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2 day side trip from Tokyo...any recomendations to see the real Japan?

2 day side trip from Tokyo...any recomendations to see the real Japan?

Old Sep 5th, 2005, 02:06 PM
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2 day side trip from Tokyo...any recomendations to see the real Japan?

I will be in Tokyo for a week (Sept.28th-Oct. 4th) while my boyfriend is working. I will have the days to explore on my own and want to take a 2 day trip somewhere to experience other areas of japan when he has off for the weekend off. Any recomendations? I heard Kyoto is nice?
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Old Sep 5th, 2005, 05:26 PM
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Kyoto is highly recommended by fellow forummers. Haven't been here myself.

You can also consider day trips to Nikko and Kamakura.

I would suggest that you goto Kyoto with your boyfriend and take the day tripper to Nikko and Kamakura.

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Old Sep 5th, 2005, 11:28 PM
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Bonjour Foodiequeennyc,

I'm always amused by the idea of "seeing the real Japan". As if Tokyo was not in Japan and no Japanese were living, working, and having fun there ... ;-)
If you dare exploring outside the obvious tourist spots, you'll discover (I hope for you) that Tokyo is much, much more than a big, soulless, westernized megalopolis (for example, take a train to Ryogoku station. Visit Edo-Tokyo museum and the Kokugikan sumo stadium, then explore on food the area on the other side of the tracks - you need half a day: that area is a hotbed of traditional trades, many sumo and fishing related).

A weekend in Kyoto is always recommended, but you could consider going North (Miyagi and Iwate prefectures) for a completely different Japan, less touristed but still welcoming.

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Old Sep 6th, 2005, 12:29 AM
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My wife and I went to Japan in May and we went to Tokyo and Kyoto (with side trips to Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima etc). I have posted a trip report with some pictures on my homepage http://gardkarlsen.com. Maybe you can find some useful information there

Stavanger, Norway
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Old Sep 6th, 2005, 07:15 AM
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Agree with Florence - Tokyo is indeed very "real" Japan. I thought your question was pretty funny too. Maybe you need a better choice of words, like traditional, quaint, off-the-beaten-track, etc. If you really want to see the remote hidden gems, then it would be helpful if you know some Japanese. If you stay on the tourist track of Kyoto-Hakone-Kamakura, then English would be fine. So, I guess the best way for you to see the real Japan is to learn some Japanese and not only go to the most famous tourist sites.
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Old Sep 6th, 2005, 06:32 PM
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I agree with Florence and Mealea that Tokyo is the real Japan.

Kyoto would be a good choice since it is the heart of Japanese traditional culture. Stay in a traditional ryokan.

You could get a 3-day Odakyu rail pass and explore Hakone and Kamakura. Stay overnight in Hakone at a traditional ryokan and soak in an onsen. This would be very near Tokyo but also would get you out into the countryside around Mt. Fuji.

A bit farther away would by Nyuto Onsen, up north not far from Kakunodate. You can find some of rural Japan there, but would require a bit of travelling.

As KMLOke mentioned, Nikko would be a good place to visit. You could stay overnight; I have read about nice ryokan in the area. A benefit of this area is that it is also close to Tokyo.
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Old Sep 11th, 2005, 04:46 PM
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Thank you all for the recomendations...I obviously did choose the wrong choice of words. Since I live in New York City and this is my only vacation this year I should have asked for the quiet side of Japan to get a few days out of a city!

thanks again!!!
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Old Sep 29th, 2005, 04:57 AM
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If you are looking for a 2-day break from city life, Kyoto may not be the best place to spend it. Kyoto is a very large city. Kyoto contains a large number of temples, but outside the temples, Kyoto is a large urban area, with the environment associated with any other large city. Also, Kyoto is several hours from Tokyo, so to/from travel time would significantly reduce the already limited time you have available for seeing anything.

You have only 2 days available, and you want to spend this time in a quiet, quaint area. With these restrictions, I suggest considering the Fuji Lakes or Hakone region, both of which are located near Tokyo.

Kyoto is terrific, and if you ever return to Japan, I recommend visiting there. But it does not fit well into your current itinerary.
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