I traveled to Japan in October 2018, during autumn because I love the foliage at that time of the year. In this blog post, I am sharing some useful tips that may help you with planning. If you have questions, you can ask them in the comment section. If you would like to take a look at my itinerary, follow the link below:
Budget: I traveled on a budget and spent around USD 85/day on an average. This included accommodation, food, transport and tickets to sites within Japan. This does not include the international flight tickets to and from Japan.
Accommodation: I stayed in hostels in all places and booking earlier is definitely one way of securing yourself a decent place at reasonable price.
All hostels were booked through booking.com. Other websites that you can use to book hostels or rooms in hotels are agoda.com，hostelworld.com or airbnb.
The earlier you book the hostels, the cheaper they would be and you will find better options but if you like to keep your options open, be mindful of any long weekends or particular events. I ended up paying thrice the amount for last two nights in Kyoto as compared to the first two nights due to long weekend.
Transportation: You can typically travel by airplanes, trains or buses within Japan. To read more on transportation in Japan and if you should buy a JR pass, follow the link below:
For transportation within cities, buses and metro are the most reasonable. You can hire cabs as well. If you are fond of exploring on foot, you can trust Google maps to take you to the destination, but you can’t trust them in South Korea.
To read more about apps that will use your life easier in South Korea, follow the link below:
coming up soon
Attractions: My favorite sites in Japan were the Japanese gardens and nature. The entrance ticket for sights is typically ¥500. Some sites such as Sensoji in Tokyo and other temples and shrines, Yoshikien garden in Nara and Moerenuma Park in Sapporo are free for visitors.
To read more about attractions, follow the link to individual cities above to know more about them.
Food: Food in restaurant will always be more expensive but some food joints that are quite reasonable. Curry house Coco is one such franchise where you can eat to your heart’s content, in a restaurant setting for a decent price, about ¥1000 . Convenience stores offer a number of options to choose from- sandwiches, onigiri(several different varieties of rice balls to choose from), curry patties, sushi, pasta and a number of other dishes. The best part is that the food is fresh and I didn’t come across a single person who complained of food poisoning from convenience store products. You can easily have a meal in less than ¥500.
Other places where I ate and I enjoyed my meals were: Genki Sushi, Shinjuku, Tokyo and an amazing place called Daikisuisan near Osaka tower in Osaka.
Cellular services: I purchased a sim card valid for 2 weeks from the airport. The sim card comes with a sheet of instructions that are easy to follow. I bought SKT sim card from Osaka airport for ¥3300, valid for 2 weeks.
Cash withdrawal fees: The cash withdrawal fee is a standard ¥ 108 on withdrawal of ¥ 10K. ATM are easily available, mostly at the back of seven-eleven stores.
Safety: Japan is a safe country and I felt safe the entire time. I still recommend that you follow the usual precautions that you would irrespective of where you are.