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Japan: First time, 2 weeks, March 2017
  
 
nampramos
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Japan: First time, 2 weeks, March 2017


Hi guys,

Would love to get some advice regarding a 2 week trip to Japan in March (2nd and 3rd weeks). We are landing/departing from Narita.

First time to Japan, both for my girlfriend and me.

We want a mix of big city, old Japan and nature.

A couple of questions to start with:

1. We've heard about a rail pass that covers the entire country?

2. A friend told us domestic flights are extremelly cheap?

3. Is there any hotel chain or some membership card for accommodation that would allow us to decide where to stay only a few days in advance without having to worry about not finding a place to stay and/or pay very high prices? This would allows us to be more flexible with our itinerary and play with the weather forecast.


Thanks a lot in advance!



Oct 11, 2016 at 02:32 PM
nampramos
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Japan: First time, 2 weeks, March 2017


No Japan expert out there?


Oct 13, 2016 at 07:20 AM
suchy
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Japan: First time, 2 weeks, March 2017


Hi Nampramos

Not a Japan expert but I do travel there annually so might know a few things. IIRC there are some active members here that live in or travel to Japan frequently.
1. Get a Japan Rail Pass before you go. There are different regions and durations available and they all vary by price. Choose the option that suits your itinerary. There are numerous vendors through travel agents. I believe we have used JRpass.com
2. A good option for domestic fares is to use a JAL Yokoso / Visit Japan fare. You buy an international flight into Japan and can add domestic legs on to your flight.
3. Suggest buying a data plan before you travel to Japan if you have an unlocked phone. We have used eConnect Japan with success in the past.
4. There are a number of hotel chains but we haven't used a card or plan as we typically stay with relatives or friends. When we travel JApan we have been able to find some reasonably priced accommodation away from the big cities. I would suggest trying a stay in a small Minshuku or Ryokan to get the Japanese experience. We typically find places that include breakfast, have lunch at a small cafe or Konbini-ya then have a good dinner
5. shoot-Tokyo has some good travel and photo advice for Tokyo
6. Take the time to learn some basic Japanese words to ask for directions, say good morning, please and thank-you. This is always appreciated in Japan

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have other questions or want comments on your destinations/ itinerary.



Oct 19, 2016 at 05:33 AM
Charlie San
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Japan: First time, 2 weeks, March 2017


Well, firstly, you need to learn more yourself about what you want out of a trip there because it is hard to answer such open ended questions. Take the JNR Rail Pass, you can google it and find out quite a bit and then ask more detailed questions like what class of service, how long of a pass, when and how to initiate it in Japan, etc. I would suggest that you might consider a guided tour to learn more about Japan because it can be overwhelming at first.

Some ways to learn more is to start exploring http://www.japan-guide.com which has a wealth of information. Start following the Trip Advisor forums on Japan, and as you narrow down where you might want to go in Japan follow the various city and area forums. You can view NHK TV programming on a IPad device, Roku, etc. or go on their site and view hundreds of locations, subjects, foods, etc.

I have seen several Groupon vacation offers to Japan which seem reasonable and you can extend those but there are others. Expedia seems to have some good ones too and also ones that include flights and hotels to specific cities and areas. I often use Booking.com for reservations because you can price compare, they are easier to cancel if you want to change your plans, and because you can book locations further out than on the specific Japanese Hotel sites themselves.

I am sorry if I do not sound as encouraging as you might like. In truth, I and my Japanese wife are always amazed at the many young foreigners we see who seem to navigate the complexity of traveling in Japan almost as well as we do but these kids put in great effort. If you are going to do this you need to put in that effort too.



Oct 19, 2016 at 11:07 PM







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