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Need Japan trip assurance 2007/10/6 23:11
Ok, i am planning to go to the Japan in May 2008 and i have done quite a bit of research into areas and hotels and i just need some reassurance about what to do etc. I have looked at the Sky court hotel in asakusa as it is quite cheap, it was 450 for 2 people to stay ten days, booked through asiarooms.com. Is this website ok? or have people have problems etc. Alson how much do you recommnded taking in Yen or leaving for a credit card. I am only going around tokyo and perhaps to yokohama for the day. Train fairs seem cheap but there are quite a lot of them.

Any help would be much appreciated.
by Ste  

day trips 2007/10/7 09:30
10 days is quite a long time to spend ONLY in Tokyo/Yokohama.

You should get out of the big city to see something else.
Good day trips are Kamakura, Nikko & Hakone/Fuji.
by Sandy rate this post as useful

views of japan 2007/10/7 09:48
ten days is a great amount of time to spend in japan but, get out and go to as many places as u can...small villages offer great lil escapes and a real view of the culture of japan, and the food is second to none...make sure u bring a camera for this once in a life time oppurtunity...as for your yen question there are many places to exchange currency so dont worry about that so much...good luck and safe journys...
by militaryguy rate this post as useful

yen etc. 2007/10/7 11:43
Some travellers, including me, use credit cards to pay for hotels and transportation (for airport to dowtown for example). We then take some cash from an ATM and use it for meals and other small purchases. I usually get yens right at the airport ATM rather than buying them in my home country as the rate is better.
I do the same thing in other countries as well. On the morning of December 31, 1999 my buddy and I decided to go to Paris for the New year 2000. We each took a suitcase to work and went to the airport after work (we live in North America) and landed in Paris without having booked a hotel and without any cash, only credit and bank cards, and it worked just fine.
by Sensei 2 rate this post as useful

" 2007/10/7 13:24
The best place to exchange your money to yen is the airport. Most places in Japan do not take credit cares. So you will need cash for sightseeing. It is safe also to carry your cash be sensible but it's okay. I do recommend that you go to Kamakura and Nikko as they both have beautiful things to see.
by Lori rate this post as useful

cash or cards 2007/10/7 13:42
have a look at the following news from JR (sept 2007):
Suica
JR East esmart cardf for the Tokyo metropolitan, Sendai and Niigata area. Can also be used in and in the JR West Kansai and Okayama-Hiroshima area.
ICOCA
JR West esmart cardf for the Kansai (including Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe) and the Okayama-Hiroshima area. Can also be used in the JR East Suica Card area.

The JR esmart cardsf allow access to all local JR trains in the urban areas that they cover. In the case of the JR East Suica and the JR West Icoca cards you also have access to most non-JR lines including subways and some bus lines.

The Suica and Icoca cards can be used as an eelectronic moneyf cash cards in hundreds of small stores and kiosks, as well as some larger chain stores, that display the appropriate logo. This may be very handy for small purchases when you do not want to fuss with Japanese coins or bills, but cannot use a credit card.
the basic card cost yen 2000 and give immediate access to Y. 1500 and can be loaded with more money in JR stations.
by Red frog rate this post as useful

Thanks, also? 2007/10/7 18:35
Thanks for the information and advice, it is greatly appreciated. I was also wondering how easy are the trains to use, they look pretty confusing with swapping at stations and different companys. any enlightenment on it. I have read the Japan guide on it and its helpful but still abit confusing. Also, i have seen a ryokan on the internet in Ueno, are these places decent and how are they booking through the internet, any troubles?
by Ste rate this post as useful

Money 2007/10/7 20:38
Actually, unless you have US dollars (which you don't, seeing you are from the UK), the best place to exchange money is NOT in Japan at all.

When exchanging money in Japan, USD actually attract a better exchange rate than the US. However, most other countries currencies have very bad exchange rates in Japan.

e.g.
If you are buying yen, and the nominal exchange rate to the USD is 115yen/$, you might get 1130 yen for $10 USD in Japan, 1120 in the USA, but to exchange the equivalent of $10 USD in GBP in Japan, you may only get 1060yen. You would probably get 1100yen in the UK.
by Sandy rate this post as useful

Trains 2007/10/8 07:13
Firstly, I would really support all those who say take trips outside of Tokyo. Daytrips to Hakone, Nikko, and Kamakura are all possible, but then you'd miss spending a night at a hot spring (or stuff like that), and that is a really unique Japanese experience. Tokyo has an enormous dearth of hot springs in my opinion.

I think you're stressing too much about the train situation! Yeah it sucks how there are different companies and they all have different train stations, but nearly all of them, especially in central Tokyo (and even outside of major cities) have their signs in both Japanese and English. Some even have them in Korean! I remember once seeing the name of a train station, like at the entrance of a station, ONLY in English, I think. JR is especially good about bilingualism as almost ALL their signs, including the "exit" and "transfer to XXX here" sort of signs all in Japanese and English. And if you are ever stuck, any person at the train station, including other Japanese people, would gladly point you in the right direction. I've seen that countless times. In general, I would say that if you are observant at train station, you couldn't possibly get that lost.

The one thing that I remember being a bit of a problem was that many train stations, even in Tokyo itself, have a fare chart only in Japanese with only the major stations translated into English. This was mostly the case with JR, as most other companies had every station labelled on the fare chart in both languages. Kinda irked me a bit, but if you think about it, you don't really have to know how much your fare costs because you can buy the cheapest fare, enter the station, travel, and pay the balance at your destination station (whether through a fare adjustment machine or a station official). So it's more annoying than a real problem.
by Jon rate this post as useful

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