Japan

Japan

The best journey I've made so far !!!

A country that surprised me in a good way. To be honest I had another thought about but much to my surprise, this was one of my best, funniest, ... trips I've done so far.

This trip brought me from Tokyo to Nagoya, and further to Kyoto. 3 large cities, but didn't had the feeling to be in a big city. In comparison with eg. London, Paris, ...

Finding your way in Japan


On the internet you’ll find many stories or movies about people can’t find their way or get lost in city’s.


With a good map and a navigation app on your smartphone you’ll be fine.


These two things are necessary, because the names in the street are in Japanese symbols. So you can learn Japanese or use a GPS ?


Normally I use ‘Google maps’ in offline mode. But due some reason they don’t have the rights for this

country. So it won’t work offline.


So I had to find another app, which brought me to ‘Maps.me’. In my opinion it’s the same as Google maps, only

the layout of the maps are different.  You can navigate when you’re walking, driving, … . Just download the

city you want.


And offcorse the old school paper map.


So getting lost, I don’t think so !!!!

Airport transfer (Haneda Airport)


Very easy, I took the public transportation both ways.


From the airport you take the monorail (station inside terminal, at tourist offices). Take this monorail till ‘

Hamamatsucho’ station. Switch here to the ‘JR Yamanote Line’ to reach Tokyo station.

Or another line to reach your destination into the city center. Just follow the signs.

If you have a JR Railpass you don’t need to buy a ticket, it’s included.


Ofcorse there are other ways to reach your destination, but these are really expensive !!!


Usefull documents

Hotels


Japan isn't the cheapest country, especially when you're talking about hotels. The average price per night is around 100€ and 150€. And this for a room not larger than 14m².

A cheaper solution are the famous 'capsule' hotels. The price should be around 50€.


I booked my nights at Accorhotels.  This for various reasons.

First of all, I am a Gold member, so always a room upgrade and free drink in the bar and some presents at the room ( even a bottle of white wine in an ice bucket at the room.

Secondly, a few weeks before my departure there was a 30% discount and free breakfast.

Thirdly, I could use a lot of discount coupons from Accorhotels.

So my choice was made very quickly if you could choose between a capsule hotel or a 4-star hotel.


* Haneda Royal Park Hotel ( perfectly for a late arrival or early departure)

* Mercure Tokyo Ginza

* Ibis Styles Kyoto Station

* Mercure Nagoya Cypress

* Novotel Osaka West


Travelling through Japan


Japan is a big country, the distance between Tokyo and Osaka is around 400 km. So the 2 most common transports are air and train.

If you have to travel less than 600 km I would say, take the 'Bullet train'.

But for example, if you have to travel from the north to the south end of Japan. It's better to fly this distance. A flight will take you 3h, a train ride around 10h.


If you use the train you have to look for a 'Japan RailPass', with this pass you can travel hole Japan on all JR-routes. Including the fast trains.


You have to buy this in advance, online or at your travel agency. It's around 220€ for one week. On your arrival at the airport you can validate your pass.


A great way to discover Japan.

Flying to Japan


A difficult one, there are multiple airlines which fly to Japan. Some directly, others with one stop. I had the chance to fly with 'Qatar Airways'. A flight from Amsterdam via Doha to Tokyo Haneda Airport. This was in BusinessClass due an error fare of Qatar Airways.


Check out this experience here.