Choo Choo Choo…
During August we shall take you on our Japan trip with us. We spent two weeks eating and seeing friends whilst discovering new places in the Land of the Rising Sun. As so many of you have asked about our trip, we thought it would be best to share it all with you. Most of it will of course be food-related, but we might even recommend some sights and fun stuff to do for when you plan your trip! Read along and let us know if you have any questions or would like more information etc – we would love to hear from you
Our trip was actually planned around a wedding, otherwise there would be no way we would willing buy a ticket to the hottest place on earth during summer. A few days before our departure, the wedding was cancelled. I know! OMG right? It’s all fine though, it was only due to paperwork and the couple are still happily together, but this did mean all our plans had to be drastically changed. The fact that it was a three-day holiday in Japan didn’t help us at all. We had no idea where to spend our first few days and we tried searching for hotels in Kyoto and Osaka, but nothing was available. When we managed to get our hands on the last hotel room available in Hiroshima for one night only, we decided that would be better than sleeping in a park. Also, Hiroshima has amazing food so… an easy decision in the end.
I’m not sure if you have been to Japan before, but trust me, travel is expensive. After accommodation, trains will be your biggest outpouring of money and because Japan is so big, you will end up wanting to travel all over to see the sights. In this case, I can only recommend getting a Japan Rail Pass. There are a variety of options here, but if you are going to take three long journeys, it will definitely save you money.
The Rail Pass is expensive, but the freedom it gives you is priceless. I remember the first time I had a railpass. We travelled from the South to the North of the country and when we stopped off in Nagoya, the city looked so dull that we literally turned back around and jumped on the next train. If you want to go to Tokyo just to walk on the crazy zebra crossing and then go back to Kyoto for the temples, no problem.
A couple of things to keep in mind:
– If you are a resident in Japan you cannot purchase a Japan Rail Pass – it is only for tourists and you need to show your passport and the tourist entry stamp to get your Rail Pass, so don’t even try it…
– Keep in mind that you cannot buy the Rail Pass in Japan, instead you MUST purchase it before you travel. You can get them online here.
– The Rail Pass can also occasionally be used on the underground and buses/ boats. Check before you travel.
– You can travel without a ticket in the unreserved seat section or you can pop along to the ticket office and get a seat reservation for free.
– You cannot travel on the Nozomi Shinkansen, the fastest train in the world – so if this is your main aim in Japan, you will have to purchase another ticket.
– It’s only valid for travel on JR railways, which covers most of Japan.
– The tickets can be bought for 7, 14 or 21 days.
Get your Rail Pass online here: http://www.jrpass.com/