Travel

Traveling to Japan, never traveled before

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Oct 6, 2007
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Kootenays
craftsman wrote: Speaking of transportation, depending where you want to go in Japan (unless you want to stay just in some place like Tokyo), a JR Rail tourist pass is a great deal to move between cities or even day trips out of cities within Japan. You can only buy the pass outside of Japan as it's meant for foreign tourist only.
Would it be worthwhile if the only trip is Tokyo/Osaka return over a 6 day period, or would a return ticket be cheaper?
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Dec 24, 2007
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When you land get a Welcome Suica card that is available from JR offices at the airport...It is a special card for tourists as it doesn't have a refundable deposit, it just expires after a month.

what is a Suica card? It's a reloadable IC card that you can use on any transport option plus also accept in lots of shopping and restaurants so you don't have to carry around lots of cash. You cannot reload unfortunately with a credit card, you have to use cash.
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Dec 24, 2007
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Toronto
smacd wrote: Would it be worthwhile if the only trip is Tokyo/Osaka return over a 6 day period, or would a return ticket be cheaper?
I think it would be worth it for the round trip. One way, probably not worth it. General rule of thumb about the JR Rail Pass is that if you are making a round-trip between Tokyo and Osaka/Kyoto, then it's going to be worth it. A round trip costs about ¥28,800 (¥14,400 one way). A 7-day pass costs about ¥29.650.

Another bonus of the Pass is it's unlimited use of JR trains within Tokyo or Osaka. This includes airport transfers or day trips using JR rail as long as it's within the pass' timeframe.
Deal Guru
Jan 27, 2006
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smacd wrote: Would it be worthwhile if the only trip is Tokyo/Osaka return over a 6 day period, or would a return ticket be cheaper?
Really depends on what you use the pass for... The JR pass works on any JR operated rail line so that include the standard rail between cities, the 'slower' bullet train, AND any subways or metro lines they own. If you plan to stay within Tokyo then it's really not even thou I believe JR operates a number of metro lines. However, if you plan to go down to Kyoto and visit some of the many temples and UNESCO sites which all require rides on the standard rail lines or go down from Kyoto to other cities in the South as day trips, then its worth it as well. Basically, if you decide to actually SEE JAPAN rather than just one city, then the rail pass is the best deal.

When I went, I few into Osaka from HK, stayed in Kyoto, then took the bullet train to Toyko and then flew out of NRT. During my stays in Kyoto, I regularly took trail on day trips to various sites and cities in the South. On my last day in Tokyo, I used the last day of the pas for the airport transfer.
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Feb 1, 2005
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Rurrutia wrote: I never traveled before, and I'm curious what peoples recommendation is for money. do i bring it cash? get a travel CC? i have no idea and was wondering if anyone had some insight. Thanks
For Japan you need to have cash on you while there.

Whether you bring it with you or withdraw when there is up to you, but you need to have cash when you are there.

Since you are almost certain to need it on arrival, and since Japan is basically a super safe place, if you're going to change money here you might as well change a good chunk unless you are going the Stack Mastercard route to avoid the foreign currency conversion fees.

Posters talk about Passmo, Suica and other IC cards, but those are just electronic forms of your cash - i.e., you can only use cash to load those cards.
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Oct 6, 2007
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Kootenays
They just bought their JR passes, $773 for 2 passes for 7 days. Makes sense, I guess, since they'll probably go to Kyoto, too.
Deal Guru
Jan 27, 2006
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smacd wrote: They just bought their JR passes, $773 for 2 passes for 7 days. Makes sense, I guess, since they'll probably go to Kyoto, too.
If they are staying in Kyoto for a few days, like I did, Kyoto has a special tourist transit pass which will allow them to easily move around the city for a few days for a fixed rate - great for seeing the sites within Kyoto. You can buy the pass at any subway station in Kyoto (or at least when I was there).
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Oct 6, 2007
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Kootenays
craftsman wrote: If they are staying in Kyoto for a few days, like I did, Kyoto has a special tourist transit pass which will allow them to easily move around the city for a few days for a fixed rate - great for seeing the sites within Kyoto. You can buy the pass at any subway station in Kyoto (or at least when I was there).
Kyoto will just be a day trip or 2. They already have their accommodations booked in Osaka.
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Jan 12, 2005
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Scarborough
craftsman wrote: If they are staying in Kyoto for a few days, like I did, Kyoto has a special tourist transit pass which will allow them to easily move around the city for a few days for a fixed rate - great for seeing the sites within Kyoto. You can buy the pass at any subway station in Kyoto (or at least when I was there).
I just took the cab in Kyoto (to the bamboo forest if that's where you're going). The bus was too crowded and took too long, especially if you're traveling with more than one.
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Sep 19, 2013
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OP, are you there? :rolleyes:
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