How to plan for your trip to Japan


Hi all,

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

Step 1: Planning

1.1: Check available airline timings via airline websites.

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 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
Kansai Area Pass
Kansai Sanyo Area Pass
JR East Pass
JR Hokkaido Pass
Hokkaido Free Pass
Seishun 18 Kippu
—JR Nation Wide Pass (Note: Can only buy outside Japan, 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

Yahoo! 路線
Tokyo Transfer Guide
Japan Overnight Trains

1.4 Post your itinerary in Hardwarezone 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


Good/Reliable Hotel/Hostel chains (not in order)
Washington Hotels
Dormy Inn 
Hotel Active
Richmond Hotels

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 here)
4. Bugis (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 and here

Borrow a book from me

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.

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

-Be at the airport 2-3 hours before departure time
-SHOP! (Check out the souvenirs page)


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