Japan is steeped in legend and myth, perhaps the greatest of which is the popular misconception that the country is simply too expensive to visit. The truth is that flights to Japan are cheaper than they've ever been, accommodation can be great value, while the warm hospitality which awaits every visitor costs nothing at all. The real secret to travelling around the country on a budget, however, is the Japan Rail Pass. With this pass you can travel on some of the fastest trains in the world as often as you like for as long as you please - and all for one bargain price. Use this comprehensive guide in conjunction with a rail pass to get the most out of your trip to Japan. * Practical information - planning your trip; what to take; getting to Japan from Europe, North America and Australasia * City guides and maps - where to stay (all budgets), where to eat, what to see in 29 towns and cities; historical and cultural background * Kilometre-by-kilometre route guides - covering train journeys from the coast into the mountains, from temple retreat to sprawling metropolis and from sulphurous volcano to windswept desert; 34 route maps * Railway timetables - Bullet trains and all routes in this guidebook * Plus - Customs, etiquette, Japanese phrases and 28 colour photos
Ramsey Zarifeh was born in Kent but has spent most of his working life outside the UK. In 1993 he took a year off to teach English in Germany before going up to Cambridge University, where he graduated in English. He then spent two years in Japan, teaching on the JET programme. After a short spell at Reuters in London he returned to Japan to research this guide. Whilst there he was also a contributor to Up All Night on BBC Radio 5 Live and a correspondent for BBC Radio 2's Steve Wright In the Afternoon. He currently lives in Switzerland where he is a journalist at swissinfo - Swiss Radio International.