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Get a JR Railpass http://www.japanrailpass.net/en/ at least a week before you leave for your trip. It takes a few days to process and you can’t buy it when your there!
After receiving your train ticket you can prebook east travel but nothing else until you are there! When you arrive at the airport you can exchange your voucher for the actual ticket, but airport queues take 1-2 hours. You might be best paying 1200 Yen to go into Tokyo station and change it there to save time! Once you have the train pass you can use all JR Lines ( not underground) and most Shinkansen ( Bullet Trains ) there will be instructions on the card of which ones you can’t use. You will be able to prebook your first train, if you can’t prebook and reserve a seat you can turn up to the train after asking staff which platform and there will be instructions on which carriages are unreserved ( usually 1 -3 ) queue outside one of these carriage lines , its first come first serve!
Book your Shinkansen ( Bullet Train) from Tokyo to Kyoto as soon as you arrive if staying in Tokyo and have the actual JR Pass (even if it is not activated yet). That Saturday morning may well be busy.
Times when you might have issues booking trains due to holidays
December 28 to January 6
April 27 to May 6
August 11 to 20
If you are hoping to get money out via a foreign card use the Post Office or Seven Eleven shops ATM’s , make sure you have cash as Japan is a cash country!!
We used hostelworld.com for all our accomdation based on reviews. We were booking things around 3 days in advance, but finding stuff was getting booked out really fast so recommend to book especially popular hostels. JJ Hoopers do a 3 night bonus if you stay with them!
June 4th – 5th, the Great Japan Beer Festival
Oct 14-19 – Doburoku Saka Festival
We Choose the Route
2 Day 1 Day 2 Day 2 Day
Tokyo -> Kyoto -> Hiroshima -> Osaka -> Toyko
Nishiki Market ( Early Morning )
Arashiiyama Bamboo Grove
Gion ( Good for Nightlife and Geisha Spitting ) Moonlight bar next to giant crab ( 200 Yen Drinks 400 Yen Cover! )
https://www.facebook.com/shooting.bar.m4 ( Shooting Bar )
Byodoin Hououdo is very popular spot , designed in 10 yen coin and 10000 yen bill.http://kurando.jp/en/spot/detail.php?id=48
Food -> Name: Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki
Mazda Museum Tour -> http://www.hiroshima-navi.or.jp/en/sightseeing/bunkashisetsu/bijutsukan_hakubutsukan/21664.php
Peace War Memorial
Miyajima Island – Day trip worth a visit for traditional cakes included ferry in JR Pass
Osaka – Get Amazing pass for cheap tourist attractions
Osaka Castle Park
Check out Nara
All you can eat and drink 2 hours Japanese BBQ -> http://www.yakiniku-rokko.jp/menu.htmlhttp://www.yakiniku-rokko.jp/menu.html
Kura-Zushi Sun Route Umeda ( Sushi Train)
Moonlight bar next to Giant crab ( 200 Yen Drinks 400 Yen Cover! )
Sam and Dave
Shinjuku – Shopping
Harajuku – Dress up Japanese on Sunday!
Asakusa Traditional Temple
Akihabara – Electric town and sex shops!
Ebisu – Food Espec – cooked yakitori.
Tsukiji Fish Market – It’s free but get there early 5am Make your way to the ‘Visitors’ Passageway’ and you can check out the fish auction which kicks off around 6.30am and is first come first served with a limit of 120. You can sample the famous blowfish fugu here, where if it’s not cut properly you quite simply die. You won’t want to take taxis anywhere in Japan so jump on the subway and take the Hibiya line of the Tokyo Metro to Tsukiji station, exit 1
http://www.robot-restaurant.com/E/ ( Get Cheap Discount via Japican )
Sushi Restaurant : http://goo.gl/maps/VzcDg
Roppongi at night ( VERY Western )
Shinjuku is also good night life and has less foreigners than roppongi but it also has a cool national garden for day time
Otherstuff To Do Japan
Capsule Hotel / Love Hotel ( No Tattoo’s!! )
Old Schoool hotel : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoshi_Ryokan
Takayama ( Holda Beef Dinner )
Nikko Tour ( Day Trip from Tokyo )
Kamakura Tour ( Day Trip from Tokyo )
Mt Fuji, Japan