Japan Solo: Journey Planning Sources, Itinerary and Price range

photo Japan solo Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine

The Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine in Kyoto. Picture by Thomas Tucker on Unsplash

I’m off to Japan solo.

I’m certain the journey will go by in a flash. However the planning, that was sluggish and arduous.

Thrilling, sure, nevertheless it took time!

I’d analysis, then course of the data, combine it with what else I knew after which, perhaps, make some choices.

After which I’d reverse some choices and make others. Over the course of planning this journey I’ve had at the very least seven – perhaps ten – itineraries. Tokyo and Kyoto had been a given however what about in between. I needed to expertise the countryside and smaller cities. At first my focus was on Lake Biwa, outdoors of Kyoto. However nonetheless, it’s a giant lake and I used to be scuffling with the place.

Then I chatted with a guide membership buddy, Mina. She pointed me to Yudanaka for its onsen, the traditional Nakasendo Path, and the mountain city of Takayama. These had been highlights of an organized tour of Japan she took a few years in the past. It made sense to me. Historical past, small cities and the outside.

At first I used to be decided to do all of it. I performed with practice schedules and lower my time again in Tokyo and Kyoto. However behind my head, I knew it was loopy. It might break my fundamental rule of journey planning: no fewer than three nights in any location. 5 locations in 9 days is undoubtedly a breach.

I reluctantly gave up Takayama and centered on Mogame and Tsumago on the Nakasendo Path. However then lodging wasn’t obtainable. I used to be again to Takayama and dropped the path. Then, lastly, with all of the onsens in each location, I questioned whether or not I actually wanted Yudanaka. I dropped it.

Lastly, I’ve my Japan itinerary finalized with three nights per location. I’ll go to Tokyo, Kyoto and Takayama. I do know what I plan to do. After I return, I’ll let you understand how intently I caught to the plan and to my finances. Each are beneath, however let’s begin with the analysis course of.

photo japan solo tokyo

I’ll arrive in Tokyo however depart the following morning. My pondering is that the town shall be a bit a lot for me in a jetlagged state. I’ll spend time there on the finish of my journey. Picture by Erik Eastman on Unsplash.

Japan Journey Planning Sources

I booked my flights just a few months in the past in an try to get the most effective deal. I believe I missed it by per week however I strive not to consider that. Subsequent was determining what to do! Listed below are the assets I used most frequently.

  • Solo Traveler. We now have a class on Japan with just a few posts in it written by readers who’ve been. I began there when deciding the place to go on this small nation that has a lot to see.
  • Tour corporations. I then checked out just a few organized excursions to see what they included. Most hit the highlights of the bigger cities. As I discussed, getting out of the cities was a precedence for me.
  • Associates. I’ve a stunning variety of pals with Japanese pals dwelling of their homeland. Mina helped by focusing my itinerary outdoors the key cities. Glenda, who has been to Kyoto a variety of occasions, satisfied me that it isn’t a metropolis to breeze by means of. There’s an excessive amount of there. Elizabeth related me with a buddy in Tokyo who I shall be assembly one night time. Dale related me to a Canadian working in Tokyo who helped me with an lodging challenge.
  • International Greeters. I at all times examine to see if International Greeters are in a metropolis I’m visiting. I’ve a greeter arrange for Tokyo and I’m ready for affirmation of 1 in Kyoto.
  • Rome2Rio. I take advantage of Rome2Rio lots when planning a visit. Put in a begin and an finish level and it provides you the way to get there by numerous modes of transportation and the way lengthy it’s going to take. It’s fairly correct although not excellent. You need to double examine the specifics when you’ve made your selections however it’s nice for figuring out an inexpensive plan.
  • The Beginner Traveler. This can be a nice web site. Chris Christiansen interviews individuals on quite a lot of journey matters. He’s been doing it for years. You possibly can take heed to the interview and likewise learn the transcript and use the hyperlinks within the present notes. I listened to Hike Japan’s Nakasendo Path – Episode 479 Transcript and confirmed that I undoubtedly needed to incorporate this in my journey itinerary. Sadly, as I stated above, it should be one other time.
  • Japan Rail Go. As a result of my plan consists of a variety of stops the Japan Rail Go is sensible. It may well solely be bought by individuals who don’t stay in Japan and have to be purchased earlier than arrival. I purchased it on-line. It must be ordered and delivered to your property so ensure you order upfront.
  • I attempted the positioning for Japan Guesthouses however I discovered it cumbersome as it’s important to submit a request and wait to listen to again. After I did, my request wasn’t obtainable. This might take weeks. I went to my go-to lodging web site, Throughout my search I booked 15 nights, rigorously ensuring that every one had been cancelable. Then, in fact, I cancelled those I didn’t want ending up with my required 9. I went low cost in  Tokyo and Kyoto with  hostels. They give the impression of being lovely and I’ll thus be saving my cash for Takayama, the place I booked a standard Japanese ryokan or inn. Reserving all on one web site I can see all my lodging in a single place and know that there aren’t any gaps.
photo japan solo countryside

Having fun with the countryside is a crucial a part of my Japan itinerary. I need the quiet and nature however I additionally wish to see life in smaller locations. Picture by Masaaki Komori on Unsplash.

Japan Solo: My Itinerary and Price range

Right here’s my tough itinerary for Japan. I booked all my lodging as a result of it’s a brief journey so I don’t have a whole lot of flexibility.

  • Day 1 – Arrive Tokyo Haneda, Japan at four:55pm. 1 night time in hostel
  • Day 2 – Take practice to Kyoto. Booked into hostel for three nights.
  • Day 5 – Prepare to Takayama
  • Day eight – Prepare to Tokyo
  • Day 10 – Fly out to Sydney. Sure, I’m off to Sydney to go to household for per week after Japan.

And my finances together with all taxes:

  • Flight – Cdn$1,621 (a Japan return flight not my flight to Tokyo, Sydney, Toronto)
  • Japan Rail Go – Cdn$381
  • Lodging – 9 nights, Cdn$828
    • Tokyo – 1 night time in feminine dorm, Cdn$50
    • Kyoto – three nights in feminine dorm, Cdn$150
    • Takayama- three nights in non-public room with bathtub, Cdn$$528
    • Tokyo – 2 nights in feminine dorm, Cdn$100
  • Meals – Cdn$600
  • Actions / guides – Cdn$250
  • Misc – Cdn$200

Complete – Cdn$three,880

Let’s make it Cdn$four,000 or US$three,090 or €2,493 or £2,211.

After I’m again I’ll provide you with an replace on what I truly did with my precise finances similar to I did with final 12 months’s highway journey across the Adriatic that included Italy, Slovenia and Croatia. Learn Planning a Street Journey Across the Adriatic: Slovenia, Croatia & Italy and Journey Plan vs. Actuality: European Street Journey.

Final up to date: 14th March, 2018