Day trip from Kyoto

Old Jul 22nd, 2010, 04:21 PM
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Day trip from Kyoto

In a couple of weeks I'll be in Kyoto for four nights, three full days plus -- my only stop in Japan. I tend to get "templed" out and I don't shop. Three of four of the 2000 Kyoto temples and shrines should suffice for me. Should I think of one of those days for a day trip to either Nara or to Hemeji Castle?
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Old Jul 22nd, 2010, 04:46 PM
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Nara! Although there are a lot of temples and shrines in Nara, it's a beautiful place to walk around. And you can always pat the deer. Stop and have a nice lunch or tea at a small place along the way, wander along the paths, sit by the pond...lots of non-temple/shrine things to do. But make sure you see the big Buddha.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2010, 05:08 PM
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The Himegi Castle is currently under renovation. Part of the Castle might be closed to the public.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2010, 11:55 AM
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I know you said no more temples but a daytrip up to Koyasan may be nice in the August heat.

You can check progress here on the renovations at Himeji-jo and the commute is relatively short on the shinkansen. http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3501.html see the construction notice and current state pictures.

If you want to experience a real onsen town(I remember you saying in HNL that this may be your only trip to Japan) you can visit Kinosaki Onsen
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3525.html
Its a couple of hours on the express out of Kyoto but you will step back in time visiting this little slice of Japan with it's willow & cherry tree lined river with now 7 public onsens for your use. If your sweating you might as well be clean too! lol

Aloha!
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Old Jul 23rd, 2010, 11:58 AM
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on the way over to Kinosaki you can stop over via the private rail line to Amanohashidate and stick your head between your legs and......well just read,lol

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3990.html
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Old Jul 23rd, 2010, 02:22 PM
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hawaiiantraveler, you're not the first person who has told me where to go and to put my head between my legs and up my. . .
well, never mind.

Hmmm, that update makes it sound like the Himeji-jo is really not worth the trip this month.

Koyasan really looks intriguing if not too involved in all the logistics of getting there -- yes, I read the directions, but have some problems doing the math adding up all the connections and waiting times including the cable car and bus in town.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2010, 02:52 PM
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http://www.miho.or.jp/english/index.htm

The Miho Museum can be a nice half day or so trip from Kyoto if it's open when you're there...
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Old Jul 23rd, 2010, 03:03 PM
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How about going to Osaka?
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Old Jul 23rd, 2010, 04:19 PM
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rkkwan, I'm flying in and out of Osaka, but when I asked some time back about spending one of my nights there I got a pretty resounding no. What would I be missing there?
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Old Jul 23rd, 2010, 04:54 PM
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Huge city, lots of shops, etc... There's also Osaka Castle (though I think Himeji is more impressive).
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Old Jul 23rd, 2010, 09:17 PM
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Hi Neo, We got back from Japan today and I am supposed to be unpacking - trip report coming. (I hate unpacking!)

We spent 5 full days in Kyoto. It was a wonderful base, but is very hot.

If you'll be there before August 3, you can go to a Bunraku performance in Osaka. It was truly amazing and accessible, with English earpiece. Here is more info. You can print out the stories in advance and get the gist, which also helps.

http://www.ntj.jac.go.jp/english/index.html

We liked Uji. The castle there, Byodin-in is interesting and has an attached museum with enough English to "get it." Also, the town is very, very sweet, with very interesting shops and green tea. You can visit the most interesting fushimi inari red, red torii gates on the way.

If you can, go on Johnny Hillwalker's walking tour as soon as you arrive. It is an excellent orientation and takes you off the beaten path, into the back alleys.

http://web.kyoto-inet.or.jp/people/h-s-love/

Gotta continue with unpacking. Argh! Trip report soon. There are a few days in mid August where everyone goes to pay respects to their ancestors and the trains etc are packed I hear. I don't know the exact dates.

More soon. Stay tuned for my trip report, including two earthquakes in 3 days!
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Old Jul 23rd, 2010, 09:23 PM
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PS. By hot, I mean hot. If you don't have appropriate clothes for touring in high temps and humidity, purchase before you go, including sandals and moisture wicking pants and shirts. Also, sunscreen, hats, whatever. Be prepared. DH didn't bother to get sandals and lightweight pants and regretted it.
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Old Jul 24th, 2010, 04:24 AM
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Orcas, Kyoto is a brief stop before extensive travel in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. I'm guessing while Kyoto may be hot-- it will be like winter compared to those other spots! I'm as prepared as possible.

I'm in Kyoto from August 9 to 13, sadly I'll miss that Bunraku performance.
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Old Jul 24th, 2010, 11:36 AM
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Actually, brace yourself. We flee japan's august heat and fins relief from it in Bangkok or Siem Reap. The afternoon showers so common in SEA at this time of year don't occur in japan. Consequently, the heat is unrelenting day after day. Kyoto is very, very hot. Hotter than Kanazawa, which is hotter than Bangkok this time of year.

Drinks lots. Aquarius and Pocari Sweat are good drinks to help replace salt and sugar. It is hottest from about 2:00 - 5:00, so plan to be indoors or at least in the shade somehow at that time of day. Don't walk anywhere. Buses in Kyoto are good. Taxis may also be used easily and they aren't all that bad pricewise for short trips.

Arashiyama may be nice for a day. The boat down the river is fun and coolish.
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Old Jul 24th, 2010, 12:03 PM
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I looked up the festival honoring the dead that we had heard of. It is called the Obon festival. It is from August 13 to 16 this year. It may affect rail travel during your trip, esp towards the end, so you should be aware of it and inquire:

http://gojapan.about.com/cs/japanese...onfestival.htm

I do not know how this will impact your plans. Someone from Japan may be able to fill you in.
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Old Jul 24th, 2010, 12:16 PM
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Expect crowded trains and airports. Kyoto will be crowded, but it always is. I wouldn't worry about it much unless you plan on driving with the inbound/outbound city flow...which you won't be doing.
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