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help planing a trip to japan

hi my name is daniel i am a 20 year old student from melbourne, australia my best friend and i have booked a 2 week trip to japan in feb next year i have a couple questions regarding cheap acomodation, the best places to visit and the rail system any help would be much apreciated >_>
13 years ago, November 21st 2007 No: 1 Msg: #22910  
hi my name is daniel
i am a 20 year old student from melbourne, australia

my best friend and i have booked a 2 week trip to japan in feb next year

we both visited japan before 3 years ago, have basic knowlage of the language and a prefound intrest in japanese culture and daily lifestyles

we have saved up for this trip together by fliping burgers at mc donalds all last summer :P
so we are on a budget and are looking for acomodation at under $30 a night if anyone knows any good hostels

he has left me to plan the itinerary by myself
i would very much like to have it all planed and booked in the next month so im seeking some help

could i please ask for some some advice from past travelers as to what are the best citys to visit during the colder months, we arive and depart from osaka so i intend it to be a round trip

ok also a few questions.
we are very interested in spending a few days living with a japanese family as we did last time we came to japan but this time it is up to me to organize it,
i have little idea of how to go about doing this, any ideas would be apreciated

now as for a Jrail pass, i had intended to buy a 2 week one
the site just confused me :P
dose anyone know how to actualy obtain these
and are they good value for money

Daniel Reply to this

13 years ago, November 21st 2007 No: 2 Msg: #22915  
B Posts: 137
I can give you some insight on the JR Pass. You have to decide if you want it before you go to Japan, as you can only buy it through the help of selected agents in each country. Check the list of authorized agents in Australia who can assist you here. Whether it is good value depends on how much you are going to travel by train, and which service you plan to use. Still, if you plan to ride any of the Shinkansen lines you will hit break even pretty soon. JR (or rather the group of JR companies) publish very detailed fare lists on their website, so plan a bit and then check the prices on the routes that may come in question. Reply to this

13 years ago, November 21st 2007 No: 3 Msg: #22920  
B Posts: 11.5K
Hi Daniel,

Welcome to TravelBlog.

I got a JR pass from Japan Travel Bureau when I was living in Auckland (NZ). This is the link to the Australian site for JTB .

As a comparison, a site I often use for local train travel in Japan is www.jorudan.co.jp

Regarding the homestay query have a look at this site or Google the Prefecture international centre where you would like to do the homestay. You'll go through your money pretty quickly paying for hostels every night, a homestay may work cheaper - don't forget to take some small omiyage/souvenirs from Australia in case you do. Anything would be appreciated.

What places have you already been to ? Are you going to want to stay down south where it's warmer? Reply to this

13 years ago, November 21st 2007 No: 4 Msg: #22921  
ah thanks for those sites

i made up a rough budget but im realy trying to keep it all under 3000$

um last time we went, we mainly visited tokyo and kyoto since it was only a 13day tour, so we realy havent seen that much
what id realy like is to realy experience the culture this time

but yea im not realy a big fan of the cold the only reason were going in winter is because i impulsivly bought the tickets since we had been talking about it for a year or so :P,

i would realy like to check out mt fuji because i hear it has lots of hot springs
do you know anthing about this


Reply to this

13 years ago, November 21st 2007 No: 5 Msg: #22930  
Hi Daniel

Some accomodation recommendations for you - we stayed at Kawaguchi Station Inn near Mount Fuji. It was a traditional style tatami room and it cost us Y15600 for 2 nights in a double room (ie 2 futons). They had traditional baths on the top floor which overlooked Fuji which was very cool (pic below). Also K's Hostels are fantastic value, fairly cheap, immaculate and good locations in Kyoto and Tokyo if you are going back there and they now have a location in Fuji.

We did some WWOOFing (where you work on organic farms in exchange for accomodation and food) which allowed us to see rural Japanese life which was a real contrast to the modern cities of Japan. It was an amazing experience as it really allowed us to sample genuine Japanese cuisine and family life. If it's winter not sure how many families will need WWOOFers although if you are going to warmer southern locations maybe that won't be an issue. I guess the only downsides of WWOOFing for you is that it might feel like a working holiday rather than a relaxing break! In case you haven't heard of WWOOFing you have to pay to join and then they send you a list of people who are looking for guests, you pick any that you like the look of, drop them an email and see if they will take you. Most take people for between 2 - 7 days.

One guy we met in Tokyo had also done a temple stay which he thought was fantastic (think it might have been quite expensive though). Not sure if this is something you'd be interested in but if you are let me know and I'll see if I can get the details from him and I'll pass them on...

Re Hot Springs - Beppu is particularly famous for them. We didn't find Beppu to be a particularly nice town but they do have an extremely cheap hostel (which was decent enough) so it might be worth a day or two of your trip if it is something you are keen to do!

Hope you have a great trip : )

Reply to this

13 years ago, November 22nd 2007 No: 6 Msg: #22934  
Thanks Vikki,
haha wow i never new anything like that even existed
i am quite interested in shinto if you could tell me anything that temple stay that would be great
but i looked up K's Hostels and am definantly going to seriously consider them as they seem very good value ^_^

what id realy like is to spend half my holiday experiencing the traditional culture of japan
then the other seeing modern japan

also i was wondering what tokyo disneyland is like in the winter if anyone has been

daniel Reply to this

13 years ago, December 4th 2007 No: 7 Msg: #23572  
Hi Daniel
My name is Will I am 21years old live in Melbourne and I am also going to Japan in Feb 2008. I intend to stay for at least 2 months and I am applying for a working visa so I could be in Japan for up to one year. Where are you flying into? I will be spending most my time in Osaka 2nd favorite place next to Hiroshima. If you are going to Osaka I can recommend a few good tourist attractions bars and so forth.
Also for good backpackers accommodation check out Hostel World

With the Rail pass all I did was went to a Japanese Travel agency in the Mall might have been on Little Flinders but don’t hold me to it. All I had to do was give them my passport and paid for the pass. When you want to active it just go to The JR station and see the people there when In Japan.
You will not be able to get a deal like this when you are in Japan so I strongly recommend you get one.

Good Luck
ps.Feel free to send me an email F_mod@hotmail.com
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