 7GB of data and unlimited standard national calls and texts within Australia. You’ll also have unlimited international calls from Australia to: mainland China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, UK and the United States.


Telstra is another big brand phone company in Australia, and you can purchase a $50 prepaid SIM card that will give you 7.5GB of data, unlimited calls and texts within Australia, and unlimited international calls.


Australia may be expensive, but it’s a country that I think everybody should visit at least once. With photo opportunities at every turn, I can guarantee you won’t want to leave. I hope you found this guide useful, and hopefully I’ve answered some of your questions about the cost of travel around Australia. If I’ve missed something though, don’t forget you can reach out to me by email or head over to Facebook and send me a message.

Related: Click here to read our Australia archives

Tell me in the comments below: Have you visited Australia before? Were you surprised at the cost of certain things and places? I’d love to know your thoughts!  

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Cost of Travel Around Australia For First Time Visitors | Rhiannon Travels Cost of Travel Around Australia For First Time Visitors | Rhiannon Travels

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

30 Things to Know About Australia Before Visiting

30 Things to Know About Australia Before Visiting

Given that we were both born and raised in Australia, we feel as though we’re pretty qualified to share these things to know about Australia before visiting. There is so much to love about this beautiful country. From the wide open roads that are perfect for road-trips, to the thousands of incredible beaches with breathtaking sunsets and friendly locals.

If you’re reading this post, you’re probably planning to do some travelling around Australia. If so, you’ve come to the perfect place. We’re about to share some of the most important things a first time visitor to Australia should know, before jetting off on what will probably be one of the biggest adventures of your life! (Mainly because we’re soooooo far away from most countries. Sorry about that).

Although Australia is one of the most amazing countries in the world (we’re not biased though, promise…) there are some things that some people might not be aware of.

For example: Did you know that crocodiles can be found in almost the entire top half of Australia? So if you’re planning to visit the Northern Territory, Western Australia or Northern Queensland – be careful!

30 Things to Know About Australia Before Visiting

There is a lot that people aren’t aware of when it comes to traveling to Australia and surviving while you’re here. We’re a very large, densely outback country, so if you plan to spend an extended period of time here, you’ll need to be prepared.

Here are some of the most important things to know, before visiting Australia for the first time.

30 Things to Know About Australia Before Visiting | Rhiannon Travels

Travel & Transport

The cost of getting to and from Australia and how long the journey takes, are probably two of the most commonly asked questions. Here is everything you need to know when it comes to travel and transport within Australia.

Travel time to and from Australia

The length of time it takes to travel to and from Australia varies, depending on where you’re visiting from.

Los Angeles to Melbourne – 14 hours one way (non stop)
New Zealand to Melbourne – between 3 and 4 hours one way
London to Melbourne – 22 hours one way
Canada to Melbourne – 18 hours

These are purely estimates, and are based on flying into the East Coast states of Australia. So make sure you’ve got a great pair of headphones, a good book or Kindle and plenty of entertainment – you’re gonna need it for the journey here!

Cost of flying to Australia

Similar to the travel time, the cost of flying to Australia varies depending on where you’re traveling from. Prices can start from anywhere between $150 from New Zealand to $1,800 from London.

Like the rest of the world, the cost of traveling to Australia will vary based on the time of year and where you’re flying from. Be sure to book as early as possible, for a better chance of scoring a great deal.

Visit Webjet to search and compare the price of flying to Australia from your nearest airport.

How big is Australia?

You’ve more than likely seen a map of Australia before. But have you noticed just how big we actually are?

Australia is the sixth largest country in the world, and is almost as big as the United States. Twenty percent of Australia’s land mass is desert outback, so setting off on an epic Australian road trip might sound like fun, but it’s certainly a big task. Prepare to see tons of red sand, and a whole lot of nothing during your travels.

30 Things to Know About Australia Before Visiting | Rhiannon Travels

Public Transport

Unfortunately, one of the worst things about Australia is our public transport system.

In most states across the country, public transport isn’t reliable nor anything to brag about. You’re much better off catching an Uber to get where you need to be. Uber is relatively well priced in Australia. Major cities might be a little more expensive, but generally speaking, it’s the best way to get around.

That being said, if you’re planning to spend an extended period of time in Australia (visiting multiple cities over a few weeks or more) consider hiring a car. You’ll have a lot more freedom, not to mention the convenience when it comes to luggage. There are tons of hire car companies in Australia, but on our visit to Queensland in October 2017, we hired a car for 12 days with Thrifty. They were great, and we had no issues with our car. We were even given a free upgrade, which was a nice little surprise!

Road trips are the best way to explore

Australia is one of the best countries in the world for a road trip. You’ll see far more than you would traveling by air, and will have the freedom to travel and explore at your own pace.

Heading off the beaten track and discovering some of Australia’s incredible hidden gems is all part of the fun on an Australian road trip. Consider hiring a camper van, because it’s definitely one of the best ways to explore as much of Australia as possible.


There are lots of RV and camper van companies in Australia that hire out all sorts of road trip vehicles. Check out Britz or Apollo for a wide range of camper vans that are available for hire. Campervan Finder or VroomVroomVroom are also great for comparing prices across all companies.

Choose domestic flights for fast paced travel

If you’re short on time and money, flying domestically within Australia is the best option. There are always great deals on Australian domestic flights, especially if you book ahead.

If you’re not keen on braving the Australian outback, flying from state to state is the best way to go. Most flights are under four hours, with the exception of west coast (Perth) to east coast (Melbourne) flights, which can be up to four hours each way.

30 Things to Know About Australia Before Visiting | Rhiannon Travels

Seasons & Climate

If you’re from a country that doesn’t really have a proper summer, our weather will probably shock you.

Our summers can (and will) be disgustingly hot, especially if you’re visiting the top half of Australia. So here is everything you need to know when it comes to the seasons and climate in Australia.

Our seasons are opposite to the northern hemisphere

If you live in the northern hemisphere, keep in mind that our seasons are the opposite to yours. So when you’re stuck with snow up to your knee caps during winter, we’re sweating and sleeping under the air conditioner.

These are the four major seasons in Australia:
Summer – December, January and February
Autumn (Fall) – March, April and May
Winter – June, July and August
Spring – September, October and November

So if you enjoy waking up on Christmas morning with snow falling, rugged up in a cosy blanket – we wouldn’t recommend visiting Australia during December.

The Northern Territory is always going to be hotter

If you plan to visit the top half of Australia, keep in mind that it’s always going to hotter than the rest of Australia, all year round. Except highs of over 40 degrees celsius (over 100 fahrenheit) in the summer, and late 20’s to mid 30’s for the rest of the year.


We lived in Alice Springs for almost a year back in 2016 and 2017, and definitely struggled during summer. If you choose to visit the Northern Territory during the hottest months of the year, be prepared for some scorching hot days.

30 Things to Know About Australia Before Visiting | Rhiannon Travels

Travel during the cooler months for less crowds

Summer is the busiest time to visit Australia.

Everyone loves the thought of relaxing on our beautiful beaches, soaking in the sunshine. But did you want to know a secret? Our beaches are still here during the cooler months of the year, and will be a lot less busy. So if you’re hoping for a more relaxing and quiet Australian adventure, we recommend booking your visit between April and August.

That being said, if you hope to actually participate in some of Australia’s summer activities and don’t mind the crowds, November through to February are the best times to visit. Tourist attractions and theme parks will be a lot busier, but the overall atmosphere will make up for that.

Costs and Currency

Potential visitors to Australia seem to have a lot of questions about the cost of everyday items in Australia. So much so that we’ve actually published an entire post all about the cost of travel around Australia.

Here is a brief recap about the most important tips when it comes to the costs and currency in Australia.

Australia is expensive

Unless this is the first article about Australia that you’re reading, you probably already know that Australia is an expensive country to visit. Trust us, we hate to admit it just as much as you hate to read it. There’s nothing that can really be done about it, either. Unless you’re a fantastic budget shopper.


Alcohol and cigarettes are generally the biggest expense, if you’re into that sort of thing. A carton of beer can cost anywhere up to AUD $70, and a bottle of spirits generally starts at around $30. Our advice is to learn to love wine. I almost exclusively drink wine and not much else, purely because of how cheap it is.

Australia can be done on a budget, though

With all of that being said, it is possible to travel around Australia on a budget. Keep an eye out for cheap flights and any package deals with hotels included, and fly during off-peak season.

For the cheapest alcohol, head to a big liquor chain like First Choice or Dan Murphy’s for great weekly deals.

Food can be fairly cheap if you shop at the big brand supermarkets like Coles and Woolworths. Stick to their home brand products, and you can definitely survive on a budget. If you’re doing an Australian road trip, buy essentials like water and snacks in bulk at Coles or Woolworths so you don’t need to keep repurchasing them every couple of days.

The currency in Australia is the Australian Dollar

Australia’s currency is the Australian Dollar (AUD).

Keep an eye on the exchange rate, and if you already have a trip booked, exchange some cash each time the dollar is decent. This is the best way to make sure you’re getting good value for money and aren’t losing too much in the exchange rate.

What about tipping?

We’re about to share some pretty awesome news.

Tipping isn’t required in Australia.

You won’t need to tip for any service you receive, whether that’s in a restaurant, hotel, Uber or Taxi. The hourly rate at most companies is very decent, so employees can rely solely on their weekly wage, therefore tipping isn’t required!

Alcohol, Food & Shopping

You’ve made it to the 3 most important topics: alcohol, food and shopping – three of my favourite things!

Australia is one of the best places in the world for wine, so we suggest developing a love for fermented grapes before you arrive. South Australia and Western Australia are known for their beautiful vineyards, so prepare to indulge.

30 Things to Know About Australia Before Visiting | Rhiannon Travels

Australia’s liquor laws are very strict

The legal drinking age in Australia is 18 years old.

In all states across Australia, you’ll be asked for ID if you look under 25 years old. If you don’t have the acceptable form of ID, you will not be served.

An acceptable international form of ID can be a Passport or international drivers license (Northern Territory, New South Wales and Queensland only). Both of these need to have a photo and your date of birth, be valid, in date and of course, real.


If you plan to purchase alcohol or cigarettes while you’re in Australia, make life easy for everyone and take your Passport with you everywhere you go.

If you’re visiting the Northern Territory, New South Wales or Queensland, a valid international drivers license will be accepted.

The Northern Territory has much stricter liquor laws

Since we lived in Alice Springs for 8 months, we learned a lot about the crazy differences between living in a big city and living in the Australian Outback. And trust us, it doesn’t get more Australian Outback than Alice Springs.

Due to come restrictions on local members of the Northern Territory community, there are a few stricter liquor laws put in place.
1) Cask wine (goon) is a restricted product and is therefore very rarely sold, and if it is sold, there are limits on how much you can purchase.
2) Fortified wine (port or tawny) is only available after 6pm (in most places( and is limited to one bottle per person, per day.
3) As well as needing to show an acceptable and valid proof of age card if you look under 25, each person purchasing alcohol is required to have their ID scanned. This is a procedure put in place to make sure the people who are restricted and cannot purchase alcohol, aren’t slipping through the cracks and doing so anyway.

Basically, if you are visiting the Northern Territory, always have your acceptable and valid ID with you.

30 Things to Know About Australia Before Visiting | Rhiannon Travels

Kmart is great for cheap essentials

Kmart is the best, and is perfect for almost everything you could need – other than food. If you’re moving to Australia for a semi-extended period of time and need house supplies, Kmart has tons at extremely affordable prices. You’ll also find clothes for every member of the family (including your pets!), shoes, underwear, toys, books and more.

There are Kmart locations all over Australia, so do a quick Google search to find one nearby.

Australia has a wide range of food options

Australia is great for a wide range of cuisines and food choices. Whether you’re a picky eater, meat lover, seafood fan or vegan – there’s something for everyone.

Most of the major cities in Australia have a seemingly endless amount of international cuisines. Either do a quick Google search for the city you’re visiting, or ask around for some insider tips. Locals generally have a favourite restaurant, so have a chat to a nice looking Australian for the low down!

Our snacks are delicious

We’re probably definitely biased, but we truly believe that Australia has some of the best snacks in the world. 

Have you ever heard of Tim Tams, Fruchocs or Barbecue Shapes? Well those are some of our most delicious snacks, and what Australians who move abroad generally miss the most.

Do yourself a favour and save some space in your luggage for snacks. Your friends and family back home will love you for it.

Things to see & do in Australia

There are so many things to do in Australia. Whether you’re a dedicated wine drinker, adventurous thrill seeker, museum appreciator or a super outdoorsy person, there’s something for everyone.

Here are just a few examples of things to see and do in Australia.

Queensland is perfect for theme park fans

Queensland’s Gold Coast is home to most of Australia’s major theme parks. It’s basically a thrill seeker’s heaven and should definitely be included on your itinerary.

There are 5 large theme parks on the Gold Coast: Movie World, Dreamworld, Wet n Wild, White Water World and Sea World.

We suggest spending a week doing all of them, especially if you haven’t visited Australia before. Movie World and WetnWild are our favourites!

30 Things to Know About Australia Before Visiting | Rhiannon Travels

Wine tasting in South Australia

South Australia is home to some of the best wineries in Australia. We both work in the liquor industry, so we’ve learnt a lot about South Australian wines, and have come to familiarise ourselves with some of the best.

Spend a day exploring the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, the Adelaide Hills or Clare Valley, and enjoy a few delicious glasses of wine!

Australia has some of the world’s best beaches

Given that Australia is its own continent, the entire country is surrounded by water. This basically means that no matter which major capital city you visit, you’re always going to be super close to the beach.

From Bondi Beach in Sydney to the almost endless amount of beautiful beaches up and down the coast of Queensland, there’s no shortage of incredible Australian coastline to admire.


Some of our favourite beaches are Mooloolaba Beach and Noosa Beach on the Sunshine Coast and Semaphore Beach and Glenelg Beach in our home city of Adelaide.

30 Things to Know About Australia Before Visiting | Rhiannon Travels

Other things you should know

Australians do indeed talk weirdly

Us Aussies definitely do have a different version of the English language.

Our very cliche way of talking can confuse tourists and visitors to Australia. Sorry about that. We’re normal, promise. Don’t worry though, if you stay for long enough, you’ll be saying no worries and calling everybody mate along with the rest of us.

You’ll also own more pairs of thongs (the flip flops, not underwear) than you ever thought you would. You’ll be buying expensive stubbies (bottles) of beer and throwing them back late in the arvo (afternoon). You will also be spewin’ (devastated) if you miss out on that delicious brekkie (breakfast).

You’ll get the hang of our lingo eventually.

Internet kinda sucks here

Internet in Australia sucks. It’s slow, expensive and extremely frustrating. If you choose not to purchase a sim card to use for data while you’re in Australia, there are plenty of places that offer free wifi – like McDonalds.

If you’d prefer more freedom and don’t want to rely on free wifi, we suggest purchasing a pre paid sim card or look into a portable wifi device.

We actually do call everyone ‘mate’

It’s not a myth – us Australians really do call each other (and everyone else) mate. 

Even I – a female – call almost every male customer mate. It’s become a habit and sometimes I don’t even notice that I’m doing it. If you spend long enough in Australia, you’ll be calling every second person mate as well.

Aussies are pretty chill and friendly

Other than the odd exception to this rule, generally speaking, Australians are a pretty laid back bunch of people. As I’m sure you picked up on with the whole we call everybody mate thing.

You might come across the occasional person who hasn’t had their morning chill pill, but most of the time we’re super approachable! If you’re ever stuck and need help with something, either go into a store and ask a sales assistant, or ask someone who is walking by.

It’s rare that someone will just ignore you or be a downright asshole. But if they are, simply say ‘no worries mate’ and walk away!

30 Things to Know About Australia Before Visiting | Rhiannon Travels

If you’re traveling solo, keep your wits about you

Australia isn’t an unsafe country per say, but we’re definitely not crime free.

If you’re traveling alone, have some common sense and a basic knowledge of street smarts. There are stupid, heartless people everywhere in the world, so regardless of where you’re traveling, it’s best to remain vigilant.


Important Tip: If you do get into any trouble or need Police, Ambulance or Fire assistance, the emergency phone number in Australia is 000. If anything seems strange or out of the ordinary, or someone is making you feel uncomfortable, always reach out to a Police officer immediately.

Yep, we do have a lot of dangerous animals & insects

Unfortunately it’s true. Australia is home to a ton of dangerous animals and insects. We’ll refrain from sharing any super scary statistics, because we’re trying to get you guys to actually visit Australia. Not making you hide in the corner, repeating the phrase ‘I will never go there, I will never go there’. 

Basically, if you’re visiting Australia during summer, keep an eye out for snakes (brown in particular, but avoid them all) and black spiders. They love this country, and roam free despite everyone calling the snake catcher or slamming a shoe down on those pesky spiders.

We guarantee you won’t want to leave

Sure, we’re biased. That fact has been established many times. But Australia is still a pretty incredible country.

No matter how long you stay, you’ll always wish you stayed just that little bit longer. If your budget allows, definitely try and stick around for as long as possible. You’ll see a lot more and will really get the chance to appreciate Australia for the magnificent beast that it is.


Well, there you have it. Our guide with 30 things to know about Australia before visiting. It might be expensive, and we do talk funny sometimes, but it’s definitely a place that everyone should visit at least once.

From the endless amount of beaches, to the amazing wineries, bustling city centres and the impressive Australian outback. There’s something for everyone in Australia, and we’re both so thankful to call this incredible country our home.

No matter how far we travel, we will always appreciate and look forward to coming home.

I hope you found our list of things to know about Australia before visiting, somewhat useful. Have you visited Australia before? What did you like best? Tell us in the comments below!

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook to follow along with our travels. You can also find us on PinterestTwitter and Instagram!

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means, if you click certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission. I will always only share my 100% honest opinion, and will never endorse a company or product I would not use myself.

Two Days at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea

Two Days at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea

We’re both huge theme park and Disney fans. So as soon as we discovered that there is a Disneyland Resort in Japan, it instantly went straight to the top of our bucket list. Japan is home to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. DisneySea is the most unique Disney park in the world, and is absolutely a must-visit during your stay!

Before visiting Japan, we had only been to California’s Disney Parks – Disneyland and California Adventure Park. Although we’ve both visited these parks multiple times, we unfortunately hadn’t widened our Disney horizons beyond Anaheim. That’s why we decided to spend a day at each of Tokyo’s Disney parks, starting with DisneySea!

Two Days at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

Getting to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea

Japan’s train system is world class, meaning traveling between cities throughout Japan is super easy. Getting to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea is no different!

JR train line to Maihama Station

If you’re traveling from Shinjuku, Tokyo, Narita Airport, Haneda Airport, Shingawa, Yokohama or Akihabara, catch any of the JR train lines at one of the stations above, that’s heading to Maihama Station.

Use Google Maps for directions from your hotel to the nearest major station. The Google Maps app will give you step by step directions, including the train(s) you need to catch and the best exit to leave through. It will also give you the direction and how far you’ll need to walk once you exit the station.

Disney Resort Monorail from Maihama Station

Once you arrive at Maihama Station, you’ll then need to catch the Disney Resort Monorail. It’s super easy to find – just follow the huge crowd of people dressed as Disney characters and you’ll be fine.

The monorail is decked out in Disney and is super adorable. Even the windows are shaped as Mickey’s head. The monorail will take you directly to the entrances of both Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea, so just hop off at your desired park!


Tip: If you have a Japan Rail Pass, you can actually use this to get to the Disney parks. Simply show your JR pass to an officer standing next to any JR entrance gate, and you’ll be let straight through without having to pay any extra! For more information, here is a detailed explanation of the trains you can catch from the main stations around Tokyo.

Two Days at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea | Rhiannon Travels

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea Tickets

There are a few options when it comes to purchasing tickets to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. The ticket you choose to buy depends on whether you want visit just one park or both.

1 Day Passport

Adult: 7,400 yen per person
Ages 4 to 11: 4,800 yen per person
Ages 12 to 17: 6,400 yen per person

2 Day Passport

Adult: 13,200 per person
Ages 4-11: 8,600 yen per person
Ages 12-17: 11,600 yen per person

3 Day Magic Passport*

Adult: 17,800 yen per person
Ages 4-11: 11,500 yen per person
Ages 12-17: 15,500 yen per person

4 Day Magic Passport*

Adult: 22,400 per person
Ages 4-11: 14,400 yen per person
Ages 12-17: 19,400 yen per person

*A Magic Passport gets you into both parks on the 3rd or 4th consecutive day. This means you can spend the morning at Disneyland then end the day at DisneySea (or vice versa).

Two Days at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea | Rhiannon Travels

Where to buy tickets

We are about to give you the most important piece of advice we will share throughout this entire post.

Do NOT purchase Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea tickets at the gate.

You will absolutely regret it. The lines are excruciatingly long and you will end up spending a great deal of your time waiting in lines, before you even enter the park. Instead, there are a few ways to purchase tickets before arriving at Japan’s Disney Resort.

Selected Disney Stores around Tokyo

Some Disney Stores located throughout Tokyo actually sell Disneyland and DisneySea tickets. Tickets cost the same as everywhere else, but will save you a ton of time on the day. It also means you won’t struggle with an online purchase.

The following stores sell Disney Resort tickets:

  • Shibuya Koen Dori
  • Odaiba Aqua City
  • Ikebukuro Sunshine City Alpa
  • Hachioji Tokyu Square
  • Machida 109
  • Akishima Mori Town

Online

Tickets can be purchased online via the Tokyo Disneyland Resort website. If you’re staying at a hotel, the front desk will be happy to help you purchase your tickets and print your confirmation or e-ticket.

A Tokyo Itinerary for First Time Visitors | Rhiannon Travels

Selected convenience stores

Family Mart or Lawson convenience stores throughout Tokyo generally sell tickets to a lot of attractions, including Disneyland and DisneySea. If you’re unsure, just walk in and ask! Japanese people are some of the friendliest we have ever met, and will almost always go out of their way to help in any way.


We purchased our 2-day passports from the Shibuya Disney Store a few days before our first day at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. This turned out to be a great decision, as it meant we only had to wait in line for 10 minutes instead of up to an hour. If you aren’t able to purchase tickets online, plan a day out in Shibuya!

Disneyland and DisneySea: What’s the Difference?

If you’ve visited Anaheim’s Disneyland before, Tokyo Disneyland is very similar. It’s set out pretty much the same way, and you can still walk through and admire Cinderella’s Castle. The castle itself looks totally different, but the characters are the same and you can still indulge in dozens of delicious churros.


However, if you’re looking for something a bit different, while still wanting to experience the magic of Disney, we recommend visiting DisneySea.

Two Days at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea | Rhiannon Travels Two Days at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea | Rhiannon Travels Two Days at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea | Rhiannon Travels

Everything about Tokyo DisneySea is amazing. From the props and buildings, to the decorations, rides and attractions. Not to mention the huge river stretching across almost half of DisneySea, from Port Discovery to Mediterranean Harbour. The detail that’s been put into DisneySea is hard to describe, so you’ll just have to check it out for yourself!


In our experience (having been to Anaheim’s Disneyland and California Adventure Park multiple times), DisneySea is completely different. The sheer size of everything, like the Journey to the Centre of the Earth volcano, is incredibly impressive and like nothing we have ever seen before.

Two Days at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea | Rhiannon Travels

Food: Quick Eats & Food Carts

Just like every other theme park in the world (Disney or otherwise), there are food carts absolutely everywhere, catering to almost all of your sweet and savoury food cravings. These are the general snacks you’ll find throughout Disneyland and DisneySea:

Churros – 310 yen
Fried dough pastry, aka the best theme park food on Earth

Popcorn – 310 for a regular box, 1,000 to 2,300 yen for a character souvenir bucket
Flavours: Cappuccino, caramel, milk chocolate, honey, soy sauce, butter and regular salted. The flavours will vary depending on which park you visit, and the land within that park.

Ice cream – 200 yen to 300 yen

Soft drink and water – 200 yen to 300 yen

There is a good combination of Japanese and Western food options available at the snack carts throughout Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. Japanese snacks include: steamed buns filled with various meat, dessert steamed buns with strawberries, mochi dumplings filled with custard, and various fried delicacies.

Two Days at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea | Rhiannon Travels

Food: Restaurants

The restaurants at both of Tokyo’s Disney parks are very similar to any other Disney park you’ve been to. They’re all themed, based on which land they are in. Although most sell the same general food options, you might find a bit of variety if you shop around first.


We didn’t spend too much time exploring the restaurants, as we were on the hunt for cheap and quick food. But if you like pizza, french fries, sandwiches, bakery foods, rice, pasta, Japanese cuisine and a lot more, you’ll be spoiled for choice.

As far as theme park food prices go, Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea are very reasonably priced. You can get a huge cup of french fries for 500 yen, a decent sized slice of pizza for around 450 yen and from what I saw, the fancier meals were better than expected at less than 2,000 yen (they usually include a main meal, drink and a side of some sort).

Time and money saving food tips

Bring your own snacks

Before arriving at Disneyland or DisneySea, stock up on snacks and drinks at one of Japan’s hundreds of convenience stores. You’re allowed to bring in your own food, so why not make the most of it?


This will not only save you money, but also tons of time throughout the day. The lines for most restaurants at both parks get super long, so bringing your own lunch and snacks will make your day a lot easier. Expect to wait at least half an hour for the most popular popcorn carts!

Bring a water bottle

There are heaps of water fountains located in both parks. Usually you’ll find at least one in each of the different lands, so there’s no shortage of cold water available for free. We were glad we decided to bring our own water bottles, as it saved so much time and money throughout the day.

Eat lunch earlier in the day

Waiting in long lines at a theme park is inevitable. But we were surprised at just how long the lines were at food carts and restaurants around the park. So we suggest eating lunch earlier as opposed to, well, lunch time.

The restaurants in particular remain fairly quiet up until around 11am, so head there earlier in the day to save some time. Every minute counts, especially if you only have one day to explore the park.

Two Days at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea | Rhiannon Travels Two Days at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea | Rhiannon Travels

Rides at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the part of this post you’re actually here for: Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea rides!

It’s no secret that Disneyland in general is a very busy place. No matter which Disney park you visit or what time of the day, you’re gonna have to share the park with other people. I know, it sucks.

The minimum wait time for almost every ride was around 140 minutes. Even longer on the bigger, newer and most popular rides and attractions. Unless you get lucky and visit on a quiet day, this is the average wait time for most rides.


For example, when we visited Disneyland (on a Thursday in winter) we arrived at the park around fifteen minutes before it opened. We would have arrived earlier if it didn’t take an hour to get from our hotel to the park. It just didn’t seem worth getting up at 4am to be there by 6am with everyone else.

Two Days at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea | Rhiannon Travels

Remember earlier in the post, when we recommended that you don’t purchase your tickets at the gate?

Well, when we arrived at Disneyland, there was a line to even enter the line. The people that hadn’t already purchased their tickets (either online, from a convenience store or a Disney Store) would have been waiting in line for over an hour. That’s just to purchase their ticket.


Guests then need to line up to enter the actual park. Since we pre-purchased our tickets at Shibuya’s Disney Store, we were directed straight to the second line. This took around twenty minutes to get through. Once the clock struck eight o’clock, the gates opened and thousands of Disneyland guests ran to their favourite ride.

Our plan was to get a Fast Pass for Space Mountain. But by the time we finally made it into the park, it was already 8:10am. The line to get a Fast Pass was crazy long, and the standby wait time for Space Mountain was well over 100 minutes.

Moral of this story? Purchase your ticket beforehand, and arrive as early as you can.

Two Days at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea | Rhiannon Travels

Tips for using Fast Passes

A Fast Pass is your best bet in getting on most (if not all) of the major rides and attractions. Insert your park ticket into a machine located outside of each ride that has a Fast Passes available. The machine will then print out a new ticket with the name of the ride at the top, and a one hour time frame for you to come back later in the day.

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When you go back during your allocated time, you’ll be able to breeze past all of the people who have been standing in line for over an hour, and get on the ride in under 10 minutes! Well, most of the time. Sometimes you might have to wait a little longer than expected, but either way, it’s better than waiting 140 minutes!


Note: You can only get one Fast Pass ticket at a time. For example, if you get a Fast Pass for Space Mountain as soon as the gates open, you’ll have to wait a couple of hours until you can get another Fast Pass (for a different ride or the same ride).

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Fast Passes available at Tokyo Disneyland

These are the rides at Tokyo Disneyland that have Fast Passes available. There are only a small number of Fast Passes available for each ride, per day. So to make things easier for you, we’ve sorted the rides below into the different lands throughout Disneyland. You’re welcome.

Westernland – Big Thunder Mountain

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Critter Country – Splash Mountain (water ride)

Fantasyland – Haunted Mansion, Pooh’s Hunny Hunt (fast passes run out quickly)

Tomorrowland – Star Tours: The Adventure Continues, Space Mountain (my all time favourite ride), Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters, Monster’s Inc Ride & Go Seek (interactive ride, fast passes run out fast)

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Fast Passes available at Tokyo DisneySea

These are the rides at Tokyo DisneySea that have Fast Passes available. There are only a small number of Fast Passes available for each ride, per day. So to make things easier for you, we’ve sorted the rides below into the different lands throughout DisneySea. You’re welcome.

American Waterfront – Tower of Terror, Toy Story Mania (fast passes run out super quick)

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Lost River Delta – Indiana Jones (super fast rollercoaster), Raging Spirits

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Arabian Coast – The Magic Lamp Theatre

Mermaid Lagoon – Mermaid Lagoon Theatre

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Mysterious Island – 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Centre of the Earth

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Age & Height Limits

As you might expect for a theme park, all of the attractions at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea require riders to be of a certain height and sometimes a certain age. To make things easier for you, here are the Disneyland and DisneySea website pages, which list each ride individually, as well as the age and height restrictions for that particular ride.

Parades

We can’t really give any advice or suggestions in regards to the Disneyland or DisneySea parades and shows, as we prioritised rides over parades. But from what we could tell by queues, the “Big Band Beat” show at DisneySea and the “Happiness is Here” daytime parade at Disneyland are unmissable!

Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea Helpful Tips

Buy food before lining up for a ride

This is a great way to save time while waiting in long lines. We saw people snacking and even eating their lunch while waiting in lines for rides! It’s a pretty convenient way to kill some time, and eat some delicious food.

Get to the park early

If you only have one day at each park, we definitely recommend arriving earlier than 8am (when the park opens). The earlier the better to be honest. You’ll be able to fit more into your day, and won’t risk missing out on Fast Pass tickets.

Plan your day around Fast Passes

Before you arrive at Disneyland or DisneySea, write a list of your must see rides and attractions. Next, write down whether that particular ride is a Fast Pass attraction. When you arrive at the park, head for the ride at the top of your list and grab a Fast Pass. Then, head to number two on your list and wait in the standby line.

By the time you’ve been on that ride, eaten some food and had a look around, it will be time for you to grab your second Fast Pass ticket! Planning your day around Fast Passes is the best way to ensure you experience most (if not all) of the rides and attractions on your list!

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In Conclusion

We hope we’ve given you plenty of tips, to help you make the most of your day at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. The service from every single staff member at Disneyland and DisneySea is absolutely amazing. So if we’ve have left something out, we’re positive that any of the friendly Disneyland team will be happy to help you out!


If you have any other questions that you would like me to answer, feel free to ask them down below! I’m more than happy to help out! Have you been to Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea? What did you think? I’d love to know!

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Post originally published in March 2017. Updated in March 2018.