train journey from europe to asia

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1. Posted by Susrød (Budding Member 4 posts) 46w Star this if you like it!

my name is susanne.
I dream of traveling from Norway to Japan by train. I have traveled a lot with my family and some friends but never alone.I wonder about some things and I have no one really to ask, so I ask you instead.

My travel plan is to travel 4 months about with just one flight and just hand luggage. This is the plan: From Norway oslo Travel by train to Stockholm Sweden Two Helsinki Finland by ferry and train / bus, from Helsinki, by train to St. Petersburg to Moskva to Mongolia to China and ferry from Shanghi to Osaka Japan. I thought and travel around Japan before flying home to Norway. I was planning to travel through Sweden and Finland and spend the most time in the Asian countries and Russia. is it too ambitious in 4 months?

do you have any tips to cope with language barriers and cultural differences? acceptance of weaving and pointing. 😉Do you have any general tips to behave in Asian cultures? has any of you been in mongolia? how was your experience?

I have never traveled alone before and over so long time. do you have any general tips? How much should I plan in advance? hotels / hostels, visa and tickets? Can I get a visa at the border crossings? how do you usually plan your budget? do you make a budget for the whole trip or for each country?

This became a lot of questions. 🤓 hope it did not get too much and that someone would like to answer.
wish you a good day.

2. Posted by Teoni (Respected Member 615 posts) 46w Star this if you like it!

You will need to apply for a Russian visa, I can't be sure how it is for Norwegians, you will have to check with the Russian embassy in Norway but usually you need some invitation so you may need some accommodations booked before you go. If you plan on getting out of the train you will need a visa to visit Mongolia. I don't know what your plan is with Mongolia but if you want to explore beyond Ulaanbaatar you will most likely need a tour as a lot of places don't even have roads. I am pretty sure if coming by train you need a China visa, though if you are staying more than 72hrs you will definitely need a visa. The visa stuff you should be able to check through the embassy and consulate websites in your country.

From what I am reading it seems to me you are planning to travel only Russia, China, Mongolia and Japan, Whether four months is enough will depend on how much time you want to spend in each country and what you want to. Four months is doable the question you should ask yourself, is it enough to achieve what you want from this trip?

3. Posted by Susrød (Budding Member 4 posts) 45w Star this if you like it!

thank you!😊
That was a good question.
When I look at it now I think I want to simplify it. I think I'd like to get well with a country instead of racing through five.
What I really want is to travel to Japan as environmentally friendly as possible. Then I thought of a train. I like to travel by train. I can sit drawing and look at all the people who go on and off the trains. I thought I could draw myself to Japan.
I can be in Japan 90 days without a visa. so now i think since it's japan i want to go to maybe i just go there and get to know the culture, the people and the art.
Thank you, questions help a lot.

4. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1071 posts) 45w Star this if you like it!

Check with the embassies of the countries you want to visit as to their entry requirements. You can do this online. I suspect that, for Norwegians, visas are required for Russia, Mongolia and China.

Suggest you fly to Japan and perhaps also visit South Korea. Check prices at this link: Fares are reasonable; and will be much less expensive than if you were to take the Trans-Mongolian (from Moscow, Ulan Bator and Beijing). I took the Trans-Mongolian in 2015.

Japan is popular with tourists from around the world, so you won't have any problems getting around. It's one of the easiest countries to travel in. I was in Japan and South Korea for five weeks last year before traveling in Russia for three weeks.

Do some advance planning for Japan, particularly if you're on a budget. A Japan Rail Pass might make sense if you're traveling long distances on fast trains. But if you're mostly making short local hops, that might be overkill. Also look into flights with low-cost carriers, such as Vanilla Air and Jetstar Japan. They might be cheaper than taking the train.

Finally, participate in the Nagomi Visit program to have lunch or dinner with a Japanese family in their home. It's a wonderful cross-cultural experience; and I highly recommend it.

5. Posted by Teoni (Respected Member 615 posts) 45w Star this if you like it!

What I really want is to travel to Japan as environmentally friendly as possible.

I can see why you gravitated towards train travel, unfortunately making international travel environmentally friendly is still in many ways a far off dream. If you travel around Japan by train it may off set the plane travel. Some airlines offer carbon off set programs, though usually at an extra cost

6. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1071 posts) 45w Star this if you like it!

If you're concerned about the environment, use this SAS calculator:

7. Posted by Susrød (Budding Member 4 posts) 45w Star this if you like it!

Thank you for all the advice. I was planning to travel to one or two countries in addition to Japan. I thought of the Philippines but South Korea seems exciting? Do you know if there is free between South Korea and Japan? I was thinking of wwoofing in jajapn. have any of you tried it before? The nogami program seems exciting, do you have any more suggestions for cultural things to do?

8. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1071 posts) 45w Star this if you like it!

There are ferries between Japan and South Korea. Go online to check. I flew from Osaka to Jeju island to hike on Mt. Hallasan.

In Tokyo, why not try a Kabuki performance at the Kabukiza Theatre. You can get same-day performance tickets if you go early in the morning (8 a.m.) to get tickets. If you're one of the early birds in line, they bring benches to sit on; and fans to cool you off if it's a hot summer day. Performances usually begin at 11 a.m. I paid 4,000 JPY for three one-act performances the same day. You choose which performances you want. Some are shorter than others.

Rather than the Philippines, suggest you fly to Okinawa, then to nearby Taiwan (several low-cost carriers serve the OKA-TPE route). There are fine beaches in the Ryukyu islands, such as on Ishigaki. Taiwan is worth visiting; and there are direct flights from TPE to several European cities, so you can get home easily. Or, if Taiwan is not in the cards, there are excellent flights from Seoul to Europe.

9. Posted by Susrød (Budding Member 4 posts) 45w Star this if you like it!

Thank you so much!😊