Travel

Japan Travel Thread

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  • Nov 12th, 2017 8:29 pm
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Newbie
Dec 19, 2015
19 posts
North York, ON
just went to Tokyo recently for 4 days

culture shock and overwhelmed by amount of stuff to see.

will go to Osaka next
Member
May 7, 2008
448 posts
133 upvotes
Toronto
Done Japan solo before. I think if you like to hang out on your own, it is actually a great country to go, no one bats an eye a single person dining on their own. And it's an amazing feeling being overwhelmed by the culture shock on your own. Also extremely safe place - very orderly and little violent crime speak of.

However that being said, especially if you don't speak Japanese - it's very difficult to meet locals there. People definitely have a sense of personal space there, so if meeting local people is part of the travel experience that you're looking for - Japan can feel a bit empty.

Navigation is not a challenge these days with the apps and tech available. Make sure you look up free wi-fi apps if you don't intend to buy mobile data.
ysl5710 wrote:
Aug 28th, 2017 8:27 pm
Anyone travelled to Japan solo? I don't have anyone at the moment that wants to go..

How travelling to Japan solo ? Getting around, transportation and good easy order?
Newbie
Mar 27, 2011
25 posts
Burlington
If you like history, around Tokyo there is Nikko, Kamakura. Kyoto is a must and other places like Nara has way more history stuff than Tokyo. If you prefer night life and modern stuff, Tokyo and Osaka are better. I think 2 weeks is enough to travel to the major cities in Japan, I would venture out and cover Tokyo area and Kansai area (Kyoto, Osaka, Nara and etc). I covered these places in a week, and loved it.
Newbie
Mar 27, 2011
25 posts
Burlington
I would say getting a pocket wifi or internet data is a must so you can find places easily. Japanese address go by street blocks, and it's confusing as hell.
Newbie
Aug 17, 2016
58 posts
4 upvotes
I am going to Japan solo soon. I already booked my flight tickets and would like to hear some advices:

I will arrive NRT airport at around 3:40 pm on Sep. 28 and leave NRT in the moring on Oct. 11.

I am planing to go to either Kyoto or Osaka directly from NRT airport (probably by train) and stay in that area about 8 nights, and then head back to Tokyo for 5 nights.

In this case, should I buy a 14 days or 7 days JR pass? If i have this card, I do not need to buy extra subway tickets during my stay in kyoto/Osaka area? i would take day trip to kobe and nara...

and I am hesitating between staying 8 nights at just ktoyo or osaka, or some nights in ktoyo some nights in osaka? which one is better?

I am interested in food, culture..not much about templates though.

Thanks.
Jr. Member
Jun 27, 2007
179 posts
14 upvotes
California
duwangren wrote:
Sep 14th, 2017 10:54 am
I am going to Japan solo soon. I already booked my flight tickets and would like to hear some advices:

I will arrive NRT airport at around 3:40 pm on Sep. 28 and leave NRT in the moring on Oct. 11.

I am planing to go to either Kyoto or Osaka directly from NRT airport (probably by train) and stay in that area about 8 nights, and then head back to Tokyo for 5 nights.

In this case, should I buy a 14 days or 7 days JR pass? If i have this card, I do not need to buy extra subway tickets during my stay in kyoto/Osaka area? i would take day trip to kobe and nara...

and I am hesitating between staying 8 nights at just ktoyo or osaka, or some nights in ktoyo some nights in osaka? which one is better?

I am interested in food, culture..not much about templates though.

Thanks.
Depends how much you want to move around. You can set up base in Kyoto and visit quite a bit (Osaka, Kobe, Nara, Himeji).

Use this calculator to see if and which JR pass you'd need.

https://www.japan-guide.com/railpass/
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 5, 2008
2034 posts
40 upvotes
Toronto
Hi all,

Planning a trip to Japan near end of year. Kinda confused with all these different mode of transportation compared to TTC in Toronto.

I'll be coming in HND airport and the three mainstay would be Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. 14 days, haven't allocated days for each area.

For those who've been or has any experience, what would be best way to do this (sorry I don't know where to begin). The JR Pass for 14 days is $500+?!?!

Thanks in advance!!
Live, Eat, Sleep, Breathe RFD!! :twisted:
Sr. Member
User avatar
Nov 23, 2010
624 posts
75 upvotes
Toronto
asdisme wrote:
Sep 16th, 2017 8:25 pm
Hi all,

Planning a trip to Japan near end of year. Kinda confused with all these different mode of transportation compared to TTC in Toronto.

I'll be coming in HND airport and the three mainstay would be Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. 14 days, haven't allocated days for each area.

For those who've been or has any experience, what would be best way to do this (sorry I don't know where to begin). The JR Pass for 14 days is $500+?!?!

Thanks in advance!!
Travel from Tokyo to Osaka/Kyoto best mode of transportation is the JR bullet train. It would take you about 2.5 hrs if I remember correctly.

Travel betwen Kyoto and Osaka you can take "local trains" or an intercity train (also JR)

Travel is about 30 minutes between each city.

Depending on what your interests are I personally found Tokyo to be the biggest culture shock. Lots of people, lots of neon lights, lots of night life. Osaka is a bit quieter then Tokyo, but I found it to be almost a smaller version then Tokyo.

Osaka has a lot of things to see, but the main thing most tourists hit up at least is the dotonburi.

Kyoto is the sleepiest of all the locations, though it is the most cultural/historical. Its a definite must see as all the temples are each quite unique.

Just my two cents, I am sure others will chime in.

To help you calculate whether the JR pass is worth it for you, try using this website

https://www.jrpass.com/es/cost-calculator

But when I went to Japan, I found the JR pass for 14 days paid off when I travelled to more then those 3 cities.

If I may recommend, maybe go for the 7 day pass.

You can try staying in Tokyo for a few days when you first land. Then you can activate the 7 day JR pass when you are ready to go to Kyoto/Osaka.

You can spend 7 days split between Kyoto/Osaka, then head back to Tokyo.

Though personally I would recommend spending more time in Kyoto to be able to see all the temples (if thats your thing).

You can also use this website to see what time/how often JR trains run.

http://www.hyperdia.com/en/

Hope this helps - Have fun!
Member
Mar 15, 2004
263 posts
22 upvotes
Toronto
asdisme wrote:
Sep 16th, 2017 8:25 pm
Hi all,

Planning a trip to Japan near end of year. Kinda confused with all these different mode of transportation compared to TTC in Toronto.

I'll be coming in HND airport and the three mainstay would be Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. 14 days, haven't allocated days for each area.

For those who've been or has any experience, what would be best way to do this (sorry I don't know where to begin). The JR Pass for 14 days is $500+?!?!

Thanks in advance!!
If you're just going to do the 3 most popular cities for tourists in Japan, its not worth getting a 2 week JR pass. JR Pass is most worth it if you're doing lots of long distance travel. The 7 day JR pass pays for itself once you do a Tokyo-Kyoto-Osaka-Tokyo.

Now if you're willing to travel to cities outside of the 3 main tourist sites of Japan, then it may be worth it depending on where you travel.

2 weeks is a lot for just those 3 cities in my opinion.

Here is my suggestion if you're going to get a 2 week pass:

Spend the night in Tokyo
Kyoto for 3 days 2 nights
Osaka for 2 days
You can make Osaka as your base since Osaka has a nightlife if you're into that
Day trip to Nara
Day Trip to Kobe
Day trip to Himeji
Nagoya for a night
Hakone for a night if you want to experience hot springs
Rest of the time in Tokyo
Also Nikko can be done in a day trip

Subtract as needed

There's more to Japan than Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto.
Member
Mar 15, 2004
263 posts
22 upvotes
Toronto
duwangren wrote:
Sep 14th, 2017 10:54 am
I am going to Japan solo soon. I already booked my flight tickets and would like to hear some advices:

I will arrive NRT airport at around 3:40 pm on Sep. 28 and leave NRT in the moring on Oct. 11.

I am planing to go to either Kyoto or Osaka directly from NRT airport (probably by train) and stay in that area about 8 nights, and then head back to Tokyo for 5 nights.

In this case, should I buy a 14 days or 7 days JR pass? If i have this card, I do not need to buy extra subway tickets during my stay in kyoto/Osaka area? i would take day trip to kobe and nara...

and I am hesitating between staying 8 nights at just ktoyo or osaka, or some nights in ktoyo some nights in osaka? which one is better?

I am interested in food, culture..not much about templates though.

Thanks.
Have you thought about Flying into Osaka?
Its not really economical to get a JR pass if you're just going to stay in Kyoto or Osaka.
ANA has something called Experience Japan fare where each flight between any 2 cities in Japan is only 10800 yen.
ANA has flights from NRT to ITM on the day you arrive and on the day you decide to go back to Tokyo, you can fly into Haneda instead of having to go back to Narita.

For Kyoto, there aren't many JR lines. Most of the sightseeing spots you have to take the non-JR trains or the bus to get to them.
Newbie
Aug 17, 2016
58 posts
4 upvotes
Jereina wrote:
Sep 16th, 2017 9:53 pm
Have you thought about Flying into Osaka?
Its not really economical to get a JR pass if you're just going to stay in Kyoto or Osaka.
ANA has something called Experience Japan fare where each flight between any 2 cities in Japan is only 10800 yen.
ANA has flights from NRT to ITM on the day you arrive and on the day you decide to go back to Tokyo, you can fly into Haneda instead of having to go back to Narita.

For Kyoto, there aren't many JR lines. Most of the sightseeing spots you have to take the non-JR trains or the bus to get to them.

I will arrive at NRT pretty late, at around 4 PM, and if there is some flight delay, plus going through custom, not sure if I could be able to catch the latest flight to ITM? Also I will stay in Kyoto, but plan to day trip to osaka, kobe, nara, himeji, and then head back to stay in tokyo for several days. It might be worth for me to buy JR pass..

I will really need to do some more research.
Member
Mar 15, 2004
263 posts
22 upvotes
Toronto
duwangren wrote:
Sep 16th, 2017 10:19 pm
I will arrive at NRT pretty late, at around 4 PM, and if there is some flight delay, plus going through custom, not sure if I could be able to catch the latest flight to ITM? Also I will stay in Kyoto, but plan to day trip to osaka, kobe, nara, himeji, and then head back to stay in tokyo for several days. It might be worth for me to buy JR pass..

I will really need to do some more research.
The flight from NRT to ITM leaves at 6pm.
But since you're going to do other cities, yes it is worth to get a JR pass then.
Member
Jan 30, 2008
310 posts
66 upvotes
Toronto
duwangren wrote:
Sep 16th, 2017 10:19 pm
I will arrive at NRT pretty late, at around 4 PM, and if there is some flight delay, plus going through custom, not sure if I could be able to catch the latest flight to ITM? Also I will stay in Kyoto, but plan to day trip to osaka, kobe, nara, himeji, and then head back to stay in tokyo for several days. It might be worth for me to buy JR pass..

I will really need to do some more research.
If you haven't yet heard about hyperdia.com, it's an excellent site to help you calculate the cost of your JR train/shinkansen trips to see if its worth the JR pass. Make sure you deselect "Private Railways" to exclude local transit that you can't take with JR pass and deselect "NOZOMI / MIZUHO / HAYABUSA (SHINKANSEN)" since you can't take these shinkansens with JR pass (although I don;t believe it affects the total price).
Newbie
Aug 17, 2016
58 posts
4 upvotes
Secret wrote:
Sep 16th, 2017 11:03 pm
If you haven't yet heard about hyperdia.com, it's an excellent site to help you calculate the cost of your JR train/shinkansen trips to see if its worth the JR pass. Make sure you deselect "Private Railways" to exclude local transit that you can't take with JR pass and deselect "NOZOMI / MIZUHO / HAYABUSA (SHINKANSEN)" since you can't take these shinkansens with JR pass (although I don;t believe it affects the total price).
Thanks, I will use hyperdia.com to check.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 5, 2008
2034 posts
40 upvotes
Toronto
chillychin wrote:
Sep 16th, 2017 9:01 pm
Travel from Tokyo to Osaka/Kyoto best mode of transportation is the JR bullet train. It would take you about 2.5 hrs if I remember correctly.

Travel betwen Kyoto and Osaka you can take "local trains" or an intercity train (also JR)

Travel is about 30 minutes between each city.

Depending on what your interests are I personally found Tokyo to be the biggest culture shock. Lots of people, lots of neon lights, lots of night life. Osaka is a bit quieter then Tokyo, but I found it to be almost a smaller version then Tokyo.

Osaka has a lot of things to see, but the main thing most tourists hit up at least is the dotonburi.

Kyoto is the sleepiest of all the locations, though it is the most cultural/historical. Its a definite must see as all the temples are each quite unique.

Just my two cents, I am sure others will chime in.

To help you calculate whether the JR pass is worth it for you, try using this website

https://www.jrpass.com/es/cost-calculator

But when I went to Japan, I found the JR pass for 14 days paid off when I travelled to more then those 3 cities.

If I may recommend, maybe go for the 7 day pass.

You can try staying in Tokyo for a few days when you first land. Then you can activate the 7 day JR pass when you are ready to go to Kyoto/Osaka.

You can spend 7 days split between Kyoto/Osaka, then head back to Tokyo.

Though personally I would recommend spending more time in Kyoto to be able to see all the temples (if thats your thing).

You can also use this website to see what time/how often JR trains run.

http://www.hyperdia.com/en/

Hope this helps - Have fun!
Thanks for detailed reply Chillychin!

That was my original thought with the 7 day JR Train pass. From HND Airport-->Tokyo (either stay couple days or go directly to Osaka via JR Train & set base for 7 days. Knock out the surrounding areas/cities with day trips (Will JR pass work through Kansai region or will I require another pass for transportation in that area?).

Then on the 7th day - JR train back to Tokyo and set base there for the remaining time before heading back to HND airport. (What would be best to travel within Tokyo? Read something regarding Pasmo and Suica Cards)

Thanks again! Any tips/advice would be greatly appreciated!
Last edited by asdisme on Sep 17th, 2017 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Live, Eat, Sleep, Breathe RFD!! :twisted:

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