10 days in Japan - What to see & do?

Jan 18th, 2004, 06:17 PM
  #1  
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10 days in Japan - What to see & do?

My husband and I are planning to go to Japan for 10 days in either early August or mid-October.

Can anyone tell us if August, with O-bon, not to mention the weather, is a problem? (We live in Sydney, so we're fairly used to the humidity).

Also, we haven't narrowed down our itinerary, so if anyone would care to make recommendations based on their "don't miss" items, it would be appreciated.

I haven't even begun to look through guidebooks, so I literally know nothing...tell me anything you can that you feel is useful! (I don't even understand the different areas in Tokyo yet, or which are the most centrally located or interesting).

My husband and I are probably more interested in modern Japan--food and shopping for electronics--than we are in culture, museums, etc. Although I did enjoy some of the Gijon Geisha books which have come out lately.

We're also a bit lazy, so not interested in any long, strenuous nature hikes, but interested in seeing the easily accessible stuff in this regard.

I look forward to hearing from you all, soon!

Send me web links! Send me web links!

benderbabe is offline  
Jan 19th, 2004, 06:16 AM
  #2  
 
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Hi

I can't help you when it comes to this...but I do look forward to the feedback from other because my wife and I have also been thinking about going to Japan and we don't know anything about the country either. Hopefully you will get lots of useful feedback here

Regards
Gard
Stavanger, Norway
www.gardkarlsen.com - homepage with trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 12:46 AM
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As a very general advice, I suggest you spend a few days (three at most) in Tokyo to get over the jetlag and see one of the most exciting cities in the world. Contrast the traditional Asakusa (temple and stalls) with modern shopping experience in Akihabara (electronics), Shinjuku and Shibuya. An early morning visit to Tsukiji fish market is fascinating, as well as some great museums like National Museum in Ueno. Another couple of days could be spent on trips to Nikko (shrine) and Hakone (onsen, Mt Fuji). Then I'd spend the rest of the time in Kansai based in Kyoto. The city deserves at least three days, and you can take trips to Nara, Himeji (castle) and Hiroshima with Miyajima (island with shrine). You are strongly advised to get a 7-day Japan Rail Pass before arrival, and activate for the last 7 days in Japan to take in daytrips and Shinkansen ride to Kyoto (and back). You'll save having to backtrack by getting openjaw, arriving at Narita (NRT) and departing from Kansai (KIX).
On your subsequent visits, you may want to explore parts of Tohoku (north), Japan Alps, Hokuriku (Japan Sea), and Kyushu.
Get a good guidebook on Japan like the Lonely Travel Japan, published 3 months ago.
Alec is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 05:15 AM
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By KIX, Alec is referring to the international airport in Osaka in the Kansai region of Japan.

Well you won't see a grand sumo tournament since they are scheduled every other month and not Aug or Oct. You would be able to see top level Japanese baseball in August. The autumn colors won't get to Tokyo-Osaka until November. In Kyoto, visit Gion Corner.

Here is a good place to start for info: www.jnto.go.jp

After you get an idea of where you want to go, you can get maps and brochures from the JNTO in your country (lots of useful and free info). The Japanese airlines have discount fares for visitors: fly-ana.com and japanair.com
Check out the rail passes at japanrail.com


mrwunrfl is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 07:38 PM
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Just one advise: If you have a choice, weatherwise mid-October is far better than early August.
tadaoji is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2004, 01:29 PM
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I agree with Alec's advise. Spend 3-4 days in Tokyo, with a side trip to Kamakura, Nikko and/or Hakone. Then I would visit Kyoto and, if you have time, Hiroshima/Miyajima.
jaydreb5 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2004, 09:09 PM
  #7  
mjs
 
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I do not think you will have any jet lag if you are flying into Japan from Australia. I would not go to Japan in August due to the heat and humidity plus it will be typhoon season. october is nice.
mjs is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2004, 11:46 AM
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I agree that October would be a better time to go. We went last year from Oct. 5 - 21, and we loved it. Weather was just right.
jaydreb5 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2004, 01:34 AM
  #9  
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Thanks for all your advice. I'm looking into it.

As it turns out, we may even have to leave it until later, and are now considering November. What do you all think about November as a month to go? Too cold?
benderbabe is offline  
Jan 25th, 2004, 12:46 PM
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November is not too cold in the Tokyo- Fukuoka corridor. I was there Nov 17-28, 2001. The fall colors peak during that time. There is a grand sumo tournament in Fukuoka during most of the month. The Japan Cup horse races would be the 27-28th, maybe the weekend before.

Sundays in November are "memorial days" when parents take their 3-4 y.o. children to Meiji Shrine dressed in traditional garb. Like this girl:
http://www.geocities.com/billkdotorg/image001.jpg
mrwunrfl is offline  
Jan 26th, 2004, 10:16 PM
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If you are into electronics, then Akihabara (also called Electronics Town)in Tokyo is a must! There are tons of tiny hole-in-the-wall side-alley vendors as well as highrise department stores selling everything imaginable, from tiny tweezers, cameras, watches, radios to washing machines. Also, check out the Sony Building in Ginza. It is full of the latest gadgets and gizmos not commonly seen abroad yet.
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