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Thread: Budget travel in Japan - tips and info thread

  1. #101
    Senior Member shierwin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    East Coast

    Default Re: Budget travel in Japan - tips and info thread

    Quote Originally Posted by zeraviel View Post
    hey guys, im planning to visit japan, tokyo next year some time around 20 march to early/mid april. planning to stay for approx 2 weeks.

    Would be really helpful if you guys can share how much is daily budget in japan so i can save up for it and plan(if i should go work part time or something lol ). Lodgings and airplane tickets aside, cause I've a friend's place to stay in at tokyo. Mainly just the spending on food and attractions i guess.

    Probably planning to go see some main attractions(havent researched yet) then half the time would probably be 'free and easy' and just walk around and shoot. Going as a part holiday, part photography trip.

    I know its very vague right now, but i just got the green light from my parents, so trying to find out more first, just a rough estimate on how much i should at least have per day would be really useful thanks.

    See post #61 of this thread

  2. #102

    Default Re: Budget travel in Japan - tips and info thread

    I think post 59 & your post 54 may be better:
    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

  3. #103
    Senior Member shierwin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    East Coast

    Red face Re: Budget travel in Japan - tips and info thread

    Quote Originally Posted by petetherock View Post
    I think post 59 & your post 54 may be better:
    Thanks for the correction. Quoted the wrong post.

  4. #104

    Default Lets ski!

    Some info for those keen on skiiing in Japan:

    Powder and the passion
    September 10, 2009
    Powder trip ... Nozawa onsen ski resort.

    Craig Tansley goes uphill and down again in search of a perfect holiday in the snow. Whether it's snow monkeys, traditional bathhouses, deep powder, black diamond ski runs or family resorts you desire, Japan has you covered. With more than 600 resorts to choose from, offering some of the best powder-snow skiing available anywhere, it's really just a matter of deciding which snow experience you want to have. Here are our tips on Japan's best ski areas.
    The Hakuba Valley has terrain to suit everyone from the first-day skier to the professional, as well as plenty of off-snow activities to pursue. There are groomed cross-country courses, or you can snowshoe, snow tube, toboggan, go snow rafting or take a variety of tours to traditional temples.
    Hakuba comprises 10 resorts and offers access to more than 200 ski runs. It's the ski mecca of Japan and was home to many of the events of the 1998 Winter Olympics. It's best-known for its powder snow and vertical skiing, although novices are also catered for. Happo-One has some of the highest snowfall in Japan, while Tsugaike and Iwatake are perfect for intermediates, with their long, cruising runs.
    Free shuttle buses run between all resorts and there are plenty of hot springs to soak in. Snowboarders are well catered for; some of the country's best half pipes and terrain parks are located here. See or
    Not only is this Japan's largest ski resort - or rather, 21 inter-linked resorts available on one lift ticket - it also has one of the longest ski seasons in the country. There are more than 80 kilometres of slopes here, the longest run being six kilometres. It's also open every evening until 9pm. Shiga Kogen hosted a variety of events at the 1998 Winter Olympics.
    The ski resort of Yakebitaiyama is the most modern of all resorts at Shiga and offers the fastest lifts and perhaps the best variety of terrain. If you want the tree runs, for which Japan is famous, however, try nearby Okushiga.
    The best idea is to stay in the village of Ichinose, as it's the most central and has the best range of accommodation and restaurants. It's also one of Japan's prettiest towns, where shop keepers use toy guns to shoo away pesky monkeys and you can bathe at free communal baths. See
    Seeing Nozawa Onsen is like looking back in time, with its authentic ryokan inns and natural hot springs (there are more than 30 to choose from and some are at least 700 years old). However, it also has all the convenience of one of Japan's biggest ski resorts. There are 50 kilometres of runs accessed by two gondolas, five quad chairs, four triple chairs and 13 double chairs, with one run being more than 10 kilometres long.
    The tradition of the place attracts a lot of older Japanese skiers but its challenging terrain also brings Western snowboarders. Forty per cent of the mountain is dedicated to beginners but there are 1065 metres of vertical rise to challenge even the bravest skier or snowboarder. Socialising isn't huge here but festivals are; the best one to see is the famous fire festival in January. See
    It might attract as many Australians these days as Disneyland and it's not nearly as steep as Hakuba but it gets more snow than anywhere in the world outside Alaska. Each season you can expect 16 metres of snow to fall and its location, on the west coast of the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, means Niseko is the first place on earth to receive snow from a Siberian storm. You can access four ski areas on the one lift ticket, with 37 shared lifts and four gondolas. On a powder day (which is most days), there's more than enough room to find your own first tracks and nothing can beat the sensation of riding some of the world's driest powder snow. There's a wide variety of Western and local restaurants and bars (you can even buy VB and meat pies if your heart desires), although, with the huge influx of Australian skiers, Niseko will not suit all travellers. See
    Getting there

    To get to the Nagano region, take the Narita Express to Tokyo Central Station, then look for the Nagano Shinkansen, a 90-minute bullet train. Shiga Kogen, Hakuba and Myoko Kogen are easily accessible by train from Nagano. For information on rail travel, see For Hokkaido resorts, fly to Sapporo with JAL where resorts such as Niseko arrange transfers.
    For more information See or
    Myoko Kogen

    It's a fact of life that Australian skiers are the most adventurous on the planet; find a mountain anywhere on Earth and, without doubt, you will find an Australian who found it before you did. But if you'd like to avoid Australians en masse and have a genuinely Japanese ski holiday, Myoko Kogen could well be your idea of alpine heaven. It is one of Japan's oldest ski resorts and Westerners have yet to infiltrate it fully. It's also where the Japanese Royal family chooses to ski. Although it's not far from the popular ski regions of Shiga Kogen and Hakuba and it boasts more than 14 metres of snowfall a season, Myoko Kogen has traditional Japanese accommodation with few options for nightlife outside soaking in onsen and competitive karaoke competitions with locals, who take their singing very seriously. Skiing here is as far as you can expect from the ''Australianised'' experience you'll have at Niseko. In Myoko Kogen you're still a novelty - I counted only three Australians in a week, two of whom worked there.
    You'll also experience uncrowded ski runs on Myoko Kogen's nine mountains, which have everything from steep black runs to easy, wide-open beginner slopes. What's more, the tree runs (just be careful of where you're allowed to go) are well spaced and have deep snow. There's about a kilometre of vertical descent, with some runs more than nine kilometres long.
    For all this splendid isolation, you'd expect to have to travel for days but finding Myoko Kogen is easy. Just catch the bullet train to Nagano (90 minutes), then travel another 40 minutes by train before taking a 10-minute bus transfer.See
    While we're at it, here's another secret: the Hakuba Valley is one of Japan's best snow regions and mountains like Happo One are attracting many Westerners. But check out the often-forgotten northern end of Hakuba at Cortina and you'll discover some of Japan's steepest, deepest runs. The resort is small but has the highest snowfall of the region. It has the most challenging terrain in Japan with a huge bowl and tight tree runs. You'll find plenty of steep runs here that on powder days are not as scary as you think. See
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  5. #105

    Default Narita

    If anyone is headed to Tokyo. Take note on your return journey that it takes more than 45 min by train to the airport.

    That means setting out from your hotel about 3 hrs or so before the departure time. In the current heightened security situation, you can bet that the security checks will be even longer, so give yourself more time.
    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

  6. #106

    Default Re: Budget travel in Japan - tips and info thread

    Wow, good discussions on Japan! I get fascinated by the name itself. Don't know, when will I get a chance to go to Japan.
    Luxury Ski Chalets

  7. #107

    Default Re: Budget travel in Japan - tips and info thread

    Quote Originally Posted by stacy clerke View Post
    Wow, good discussions on Japan! I get fascinated by the name itself. Don't know, when will I get a chance to go to Japan.
    Luxury Ski Chalets
    start saving....i have been to Japan 5 times and still cannot get enough of the country

  8. #108

    Default Re: Budget travel in Japan - tips and info thread

    Just saw Japan Hour, Yoro town and its bamboo looked very interesting...
    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

  9. #109

    Default Shinkasen

    Different trains operate in different parts of Japan.

    There are various classes which differ in speed and the number of stops.

    The trains operating on the Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen are of the following three categories:

    Nozomi: Nozomi trains stop only at the most important stations, and reach Osaka from Tokyo in about two and a half hours. The nozomi is one of the very few trains on the JR network that cannot be used with the Japan Rail Pass.
    Hikari: Hikari trains stop a little bit more frequently than nozomi trains, and need roughly three hours to reach Osaka from Tokyo. On the Sanyo Shinkansen, the Hikari trains are known as "Hikari Railstar".
    Kodama: The slowest category. Kodama trains stop at all stations.

    The trains operating on the north bound lines are of the following categories:
    • Hayate (Tohoku Shinkansen): The fastest train category on the Tohoku Shinkansen. Hayate trains run all the way from Tokyo to Hachinohe and stop only at major stations. All seats are reserved. Between Tokyo and Morioka, Hayate trains are coupled with a Komachi train.
    • Yamabiko (Tohoku Shinkansen): The second fastest train category on the Tohoku Shinkansen, running as far as Morioka. Yamabiko trains stop more frequently than Hayate trains.
    • Nasuno (Tohoku Shinkansen): The slowest train category on the Tohoku Shinkansen. Nasuno trains run only as far as Koriyama (one stop before Fukushima) and stop at all stations.
    • Komachi (Akita Shinkansen): This is the only train category on the Akita Shinkansen. Komachi run between Tokyo and Akita. All seats are reserved. Between Tokyo and Morioka, Komachi trains are coupled with a Hayate train.
    • Tsubasa (Yamagata Shinkansen): This is the only train category on the Yamagata Shinkansen. Tsubasa run between Tokyo, Yamagata and Shinjo. Between Tokyo and Fukushima, some Tsubasa trains are coupled with a Yamabiko train.
    • Toki (Joetsu Shinkansen): This is the faster of two categories on the Joetsu Shinkansen, running all the way from Tokyo to Niigata.
    • Tanigawa (Joetsu Shinkansen): This is the slower of two categories on the Joetsu Shinkansen. Tanigawa run only as far as Echigo-Yuzawa and stop more frequently than the Toki trains.
    • Asama (Nagano Shinkansen): This is the only train category on the Nagano Shinkansen. Asama run between Tokyo and Nagano.
    You can place your luggage at the rear most section - behind the last seat, but note that that section is not yours, anyone can place it there. The space is not big, and the last seat differs. Just choose it when you go to the counters to book your seats.

    Trains stop only for a very short while of minutes, so get to the platform and the right cabin first and hope on asap.

    There is no time to get out for a smoke break etc at each stop.

    More info here:
    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

  10. #110

    Default Sushi in Tokyo


    Jaime Ee | The Business Times | Sat Nov 10 2007

    Tokyu Supermarket

    So you swear by the sushi at Meidi-Ya supermarket in River Valley? You ain’t seen nothing yet.
    While the likes of Tokyo’s Isetan and Takashimaya boast takeaway sushi in their newly refurbished food halls, Tokyu supermarket retains its original frenetic self complete with fish vendors trying to out-shout each other to attract customers to their displays of gleaming red slabs of tuna and other freshly cut seafood.
    Enticing displays of sushi in various permutations call out to shoppers who fill their baskets with dinner for the day. The prices are amazing – fat slices of fish on rice can be had for around 980 yen (about S$13), while roughly cut tuna sashimi went for about 900 yen.

    Tokyu Supermarket
    Shibuya Station
    Sushi Daiwa

    You may have long given up on the idea of ever getting into this tiny little restaurant that is as famous as the fish market itself. There isn’t a single foodie website that doesn’t recommend it, which means long lines for sushi breakfasts as early as 5 am.
    If you’re not able to wake up in time with the rest of Japan’s tuna, take a chance and go there at around 1 in the afternoon. The market itself would have closed by then but if you’re lucky, it will be almost closing time at Daiwa and hardly anyone will be lining up to get in.
    That means you might be able to squeeze in with the last diners of the day, at a counter where you sit shoulder-to-shoulder with both locals and non-Japanese in a claustrophobic ambience. But you hunker down and ignore your discomfort as you mutter “setto” (set) to the amiable chef who immediately starts plonking down fat hunks of toro (tuna belly) on your plate.
    Refined elegance is hardly what you get in Daiwa. It’s just chop shop service with roughly cut chunks of fish slapped down on rice with no finesse whatsoever.
    But yes, the fish is fresh and in generous portions – the toro was more of a slab than a slice, albeit so icy that its clean and milky texture was dulled in the mouth. They pay no attention to temperature or presentation, but compared to the other sushi joints in the area, you can’t beat Daiwa in terms of value-for-money.
    A couple of notches above Tokyu, Daiwa is tops in its category. But is it the best sushi you’ll find in Tokyo? Not by a long shot.
    Sushi Daiwa
    Tsukiji Fish Market
    Midori Sushi

    Listed in the Luxe travel guide, Midori is located in the trendy Ginza Corridor, joining a long row of restaurants just below the train tracks. Long queues can be expected, but they thin out closer to the end of lunch time and boasts some of the largest slices of fish or eel on smallish balls of rice one has ever seen.
    Set meals can be had for as low as 2,190 yen – a large platter of mixed sushi which includes tuna, sea eel (anago), sea urchin (uni), yellowtail (hamachi), salmon roe, shrimp and omelette (tamago), and a small chawanmushi and crab liver salad. If you’re hungry, you can really fuel up on one of these sets.
    Have one of these and you could probably set off on foot from Ginza to Roppongi Hills without the need to refuel. But if you want to expound on the finer qualities of uni sushi, this place would fail.

    Midori Sushi
    Ginza 7-108, Ginza Korida-dori 1F
    Tel: 5568-1212
    Seamon Sushi Restaurant

    Now that you know what “cheap and good” sushi tastes like, it’s time to raise the stakes a little at this very appealing sushi joint that marries modern design aesthetics with Edo-mae (pre-Edo)style sashimi and sushi.
    Step into a tiny lift which brings you to an equally tiny restaurant that looks more like a really cool bar where patrons sit either at a long sushi counter or mould themselves to fit into the tiny tables that seem to have been scooped out of the adjacent wall.
    Lunch sets are affordably priced from 2,940 yen to 6,825 yen. Try the 4,725 yen Seamon set lunch for a delicate and delicious peek into what the restaurant offers. Quality-wise it is several notches above the likes of Daiwa and Midori – and you’re eating in stylish surroundings where as much emphasis is placed on the crockery used as the ingredients themselves.
    The set starts off with a seaweed and vegetable salad and a homemade sesame tofu square topped with a tiny wafer of dried fish and wasabi. A super fresh oyster is served in its shell with a well-tempered soy vinaigrette, followed by the prettiest shrimp sashimi – sliced thin and fanned out on a rock slab, served with julienned slices of kelp which you roll with the shrimp and squeeze a drop of yuzu juice on. The head of the shrimp is deep fried to a crunchy crisp that you eat whole.

    Seamon Sushi Restaurant
    Sakaguchi Bldg
    6F, 5-5-13, Ginza, Chuo-ku
    Tel: 03-5537-0010
    Sushi Nakata

    If Kyubei is said to be among the top sushi restaurants in Tokyo, Nakata is said to be just one level below. But if you want to explore the various levels in sushi quality at the top price level in Tokyo, Nakata is a good example.
    Authenticity is its selling factor – that’s assuming you’re open to the idea that nobody here speaks a word of English, and it’s patronised completely by locals. It must be, given the looks of surprise that you get when you open your mouth and no Japanese comes out.
    That doesn’t stop the sushi chef from rattling off at you in Japanese earnestly, perhaps in the hope that if he speaks long enough, you’ll understand something. The sushi here is large, so large that the chef kindly cuts each piece into two for easier eating. There was blood red maguro, squid, clam, sardine, grilled anago, and some lovely broiled toro sushi. It wasn’t a lot of sushi, and a bill of S$300 for two left a lump in our throats.
    But the quality was definitely top notch, which you can tell from the sweetness and odour-free uni, which you only get at restaurants of this level. Lunch here was a far sight better than the average quality sushi at the Imperial Hotel branch, which serves to show that so long as one restaurant has branches, it’s always best to go to the original.
    Sushi Nakata
    Mikuni Ginza Building
    5F, 6-7-19 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
    Tel: 03.3571.0063
    Branch: Imperial Hotel
    Sushi Kyubei

    Kyubei is known for inventing gunkan-maki – the style of sushi where seaweed is wrapped around sushi rice and topped with roe or uni.
    With several branches across the city – and one just across the road from the original – Kyubei has been expanding at an amazing rate, while enjoying enormous press coverage and an A-list clientele from around the world.
    All this threatens to take away the charm of the restaurant, especially at lunch, when the well-priced sets (about 4,000 yen upwards) are served assembly line style by a chef who slices his fish in advance before fashioning them into sushi and distributes among the six people or so he is attending to. The quality meets standards but is hardly memorable. But go for dinner and it’s a different story altogether.

    Super milky chutoro sashimi, a beautifully bouncy/crunchy slice of hirame, silky shiroko (whale sperm) so fresh it just needed a light dressing, crunchy deep-fried sea eel bone and mind-blowingly tender steamed abalone – it all sent memories of Daiwa and Midori disappearing into oblivion.
    It’s here that you will truly understand the concept of fine sushi and why it is impossible to get
    good and cheap sushi that is of this quality and of such high cooking standards. It’s the quality of the rice, the temperature of the fish, the way they parboil shrimp to perfection and the expertise of the chefs that make it such a fine dining experience that’s well worth the $300 price tag.
    Not to mention that owner Mr Imada personally shows up towards the end of the meal to greet and chit chat with customers, passing out copies of an interview he did with the Wall Street Journal. There’s no denying that his PR machine is in overdrive as he builds what the WSJ calls a sushi empire, but with sushi this good, he can be forgiven.
    Sushi Kyubei
    8-7-6 Ginza, Chuo-ku
    Tel: 03.3571.6523

    If the hype around Kyubei isn’t quite your cup of tea, you are guaranteed of an equally good, if not better, sushi meal at the less-publicised but equally venerable Sushiko, also in Ginza.
    There are two floors of counter seating which fit 11 people each. Fortuitously, we ended up in the coveted second floor, where chef Hirata and his more than adequate English and sommelier skills ensured that we had a memorable meal.
    Like most restaurants of this ilk, there is no menu to speak of, and they literally feed you until you tell them to stop, probably at the $350 level.
    An interesting range of starters included a clean-tasting fresh crab salad, exquisite clam in sake, and an amazing melt in the mouth tuna sushi with absolutely no sign of veins or stringiness. This is achieved by a chef who painstakingly cleaves layer after layer from a slab of tuna, removing all the
    sinews until he is left with pure, fatty ambrosia that he slices and mounds over perfectly cooked rice.
    You just can’t get enough of this silky smooth mouth feel, and with superb uni, broiled tuna and more, you truly feel that you have achieved the ultimate in sushi dining – if you have to scrimp on other meals, do so, because a meal like this you just cannot miss.
    Sushiko, 6-3-8 Ginza, Tokyo
    Tel: 03/3571-1968
    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

  11. #111

    Default Re: Budget travel in Japan - tips and info thread

    Can anyone recommend any useful Iphone apps for travelling in Tokyo?


  12. #112

    Default Tsukiji Fish Market tips

    Some notes:

    Buses and trains don't work that early, so either cars or taxis are the only modes of transport and it will be expensive - I instead stay nearby at the Ginza Capital Hotel (Annex) which is 5 min walk away.

    Come early - 4.30am if you wish to be in line to take shots of the auction.

    The queue for the sushi begins early too - 6am or so.

    Be mindful it is a working area - obey their rules, especially during the auctions - DON'T BE AN UGLY Singaporean!

    Let others have a chance.

    The market is a vibrant place, see the stalls too, the fish cutting occurs once the auctions end - about 6am.

    The food is fresh, and the stalls are alright, but busy. The food is great - try eating like the locals, elbow to elbow in the stalls in the market. 1000Y for a Salmon Don + soup + tea or 1000Y for a Ebi Tempura + soba set.

    "Turret trucks" transporting goods around the market
    Important Notice

    New rules for visiting Tsukiji Market are in effect as of May 10, 2010:
    • The number of visitors to the tuna auction is restricted to 140 per day.
    • Visitors are prohibited from entering the market's wholesale area before 9am.
    Please read the following page for more details.

    Tsukiji Central Wholesale Market is a large market for fish, fruits and vegetables in central Tokyo. It is the most famous of over ten wholesale markets that handle the distribution of fish, meat, produce and flowers in metropolitan Tokyo. Tsukiji Market is best known as one of the world's largest fish markets, handling over 2,000 tons of marine products per day.
    The sight of the many kinds of fresh fish and other seafood and the busy atmosphere of scooters, trucks, sellers and buyers hurrying around, make Tsukiji Market a major tourist attractions. In fact, the numbers of visitors have increased so much over recent years, that they have become a problem to the course of business, as the aging market's infrastructure was not anticipated to serve as a tourist spot.

    Tsukiji Market consists of an inner market where most of the wholesale business and the famous tuna auctions are taking place, and an outer market whose retail shops and restaurants carter to the public. A few restaurants are also found in the inner market. In order to avoid interference with business, different rules should be followed when visiting the different areas of the market:
    A basic map of Tsukiji Market:

    Visiting the tuna auction
    The number of visitors to the tuna auction is limited to 140 per day, the maximum number which the market's infrastructure can accommodate. Tourists, who wish to see the auction, have to apply at the Osakana Fukyu Center (Fish Information Center) at the Kachidoki Gate, starting from 4:30am on a first-come, first-serve basis. A first group of 70 visitors will be admitted to the auction between 5:00 and 5:40, while a second group of 70 visitors will be admitted between 5:40 and 6:15.
    Expect that the maximum number of visitors is likely to be exceeded on busy days, and that some later arriving visitors may not be able to see the auction. Successful applicants will be able to view the auction from a designated visitor area. It is not allowed to view the auction from anywhere else or to use flash photography or to interfere with the business action in any other way.
    Tuna Auction
    Visiting the wholesale area
    The wholesale area consists of hundreds of small stands in a large, crowded hall, where buyers and sellers hurry along narrow lanes with their carts and trucks. It is an exciting area for tourists to view and photograph the fish and the action, but it is also an area where tourists are likely to interfere with the professionals working there. Consequently, in order to prevent accidents and interference with business, tourists are not allowed into the wholesale area before 9am, when the peak of the business activities take place. Even when visiting after 9am, tourists are asked to refrain from bringing any luggage into the market and to be constantly alert of what is happening around them to avoid blocking traffic.
    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

  13. #113

    Default Re: Budget travel in Japan - tips and info thread

    How to get there Tsukiji Market is just above Tsukiji Shijo Station on the Oedo Subway Line. Alternatively, it can be reached in a five minute walk from Tsukiji Station on the Hibiya Subway Line. The closest JR station is Shimbashi, from where you can walk to the market in about 15 minutes.
    From Tokyo Station
    Take the Marunouchi Subway Line from Tokyo to Ginza (3 minutes) and transfer to the Hibiya Subway Line to get to Tsukiji Station (3 minutes). The fare is 160 yen.
    From Shinjuku Station Take the Oedo Subway Line directly from Shinjuku Station to Tsukiji Shijo Station. The one way trip takes 20 minutes and costs 260 yen. Orientation in Tokyo

    Hours and Fees Hours:Outer Market: varies by shop, typically 5:00 to 14:00
    Wholesale Area: open to visitors after 9:00am
    Tuna Auction: open to visitors from 5:00am to 6:15am (restricted to 140 visitors/day)
    Closed:Sundays, national holidays and some Wednesdays Admission:Free
    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

  14. #114
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Johor Bahru, Malaysia

    Default Re: Budget travel in Japan - tips and info thread

    when is the best time to visit osaka-kyoto?
    for a 7 days trip, is it ok to try to slot in a visit to tokyo as well?
    read through this thread and got some good info
    Stirring up emotions with pics - cyliew

  15. #115

    Default Re: Budget travel in Japan - tips and info thread

    i backpacked in kyoto-osaka in March this year... near the start of the sakura season... so, i would say the best time to go there is in the midst of sakura, in the mid of april... the weather will be great and the whole place will be filled with sakura...

    from kyoto, you can go all around the kansai area, including osaka, nara, kobe and himeiji using the the 4-day JR WEST-KANSAI AREA railpass... it is only JPY6000...

    so, i think the whole 7 days can be very meaningfully spent in the kansai area, so need not be bothered with going to tokyo (nothing much to see in tokyo also, perhaps except for Hakone)...

    kyoto itself has many great scenic spots e.g. kiyomizu, fushimi inari and nijo castle... i spent two days there and i found it no enough (but I had to move on to Hokkaido, which was the main destination of my backpack trip)...

    from kyoto, make a day trip to Himeiji to see the UNESCO site, the Himeiji Castle... but it is under major restoration now, so not sure how much of the castle u can see... but the surrounding parks and the Himeiji suburb are beautiful places to visit also...

    another day trip is to nara, the first capital of japan... you will be delighted by the friendly deers there!

    another day trip is to osaka ... great place for shopping and some great city views... go to the top of the Shin Umeya building...

    yet another day trip is to Kobe...

    While in kyoto, I stayed in this hostel called Ayado Gion... nice place and great location, in the Gion area, where the famous geisha street is... i got to catch a glance of a maiko (apprentice geisha)... i think the price is about JPY2500 per bed per night... an employee there speaks chinese and he had backpaced in China for 9 months!

    have a great trip!
    Last edited by askaboutlife; 10th October 2010 at 12:12 PM.

  16. #116

    Default Re: Budget travel in Japan - tips and info thread

    If anyone has started using the new Hanada Airport, please report in!
    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

  17. #117

    Default Re: Budget travel in Japan - tips and info thread

    Quote Originally Posted by petetherock View Post
    If anyone has started using the new Hanada Airport, please report in!
    international operations to commence after oct 31st. meanwhile it is still mostly domestic.

  18. #118

    Default Re: Budget travel in Japan - tips and info thread


    Would like to check whether is it cheap to buy camera or lens in Tokyo? I'll be staying near Disneyland, any recommended shops?


  19. #119

    Default Re: Budget travel in Japan - tips and info thread

    Hi, I was in Tokyo in June for my honeymoon.. You can get cameras at some of the mega electronics store like Bicc camera(I think the spelling is like that If I remember correctly). Prices not cheaper than Singapore, but they do have a greater variety compared to Singapore. Do your homework of the cameras or lenses you want and their pricing in Singapore, then go there and compare. At some of the Bicc Camera stores, they do have a section selling second hand cameras and lens. You can go there to see if there's any good bargain.

  20. #120

    Default Re: Budget travel in Japan - tips and info thread

    BTW, I found a nice blog on some interesting places in Hokkaido:

    Good pics too.
    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

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