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A depersate teenager looking to go to Japan

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Jan 29th, 2005, 09:08 PM
  #1
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A depersate teenager looking to go to Japan

As the title conveys, I am a teenager in need of some information. I am planning to go to Japan in about a year and a half with a friend of mine. When we go, both of us will be 18. My friend has already been there, but he didn't do what he wanted to do because he went with a group of people. He and I have both decided that we want to see the ancient part of Japan. We also want to see the sceneic part of Japan. The problem is that we have no idea where to start. If any of you have any information or advice as to what we should do that would be greatly appreciated. Thank You.
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Jan 29th, 2005, 10:47 PM
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Japan is a great place to travel, and very easy to get around...you'll have a great time.
So, to start- Go to Amazon.com or your local book seller and buy the "Let's Go Travel Guide to Japan". It is written by and geared toward young people.

I found much of their advice very accurate. Read through the book, then you will have an idea of where to start.
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Jan 30th, 2005, 04:08 AM
  #3
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soccerflip18:
I am the mom of a 14 yr old boy and we are going to Japan together next month for the first time. It is great that you want to go and I am impressed that you already want to plan the trip. We started planning a yr. and a half ago. I think it is the best way, take alot of time to plan, because that way you can really get to know what is there and figure out what appeals to you and what does not appeal to you and tailor the trip to you and your friend.
One question: where did your friend go on his first trip? I understand he did not get to see what he wanted, but he should have some frame of reference if he has been there already. Did he have a rail pass? Did he learn to navigate the subways and trains?
You mentioned scenic and ancient Japan, but didn't mention the pop culture of Japan, which surprises me for your age. My son wants to see the ancient parts, like some temples and shrines (but we are being selective about the number of those so we don't get burned out on it) and things like samurai and ninja history- there is alot of that and I can give you info on the good resources we have found if you are interested in those. The Japan Natl. Tourist Organization has a handout called "On the Trail of the Samurai" that we are using, and we are going to a place (Nijo-jin'ya) in Kyoto which is a ninja house essentially, w/all the trap doors, etc. On the pop culture if you are in Tokyo on a Sunday the kids in cosplay and funky pop outfits gather in Harajuku and Yoyogi park. Do you like anime or manga? It is of course abundant over there. We are going to the Ghibli Museum (Spirited away, Princess Monoke, etc.), shopping for anime/manga at Broadway Mall in Nakano area of Tokyo, the Tezuka museum in Takazawa (creator of Astro Boy). We are also going to see a sumo match and several baseball games.
On the scenic parts, there is much info. We are choosing to hike outside of Kyoto. Nikko, north of Tokyo, is supposed to be really pretty, and we are going to Miyajima island, another lovely site. We like to hike so will do that two days. Mt. Fuji is outside of Tokyo and you can go there (and hike it in July and August), as is Hakone, another lovely area w/alake and mountains and Fuji views on a clear day. And those are just the more famous places. There are lesser known beautiful places too.
What time of year do you want to go? Fall (Nov.) is beautiful for changing leaves and spring (April) is great for cherry blossoms. Will you be doing this trip when you get out of high school in the summer? How long are you thinking of going?
I assume you will want to go as inexpensively as possible. There are hostles and inexpensive guest houses that you will see in Let's Go Japan. And advice on eating cheaply also.
You will want to decide what sounds interesting to you, then focus your trip around those things and decide where to go. Many people pick the cities or areas first and do not really think of what interests them. Then they get to Tokyo and they don't like it. Or they have planned to stay too long in one city because it is the place people talk about, but in fact it turns out to be a bummer for them, because they did not plan and research and tailor the trip to what appeals to them. I think that makes a big difference.
Lucy is right on telling you to get a good book and read. There are so many websites it can be overwhelming at first. You might want to try www.virtualtourist.com There are alot of young people from all over the world who have set up personal Japan trip sections on that site, w/pictures. My son and I both like that one. This site, fodors, is a bit more adult oriented but people will help you here too. Try www.japan-guide, as there are younger people there also.
Once you start your research, check back here and post any specific questions you have.
Good luck! I hope my son will go on his own when he gets out of high school too- but he better start saving his money!
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Jan 31st, 2005, 03:52 AM
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topping for Soocerflip18
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Jan 31st, 2005, 09:37 AM
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You can start here: www.jnto.go.jp
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