How to plan your trip, what nuances to take into account? Of course, itineraries can vary depending on tastes, desires and opportunities of travelers, but a few general tips, especially if you want to travel cheap, can be useful.
Trains are the most convenient and economical way to travel in Japan. Purchase of a travel ticket for tourists (Japan rail pass) makes this method even more economical. But you need to take care of such a ticket in advance, you cannot buy it in Japan, you can only get it in exchange for a voucher purchased outside the country.
A travel card can be of several types, according to the number of days, on which its cost depends. Offices for the exchange of vouchers for tickets are in all major cities of Japan, but it is better to make an exchange immediately upon arrival at the airport in the service center for tourists. This will allow you to pre-book your preferred seats in the trains for the entire duration of the journey and not to worry about it anymore.
Trips to the Tokyo and Osaki subways on the JR lines are also possible by travel, and, given that the cost of a trip to the Japanese subway depends on its length, this can significantly reduce transport costs.
Argued that Japanese hotels are very expensive, but if the trip involves a busy schedule of sightseeing with a return to the hotel only for a night's rest, it makes sense to choose a budget option. For example, the largest business hotel chain in Japan, Toyoko Inn, which guarantees a small but clean and comfortable room with a comfortable bed and a state-of-the-art tiny bathroom, free Japanese-style breakfasts and excellent service. The club card, which hotel staff proposes to buy for a nominal fee, will make living expenses even cheaper, reducing them by almost 30%.
If you want more immersion in the traditional Japanese way of life, you can stay in one of ryokanwhich are often equipped onsen - internal spa with natural mineral water from a hot spring. In this case, you need to be ready for bed on the floor, purchase of towels for an additional fee and compliance with the rules and customs, such as the indispensable change of shoes at the entrance to the hotel and the toilet.
The general rule for low-cost Japanese hotels is early checkout time (usually 10–00) and later check-in time (16–00, with a club card one hour earlier), but customers’s luggage is unconditionally accepted for free storage both before check-in and after leaving it, which allows you to plan your trip more rationally and see more.
The widespread opinion of Japan as a country with a huge choice of restaurants offering cuisine of the peoples of the world is very controversial. In each city it is easy to find an inexpensive and pleasant restaurant, but the food in it will be purely Japanese. Rarely meets the cuisine of other Asian countries, even less often - Indian and Italian restaurants (note that subjected to Japanese adaptation), another option - McDonald's and its Japanese counterparts. All other opportunities are much less common and are in a completely different price category.
Prices in restaurants and other catering establishments, where the menu is translated into English, are significantly higher than in the rest. But you can not get hung up on the translation, and focus on the illustrations in the menu, being sure that the dish will look exactly like in the picture.
In many inexpensive restaurants, an order is made through the machine, in which you need to load money, press the button under the picture with the desired dish, get a ticket and change, give the detachable part of the ticket to the waiter and sit behind the table, sipping a free soft drink. Order does not take long. One more thing - there will be chopsticks, there is no alternative.
For stays in ryokan, a well-equipped kitchen is at the service of tourists, where you can warm up the prepared food purchased at a local supermarket, or prepare any dish yourself.
For travelers who speak English, even basic, it is almost impossible to get lost or lost in Japan: announcements at railway stations and trains are translated into English, the main names are everywhere duplicated in this language, even every small city has tourist information centers, where at least one of the employees speaks English, maps and booklets in this language are available at every train station and in hotels. But preliminary preparation of the route using the Internet will greatly facilitate the task.
Many Japanese speak English, but the farther they are from the capital, the smaller they are, which, however, does not affect the number of people willing to help a foreign tourist find a way to a particular object in the city. In this case, it is better to take a map of the city in Japanese and in a hotel, which will make it possible to communicate with local residents much faster.
Almost all Japanese cities have bus excursion routes that will take tourists to the main attractions. Before the trip, it makes sense to buy a pass for the day, the cost of which is usually equal to the price of two passes, while the amount of use of the bus during the day with a pass is not limited. Stops in such buses are usually announced in English.
No one will argue that walks through the souvenir streets and gazing at the many different items that have a chance to become the best tangible memory of the journey - its logical and inalienable part. But it is worth looking into local shops and shopping centers to find that many of the souvenirs are in fact a part of modern Japanese life and are sold in ordinary stores at a very different price, or they are a much better product than souvenir shops. This applies to dishes, national clothing and footwear, jewelry and much more.
How to behave in shinto shrineJapanese visiting rules onsen and much more is also important to know the tourist, to feel comfortable and get more pleasure from the trip, but about this - in the following articles.
Traveling to Japan may seem to someone too expensive, which can be advantageously replaced by a cheaper tour to any other exotic country, for someone it’s the difficulty of changing time and lifestyle, including meals, but the fact that the trip, no matter what, will be one of the most positive emotional shocks and unforgettable impressions in the life of any tourist.