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Backpacking in Japan

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1. Posted by don_kam (Full Member, 115 posts) 12 Mar '05 02:01

Hi people,

was wondering if it is worth it to backpack in Japan or simply take a tour.... the tour packages in my country for Japan seems like a bargin.... however, I do not like to follow tour groups in general..

have anyone backpacked Japan recently? was wondering how much is is average cost per day in terms of:

1) Lodging
2) Food
3) Sightseeing

Thanks for any help rendered!!

Don

2. Posted by Peter (Admin, 5417 posts) 12 Mar '05 02:19

I too would be interested in this. We're planning a trip to Japan later this year.

Our travel agent did a tour there last year with Intrepid Travel and said she loved it, so it did get us thinking about the tour thing (Intrepid's not like other tour groups, are they??). Of course, my idea is to just have a look at their itinerary and go there on our own.

But I would certainly be interested in some estimate costs. I've heard it's not nearly as bad as people make out. And certainly not as bad as the UK. Any experiences?

Also, I heard something about a rail pass. Worth getting?

Peter

3. Posted by Delissa (Budding Member, 26 posts) 12 Mar '05 06:19

Hey guys,

I currently live in Japan and can try to help you with some of the estimates.

This past winter break here I had the opportunity to travel around with my friend. Our itinerary included Nagoya-Tokyo-Hiroshima-Kyoto-Nara-Nagoya(I live near Nagoya). He got the 7 day rail pass and saved a lot of money. I, on the other hand, spent so much yen on that trip because I wasn't able to get the pass due to my visa status. I know you are probably thinking that that is a lot of stuff to see in seven days and it is but we traveled a few more days after his rail pass expired to see those extra sights.

Anyways bottom line is---get the pass if you plan on doing quite a bit of traveling in Japan. Example cost--one way on shinkansen from Nagoya to Tokyo 10,500 yen.

As for accomodations--we were on a strict budget so we stayed in hostels mainly. Average cost 2,700-3,000 yen pp/pn

Food- What kind of food do you want to be eating? You can get by spending about 3,000 yen or less if you don't eat out to often. If you do go out expect to spend at least 1,000 yen on a lunch set and maybe a little more for a dinner set.

Sightseeing- To get in to the popular temples and gardens expect a fee ranging from 250-700yen.

Hope that helps a little.

4. Posted by Wocca (Inactive, 3745 posts) 12 Mar '05 07:12

What's the exchange rate of the yen to the $US dollar?

5. Posted by Delissa (Budding Member, 26 posts) 12 Mar '05 07:19

At the moment it's 104 yen to 1 USD.

http://www.xe.com/ucc/

6. Posted by don_kam (Full Member, 115 posts) 12 Mar '05 21:00

Mmmmm....

it looks betta than I expect actually....
was in Denmark last year and prices wasn't that cheap I must say...

but the tour agencies in my country are offering like US1500 for like 7 days package with good hotels and good meals included, english speaking tour guides / transportation etc... sure looks tempting rather than backpacking....

So, if I have never been to Japan, and have only 1 week, you think I should head to Toyko or Sapporo?? Ideally I should go Toyko but a few of my friends advised me to head for Sapporo instead....

Don

Post 7 was removed by a moderator
8. Posted by Twinkle (Travel Guru, 1112 posts) 13 Mar '05 06:34

Hey!Im also going to Japan, the first 2 weeks of July. I will be starting off in Tokyo then using a week long train pass to visit, Mt Fuji, Kyoto,Osaka and Hiroshima!Currently looking into decent but cheap places to stay as Im on quite a budget!Get in touch we can exchange ideas and advice!

9. Posted by Wocca (Inactive, 3745 posts) 13 Mar '05 10:05

I could be in Japan in July / August 2005

10. Posted by Emmett70 (Travel Guru, 534 posts) 13 Mar '05 16:56

I would say Twinkle's plan is an excellent choice for a two week trip to Japan. Try and cram in any more than that and it would be too much of a rush. Hiroshima, Kyoto and Tokyo are all excellent places to visit, but I personally didn't think much of Osaka.

I went to Japan for two months so it wasn't really worth me getting the Railpass, but if you're there for three weeks or less and plan a fair bit of travelling then the Rail Pass is definitely worth buying.

When I went to Japan I think I spent something like two thousand pounds in two months which was cheaper than I was expecting.

Given a choice between a tour and backpacking I would definitely choose to do it on my own. For me Japan was a place which needed flexibility to enjoy properly.