Japan: Around One Week to Go! Places, Maps and Money

Yay!

So, just around a week to go. I was supposed to have my itinerary all done now, but it really hasn’t moved much from about a month ago. Like /i says, I’ve probably spent more time on the itinerary than the time we’ll actually be in Japan. And I still haven’t finished. My main concerns at the moment are 1. where to must visit, 2. getting the addresses and ideally mini-maps and 3. figuring how much cash I should take up-front.

  1. I started making up a list a few months ago, but as it’s getting closer, I really need to make the list more specific. I need to get back into browsing just various city tourism websites.
  2. Did you know Japan’s numbering in address system is not based on the usual ordering system? The usual being house 1 is next to house 3, which is then next to house 5 and so on. The Japanese building numbers are actually based chronologically on when it was built?! This probably explains why pretty much all places have little “access maps” that show how to get there with markers of key locators, like a 7-11 or McDonald’s is opposite, etc. It’d be a big task to print out little maps for all the places I want to go, so I’ve got to find one or a few good maps that I can print out. If that doesn’t work out, I’m sure I can grab some touristy brochures at the Tourist Information Centres, right?
  3. Japan is a very cash-based society, so I’m planning to bring quite a bit of cash. I will be bringing a few cards to withdraw some further money in the middle of the trip or as required. I’m not sure how much I should bring at this stage. Unfortunately, the AUD hasn’t performed very strongly the last few weeks. The AUD/JPY peaked fleetingly at 88.60, but it’s now retreating 84 and maybe further south 😦 I think it should stay above 80 though. I sort of regret not exchanging a couple of weeks ago, when it steadied around 87 for a few days . I have heard rumours of a JPY devaluation, but who knows when that will affect the AUD/JPY exchange rate. I believe the AUD will continue to be looked upon unfavourably with the impending China slowdown and recent RBA indications of lowering the interest rate in May. At the moment I’m thinking of taking between AUD1000-1500 converted, since there’s a few places I’ve booked where we’ll have to pay in cash, as well of course to cover general expenses, like food and incidentals. When I’m talking about “such big” amounts, using AUD1000 as an example, the variance from 88 to 80 is an $80 difference! That’s enough to pay for 1 nights accommodation! It hurts to lose $80 per every $1000 and I’m expecting we will probably spend about AUD2000-3000 converted together, so that’s a possible loss of $160 to $240. Ouch, that hurts! FX is a hard business! AUD/JPY please go back up!

Still a few more days of the Easter break to get the itinerary finalised, so I better get a wriggle on.

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