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    (Original post by poodlesheep)
    Cheers! Sorry about all the comedy engrish photos :P
    We just got one pass for about £200 which we activated first day, then started using three days in. It was only a 7 day pass, and you need to activate it asap (though the 7 days start after the first time you use it). That was enough really - 5 days Tokyo (no pass), 4 days Kyoto, 2 days Nara and 1 day Osaka on the pass, then two days after in Tokyo to round it off. Wish we had more time in Kyoto though It includes bullet train which is diamond! 2hrs to get from Tokyo to Kyoto is magic. The passes are so good that Japanese people are jealous of it apparently - it's only available to international visitors.
    I'm planning on going back next year Was only going to go for a week and a half but all this makes me want to go for longer! When are you thinking of going?
    I'm thinking of going either mid to end of may and return mid june. I may end up staying for 3 weeks but for now I'm going to say 2 weeks.
    £200 is a lot for a pass! :woo:Do you know if getting normal tickets like the locals would have worked out the same or cheaper?
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    I'm going to Taipei, Hong Kong and Okinawa next month (amongst others), so i will give you the lowdown once i get back! xoxo
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    (Original post by francescarella)
    I'm going to Taipei, Hong Kong and Okinawa next month (amongst others), so i will give you the lowdown once i get back! xoxo
    oo hope you have a blast! Please do report when you get back x
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    (Original post by La Trampa)
    Thanks for all the essays guys, keep them coming! The more info I get the better!

    Re: expenses. I'm only interested in food, transport, maybe accommodation etc. My plane ticket for Japan will be bought before hand and I've found it for less than £600 which is good. My plane tickets to Taiwan and HK (if I go) will be bought when I'm there as they're a lot cheaper over there!

    I don't speak a lot of japanese, very few random words but I'm going to get a lonely planet guide and study it like I have exams on it! Also I'll be taking it everywhere with me so I can point out stuff to people if I need to.
    I fully intend to use the rail system to travel everywhere possible, if I can get on the bullet train too that would be awesome! I don't need to go 1st class, I'd just be happy to be there! How much is the week pass?

    Could you tell me what the must sees are? Although the plan is to go from one end of japan to another and then the mini islands, I/we're obviously not going to go to every city/town, just major places or places of interest for a day or 2 so we can squeeze loads in but I/we definitely want to experience city and country life.

    A question I forgot, I'm presuming internet access was easy enough? :rolleyes:
    Whoops, sorry pictures should work here:
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...7&l=f243c618b6

    As for expenses, I can't give you an exact number of money to take with you, but you should be aware that things can be quite expensive. Eating out is pretty decent though - in the big cities about £5-7 for a meal in a small restaurant (excluding drinks). Actually finding something to eat should be easy enough since they mostly have these plastic display things outside in the window - if you don't know how to say it or read the menu, take them to the window and point! :p:

    I don't know too much about Taiwan and Hong Kong, having not been yet, but I've got a friend from Kowloon who tells me the Taiwan night markets are awesome and you should check out the temples in Hong Kong - especially Aberdeen.

    You can buy a week rail pass from JR online that will last for either 7, 14 or 21 days. Prices are here:
    http://www.japantravel.co.uk/RailPas...ssDefault.aspx
    The "main pass" let's you travel by train all over Japan and use JR buses, as well as the Shinkansen. I went on it and I just felt like I was on an aeroplane:woo:

    Lonely Planet should do nicely :P DK Eyewitness Travel Japan is worth a look as well. An understanding of romaji is always good of course since most people will try and speak english to you in a very uniquely Japanese way!

    Internet access is quite easy, yes! There are hotel lobbies and sometimes internet cafes in really random places - found one down an alley above a hat shop, for instance. Only in Japan! :p: Their signs are normally in english, too, so they should be easy enough to find. Every computer I saw cost 100 Yen for 10 minutes and were self-serving.

    This site has a calendar of festivals throughout the Japanese year..
    http://www.japanvisitor.com/index.ph...e=festival-may
    (Select month at the bottom)

    In no particular order..:

    1. I think in Tokyo you have to see Harajuku - the crazy dressed people and Meiji shrine!

    2. If you go between 16-18th May there's the Toshogu spring festival in Nikko which is pretty amazing - (pictures 17-19 of my album show the scale of people there/stuff going on) - Sadly I only got video of the hundreds of local men dressed in crazy costumes parading around with weapons!

    3. Definitely try out an onsen (hot spring) somewhere. The whole being naked thing really isn't that scary as none of the Japanese are fazed!

    4. Of course visit Gion in Kyoto - Geisha's wandering around everywhere and a lovely evening atmosphere. Also within walking distance there's a shopping street - sadly I can't remember the name - but it had a nice sense of really being the "youth" area of Kyoto - all sorts of teens and hip twenty-somethings hanging around the indie fashion stores.

    5. Great Buddha in Kamakura.

    6. Like a million temples and shrines in just about every city and small town.

    7. Smaller towns and their food. Thinking of food - Yakitori, green tea ice-cream, manju (addictive!!!). And if you already like sushi wait 'til you get to Japan - it's ten times nicer! Even their equivalent of pot noodles taste better lol.

    8. Miyajima/Itsukushima - island off Hiroshima - it's reeeeally sunny and there are deer and (occasionally!) monkeys. The deer are literally everywhere. Loads to see and do, shrines, famous 'floating' gate, lots of mini-tours on offer. The ferry to get to it is included in the "main japan" travel pass I posted earlier.

    9. Hiroshima memorial museum. Very interesting but also quite emotional..if you're extremely sensitive I wouldn't suggest it though, some people came out crying because it's that sad. ..You can also see the town hall which still stands but was destroyed in the blast.

    10. Nagoya TV Tower!! - Amaaaazing view of the entire city for a few quid. You can go 100m up.

    11. Osaka - Umeda Sky. Another building where for a couple of quid you can go to the top - it's reeeally pretty and best at night.

    12. Staying in a Ryokan - i.e the traditional 'paper' hotels. They mostly have hot springs and everything in the old style, with tatami flooring, special shoes for each room, yukata and dinner brought to your room.

    13. Mt Fuji of course - but I warn you it's very often too cloudy to see. But there's a cable car that goes past it and you can "cruise" for a while on a thing that looks suspiciously like a pirate ship.

    I'll stop there, but I might add something if it springs to mind later!


    I got carried away!!...
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    I don't know about buying seperate tickets - I think if you wanna travel fast and see a lot of Japan (ie. travel on the bullet train) it's much cheaper. If you're up for sleeper trains then you can probably get better deals, not sure though.
    I found a lot of japanese language mp3s online (entirely legally of course *shifty eyes*) which helped a great deal. I brought a point it book which we never really used, but it might be a good idea. Japanese people in the cities read and write english better in my experience, so that might be an idea if you get stuck. Language wasn't a massive deal though, pointing worked well in restaurants and as long as you say please and thank you they didn't seem to mind!
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    (Original post by Rananagirl)
    Whoops, sorry pictures should work here:
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...7&l=f243c618b6

    As for expenses, I can't give you an exact number of money to take with you, but you should be aware that things can be quite expensive. Eating out is pretty decent though - in the big cities about £5-7 for a meal in a small restaurant (excluding drinks). Actually finding something to eat should be easy enough since they mostly have these plastic display things outside in the window - if you don't know how to say it or read the menu, take them to the window and point!

    I don't know too much about Taiwan and Hong Kong, having not been yet, but I've got a friend from Kowloon who tells me the Taiwan night markets are awesome and you should check out the temples in Hong Kong - especially Aberdeen.

    You can buy a week rail pass from JR online that will last for either 7, 14 or 21 days. Prices are here:
    http://www.japantravel.co.uk/RailPas...ssDefault.aspx
    The "main pass" let's you travel by train all over Japan and use JR buses, as well as the Shinkansen. I went on it and I just felt like I was on an aeroplane

    Lonely Planet should do nicely :P DK Eyewitness Travel Japan is worth a look as well. An understanding of romaji is always good of course since most people will try and speak english to you in a very uniquely Japanese way!

    Internet access is quite easy, yes! There are hotel lobbies and sometimes internet cafes in really random places - found one down an alley above a hat shop, for instance. Only in Japan! Their signs are normally in english, too, so they should be easy enough to find. Every computer I saw cost 100 Yen for 10 minutes and were self-serving.

    This site has a calendar of festivals throughout the Japanese year..
    http://www.japanvisitor.com/index.ph...e=festival-may
    (Select month at the bottom)

    In no particular order..:

    1. I think in Tokyo you have to see Harajuku - the crazy dressed people and Meiji shrine!

    2. If you go between 16-18th May there's the Toshogu spring festival in Nikko which is pretty amazing - (pictures 17-19 of my album show the scale of people there/stuff going on) - Sadly I only got video of the hundreds of local men dressed in crazy costumes parading around with weapons!

    3. Definitely try out an onsen (hot spring) somewhere. The whole being naked thing really isn't that scary as none of the Japanese are fazed!

    4. Of course visit Gion in Kyoto - Geisha's wandering around everywhere and a lovely evening atmosphere. Also within walking distance there's a shopping street - sadly I can't remember the name - but it had a nice sense of really being the "youth" area of Kyoto - all sorts of teens and hip twenty-somethings hanging around the indie fashion stores.

    5. Great Buddha in Kamakura.

    6. Like a million temples and shrines in just about every city and small town.

    7. Smaller towns and their food. Thinking of food - Yakitori, green tea ice-cream, manju (addictive!!!). And if you already like sushi wait 'til you get to Japan - it's ten times nicer! Even their equivalent of pot noodles taste better lol.

    8. Miyajima/Itsukushima - island off Hiroshima - it's reeeeally sunny and there are deer and (occasionally!) monkeys. The deer are literally everywhere. Loads to see and do, shrines, famous 'floating' gate, lots of mini-tours on offer. The ferry to get to it is included in the "main japan" travel pass I posted earlier.

    9. Hiroshima memorial museum. Very interesting but also quite emotional..if you're extremely sensitive I wouldn't suggest it though, some people came out crying because it's that sad. ..You can also see the town hall which still stands but was destroyed in the blast.

    10. Nagoya TV Tower!! - Amaaaazing view of the entire city for a few quid. You can go 100m up.

    11. Osaka - Umeda Sky. Another building where for a couple of quid you can go to the top - it's reeeally pretty and best at night.

    12. Staying in a Ryokan - i.e the traditional 'paper' hotels. They mostly have hot springs and everything in the old style, with tatami flooring, special shoes for each room, yukata and dinner brought to your room.

    13. Mt Fuji of course - but I warn you it's very often too cloudy to see. But there's a cable car that goes past it and you can "cruise" for a while on a thing that looks suspiciously like a pirate ship.

    I'll stop there, but I might add something if it springs to mind later!


    I got carried away!!...
    Thanks for the pics, they're lovely
    I've always wanted to try the hot springs!!
    Is there anywhere where in the hot spring spas where you can get the fish manicure thing 'where the fish get to eat your feet'? :o::o: I've always wanted that done :o::o:

    Ooo want to see the geishas too! eeee!! :woo:
    I've always wanted to stay in a ryokan too! omg I may never come back if I go there!! :woo::woo::woo::woo::o::o::o::woo::woo::eek3::eek3::eek3:

    Please tell me more! :woo::woo::eek3::eek3: *tearing up with excitement as I type!*
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    (Original post by La Trampa)
    Thanks for the pics, they're lovely
    I've always wanted to try the hot springs!!
    Is there anywhere where in the hot spring spas where you can get the fish manicure thing 'where the fish get to eat your feet'? :o::o: I've always wanted that done :o::o:

    Ooo want to see the geishas too! eeee!! :woo:
    I've always wanted to stay in a ryokan too! omg I may never come back if I go there!! :woo::woo::woo::woo::o::o::o::woo::woo::eek3::eek3::eek3:

    Please tell me more! :woo::woo::eek3::eek3: *tearing up with excitement as I type!*
    Whoops sorry I took so long - schoolin's.
    Lol I think you can get the "Dr Fish" treatment in Hakone, which is where I went - the place with the lake, piratey ship, cable car and mt. Fuji. It's rural but not too far out so there is a small train station. (I sound like a travel brochure now! :p: ). The majority of its hotels are ryokans, too.

    Haha yeah, I'm trying to get interested in other places since going, but I'm hoping to live there eventually, I fell so in love!

    We spent ages looking around Gion for a geisha, then one just appeared and stood next to us at the street crossing and we were like :eek3: :eek3: as if a rare wild animal had just popped up.


    Oh and erm...I may sound cheeky but would you consider repping me?:love:

    You will luuurve eet!
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    (Original post by sylarfangirl)
    Ooh, Japan, I'm so jealous!
    I went to Hong Kong last summer, and I can tell you it's amazing.
    Make sure you visit the Ladies Market, The Buddha and of course, Disney Land!
    Everyone's really friendly and mostly speak English, or at least try!
    Do you have any particular questions? Just quote me with them and I'll try to do my best.
    Nooo, no point going to Disneyland in HK unless you've never been to one in France or the US! Better to go to Ocean Park instead
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    (Original post by Rananagirl)
    Whoops sorry I took so long - schoolin's.
    Lol I think you can get the "Dr Fish" treatment in Hakone, which is where I went - the place with the lake, piratey ship, cable car and mt. Fuji. It's rural but not too far out so there is a small train station. (I sound like a travel brochure now! ). The majority of its hotels are ryokans, too.

    Haha yeah, I'm trying to get interested in other places since going, but I'm hoping to live there eventually, I fell so in love!

    We spent ages looking around Gion for a geisha, then one just appeared and stood next to us at the street crossing and we were like as if a rare wild animal had just popped up.


    Oh and erm...I may sound cheeky but would you consider repping me?

    You will luuurve eet!
    Was the Dr Fish any good? hehe :o:
    I bought my lonely planet guide to Japan from waterstones today (I've been pouring over it all day!) and the checkout lady was like 'omg I'm so jealous, it's such an amazing experience etc' I was beaming My mom says she'll chip in as well for it which is just awesome!

    btw you've been repped by the way x
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    (Original post by EssexDan86)
    Nooo, no point going to Disneyland in HK unless you've never been to one in France or the US! Better to go to Ocean Park instead
    The one in Hong Kong is definitely better that the French one!

    I just think the Hong Kong one has the best atmosphere out of Paris, HK and Florida. And the Space Mountain is the best ride ever.

    I didn't have time to go to Ocean Park, but I've heard good things.
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    I'm not really a disney land person so going to give that a miss. I'll definitely visit Studio Ghibli as I'm a huge huge huge huge Hayao Miyazaki fan!
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    mini bump.
    I've booked my tickets, was able to get 3 weeks for less than £500! Bargain!
    Anyways was wondering if anyone knew if it was cheaper for me to buy excess baggage allowance in the UK or at the airport in Japan? I intend to go with one suitcase and come back with two! :crazyrun: :party:
    It's officially happening now, no turning back!!
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    (Original post by La Trampa)
    mini bump.
    I've booked my tickets, was able to get 3 weeks for less than £500! Bargain!
    Anyways was wondering if anyone knew if it was cheaper for me to buy excess baggage allowance in the UK or at the airport in Japan? I intend to go with one suitcase and come back with two! :crazyrun: :party:
    It's officially happening now, no turning back!!
    I'm so excited for you! As to helping, Im in the same boat you are sorry!:rolleyes:
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    (Original post by AlexCisneros)
    I'm so excited for you! As to helping, Im in the same boat you are sorry!
    Thanks. I honestly can't wait now! I can't believe the airline only allows 1 suitcase at 20kg then for every extra kg from the japanese end you have to pay about £10. From the UK end, it was something like £40! Maybe I'll have to have a second box/suitcase shipped over....:eek3::yep:
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    a JR pass is deffo bargain, thats if you are travelling on bullet train for lnog distances, say Kyoto to Japan, that journey alone is worth it. (return).

    I should be doing work so ill get back to you, but frequent visitor to HK and Japan, and know abit about taiwan.

    Wow i just clicked the link to JR prices, when I went last time it cost me 135£ for a 7 day pass. Inflation.
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    (Original post by yanyanyan)
    a JR pass is deffo bargain, thats if you are travelling on bullet train for lnog distances, say Kyoto to Japan, that journey alone is worth it. (return).

    I should be doing work so ill get back to you, but frequent visitor to HK and Japan, and know abit about taiwan.

    Wow i just clicked the link to JR prices, when I went last time it cost me 135£ for a 7 day pass. Inflation.
    I'm only going to Japan now for 3 weeks. Arriving at Kansai so going to explore Osaka, Hiroshima that area and maybe down to one of the islands then take the train up to Tokyo and maybe even go up north to one of the national parks. I really want to see the macaques! Yeah the JR prices are super scary. A 21 day pass is like £400! That's nearly the price of my return ticket!
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    (Original post by Rananagirl)
    .
    Sorry not sure it's been answered or not, but can a JR pass be bought at the airport in Japan? I'm just comparing prices and it's nearly £300 cheaper if bought in Japan than in the UK! The Japan site is selling it for about £200 for 21 days and the UK site is selling it for £500! :eek3:
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    (Original post by La Trampa)
    I'm not really a disney land person so going to give that a miss. I'll definitely visit Studio Ghibli as I'm a huge huge huge huge Hayao Miyazaki fan!
    Buy your tickets from the UK as they only let 200 people in a day I think? Also, it's closed on a Tuesday, so plan ahead http://www.mybus.co.uk/apply/ghibli.html (UK Sales website)

    Where did you book your flights, sounds like a great deal!! Is it the Finnair one?



    This thread is awesome, thank you so much everyone who's posting!!! So useful <3

    I am crazy excited about Japan!! :eek3:
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    (Original post by La Trampa)
    Sorry not sure it's been answered or not, but can a JR pass be bought at the airport in Japan? I'm just comparing prices and it's nearly £300 cheaper if bought in Japan than in the UK! The Japan site is selling it for about £200 for 21 days and the UK site is selling it for £500! :eek3:
    The JR pass is a good bargain. I just come back from Japan this Sunday, actually. You can buy Studio Gibhli tickets in Japan at Lawson convience stores, but buy it as soon as possible. As I orignally planned to go on Saturday (buying it on the Monday) but it was sold out (friday tickets were free though). The ticket machine is in Japanese but someone in the shop helped me buy them. Cheaper as well as I think you have to pay a handling fee it bought abroad.
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    (Original post by Mushin)
    Buy your tickets from the UK as they only let 200 people in a day I think? Also, it's closed on a Tuesday, so plan ahead http://www.mybus.co.uk/apply/ghibli.html (UK Sales website)

    Where did you book your flights, sounds like a great deal!! Is it the Finnair one?



    This thread is awesome, thank you so much everyone who's posting!!! So useful <3

    I am crazy excited about Japan!!
    I bought my tickets with AirFrance. Every year they do a sale, and you can get flight deals which is awesome. All the major airlines do sales as well, it's just keeping an eye out really.
 
 
 
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