Synopses & Reviews
Fully revised second edition. Japan is steeped in legend and myth, perhaps the greatest of which is the popular misconception that the country is simply too expensive to visit. The truth is that flights to Japan are cheaper than theyve ever been, accommodation can be great value, while the warm hospitality which awaits every visitor costs nothing at all. The real secret to travelling around the country on a budget, however, is the Japan Rail Pass. With this pass you can travel on some of the fastest trains in the world as often as you like for as long as you please and all for one bargain price. Use this comprehensive guide in conjunction with a rail pass to get the most out of your trip to Japan.
* Practical information planning your trip; what to take; getting to Japan from Europe, North America and Australasia
* City guides and maps where to stay (all budgets), where to eat, what to see in 29 towns and cities; historical and cultural background
* Kilometre-by-kilometre route guides covering train journeys from the coast into the mountains, from temple retreat to sprawling metropolis and from sulphurous volcano to windswept desert; 34 route maps
* Railway timetables Bullet trains and all routes in this guidebook
* Plus Customs, etiquette, Japanese phrases and 28 colour photos
The real secret to travelling around Japan on a budget is the Japan Rail Pass. With this pass you can travel on some of the fastest trains in the world as often as you like for as long as you please and all for one bargain price. This comprehensive guide is designed to be used in conjunction with a rail pass to get the most out of your trip to Japan. The book includes recommended rail routes plus where to stay (all budgets), where to eat, and what to see in 29 top tourist towns and cities.
About the Author
was born in Kent but has spent most of his working life outside the UK. In 1993 he took a year off to teach English in Germany before going up to Cambridge University, where he graduated in English. He then spent two years in Japan, teaching on the JET program. After a short spell at Reuters in London he returned to Japan to research this guide. Whilst there he was also a contributor to Up All Night
on BBC Radio 5 Live and a correspondent for BBC Radio 2s Steve Wright In the Afternoon
. He currently lives in Switzerland where he is a journalist at swissinfo Swiss Radio International.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION (1) PART 1: PLANNING YOUR TRIP Routes and costs, When to go, Rail passes, Suggested itineraries, Getting to Japan (From the UK, From continental Europe, From North America, From Asia, From South Africa, From Australasia), Before you go (Passports and visas, Health and insurance, What to take, Money, Suggested reading) (2) PART 2: JAPAN Facts about the country (Geography, History, Politics, Economy, Religion, The people, Sport, Culture), Practical information for the visitor (Arriving in Japan, Tourist information, Getting around, Accommodation, Where to eat, Nightlife and entertainment, Media, Electricity, Time, Banks and money matters, Post and telecommunications, Museums and tourist attractions, National holidays, Festivals, Language, Assistance, Shopping, Activities (3) PART 3: THE RAIL NETWORK Railway history (Pioneering early days, Nationalization and expansion, Arrival of the bullet train, Maglev: the future?, Steam railways), The railway (Japan Rail today, The trains, Alternatives to a Japan Rail Pass, Buying a ticket, Timetables, Making seat reservations, Railway staff, Station facilities, Bicycles, Using the route guides (4) PART 4: GATEWAYS TOKYO AND OSAKA (5) PART 5: HONSHU Central Honshu Route guide (Tokyo to Nagoya by shinkansen, Tokyo to Nagano by shinkansen, Nagano to Nagoya via Matsumoto, Nagano to Nagoya via Toyama/Takayama, Nagano to Nagoya/Osaka via Toyama and Kanazawa) Central Honshu city guides (Shizuoka, Nagoya, Nagano, Matsumoto, Takayama, Kanazawa) Kansai Route guide (Tokyo/Nagoya to Osaka by shinkansen, Nagoya to Osaka via the Kii Peninsula) Kansai city guides (Kyoto, Nara), Western Honshu Route guide (Osaka to Ogori by shinkansen, Ogori to Masuda, Masuda to Matsue, Matsue back to Kyoto/Osaka) Western Honshu City guides (Kobe, Okayama, Hiroshima, Matsue) Tohoku (Northern Honshu) Route guide (Tokyo to Aomori, Aomori to Tokyo via Akita and Niigata), Tohoku city guides (Sendai, Aomori, Niigata), (6) PART 6: HOKKAIDO Route guide (Aomori to Hakodate, Hakodate to Sapporo, Sapporo to Asahikawa, Asahikawa to Abashiri, Abashiri to Kushiro, Kushiro to (Sapporo and) Asahikawa) Hokkaido city guides (Hakodate, Sapporo, Asahikawa) (7) PART 7: KYUSHU Route guide (Ogori to Hakata by shinkansen, Hakata to Nagasaki, Hakata to Kagoshima via Kumamoto, Hakata/Kokura to Miyazaki, Side trip from Kumamoto or Oita to Mt Aso) Kyushu city guides (Fukuoka (Hakata), Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Kagoshima) (8) PART 8: SHIKOKU Route guide (Okayama to Takamatsu, Takamatsu to Kochi, Kochi to Uwajima, Uwajima to Matsuyama, Matsuyama to Okayama), Shikoku city guides (Takamatsu, Kochi, Matsuyama) (9) APPENDICES Glossary, Useful words and phrases, Timetables, (10) INDEX