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1000-1400 max spending 2007/12/2 16:58
Ok this is keeping me up at night, i plan to travel to Japan alone in january.

Regardless of weather.

As the title suggests my funds are pretty small and i have many questions.

Please bear with me i havn't slept.

1. Do i exchange my English at the bank in Japan or post office here?

2. Staying in the most cost effective accomodations, budgetting for food and transport, how long do you think i could stay in Japan?

(Above question relates to a further 2000 i get in March 08)

3. The least expensive flight to Japan has been 300 so far, any tips on one way fares.

4. From what i have read i do not need a visa for a stay within 6 months as its for personal and not business, is this true?

5. Is it allowed to have a one-way ticket to Japan?

6. I have panic attacks now and again, travelling alone i expect these to happen pretty regular, anyone else with my symptoms tried such a long trip?

7. I have tattoo's on my body, none offensive may i add but will this be seen as an agressive statement or is it accepted that body art is ok?

8. I changed 100 here to yen for curiosity in my post office and got 22,000, did i get ripped off?

9. During my stay i want more rural and quiet, than busy all the time, am i expecting too much?

10. Fishing would be great for me in Japan, has anyone fished there?

Ty to anyone who answers, time is ticking and although the nights are slow the days are racing closer and closer.

cons
by cons  

... 2007/12/3 09:21
Do i exchange my English at the bank in Japan or post office here?

I assume you refer to pounds in cash. I recommend to exchange at the airport. Post offices and banks also do currency exchange. So do many large hotels.

Staying in the most cost effective accomodations, budgetting for food and transport, how long do you think i could stay in Japan?

1000-1400 will be enough for 3-4 weeks excluding international flight. About 2 weeks including average priced flight:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2410.html

4. From what i have read i do not need a visa for a stay within 6 months as its for personal and not business, is this true?

If you have a British passport, you can get permission to stay in Japan for up to 90 day with just your passport. Once you entered Japan, you can extend your stay by an additional 90 days at an immigration office.
by Uji rate this post as useful

one way ticket issue 2007/12/3 12:58
As for the one-way ticket, theoretically you are supposed to have a ticket out of japan or enough funds to show you can pay to leave. I have heard different stories from different people- some were not even allowed to get on the plane in their home country because they didn't have a visa that would allow them to enter Japan on a one way ticket, others have had no trouble here coming on a one-way ticket. There does seem to be a bit of a risk.

If you have very visible tattoos there is a possiblity Immigration/ Customs will pay more attention to you than otherwise- this is where you may run into problems with the one-way ticket as well. Dress really neatly to come into Japan- this seems to help.
by Sira rate this post as useful

thanks so far 2007/12/3 18:37
Yes i am referring to the british pound.

When i arrive i will be wearing a suit and suitable shoes as this makes me generally feel good.

I will be travelling light.

3-4 weeks sounds good but really i am trying to aim further.

from sites i have read hostels/hotels/family run rooms can range from 7 pounds to 37 pounds per night.

more answers please would be appreciated.

also the 1000 - 1,400 is after airfare, so is purely to spend while i am there.

ty again in advance.
by cons rate this post as useful

thanks 2007/12/3 22:11
more opinions please..

yes british pound..
by cons rate this post as useful

budget 2007/12/3 22:33
cons,
I think you should pre-book at least the first nights after arrival in Tokyo (?). Check under this japan-guide for cheap accommodation and book now. This gives you a better alternative than arriving at Narita airport and having to accept what is available. Budgetting for transport: See under this japan-guide and even think about spending one week with long distance travelling by using the 7 day JR Rail Pass. ( ! To be bought now in UK already, not available within Japan ) Yen 22 000 for 100 GBP is a good rate, the 7 day JR Rail Pass is Yen 28 300, so I think within your budget. Although it differs from country to country, but in general oneway airfare is always ( much ) higher than half return fare at a special rate and it might be difficult for a first-timer non-Japanese speaker to buy a low rate ticket in Japan for your flight home. Check with your airline in UK if your return ticket allows rebooking of return flight.
by Peter rate this post as useful

... 2007/12/4 10:00
Cons,

Since you might be using the JR Pass for partial of your budget trip, I suggest spending those 6/7 nights on overnight trains to cut down the accommodation cost. You can find several night trains running across the country. Like between Tokyo to Osaka, Osaka to Hakata and Aomori to Sapporo. It should be fun and save both time and money. Highly recommended.
by lester rate this post as useful

cheap airfare 2007/12/4 11:10
Packages can be cheaper as from IACE because they buy it in bulk ahead of time then sell them. I just brought mine and two others in the peak season after christmas till the first week for january for 850 from jtbusa.com which was actually cheaper than what they had on the website about 950 and on orbitz 1300-1400.
by Sandy rate this post as useful

night trains with JR Pass 2007/12/4 18:24
Lester,
but cons must be aware that only some night trains are free with the JR Pass. See http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2356.html
by Peter rate this post as useful

thanks 2007/12/4 20:19
Yes i understand about arriving neatly dressed. Thanks for that.

Only 3-4 weeks?

Based on the fact im there to travel and live on a shoestring budget purposefuly to stay as long as possible..

Thanks for the 90 days and further with the office you mentioned..

Would like more answers please..

This si English money im talking about and a few of my questions are yet unanswered..

Ty in advance.
by cons rate this post as useful

again thanks 2007/12/6 23:27
Thanks to all replies as im pretty much in your experienced hands here.

Lowest flight only quote so far is 300+

Also i am learning Japanese with the Oxford learning linguaphone.

So the 7 day rail ticket is approx 120 british punds. Sounds good.

Sorry that my replies come so bunched together at times as my computer must be lagging or updates here had a slow day.

Again thanks muchly, i have an ace up my sleave for the flight as there is a site full of people who search for you, community based..

Personally i dont want pay more than 250 for the flight.

Any reason why i should book 2 weeks in advance in Tokyo other than convenience? reasons?
by cons rate this post as useful

pre booking 2007/12/6 23:44
Tokyo booking: At home you can check all offers, can check where in Tokyo your hostel/hotel is, cheapest way to the accomo. have a bed when you arrive. Without reservation, you arrive at Narita airport and you have to go to the tourist desk, here a limited offer of vacant rooms for this night will be made, you have to take whatever is on offer and you will not know in advance where in Tokyo you will stay. Jetlagged and tiered you will have to understand what direction instructions you receive and hopefully you will find it. The better choice is, look now online, choose an accommodation near a subway or railway station. Be aware that hostels are fully booked weeks in advance and business hotels in Tokyo often book full every day.

by Peter rate this post as useful

forgive me if I'm repeating 2007/12/7 03:31
1. when you first arrive, you can exchange at the airport. Then I normally use my visa check card (linked to bank account) to withdraw additional funds at ATMs

2. You can stay at most hostels for about 2500 yen per night. If you are in Kyoto I recommend J-Hoppers or Kyoto Tour Club. both hostels have links to other cities on their websites. Personally, i am renting a room from someone I met on the internet through a flatshare site. This is potentially dangerous, so do it at your own risk. But my May trip will be the second time I stayed with this man and it has worked out great... and very cheap.

3. Look for discount travel agents. Flying out of the US, I use japantravel.com or IACE-USA.com

4. depends on the country, I believe most places are 90 days... check your government's website or Japan's

5. not sure... you could call your local consulate and ask

6. no I don't have these sytems, but if you think you will need medical treatment while abroad you may want to look into travel insurance

7. I think you will be fine... although you could google japan and tattoos as I think there are some interesting cultural things around it

8. the exchange rates are always better when you are in Japan rather than in your home country.. usually not a whole lot different though. Try xe.com for the current exchange rate.

9. rural means you had better know Japanese. since you are worried about panic attacks (unless you speak fluent japanese) I would go with a smaller city. Kyoto would be my pick. And there are plenty of parks and gardens to relax in that make you forget you are in a city.

10. sorry... not a fisher at all
by Robyn rate this post as useful

a link 2007/12/7 03:46
(sorry for the typos above... was in a hurry)

Look into http://www.kyoto-apartment.com/ since you want to stay a long time. They rent apartments to foreigners pretty cheaply and they speak English. The apartments are run by the same people as J-Hoppers hostel. I stayed at J-Hoppers Kyoto for 3 weeks in a pirvate room on one of my trips and had a good experience with it.

The only problem with these apartments is that they only require tennants to notify them 3 weeks before they move out. This means you won't know if you can rent there until 3 weeks before you need it.

Also, check into guest houses since they normally rent rooms monthly. You could also look into "monthly mansions" but they are harder to find because the sites are meant for Japanese people, and a lot of the mansions won't rent to you unless you have a Japanese person to vouch for you (and practically take care of everything for you too).
by Robyn rate this post as useful

thanks 2007/12/7 19:16
Robyn i really appreciate the legth of your effort and all of this just adds to my confidence before travelling.

Medication : non-stimulants

I will be taking with me anyway so a "bad day" will be return to my room swallow a couple of those and basically sleep it off.

Shame about the fishing really, although im sure there is a way. The rural part is to see and absorb as much of the culture as possible.

Kyoto sounds very good.

My plan is 2 weeks in tokyo then slowly head south towards Okinawa, then travel up to Sapporo.

Really hope i make it that far.

The only downside with pre-booking is that i would be comitted to a flight date and therefore have to pay w/e they want to charge me.

By doing this i might pay more for a flight but have the peace of mind of knowing im set for 2 weeks.

Kind of catch 22 really.

Oh im up to scratch with the tattoo's regarding how it is perceived and hot spring ettiquette. (spellcheck)

Renting with a stranger who speaks english sounds ideal if i meet the person in japan, but arranging that before i get there seems daunting.

Thanks again
by cons rate this post as useful

Exchange Rates 2008/1/29 20:28
8. I changed 100 here to yen for curiosity in my post office and got 22,000, did i get ripped off?

As the value of the Pound has dropped recently, you did OK. Although the Post Office gives reasonable rates and don't charge commission, you can get better rates elsewhere, especially in London.If you have access to a Marks & Spencer store, see if they have a bureau de change, their rates are better than the Post Office.

Robyn replied:8. the exchange rates are always better when you are in Japan rather than in your home country.

I can buy Yen in London at around 2 Yen below bank to bank with no commission, I doubt if anywhere in Japan can match that rate.

by RobBeer rate this post as useful

hope to help 2008/1/30 03:11
Hi, can't answer many of your questions but... a couple of things. There are many ryokan that are very chip, and they are very clean and confortable so you can save a lot there, espetially if they don't have a bathrooom in the room.
Japan it's a very safe place and super clean, so cheap it's better than most places.
Also if you are looking for a quiet place go to Koyasan, 3 hours from Kyoto, in the montains. You can stay in a temple with the monks, there is a relaxing and beautifull place, you wake up at 6 pray, and go to sleep before 9, vegetarian dinner... it's an experience. You can stay in temples even in the city, at least in Kyoto, so you can feel the peace even there. not expensive eather.
by candy33 rate this post as useful

travelling 2008/1/30 05:39
others people on this thread have great suggestions that I second 100 %, so I will just tell you how I travel to show you that there is no point worrying too much.
for various reasons I can't book my trips in advance as I never know if I will be able to fly on the day I would like too. One year I found myself in Tokyo on a Saturday afternoon without a hotel and with minimal cash as I forgot to get yens back home in my rush to pack and go at the last minute. I found a ATM. it worked. I went to Ueno, looked at a couple of business hotels, got a room.. etc. I don't recommend it for most people but it works for me and a couple of friends who are in the same boat (plane?). we usually land in Japan (and other places, including London) with a list of towns we would like to see and a list of cheap hotels in these towns. we call hotels from the airport and depending on which one is available --could mean a 4 hrs train ride-- we go there then start planning the rest of the trip ...OF COURSE we only travel in the off-season. I should add that my friends and I are over 40..
by Red Frog rate this post as useful

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