Travel Japan

WCErevival

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So I visited Japan last month. Spent a few days in Tokyo and then a few days in Kyoto. I think I could live there if I learnt the language. Makes such a difference being around people that are courteous and polite.

Tokyo was a bit too busy for my liking but still ok. I think it would take a few weeks to really see it all if cities are your thing. I much preferred Kyoto due to it being more traditional. Didn't get time to see any other towns though.
 

Hawk Dork

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Is it worth paying for the 21 Days JR Rail Pass $750

if Im catching a Shinkansen Tokyo to Kyoto, Kyoto to Tokyo
I think its nearly $200 each way for Tokyo to Kyoto = $400

Do regular trains cost much in Tokyo and Kyoto to make the JR pass worthwhile for the 21 days ?....Like $350 worth or do you need to go on lots of long train journeys to try and get value out it?

OR do I get the 14 day pass for $600
and start it on the first trip to Kyoto and the last trip back to Tokyo and all the bits in between , a few day trips out of Kyoto, Kobe, Osaka,maybe Hiroshima.to try and get $200 worth.

or just pay up front for 2 Shinkansen (T> K ,K> T) and get subway cards for the rest ?

Its my first time so I want to see lots of Tokyo and lots of Kyoto the rest is just extras ???
 

swingdog

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If you're really budgeting just eat ramen all the time - most places are like 500Y. But seems like whatever information has informed your thinking is on the right track, particularly breakfast. Cafes don't exist so just grab something from Lawson, 7/11 etc.

Hard to give a proper ballpark when my most recent trip was motivated by food and was eating at Jiro etc. But feel like you could stick to 1,000Y per meal if you really wanted to
How was Jiro?


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Cockliff38

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Is it worth paying for the 21 Days JR Rail Pass $750

if Im catching a Shinkansen Tokyo to Kyoto, Kyoto to Tokyo
I think its nearly $200 each way for Tokyo to Kyoto = $400

Do regular trains cost much in Tokyo and Kyoto to make the JR pass worthwhile for the 21 days ?....Like $350 worth or do you need to go on lots of long train journeys to try and get value out it?

OR do I get the 14 day pass for $600
and start it on the first trip to Kyoto and the last trip back to Tokyo and all the bits in between , a few day trips out of Kyoto, Kobe, Osaka,maybe Hiroshima.to try and get $200 worth.

or just pay up front for 2 Shinkansen (T> K ,K> T) and get subway cards for the rest ?

Its my first time so I want to see lots of Tokyo and lots of Kyoto the rest is just extras ???
There's a calculator on the JR website that shows you if a pass is worthwhile or not. Once you get the hang of it the train system is super user-friendly. You typically need long journeys to get the most out of it, so if you're just hanging out in those two cities I probably wouldn't get it.

You'll typically accumulate a shitload of coins doing day-to-day transactions and the train is often a good means of dumping them!
 

WCErevival

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We got the 7 day pass to cover the Shinkansen and a few extra days. Then paid the other days individually.
 
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Cockliff38

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How was Jiro?


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Yeah unreal man - one of those once in a lifetime things. It was the ugly duckling son's restaurant, but still amazing. Quality and freshness like you'd expect but also being able to witness them prepare each course and the care and dedication that goes into each piece is truly remarkable. I think we forked out $700-800 for two people.

One of those things where you obviously have to really enjoy food and appreciate that aspect of life, but really worthwhile if so :thumbsu:
 

Hawk Dork

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We got the 7 day pass to cover the Shinkansen and a few extra days. Then paid the other days individually.
Ive got 14 days in Tokyo and 14 days in Kyoto
So I was thinking 14 days pass used on the last day in Tokyo would get me there and back and lots of day trips in Kyoto ??

Hotels are booked so it would need to be round trips

I'll do the calculations.
Part of me thinks I will just want to hang around and absorb the atmosphere rather than be jumping around all over the place
 

Mockcockpit

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Hawk Dork 14 days in Kyoto is plenty, I think you'll go stir crazy in that time, but that's just me. Since you have a month I'd seriously consider at least 2 days in Hiroshima and 2 or 3 in Fukuoka (best street food in Japan). Since your hotels are booked Hiroshima is an easy day trip from Kyoto, Fukuoka also doable but that'd be a long day. Obviously also go into Osaka, I like the Nanba area in Osaka. Kobe also has a good Chinatown with some decent food.
 

Hawk Dork

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Hawk Dork 14 days in Kyoto is plenty, I think you'll go stir crazy in that time, but that's just me. Since you have a month I'd seriously consider at least 2 days in Hiroshima and 2 or 3 in Fukuoka (best street food in Japan). Since your hotels are booked Hiroshima is an easy day trip from Kyoto, Fukuoka also doable but that'd be a long day. Obviously also go into Osaka, I like the Nanba area in Osaka. Kobe also has a good Chinatown with some decent food.
I am a fan of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masanobu_Fukuoka, but just read he wasnt from Fukouka.

I think I will hang dont think I will get stir crazy I like to absorb
I could easily spend a day going zen in bamboo forest
Im interested in Osaka and Hiroshima,I would like to see the giant Gigantor in Kobe too.

I cant do it all in one go, just go mad moving all the time
but I would like to see some rural agricultural Japan a bit of My Friend Totoro country
Would love to see a giant salamander too
 

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Mockcockpit

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Alright, good time of the year, best in my view. There's the main train line that runs along the cost there, probably go to Maizuru from Kyoto. I haven't checked this but most likely they will have a scenic and/or restaurant type open carriage train that will trundle along the coast while you're having a frostie and and a pig's ear pickled in aspic. Failing that any local train that runs along the coast will be good value and no-one will stop you from having a few tinnies on the train and a bite to eat. The tuck shops at the bigger stations are always good value for a proper Japanese boxed lunch (bento). If you get your zen on just trundling along for a day with no particular destination in mind then this should fit the bill.
 

Niximus

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Got the Qantas deal that was happening earlier in the year and booked for 3 weeks in June. Osaka, Kyoto and Hiroshima. Very excited to be going back and seeing somewhere different to last time.
 

Jaxes

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so we have our accommodation booked. trip looks something like this; day trip days weather dependent/not locked in
tokyo
tokyo - nikko day trip
tokyo - disneyland
tokyo - hakone day trip
tokyo to kyoto
kyoto
kyoto - nara day trip
kyoto
kyoto to osaka
osaka
osaka to tokyo
tokyo
tokyo

staying in shinjuku to to start, near the main station in kyoto, kita in osaka then shibuya when we return to tokyo.

any major recommendations or ideas please shoot away
 

Holy Rioli

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Tokyo - Joypolis - Indoor theme park created by SEGA (after 5pm on a week day costs like $30 open til 11pm not many people there, no long waits for rides)
Tokyo - Robot Restaurant (Shinjuku) - it's tacky, expensive and obnoxious but somehow it works. My main criticism is they seem to have toned down the show over theyears
Tokyo - Samurai Museum (Shinjuku) - costs about $20 per person but you get a guided tour and they put on demonstrations etc
Kyoto - Monkey Park maybe? Be prepared for like a 45 minute walk up a mountain though.
If you have the rail pass, do a day trip to Himeji from Kyoto, only an hour away, the castle there is stunning and has a lot of awesome history
As above but Hiroshima. No Castle though.

Otherwise take it all in, look for walking tours etc that are normally free or very cheap. Shibuya crossing outside the train station is an amazing sight if you like chaos.

What time of year you heading out? The seasons vary greatly especially in Tokyo, I wouldn't recommend going to the Monkey Park in their summer the heat would be insane.
 

Cockliff38

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so we have our accommodation booked. trip looks something like this; day trip days weather dependent/not locked in
tokyo
tokyo - nikko day trip
tokyo - disneyland
tokyo - hakone day trip
tokyo to kyoto
kyoto
kyoto - nara day trip
kyoto
kyoto to osaka
osaka
osaka to tokyo
tokyo
tokyo

staying in shinjuku to to start, near the main station in kyoto, kita in osaka then shibuya when we return to tokyo.

any major recommendations or ideas please shoot away
I know you said accommodation booked but I'd recommend changing the Hakone day trip to a one-night stay - experience a Ryokan. You won't get a more traditional Japanese experience
 

Shane Sheridan

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If you can get to Hiroshima, do it. Definitely a castle at Hiroshima, not worth going out of your way to see though. A Bomb Dome and Peace Park well worth it, and follow it up with an okonomiyaki.
My best bit of advice for Japan though is take your own pillow. Some of those things that they pass off for pillows in hotels are brutal.
 

Mockcockpit

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If you can get to Hiroshima, do it. Definitely a castle at Hiroshima, not worth going out of your way to see though. A Bomb Dome and Peace Park well worth it, and follow it up with an okonomiyaki.
Curtis Lemay and Associates were involved in extensive renovations of the castle so it's probably not the best example of the type in Japan.
 

Jaxes

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have been toying with the idea of a day down in hiroshima, not particularly into the the war/bomb stuff though so we are still a bit unsure. all the accom has no cancellation fees i think, so will look into staying at hakone for a night. will also look into himeji
we land in tokyo april 7

cheers
 

Peter Sidorkiewicz

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have been toying with the idea of a day down in hiroshima, not particularly into the the war/bomb stuff though so we are still a bit unsure. all the accom has no cancellation fees i think, so will look into staying at hakone for a night. will also look into himeji
we land in tokyo april 7

cheers
Hiroshima can be done as a day trip from osaka or kyoto. The train takes 2 and half hours. If you leave early in the morning. See the sights and return to Osaka/Kyoto in the evening, then you don't need to change your accommodation.
 

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