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Is English widely spoken in Japan if not do I really need to learn the Japanese language before traveling there? I only know how to say hello and goodbye but I really want to be able to experience authentic Japanese culture. I am worried that I will not be able to communicate with the locals.
Jimmy Pronto 1/31/2011
Satoko (Private Guide) 2/2/2011:
Hi, Jimmy Pronto

You don't have to learn Japanese language specially before travelling, in Japan, the majority of tourist hotel operators, tourist attractions employees, large department stores clerks, bank and train station attendants, etc. speak limited English.

But it's better you can bring a good Japanese phrase book listing Japanese Travel Phrases filled with helpful, practical phrases to use while you are in Japan.

Japanese people are so kind and friendly, so please feel free to ask any question to the local people.

Also, I recommend you to ask a guide in Tokyo and Kyoto. In such places like a symbol of Japan, it's much more enjoyable if you have someone to explain the local history, culture and background story.

If you have further question, feel free to ask me anytime.

We are family 3 adult & 2 kids.
we want to travel i n Japan for 12-14 days.
We want to arrive in Japan at 10 aprill 2011.
We are looking for a nice trip include atraction for the kids,sights & more.
Can you arrenge for us this vaction?
Shoffel Yehoshua 1/31/2011
Private Guide in Tokyo
Steve (Private Guide in Tokyo) 2/21/2011:
I am sorry to answer so late. I am traveling in Japan now. If you are still looking for help please contact me. I would love to help you in any way I can.

Satoko (Private Guide) 2/2/2011:
Dear Shoffel Yehoshua

Thank you for your contacting me. Sorry, I'm not working as travel agency, but doing a private guide in Kansai area (Kyoto/Osaka/Nara), so other than Kansai area, I can just give you a recommended itinerary like where to go, what to do.

After my model plan, appreciated it if you can make the reservation by yourself about accommodation, private/volunteer guide, train ticket. please let me know the age range of your families, especially about your kids, so I can decide what kind of sightseeing is preferable.

I recommend you to buy JR pass to take Shinkansen for long travelling like between Tokyo/Kyoto, Kyoto/Hiroshima (if you visit). If you tell me which cities you'd like to visit, I can calculate your train cost and give you the advice which JR pass you should buy.

Please tell me roughly, which city you'd like to visit, so I can decided how many nights you should to stay for each city.

Tokyo area (4 or 5 nights recommendable)
- Kamakura? Nikko? Hakone? Disneyland?
Kyoto area (3 or 4 nights recommendable)
- Kyoto, Nara, Osaka (model plan will be given)
* Universal Studio in Osaka?

Which places you'd like to visit other than above?
Thank you.