Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
x Turn on thread page Beta

Japan watch

Announcements
    • CV Helper
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    CV Helper
    (Original post by Curly_hair_girl)
    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.
    I intend to buy the JR pass I'm just wondering if I can buy it when I get to Japan, say at the airport rather than buying it from the UK? The prices over here are ridiculous, a 21 day pass costs more than my return flight!

    Are the friday tickets always free or was that a one off? I think I'll buy it when I get there. So bummed pictures aren't allowed inside though.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by La Trampa)
    I intend to buy the JR pass I'm just wondering if I can buy it when I get to Japan, say at the airport rather than buying it from the UK? The prices over here are ridiculous, a 21 day pass costs more than my return flight!

    Are the friday tickets always free or was that a one off? I think I'll buy it when I get there. So bummed pictures aren't allowed inside though.
    You can't buy the JR inside Japan, there are other pass for travel you can buy in Japan, but I'm not sure about those. The Uk also gets a good deal, I bought a seven day pass which cost me just under two hundred pounds, it was the same price as my return flight to Japan (HK to JPN)! But if I bought it in HK I would have to paid over £200 for it.

    What I meant by some tickets free on friday that there were some left not that there were for free, probably my terrible grammar, sorry. It is only 1000 yen anyway, which is just under ten pounds.

    People take pictures on the roof, where there is a robot from Laputa and a block for Laputa and outside around the strawberry cafe, so you can take some pictures.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Never take what a Jap says at face value. A lot of coded politeness.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by nativeLondoner)
    Never take what a Jap says at face value. A lot of coded politeness.
    A lot of coded politeness.... could be.
    But don't call us "Jap" :mad:
    • CV Helper
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    CV Helper
    (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
    Are you back? How was it?!
    • CV Helper
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    CV Helper
    (Original post by poodlesheep)
    Heya!
    I went summer 2008 for two weeks and it was a blast! We managed Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara and Osaka in two weeks, with a week pass for the bullet train. I can't recommend these enough - make sure you get a JR pass as it makes travelling up and down the country much cheaper and easier! They seem expensive at first but it does work out cheaper and it's very worth it. I'm not sure if you'd manage the whole length of Japan in two weeks, we comfortably managed the above cities in that time, it might be too much to cram everthing in.
    The rail system is very easy. Make sure you get on the right trains (a good guidebook will tell you which ones - some take very roundabout routes, we got on one that took 40 stops when it should have been 2!!!) and the JR pass doesn't cover all trains, such as 1st class etc. Tokyo subway is rediculously easy, you can buy a cheap 100 yen ticket before boarding for however far you want to go, then use a machine at the end that calculates how much extra you have to pay to cover the distance. If you're going at rush hour (which is insane, try not to), they have women-only carriages if you're worried about "chikan".
    I can't remember exactly how much I took - I saved about £1000 for expenses and souvenirs. I think I spent about £500 of it, but that was sharing the cost of food, hostels etc. I'd advise taking cash and being very careful with it. We tried using international cash machines and it was very very complicated and stressful when they didn't work... Japan can be expensive. Eating out is about the same as here (American guidebooks say it's more expensive but compared to here it's about the same) though the plane and JR tickets are not! There are plenty of opportunities to shop too, the temples are surrounded by souvenir stands and Tokyo is heaven. If you like Studio Ghibli, I advise checking out Loft - it's a lovely stationery/gift shop that provided loads of souvenirs for people back home.
    In Tokyo and Kyoto we stayed at K's House - which is awesome, a very good hostel chain with nice staff, well situated and good opportunity to meet other travellers, can't recommend enough! Osaka we managed on a day trip, and in Nara we stayed in Guest House Yougendo, a cheap-ish Ryokan style hotel run by an englishman. Very very nice, even though we were in the western style rooms it was a great experience. Didn't do much partying as the daytime sightseeing knackered us out, but staying in a hostel is a good idea as we had a few nights drinking with other people staying there. The problem with budget hotels, specifically capsule hotels, is that they're men only. Lots of them only accept Japanese travellers too.
    Here's a list of the best things we did:
    NARA: Check out Todai-ji and see the massive Buddha. Lots of deer!
    KYOTO: We were lucky to see Geisha here walking in Gion five times. Best place for temples and culture, best of the best was the Fushimi Inari shrine with hundreds of Torii gates, try and walk it! We didn't and I really regret it. Kiyomizu temple is also unmissable. Nishiki market is excellent, though avoid tasting the pickled stuff Iwatayama monkey park is good too.
    OSAKA: Managed this in a day but we probably missed out on some good stuff. Shopping is alright and it's amazing seeing all the massive buildings and bright lights.
    TOKYO: Where to begin! Oeno zoo, pandas! The temple in Oeno park is good too. Shibuya, Harajuku, Tsukiji fish market... wonderful for shopping. Ghibli museum is nearby plus Sanrio Puroland and Disneyland, though we didn't go to any of these Make sure you have sushi here, it's glorious.
    I'd advise learning a few key phrases (please, thankyou, directions etc) as not many people are good english speakers, and they really appreciate people trying to speak Japanese. Prepare to be stared at, we had people sneaking photos of us as we walked down the street. Also, if you're vegetarian or have any kind of allergy learn those phrases off by heart as they're not used to these things and there's not always good vegetarian options - there are some great sites online that can point out vegetarian specific restaurants. Food can be annoying at times, I'm not used to gory sushi with lots of tentacles and it's awful on hangover. Most menus aren't specific enough in english to know exactly what you're getting (raw horse, AVOID AVOID!!) McDonalds was, I'm embarrassed to say, a lifesaver. However, there is something for everyone and there were only a few dodgy sushi moments compared to loads of awesome meals over the whole two weeks. It may seem daunting at first, but Japan is very easy to navigate, the people are friendly and although it's all very different, it's a great place to go. Japanese signs will almost always have english characters underneath, so it's not that bad if you're uncomfortable with the language (which I definitely wasn't, kanji???)
    I'm very very jealous, it's a trip of a lifetime Hope you have a great time, sorry about the essay! If you want to check out my touristy photos, they're here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...1&id=504756233
    Good luck organizing it, it sounds brilliant!
    Thanks for the hostel recommendation
    • PS Helper
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    PS Helper
    (Original post by La Trampa)
    Are you back? How was it?!
    no no i go a week today back april 14th
    • CV Helper
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    CV Helper
    (Original post by francescarella)
    no no i go a week today back april 14th
    Just a quick reminder for when you get back
    • PS Helper
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    PS Helper
    (Original post by La Trampa)
    Just a quick reminder for when you get back
    am are baaaack!

    GO TO OKINAWA ISLAND. do it. go to Shurijo castle, the main street whose name eludes me right now but it is AWESOME. go into the long winding markets and eat the randomest food you can! its all free samples. marvel at all the hell kitty crap!


    i have more suggestions but i cant remember!
    • CV Helper
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    CV Helper
    (Original post by francescarella)
    am are baaaack!

    GO TO OKINAWA ISLAND. do it. go to Shurijo castle, the main street whose name eludes me right now but it is AWESOME. go into the long winding markets and eat the randomest food you can! its all free samples. marvel at all the hell kitty crap!


    i have more suggestions but i cant remember!
    No time Would have loved to go though. I'm guessing you had an awesome time When you remember stuff, just post lol :p:
    • PS Helper
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    PS Helper
    (Original post by La Trampa)
    No time Would have loved to go though. I'm guessing you had an awesome time When you remember stuff, just post lol :p:
    is is japan youre going to? or hong kong and taiwan to? as i went to all of those places but heard you were just going to japan
    x
    • CV Helper
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    CV Helper
    (Original post by francescarella)
    is is japan youre going to? or hong kong and taiwan to? as i went to all of those places but heard you were just going to japan
    x
    I'm just going to Japan now, a lot cheaper than going to a zillion places
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    love japan... only went for 10 days though Went to himeji-jo (to look at the awesome samuri castle) kyoto (to look at everything haha) tokyo and also climbed mount fugi. One of my favourite things was going to the studio ghibli museum in tokyo - if your into your studio ghibli its pretty awesome, although a bit of a pain in the arse to get tickets, you have to find a lawsons store and use a japanese machine, but theyre all so polite there that they just sort it out for you...
    I didnt learn a word of japanese because i was only there for 10 days and was travelling for 6 months so it would have been silly to try and learn words in every language... we didnt encounter many language problems either, usually you can get by by waving your arms around or if no-one understands, just ask someone else.
    We were also travelling on a very tight budget of about £40 a day, which i think is quite a small amount to get by on, most people could easily spend double that... to spend this little we stayed in hostels or capsule hotels which were about £20 a night (although i wish id had the money to stay in a traditional ryokan once) the hostels are great, you meet some nice folks... we also spent hardly anything on food, we went out for sushi once, and had a bento, but the rest of the time we survived of those rice ball things from the 7/11 store or those noodles in a sandwhich weird things they have there. We also tried to avoid taking trains, we took a night bus from kyoto to tokyo (which is really cheap but... spending 8 hours on a bus overnight is not that much fun i have to say) and we would have taken a night bus to fushiki aswell bus we missed it and had to pay £60 for the bullet train to get to our ferry on time!!! :0 One last thing is, its a little bit cheaky, but you can buy the kids tickets on the metro in tokyo for half price, and they look the same pretty much, and no-one checks either... we did this ALL the time and it saved so much money in tokyo. Its a bit naughty but i think the japanese are far to polite to tell you off even if they did catch you!
    Its cool to just see al the weird things/people in tokyo, and one thing i enjoyed was going to the park near harajuku station on a sunday and watching all the wacky japanese performers, having a gander in all the wacky shops and going to the design festa art gallery which is near ish to the station.
    Oh also - i didnt like hong kong haha. too much building too little sky.
    • CV Helper
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    CV Helper
    (Original post by rufus_da_bear)
    love japan... only went for 10 days though Went to himeji-jo (to look at the awesome samuri castle) kyoto (to look at everything haha) tokyo and also climbed mount fugi. One of my favourite things was going to the studio ghibli museum in tokyo - if your into your studio ghibli its pretty awesome, although a bit of a pain in the arse to get tickets, you have to find a lawsons store and use a japanese machine, but theyre all so polite there that they just sort it out for you...
    I didnt learn a word of japanese because i was only there for 10 days and was travelling for 6 months so it would have been silly to try and learn words in every language... we didnt encounter many language problems either, usually you can get by by waving your arms around or if no-one understands, just ask someone else.
    We were also travelling on a very tight budget of about £40 a day, which i think is quite a small amount to get by on, most people could easily spend double that... to spend this little we stayed in hostels or capsule hotels which were about £20 a night (although i wish id had the money to stay in a traditional ryokan once) the hostels are great, you meet some nice folks... we also spent hardly anything on food, we went out for sushi once, and had a bento, but the rest of the time we survived of those rice ball things from the 7/11 store or those noodles in a sandwhich weird things they have there. We also tried to avoid taking trains, we took a night bus from kyoto to tokyo (which is really cheap but... spending 8 hours on a bus overnight is not that much fun i have to say) and we would have taken a night bus to fushiki aswell bus we missed it and had to pay £60 for the bullet train to get to our ferry on time!!! :0 One last thing is, its a little bit cheaky, but you can buy the kids tickets on the metro in tokyo for half price, and they look the same pretty much, and no-one checks either... we did this ALL the time and it saved so much money in tokyo. Its a bit naughty but i think the japanese are far to polite to tell you off even if they did catch you!
    Its cool to just see al the weird things/people in tokyo, and one thing i enjoyed was going to the park near harajuku station on a sunday and watching all the wacky japanese performers, having a gander in all the wacky shops and going to the design festa art gallery which is near ish to the station.
    Oh also - i didnt like hong kong haha. too much building too little sky.
    Thanks
    I'm going to studio ghibli and have got my ticket already I can't wait! I've already booked most of my hotels/ryokans (not the traditional ones sadly) and hostels. I can't wait for all the sushi/vending machine food/bento lunches I'm especially looking forward to train station bentos and all the sweets :o::o:

    I was thinking of getting a Suica pass when I'm in Tokyo because I want to go everywhere, but the kids ticket sounds really funny too, I might risk it!

    I'm still not sure whether to go to Hakone or not or go somewhere else for 2 days on my way to Tokyo from Kyoto. Thoughts guys?

    I can't wait! Less than a month away!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by La Trampa)
    Thanks
    I'm going to studio ghibli and have got my ticket already I can't wait! I've already booked most of my hotels/ryokans (not the traditional ones sadly) and hostels. I can't wait for all the sushi/vending machine food/bento lunches I'm especially looking forward to train station bentos and all the sweets :o::o:

    I was thinking of getting a Suica pass when I'm in Tokyo because I want to go everywhere, but the kids ticket sounds really funny too, I might risk it!

    I'm still not sure whether to go to Hakone or not or go somewhere else for 2 days on my way to Tokyo from Kyoto. Thoughts guys?

    I can't wait! Less than a month away!
    Pasmo card sometimes works better than the Suica pass. Also, I recommend visiting Nikko - 90 minutes outside of Tokyo.
    • CV Helper
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    CV Helper
    (Original post by AliciaJ703)
    PASIMO card sometimes works better than the Suica pass. Also, I recommend visiting Nikko - 90 minutes outside of Tokyo.
    Thanks. Is it worth going to Nikko for 2 days? I might just end up staying in a hotel or something for 2 days and just take it easy. I don't know yet and I'm running out of time.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by francescarella)

    GO TO OKINAWA ISLAND.!
    Hi

    sorry to hijack the thread but I am thinking going to Okinawa at the end of August as a relaxing finish after 3 weeks in Tokyo (language course). So I was wondering where about you would recommend to stay, places to visit etc.

    Bit worried about the start of the typhoon season in the area but oh well!

    thank you!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by La Trampa)
    Thanks. Is it worth going to Nikko for 2 days? I might just end up staying in a hotel or something for 2 days and just take it easy. I don't know yet and I'm running out of time.
    It's definitely worth it. I have info. if you're interested.
    • CV Helper
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    CV Helper
    (Original post by AliciaJ703)
    It's definitely work it. I have info. if you're interested.
    Yes please, if you don't mind sharing
    I'm still wondering whether I need the JR past or the regional JR (sanyo/kansai pass) and then get a suica for tokyo?

    Here's my final itinery
    Osaka - Arrive May 20th, 20th -23rd.
    Nara - May 24th
    Himeji - May 25th (day trip, leave suitcase at train station)
    Hiroshima - May 25th & 26th
    Miyajima - May 26th (day trip)
    Kyoto - May 27th - June 1st
    Hakone/Not sure - June 2nd & 3rd
    Tokyo - June 4th - June 11th, Depart June 11th.

    Any thoughts? I'm getting so nervous and excited because I know I'm going to get lost and I can't plan any trips because it's in a different language. Was thinking maybe I'd rent an iphone and use it as a gps?? or maybe get a volunteer guide to show me round the bigger cities? I get so anxious when I can't plan things :s:
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by La Trampa)
    Yes please, if you don't mind sharing
    I'm still wondering whether I need the JR past or the regional JR (sanyo/kansai pass) and then get a suica for tokyo?

    Here's my final itinery
    Osaka - Arrive May 20th, 20th -23rd.
    Nara - May 24th
    Himeji - May 25th (day trip, leave suitcase at train station)
    Hiroshima - May 25th & 26th
    Miyajima - May 26th (day trip)
    Kyoto - May 27th - June 1st
    Hakone/Not sure - June 2nd & 3rd
    Tokyo - June 4th - June 11th, Depart June 11th.

    Any thoughts? I'm getting so nervous and excited because I know I'm going to get lost and I can't plan any trips because it's in a different language. Was thinking maybe I'd rent an iphone and use it as a gps?? or maybe get a volunteer guide to show me round the bigger cities? I get so anxious when I can't plan things :s:
    Buy a JR West pass/Suica pass would be perfect and an iphone would be good along with a phrase book and dictionary. Your itinerary is fine and a volunteer guide would be ideal though I don't think you really need it in Tokyo. If you visit Nikko, you can take the Tohoku Main Line -Tokyo Station (eki means station in Japanese) to Utsunomiya Station(take JR Nikko Line) to JR Nikko Station OR Tobu Railways - Asakusa Station (Spacia) to Tobu Nikko Station (101 minutes). The Shrines and temples in the Nikko district are registered as part of the "World Cultural Heritage" http://www.nikko-jp.org. In Hiroshima, I recommend eating a okonomi yaki. In Tokyo, if you have the time, visit Kagurazaka and do a walking tour of Tokyo's former Geisha District - it's not too far from where I stayed when I studied abroad in Japan, Roppongi Hills Observation Deck (you see the entire city of Tokyo and even Mt. Fuji on a clear day, Meiji Shrine, Imperial Palace East Gardens.
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
Turn on thread page Beta
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: April 17, 2010
Poll
Do you agree with the proposed ban on plastic straws and cotton buds?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.