Let’s Go! To Japan… But First, Plan the Trip Logistics

May 18, 2024 | Sessions | 0 comments

Plan an exciting vacation to Tokyo and Kyoto with all sorts of activities and memorable highlights in Let’s Go! To Japan.

Logistics and planning are some of the things I do fairly regularly, so I was pretty excited to mingle them with the idea of a fun vacation in Let’s Go! To Japan. The concept was charming, and I was eager to discover all of the different sights! Managing train rides between regions and planning the best trip possible sounded awesome. I was off to explore!

Game Overview

Game Name: Let’s Go! To Japan
Publication Year:

Many (5 Credited)
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game

The goal is to plan a week of activities in Japan, with a trio of sights or experiences on each day. Daily highlights form the biggest memories, yet the logistics of train rides and timing create interesting challenges. In the end, a lovely story can be told about the vacation to bring it to life!

Delightful Artwork and Decisions About Planning a Trip in Let's Go! To Japan

First Play

May 17, 2024



Latest Play

May 17, 2024



Setup Time

5 Minutes

Lifetime Plays


Play Time

20 Minutes


High Score



Game Area

48" x 22"


Low Score


A Large Production

I picked up the fancy version with all of the extra bells and whistles, aside from neoprene player mats. The wooden components were awesome, but there were so many!

The sheer amount of table space surprised me. It would have been manageable if it was just my own itinerary player board, but I had to use one for the solo opponent.

Still, the rules were pretty easy to get through and I could see how a lot of decisions would need to be made. Nice!

It all looked beautiful, too. Just flipping through a few cards made me pause to admire the artwork and details.

Plenty of Wonderful Design Elements in a Very Large Production of Let's Go! To Japan

Easing Into Vacation

Gameplay moved along very quickly, and I enjoyed the small choices! My days materialized, and I even worked in a few walks, which acted like potential great discoveries.

The start of this trip was very mellow, though, and was all about visiting temples and shrines. Nothing like getting into a relaxed mood at the start, rather than the end!

I liked the way the symbols added up to form an overall feeling of the whole trip, although scoring was intensive.

If gameplay lasted around 20 minutes, scoring was its own separate thing that I didn’t time, but it took 5-10 minutes.

A Slow and Quiet Sort of Start to a Vacation in Let's Go! To Japan

All of the Memories

This first play ended in a rather exciting set of moments! Thursday was a bit of a mixed experience, although food reigned supreme as I explored and shopped around Kyoto.

Friday brought about some of the best memories, starting with a concert and ending with a geisha show. So many awesome experiences on this second-to-last day.

Finally, I ended up with a couple of walk cards on the last day, but these turned out to be delightful visits.

Before heading home, I had a rather quiet day of sightseeing and shopping. Definitely a great vacation!

A Busy Time of Visits and Shows to End a Vacation in Let's Go! To Japan

Fancy Ceramic Bowls

The only thing I really wasn’t looking forward to with this arrival were the ceramic bowls… They arrived in a separate box, and are certainly not designed for clumsy players.

Spoiler: I am a clumsy player! I drop pieces all the time, knock over silicone muffin tops, and break things.

These are beautiful additions, yet I don’t know what I’ll do with them. The box provides protection, but takes up lots of space. And don’t think my husband is going near these!

I wish these had been an optional addition, as I’m one of the players who paid extra for something I didn’t need.

Using the Rather Unnecessary Ceramic Bowls with Let's Go! To Japan

Other Ideas for a More Rewarding Solo Mode

Although there were a couple of neat moments when I made sure the solo opponent didn’t get any valuable cards, I felt like the additional play space and actions were cumbersome. I never could focus all of my attention on my own trip, which took me out of the theme a few times. But in those moments, I thought up what I would have loved to see.

Scoring tiers would have been easy to implement, and sort of mimic what goes on with the difficulty levels. Finding it too easy? A simple solo event deck could have thrown some relaxing challenges into the mix. I’m not talking about disasters, but little things like rail line repairs for a few days, a parade closing down certain activities, or the like.

In essence, a couple of challenges drawn at the start might impose small restrictions to plan around. But then I would be solely focused on my trip, rather than worrying about the victory points and icons I handed to the solo opponent. Wishful thinking, I suppose! Just some thoughts I had as I was a little underwhelmed by the solo experience.

A Traveling Opponent

The solo opponent is described as a travel agent, and I was rather surprised to see I needed to set up an entire other play area. This felt huge and unnecessary.

I had to make decisions about which cards to keep and which to pass, yet this didn’t feel like it was important.

This also required scoring another play area, which wasn’t the end of the world, but still added on more time.

Scoring tiers seemed like a much easier way to introduce a solo opponent. Increasing the difficulty meant adding more scoring elements, requiring even more math.

Lots of Work Managing the Solo Opponent's Play Area and Score in Let's Go! To Japan

World-Sized Play Area

This doesn’t even show the full play area that stretched out so much! Had this just been my own player board, it would have been quite manageable. Not with two, though.

High visibility and legibility are very important to me, so I have no qualms with the larger components. It really comes down to how unruly the solo mode can feel.

I also found that my second play resulted in different cards, but still a similar gameplay experience.

My trip was different, yet my score was similar and my strategies weren’t so unique as to consider them novel.

An Absolutely Enormous Play Space for Solo in Let's Go! To Japan

Mood Management

Counting up the symbols earned to a certain point was easy during final scoring, but this meant I had to do a lot of counting each time I placed a card. Lots of little sums!

I enjoyed the element of tracking my mood, though. Stress or happiness could accumulate by timing activities and stacking up the icons. It was a simple but neat mechanic.

Earning victory points for the placement of the different experiences was also nice, encouraging different paths.

This vacation was clearly centered around food and drink! Which made sense with a few days dedicated to cuisine.

A Neat Way to Track Moods and the Different Types of Activities in Let's Go! To Japan

Taking the Train

Logistics play a role in determining when to switch regions and take a train. Luxury trains can be earned by matching 3+ symbols to the assigned icon of each day.

With this play, a visit to the railway museum made it imperative that I take some early train rides! So it was.

This is easy to see by the color of the cards, where yellow indicates something that can be in either Tokyo or Kyoto.

Despite this different strategy and new cards, I felt like I played the same game. It was delightful and very pleasant, but not one that really stood out as a game experience.

Another Journey with Lots of Train Rides and Food in Let's Go! To Japan

Session Overview

Play Number: 1 & 2
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game
Play Details: Standard Difficulty Level
Outcome: 125-110, 134-123 (2 Wins)

At least I found the activity that matched my player board! Prior to boarding the plane home, I went all out with this very fun drumming class. Ha! I can certainly see the appeal of the game, and it may very well be excellent with multiple players. But the extra space and work to manage the solo opponent didn’t feel like a fun experience for me. Yet I’m still glad to have planned these lovely vacations!

Spending Plenty of Money Shopping and Experiencing a Drumming Class at the End of Let's Go! To Japan


1 Play


Price & Value



Challenges & Mechanics



Design & Theme



Components & Rules



Achievement & Enjoyment



Distinctness & Randomness


+ Pros (Positives)

  • All of the artwork brings the game to life with many activities and experiences that include interesting facts.
  • Figuring out the logistics, particularly around train tickets, is a very fun and interesting part of the early game.
  • Thinking up little stories about the different days is quite fun, and the final experience tokens also tell a story.
  • Stress and happiness add a sense of realism and another element to plan for across the chosen activities.
  • Walks offer clever decisions and chances that are revealed in final scoring, often adding to the trip’s narrative.
  • Rounds move very quickly and feel rewarding when days are filled in and the best bonuses are earned.

– Cons (Negatives)

  • The required table space feels excessive with an entire board to use for the solo opponent, who only scores points.
  • Although there appear to be a lot of choices, once the first few cards are placed, decisions feel rather limited.
  • Final scoring can be rather tedious since it involves both victory points and moving experience tokens.
  • Placing each card often involves looking at all of the previous days and counting up icons to do lots of small sums.

More Let's Go! To Japan

Explore related posts about Let’s Go! To Japan!

Victory Conditions

Score the Most Points

  • Overall Goal Progress 100% 100%

Goals and Milestones


Score 120 points.


Score 130 points.


Win at least 1 game at the standard difficulty level.

Continue the Conversation

What do you think of Let’s Go! To Japan? Have you created any interesting stories for your planned trips? I think this is an absolutely charming and delightful sort of puzzle that made me very happy! The solo mode fell a little short, though, and felt rather cumbersome. However, at least I can say I theoretically know a little bit about planning a trip. Ha ha!


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