We have exactly three weeks and three days until take off. I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I’m a little more excited than I was just a week ago. Yay!
The semi-bad news is that there are a few minor arrangements that must still be settled. First of these is rail passes. D and I searched for the passes all of last week. Apparently, it is best to get them prior to entering Japan. This is no problem, except one rail pass is approximately $138 per person. (Cue my whining about spending money). The other issue is that he and I had planned to take the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) from Yokosuka to Kyoto. As it turns out this ticket is an extra $200 (per person).
“Maybe we can just fly from Yokosuka to Kyoto?” D suggested.
“I kind of thought that we had to take the bullet train while we were there? I mean that’s like a thing to do.”
“Yeah. Yeah. True,” he said.
So I messaged my friend, Evelyn.
“Are we taking the Bullet Train to Tokyo too? We’re just trying to figure out an economical ticket.”
Her answer, “Regular train to Shinigawa then the Bullet Train.”
Okay. That was a little convoluted. I spoke with her the next day and she said that we could probably borrow her friends’ rail passes to get around, and then just purchase tickets for a Kyoto trip. Buying Kyoto tickets in Yokosuka seems to be about $280 (per person).
After a little more research, we bought Pasmo cards ($103), which we can load with yen once we’re there. These are kind of like local debit cards and can also be used to ride the train and bus. Lesson #2, if you’re planning a visit to Japan, also plan for how you’ll transport yourself so that you can actually visit Japan.