questions & answers: general japan travel

itinerary query: tokyo - takamatsu (setouchi festival)

Itinerary query: Tokyo - Takamatsu (Setouchi Festival)

We’re visiting Japan in October for 4 weeks for first time. Fly in to Tokyo for 8 days (staying in apartment),with day trips out to Hakone, Yokohama, check out numerous art galleries, gardens, temples. High on our itinerary is going to Setouchi Festival of Art (Seto Inland Sea islands) for another week - staying in Takamatsu - and take ferries between all islands. Any clues re good, reasonably priced accomm in Takamatsu?

Can I use JR rail pass on ferries too? Where can I buy Setouchi art passport and does this cover ferry trips?

I’d like to also stay in Osaka - apart from Kyoto, can you recommend some quieter, rural areas to visit on day trips from Osaka? Being an artist, I’m keen to visit some potteries, view artisans working.

Also, what’s cheapest internet option for pre-paid smartphone (Android)?

Appreciate any advice.
Nicola

Nicola
Nicola

Hi Nicola,

Your plan is great! I was in Takamatsu just this April and it is a very beautiful town, besides that you can take a ferry to many of the small beautiful islands around Shikoku (but I guess you already know this). I know there are a couple of budget hotels near the station. This is one of them for about 5.000Yen/night.

Traveling by Ferry, the Japan Rail Pass does not cover the ferries around Shikoku. Neither does the Setouchi art passport which you are referring to, I read on their website that you can buy one locally. Ferries in general though are not very expansive.

For Kyoto, I would recommend walking around the Kyomizu-dera area. There are a lot of traditional small pottery shops here. I would recommend learning the Kanji for pottery 陶器 as it is not always displayed in English.

I would certainly recommend a visit to Mie and Toba if you wish to visit a more rural area near Kansai. This area is very beautiful and I think that it would be of interest to you as an artist.

As for mobile internet, Japan is really expansive in this regard and it can be hard as a foreigner to get hold of a working SIM-card. I would suggest looking into a B-Mobile prepaid data sim card. This is probably the best option if you are looking for a 3g uplink. A cheaper alternative is to signup for Wi2 hotspot access that can be found all through Japan and starts at 380yen/month and your first month is free.

I hope this helps!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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Hi Daniel,
Thanks for your wonderful tips and advice. I’ll definitely visit those areas in Kansai - try to learn some Japanese too!

Can you help with these queries:
Is there a daily or weekly subway pass in Tokyo?
We’re staying in Koto (near Museum of Contemporary Art), is it difficult to travel into CBD from here?
Does JR pass cover metro buses?
Does Wi2 allow SMS or just internet? Is it better to rent mobile while in Japan?
I’m hoping to book an apartment in Osaka and make day trip to Kyoto, Kansai region; would you recommend staying in Kyoto, not Osaka?

Many thanks,
Nicola

Nicola
Nicola

Hi Nicola,

There is indeed a Tokyo Metro ticket which allows unlimited travel for a full day. It's a pretty good deal if you plan to travel around a lot, as the price is only 710 Yen.

About CBD I am actually not really sure what it is but I could probably find it, if you tell me a little more about it.

The JR Pass does cover local JR Busses but note that there are also different kinds of bus companies out there, that do no accept the JR Pass.

Wi2 is just hotspot access, as for Bmobile, it is a data only service but it allows the use of Skype for instance.

Osaka is much like Tokyo in that it is a big metropolitan city, it is a great place to stay but I would suggest staying in Kyoto if you stay in Tokyo as well. This way you get to experience both the big city life and a little more traditional event. If you have some time left in Kansai make sure to pay Kobe a visit too, as it has a lot of interesting things to offer.

Enjoy!
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
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