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Old 2009-12-25, 16:42   Link #681
WanderingKnight
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Quote:
If you're backpacking all-night internet cafes are a cheap choice for around $10/night.
Holy shit, really? That sounds awfully cheap. I'm willing to cut corners as much as I can on the issue of accommodation since I'm not going to Japan to sleep in a comfy bed, and at my age I can manage to sleep wherever I want to. How common are those in places other than the big cities?
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Old 2009-12-25, 17:44   Link #682
Autumn Demon
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Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
How common are those in places other than the big cities?
I didn't stay at any internet cafes when I went to Japan so I really don't know. I've read their all-night specials cater to the many working-poor Japanese, so they're probably concentrated around urban areas. A Japanese guy I knew said he stayed at internet cafes for his first year in Tokyo and the price was usually around 1000yen, but I saw some in the popular areas of Tokyo for 3000yen.

Internet cafes don't advertise to foreigners, so you may have a hard to finding locations online unless you know Japanese. But I actually had a hard time finding youth hostels outside of Tokyo too, so it may be easier finding internet cafes.

On my first night in Tokyo I left my luggage in a coin locker at the station for 600yen and slept outside on a bench. Unfortunately most benches in Tokyo have high armrests on them so you can't lie down on them comfortably. Not advisable, especially if you're there outside the summer months.
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Old 2009-12-25, 17:52   Link #683
Mystique
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
Holy shit, really? That sounds awfully cheap. I'm willing to cut corners as much as I can on the issue of accommodation since I'm not going to Japan to sleep in a comfy bed, and at my age I can manage to sleep wherever I want to. How common are those in places other than the big cities?
As someone who forever travels on a shoestring budget, trust me, having a good nights sleep on a decent bed works wonders for your general mood and energy for the long days of walking and travelling about.
Hostels are your best bet, so do consider them.
But to add to that:
Quote:
If you are really strapped for cash in a major city, go to an internet café. It will charge you a nominal fee for ‘all night internet’ and you can sleep in the web room on the comfortable padded chairs, or sofas. Just watch out for the cyber-nerds who may wake you at four in the morning.
As a girl, there are a few aspects of travelling cheap that I cannot do, purely outta safety, but you may have some fun with that and meet some of the otaku who live their lives in those cafes (they have no home and sleep there).

But most peeps here already mentioned what I could offer in terms of living/staying here cheaply. If you can rent a bicycle in Tokyo and central Yokohama, then you're sorted in terms of cheap ass travel. (Well in Yokohama, you can, dunno bout Tokyo yet)

Japan on a shoestring 1

Japan on a shoestring 2
Japan on a shoestring 3

Just random google searches, make sure to do your homework and plan where and what you wanna see (rough intenary) before you leave

Good points from the 3rd link:
Quote:
You stash all your belongings in a locker and sleep in a plastic pod, which is stacked on top of two or three others, in a row of hundreds. Inside there is a bed, radio, a small shelf and a TV built into the ceiling. They are comfortable, but not for the claustrophobic.
Capsule Hotels :|
These forever remain to be one of the freakiest, most bizzare aspects of this countries' culture for me
Link 1
Link 2
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Old 2009-12-27, 12:54   Link #684
Jazzrat
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The best way to see the country is to do it cheaply

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Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post

3) What about food? I heard something like 3 USD a meal if you're a real cheapstake (and believe me I am--screw those "traditional" tourist-filled restaurants, pot ramen's where it's at).

You can get a meal for 500 yen average. With 400+ yen the cheapest i gotten with
a ramen shop. Try not to hang around too long in those as it usually has limited seats and a queue of people waiting for their meal and also, most menu on the vending machine are in japanese. Some might have pictures but the really cheap ones don't.

Generally, you queue up, put your money in the machine, select the meal you want, take a seat and hand ur meal ticket to the waiter at the counter. You ll get a glass of water/oolong tea with whatever you ordered. After you are done, you usually have to clear your own tray by putting them on the designated counter.


4) What are the nightlife costs? Can I enjoy getting drunk in Japan without compromising my wallet too much?
Izakaya is a good cheap way to get your alcohol. The cheap ones dont even have seats(expect lotsa middle aged salaryman tho) 300 for a glass of beer i think. Again, menus are in japanese only.

If it sounds like I'm really concerned about money, it's because I am.
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Old 2009-12-27, 19:06   Link #685
martino
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Originally Posted by Mystique View Post
As someone who forever travels on a shoestring budget, trust me, having a good nights sleep on a decent bed works wonders for your general mood and energy for the long days of walking and travelling about.
Hostels are your best bet, so do consider them.
I would agree on hostels too, I slept in Osaka for 1500yen and in Tokyo for 2900, and as for the Tokyo one you could probably find cheaper ones. Even though the Osaka one was stinky cheap and in a bad and dirty part (apparently, but still very safe and clean for our western standards) it was still on a higher level than any other hostel that I've been to in Europe... apart from a nastily huge spider that was sharing a room with me... n_n (both were booked in advance though)

I travelled for three weeks, two weeks JR pass, slept only in Yokohama, Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo while doing day trips to interesting places, eating cheaply and spending as little as possible... if I remember correctly I spent around £2000 in total (flight and JR pass included).
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Old 2009-12-27, 20:07   Link #686
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Originally Posted by Mystique View Post
As a girl, there are a few aspects of travelling cheap that I cannot do, purely outta safety, but you may have some fun with that and meet some of the otaku who live their lives in those cafes (they have no home and sleep there).
But you're a foreigner. They're more afraid of you than you are of them. Gaijin SMASH!
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Old 2009-12-28, 00:29   Link #687
Mystique
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But you're a foreigner. They're more afraid of you than you are of them. Gaijin SMASH!
Am also still smaller and lighter than most average man and besides, criminals don't really discriminate if you're on their list.
Then again you can tell the parents of Lindsay Ann Hawker that someday.
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Old 2009-12-28, 03:42   Link #688
Haladflire65
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I went to Japan again a few days ago and it was awesome... XD Shibuya, Shinjuku and Ikebukuro are as great as ever. Only thing was, Japanese seem to have no idea that it was Christmas... Kids went to school and people went to work. Heh.
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Old 2009-12-28, 04:47   Link #689
Mystique
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Originally Posted by Haladflire65 View Post
I went to Japan again a few days ago and it was awesome... XD Shibuya, Shinjuku and Ikebukuro are as great as ever. Only thing was, Japanese seem to have no idea that it was Christmas... Kids went to school and people went to work. Heh.
They know, but it's not a Christian country, so it's of no national importance to them.
What's big on their list is upcoming New Years, that's the #1 holiday of Japan, so they prepare for that instead.
Otherwise the 25th is just lovers day, part 2 and wedding proposals or KFC chicken and Christmas cake

But glad you had a nice time, must have made a few good memories
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Old 2009-12-30, 08:15   Link #690
ZephyrLeanne
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Originally Posted by Haladflire65 View Post
I went to Japan again a few days ago and it was awesome... XD Shibuya, Shinjuku and Ikebukuro are as great as ever. Only thing was, Japanese seem to have no idea that it was Christmas... Kids went to school and people went to work. Heh.
Sorry, but Xmas isn't a national holiday in Japan. Guess what we used to use in lieu of that. The Emperor's Birthday on the 23rd of December.
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Old 2009-12-31, 02:56   Link #691
Haladflire65
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Sorry, but Xmas isn't a national holiday in Japan. Guess what we used to use in lieu of that. The Emperor's Birthday on the 23rd of December.
Yeah, I knew that. I went to school in Tokyo last year and I found it hilarious that we had to go to school and have a giant cleanup with mops and all that instead of opening presents at home... At least they had a Christmas Market thing in Roppongi Hills, heh.
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Old 2009-12-31, 02:57   Link #692
Haladflire65
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Originally Posted by Mystique View Post
They know, but it's not a Christian country, so it's of no national importance to them.
What's big on their list is upcoming New Years, that's the #1 holiday of Japan, so they prepare for that instead.
Otherwise the 25th is just lovers day, part 2 and wedding proposals or KFC chicken and Christmas cake

But glad you had a nice time, must have made a few good memories
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShimatheKat View Post
Sorry, but Xmas isn't a national holiday in Japan. Guess what we used to use in lieu of that. The Emperor's Birthday on the 23rd of December.
Yeah, I knew that. I went to school in Tokyo last year and I found it hilarious that we had to go to school and have a giant cleanup with mops and all that instead of opening presents at home... At least they had a Christmas Market thing in Roppongi Hills, heh.

It was great how all the anime store were open, though, so I sholdn't complain XD
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Old 2009-12-31, 22:52   Link #693
Tealeafy
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Join Date: Dec 2009
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My friend and I will be visiting Japan in Aprl 2010; I'll take lots of pictures.
We plan to go to the Disney park (lol xD), Akihibara (otaku district <3), and a few historical sites.~
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Old 2010-01-02, 11:11   Link #694
lixuelai
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Make sure to buy a JR pass. Saves a ton of money if you plan to travel around a bit.
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Old 2010-01-15, 10:35   Link #695
rio
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Hello all. Some of you may remember my dispatches from my first Japan trip, last March. Many were kind enough to offer me advice which was invaluable to making it one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Now I return to your tender mercies again, seeking your guidance.

I'm planning another trip for this year - can't get it out of my blood, now. I'm thinking May, but it could slide over into late April or into early June. Two weeks if I can swing it, maybe a bit less. I have lots of plans to see what I couldn't the first time - a cat (real cats, not nekomimi) cafe, more of Kyoto, Nikko... The list is a long one and I know I won't get to see all of it.

But my main goal for this one is to partake of a really great matsuri. It's hard to describe exactly what I want, but if you're a member at this site you know what I mean. Teenagers and families in yukata scooping goldfish, fireworks, takoyaki... If I have a specialized interest it's taiko, as I play taiko myself and especially love it in a festival setting. I know Sanja Matsuri is in May, and reportedly quite the spectacle - but I don't know, a giant international festival attended by 2 million people in Tokyo doesn't feel like exactly what I want, even if it might have all the individual elements.

I'd like to tie this in with my second main goal for this trip, which is to experience small-town/village Japan. I saw amazing things in Tokyo, Kyoto, Kamakura - but none of it felt like village Japan to me. My only real requirements are that it be reachable by train, as I'll be moving about by JR pass. Maybe I can't find my perfect matsuri in my perfect small town, but even if I can't I'd be grateful for recommendations for both - I'll have time. The Aoba Matsuri (not the Kou, the Aoba ) in Sendai sounds interesting. Sendai is hardly a small town I know, but seems like a lovely place. Ideally, I'd rather not be in a situation where travel is an all-day affair, or a plane flight - like Hokkaido. For example Takayama Matsuri sounds incredible (hell, Takayama sounds incredible) but that's a lot of time en route. Four hours from Tokyo or less via train would be ideal, but not an absolute requirement.

So can anyone offer me some suggestions? Great little towns, great festivals - I'm open to almost anything. I travel light and cheap, try to go local as much as possible, avoid international hotels and restaurants like the plague and don't require the lap of luxury. I'm even happy to have to fake my way through survival Japanese, which I know I'll have to in the smaller places. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I am living in Sendai city right now This city is so beautiful and clean for a very big city that many people say they like this city a lot. Plus, this city is famous for Date Masamune, and his statue and the castle. So you can enjoy them with the matsuri And it took only within 2 hours from Tokyo by Shinkansen (it costs about ¥20000 by the round trip).


But as you know, Sendai is a city, so you wouldn't fell village Japan.
So, Takayama matsuri is better if you focus on going to village Japan.

Anyway, Japan has a lot of Matsuri in which you can see village Japan and you'll enjoy a lot even around Tokyo or Sendai. So it's very nice that you'll look into many Matsuri and consider what you want in your visiting Japan
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Old 2010-01-15, 10:54   Link #696
Guardian Enzo
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Ah, thanks for the input. I've been reading a lot about the one-eyed legend of the north, Date Masamune. Did his horse really have exhaust pipes?

Still deciding on where to go. I've become somewhat intrigued by a trip with the Kiso Valley, walking part of the Nakasendo Road, and then spending a couple of days in Kanezawa. That also seems like a really interesting and lovely place.
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Old 2010-01-17, 02:20   Link #697
rio
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Ah, thanks for the input. I've been reading a lot about the one-eyed legend of the north, Date Masamune. Did his horse really have exhaust pipes?
Sorry I don't know about it.. I looked it up but I couldn't find it.

Quote:
Still deciding on where to go. I've become somewhat intrigued by a trip with the Kiso Valley, walking part of the Nakasendo Road, and then spending a couple of days in Kanezawa. That also seems like a really interesting and lovely place.

I've heard Kanazawa is a very good place by my brother.
The place is very beautiful as being called 'Little Kyoto' he said so.
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Old 2010-01-17, 12:57   Link #698
Guardian Enzo
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Originally Posted by rio View Post
Sorry I don't know about it.. I looked it up but I couldn't find it.




I've heard Kanazawa is a very good place by my brother.
The place is very beautiful as being called 'Little Kyoto' he said so.
Thanks for the input on Kanazawa. The Date Masamune thing is a little Sengoku Basura joke - his horse in the anime (and game, I assume) had them...
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Old 2010-01-17, 16:35   Link #699
Yu Ominae
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Going back again (since the 1990s) to Tokyo this year. Will head back to Akihabara, but aniki wants to go to Kyoto and see his friend.
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Old 2010-01-21, 15:54   Link #700
SirJeannot
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going back in april as well, to visit friends
I just can't wait!

june would be better will all the matsuris around, but well, it's then or nothing.
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