the hottest mth in jap is august. their summer is slightly hotter than spore. early sept is still quite hot its the transition between summer n autumn. also to note every yr there will be a few typhoons in sept but hard to tell will meet it or not. if u are a scenic person, its better to go in early nov when leaves change colour. but if just go there to see buildings n shopping, should be ok to go in early sept.
Hi <FONT COLOR="aa00aa">es</FONT> & <FONT COLOR="0000ff">MT</FONT>,
I just came back from Japan about a month ago.
If you prefer the outdoors and nature, I strongly recommend Hokkaido!
It was late spring when we were there but we managed to catch snow climbing in the mountain!
My hubby and I climbed Asahidake which is the tallest peak in Hokkaido and the scenery was really breathtaking. You can take a cable car ride up too.
If you like flowers, summer (around Jun to Aug) will be an ideal time to go. Furano and Biei (both in Hokkaido) will be covered with beautiful lavender fields and both towns are simply picturesque.
For shopping, Tokyo should be a good place but I personally just can't bear spending $$ on shopping as the things are so so expensive.
Me intending to travel sometimes end Nov to early Dec...do ur think we can catch snow by then? Autumn???? Cos that would hv ended by then. Pls enlighten cos really hope to see snow, dun wanna miss it this round.
Also, any highly recommended places. Hokkaido is in my list thought...
If you intend to go for a long trip...around two weeks..i recommend to to buy the JR rail pass. Price for the rail pass varies according to number of days, 4, 7 and 14 days. Its allows you to travel on JR lines unlimted, meaning you can take the "Express train" Shinkansen and the local JR train at any state... That was what i did for my trip there. Travelling from Tokyo to Osaka to Kyoto then to Hiroshima and also the internal train. Its around $600 for the 14 days ticket considering that its almost $300 singapore dollars for the trip from tokyo to osaka when you buy there. If you don't mind staying in youth hostels...its the cheapest.If not go for group tour
JR used to be the national railway network -- that links most parts of Japan ie Tokyo-Osaka, even though within Tokyo itself it is possible to travel by JR trains. (Think of them as old-fashioned trains even though JR networks include bullet trains.) Subway is like our MRT -- except in Tokyo the subway network is a lot more complicated; Tokyo has its own subway network so does Osaka etc but it is self-contained within the cities. There are also private railway lines which does not accept the JR pass -- when you travel on these lines, you'll have to pay even if you have bought the JR pass. For most parts though it is possible to work out a train journey consisting entirely of JR trains.
if you intend to stay and move around Tokyo and will be taking the JR train for few days. Advise is to buy a 2 day ticket as it will be cheaper than keeping buying a ticket everytime you board the train. You can use that ticket over & over again. I think it's called discounted ticket.
Somehow, i feel it's easier to take the JR train (the signboard is white / green )than the keisei ones.(the signboard is white / blue)
I was there last year. Although we stopped by for a mere 3 hrs (our tour grp was heading to another city), Kyoto is really a beautiful place. Lots of shops at the two sides of the road, leading to the temple. These shopes sell mainly food, souvenirs and lots of kawaii stuff! Oh, there were geishas too! I took a picture with one, she was so polite!
What's more, if you go there during Mar/Apr, you will be able to see the sakura.
When will you be there?
Fancy seeing you here!
Have you already booked ure tickets? Understand tt there will be a SA Tours fair this end August. We booked our pkg through SA and even though the tour guide is a Singaporean, he's very experienced, cos he "specialises" in bringing tour groups to Japan. The price is quite reasonable too.
Sigh.. I wish I could go back this year.. *ganbatte* there's always next time.
I'm deciding between Chan Brothers and SA tours package tour to Hokkaido this Dec, anyone had used any of them to Hokkaido? which one is better?
Chanbrothers have 3 days in Hokkaido and SA have 4 days there.
Chanbrothers will have 1 day in Disneyland.
I have been to Tokyo and Disneyland b4, but feel like going Disneyland again! But still feel like staying at Hokkaido for 1 more day as can see more things! Also don't feel like extending my stay at Tokyo after the tour just for going to Disneyland, coz an extension nite at the hotel will cost abt SGD$250 to SGD$300...
Whoa, more than a week in Japan! So envious! We only spent 7 days there, 1 day taken up by travelling. But not bad, we still managed to visit quite alot of places.
I love Osaka and Kyoto. I find these places more rural, compared to Tokyo. As for the geishas, well, one tourist was taking picture with her, and I think I pointed to the camera, and she posed with me. Her kimono was really really pretty. Very extricate. After taking the picture, just say, "arigato gozaimasu". I think you might bow too, cos they always bow whenever you approach them. Really cultured, the Japanese. Come back to Singapore, sad to say, if only our service staff are half as polite as them. Oh no, we didn't tip them. They might be offended if you do that. :B I hope you'd be able to meet the geishas.. afterall, Kyoto has lots of geishas.
I didn't go to any temple. I'm a Christian. But I did step outside one.. just to take pictures. That was near Nara deer park. Lotsa deers there... so cute! Oh, and if you are going to Japan, must take the Jurassic Park ride in Universal Studios! I was screaming at the top of my lungs.
I heard SA offers better packages than Chan Bros, but I'm not sure cos I didn't take up any packages frm the latter. I hope you will be able to come to a decision soonest!
Actually our package cost $1.6K + and after adding Universal Studios into our itinery, we paid less than $1.8K per person. I dun think all things in Japan are expensive. Honestly speaking, I felt the ticket was quite reasonable. We travelled by ANA 747 and came back on ANA 777 (the newest model of the airplanes!) and stayed in city hotels. Grand Hyatt Osaka was the biggest.. the food there are slightly more expensive than those in Singapore... I guess I can control myself. I didn't spend alot in Disneyland, but I splurged on foodstuff and handphone accessories. Kawaii!!!
For those who are interested in Japan, just to let you know tt 1000 Yen is about $14.40, based on the exchange rate.. you must changed a minimum of SGD 500.
i have been to hokkaido twice n simply love hokkaido. very beautiful place with delicious seafood. must not miss the king crab there. however do note tat hokkaido will be below freezing temperature in dec, so have to see if u can endure with the cold. there will be heavy snowfall there n they whole place will b white end up not say v nice since everywhere is white. tokyo area will b cold too, single digit temp. personally i find it too cold to travel ard.
if u want to go hokkaido during winter, the best time to go is during the snow festival where there will b many nice ice-scruptures.
There's now DisneySea. It's next to Disneyland. Somehow in my own preference, i prefer DisneySea than Disneyland. As i felt DisneySea has more nice sceneries to take pictures and i felt can play more in comparison with Disneyland. On top of that, i don't have to fight with the kids in Disneyland. DisneySea has more adults visitor. Quite romantic to go there.
The Universal Studios is a new attraction in Osaka. The Jurassic Park ride was a killer, but really fun! Some of the places like the Haunted Mansion and the Terminator, the Japanese speak their native language, so most of the time we didn't know what was going on, but just looked around, and to enjoy the effects of the Terminator. The ET and and Back to the Future rides were cool too! You just have to be prepared tt Universal Studios and Disneyland/Sea are super crowded. Lotsa students. Tonnes of them. Their schools bring them to these attractions for excursions sometimes, I was told.
I try to dig another thread.. where I post my experience in Japan and the places I went to.
Really huh? But accordingly to the tour guide who served us at Chan Brothers, the estimated cost she gave us for travelling to Japan is really too costly leh.
Including all those tips and 9 meals on our own can added up to a few hunderd dollars. As this round, my hubby and I merely wanted to relax and not to overspend, so we decided to forgo this trip for next time when we are more comfortable with it lor.
How many days is your $1600+ package? When did u went?
Perhaps it was because we signed up during the SA Tours fair, that was why we got a good price. I remember it was $1.6K plus, and after the addition of Universal Studios, we paid about $1.8K. You are right about the food part. The agency doesn't provide all ure meals, but on days and nights when we were supposed to eat on our own, he'd bring us to places with lotsa eateries, and we'd just chose frm there.. an average meal will cost about 1000 Yen, which is about $14.40. But the portions were really huge. But even then, since Japan is so cold, I was always hungry :B I think the cheapest meal I had was at Ueno, we ordered Katsu-don and it cost about 530 Yen.
We did pay tips to both driver and tour guide. Per person mebbe about 3000 Yen plus.. I think. Can't remember. I heard the electronics stuff are really cheap. They have one building which specially sells electronic stuff.
Ok, like I told Durian, I will find something which I used to post to someone, and put it here. It contained my experience and places I went to. Gimme some time, okie dokie?
Oh Durian! I forgot to add! In Osaka, there is a Japan "orchard road" It's called Shinshaibashi. One long stretch of road with lotsa shops, arcades, and a comic shop..
Spent more than 6 hrs in the plane travelling from SIN to Kansai Airport, Osaka. The airport in Kansai is unique. It is built on the sea.
Visited Nara Deer Park where hundreds of deers roam freely. The male ones had their horns cut off for some ceremony. Tourists can buy deer biscuits worth 150 yen to feed the deers. Managed to feed one. Next we went to the Osaka Castle.
In the evening, we went to Shinsaibashi, famous for its neon lights. Shinsaibashi is like our Orchard Road. Oh, there, we saw an Epson building and Kelvin was so very erm, excited.
We took a ferry to Universal Studios. We sat on some rides like the Back to the Future, E.T, Terminator 3D and Jurassic Park. We even had a photo for the last ride! Bought a poncho. Kelvin was so yah-yah, he refused to buy the poncho, saying we wouldn't be very wet. It was ok until when the "raft" dipped down into darkness and boom, you get all wet. All this time I was closing my eyes, clinging onto him tightly, the hood covering my face.. and Kelvin, was very, very wet.
Kyoto. Went to some Shogun's villa (now converted to a temple) and saw lotsa maple trees. Their leaves are different from Canada's, theirs are more petite. I have one with me. From Kelvin.
Then we went to some temple again. There were lots of souvenir shops at both sides of the street, it was a long hike to the temple, and we weren't really interested in temples, so we shopped for food, for relatives and colleagues. I met two "Geishas" their faces painted white, they were in their traditional garb and I asked one to take a picture with me, and she gladly agreed. One thing about Japanese, they are very, very cultured and polite.
In the morning we hitched a ride on shinkansen (Bullet Train) Perhaps it was only for a stop, but I didn't think it was that fast. Next we proceeded to Hakone National Park and cruised along Lake Ashi. After about an hour, we went to Owakudani Valley, where sulphurous fumes rise from crevices in rocks. There they sell the "black eggs" which are boiled to the extent they turn black. The Japanese believe by eating one of these eggs, you will attain 7 more years of living. If you eat two, you will get 14 and so on. Nah, we didn't take any. Early evening we set off to Mount Fuji!! The skies were clear that day so we were able to see the sacred mountain clearly. The experience was awesome. Everyone just gaped at the beauty. It's so big, it's 3776m in height. We were allowed to stop at the 5th station (about 2500+ m). It was so cold, about 2 degrees! We seek refuge at this souvenir shop again, where we bought more food!!!
We began the day with Disneyland. It was really crowded, just like Universal. Lotsa students and adults. Kelvin wanted to sit on Star Tour, but it was closed for improvement. Sad. Then he wanted to sit on Space Mountain. Whoe!! I thought I nearly died inside. And to calm me down, (right) we went to Small world. We sat on the carousel, sit on the Big Thunder Mountain, another roller coaster ride. Prior this ride, we had lotsa popcorn (costs more than SGD15, just because of the container!) Man, it was, definitely enough for me. These two rides. Oh I didn't tell you, there were lotsa ducks! Everywhere! In Osaka, in Tokyo. They are mandarin ducks! I fed the ducks with popcorn.
At night, we went to Palette Town, and we saw the Rainbow Bridge and the Tokyo Tower. (read Golden Gate Bridge and Effiel Tower)
We went to Asakusa. Lotsa pigeons. They are very fat. Ppl feed them with bread crumbs, with rice. When they flew off together, your immediate reflex was to cover ure head... you wouldn't want showers of blessings this early. More shopping.
Next we went to Ueno, a flea market, it is like our Chinatown.
Then we had to leave for Narita airport.
I miss the weather there. And I would most definitely go there again. It's a pity we couldn't extend our stay there and it is a drag to going back to work on Tuesday, but erm, we'll survive
Thanks for being so helpful in providing us the info.
Me still fulltime student,so very broke.In a way lucky, cos my airtickets will be paid , hopefully.
I will try to live cheaply and eat cheaply when I am there. So, I try to "compensate" my lavk of budget by doing more homework b4 i go.
Universal studios is expensive, but I will definitely mark their "orchard road".Hopefully I can get all the things in my shopping list
HI Jasmine Tea,
Japan sounded extremely expensive before i sat down and did my sums carefully. The most expensive part is actually the transportation costs. If in a package, the transportation cost should be totally covered already. YOu can fill your stomach with about 500-800Y per meal. Just depends on how well you want to eat. the cheapest hostels go for about 2500Y per person.
I actually saw packages starting from about 6-700 for F&E.
Dun mention. Just hope the account didn't bore you. It was really fun, and I miss the place already. Sigh..
Durian is right. The transportation fees and lodging are covered, and some meals. So it really depends on the things you buy or intend to buy.
Gals, if you need more information, can ask me.
One last note. If you do not know Japanese, do not attempt to go there F&E. First, there will be a lingo barrier. Secondly, their train tracks can drive you mad, and not all Japanese know how to speak English.. makes you appreciate our MRT & NEL system more.
My hubby and I do not like F&E travel. We like to have package tour where everything is planned for us. Heeee...
The package I got from Chan Brothers for a 9 Days trip is around $2k exclude taxes and tips. I always love Japanese stuff so I think I will spend a sum of money on tt. Heeee... Food wise I'm not very particular.
I will still look around as there is still 2 major travel fair by Chan Brothers and SA tours on 24 and 31 Aug respectively.
Durian, when do u intend to go Japan? I'm planning for Nov trip.
Mine was a tour package with SA Tours. I think for a place like Japan, esp when we are not so equipped with the language, it is not advisable to travel F&E.
I love Japanese stuff too! So kawaii! In fact I'm so enamoured by their culture and anime I thought of taking up Japanese lessons. I know a few phrases.. but I thought it will be cool to know the whole language! Do you watch anime? I love Rurouni Kenshin and Cardcaptor Sakura. Funny thing is I dun see any of these in Japan. My husband wanted to go to some shopping centre to look for Transformers, but alas, couldn't find any. On our last day at Asakusa Canon Temple, (there are some shops.. and lotsa pigeons!!!) he saw one Transformer in a shop, but he already has it..
Nov should be a good period. It's the momiji season, where the maple leaves are red.. when we were there, the leaves were about to turn red.. but yeah, it was a beautiful sight. As for the sakura, well, we got to stand under the sakura tree.
When we went to Disneyland, it was also Halloween. So we got to see many Japanese girls dressed up as Belle, as Jessie the cowgirl in Toy Story, Cruella in 101 Dalmations etc.. interesting.
got to finish work b4 going off mah...this guarantess that I sleep like a pig on the plane.
If you girls got good command of mandarin, I suggest getting some books fr national library.
I realised that there are alot more books about Japan in Mandarin than in English. Just Kyoto itself hads so many tpes to choose fr. My hubby said these are more detailed than those in english. Too bad, I cannot read.
You're leaving for Japan this Monday?! If so, I hope you enjoy ure stay there! Lucky you!
Actually I didn't sleep on my way to Japan. Mebbe because the girl in front of me had her chair reclined towards me, and I had no leg room, and I had to curl up to try to sleep. Imagine touching down Kansai airport (beautiful, if you are going to land there, make sure you look out of the window, or if ures is not a window seat, look at the TV.. see how the plane lands. Magnificent!) and then boarding the bus, destined for Nara...Tiring and cold, but fun!!
Huh? What has Mandarin got to do with Japan? I for one, dun recognise Chinese characters... no point lah.. but yah, I'm rather interested to get a book on Japan.
There there.. it will be ure turn soon. When Durian comes back frm her trip, she can share with us her experience
Initially I had wanted to go to Scotland. My husband was the one who wanted to go to Japan. He was there on a business trip for 2 days before rushing back to Singapore for some emergency. He never had the chance to explore Japan, but claimed I'd love it there. I was skeptical at first, because I didn't want to go to an Asian country for my honeymoon. (Yeah, I'm weird) Now I never regret going to Japan.
In fact I "blame" him for bringing me there cos I love the place so much I want to go there soonest!
Hey, side track abit. Seems the mooncake fair is on at Ngee Ann city already!!
Durian, if u are reading this, have a safe journey and an enjoyable time!!!