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Japan Spotting Trip  
User currently offlineEMA747 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 1171 posts, RR: 1
Posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3028 times:

I am thinking I might splash some cash and visit Japan for a general sightseeing and aviation photography trip in eith late September or October. Which of these months would be best weather wise?

Is there a ticket that would let me fly between airports for a reduced cost. Like a kind of airpass? Alternativly how expensive is it to fly domestic in Japan?

For accomodation how much would a cheap but clean hostel be per night? I can't really afford hotel prices. Are there any campsites near airports in Japan? I like camping so it would be a real option if there is anywhere to stay.

How much would I need per day to buy cheap but tasty food and snacks?

Thanks for any help.

Andy S


Failing doesn’t make you a failure. Giving up and refusing to try again does!
10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 3023 times:



Quoting EMA747 (Thread starter):
I am thinking I might splash some cash and visit Japan for a general sightseeing and aviation photography trip in eith late September or October. Which of these months would be best weather wise?

Both Sep and Oct are good months, with a moderate temperature and usually plenty of sun. I'd personally opt for mid-late Sep, taking advantage of the warm temperatures and the longer daylight hours.

Quoting EMA747 (Thread starter):
Is there a ticket that would let me fly between airports for a reduced cost. Like a kind of airpass? Alternativly how expensive is it to fly domestic in Japan?

Japan's not the world's largest country and the train network is fast and reliable (and cheaper than air travel!). Get yourself a train pass and off you go!

Quoting EMA747 (Thread starter):
For accomodation how much would a cheap but clean hostel be per night? I can't really afford hotel prices. Are there any campsites near airports in Japan? I like camping so it would be a real option if there is anywhere to stay.

Not sure on this one as I stayed in a downtown hotel. Wasn't as expensive as I thought but things may have changed over the past couple of years.

Quoting EMA747 (Thread starter):
How much would I need per day to buy cheap but tasty food and snacks?

A lot, basically! McDonalds costs similar to what it does here but restaurants and bars are very expensive. If you can live on fast-food for a week you'll be OK but do watch alcohol prices - £6-7 for a pint of Guiness isn't everyone's idea of good value!

Hope that helps.

Karl


User currently offlineDlowwa From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 7328 posts, RR: 30
Reply 2, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 3021 times:
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You should be fine weather-wise, although the end of September is the tail end of typhoon season, so you might get unlucky there. As well, the longer into October you go, the better chance you get to catch the changing of colour in the leaves, which is especially nice if you'll taking pics around tourist hotspots like Mt. Fuji or Kyoto.

And yes, there is a reduced price domestic travel ticket you can get from JAL (I think ANA offers a similar deal too) called the YOKOSO JAPAN Pass. Basically you can buy up to 5 one-way flights for about £50 each, plus tax, which is a screaming deal, especially if you use it for longer segments like HND-OKA which you normally cost £200 or something. You can buy tickets for any single flight anywhere JAL flies domestically, but you can't repeat the segement, and the tickets have to be bought outside of Japan. I've used this pass a couple of times, and saved a boatload of money, especially since I usually fly down to Okinawa, where I used to live.

Here's the link...

http://www.jal.co.jp/yokosojapan/

As for accommodation, I've never stayed in a hostel in Japan, but you probably won't be able to find anything decent for less than something in the ¥3000+ ($30/£15) a night range, but the selection will probably be pretty limited. Decent (tiny) hotel rooms that are relatively central should start from around ¥7000 ($70/£30) and go up from there. If you feel comfortable booking on a Japanese website or know someone who can, try jalan.net, which is a great site (all in Japanese) that will find you the best discounted room rates available. I've used it, and you can get some pretty good deals. Oh campsites.... not many conveniently located anywhere in Japan, let alone near an airport, so I'd rule that option out if I were you.

As for food, living on convenience store snacks (onigiri, etc..) you'd need at least ¥1000 ($10/£5) a day, but that'd really be scrimping... I'd say double that to be somewhat comfortable and then starting from triple or more ¥3000+ if you ever hope to eat in a restaurant. All of the prices I've listed (for food and accommodation) can been seen as the bare minimum, and it would be easy to spend a lot more. And don't forget you haven't included costs for getting around, shopping, entrance fees, etc... so basically you're not going to be able to much for less than £50 a day.

I lived in Japan for several years, and go back frequently as a tourist, so if you need any more advice, let me know.

Dana


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3015 times:



Quoting Dlowwa (Reply 2):
so basically you're not going to be able to much for less than £50 a day

If you're a bit of a scrubber like me ( Big grin ) you can live on around £10-£15 a day (food and drink), plus extra for travelling expenses.

Quoting Dlowwa (Reply 2):
You should be fine weather-wise, although the end of September is the tail end of typhoon season, so you might get unlucky there

As far as I know Japan rarely sees a great deal of typhoon activity, although if they do get the odd one it's normally Aug/Sep time. Rainy season is Jun/Jul so you'd be out of that. Winter tends to be the sunniest season, although it can get very cold and obviously daylight hours are less.

I'd imagine Dana's advice is more current than mine as I've not been for a few years.

Karl


User currently offlineEMA747 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 1171 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3002 times:

Thanks for the commets.

The other option is to go to Hong Kong for a trip and save Japan until I have enough money (it always comes down to money right?) . I know th place pretty well and I think it's a bit cheaper than Japan. Do any of you know what photography is like at HKG?



Failing doesn’t make you a failure. Giving up and refusing to try again does!
User currently offlineG-CIVP From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1321 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3000 times:

Just to add you can eat cheaply in Japan, especially at the airports. Strangely for me this wasn't a huge expense when I visited but hotel and flight. The biggest problem you will encounter is the language barrier as few Japanese speak English. You can elect to say at the cheaper hotels but don't expect the receptionist to be fluent in English. Moreover, you need to be near a JR railway station or subway to get about easily. As for HKG, I understand it is possible but requires work as all the locations are off airport.

Best of luck.


User currently offlineDlowwa From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 7328 posts, RR: 30
Reply 6, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2981 times:
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Sorry, yeah my estimate of £50 day included accommodation, food, and getting around/doing stuff, not just eating. If you really wanted, you could get by on £5 if say, you bought a couple of onigiri (rice balls - really good!) and a bottle of water at the convenience store and somehow managed to stretch that for the entire day. It all depends on personal preference.

As for typhoons, just because it's typhoon season, doesn't mean you'll actually see one, I was more just alerting you to the possibility, that's all. I actually think September/October is the best time weather-wise to visit Japan.

Having spent time in Hong Kong, I'd say that'd be significantly cheaper both for food, and for the fact that'd be easier to find cheap, central accommodations - chungking mansions anyone?  Wink ... and cheaper shopping....

The airports in Japan are much more welcoming to spotting from the terminal, most major airports, HND, NRT, ITM, have dedicated spotting locations right on top of the terminal, which is closer to the action than I recall HKG allowing you to get from the terminal.


User currently offlineMictheslik From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 58 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2978 times:



Quoting JakTrax (Reply 3):
As far as I know Japan rarely sees a great deal of typhoon activity, although if they do get the odd one it's normally Aug/Sep time.

I was in Tokyo mid October last year and we had quite a nasty typhoon.......luckily there's a lovely complex of underground passageways :P

Japan is a lovely country. I didn't get to do much spotting whilst I was there, but visited all the touristy places in Kyoto and Tokyo  Wink

Try and get to JASDF Open house day aswell....they're quite frequent and look interesting  Smile

.mic


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2972 times:



Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 5):
The biggest problem you will encounter is the language barrier as few Japanese speak English. You can elect to say at the cheaper hotels but don't expect the receptionist to be fluent in English. Moreover, you need to be near a JR railway station or subway to get about easily

You're right, not much English spoken, but when in Rome.....

Why should they bend over backwards to speak English when Japan has one of the most stable business economies in the world? I was 19 when I first visited Japan but the thrill of that trip ended up being the language barrier, and had it not been for that the holiday would have certainly been less memorable.

One downside to the culture difference is that the JR Kesei Line stations don't (or didn't?) offer route maps or signs in English - guaranteed to get you thinking and a further addition to that 'far from home thrill factor'!

I fully recommend Japan, and I guarantee you'll get by without tearing your hair out!!!!

Karl


User currently offlineGOCAPS16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4339 posts, RR: 21
Reply 9, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2945 times:

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 8):
I was 19 when I first visited Japan but the thrill of that trip ended up being the language barrier, and had it not been for that the holiday would have certainly been less memorable.

As what Mr. Nixon stated, IF you do not speak the language, I recommend you, beforehand, to learn the very basic of Japanese. For example, stuff you will say as a tourist, if you get lost, where's the Tokyo Tower located, how much, etc. You can pick one up at your local bookstore and you don't have to worry about the language barrier or better yet, online works best.

Since you will most likely to stick with the tourist cities in Japan, 80% of the population do understand and speak some english, however, in my experience, an american, living in Japan currently, I have seen numerous folks who do not understand ANY english, so therefore, it is wise to learn before to communicate. Also, if a westerner speaks japanese, then you will get a lot of smiles from the locals.

Quoting EMA747 (Thread starter):
For accomodation how much would a cheap but clean hostel be per night? I can't really afford hotel prices. Are there any campsites near airports in Japan?

I've had friends from San Francisco who spent a week in Japan and they stayed at the hostels. They usually run for about $30 USD per night.

Enjoy your trip. There are plenty things to see.

[Edited 2008-08-31 02:09:54]

User currently offlineMxp From Italy, joined Aug 2003, 452 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 2926 times:

Hi
i will in Japan middle october and i booked marroad hotel in narita and ramada in osaka
Alberto


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