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Planning a trip

This years long vacation trip is about to happen on monday. The four of us are going to spend 3 weeks in Japan and Korea combined and will be a great experience regardless how everything works out. So how do you plan such a trip? The first thing is to decide to actually go and find cheap plane tickets as soon as possible. We did this in october and landed tickets with SAS from Arlanda via Copenhagen to Narita, Tokyo for only 5500 SEK. That felt like a bargain but was clearly the result of deciding early.

After the decision there is plenty of time to figure out where to go once there. We bought one guide book for each country and started to get an overview of the countries. Tokyo and Kyoto was musts on a first trip to Japan and also one of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We also wanted to experience onsen - hot springs combined with hotels. In Korea we decided that Seoul would be worth all of our days save one for the ancient capital of Gyeungju. In the end our schedule turned out to be 4 nights in Kyoto, 1 night in Nagasaki, 2 nights in Beppu - the capital of hot springs, night boat from Shimonoseki to Busan in Korea, one night there and then train to Seoul via the old capital, 5 nights in Seoul and finally 6 nights in Tokyo.

Once general plans have been made it is time to find hotels. We were a bit late to this phase and the later you are the more time it will take. But in the end I think we have nice and not too expensive hotels in all our destinations.

You also need to decide on transfer. We bought a rail pass for the first week in Japan. You have to buy it from abroad to get a good price so it is necessary to do it in advance. The rest of the train tickets we think we can buy once there. Plane tickets from Seoul to Tokyo was also a bit hard to find but a low price airline appeared in the last minute and helped us out.

The details about exactly what to do each day and where to eat and so son can be left for the travel itself. It is always good to have a general idea so you don’t miss something you really wanted to do.

Online resources to help the planning has been trip advisor for finding and evaluating hotels and the travel beta side at stack exchange where you get awesome answers to about any question.

Stay tuned for reports from the far east!

(By the way - did you notice our new look? We are very satisfied to have a more nerdy look than before. Some people even think that it is shiny.)

Old comments

2012-03-29hardy
Sounds great. Make sure to post some pictures and don't forget to taste some good food. If you find the cellar restaurant Anthony Bourdain writes about in Kitchen Comfidential you will be my food hero. But most importantly - enjoy.
2012-03-30Fredrik Rubensson
I needed that reminder! Cellar restaurants ftw! And I can assure you that the camera will be heavily used.
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