[TokyoFilter]: Planning a November honeymoon in Tokyo. Help two non-Japanese speaking USians who have dreamed of visiting Tokyo their entire lives figure out what's worth planning/reserving/paying for and what's not -- arigato in advance!
Have read through previous AskMes and figured out budget, shopping districts, restaurants and how to reserve train tickets to/from Narita airport - now we're down to reserving tickets for attractions and services while we're there, and I'm wary of trying to do too much in too little time.
We are renting a condo and have a bilingual friend who's lived there for almost a decade willing to help us out and show us around, but want to do some exploring on our own just enjoying the craziness that is Tokyo and not be dependent on him the whole time.
Things we'd like to visit/see on this trip:
1. Sumo match
- these appear to be all-day affairs. Fiance is interested in seeing one... worth it? Is it really an all-day-long tournament and if so, is it considered rude to leave or what should we expect?
2. Mecha Gundam Warrior Statue
- is there a particular time of day/location where we should go to get the best photos?
3. Traditional tea ceremony/onsen - considering this "super onsen": Toshimaen, Niwa no Yu
. Recommendations? Warnings? Recommendations for traditional tea ceremony places near Shibuya or this onsen? If we can ONLY fit in tea ceremony or onsen, which do you think is more "worth it"?
4. The geisha of Asakusa - worth visiting the area behind the Asukusa temple, or would a day trip to Kyoto be better/worth it? I know this is where the first Western geisha, Sayuki, resides; I'd love some good photo ops and know that scheduling a traditional evening with geisha is difficult and expensive for foreigners.
Reserving local phone service/buying guidebooks beforehand:
1. We are planning on reserving and renting a cell phone through SoftBank
- advisable, or can we simply rent a SIM card that'd be compatible with fiance's Droid? We'd want to rent the SoftBank cell phone for GPS/locating things while out and about in the city -- is this possible? Are there apps/services in English? If we JUST rent a SIM card, would it be usable without installing other Japanese-compatible software, etc.?
(Both of the condos we're looking at come with free computers and wifi/broadband access and free Vonage phone service, which allows us to contact the US without incurring roaming charges.)
2. It seems bilingual English/Japanese guide books and maps are a good idea. I've seen this one
recommended - is it enough? Also considering this book, the Tokyo Superguide
Since many Japanese event tickets and/or services must be reserved and paid for in advance, I'd rather not waste time or money on things we won't use or can do better/more cheaply without checking in with the Hive Mind first. Any insight is appreciated!