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Preparing for Japan!

Next week is the big one! Kick off for the big travels to come, I will start out with an absolute dream of mine: Japan! I wanted to go for so long, and for some reason never did. I had some difficulties this time too, for example I couldn’t do the travel during Sakura-time, because of work (so I promised myself to come back next year in the right time :)), and I had to make sure I have enough money, I calculated things, and what I exactly want to do.

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I ended up with actually a lot of planning, although I simply wanted to backpack, but I found in the end cheaper and easier to book my hostels, capsule hotels and inns beforehand, and just not worry about where I sleep. I wanted to use Airbnb, but I really did not want to start a full vacation with actually worrying about this, and stressing around booking, etc, when I am supposed to enjoy. So I did book quite some time ahead, and I think in the end this works out well.

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My plan is a 3-week travel in Kansai-West South area, including Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima, and the seaside. I will dedicate a post for the itinerary only, so you could download, as an inspiration, or… if you want to do the same. I plan to also tell you what my budget was, and where I ended up, but of course, after the travelling.

More about preparation:

  1. STAYING: I booked all hotels, mainly capsules, and cheap inns. I think this is worth doing, most of them can be cancelled charge-free basically even in the last minute, and they had very good reviews on booking.com. I used booking.com because I had quite a history there, and hence got discounts too, although I would imagine, Airbnb can work just as nicely.

  2. VACCINATION: You need to check with your doctor if you need any vaccination. I did, and they asked where I plan to stay, and go to. If you mainly visit tourist sites and cities, no worries, you probably not need much, I got only a combined reminder vaccination for tetanus, polio, and general stuff. It is not difficult, and also not too expensive, really worth doing.

  3. VISA: Worth checking, a lot of countries have agreements with Japan, but the best is

to check on the Japanese embassy’s website, or ask. For me, since I am Swedish, it is not needed, Japan has tourist visa exemption agreements with Sweden.

  1. INTERNET: Now, if you are from other continents, there is a big chance your phone will hardly work in Japan. Same for me, so although I don’t need to be connected really during my travel, I wanted to make sure people don’t worry too much about me, so I booked a rental wifi hotspot. It’s a little device which you can use to access internet for your phone, tablet, PC, whatever you like. It costs a bit, but less than other options. Although if you don’t need this, you can absolutely get by in internet cafes, and free wifis in the city, or the hotel. Also, you can get a sim card for your simcard free phone, that you need to pre-order, a couple of months before going, since you get it through FedEx.

  2. TRAVELLING: I want to travel quite some cities, so of course I started to read upon how to do so. The thing is, you can buy tickets on the airport, or at the stations, but of course easier and cheaper to pre-order. For example having a JRPass would help you a lot, although it is also expensive to have an all-national railway pass, and it still cannot be used for ALL or ANY trains. So I started to check the Regional passes, and after a while got a bit tired. Planning where you go, and exactly how many days worth of pass you want exhausted me, so I personally will buy this when I am in Japan. Nevertheless, it can be worth to check around if you know how and when you travel.

In a nutshell, some things I went through when I was preparing, other than obviously checking what I want to see and when, and where to stay and when, and how many days, etc. But about this in details in a next post about the itinerary.

Useful links:

https://www.japan-rail-pass.com – Check also the other services for SIM cards, local transport, and pocket wifi services. https://www.japan-guide.com/https://www.lonelyplanet.com/japan

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