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1. Posted by MikeAllen (Full Member 129 posts) 7y

Gonna travel there for 2 weeks, looking at a 14day rail pass.. probably just gonna do the north or south anyone know if one half of the island is better to visit than the other?

2. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 823 posts) 7y

When you say "the North or South of the island" do you mean Honshu, or Japan as a whole (which is actually 4 main islands. Either way, neither the north or south are better than the other because it depends on what you want to see. The highlights of Japan are pretty spread out around the country. Tokyo is of course a good starting point, and Kyoto usually rates up their at the other 'must see' of the country. The central bit of Honshu has loads of beautiful mountains, very popular with skiers in winter and hikers in summer. There are also some lovely mountains towns, such as Takayama, worth visiting. Moving southwest you have many highlights such as Nara, Himeji, and Hiroshima. And getting into the islands of Shikoku and Kyushu gives you the chance to see a quieter and less touristed area of Japan. And way up north is Hokkaido, a very popular destination for nature lovers.
So I think what you have to do is research some of the highlights and decide what you want to see most. In two weeks its not unrealistic to get from Tokyo to Hiroshima with all the usual tourist hightlights in between, or from Tokyo to Kyoto via the Alps.

3. Posted by malmn (Full Member 45 posts) 7y

Degolasse...you wrote: " from Tokyo to Kyoto via the Alps". What do you mean the "Alps"? Thanks.

4. Posted by MikeAllen (Full Member 129 posts) 7y

Sorry for not being very specific, Im now looking at travelling from tokyo to mt fuji, nagoya, kyoto and Hiroshima on the national rail. Definatley want to experience as much of the country and their culture as possible. Do you know what to do about places to stay if im travelling from city to city every couple of days? Should i pre book hostels/acc before?

Thanks

5. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3713 posts) 7y

I spent 2 weeks in Japan and did Tokyo - Kyoto - Fukuoka - Nagasaki - Hiroshima and then back to Tokyo which I thought was about the right about of places in that time frame. I also did a day trip to Beppu from Fukouka. But like Degolasse says, it depends what you're interested in and what you want to see. A Japanese rail pass is a must as it will save you loads.

6. Posted by MikeAllen (Full Member 129 posts) 7y

Quoting bex76

I spent 2 weeks in Japan and did Tokyo - Kyoto - Fukuoka - Nagasaki - Hiroshima and then back to Tokyo which I thought was about the right about of places in that time frame. I also did a day trip to Beppu from Fukouka. But like Degolasse says, it depends what you're interested in and what you want to see. A Japanese rail pass is a must as it will save you loads.

Wicked, sounds similar to what i want to do. Defiantely gonna get a rail card. What did you do for accomodation? did you pre-book, if yes how did you do this? over the net?

Thanks

7. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3713 posts) 7y

Quoting MikeAllen

Quoting bex76

I spent 2 weeks in Japan and did Tokyo - Kyoto - Fukuoka - Nagasaki - Hiroshima and then back to Tokyo which I thought was about the right about of places in that time frame. I also did a day trip to Beppu from Fukouka. But like Degolasse says, it depends what you're interested in and what you want to see. A Japanese rail pass is a must as it will save you loads.

Wicked, sounds similar to what i want to do. Defiantely gonna get a rail card. What did you do for accomodation? did you pre-book, if yes how did you do this? over the net?

Thanks

I pre- booked Tokyo (stayed at Tokyo international youth hostel which was pretty good) and Kyoto online. I stayed with a friend in Fukouka and she spoke a little Japanese so booked the hostel in Nagasaki for us over the phone. I just spent the day in Hiroshima and then returned to Fukuoka that night.

The rail pass can also be used on the Tokyo train network (but not the subway) so it's a useful way to get around the city, especially on the Yamomoto line. I'm sure you know this already but you need to buy your pass before you enter Japan, and validate it on arrival. This can be done at Narita Airport.

8. Posted by MikeAllen (Full Member 129 posts) 7y

Quoting bex76

Quoting MikeAllen

Quoting bex76

I spent 2 weeks in Japan and did Tokyo - Kyoto - Fukuoka - Nagasaki - Hiroshima and then back to Tokyo which I thought was about the right about of places in that time frame. I also did a day trip to Beppu from Fukouka. But like Degolasse says, it depends what you're interested in and what you want to see. A Japanese rail pass is a must as it will save you loads.

Wicked, sounds similar to what i want to do. Defiantely gonna get a rail card. What did you do for accomodation? did you pre-book, if yes how did you do this? over the net?

Thanks

I pre- booked Tokyo (stayed at Tokyo international youth hostel which was pretty good) and Kyoto online. I stayed with a friend in Fukouka and she spoke a little Japanese so booked the hostel in Nagasaki for us over the phone. I just spent the day in Hiroshima and then returned to Fukuoka that night.

The rail pass can also be used on the Tokyo train network (but not the subway) so it's a useful way to get around the city, especially on the Yamomoto line. I'm sure you know this already but you need to buy your pass before you enter Japan, and validate it on arrival. This can be done at Narita Airport.

:) Thanks, you've been a great help. I have read about having to buy the rail card before entering. Where is the best place to buy one (cheapest) as i have seen a few third party sites charging more than others. Can you buy it online and have it delievered to you in Australia?

9. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5595 posts) 7y

I think it's best bought at the Japan Railways website. I doubt it's much cheaper elsewhere.

10. Posted by MikeAllen (Full Member 129 posts) 7y

Quoting Utrecht

I think it's best bought at the Japan Railways website. I doubt it's much cheaper elsewhere.

Thanks, im pressing the purchase button but nothing seems to be happening its taking me to this page http://www.japanrail.com/index.php?Distributor2=Purchase and am stumped where to go next...