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Tips on how to plan for your trip

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Old 04-01-2012, 11:34 PM   #1
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Tips on how to plan for your trip

Last updated: 25th Jun 2017
-----------------------------------
Dear all,

To help fellow Japan travelers, below is a very detailed guide on how to plan for your Japan trip/important information on where u can seek help (with pictures).

Special thanks to evilerniex, Kage82, Stars87 for the motivation to write this article.

Thanks to kifo, samtcy for giving information on good hotels.


Step 1: Planning

Timings might not be accurate anymore. Pls check more details via the airline websites

1.1: Check available airline timings

Tokyo Narita flights

======================================================
Tokyo Haneda flights

To Haneda: ANA NH152: Night 10:00pm departure, reach Haneda 6:00am
Back to SG from Haneda: ANA NH151: 11:30pm departure, reach SG 6:20am

To Haneda: JAL JL36: Night 10:00pm departure, reach Haneda 5:40am
Back to SG from Haneda: JAL NH151: 11:40pm departure, reach SG 6:20am

To Haneda: Airasia: Early morning 0745hrs/1030hrs/1140hrs departure, reach Haneda 2230hrs
Back to SG from Haneda: Airasia Night 2345hrs departure, reach SG 0840/0950/1110hrs
======================================================
Osaka flights

To Osaka: SQ SQ618: Early morning 01:30hrs departure, reach Osaka 08:40hrs
To Osaka: SQ SQ616: Afternoon 14:00hrs departure, reach Osaka 21:10hrs
To Osaka: Jetstar: Night 10:40pm departure, reach Osaka 6.10am (direct flight)
To Osaka: Jetstar: Early morning 01:15hrs departure, reach Osaka 10:30am (transit)
To Osaka: Jetstar: Morning 07:10hrs departure, reach Osaka 4:15pm (transit)

To Osaka: Airasia: Night 18:30hrs departure, reach Osaka 08:25am (transit)
To Osaka: Airasia: Night 20:20hrs departure, reach Osaka 08:25am (transit)
To Osaka: Airasia: Night 21:45hrs departure, reach Osaka 08:25am (transit)

Back to SG from Osaka: SQ: Morning 11:00hrs departure, reach SG 17:05hrs
Back to SG from Osaka: Jetstar: Morning 10:30hrs departure, reach SG 16:20hrs (direct flight)
Back to SG from Osaka: Jetstar: Morning 11:30hrs departure, reach SG 19:30hrs (transit)
Back to SG from Osaka: Jetstar: Evening 17:05hrs departure, reach SG 00:55hrs (transit)
Back to SG from Osaka: Jetstar: Evening 17:25hrs departure, reach SG 00:55hrs (transit)

Back to SG from Osaka: Airasia: Morning 11:00hrs departure, reach SG 23:05hrs (transit)
Back to SG from Osaka: Airasia: Morning 11:00hrs departure, reach SG 23:30hrs (transit)
Back to SG from Osaka: Airasia: Morning 11:00hrs departure, reach SG 19:40hrs (transit)
Back to SG from Osaka: Airasia: Morning 11:00hrs departure, reach SG 21:15hrs (transit)


======================================================
1.1.2 Identify needs to take domestic flights: See here
Places that need to take domestic flights to: Hokkaido/Naha, Okinawa

1.2 Plan your itinerary. See here for some samples
-When you plan your itinerary, put places that are near together (e.g Kyoto/Osaka)

Places to visit: japan-guide.com - Japan Travel and Living Guide

1.3 Planning your Routes to places

-Identify needs to buy any kind of pass when you are there
---Tokyo Metro Pass
-All Kansai related Passes by JR
---JR East Pass
---JR Hokkaido Pass
---Hokkaido Free Pass
---Seishun 18 Kippu
---JR Nation Wide Pass (Note: Can only buy here in SG, take the exchange order received to change for the actual pass. See below on Section: Buy Japan Rail Pass if needed)
---Willer Express Bus Pass
---Kanto Area Pass
---More pass info over here

---Suica/NEX package

Hyperdia
Yahoo! 路線
Tokyo Transfer Guide
Japan Overnight Trains

1.4 Post your Itinerary in HWZ Japan forum to get feedback.

1.5 Amend your Itinerary

1.6. Identify needs to get a IIJMio/b-mobile/So-net data card for data usage/use data roaming bundle by M1/Singtel/Starhub (Remember to call your subscriber activate roaming (^_^) )

1.7. Identify hotels/hostels to stay. Check here for info.

Good sites to use for booking of hotels

Rakuten
Hotels.com
japanican.com

Good/Reliable Hotel/Hostel chains (not in order)
Superhotel
Washington Hotels
Sunroute (Info by kifo)
Dormy Inn (Info by kifo)
Hotel Active (Info by kifo)
Richmond Hotels (Info by kifo)

Toyoko Inn
Khaosan Tokyo

1.8 Identify needs to get rental phones

Generally, rental phones are not really required, and for the data sim cards, you just need to register at the site to get it activated. If there's a need, u can visit the below sites for more info.

---JNTO Website on Rental phones

1.9 Check radiation level
If you wanna check radiation level in Japan, see here

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Step 2: Week before departure


2.1. Changing money (Check here for rates too/also check here on how much to bring)

1. Mustafa: :: Mustafa Online ::
2. Marine Square (Fountain Money Changer)
3. Chinatown (i don't really like the rate there)
4. Bugis-shop beside the UOB ATMs facing the road (rates comparable with Mustafa)
5. The Arcade (Raffles Place)
6. Airport (last option)

2.2. Buy Japan Rail Pass if needed
Where to buy Japan Rail Pass: Japan Rail Pass of Singapore - JNTO Singapore Office

Form to change to Japan Rail Pass (IMPORTANT/Print before going): They
no longer give the form on the website anymore. The form is available at the JR Pass exchange counter.

2.3. Learn some basic Japanese

Borrow a book from dimitri_can (contact me via pm)

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:35 PM   #2
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Step 3: Packing for Departure

3.1. Use a checklist: Try using mine as a reference

3.2. Identify if there's a need to bring a small bag along.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Step 4: In Japan

4.1 Exchange for Japan Rail Pass with your Exchange Order
Form to change to Japan Rail Pass (IMPORTANT/Print before going):
NOTE: There's no more form available online already. Have to go there to fill up.

4.2 Japan ez-link cards
Now the below ez-link cards are cross-usable. Suggest to get Suica/ICOCA/Pasmo.

PASMO/Suica
Sapika (Sapporo)
TOICA (Central Japan/Nagoya)
ICOCA (West Japan/Osaka)
SUGOKA (Fukuoka)

4.3 Where to seek help
1. The station staff
2. Shop staff
3. The people
4. Koban (Police Station)

4.4 Saving money in Japan
-Buy bento in shops near closing time

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Step 5: Preparing for return back home

Do not buy too much back home. We have forumers here that
bought a lot, tried to ship back the items, in the end, the parcels
were stuck in Japan because they contained food items
(matcha powder, non-cooked macaroni,etc)
. Once you go Japan, you will love it and will want to go more.

-Be at the airport 2-3 hours before departure time
-SHOP! (Check out the souvenirs page)
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:35 PM   #3
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:35 PM   #4
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:36 PM   #5
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:36 PM   #6
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:40 AM   #7
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Slowly improving, give me some feedback if you have any. =)
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:17 AM   #8
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Where is the link to hyperdia? There are apps for hyperdia on both iOS and Android.

I would not recommend Toyoko Inn as good hotels per se, but perhaps as reliable hotels that travellers can fall back on.

Other good midrange hotel chains:
Dormy Inn
Hotel Active
Richmond Hotels
Sunroute

Check TripAdvisor for hotel recommendations
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Old 07-01-2012, 10:50 AM   #9
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Anyone can help me out with the Cathay Pacific flights for Narita/Haneda?
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:39 PM   #10
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japanican.com is also a good hotel booking site.
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:42 PM   #11
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Wonderful thread, now if only i have enough money... Can I ask what was the lowest amount you spent in all your trips?
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:25 PM   #12
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About 1.2k for 3 days. =)
If u know how to use $$, i think 1.5k can stretch u for 1 week.
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:31 PM   #13
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Back in Nov 2011, we spent about S$765 (per pax) for a 5D4N Tokyo trip (includes Cathay Pacific Airfare + 4 nights hotel stay at Shinagawa Prince hotel). Booked from Zuji.com.

My brother and dad flew back at the end of 5 days, while I extended my stay for a further 5 more days to roam about on my own.
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:44 PM   #14
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Sam, how bout the food? how much did u guys spent?
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:03 AM   #15
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Sam, how bout the food? how much did u guys spent?
Can't remember...dad paid. :p

Around 450-1200yen per pax per meal (either lunch or dinner).
We had some meals where we bought supermarket's packed food back to hotel to eat (usually 450-550yen per pax), and there's some meals where we had to put coins in the vending machine to get the ticket to order items like katsu curry rice (600-750yen per pax), and there's some meals where we ordered set meals (Katsudon+soba set..etc..) in restaurants (about 1000-1200yen per pax).

I had supper too after dad and bro went to sleep...bought katsudon for 2 nights from 7-11 (about 398yen i think).
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