Subject: Re: Japan?
Hi Candice,

Thanks for all of the good info.

You say that the JRpass can be used from the airport to the city in Tokyo? Can it be issued there? I mean from what I have read, one must purchase the passt outside of Japan and then exchange the voucher for the actual pass only when one arrives. Do I have this correctly?

Do I understand correctly that I can make the exchange at the airport station itself and use the pass immediately?

From what you have said it becomes more likely that the pass may really be worthwhile despite what I have heard otherwise. See for instance my answer to Jeannine. I will probably want to take some 1-day trips out of Tokyo and Osaka to see some sights. That just may make all the difference, with the possibility of some travel within Tokyo being also possible...

This is getting complicated. LOL!

Thanks for the suggestion about Kyoto being worth a few more days. I agree that from what I have seen on the internet so far it also looks to be much more pleasant - that is why I am saving it for last :-)

Can you tell me a bit more about Nikko? What is it? What does one see there?

That idea of carrying around plastic forks (or spoons - soup, etc.) made me giggle - talk about being a tourist! But it just may prove to be needed. I will be spending the next few months trying to learn how to use the hashi.

Thanks for the tip on the noodle shops and Korean BBQ. The longest train ride that I expect to take is something like 3 hours from Tokyo and back to Tokyo - that is on that bullet express train, if the JRpass allows it and if I do decide to buy the JR pass in the end. Otherwise it can take 9 hours and 4 changes which really does not appeal to me at all!! Do you know anything about this?

A detail, but an important one - are the toilets on the trains western or squat types? Apologies to anyone that this question may offend.

The food courts were a life saver in Bangkok too. They are pretty much the same?

Thanks for all of your advice and looking forward to any and all future suggestions.

Debbie - Israel