Best cities to visit in Japan

Japan: A Glimpse into the Land of the Rising Sun

Japan Haruka 44 Limited ExpressWhenever I hear the word Japan, the first thing that comes to my mind is the word “expensive”. Being a 1st-world country, Japan is listed as one of those most expensive places to visit in the world. And living in a 3rd-world country (Philippines) makes it even more impossible for me to attempt to visit the land of the rising sun. Just the thought of preparing the needed visa requirements would give me enough reason to loose interest in applying for one.

However, the most unexpected thing happened last August 2013. I got an invitation to visit my close friends in Japan. And with the help of Cebu Pacific’s promo fare, I scored round trip tickets from Manila to Osaka and back for only Php7, 983.76.Osaka Castle p.

Seven months later, after the gruesome preparations to make the trip possible, I found my feet hoping on the Limited Express Haruka 44 bound for Kyoto. That charming city is where I will meet my companions and where we will start our journey to discover Japan.

the Ltd. Express Haruka 44; mistook this for a when we arrived in Japan, already fast but not quite

Japan cherry blossoms in MarchThere were 4 of us who travelled to Japan. Two of them left 2 days before us and I travelled with my Otaku friend, , who loves Japan so much. I am also grateful that she speaks a little Japanese as her skills came super handy whenever we got lost, which happened almost all the time.

As soon as our welcoming party fetched us at the Kyoto Station, and after ordering our 1st Japanese meal, which turned out to be just the usual burger meals from McDonalds, we headed to our hostel, , where we comfortably stayed for 3 nights at their spacious dorm rooms. To cut on our travel expenses on this trip, we made sure we booked at the cheapest accommodations whenever necessary.Osaka skyline eads and coffee. For 2, 300 yen (~$22.5 or Php1009) a night in their 18-bed mixed dorm, we had the best deal anyone could ask for during our short stay in Kyoto.

Moving within Japan

Japan’s cultural heritage is so rich and colorful. In fact, in Kyoto alone, you will tire your eyes and feet if you attempt to visit all the temples that are spread out within the city. But if you insist on going, you need to be prepared as it will involve a lot of walking.

In Kyoto, you don’t have to endure the long walks as there are buses available. For 500 yen a day, you can secure the One-Day Kyoto Bus Pass for unlimited bus rides within the confines of the city’s bus routes. However, in other places like Nara, Osaka, Tokyo and more, you’ll have to brace your feet for visiting other places would involve long walks. There are still buses within the area though and in fact, there are taxi cabs too. But if you are travelling on a budget, you’d know better. Minimum bus fares cost 170-190 yen and I think maximum bus fares cost 220 yen. In Hiroshima, they have streetcars, which charge a flat rate of 150 yen.

Mt Fuji foodtrip in Japan; click to enlarge

Any tips on going to Japan

by mistermister

I've never been to Asia but my wife and I are considering taking a vacation in Japan in about a year.
Of course we plan to look at guide books for info, but I thought I'd start here for suggestions on good cities to visit, best time of year to go.
We don't have a lot of money but if start saving now I think we could swing it, if we plan it right.
Any thoughts?

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10 favourite things about Japan  — Vancouver Sun
There is much to like about Japan. After 14-days touring from Tokyo to Takayama, Kanazawa to Kyoto, Osaka to Nara, I am coming away with some lasting impressions and a list of quite a few favourite things.

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