Friday, July 8, 2011

How to travel Japan on a budget

By Carole Ann Goldsmith Copyright ©2004 - 2011 All Rights Reserved

 For everything you need to know about travelling Japan, see The Japan National Tourist Organisation’s (JNTO’s) website
  There is a wealth of information about many places to visit, with details how to travel there, budget and other accommodation, transport and cultural tips. Also check out to see all the famous people and tourists visiting Japan since the earthquake and Tsunami.  Please check the map of Japan to see where the cities and tourist attractions are located. Click on the particular city that you are interested in and a summary will appear with a link to detailed page and tourist. For example, click on Hiroshima and then click on Miyajima. Then at the bottom of the Miyajima pop up, page click on Detailed page and information on the tourist attractions at Miyajima will appear as follows:

 JNTO- Accommodation Search is an excellent site and you can check out budget accommodation , Youth Hostels and Japanese inns, plus more expensive accommmodation.
 Budget Accommodation across Japan Great site with budget accommodation across Japan.
Japan Youth Hostels
one night  around Y 2,500 - Y4,000 per bed
(share room, bunk beds, tatami mat rooms, singles, doubles, family room - around Y5,000) can be a little noisy at times, most with a curfew time at night,  and country hostels are usually quieter than city ones.

Toyoko Inn chain  has economical priced hotellocated around Japan.  Prices range from Y7,400 single - Y9000 double  in Tokyo and around Y5,500 single, $7500 double in country areas. These are comfortable business hotels, very clean and well run with free breakfast, TV, internet connection in room, computers in foyer and very easy to book Toyoko Inn hotels around Japan. Cleaning hotel from 10.00 AM. Become member for Y1500, stay 10 nights and get one night free, early check in, also discounts on first Monday and Sundays for members. Check out their web booking discounts.

Travel - Check out JNTO travel planner and lots of tips on traveling from the airports and around Japan.

Traveling in the Kansai Region - Kansai Pass

Happy Traveling and more tips to come on an E Book on How to travel Japan on a Budget - out soon on Amazon

Budget Travel in the Kansai region

By Carole Goldsmith Copyright ©2009 -2011 All Rights Reserved
Most tourists whom I meet while traveling Japan, have a two or three week Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass) that they use to speed around the country on the Shinkansen, or bullet train, as widely known. The traditional JR Pass, that enables you to travel across Japan on all JR lines (except on the Nozomi Shinkansen) is really handy and economical if you are travelling from say Osaka to Tokyo and then up north to Hokkaido. A day or so there and you are off again on the Shinkansen, to travel back to Osaka, Kyoto and then down to Kyushu. It is really great value if you are travelling long distances every day, as the JR Pass covers consecutive days of travel.

But do tourists really need to start their JR Pass when they fly into Kansai International Airport (KIX) in Osaka and plan to spend a few days in the Kansai region, including Kyoto? No they don't.

I usually fly into KIX when traveling to Japan and explore the Kansai region for a few days before scooting off to the West or East of Japan. The real secret of traveling on a budget in the Kansai region is to use the Kansai Thru Pass, a special ticket for tourists visiting Japan.    From the Kansai Thru Pass website

This Pass excludes JR lines. You can travel ‘from Kyoto to Osaka, Kobe, Mt. Hiei and Himeji. Get on and off the train or bus bound for Wakayama, Nara and Koyasan as you like during the period of validity. and find out where and how far you can travel plus on which rail lines and buses you can use the Kansai pass.

There are two types of tickets - Adult: 3day ticket - 5000 yen, Children (Ages 7 to 12) 2day ticket - 2,500 yen and 2day ticket 3,800 yen (Adults) 1,900 yen (Children)

You can buy the ticket at Kansai International Airport KAA Travel Desk (1st Floor / 07:00 – 22:00) and many other places in Kansai as listed here. Make sure that you ask the staff who sell you the ticket when the Pass will expire.

For budget accommodation in the Kansai region, check out Seek Japan’s excellent budget accommodation website Also Hotel Chuo Oasis close to the centre of Osaka is a great economical place to stay. See my blog

So if you are going to spend a few days in Osaka, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Mt. Hiei and Himeji and explore Wakayama, Nara and Koyasan, invest in a Kansai thru pass and get moving on your discoveries. With the Pass, you receive a map that lists all the transport routes where you can travel and a little booklet with complimentary discount promotions that you can use at 350 listed major tourist facilities.

Have fun traveling and keep smiling.