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Tips, Info, Suggestions to Japan?

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Corpus Christi...
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Tips, Info, Suggestions to Japan?

Okay so ima be 18 turning 19 when i go to Japan in summer of 2014. My budget is 5k Im gonna be there for 2 weeks. Is this enough money? What hotel would you suggest? should i take it all in cash or Debit card? What places should i go? More than likely i'll be a solo travler. So any tips on that? any help would be appreicated.

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1. Re: Tips, Info, Suggestions to Japan?

5 K US might be fine but does this cover accomodation? Japanese use cash a lot and often travel with large amounts, so cash would be safe if that's what you're worried about.Solo travel is great in Japan it's very safe with a little common sense. You need to narrow down where you are going within Japan to get hotel suggestions, and even then - Tokyo has 13-14 million people and thousands of hotels :-).

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2. Re: Tips, Info, Suggestions to Japan?

Does that budget include airfare?

Here's a rough budget breakdown. Prices can change, of course, as will the exchange rate; and a LOT depends on how you travel: do you like to snack, do you want big meals, do you want fancy meals, etc. As for how to carry the cash: we use a mix of cards and cash. Not every ATM will take your card, and ATMs are not always open late or on holidays. We've found the bank fees for our credit card to be comparable to exchanging money, particularly when you factor in the convenience. But despite being thought of as a very, very modern nation, a surprising number of places don't take credit cards. So you'll need cash. Once you get your date fixed, you could maximize your money by monitoring the exchange rates and getting the money changed locally. Or, if you have any Japanese friends in your country, I have done a casual exchange of local currency for Yen they brought with them; needs to be a good friend, of course.

Lodging: You can get some really decent lodging for 50-100 US a night. You might go ahead and start planning this now; make some friends and work out a homestay arrangement. And if you find your budget is tight, you can combine travel and lodging by taking an overnight bus.

Transportation: There are some options here. The Japan Rail pass is a really good deal, in general; it costs about the same as a round-trip between Osaka-Tokyo, and there are many benefits to the rail pass; note that the JR rail pass is only for Japan Rail (not subways or private railways), and as of now there is no good flex pass for the entire country. Now, there are some things to consider. First, IMHO, the best way to do your travel is to fly into one airport and out of another; for example, fly into Tokyo and out of Osaka. The cost of the ticket generally isn't much more, and it saves you on train fares. This is especially attractive if you'll take a bus from Tokyo to Osaka/Kyoto, which is much cheaper than the train.

Within cities, there are some options for transportation. Many cities have bicycle tours and bicycle rentals; bus travel is usually cheap, and you can get passes for this. There are some non-JR passes that are really good for regional travel in particular. And then there's walking. I personally love walking, and we tend to plan our travel around that mode of transportation.

Food: You can really spend as little or as much as you want. If you want to spend 100 yen, great: go to the convenience store and get an onigiri (rice ball). There is no top end to how much you can spend on food. I usually manage about 500 yen a meal on average. There are many, many good and cheap places to eat. Naka-u, for example, is a chain that has a nice breakfast that is very cheap. There are noodle shops and ramen restaurants in abundance. Bakeries are pretty common, and many department stores have a grocery in the basement floor where you can either by regular grocery items, or a la carte items (which can get pricey if you're not careful).

Some good websites:

www.hyperdia.com - great for rail travel planning

www.jnto.go.jp - The Japan National Tourism Organization

www.japan-guide.com - a really good site for all things related to Japan travel

http://japantravel2012.blogspot.com/ - this is my own blog of my recent travels.

Good luck!

John W.

3. Re: Tips, Info, Suggestions to Japan?

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