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Travel to Japan - Tips and suggestions

Votive plaques

Below you will find some things what we consider helpful to be known before going to Japan:

Transportation

  • JR Pass does not give you any help in the city transport in Tokyo or Kyoto
  • Tokyo daypass is worth buying if you plan to make more than 8 subway connections in a day. Otherwise it would be better to buy single tickets (in Tokyo 150 Yen, in Kyoto 220 Yen)
  • Reserved seat in shinkansen is not necessary, although it cost almost same amount as fare ticket (for example from Tokyo to Kyoto fare 7980, reserved seat 5740 Yen in addition). JR pass holders who want to have reserved seat, can buy only this part
  • If you have JR Pass, you can use hikari and kotara trains. There are always cars 1-5 (or 1-3) for non-reserved seat. Although we traveled with the shinkansen 8 times, never saw anybody standing, in the non-reserved car, there were always seats available
  • In bus you pay for a ticket when you exit. It is better to have exact money, but it is possible to get change from 1000 yen
  • For timetables and connections www.hyperdia.com is very helpful place to look at. It is easily understandable and gives you update information how to get from point A to point B most efficiently

Accommodation

  • Best value for money can be got using business hotels
  • Ryokan (Japanese style guesthose) is worth trying. Not all ryokans take fortune for the night there

Money

  • The easiest way to get along is to have cash
  • Credit card can be used for shinkansen ticket purchase from ticket kiosk, also in bigger department stores and brand stores credit card is accepted
  • Not all ATM-s are usable with Visa or Cirrus card

Tips and recommendations in Russian

Comments

As for transportation - it depends. Single train tickets start from 170 yen on Toei subway lines, 160 yen on metropolitan subway lines, 130 yen on JR lines and 120 yen on other (private) lines.

In local bus, there are 3 different systems:
1. Flat fare, payment when entering bus. Entry - front door, exit - in the middle;
2. Flat fare, payment when leaving bus. Entry - in the middle, exit - front door;
3. Fare by distance. You take the ticket with a number of that particular bus stop you take the bus from when entering bus, and pay according to this number and ticket price seen on the screen above the front window when leaving bus. Entry - in the middle, exit - front door.