Japan is such a beautiful place to visit with many varied and wonderful things to see and do. The history, the culture and the sheer magnificence of the country side will take your breath away however, getting there, organising the right hotel and getting around can be a challenge.
Here at Bushido Travel, we are often asked many questions about traveling to Japan, so to help you, we have answered some of the most asked questions that we get. If you have any specific questions about Japan, please ask us.
How long does it take to get to Japan?
This depends on who you travel with. We elect to fly QANTAS or JAL direct to Japan from Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane (average 9 hours). JetStar fly via Gold Coast or Cairns (average 7-9 Hours). If you travel with other airlines, be aware that you will transit through other countries often spending 20-30 hours (without a decent sleep) to get to your destination. This will impact your first few days in Japan. We normally get the day flight over to Japan, arriving around 7:00pm and go to the hotel for a good nights sleep. Coming home we get the night flight that gets us home by midday.
Do they speak English in Japan?
Do I need to take Japanese currency?
Is Japan expensive?
What is the best way to get around Japan?
JR RAIL – Depending on what you are doing and where you intend to go, we recommend a Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass) that is only available to non-residents of Japan and must be purchased prior to arrival in Japan. These passes come in 7, 14 and 21 day values and make travelling around Japan easier and a lot cheaper (especially on the bullet train).
SUBWAY – The subway (Metro) system in Japan is excellent for getting around the cities. Metro cards (Suica etc) are similar to the transport cards that we have here in Australia. The cards are available form most stations and are rechargeable. These passes can be used on trains, ferries and buses.
DRIVING – Japan have the same basic road rules that we have in Australia and drive on the same side of the road. Most of the hire cars have GPS that can be used in English so it’s not too hard to get around. Also, there are many toll roads in Japan. If you want to self-drive, you will need to get an International Driving Permit from your road service provider (RAA, NRMA etc). Hire cars are readily available and not expensive to hire.
TAXI – Taxis are very clean (and readily available) but are relatively expensive in Japan. The first kilometre and a half will set you back about 1000 Yen however, the rate rises sharply after that.
AIRPORT TRANSFERS – A taxi from Narita airport into Tokyo will set you back about $250 AUD so we recommend the train or limousine coach. Most of the higher rated hotels have their own coaches that go directly to the hotel for about $40AUD
What are the people like?
What is the accommodation like in Japan?
Hotels will look after your bags (securely) before your check-in time or after check-out until you leave for your next destination. Most hotels also have a luggage forwarding option (at a cost) which makes it easier for you to look around and do what you want without having to worry about your bags.
When we travel to Japan, we look at several key points. We normally stay close to a JR station (allows us to use the rail system quite easily), we look for rooms above 15sqm, we look for non-smoking rooms (Japanese hotels have smoking and non-smoking rooms) and we look to see if breakfast is included (normally a combination of Japanese and western breakfast smorgasbord).