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Temples, cities & mountains in the Land Of The Rising Sun
July 2012

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Aeroflot flight from Rome to Tokyo via Moscow Bookmark and Share

I must say that we got very lucky with this one! One day while browsing the Internet, I found an airfare to Japan for 250€! Amazing, isn’t it? The outbound flight from Rome, and the inbound flight to Paris. It was with Aeroflot, Russia’s flag carrier, so each way involved a change of planes in Moscow.
Japan has the reputation to be an expensive place, so we seized this opportunity to save on the airfare without thinking twice. The departure from Rome was no problem to me, as I have friends in Rome and Padova, it was a great occasion to visit them!

Buying a ticket at Shinjuku bus Terminal

We planned to visit the cities of Kyoto and Tokyo, and we also wanted to climb the Mount Fuji. The first option for transport in Japan was the famous Japan Rail Pass. This pass offers unlimited travel on trains from the company JR, which is the main train operator of Japan.

Domestic flights were not an option, as they were extremely expensive. But in summer 2012 3 low cost airlines started to offer domestic flights in Japan: Jetsar, Peach and Air Asia Japan. The Japan Railpass costed 270€ for unlimited travel during 7 days, while the roundtrip between Tokyo and Osaka with Jetstar was around 100€. That’s easy maths, so we finally choose to fly. For what we wanted to do, this suited us perfectly: we spent in all domestic transport (planes, buses trains and subway rides) less than what we originally planned to spend on the JR Pass. OK, I would have loved to ride the Shinkansen high speed train, but well, maybe next time.

Buses in Shinjuku, Tokyo
A small shrine among the towers of Shinjuku, Tokyo

We spent quite some time comparing hotels with Hotels Combined and found some good deals. The highlights were Riverside Takase in Kyoto, __ near Mount Fuji, and the Palace Japan in Tokyo. With some planning, we managed to keep the trip on a low budget. It was finally very cheap for a 2-week vacation to Italy and Japan in high summer season, including food, lodging, and all transport with intercontinental and domestic flights.

A red house in Tokyo


The great view from the Aurlandsfjord, as seen from our balcony at the Tokyo Shinjuku


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Waiting for the green light, Shinjuku by night

The full itinerary was: Paris-Verona-Padova-Rome-Tokyo (via Moscow)-Kyoto-Nara-Osaka-Kawaguchiko-Mount Fuji-Tokyo-Paris (via Moscow again). Enjoy the pictures and the trip report. The Japan pages start here.

Shinjuku's Rainbow Bridge by night Bookmark and Share

Japan Links:

Tokyo on Trip Advisor
Hotels in Tokyo
Cheap flights to Tokyo
Compare flights to Bergen
Lonely Planet Japan guides
Japan pics on Flickr

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