JAPAN
Infos about the trip

 

In Japan you can find very good infrastructures and therefore the organization of a trip don't introduce big difficulties to exception of the linguistic barrier that sometimes can make complicated some situations.

 

ITINERARY

Date

Itinerary

Transport

Time

23/01/2004

Milan-Osaka

airplane

13 hours

24/01/2004

Osaka-Kyoto

train

1 hour

25/01/2004

Kyoto

 

 

26/01/2004

Kyoto

 

 

27/01/2004

Nara-Osaka-Kyoto

train

 

28/01/2004

Kyoto-Himeji-Osaka-Kyoto

train

 

29/01/2004

Kyoto-Hiroshima

train

2 hours

30/01/2004

Hiroshima-Tokio

train

4,5 hours

31/01/2004

Tokio

 

 

01/02/2004

Tokio

 

 

02/02/2004

Tokio-Hakone-Tokio

train

 

03/02/2004

Tokio-Kamakura-Tokio

train

1 hour

04/02/2004

Tokio-Kyoto-Osaka

train

3 hours

05/02/2004

Osaka-Milan

airplane

13 hours

 

TRANSPORT
For traveling inside the country I used almost exclusively the trains, the only definition I can give is: a perfect service. 
The only negative side is the high cost of the tickets, for this, if you plan many moves it is absolutely useful the
Japan Rail Pass, only the foreigners can buy it and only outside Japan, gives the possibility to use almost all trains, a lot of metropolitan lines and also some ferry's.
Even the city transports are efficient, a morning in Tokyo the doors of the train didn't open immediately, the conductor was stopped 1 meter over the expectation and he returned back and to that point the doors opened. 
To the exception of Tokyo all the signs in the trains and in the stations are only almost always in japanese.

 

WEATHER
During
my trip I found quite cold weather but with beautiful days.

 

FOOD
Before the departure many people told me that the food is not so good, for me instead was quite good even if after a little bit the tastes seem all equal. 
The basic dish is constituted by soba noodle: buckwheat noodles, are usually eaten in broth with vegetables, fish or meat; I liked a lot the cold version with seaweed and soy sauce. 
Absolutely to try the sushi: raw fish (fresh) with a bed of rice; 2 types of sushi restaurants exist: those classical where the customer chooses the piece of sushi and the cook prepares it and the kaiten-zushis (less expensive than the first ones) where the dishes flow on a blest and the customer choose what they wants. 
All the dishes are generally accompanied by green tea.

 

Dangers & annoyances 
I can only say that is considered the safest country in the world with a very respectful society.

 

Costs 
Japan is also an a little tourist destination above all because is considered a very expensive country, to me the costs are not seemed prohibitive, in general no more than 10-15% in comparison to Italy (considering the good exchange rate in the period of my trip).
Japanese uses almost exclusively cash, in all the averages and big cities ATM are found for the withdrawal of cash even if is necessary to choose those with international cards.
Average Costs (1Ä ~ 132 •):
light lunch or dinner in a restaurant= 1000 •
McDonald's mený= 540 •
bed in a hostel/guest house= 2200 •
city trip with bus/subway= 200 •
visit: monuments, temples and museum= 350 •

 

Lodgings
I lodged in hostels and pensions. 
Almost all the lodgings have laundry service,†for the costs and logistic difficulties the lodgings for the backpackers are almost always fully booked therefore it is worth to book in advance. 
The pensions where I stayed:

Kyoto
Budget Inn: 10 minutes of walk from the central station, the personnel is very friendly even if very fiscal, the rooms are quite cold because the owners want to contribute to the reduction of the harmful issues; dormitory, 2400 •.

Hiroshima
Mikawa Ryokan, tel. 261-2719: small but quite pleasant, to feel the experience of the ryokan, the owners speak only japanese; single room with common services 3400 •.

Tokio
New Koyo: the less expensive lodging in Tokyo, finds in outskirts but it is well served by local trains, there is a  small onsen; single room with common services 2400 •.

 

LINKS

http://www.japan-guide.com Very good website, not to miss
http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/ Official Tourist office
http://www.seejapan.co.uk/ Another website about the Tourist office
http://www.japanrail.com/ Japan Railways official website
http://www.kansai-airport.or.jp/english/index.htm Osaka airport official website

 

 

Copyright © 2004 Giuseppe Ruperto. All rights reserved.