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Visiting Japan

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by SoSolid, 17 Jun 2014.

  1. Raymond Lin

    Capo Crimine

    Joined: 20 Oct 2002

    Posts: 68,164

    Location: Wish i was in .Lethal's house

    According to this guy living there now who posts on HeadFi, they used to be "used", but they are now just regular lol

    [​IMG]

    http://www.head-fi.org/t/717866/liv...ngsters-and-godzilla-a-diary/90#post_10576960
     
  2. semi-pro waster

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 27 Sep 2004

    Posts: 25,822

    Location: Glasgow

    This is true, I did mean to put down that the difference in speed isn't all that significant even on quite long trips (and the Shinkansen is so much faster than trains here anyway) but it was more to point out that it requires a little bit more thought about what trains you are getting.

    Also the way the subways are run in Tokyo and possibly in most other big cities seems a bit odd if you're used to the UK since there's a number of different companies and your tickets are only valid for some of them. Very reliable and pretty reasonably priced for the most part but not integrated in the way that London is for example. Again absolutely not a problem but something to be aware of.

    Fair enough, maybe it would have required more to track it down than the cursory thought I gave to it while I was there.
     
  3. memyselfandi

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 10 Oct 2005

    Posts: 8,687

    Location: Nottingham

    Another reason to use a Suica/Pasmo card as they're valid on all the services if I remember correctly so you can travel across the private and Tokyo Metro/JR services transparently (and even use the Suica card in other cities as well). I also like that you can get an android app that reads your Suica card via NFC and gives you details on your journeys. I'd add that MetroMaps, on Android, is a good offline app which covers the underground systems in major cities so can be quite useful.

    One really sensible thing, compared with the UK, is that if you fare is wrong then you can adjust it using the yellow machines by the ticket gates rather than being treated like youve been drowning babies ...
     
    Last edited: 18 Jun 2014
  4. GhostlyPea

    Mobster

    Joined: 30 Dec 2004

    Posts: 4,682

    Location: Bromley, Kent

    Have a look at the link in my sig. Went there for a month solo back in 2011. The write up I was doing is not finished (I'm a dirty slacker) but happy to answer any questions.

    - GP
     
  5. snitcher

    Hitman

    Joined: 31 Mar 2012

    Posts: 888

    yeah. japan seems like an interesting place to visit.
     
  6. tlrBeta

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 1 Jul 2008

    Posts: 1,952

    Location: Birmingham

    Not sure if this was mentioned, Japan is pretty dam expensive, above London levels. Just keep that in mind when your planning some finances.

    It looks like a nice route but I see nothing up North, why not visit the mountains and use the onsen ? :)
     
  7. timebomb26

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 26 Feb 2012

    Posts: 1,741

    Location: Hokkaido

    I think Japan is a hell of a lot cheaper than London. In accommodation, travel, food and drink.
     
  8. memyselfandi

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 10 Oct 2005

    Posts: 8,687

    Location: Nottingham

    Food wise it depends significantly where you eat ... eat in the hotel or in posh restaurants then it'll be expensive ... eat in normal little independent restaurants and it's pretty cheap and the department stores have massive food halls which do great bentos for not much money.

    Hotels ... depends on where you stay, travel is pretty cheap for how good it is.
     
  9. tlrBeta

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 1 Jul 2008

    Posts: 1,952

    Location: Birmingham


    Pretty sure he answered your comments :)

    I guess it comes down to preferences and just remembering where you are e.g. Tokyo

    I wouldn't say travel is cheap, I would say that you get your monies worth comparing against England prices. For example, the last time I was there 2008, I paid about £40 for a 3 hour bullet train ride.

    With the exchange rate pretty dam low as well, tube rides will take to add up but I assume you can get a day ticket.
     
  10. memyselfandi

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 10 Oct 2005

    Posts: 8,687

    Location: Nottingham

    The exchange rate iis pretty good at the moment, certainly higher than it's been since the beginning of 2010. You have to be careful with day tickets ... personally I found it cheaper to just buy as needed rather than get them.
     
  11. tlrBeta

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 1 Jul 2008

    Posts: 1,952

    Location: Birmingham

    PS. Make sure you go grab a drink in the Tokyo, Park Hyatt 52nd Floor bar :)
     
  12. timebomb26

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 26 Feb 2012

    Posts: 1,741

    Location: Hokkaido

    You can get some pretty cheap hotel deals. As long as are don't want to stay in luxury. It's not uncommon to find hotels for around 3000-5000JPY per night, which is pretty reasonable. They may be small, but you won't be spending much time there anyway.

    Travel can be expensive if you travel a lot, but as someone mentioned, there are always day tickets at weekends etc that you can get. A couple of weeks ago in Osaka I paid 500JPY for an unlimited train pass. Easily made about 7/8 trips on it that day. The Shinkansen is pretty expensive, but then you have to look at how damn fast it can get you places. If you're in no hurry though the normal train network is fine.

    It's so easy to find good cheap food. You don't even have to look hard. You can easily eat a good meal for between 500-1000JPY (without Alcohol). Sure you can find expensive restaurants, like anywhere else. Japan definitely has a lot more good quality cheap food than the UK though.

    Alcohol varies massively on where you go. For a beer in Tokyo I'd expect to pay roughly 400-700JPY, but I'd refuse to pay over 400JPY in a place like Kyoto. Try to avoid restaurants on main tourist streets as the prices are always slightly higher.
     
  13. BlackCoat2k10

    Hitman

    Joined: 4 Mar 2010

    Posts: 914

    Location: Coventry

    Japan is an amazing place, Kyoto for me was one of the best places to go, yes... after a while the Temples do start to mold together. However, if you walk about and try to head to the outskirts you will find far far far better places/temples then the tourist trap ones in the centre. We took a bike ride up the river, took the right hook further north and eventually came off and went north on some roads. Out of nowhere we saw these steps leading into a forest and decided to walk up and see where it went. Wow, we found the most sublime, quietest, tranquil temple/monk house we've ever seen and not a tourist/drink machine anywhere near.

    Also everyone was helpful in Kyoto, where as in Tokyo we saw a lot of underage prostitution and alot of bad attitude from people rushing around. But there is so much to see in each city, but also take it steady and just enjoy it as much as you can.

    Food wise, I found shop ready made meals/ meats to be overly salty. Resteraunts were fantastic though and alot of places have images/ready made choices on show. If you are in kyoto, head to Shijo Dori and look out for BENTO 250 sign looks like a small cupboard shop, right infront of a hotel with a bear image on it's side and opposite a 7/11. Bit salty on occassion but some of the meals in there were tasty! and at 250 yen, cheap but well worth it.

    Night out wise in Kyoto, Head to near the Gaisha district for some of the better / touristy bars and if you like rock (especially jimmy hendrix) head to One in Kamiyacho. It's a small pub on the second floor of what looks like small apartments but the barman in there is/was/will always be my favourite person in Japan, fantastic bloke. Also many bars around here, at the weekends especially, will have tour guides on there time off so I'd suggest talk to a few and get some tips/ideas from them like we did and we found some rare moments that we will always cherish because of their information.

    Take a few small English gifts to give to people if you like them, this is one of the greatest signs of respect and friendship (from my experience) that they have. I gave one guy a simple flag on a pole (tiny £0.99 cost) and he got so happy and joyous he invited us around the next evening for a meal with his family and bought us several drinks that night. Because of this I met a great family who still keeps in contact and on our next visit over there wish to see us again, and possibly stay with them for a couple of nights.
     
    Last edited: 18 Jun 2014
  14. :(Rhodri:)

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 7 Sep 2007

    Posts: 1,222

    Location: UK

    You'll have a great time, Japan is amazing to visit. I loved the Ghibli museum when I went, the sunshine building on a clear day gives stunning views of Tokyo and I also went to Takayama in Gifu which was really tranquil and a nice break from the hustle of Tokyo. Some of my best times there were just wondering about and ducking into interesting looking shops, bars and restaurants, you'll not struggle to find things to do there.
     
  15. jas72

    Capodecina

    Joined: 31 Jul 2006

    Posts: 10,276

    Location: Belgium land of chocolate

    You need this button "¥" on your keyboard saves typing in JPY all the time :D

    Japan is on my bucket list of awesome places to visit.
     
  16. Ev0

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 13,927

    I'd echo this comment from a slightly similar experience, I went over for some work and my boss told me last time he went he took certain sweets over for the guys and they loved them.

    So I loaded up on diary milk and werthers originals and they were happy chappys lol.
     
  17. SoSolid

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 28 Jul 2003

    Posts: 1,987

    Location: The Moon

    Ok guys, thanks for the info.

    Here is my planned route so far, thoughts and opinions on this would be greatly appreciated:

    Tokyo 10-14th July

    Kyoto 14th-16th July

    Hiroshima 16th- 18th July

    Osaka 18th-20th July

    Okinawa 20th-27th July

    Tokyo 27th-30th July
     
  18. Burnsy2023

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Nov 2003

    Posts: 36,694

    Location: Southampton, UK

    If you go to Asakusa (Tokyo), there is a place that does the most amazing curry udon. I still get cravings for it now.
     
  19. memyselfandi

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 10 Oct 2005

    Posts: 8,687

    Location: Nottingham

    Hiroshima - go to the museum at the peace park. Also have okonomiyaki (which is very different from okonomiyaki in Tokyo/Osaka) ... best place we found for it there was Okonomimura - I think we ate in Yamachan on the 2F. Miyajima is a nice side trip from Hiroshima.

    Osaka - mmmmm takoyaki. Osaka/Kyoto possible side trip to Nara.

    Kyoto - you can get good curry udon here too :)

    Tokyo - day trip out to Kamakura/Enoshima. Science and Nature museum at Ueno. Possibly a day trip out to Nikko.

    Be prepared to have odd conversations with people who just want to practice their english on you (in my case last time it was a station cleaner at Hiroshima).

    Hyperdia is your friend ... print off what trains you are aiming to get before hand and it makes making reservations a lot easier when you get the person at the desk who doesn't speak good english.
     
  20. Kreeeee

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 13 Jul 2004

    Posts: 43,724

    Location: /* */

    Miyajima was stunning.