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26 April 2009 @ 08:32 pm
Japan-savvy friends, please help!  
My dear F-list! I have three hours to submit a proposal to my mother convincing her my friend Alice and I are well planned adults (we're twenty already...) and can handle traveling by ourselves to Japan without getting lost/stranded/killed.

If you know of
- A nice and cheap hostel or hotel in Tokyo and/or Osaka
- A good comprehensive online guide to the transit system in Japan
- Any good online guides for traveling in Japan, period

please let me know asap
! ♥

OTP<2000snowqueenofhoth on April 27th, 2009 04:07 am (UTC)

Oro! It's meraspberrypi on April 28th, 2009 02:49 am (UTC)
Thanks! (:
Sherbrandedwhite on April 27th, 2009 05:10 am (UTC)
Umm, the Toyoko Inn chain of business hotels are pretty cheap and clean! They have many hotels all over Japan (or maybe just Tokyo, not too sure) so location's pretty good!
Oro! It's meraspberrypi on April 28th, 2009 02:52 am (UTC)
Mm I'll check this chain out (: thank you!
screaming cardiac frenzy of berserk despair: stock // 日本acchikocchi on April 27th, 2009 06:38 am (UTC)

Sawanoya Ryokan: Great location, very friendly family, Japanese-style rooms with futons and deverything.
Andon Ryokan: Slightly more upscale building, an excellent, excellent value if you get a double room (i.e. a room with two futons, as again it's Japanese-style). Probably my favorite place to stay in Tokyo, actually, only it's kind of pricy if you're by yourself.
Taito Ryokan: Again, good location, good price, etc. Like Sawanoya, it's in a big old house, which I think is kind of cool. :)
K's House Tokyo: If you're really on a budget, this is a good place -- has both dorms and private rooms and is friendly, clean, has good facilities, etc. They also have a branch in Kyoto and a few other locations across Japan.

In Osaka, I've only ever stayed with friends so I can't personally recommend any places to stay, but in general all hostels belonging to the Japan Youth Hostel association are respectable and good value, though some only have dorms (which usually, though not always, means multiple futons in a room) instead of private rooms if that's an issue. (For the record, I've been staying in hostels over the last couple weeks and even though technically most of the time I asked for a dorm bed as it was cheaper I haven't had to share a room with anyone once, but it's not high traveling season yet so you take your chances.) All the JYH hostels in the Osaka area are listed here.

I've always found Japan an incredibly safe and easy place to travel. I've walked through the middle of Tokyo at midnight, after missing the last train, and felt completely safe... of course, I was walking through Ueno and Asakusa and not Shinjuku but knowing where and where not to go is part of smart traveling. :) At any rate, I'm much more comfortable traveling alone in Japan than I am in either Europe or the United States. Best of luck with the proposal. ♥♥♥
Oro! It's meraspberrypi on April 28th, 2009 08:22 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for helping! They'll help a lot for my friend and I to find a place to live - since for the most part, the proposal was a success. :)

By any chance too, are there any neighborhoods in Japan you'd say to definitely avoid, for being too shady?
potatolyto on April 27th, 2009 01:34 pm (UTC)
I am young and immature and I've never been to Japan so I won't be of any help...
BUT GOOD LUCK!!! :D This is right before HK, yes?
Oro! It's meraspberrypi on April 28th, 2009 02:55 am (UTC)
Yes, and its so hard getting it to work out for both of us, so hopefully the stars align and there's no problems with going!
kurai_yumekurai_yume on April 27th, 2009 03:04 pm (UTC)
I'm having the same problems with my parents. Except instead of Japan, my best friend and I are going to Europe. She's 21 and I'm 22. *laughs* Just a word of advice if you can get the plane tickets, which is what I did, they can't complain as much? And then they'll just have to time to get used to the idea. (Kelsey apparently didn't have problems convincing her parents *rolls eyes*)

For our trip we called STA (http://www.statravel.com/) and talked to them-actually Kelsey did *coughs*- But they should be able to give you the best plane flight prices. And you can ask them questions about transportation and lodging. AND if they forget to offer traveler's insurance, they're supposed to give it to you for free.

Oro! It's meraspberrypi on April 28th, 2009 03:01 am (UTC)
When are we ever going to be grown up in our parents' eyes. :P Both Alice and I have parents who are on and off with the permission - one day it's yes, one day it turns into no, then back again - so I really hope both of us get a yes in the end. (:

Was the price on STA by phone better same online? I've checked the online prices and they're not bad, so if I can avoid talking to people (lol) I'd like that a lot. XD
kurai_yumekurai_yume on April 28th, 2009 03:47 am (UTC)
Yeah, since we already have the tickets my parents have now just resorted to frowning at me whenever they remember or think of it. It's kind of funny in a weird bizarre way.

Well, on the phone they can give you feedback. I know it was helpful for us since we're going to be wandering around Europe for a month. Also the place we're arriving(Rome) is different from the place we're departing(London). It was hard finding cheap tickets when you start and leave at different places. So, I think the prices were slightly different since they were able to search through their database or whatever to find flights. Another advantage to calling them is that they might beable to give you tips as to lodging and cheap places that would be cool to check out and what not. Or recommend a tour group (I know my parents would be A LOT happier if I was part of a "group") BUT, alas, I'm not completely sure since I'm also not a phone person--That's why I had Kelsey do it =P
celesmoonlitpetal on April 27th, 2009 03:13 pm (UTC)
You could try travel agents. They give pretty good discounts for tours. I could probably recommend you a couple of hotels, but I have no idea about the price. There's one in Shinjuku that I remember that's near the subway...just a couple of blocks down...called the Holiday Inn (I think that's what it was called if I remember correctly). I'm pretty sure that one was cheap.

I hope your proposal worked out. Sorry for the late reply.
Oro! It's meraspberrypi on April 28th, 2009 03:07 am (UTC)
Where did you go on the tours - would you say it's a lot better than just setting out and exploring on your own?

My proposal was accepted for now - and thanks for the input! (:
celesmoonlitpetal on April 28th, 2009 03:40 am (UTC)
I went to Mt. Fuji, Meiji Shrine... mostly around Tokyo. Well if you know where you want to go in Tokyo then it's better to set out and explore on your own, but if you like to learn about Tokyo and go to places you probably won't end up going then touring is the way to go. For me I prefer touring first time and then when I go back the 2nd time I'll go by myself without a tour. At least you'll get to explore a little bit of everything in Japan if you do the tour.

Yay! That's awesome. :D Congrats.
 ちゆき↮: pic#87463952koimei on April 27th, 2009 10:34 pm (UTC)
Try checking out Japan Guide. Japan Guide can be of lots of help~! And if have questions, you can ask and people will answer. :D a;lsk I love that site, haha.
Oro! It's meraspberrypi on April 28th, 2009 03:09 am (UTC)
That's a great site :D thanks!