Trip to Japan

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gamerforever
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PostTrip to Japan
by gamerforever » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:51 pm

I’ve always wanted to travel to Japan and feel that this is the year!

Any advice on whether I should definitely go for a tour package or whether it is achievable without booking one? They are incredibly expensive, likely £10-12k (for a couple) for a few weeks and i really don’t want to spend that kind of money!

Is it easy to get to other places from tokyo, mount fuji or osaka and other famous sites? How easy is the place for tourists who cannot speak japanese?

Any advice/ ideas would be appreciated.

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Peter Crisp
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Peter Crisp » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:53 pm

I may be odd but I've always wanted to have a trip on one of the rather amazing bullet trains and give first class a try if they have it.

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Lagamorph
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Lagamorph » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:55 pm

I'm aiming for this year or next year for a trip to Japan myself, probably with a friend. We really want to explore the country a bit. We've looked at the pre-booked trips, you can get ones for 10-14 days for about £3k per person, but the issue with those is that you're kind of restricted in where you go and when you go there. Some of them even seem to pick out the places you're going to be eating each night.

Our (very rough) plan at the moment is to book return flights, with a hotel for 1-2 nights in Tokyo at the start and end of the trip, then just sort of 'wing it' from there (but have a general idea of where we want to go and what we want to do before we go). We'd be looking at Mount Fuji, possibly Osaka, would be looking to go up to the North of the country too as I think that's basically natural hot spring country isn't it?

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Floex
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Floex » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:58 pm

10 to 12k? Where the hell are you looking!?

We went with STA back in the day, http://tours.statravel.co.uk/search?Que ... es%3AJapan

Good group tour, saw plenty of sights and sounds and enough time to go exploring on your own.

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Lotus
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Lotus » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:50 pm

I'm going there in March. You can easily get a couple of weeks there for £1200 or so, assuming you're staying in a decent hotel and go with a good airline. Could get it cheaper if you wanted to go for lower budget options on either of those.

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Outrunner
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Outrunner » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:52 pm

My first two trips were on tours with Intrepid travel. The tours themselves were great and covered a lot of the core tourist places. I got on well with the people on the first tour (I'm still friends with them almost 9 years later) but only really hit it off with two people on the second tour. But then we were doing enough stuff that it didn't matter that I didn't particularly gel with the rest of the group.

I had one trip with my ex and three solo trips. I can barely speak any Japanese (enough to be polite) and got on fine. Mostly I find it easy to get around. I have to make allowances for my anxiety which can add to journey times and sometimes limit where I can go. Considering how bad my anxiety can be I've done a fair amount of the country ranging from Sapporo all the way down to Kagoshima. If I can do it, anyone can!

The people are extremely friendly and have always been happy to help when I've asked. One lady took twenty minutes out of her day to help me to my hotel when I had a full blown panic attack in Sendai.

I'm hoping to go again this year (funds allowing). I'm glad I started out with tours (just to give myself some confidence) but I'm more than happy travelling solo and find that cheaper. Sorry, that doesn't help much!

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jawafour
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by jawafour » Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:11 pm

Outrunner wrote:My first two trips were on tours with Intrepid travel...

It's great to see you back in GR, Outrunner :-).

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Pedro
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Pedro » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:43 pm

Going myself this year so any and all recommendations are appreciated. Going in August so the weather is gonna be horrendous.

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Bunni
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Bunni » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:57 pm

Also going this year for a second time. It's fairly easy to tour yourself. Get a rail pass and jump between cities. We're hoping between £5-7k for a month, via Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea.

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Pedro
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Pedro » Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:51 pm

Bunni wrote:Also going this year for a second time. It's fairly easy to tour yourself. Get a rail pass and jump between cities. We're hoping between £5-7k for a month, via Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea.


Bunni is that pricing per person or for the both of you?

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Bunni
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Bunni » Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:21 pm

For both of us. Few luxuries and some cut backs in other areas.

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Parksey
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Parksey » Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:37 am

Look at you losers dropping 10k to go to Japan. I get paid to stay here!

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Skarjo
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Skarjo » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:15 am

Bunni wrote:Also going this year for a second time. It's fairly easy to tour yourself. Get a rail pass and jump between cities. We're hoping between £5-7k for a month, via Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea.


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Skarjo
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Skarjo » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:18 am

Also 12k seems pretty steep, but I guess it depends on how much travelling is included and what you're wanting to do.

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gamerforever
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by gamerforever » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:06 am

Thanks guys. I meant £12k all in for 2 people, including food etc which tours sometime don’t cover. It’s encouraging that there are cheaper options and that you can do the trip without a guided tour.

Any websites that might help me?

How much is food/ travel etc? More than in london?

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Dual
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Dual » Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:23 am

I've never got the appeal of Japan. Is it just a geek culture thing that makes you want to go?

Edit: That sounds more ignorant than I intended to.

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Pedro
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Pedro » Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:39 am

Total difference to anywhere I've ever been. The wide range in culture from the geeky to the traditional. Also the scenery is beautiful. Hell the food alone is enough to make me want to go.

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Outrunner
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Outrunner » Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:58 am

jawafour wrote:
Outrunner wrote:My first two trips were on tours with Intrepid travel...

It's great to see you back in GR, Outrunner :-).


Thanks! I've been taking a while to get my life back on track, hopefully I'm back for good now :-)

I've never got the appeal of Japan. Is it just a geek culture thing that makes you want to go?


That was a tiny part of why I first went. I love the history of the country. I go to temples, shrines and battlefields from the Sengoku period and it brings the history that I've read about to life. I like the food, the people. Winter is my favourite time to go and I've been to a few winter festivals. Even after six trips I feel like I've barely scratched the surface.

Any websites that might help me?


For self planning this is my go to site: https://www.japan-guide.com/ . It breaks the country down by region and prefecture. It's really good on giving you instructions on how to get places. It even gives you cherry blossom and autumn colour reports if you're going at that time of year. They're both obviously dependent on weather but browsing past years gives you a rough idea. Just don't necessarily depend on it (I went last spring and a lot of places I was just a little too early. On the other hand, in 2012 we hit everywhere spot on). Other than that I'll look at tour group websites for ideas then just book my own thing based on stuff I find there. This site: https://www.japanican.com/en/tour/ has hotels and also day tours if you did fancy doing something with a group. I booked a couple of things through them.

I use Booking.com, Japanican or Jalan.net for my hotels. There might be better sites but they suit me.

How much is food/ travel etc? More than in london?


I can't compare to London but my holidays have ranged from "spoiling myself really expensive" to cheap budget holidays. My main failing is I don't always keep track of what I'm spending (on holiday) so a couple of trips have been more expensive than they should have been. I tend to be able to get my hotels for three weeks in the £1000-£1500 range. You can do this cheaper with hostels. I personally mix it up with business hotels and occasionally spoil myself with a nice hotel here and there. I got an amazing room in Tottori that would have cost me a fortune in Tokyo. I've done a temple stay before and that was brilliant if pricey.

For transport, get a JR pass. They may seem pricey but I found they more than pay for themselves. You can "only" use them on JR trains but that covers loads of the country. You can get a national one (which you have to buy before you enter Japan) or regional ones if you aren't travelling too far. I believe you can either buy them before you go or while you are there. I only ever get the national ones so I'm not sure.

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DML
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by DML » Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:42 am

I recommend the Abroad In Japan YouTube channel. It's really excellent and run by an English guy living in Japan.

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Tomous
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Tomous » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:28 am

Okay, Japan is expensive but £10-£12k is an absolute pisstake.

I'd recommend getting a JR pass for the trains (about £350 for 2 weeks from memory). Make sure you sort it before going and be mindful when planning your route it doesn't let you get any train, only certain ones are applicable.

We did the following route over two weeks:

Tokyo (with day trip to Nikko)
Kawaguchi (Fuji 5 Lakes area-the highlight)
Kyoto (with day trip to Narra)
Osaka
Hiroshima (with day trip to Miyajima Island)

I'd recommend all of that, and assuming you're flying in and out of Tokyo it's very easy to get back from Hiroshima with the bullet train-we got it in the morning for a late afternoon flight.


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