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Although I don't see anyone adding Japan as a travel destination, I'm sure not many sporeans is unaware of what Japan offers. From the shopping fairs (Hokkaido Fair) to the TV programs (Japan Hour), I believe each of us had a certain level of likes and dislikes about Japan, even if not yet step foot onto Japan.
So here, I would just like to talk about some useful / nice things to lookout for, if you decide to go on a F&E trip. There is totally no need to be stopped by its language, in fact, I find it easier to go to Japan F&E, then to go Bangkok F&E (at least I find almost no need to ask around for direction, when looking for my budget hotel)
http://www.toyoko-inn.com or http://www.toyoko-inn.com/e_hotel/
- This hotel change have hotels all over Japan and I think there are hitting 200 hotels soon. Their single room charges are less than JPY7k including taxes (approx JPY 9k for twin rooms).
- They provide a Japanese breakfast (miso soup and flavoured rice balls) and internet facilities (1 or 2 terminals, some inclusive of FOC printer use) which is just right for you to double check your next day's itinery.
- For a lady guest, you sometimes get freebies like a small bag.
- Everything from TV to tea/coffee to toothbrush sets are available in the room, just that do not expect to be able to do sit-ups on the floor in the room.
- Their staff do not necessary speak good English, but I find it no-hassle to check in and check out of the hotel, as their website have everything you need to ask (they also have English and Japanese maps, so even if you need to ask about directions to get to the hotel, you have it) and the booking is online with your credit card, so the check-in and check-out is not much conversation required.
- Their hotels are usually located within walking distance from the train stations.
- If you know how to read traditional chinese and have a rough understanding of the stations in Japan (see next para and point 3), you can make use of this website to help you plan out your transport route.
- One very important thing for a Chinese (as in you understand Chinese) when you are in Japan, is to not only know the English spelling and pronouncation (Japanese sound like English) of the stations that you are going, try to get the Chinese writing (Japanese pronounce these Chinese characters, Kanji, in their Japanese language which sounds like English) and you will not miss your train stops as the stations usually write the Chinese characters bigger than the English spelling.
- This is for Osaka: http://www.kintetsu.jp/english/service/index.html
- If you are going to move between their far-apart major cities, you would most likely take the bullet train "Shinkansen" and the Japan Rail Pass is just right. THe cost of a 7-day pass is JPY28.3k is about how much it will cost for one return trip between Tokyo and Osaka. This pass also allows unlimited travel on local trains (does not include metro/subway and other privately operated trains).
(4) Planning your destinations and travel route
- This website have every infor you need to go to the tourist destinations, from operating hours to which train station to recommended shopping malls.
- The best thing is that this website is in English. (But the demerit point is also that it is in English, as they do not write the Chinese characters of the train stations.)
- If you would like to go during a local festival, this website also lists down what timing of the year is for which festival or celebrations (different by cities)
- This is for Kyoto: http://www.pref.kyoto.jp/visitkyoto/en/info_required/transportation/
- This is for Osaka: http://www.osaka-info.jp/en/
(5) Hard Rock Cafe
- If you are a fan of it, Japan has 8 outlets around the whole country
I am sure many will say that they want to go to the hot spring "onsen" as Japan is famous for that. But sad to say, I have very limited infor on this, as these are usually operated by locals who tend not to speak/write a lot of English, so I find very little infor over the net. I also did not get a chance to go to something as traditional as they show on Japan Hour. Maybe if you have something to share, that would be nice. I am looking towards another trip to Japan, hopefully next year or the year after.
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