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Any Japanese planning a trip to Russia?

Vadim

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Hi! If there are any Japanese planning their trip to Russia, I'll be happy to answer the questions, give some tips or even meet up! Everyone is welcome!
 

thomas

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Four years ago, my wife and I spent two weeks in Russia and Belarus, it was an unforgettable journey. Compared to the crammed and densely-populated Kanto region where we live, everything there appeared huge and spacious: food, trains, roads, museums, we were quite impressed.

Communicating wasn't always easy, as few people spoke English, but everyone we met was quite helpful. One thing we learned fast was to have coins down to your last kopek ready in supermarkets, as the ladies at the cashier were visibly displeased when they had to return change. Acquiring tourist visa was pretty time-consuming; we had to secure flight tickets and hotel reservations prior to our application. One can only hope that these procedures have been loosened.

Most Japanese tourists travel in groups and will never encounter any of these issues. My (Japanese) parents-in-law visited Moscow and St. Petersburg without ever leaving their JTB-provided bubble. :)

I'd really like to see the Russian Far East one day, Vladivostok is just a 2-hour flight from Haneda.
 

Vadim

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Four years ago, my wife and I spent two weeks in Russia and Belarus, it was an unforgettable journey. Compared to the crammed and densely-populated Kanto region where we live, everything there appeared huge and spacious: food, trains, roads, museums, we were quite impressed.

Communicating wasn't always easy, as few people spoke English, but everyone we met was quite helpful. One thing we learned fast was to have coins down to your last kopek ready in supermarkets, as the ladies at the cashier were visibly displeased when they had to return change. Acquiring tourist visa was pretty time-consuming; we had to secure flight tickets and hotel reservations prior to our application. One can only hope that these procedures have been loosened.

Most Japanese tourists travel in groups and will never encounter any of these issues. My (Japanese) parents-in-law visited Moscow and St. Petersburg without ever leaving their JTB-provided bubble. :)

I'd really like to see the Russian Far East one day, Vladivostok is just a 2-hour flight from Haneda.
I'm really happy to hear that you had a good experience in Russia! What did you like most about your trip? Which places were your favorite?

Unfortunately, bureaucracy is all around in Russia, and I was really surprised it was so hard to get the visa for many people from different countries coming here, but it remains the same. Maybe there were some slight changes after the Putin's visit to Japan though (I heard about something regarding the supporting letter, but I'm not sure).

Last April I was hosting an awesome guy from Japan for five days. He started his trip in China, then headed to Irkutsk, where he spent some time near the Baikal lake and then got on a train, which took him to Moscow in four days. He said it was tiring, but still cool. And he also said that he met a lot of good people on his way, who were really helpful and friendly. So said some other travelers I know, which is nice, because there's still this stereotype about Russians as tough and unfriendly people.

And I noticed that a lot of people want to try either just going to Vladivostok or taking this Trans-Siberian train. Modern world gives us so many opportunities!
 
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Acquiring tourist visa was pretty time-consuming; we had to secure flight tickets and hotel reservations prior to our application. One can only hope that these procedures have been loosened.
I can only hope that some day it becomes possible to get a Japan tourist visa by merely securing flight tickets and hotel reservations. All that guarantor-related red tape makes it almost impossible to travel to Japan independently, without spending extra funds on travel agencies.
 

Vadim

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I can only hope that some day it becomes possible to get a Japan tourist visa by merely securing flight tickets and hotel reservations. All that guarantor-related red tape makes it almost impossible to travel to Japan independently, without spending extra funds on travel agencies.
I've just remembered that it's not necessary to get a guarantee letter from the people you're visiting if your trip is within the particular period of time. Maybe there were a bit more changes, but it mostly affects those who go to Japan for a business trip.
 
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@Vadim
I've just checked embassy of Japan's web-site, and it appears you are right. They've actually eased the requirements as of January the 1st 2017.
Now that changes a lot. I am quite surprised they came to an agreement after all. Anyway, those are good news.
 

Vadim

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@Vadim
I've just checked embassy of Japan's web-site, and it appears you are right. They've actually eased the requirements as of January the 1st 2017.
Now that changes a lot. I am quite surprised they came to an agreement after all. Anyway, those are good news.
Indeed!
 
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