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want to tour japan in spring 2013

Manila, Philippines
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want to tour japan in spring 2013

hello everyone,

my family and I wished to tour japan,

I'm still searching for the appropriate travel agency to make the land arrangements.

I've checked the 'ALL JAPAN TOURS', and apparently upon consulting with people in trip advisor, (which I totally appreciate by the way), the had mixed feeling about it, its too expensive according to most of them' so now I'm back to square one.

I'm currently looking at 'Grand Tour of Japan 10 nights and 11 days' by Japan Deluxe Tour. what do you guys think? anybody?

have anyone used Japan Deluxe tour before? are they any good?

Hope for your inputs, thanks in advance

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Illinois
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for Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: want to tour japan in spring 2013

Not to discourage you from an escorted tour - Japan is quite easy to tour on your own and at your own pace.

Take a look at http://www.japan-guide.com/ - the site has some suggested itineraries.

Tokyo, Japan
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2. Re: want to tour japan in spring 2013

Also, not to discourage you from the tour companies you've cited (I don't know them so can't evaluate), you should be able to visit on your own (provided that you have the passport/visa issue solved).

Itineraries questions are posted frequently here and answers are given. Japan-Guide, JNTO, and tripadvisor should offer enough information to travel on your own.

For first timers, recommend 4 days in Tokyo (day trip[s] to Nikko or Hakone), 4 days in Kyoto (day trip[s] to Nara and Osaka), 2 days in Takayama&Shrakawa-Go or Hiroshima&Miyajima.

Manila, Philippines
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3. Re: want to tour japan in spring 2013

thank you very much for your comments,

since it will be our first time in Japan, we hope not to waste time

going in circles looking for places, having to stop frequently to ask questions.

I was told that most people there rarely speak english, thus would take a time to just ask for directions. also i understand that its quite expensive in japan, thus i would hope not to spend so much for unnessary things. also we would likely be lugging around quite a few baggage, so transferring from one city to another would be a hassle.

personally I myself would like to explore japan at our own pace, but we can only spare 10 days at the most for thus trip. and we kinda want to make the most of it i guess. thus we would appreciate any further ideas. again thank you everyone

Illinois
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for Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: want to tour japan in spring 2013

You won't be wasting time touring on your own. With a bit of planning ahead of time and a good guidebook, you'll do fine in Japan on your own.

No worries about the language. Most Japanese have a basic knowledge of some English and will be happy to help you out. Signs in train stations along with trains and buses are bilingual. Same for tourist destinations.

Transferring from one city to another need not be a hassle. Many people send luggage ahead of time using luggage forwarding service. http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2278.html - hotels will arrange this for you. You'll travel by train with a small amount of luggage and the rest will be waiting for you at your next destination.

With 10 days - you can cover a lot of Japan without being rushed. Consider staying in 2 or 3 cities at most. Look around the Japan Guide link I gave you in my previous response.

Consider flying in at Osaka and out of Tokyo or vice versa. This will eliminate a return train trip back to your originating airport.

Melbourne,Australia
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5. Re: want to tour japan in spring 2013

We have also org our own tour for spring 2013. We are not experienced travellers and do not know Japanese, but having been to Japan once with a group of school kids, found that it was not difficult to get around. For our own trip I came across the following tour company http://www.japanpackagetours.com.au/index.php It is a "do it yourself" tour company where they book hotels, rail pass and some other bits and pieces and provide you with details of things to see and do. I actually used their itineraries as a starting point, noted the hotels they used, then did my own research and used the trip advisor recommendations.

Finally booked hotels thru various sites and have found lots of guide maps online for most places we are going.

The Internet is a wonderful tool!

Manila, Philippines
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6. Re: want to tour japan in spring 2013

thank you, Ok, we will try to be brave

yeah, I guess I can use one of these tour's itinerary as guide,

what about the food, I hear its very expensive, is it true?

I also heard, going thru japan's subway is like going into a sea of people, is this true also?

BTW, thank you very much Dave 148, for continuing to give your inputs.

of course still thanks to everyone.

Melbourne,Australia
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7. Re: want to tour japan in spring 2013

We didn't have many problems with the subway in Tokyo. There is a map of the system with colour coded lines which match the lines and arrows in the stations. There is usually at least 1 ticket machine that has an English button.

Also if you are standing in front of a map or machine looking puzzled someone who speaks English usually comes to help (maybe because you are holding up the queue!!) There are also station employees who will help you if you make a mistake. One thing to be aware of at the stations is that there are many exits and connecting stations. if you use the wrong exit you can end up a fair way from where you intend to be.

There are always a fair number of people, but when I was there with the kids, we did not travel in peak times and always had a seat.

Manila, Philippines
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8. Re: want to tour japan in spring 2013

thanks again newby50.

Roseland, New Jersey
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9. Re: want to tour japan in spring 2013

Hi there, I am in same position as you were in regards to go to Japan on your own and wanting to book a tour.

How did you make out? Did you end up doing your own thing or did you book a tour? Can you give me advice?

Anything would be helpful. I am planning trip in july

Melbourne,Australia
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10. Re: want to tour japan in spring 2013

We leave for our trip on Saturday so I will post details when we return.