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Finally! =)
9 years ago, May 5th 2008 No: 1 Msg: #34364  
N Posts: 10
Greetings! =)

My name is Andrew, I'm 21 y.o. from Latvia. Finally found a nice forum to post my questions on =) So here I go:

Me and my friend have always wanted to visit Japan since we're both fascinated with it, and now that summer is approaching, we are finally preparing for a real trip =) The problem is - neither of us have ever been so far away from home and we have absolutely no idea on what must we know/do/be prepared for. So we would be grateful for any help, info and advice!

In a perfect case scenario, we want to stay for about a month and visit a variety of places in Japan - major cities, countryside, mountains, etc. =) There is no specific route or plan. We want to decide the cource on the spot. Still, what places in general should we aim to visit? We want to get a good feel of Japan, see it in all it's beauty, and experience it in every aspect =) Where should we go for fun, for sightseeing, for cultural education, and simply for a good time? And what places should we avoid?

Secondly - what belongings should we take with us, what things are a must? As I said - we've never done this before, so we'd be happy to receive any advice =) And since I know the culture/tradition/laws of Japan is quite different from Europe, what should we be aware of and careful about?

And lastly - our budget is limited, which is why I am concerned about where we should stay and how to travel around. What are the average daily expenses(food/lodging/transportation/entertainment/etc) and what are the best ways to minimise them?

So there it is! We'd welcome any info, tip and advice, as well as any references and directions =)

Thank you,
and cheers! =)
Reply to this

9 years ago, May 7th 2008 No: 2 Msg: #34503  
food averages about 10 US dollars per meal
tokyo is great! visit UNI QLO store for trendy yet affordable clothings!
consider staying at Tokyu Stay - about 150 US dollars per night
in touring the city, consider using the subway - it was a little complicated coz they have a lot of train lines and nobody knows how to speak in english, at that! - but their map would be very handy
visit Tokyo Tower... they duplicated that of Eiffel but it is 13meters taller than the latter
check out Tokyo Dome
Reply to this

9 years ago, May 7th 2008 No: 3 Msg: #34554  
B Posts: 60
ritchie... where is that UNI QLO store located? im headed to tokyo on the 17th of may, wouldnt mind checkin it out.

everything else you formentioned is on my list to see... hoping to get into the tokyo dome for a baseball game!
thanks for the tips Reply to this

9 years ago, May 11th 2008 No: 4 Msg: #34946  
hi geoff,
i don't remember where exactly but i heard there's almost a 100 stores in tokyo
have fun

ritchie Reply to this

9 years ago, May 11th 2008 No: 5 Msg: #34949  
B Posts: 60
thanks ritchie, ill definitely keep my eyes peeled! Reply to this

9 years ago, May 11th 2008 No: 6 Msg: #34984  
Konnichiwa!! Just spent 2 years living in Japan. Wish I was you returning.

A good place to start with online info http://www.japan-guide.com/
For train times throughout the entire company www.hyperdia.com
For the best priced hotels/hostels/capsule hotels http://travel.rakuten.co.jp/en/

Must see places: Tokyo (Tsukiji Fish Market, Harakuju, Shibuya) , Kyoto (Kiyomizudera, Nanzen ji, Heian Jingu, Golden Temple), Nara (a great day trip from Kyoto), and Hiroshima (I am biased I lived there- peace park, miyajima). Many would put Osaka in this list. it is an amazing city, but in terms of sightseeing not to much to do. A great to place to wander around though if you have time. oh and if going during the summer hiking mt fuji is a must! oh and on the way to Hiroshima stop at Himeji Castle.

With a month I would also look into going to Koya-san (overnight stay in a ryokan with monks), Fukuoka (just a great japanese city), possibly spending a week around th temples in shikoku (might need to rent a car for this), nikko, hitting up some onsens in nagano is great too. I never made it down to Kagoshima but would have loved to to hike around. If youhave time (and money), I would def try to go to Hokkaido.

In terms of places to stay- you can find some for 50 bucks. A cheap and really fun option is staying in a capsule hotel. I also use a site www.couchsurfing.com and met some amazing people traveling this way.

A way to get immersed in the culture is wwoofing. (wwoof.org I think). You pay 4000yen and can go to any of the farms that participate. You put in a few hours a day working, then the rest is free time. A great way to meet japanese people.

Getting around- japan rail system is unreal. By a Railpass for 1-3 weeks and it will take you everywhere.

To minimize costs stay at cheaper places, eat at conveniences stores once in a while (food isn't bad!), drink from convenience stores before you go into clubs, oooh and if up for hitching can be a kick.

Also look into what festivals are going on during your stay. During summer you can basically find festivals almost every wkd.

I hope this helps a bit!

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9 years ago, May 11th 2008 No: 7 Msg: #34990  
N Posts: 10
Aye. Indeed, very helpful. Thank you for your answers =)

Can't wait to finally go there =) Reply to this

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