Happy New Year!
After a long two week winter break, I have finally found time to talk about my most recent trip to Hokkaido! For about one week, my friends and I went over to the northern island during the beginning of winter here in Japan. It was a chilly and fun adventure so more updates will come soon! To start off I wanted to talk about travelling around Japan since that is what took up most of my first day, and overall time there. This will mostly draw from my experience in Hokkaido which I hope will be helpful for any of your future vacation planning.
There are many airlines that one can choose from for travelling through Japan from budget airlines like Jetstar and Vanilla Air. From my own experience, and my friends, these budget airlines work well for travelling around. For payment, I recommend paying in Japanese Yen if you usually pay from USD. One things to note is that most of these airlines only allow a 7kg weight limit for carry-on luggage (on Jetstar you can upgrade to 10kg for extra cost). Although they will not go through and wiegh every bag I would advise staying under the weight limit since you may want souviners from the places you go. Plus, watching out for the weight limit helps you pack only things that are necessary!
Outside of Tokyo, buses is the cheapest way to get around from city to city. Major cities do have a train system, as I will talk about below, but if you are budget traveller and thinking about going outside the main city I would look into using a bus. For the ones I have been on you can pay on the bus, but exact change is prefered, or at the bus station. The buses we went on did have a change converter for if you have a 1000 yen note for a 300 yen ride you can put it in and it will spit out the change needed to pay it. Also, keep in mind that even within Tokyo going to the airports is expensive, but if you leave from Tokyo station you can get to Narita for only 1000 yen! Which on the trains can cost about 3000 yen.
3) Trains (or subways)
As I mentioned earlier, many major cities will have their own train/subway system. These, like Tokyo, will be a super convienent way to travel if you are only going around the area. However, if you are really on a budget you can just walk around too, and only travel by train if its hours away. For those that use the PASMO cards do not worry from my experience in Hokkaido (which only has JR) you can still use those cards.
I hope this was helpful, and will continue to update on my Hokkaido adentures!