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Japan August 2007

Travel Forums Asia Japan August 2007


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11. Posted by euanross (Budding Member 35 posts) 9y

I spent nearly 3 weeks in Japan in October 2006 and travelled around (about 2,000kms) by train.

The must see's are Tokyo and Kyoto. If you can fit in time go to Mount Koya for a couple of nights with the monks and stay in a temple.

Japan is expensive but if you hunt around it's not too bad. As for restaurants you are best taking a look around when you are there and see if they are busy with locals... always a good sign of a good restaurant.

Restaurants with pictures on the menus are the best ;)

In Tokyo, excellent yakitori restaurants underneath the railway bridge arches beside Tokyo Station.

Just remember it's very much a cash economy.

12. Posted by starlight2 (Full Member 108 posts) 9y

euanross: Thanks for your tips. I'll pretty much be in Yokohama/Tokyo exclusivly. I wanted to go to Kyoto but I think I'm going to have to save that for another trip unfortunetly.

I guess I'll be following my friend around most of the time, Lol. So I hope she doesn't have expensive taste [food wise] ... I remember her eating cheaply in America so probably she is the same way back home. I want to save as much money on food and stuff like that because I want to be able to buy a lot of things like clothing & gifts in Japan. I hope I get to try the sushi in the fish market like you said in another post, my friend hates sushi [yes i thought it was weird at first too ^^]

The cash thing is what I was having trouble with since I wanted to take an ATM card that doesn't charge fee's which was only Citibank ... and that means I'll have to change banks before I go >.>... I'm going to carry around some cash when I go there, but not a lot ... maybe like $500 or something then take out sums when I get there ....

I eat Japanese food frequently [yes real my grandmother is Japanese ^^] ... but I don't know 1/2 the names of the things I like [which is like pretty much all of it though]

Where is Mt. Koya? ... How much is it to spend a few nights w/ the Monks? That sounds really interesting.

PS. Doesn't Yokohama have a Korea town? ... IDK I have to eat som Korean food, I'll be in JP 5 weeks ... and I haven't gone more than 2 w/o Korean food in the past years :P


PPS. My buget [if i don't spend a lot of money until August] is going to be around $4,000 ... but I was origionally going to go with $2,500 ... I just got a second job.

[ Edit: Edited on Apr 7, 2007, at 1:38 PM by starlight2 ]

13. Posted by euanross (Budding Member 35 posts) 9y

It was surprising how few sushi restaurants we saw on our travels but the Fish Market is the best place to go... nice and early!

$4,000 is around £2,000 so you should be ok. However, if you don't want to travel much I would still definitely recommend a trip to Kyoto. To spend 5 weeks in Japan and not go there would be a real shame. It's only 2 and a half hours by train and that is where we bought most of the gifts we brought home.

Plus you need to go Geisha spotting!!! Any more questions send me a PM.

14. Posted by NantesFC (Respected Member 531 posts) 9y

When you're with a local everything is cheap When people say Tokyo, NYC, London...etc are expensive they say it because that's what they've heard. Perhaps while they were there (one of those "expensive" places) it was true, but if you do enough research, read guides, and get help from locals you'll able to travel cheaply anywhere in the world. Problem is 95% of people aren't willing to do it. There are some things in these places that are expensive no matter what such as the London Tube but there's always a way around it such as the Oyster card (London) unless you're in Scandinavia, then you're out of luck ;)

Anyway, back to the topic. Yeah, Japan is pretty sweet! I'm probably going to head back in a few years with a Vietnamese friend who's obsessed with Japanese culture. He's all about "street fashion"

15. Posted by starlight2 (Full Member 108 posts) 9y

euanross: I know I WANT to go to Kyoto trust me ... but my friend can't go ... so that's the only problem. I asked already .. but maybe she's just trying to surprize me or something *crosses fingers*

NantesFC: haha yes, I am so glad I am staying w/ my friend so she should know where the cheap/nice spots are.

Haha yeah I know some people who dress in J-street fashion. But they're mostly all japanese/part japanese.

16. Posted by euanross (Budding Member 35 posts) 9y

Just out of interest... why can't your friend go? Can you not go yourself for a few days? Believe me it would be worth it.

17. Posted by starlight2 (Full Member 108 posts) 9y

Quoting euanross

Just out of interest... why can't your friend go? Can you not go yourself for a few days? Believe me it would be worth it.

I think it's a money issue because she just started her 1st year of college. But idk .. maybe I can convince her to go. I heard the train ride was like $300 or something though, & I don't really have a lot of money to spend on a hotel or something .... but I deff. wouldn't want to go alone, I'm kind of one of those people who needs others around. ESP since i don't know japanese.

18. Posted by 617jetset (Budding Member 32 posts) 9y

I have to agree with Nantes. You can find something just about everywhere that is reasonable priced. I have been to London three times and have never spent more than $1000 USD (including my return ticket from Boston!) on my whole week there! Of course I have a friend to stay with so I don't have to worry about lodging which in London is rather expensive for me since I will not stay in hostels or backpacker areas. Other than that however, you CAN find cheap food and shopping. I just got back from Thailand which is notoriously cheap anyways but I had a half of a day layover in Japan on the way back so my friends and I left the airport and went into Narita City. It was absolutely beautiful! The temple there is amazing and the streets are lined with lovely shops, many of which are reasonable. They even had a 100yen shop which when I was there equalled about 85 cents USD. They had loads of cute chopsticks and packaged candies and nuts and other little gifts items to bring home for people and everything was 100yen! Even the souveneir shops were reasonable considering they were souveneir shops! I did not find Japan (at least Narita---I haven't been to Tokyo) any more expensive than large American cities like NYC, Boston, or LA. It is more expensive than other Asian countries but if you are used to U.S. prices you won't find it too ridiculous in Japan as long as you are willing to search. Mind you, I am NOT a strict budget traveller although I try and find deals whenever I can so I usually don't spend a whole lot. I love to get a deal, without sacrificing quality (hence why I don't stay in hostels---I ALWAYS find at least a 3 star hotel for under $100 a night). The only exception I have found, as Nantes stated, was Scandinavia. When I was in Iceland I was AMAZED at how expensive things were. It seemed there was nothing for cheap! Even a candy bar (a small thing to bring back home as a gift) was about $2.50 USD once you converted the currency! I also found Paris rather expensive but I was not very careful when I went there since it was my first time and I wanted to live it up. My friend whom I went with has been back twice since I went with her and said there are loads of reasonably priced food venues. All in all, don't listen to what everyone tells you about everything. There ARE deals to be found, even in Japan. If you can survive (financially) a week in NYC than you can certainly do the same in Tokyo! Also, if you smoke, one great thing about Japan is that half of the population smokes and cigarettes ARE cheaper than in the U.S.!! About 300yen (around $2.60USD) a pack! LOL. Enjoy your trip! :)

19. Posted by euanross (Budding Member 35 posts) 9y

A train ticket to Kyoto isn't $300. The fast method which is the Nozomi for a first class ticket is £80 one way ($160) so to get a return by normal bullet might be $80/$100 one way. You could probably go cheaper by express train as well.

Like everyone has said, Japan is only expensive if you make it expensive. There are bargains but it just takes a little longer than normal to find them :)

Some of the best meals we had were only £3 ($6) each and they were cooked fresh and the flavours amazing.

I agree, the real expensive area in the world is Scandinavia, in particular Iceland and Norway.

20. Posted by daphnemaia (Full Member 155 posts) 9y

i heard someone raving about wasabi ice cream and green tea ice cream at a dinner conversation just now.

apparently there are lots of crazy out-of-the-world flavours in the japanese ice cream parlours! :)