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Help in planning a trip to Japan

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Help in planning a trip to Japan

Postby Akutabai_Gamma » Sat 08.13.2005 1:59 am

I am currently planning a trip to Japan for next July for me and my friends(5) and we are all 16-17. Any information or help will be greatly appreciated.
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RE: Help in planning a trip to Japan

Postby jinksys » Sat 08.13.2005 6:40 pm

wow, I wish I could afford a trip to japan when I was 16
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RE: Help in planning a trip to Japan

Postby clay » Sat 08.13.2005 9:34 pm

If you plan on travelling a lot, be sure to get the JR Pass which is good not only for trains (and even shinkansen), but also for local JR trains. However, if plan to mainly stay in one area, it may be cheaper to not get the pass.

Other than that, what do you want to see/go?
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RE: Help in planning a trip to Japan

Postby Kates » Mon 08.15.2005 10:15 am

In July? Oh MAN get ready for the heat and humidity! ^_^;; And yeah, where do you want to go? What do you want to see? Old Japan? (Temples, shrines, etc?) New Japan? (Skyscrapers, shopping malls, thousands of people?)

Either way, I'd say Kyoto is a safe bet. It is full of beautiful old temples/shrines (some favorites: Kiyomizu-dera, Kinkaku-ji, Ginkaku-ji, Sanjuusangen-do) and also has a lot of the 'new Japan'--restaurants, shopping, etc. Kyoto is also very familiar with foreign guests, so you probably wouldn't have trouble communicating much there. It is also a very safe city (much like ALL of Japan, though... heh).

But really... how long are you there? How much can you spend? Do you want to stay in hotels or in ryokan (more traditional Japanese inn)? Visit an onsen (hot spring)? To help you out... go to the bookstore and look at guidebooks. I HIGHLY recommend the "Lonely Planet" guides to Japan, Tokyo and Kyoto. They helped me plan some wonderful vacations! Well worth the $20-or-so you would spend to get one.

And as clay said, the Japan Rail (JR) Pass is a fantastic idea.... IF you plan to ride the trains a lot (especially the shinkansen (bullet train)).
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RE: Help in planning a trip to Japan

Postby Shibakoen » Tue 08.16.2005 11:18 pm

I can tell you about a hundred places in Tokyo and Yokohama. Starting with Minato-Mirai, Red Brick, ChinaTown, and Motomachi in Yokohama, Harajuku, Shibuya, Roppongi/Roppongi Hills, Aoyama, Akihabara, Ebisu, basically anywhere on the Yamanote line.
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RE: Help in planning a trip to Japan

Postby Akutabai_Gamma » Wed 08.17.2005 12:22 am

I'm planning on going to Tokyo( so that would fit into the category of skyscrapers, shopping malls, and thousands of people for me) and i'm planning on staying for at lest a week. I'm bringing at lest $300 in spending money and i would also like to know if you can recommend a nice cheap hotel and im actually interested in a ryokan how much do ryokans typically cost? Also, how much does a Japan Rail pass cost?
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RE: Help in planning a trip to Japan

Postby njt » Wed 08.17.2005 12:42 am

Akutabai_Gamma wrote:
I'm planning on going to Tokyo( so that would fit into the category of skyscrapers, shopping malls, and thousands of people for me) and i'm planning on staying for at lest a week. I'm bringing at lest $300 in spending money and i would also like to know if you can recommend a nice cheap hotel and im actually interested in a ryokan how much do ryokans typically cost? Also, how much does a Japan Rail pass cost?


er how long are you planning oon staying? I don't know of any cheap places right off hand, but I can tell you 300 isn't much "spending" money... unless that spending money is for fun, and you have extra to pay for meals/stay...
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RE: Help in planning a trip to Japan

Postby Kates » Wed 08.17.2005 9:56 am

Akutabai: Get a guidebook. Seriously. You're going to need it. >_< Again, the LONELY PLANET books are awesome. You can get the Tokyo one for about $15. It has color maps and subway maps and TONS of info about shopping, eating and WHERE TO STAY. Tokyo is HUGE. I have no idea which area of Tokyo you want to visit, and we still don't know how long you'll be there. And yeah.... $300 is not a lot of money.... unless you'll only be there for two or three days... and even then.... Know this: Japan is VERY expensive. (Especially Tokyo)

You'd be best off to just get a guidebook. Have all your friends chip in if $15 is too much. -_- But honestly, it's going to save your butt.
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RE: Help in planning a trip to Japan

Postby Inexactitude » Wed 08.17.2005 5:38 pm

Cheap ryokan in downtown shinjuku: http://www.tamaryokan.com/
Near tokyo station you have a place called the 大一アネクス, which is a very inexpensive (I think about around 100 us per night) western style hotel. They speak decent english there from what I understand, and I even heard they used to fly the American flag (this place is very popular with business men who want to stay in tokyo for a good price).
There is also a place called the tokyo inn, but I don't know much about them except they are about 100 US a night. It's western style.
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RE: Help in planning a trip to Japan

Postby Gakusha » Wed 08.17.2005 7:43 pm

I believe a Rail Pass costs $400.
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RE: Help in planning a trip to Japan

Postby Inexactitude » Thu 08.18.2005 1:32 am

$400? Whoah, that's high. How much do individual rides cost?
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RE: Help in planning a trip to Japan

Postby njt » Thu 08.18.2005 2:06 am

http://www.japanrailpass.net/eng/en02.html
Yep around 400 for a week.
individual rides range from 1 dollar and some change to several hundred... depending where you want to go and what train you take.
If you plan to go all over japan, and get there fast then the 400 is really a GREAT deal. To go to and from Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, etc all via bullet train, then really, just can't beat it.
But if you plan to stay in the Tokyo area... only going around to shibuya, shinjuku, akihabara etc. then yeah- don't waste your money~ you could go to all those places for around less than 30.00 or so... and that's including round trips to where ever you are staying~.
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RE: Help in planning a trip to Japan

Postby Inexactitude » Thu 08.18.2005 2:48 am

That makes sense. I didn't take far travel into account. It really is a pretty good deal in the end.
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RE: Help in planning a trip to Japan

Postby njt » Thu 08.18.2005 4:24 am

Yep it is :D Too bad it's only offered to people outside of Japan, or I would SO buy it :s.
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RE: Help in planning a trip to Japan

Postby Kates » Thu 08.18.2005 9:07 am

BUT... Inexactitude, if you are only planning to travel IN TOKYO, the JR Pass is going to be a waste of money, I think. Unless you'll be there for an extended time.

I imagine the Tokyo rail system and subway system have a pass you can buy there. When I visited Osaka, I bought a day-pass for their rails and it was a great deal. Perhaps about $30 and we rode as much as we liked--on both the trains and the subway. I think that would be a much better deal for you, if you are not planning on riding the shinkansen (bullet train).

The greatness of the JR Pass is the deal you get for riding the shinkansen. Tickets between Tokyo and Kyoto can be about 100-200$ US... so if you are travelling around Japan, then it's a great deal. But the JR Pass is not really intended for inter-city travel.
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