A trip to Japan is unforgettable and can not be compared with other Asian countries. It is a country where tradition and modern high tech go hand in hand. When people hear Japan, people quickly think of sushi, sumo wrestling and the Tokyo metropolis. But in addition, Japan, or the land of the rising sun, has much more to offer. For example, the city of Kyoto, which is filled with temples, is a destination that you should not miss, just like the neon-lit city of Osaka. Also nature in Japan is highly recommended, for example visit the volcanoes Fuji and Aso or the bamboo forest near Kyoto. By Japan you travel by bus or with the Shinkansen bullet train and sleep in hostels, hotels or cabins.
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
We are travelers that like to experience everything a country has to offer. In every country we visit there are also a few basics we value and that is comfortable sleeping and good food. Of course this has to fit within our budget, which isn't a backpacker budget, but we also don't have unlimited financial resources.
What we usually strive for:
Local food which is cheap and most of the time the best food you ever had.
Value for money accommodation where we focus on cleanliness and a comfortable bed.
A mix of must sees which are almost for nothing as it is a hard to reach place or yet unknown and must sees which are pricy as it is very touristy.
To travel through Japan you can use the numbers below to set up your daily budget. Japan is an expensive country for most travelers. Especially during peak season (spring and autumn) the prices for hotels can be outrages due to the high demand. So when traveling to Japan in these seasons book your hotels way up front (3 months) to get the best prices. Our transport mainly consists of train and metro. For food and drinks we mainly went to restaurants.
FOOD & DRINKS
EUR 97,54 per day per person
on the basis of 19 days and excl. fly ticket
We can be brief about the visa Japan. You do not need it. Upon arrival in Japan you only need a valid passport, nothing else. You get a stamp in your passport and with that a visa for 90 days. In contrast to almost every other country in the world, your passport does not even have to be valid six months after departure. As long as it is valid on arrival.
Japan has a lot to offer. But before you go you need to know what the hotspots of the country are. Beneath, we have selected a few of our finest moments. Of course there is much more to explore and if you want to see more, please click on the button below. You will not only find our highlights, but also from fellow travellers. Are you also one of these travellers that takes the unbeaten path, leave us a message.
GETTIN' HUNGRY or THIRSTY
Small street, with small restaurant for approx 6 people. Beautiful to go out en meet crazy Japanese. Kind of Tokyo variant on the Amsterdam Pretsteeg. Closeby the Shibuya crossing.
Japan is the land of sushi. Enjoy fresh sushi in Tokyo at the Tsukiji fish market or eat at a sushi train restaurant in the busy neon-lit Osaka. Looking for a budget option while backpacking? Run a random supermarket, how big or small, actually they always sell a tray with tasty sushi and for this you are much less lost than in a restaurant!
Terrace dining is popular, especially along Kamogawa River in the evenings on weekends and during holidays, when advance reservations are a must at most river facing restaurants along Pontocho (usually in Japanese by phone). A small number of restaurants can be reserved online in English through Japanican.
Golden Gai is a small, atmospheric nightlife district in Kabukicho packed with over 200 small bars and eateries. Most places are very small, seating only a few customers, and typically cater to a few regular customers. A few of the bars openly welcome foreign guests with signs and menus set outside listing prices in English.
For some, this is certainly an experience not to be missed: Traveling on the high-speed train. Not only special, because you go so hard, but also efficient! Your journey within a short time from one place to another. Pieces faster than the bus that is also used a lot during backpacking in Japan!
These Torii gates are among the oldest and best known Shinto shrines in Kyoto. It is seen as a passage from the ordinary world to the afterlife.
This park is known for the best spot for blossum, at the end of March in early April.
Taishogun Shopping Street, known as “Ichijo Yokai Street”, is located in the northern part of Kyoto city. This 400m long shopping street covers from Nishioji-dori to Nakadachiuri-dori and it has developed into a commercial district of the northwest area of the city. Based on the legend, it is said that Tsukumo monsters marched on Ichijodori, the northernmost part of the current Rakuchu. Therefore, we are working hard to promote this shopping district with the theme of “monsters”.
TIPS & TRICKS
There is a service called Free Wi-Fi & Tokyo ( http://www.wifi-tokyo.jp/index.html ) that provides free wi-fi hotspots all over Tokyo. Here is a link to a map of their coverage: http://www.wifi-tokyo.jp/spotmap.html
If you get some money, used with meastro in the 7 eleven shops. 1000 yen is about 8 euros.
Buy a Pasmo or Suica card. These can be used in all major cities for buses, metro and trams (like OV chipcard).
Metro runs until 12 o'clock, try not to take a taxi during the day, which is ng screaming expensive.
Take the Airport Limousine from Tokyo Airport to the city center. This is the cheapest option.
The trains in Japan are among the best in the world. You can get anywhere, the trains go very fast and are always on time. However, trips with these trains are quite expensive, especially compared to other countries in Asia. With a Japan Rail Pass you can save a lot of money here. If you want to visit several cities during your stay in the country, the Japan Rail Pass is soon the best option. In addition to money-saving, the card is also time-saving. If you have the pass you do not have to buy a ticket for every train trip, which is so relaxing.
The Japan Rail Pass is valid on all trains of the JR network. This is the official rail network and this means that almost all of Japan can be reached. With the pass you can also use the shinkansen, the high-speed train. Only on the Nomozi shinkansen the pass is not valid. You can choose from three lengths when buying a Japan Rail Pass; 7 days, 14 days and 21 days. Of course, the 7-day pass is the cheapest and 21 days the most expensive. If you take the pass of 7 days you have the money on a return ticket Tokyo - Kyoto with shinkansen almost out.
The Japan Rail Pass is only for sale outside of Japan. This option is purely for tourists, so it is not an option if you are going to live in Japan, live or do an internship. You can buy the Japan Rail Pass from the larger travel agencies and specialist Japanese travel agencies. This must be arranged before you leave for the country! With your purchase you will receive a voucher, which you can exchange in Japan for a Japan Rail Pass. You can not travel with it, you will have to exchange the voucher first. This can be done at a JR Pass or by the JR stations - and the international airports Narita and Kansai.
Besides the regular Japan Rail Pass there are also a number of other options. These are particularly suitable if your stay in Japan is limited to a certain area. With the JR East Pass you can only travel in the east of Japan. This allows you to travel around Tokyo and the area to the east and north thereof. However, this pass is not valid on Hokkaido. With the JR West Kansai Area Pass you can travel between cities like Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto and Nara. There are, for example, a number of other passes. If you specifically visit a certain region, these may be a good option. These passes are cheaper than the complete Japan Rail Pass.
If you can not find the way ask a young person the way. They follow English lessons at school. Older people in Japan do not speak English.
BEST TIME TO GO
When you go to Japan and especially visit the big cities, it is advisable to leave in autumn or spring. In the fall many trees are colored in beautiful brown, red and yellow leaves and in the spring you can see cherry blossoms everywhere and the land seems to be covered with pink flowers. Summer is also a nice time to travel through Japan. The temperature is not too hot and comparable to the Mediterranean area. Of course there are temperature differences in Japan, so it is wise to take this into account.
Rainfall (mm) Temperature (°C)
The 3rd of May Day of the Constitution, 18th of September Day of Respect for the Elderly, 3rd of November Culture Day.
A positive travel advice applies to Japan. Check the current travel advice for Japan before departure.
Vaccinations are not mandatory for Japan. Tap water is not safe everywhere to drink, we recommend drinking water from bottles. We advise you to consult your doctor or the National Coordination Center for Travelers Advice (www.lcr.nl) in good time before departure.