After our most memorable visit to Japan, I have had people – friends, family, acquaintances and so many others just calling up to ask how should they plan their trip to Japan and how did we choose Japan as our travel destination. After receiving 8 calls in the past 1 year, I decided to pen down a brief “how to” with the most frequent questions I receive from travelers planning their trip to Japan. If you have any more questions, leave them in the comments tab below, I would love to add them to this post!
To those who think Japan is going to be a difficult destination with the language barrier, here’s my suggestion, don’t worry! Japan is the warmest, friendliest, nicest place to be in whether you know the language or not.
Q] What places/cities did you go to in Japan and were they worth the visit?
We went to Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Mt.Fuji. We had ten days so we spent 4 nights in Tokyo, 1 day in Mt. Fuji (while staying at Tokyo), 3 nights in Osaka and 1 day at Kyoto (while staying at Osaka). All the four places were completely worth visit.
Q] Travelling in Tokyo – were you walking everywhere or using the Metro?
We were using the metro but there is a lot of walking as well in the areas internally. Make sure to carry a good pair of sneakers.
Q] What was the approx cost of travelling each time in a Metro from point A – B in Tokyo?
Local metro is anywhere between 150-400 yen from one location to another. They have day passes but we wouldn’t recommend that as there are different metro lines and a day pass will not work on all the lines.
Q] Did you remove a day pass for Tokyo metro (If yes what was the cost) or you bought the ticket every time you had to go to some place in Tokyo?
They have day passes but we wouldn’t recommend that as there are different metro lines and a day pass will not work on all the lines. We bought a ticket every time we travelled within the city.
Q] What is the best place to stay in Tokyo?
In Tokyo,we were staying at Citadines hotel in Shinjuku
which is the central place of Tokyo and all major trains operate from there. The hotel was a 5 minute walk from the station and Shinjuku is quite happening at night as well. It’s known for the nightlife is the street is lively at any time of the day.
Q] How many days should we stay in Tokyo for to cover the entire city?
5 days is good enough for Tokyo if you are fit to be on your feet all day long. Japan is so interesting that it is hard to get tired and probably you are going to feel like you’ve missed something even if you’re here for a month. 🙂
Q] Things to do, places to visit in Tokyo?
Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower, Ueno Zoo (for pandas), Roppongi Hills for the food, strip club! Shibuya crossing, Akihabara for the electronic market. All these places are well connected via metro. For some more suggestions, read here: Tokyo – Things You Must Do
Q] Do people understand and speak English in Japan?
Most of the locals might not speak English but they will effectively understand what you’re saying and respond. Some using sign language, some will take help from Google Translate. Besides this, there are information desks at all metro stations, hotel receptions where the executives speak English and are there to help you out.
Q] How do I travel to Mt – Fuji and what was the approximate cost?
You have to take a metro and then switch to a mini train to take you to the top to Kawaguchiko station. Internally they have tourist buses to take you around. The cost will depend on which metro station you are boarding the train from. It would be around 5,000-7,000 yen for a same day return journey.
Q] How did you get to Osaka from Tokyo?
We took the bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka (Shinkansen). It costs approximately 14,000 Yen and takes around 3 hours to get from Tokyo to Osaka. The train ride is a delight so you must try this!
Q] Which is the best area to stay in Osaka?
In Osaka, we stayed in an Airbnb apartment at Namba. Once again it was a 2 min walk from the station and very close to the shopping hub Shinshaibasi which has a lot of night clubs as well.
Q] Things to do, places to visit in Osaka?
Shop at Dotonbori at Shinshaibasi, nightclubs at Shinshaibasi, Universal Studios, street food, Osaka castle.
Q] How did you get to Kyoto from Osaka?
Osaka to kyoto is barely 40 minutes by the metro train and 15 minutes by the bullet train which is more expensive. We didn’t stay in Kyoto. We took the morning train, spent the day there and came back in the night.
Q] Things to do in Kyoto?
There are many shrines and temples in Kyoto that you can visit or you can take the Kyoto day tour but you must visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine and walk down the Gion Street and spot some Geishas 🙂
Awaiting more questions in the comments so I can make this of as much help as possible! If you haven’t visited Japan yet, please book your tickets now.