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Looking for some advice for Japan travels :) Please help!

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Hello all,

Sorry if this ends up ranting and is a long post, or if I'm offensive in any way....

I've always wanted to visit Japan, I love everything I've heard/seen of Japan in the United States. The food, the culture, the people, the sights. I just want to go so bad, and have wanted to for as long as I can remember.

I've only slightly been out of the country once on a cruise, so if possible I've a few questions, or maybe just a guide I'm probably looking for would suffice...

People going: 2(boyfriend/girlfriend)
Time: 2 weeks
Where we live: Raleigh/Durham North Carolina(airport RDU)
We aren't rich/well off at all(but we're okay!), but I want to save for a year and go and we can do that for sure.
Ages: 27 and 29

So here is the part where I don't know what else to say as I don't know....Questions below.

1. What time of year should we go?

2. Where should we go? I'm guessing the airport we need to get to is Tokyo? I think there are two, so which is it?

3. About how much is it usually or should I expect to pay for 2 round trip tickets from the US to Japan? Unfortunately living in RDU, I'm sure there are no direct flights or anything remotely close to that so I know it will be a bit more pricier.

4. How much Japanese as far as language/writing should I know? I want to get one of those rosetta stone courses for Japanese and run through it over the course of a year with the girlfriend, should be fun too!

5. How are the prices for food/fun/etc over there?

6. I hear the JR or subway train thingy is the best way to travel around. Is that the case for anywhere I'd really like to go? Or is a cab needed sometime?

7. I saw someone mention a ryokan as a place to stay, not sure if that's the same kind of concept as a Hotel/Motel or not, but is that what I'm looking for? I definitely want to stay somewhere nice, not 300$ a night nice, but not 49.99$ and rats nice :)

8. If anyone has ever traveled two weeks on somewhat of a budget, any advice for the amount of money to carry along?

9. I'm very ignorant and apparently slow, so I'm not sure how the currency would work...do I just exchange dollars for Yen?

10. What is your(the people helping me :) )'s favorite thing to do in any place in Japan, or favorite sight...something that you have a very fond memory of....

11. I think that's all for now, I'm sure I'll think of more,but I realize this is a ridiculous amount of work for some nice people to assist with as it is.


Any answers/help are more than greatly appreciated. Thank you thank you!

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