Travel Plans/Winter 2023 Asia

From WikiDotMako

Tohoku & Hokkaido sub-trip[edit]

2024-01-05 Friday: Tokyo → Morioka[edit]

[2024-01-05 Fri]: Tokyo→Morioka: Hayabusa No.31 15:20 → 17:32
Dormy Inn Morioka (see Tripit/Agoda)

Evening Plans:

2024-01-06 Saturday: Morioka → Hakodate[edit]

Idea of things to do it in Morioka in the morning/day:

  • walk through Morioka Castle
  • coffee at Nagasawa Coffee
  • Bookstore at Booknrd

Other Moiroka ideas:

From NYTimes:

The city of Morioka, in Iwate Prefecture, however, is often passed over or outright ignored. Circumscribed by mountains, it lies a few hours north of Tokyo by Shinkansen, the Japanese high-speed rail lines. Morioka’s downtown is eminently walkable. The city is filled with Taisho-era buildings that mix Western and Eastern architectural aesthetics as well as modern hotels, a few old ryokan (traditional inns) and winding rivers. One draw is an ancient castle site turned into a park.
There’s also fantastic coffee, including one of Japan’s third-wave originators: Nagasawa Coffee, whose owner, Kazuhiro Nagasawa, is so committed to his beans that he uses a vintage German-made Probat roaster, which he personally imported and restored. Azumaya serves up all-you-can-eat wanko soba, which comes served in dozens of tiny bowls; Booknerd offers classic Japanese art books; and Johnny’s, a jazz cafe, has been open for over 40 years. An hour west by car: Lake Tazawa and dozens of world-class hot springs.
Morioka→Hakodate: anything that gets into into hakodate not too late, e.g., Hayabusa No.27 (w/ change to train to hakodate) 16:37 → 18:54
Hotel booked in Tripit/Agoda

2024-01-07 Hakodate → Sapporo[edit]

Hakodate links:

Hakodate ideas:

  • morning market (6am-noon), mount hakodate, red brick warehouses, beer hall
  • hot spring idea: "Yachigashira Hot Springs (谷地頭温泉), 20-7 Yachigashira-cho (谷地 頭町20-7) (5 minute walk from the Yachigashira (谷地頭) tram stop. This is stop is only on route 2.). 06:00-22:00, last entry at 21:00; closed every second Tuesday of the month and occasionally on the fourth too. A hot spring near Mount Hakodate. This is muddy hot spring as opposed to the clear hot spring at the Yunokawa Hot Springs on the other end of the tram line. Most users are local residents of Hakodate. A cafeteria is on site. Soap and towels are available for an extra fee. Free parking available. ¥420 for an adult, additional charge for other services. (updated Jan 2019 | edit)"
Hakodate→Sapporo: lets just plan to get in kinda late, e.g., Hokuto No.17 (For Sapporo) 16:40 → 20:35
Hotel Gracery Sapporo (booked in Tripit/Agoda)

2024-01-08 Sapporo → Rusutsu[edit]

leaves at 8am at Kita4, Nishi4-1, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan; "The meeting point is located 2 minutes’ walk from the South Exit of JR Sapporo Station. You’ll find a Lawson convenience store on the first floor of the building, which is located on southeast of Asty 45, south of Hotel Gracery Sapporo. Before you get aboard, please speak to the staff waiting at the reception on 1F (first floor) of Kamori Building or in front of the building." (details are in Tripit)
Rusutsu Lodges Pension Lilla Huset
  • Yamato will send skis/snowboards to Rusutsu Resort Ski School for waxing/edging (12/29 pickup 1/5 arrival 1/8 pickup). Yamato will send the ski bag to Rusutsu Lodges Lilla Huset (1/8 pikup)

2024-01-11 Rusutsu → Sapporo[edit]

take bus from rusutsu (resort stop) to new chitose airport, last of the day: 5:30pm from rusutsu resport to the CTS terminal: (details are in Tripit)
Hotel Terrace Chitose (see tripit)
We can likely get a shuttle from the airport to the hotel /or/ we can get reimbursed for a taxi from the station to the hotel if wee keep a receipt
We should eat at Soup Curry GARAKU Chitose Branch

Things to buy/organize/book[edit]

rail tickets (mika please do):

  1. [DONE] [2024-01-05 Fri]: Tokyo→Morioka: Hayabusa No.31 15:20 → 17:32
  2. [DONE] [2024-01-06 Sat]: Morioka→Hakodate: anything that gets into into hakodate not too late, e.g., Hayabusa No.27 (w/ change to train to hakodate) 16:37 → 18:54
  3. [DONE] [2024-01-07 Sun]: Hakodate→Sapporo: lets just plan to get in kinda late, e.g., Hokuto No.17 (For Sapporo) 16:40 → 20:35

bus tickets (mika put the info in Tripit):

  1. [DONE] [2024-01-08 Mon]: book the bus from sapporo city to rusutsu (resort stop) @8am, arriving at 10am:
  2. [DONE] [2024-01-11 Thu]: book the bus from rusutsu (resort stop) to new chitose airport, last of the day: 5:30pm from rusutsu resport to the CTS terminal:

air tickets:

  1. [DONE] booked plane ticket: 11:40am JST CTS to HND JL 508 (JAL)

book hotel (mako will do):

  1. [DONE] [2024-01-05 Fri]: a hotel to stay in in morioka. FYI: there's a dormy inn w/ an onsen... (done in tripit)
  2. [DONE] [2024-01-06 Sat]: a hotel to stay in hakodate
  3. [DONE] [2024-01-07 Sun]: hotel in sapporo, cheap and as close to the station as possible, for night of 2023-01-07 only (bus station is right at the station)
  4. [DONE] [2024-01-08 through 2024-01-11] Rusutsu Lodges Pension Lilla Huset
  5. [DONE] [2024-01-11 Thu]: any hotel in chitose, again, probaly as close to the airport as possible and w/ an onsen would be great

other stuff:

  • [TODO] We need to arrange ski/bag pickup and send to Tokyo (but we'll be in Thailand for a week).

Thailand Subtrip[edit]

2024-01-13 → 2024-01-17: Bangkok #1[edit]

  • [2024-01-13 Sat] Arrive at 6:15pm
  • [2024-01-14 Sun] Cocktails at Bar US 21:30 น (until midnight); 61 Soi Sukhumvit 26, Khlong Tan, Khlong Toei, Bangkok, Thailand

Other Michelin guide Thai restaurants with vegetarian menus include:

  • Praya Dining, takes reservations; on a boat!
  • Dhabkwan seems a little hard to get to
  • Sra Bua which is Thai contemporary, takes reservations, and looks great (Note: veggie menu seems not available)


  • [DONE] book a hotel for 2024-01-13 through 2024-01-17 in Bangkok
  • [DONE] pick a day and email Burapa about reservations (Tel: +66 (0)2 012 1423, Email:, Location:; they have a veggie menu and a bib gourmand restaurant

2024-01-17 → 2024-01-20: Chiang Mai[edit]



  • [DONE] decide on dates for chiang mai trip
  • [DONE] book RT flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai leaving evening (after 9pm if possible) on [2024-01-17] and then returning morning (arriving in Bangkok as close to noon as possible) on [2024-01-20] (Note: there are many options and Mako has good ones that are stored in his Google flights; lets wait until mako can confirm the suit situation)
  • [DONE] book a hotel for 2024-01-17 through 2024-01-20 in Chiang Mai


  • [DONE] There is no Uber in Thailand but there is a very similar ridehailing app called Grab we should both install.
  • This bus is 30m and runs from the Bang Wa BTS station to Mahidol is only <$1 per ride:

2024-01-20 → 2024-01-21: Bangkok #2[edit]

  • [2024-01-20 Sat] through [2022-01-21 Sun]: Stay at St Regis Hotel (should have a noon check-in and a 4pm checkout) plus $100 credit
  • [2024-01-20 Sat] 6:30-8:15pm Vesper! (we have tentative reservations under Mika's name, made on Instagram)
  • [2024-01-20 Sat] 8:15-8:30pm walk to Nahm
  • [2024-01-20 Sat] 8:30pm vegetarian tasting menu at Nahm


  • [DONE] get reservations on [2024-01-20 Sat] for 6pm at Vesper??: Vesper: "Our reservation can be made for 5.30pm - 8pm for a table of no more than 6 persons. From 8pm onwards, we operate on a walk-in basis only. Reservation can be made via our FB / IG inbox only. Please kindly leave your name, the reservation time, and your contact info here and we will reply to you soonest. Thank you."
  • [DONE] get reservation at a great restaurant on [2024-01-20 Sat]?
  • book a hotel for 2024-01-19 through 2024-01-20 in Bangkok (maybe use the hotel credit again?)

Ideas and raw notes[edit]

Things to do in Tokyo:

If the plan is to do Kytot on the 23rd and 24th some ideas might include:

If it the goal is take the train north during January 5-8, we might want to consider:

Later stuff includes:

We'll miss but it seems cool:

old rough plan[edit]

  • [2023-12-21 Thu] to [2024-01-07 Sun] in tokyo
  • [DONE] plan/buy: [2024-01-07 Sun] to [2024-01-12 Fri] rusutsu and sapporo
  • [DONE] ticket: [2024-01-12 Fri]: travel, be back in tokyo (harajuku) by 3pm so mika can see her mom before 4:30pm
  • [DONE] ticket: either [2024-01-12 Fri] late evening tokyo or [2024-01-13 Sat] from toyo to thailand
  • [DONE] ticket: return to tokyo from bangkok ideally on [2024-01-21 Sun] but could be anytime until [2024-01-18 Thu]; latest could be the [2024-01-22 Mon] with the same 4pm cutoff
  • [DONE] ticket: mako will return to princeton for talk by [2024-01-30 Tue]; possibly w/ a stop in seattle (if possible, via philly)
  • ticket: mika will return to hopkins by the 2nd of february
  • possible: plan hakuba valley trip on [2024-01-27 Sat] and [2024-01-28 Sun] or on either the weekends of [2024-01-13 Sat] or [2024-01-20 Sat] if we get stuck in japan for those weekend

other notes:

rail pass prices: