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A little advice for my trip to Japan

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  • A little advice for my trip to Japan

    Hi Guys,

    I'm going to do a tour of Japan on October and have been trying to sort out my Itineray and travel arrangements. I seem to be having a problem though sorting out where to go and how best to schedule it. I'll be flying via Emirates from Glasgow to Tokyo. Plan was to go from Tokyo>Lake Ashi(visit Mt Fuji)>Osaka>Kyoto>Hiroshima>Fukuoka. If anyone could think of other places that are worth visiting then by all means please do. Also if peeps can mention good things to do in some of the places that would be great.

    One other thing I'm having a bit of bother with is the rail system in Japan. I've used rail in the U.S. and U.K. and both are fairly straight forward and cheap to use. It seems a rather bit more complicated and expensive for train travel in Japan though. Does anyone know what the best way to get around? Is there some sort of rail pass that i can pay for that will cover me for traveling to all these places for the 3 weeks im away?

    Cheers.

    Shug.

  • #2
    JR Rail Pass is what you need:
    http://www.jrpass.com
    OR
    http://www.japanrailpass.net/eng/en001.html

    JR is in general much, much, much more reliable, quicker and comfortable than either US or UK trains. At a price of course.
    It is also well signposted in English.

    Buy yourself a copy of the Lonely Planet Guide to Japan as well, and see what interests you.

    It is hard for posters here to recommend places without knowing what you are interested in. Temples/ shrines/ museums? Anime/ otaku/ cosplay? Culture/ history/ politics? So much to choose from...

    PS I'd tend to recommend Tokyo>Fukuoka, then return slowly through places like Iwakuni, Hiroshima, Himeji, Osaka, Kyoto/Nara, then Odawara/ Ashinoko/ Mt. Fuji/ Kamakura and finally Yokohama/ Tokyo.

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    • #3
      Hi Trip, cheers mate for the info there.

      JR Pass looks like a good bet and it does make alot more sense to go from Tokyo to Fukuoka and work my way back to those places.

      It would make things alot easier if i had mentioned what i liked thats for sure :P I do alot of photography, so places of historic nature, like temples etc and scenery would be the kind of things id do, along with anything to do with anime, drinking and cultural stuff.

      Also for a bit of a laugh i thought id pack one of my kilts and highland wear with me. Do you think this would go down well in Japan? or do you think id get lynched? :P

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Autokarma View Post

        One other thing I'm having a bit of bother with is the rail system in Japan. I've used rail in the U.S. and U.K. and both are fairly straight forward and cheap to use. It seems a rather bit more complicated and expensive for train travel in Japan though. Does anyone know what the best way to get around? Is there some sort of rail pass that i can pay for that will cover me for traveling to all these places for the 3 weeks im away?
        .
        The British system - cheap and straightforward to use???!!! A system that increases the prices fourfold for people unfortunate enough to have to travel into London on a weekday morning and has a pricing structure that many of the employees don't understand! You don't get any of that in Japan!

        Rant over. October is an excellent time to go in terms of weather.

        Just asked my wife how a Japanese person would react when suddenly encountering a Scotsman in a kilt.
        According to her, they'd see you as a foreigner in traditional dress, so would not be put out - most of them have heard of kilts. You'd probably get no more reaction in the street than mild interest.
        Last edited by cucashopboy; 2011-01-07, 07:18 AM.

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        • #5
          Go to Koya-san. It's a bit out of the way, but well worth the journey. Stay in a temple overnight. Lots and lots of great pictures to be taken up there.

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          • #6
            Sorry mate, probably should have said Scotland rather than UK. Never been to London before so didn't know it was bad there. Doesn't seem too bad up here.

            Was hoping October would be a good time to visit. Seeing that the change of seasons would bring some nice colours when doing my photography and the humidity and heat wouldnt be as bad.

            lol that's good that it wouldn't be be too much of a shock to see :P Went down well last year when me and my mates went out on the ____ one night wearing them in New York. Seemed to get alot of peeps coming up talking to us. Dunno if that would be the case though in Japan though.

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            • #7
              I think late October is the best time of year to visit Japan, though April is nice as well. So you are definitely coming at a good time.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Autokarma View Post

                Also for a bit of a laugh i thought id pack one of my kilts and highland wear with me. Do you think this would go down well in Japan? or do you think id get lynched? :P
                Depends ! "True Scotsman style" ?

                ' Underwear may or may not be worn, as the wearer prefers, although tradition has it that a "true Scotsman" should wear nothing under his kilt.'

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilt#Styles_of_kilt_wear

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by easa View Post
                  Depends ! "True Scotsman style" ?

                  ' Underwear may or may not be worn, as the wearer prefers, although tradition has it that a "true Scotsman" should wear nothing under his kilt.'

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilt#Styles_of_kilt_wear

                  so those highland dances are performed just to feel one's nads joust about?

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                  • #10
                    lol no i don't go true Scotsman. I wouldn't want to give some old dear a heart attack :P

                    I don't know how the whole thing came about, but it's because of that reason i never rent kilts for weddings and buy them instead hehe.

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                    • #11
                      Just about to book up my hotels for my trip. Looking to go with the below:

                      Tokyo thurs 13th - mon 17th
                      Nagoya mon 17th - wed 19th
                      Kyoto wed 19th - fri 21st
                      Osaka fri 21st - mon 24th
                      Hiroshima mon 24th - thurs 27th
                      Fukuoka thurs 27th - sun 30th
                      Tokyo 30th - wed 2nd

                      I wanted to try get back to Tokyo for a few days before flying out to catch the Halloween festival and do a bit of shopping.

                      Just wondering if you guys think this looks alright?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Autokarma View Post
                        Just about to book up my hotels for my trip. Looking to go with the below:

                        Tokyo thurs 13th - mon 17th
                        Nagoya mon 17th - wed 19th
                        Kyoto wed 19th - fri 21st
                        Osaka fri 21st - mon 24th
                        Hiroshima mon 24th - thurs 27th
                        Fukuoka thurs 27th - sun 30th
                        Tokyo 30th - wed 2nd

                        I wanted to try get back to Tokyo for a few days before flying out to catch the Halloween festival and do a bit of shopping.

                        Just wondering if you guys think this looks alright?
                        You should consider dropping in at Himeji at some point (between Hiroshima and Osaka on the Sanyo Shinkansen line). It has the best castle in Japan. You'd need two or three hours to do it justice.

                        Remember with a JR Rail Pass you can make seat reservations free of charge at any station. Highly recommended, especially on the Hikari Rail Star because you get to go in the 2+2 seating cars with wider seats rather than the 3+2 unreserved configuration.

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                        • #13
                          Cheers ksnasi, thats a good shout mate. Will try and fit that in for sure!

                          By the way, during my trip i'm looking to stay in a Ryokan with an onsen. Could anyone recommend a good one that's worth going to in either Kyoto/Mt Fuji area or near Hiroshima? Had a look at a few online but don't know exactly what ones best to go for. My budget for one would be around 10,000 - 15,000 yen.

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                          • #14
                            Himeji castle is by far the best castle in Japan. However its currently under heavy renovations.

                            "http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3501.html"

                            So unfortunate for those who want to see it over the next couple years.

                            Have a great trip though :-)

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                            • #15
                              Yeah just noticed that the other day Shigusan

                              I've booked up all my accomodation etc for my trip in October. It's going to be:

                              Tokyo 13th to 19th
                              Hakone 19th to 20th
                              Fukuoka 20th to 23rd
                              Hiroshima 23rd to 25th
                              Himeji 25th to 26th
                              Kyoto 26th to 28th
                              Osaka 28th to 30th
                              Tokyo 30th to 2nd

                              Just hope it all goes to plan. Not looking forward to my 15 hour flight though :P

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