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Japan in 3 Weeks

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What to see and do..
16 years ago, September 20th 2007 No: 1 Msg: #19732  
Hello, I'm currently traveling through Asia and I've decided with my last 3 weeks before I return home for Christmas that I will go to Japan. So I will be there for roughly 3 weeks in December. I will be on a shoestring and money could be tight, but I should just about be able to cope, any ideas how much I will spend roughly a week on the shoestring backpacker approach?

Also what are the essentials, where should I go? And what should I definately see whilst there?

Thanks,
Daniel. Reply to this

16 years ago, September 20th 2007 No: 2 Msg: #19751  
B Posts: 11.5K
Hi Daniel,

What are you interested in most? Temples, onsen (Japanese spa), hiking, cities/countryside? Fixed itinerary or loose with only an arrival and departure booked?

Accomodation will be your biggest expense, but you'll be able to look into that when you have an idea where you'll be.

I'd recommend getting a Japan Rail Pass for at least part of your trip to get the most out of it Japan Rail Pass info

Reply to this

16 years ago, September 20th 2007 No: 3 Msg: #19752  
Well, I'm really into my wildlife and countryside but I'm still researching at the moment as to what Japan has to offer in respect to that, but also I really like urban places for there atmosphere so I can see me spending a bit of time in Tokyo. Reply to this

16 years ago, September 21st 2007 No: 4 Msg: #19812  
I'd almost definitely get a JR rail pass - it'll pay for itself with one trip. You have to get that BEFORE you arrive in the country. And then
it's a bit of a pain to go to get them validated at the start of the trip. Then all you have to do is to remember not to lose the pass!

There is an alternative for cheap travel on the trains called a 'Seishun Jyuuhachi Kippu'
or 'Young Persons-18 Ticket' as a loose translation. It's only available during university breaks, so prob not ideal
for you, but gives as I recall 5+ days unlimited travel on 'futsuu' (non-express, not Shinkansen/bullet) trains over a two
or three week period.

Japan is expensive, there's no way around that. Particularly accommodation (look at 6000-8000 yen a night).
Food is actually reasonable - no reason to spend more than 1000 yen on a decent meal. And on a budget you
can eat for 300-400 yen. Local travel within cities is cheap, it's just the long distance stuff on the shinkansen that's
expensive and sometimes comparable to flying.

Suggested places to visit:

For Cities/Shopping/Nighlife - Tokyo (Shinjuku, Harajuku, Roppongi, Ueno Park, Asakusa, Akihabara, Tsukuji),
Osaka (Ebisu, Hep-5, Umeda, Namba, Denden Town)
For Temples/Very Japanese Things - Kyoto, Kamakura (near Yokohama), Nikko (north of Tokyo), Nara (near Kyoto), Miyajima/Iwakuni (near Hiroshima)
For Remembrance - Hiroshima (Peace Park, Genbaku Dome and Museum)
For Food - Anywhere! But Nagoya (Miso katsu, also Unagi-don an eel+rice dish), Hiroshima (okonomiyaki), Fukuoka (raamen) and Sapporo (raamen and genghis khan bbq) have some excellent variations. Osaka has takoyaki!
For Mountains and Onsen - Fuji (either Hakone or Kawaguchiko), Nikko, around Matsumoto/Nagano, Takayama
For Castles - Himeji, Matsuyama, Nagoya, Osaka (in that order)
For Snowstuff - Nagano-ken (e.g. Hakuba), Niseko (awesome!), Furano, Zao (famous for its ice trees ('jyuuhyou' i think) - but you get that anywhere up to the north of the main island, but strangely not in Hokkaido.)
For Chinatown - Kobe, Yokohama
For Funparks - Disneyland Tokyo, Universal Studios Osaka, and I can't remember the name but near Nagoya with what was the worlds highest rollercoaster (may still be)
For Beaches - Okinawa Reply to this

16 years ago, September 21st 2007 No: 5 Msg: #19816  
B Posts: 11.5K
If you're into snow sports the snow in Hokkaido is worth the trip up there!

Kyushu has some really nice natural onsen, but in Tokyo there is an 'onsen village' - basically a multi-storey onsen complex, open 24 hours.

If you're based part of the time in Tokyo and use a daily transport pass like the 'Tokyo furii kippu' (Tokyo Free Ticket, cept they're not actually free), then use a JR pass for zipping round the further away places you're be able to cram a lot in. Reply to this

16 years ago, September 22nd 2007 No: 6 Msg: #19859  
Thanks guys, some great info and ideas for me to dwell on there, thanks! Reply to this

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