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Great mountains and mythological Godzillas, brilliant robots and more brilliant samurai; Backpacking in Japan is a truly fascinating experience. More than seventy percent of Japan is covered in towering volcanic peaks and snow-capped ridges; and these mountains, which still hold important religious and cultural significance, provide nothing but a paradise for adventure freaks.

Look at Sakura! S2

Backpacking in Japan can be a little pricey, but luckily there are some travel options that will let you see the country on the cheap and there is even a way to travel around Japan for cheap! We found a ticket between São Paulo - Madrid (Stopover) - Beijing (Stopover) - Osaka for an incredible R$2100 round trip with taxes per person, three countries for the price of a trip to the Brazilian Northeast. When we say that we learned to travel very cheaply, people still think we have a lot of money, but the truth is that we plan very carefully, we analyze subways, hotels, buses and everything to do as many things as possible for the lowest possible price.

The most common flight destination in Japan is Narita Airport (NRT), which is about an hour from Tokyo . There are a ton of international ferries to Japan, from Korea, Taiwan, China and Russia, but for backpackers, Busan (Korea) will probably be the only practical and cheap destination from which to catch a boat to Japan.

Japan has one of the best transport systems in the world. Traveling is generally very easy, but transportation can really dig a hole in your pocket. Although Japan is expensive, there are a variety of passes for foreigners that can make travel more affordable.

We chose to travel by plane in Japan for the bargain Peartree tickets (the local low cost), unfortunately because of this, we missed seeing Mount Fuji.

Self-tourism in Japan is the key to true budget travel and the way to escape the country's expensive transportation costs, but it can be quite complicated. Although it is almost impossible to tour Tokyo and other major cities, it becomes easier when you move away from the main cities. The ideal is to research on Google beforehand how to take all the necessary routes to visit the tourist attractions you want!

Given the information from poor people like us =), let's get to the point, the best things to do in the cities we visit.

Kyoto is quite special. It is full of temples, sanctuaries, castles and legends...

If you can, you should try to stay in Gion, Geisha District; It's crazy colorful. A Japanese friend gave me some tips on proper etiquette when interacting with Geishas; Never talk to a geisha or try to stop them for photos, as this is considered extremely rude.

Kyoto's famous Golden Pavilion is worth a visit; It's a stunning place to spend half an hour or so silently gazing at the beautiful gardens in the shadow of the impressive temple. Unfortunately, the entry price is quite steep and it is often quite crowded; arrive early.

Nijo-jo is an impressive castle from the outside, but is sadly empty inside, still worth exploring.

Kiyomizu-dera (free) is worth visiting.

Dairoku-Ji was our favorite temple complex in Kyoto, it has wonderful bamboo gardens where you can sit and read in peace.

There are hundreds of temples and shrines in Kyoto and you could spend a lifetime trying to visit them all. For more information on the best things to do in Kyoto , talk to locals or look online!

Tokyo is a futuristic wonderland of sliding transport, tall buildings and bright lights, it is a wonderful city. There's a lot to do here, but it definitely helps to have a Japanese friend to show you around.

Even if you only have a passing interest in Anime you really should visit the Studio Ghibli museum , this needs to be booked in advance and can be reserved from a machine in most chain convenience stores.

The impressive Tsukiji Fish Market is the largest fish market in the world and is free to visit, so it's best to get there early!

It's worth going to the top of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government offices as it's one of the tallest buildings in Tokyo and offers superb views, it's free to go up and if you have time, we recommend going up both during the day and at night.

Explore food culture. The food in Japan is really a high level, delicate, balanced, decorative... every dish is a little work of art. If you love sushi, get ready to come in, we don't like raw food, so we were really pissed.

If you find yourself in Tokyo during winter, be sure to check out Marunouchi Lighting , where the cobblestone street of Nakadori is lit up beautifully.

There are many temples and palaces worth visiting, but many of them have an entry fee. If you're short on cash, we recommend waiting until Kyoto, as the most impressive temples are found there.

Osaka was just our entry and exit point from Japan, but we loved Osaka Castle and the strange street food.

Capital: Tokyo

Population: 123,000,000 inhabitants

Time zone: 12pm (Brasília time)

Area code: 81

Location: Asia

Languages: Japanese. English is basically spoken by young people (but not all) and not all staff linked to tourism (small hotels, railways) speak the language. However, most have enormous goodwill towards foreign tourists. Currency: Yen (¥) How to call Brazil: IDC - 0066 55 055, KDD - 0053 9551 Visa: Visa required.

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