EMD's Japan Trip Report, 3/05

Old Apr 1st, 2005, 12:20 PM
  #61  
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cwn: do you have the book, "Exploring Kyoto, On Foot In the Ancient Capitol" by Juidth Clancey? If you are spending any decent amt of time in Kyoto it is worth the price (on Amazon.com). Gives good directions and great background on what you are seeing everywhere, and has a good chapter on Ohara w/additional things I did not get to there.
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Old Apr 1st, 2005, 12:23 PM
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emd - I really enjoyed reading your entire report. I kept checking for the next one.

You're such a savvy traveller!! I hope I'm able to figure out the transportation as efficiently as it sounds like you did -- do you attribute this to pre-planning, or did you just make your way around by asking people as you went along?
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Old Apr 1st, 2005, 12:27 PM
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Love your trip report. So sorry I did not get around to writing one (for me) because I could not type with the broken arm and then lost the incentive. Someday your son will be 20+ and he will reread the trip report with great pleasure.
I kinda feel guilty that you did not go to the hospital. I could have managed without the guide. The hospital knew what to do. My arm hurt...x-ray it, cast it, tell me to come back in 10 days. Interesting that the three orthopedists in Japan said I needed surgery and they were so right. I kept hoping they were wrong. I have had MD appointments is several countries where we did not have a common language and had good results.
Now that you have had this great trip, just think how wonderful your next one will be.
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Old Apr 1st, 2005, 01:45 PM
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Hi,

I had read the post about no places for dinner on the island. We would like to be there till sunset. I was hoping you had found a place or two. Guess we will just snack and plan to eat before we board the train back or after we get back to Kyoto. Were they clamming the whole time you were on the island? Did you stay till sun set? .

I agree you don't need a guide. The Japanese were very gracious to us when we were in Nagasaki on our own. The taxis/trolly were easy to use. The ferry info would be helpful if you find it. Thanks!

We will be in Kyoto for five days. We have resversations for the Imperial Palace tour, but I couldn't get rservations anywhere else. The other places were booked on the days we were there three months out. We plan to go to Nara for one afternoon, probably the afternoon of the Palace tour. We will spend the 21st exploring the Toji Temple and market plus what ever else attracts us in the area between there and the hotel. My husband wants to go to Hiroshima(not so much to see the museum, but to just walk around the park area)so that will be one long day as we will stop at Himeji for a couple of hours on the way. So that leaves two days and four evenings to explore Kyoto. I have a long list of things to do and see from my reading. I'll see if one of the big book stores has the book so I look though it. Sounds like it might help. Thanks!
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Old Apr 1st, 2005, 01:50 PM
  #65  
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Linda: The transportation is what intimidated me the most during planning. I would read these posts about how to navigate the system and think "yikes!" But when I got there it was easy. The visuals they have (charts in the stations at the ticket booths, screens in the JR trains telling you what stop is next and where you are, English on the train station signs, etc.) are so helpful. And I did ask often (but be careful who you ask- I asked the man at the window at the entrance/exit aisle booth), very simple questions and they were always understood and I was given clear direction. One thing that really helped was having the maps of the trains and subways for each town we went to. I got these beforehand (w/exception of Osaka which I got at the info desk in Kyoto Station) and had them in plastic sheeting so I could use them every day without them getting messed up. And I checked them ahead of time before we started out to where we were going. And when we messed up or got turned around, we made jokes about it and kept the sense of humor.
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Old Apr 1st, 2005, 02:12 PM
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Elainee: Do not feel guilty! You had an acute condition which needed immediate treatment, and you had an interpreter at hand. My situation was completely different. I had an acute condition that may or may not have needed immediate treatment, but I was an R.N. in my former life and I knew that I did not have the other symptoms (cardiac, kindey, liver) that would mean my swollen foot would require immediate attn. That is why I made the call to tough it out through the end of the trip, even though my MD told me not to. And I made a good decision, it saved the rest of the trip. But if I had had any other symptoms, you better believe I would have been at the hospital, with or without the interpreter.
One thing this did is sell me on getting travelers medical insurance before I go anywhere internationally again. I have already started investigating it. It is relatively inexpensive and worth it, IMO.
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Old Apr 1st, 2005, 02:24 PM
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cwn: Convince your husband to go to the museum. I do not generally like museums (except art museums) but this is not a boring museum at all. It is like a living museum in that it tells peoples stories, and it really is meaningful. I can't imagine going to the A bomb dome and the childern's memorial and the flame and not going in to get the story in the museum. You can get through it fairly quickly if that is the concern. It can take a half day or it can take 2 hrs. (I did it in 2 hrs as I needed to get off the foot but I saw everything and read most of the explanations.) Plese get him to reconsider. They have good English headsets that you can rent cheap and you punch in the number of the exhibit you are at and it explains it in a very interesting way, plus they have multiple boards at each exhibit w/explanations and commentary. It is one of the best museums I have ever been to, and like I said, I don't like museums much.
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Old Apr 1st, 2005, 03:25 PM
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emd, We spent most of the day at the Museum and Peace Park in Nagasaki last Nov. It was very interesting and well done also. Glad we did. I really don't have any interest in another musuem. I remember all the pictures and stories from my childhood too well. Since my husband said he only wanted to see the site(A Dome and park area-he is the history & WWII buff) we probably will skip it, but another poster did tell me about an area near the clock tower that sounded like it might be interesting and not so much a repeat of Nagasaki. Yes, time is an issue too-there is never enough!
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Old Apr 1st, 2005, 04:49 PM
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emd, thanks for the great trip report. I'm taking my teenage boys to Japan later this year, and it's really helpful to hear some of your experiences.

How is your foot now? Hope it didn't turn out to be too serious?
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Old Apr 1st, 2005, 06:11 PM
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i laughed right out loud about seat 64....never have experienced any problems....you should have taken the seat N/W wanted for you because they had already had a go round with ms nazi, so they were just trying to save you...hahaha.

i am printing out your report for my future kyoto/toyko trip....i was going last year but decided there wasn't enough to do....

look into bangkok and bali...i think you would love both...tell mr emd to plan it and you will approve or disapprove of what he has done...

planning is so much fun...fodor contributions are like planning for yourself...
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Old Apr 1st, 2005, 08:34 PM
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Domo arrigato gozaimashita! What a wonderful trip report. I really enjoyed being at Osaka Dome with you and Casey (well that is what it seemed like, because of the way your write I could really relate to your experience; the Fukuoka Hawks fans do the balloon thing at home too). A rice paddle is definitely the souvenir to get on Miyajima! Am relieved to hear that shipping your luggage to NRT worked out for you. Really am happy that you both had such a good time. You are so thoughtful.
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Old Apr 1st, 2005, 11:19 PM
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cwn, I stayed overnight in Miyajima last month.

I had reserved a single room at the Kinsuikan-bekkan (nice and big) in front of the pier at the web special rate of 4500yen. In their confirmation, they said "shops and restaurants close by 18:00 and there is no convenience store on the island where you can buy take out bentos. We recommende you to have your dinner on the main land before taking the boat or we can serve a dinner at the hotel restaurant for 5500yen. Hotel dinner must be reserved by 17:00". No thanks, I was paying less than that for my room. By the way I chose this hotel over other smaller nice looking hotels because of the dai-yokujo(big public bath)with a sea view they had. Anyway I took my chance and went out after dark for restarants. In my 10 minute stroll along the sea side and some back streets, I saw 4 of them still open at about 20.00. I could have eaten at each of them for 700 - 2000 yen and I finally settled at the one, cozy looking counter place located behind Kinsuikan-Honkan (main building) that was closer to the torii gate than my hotel. Noodle with shrimp tenpura 700 yen, and 2 other small dishes for 600yen. My total bill was over 3000 yen only because I also took a glass of beer and then a half bottle of Cordon Negro Spanish spakling wine (funny they had that at this traditional looking place.). None of the places I saw open were nearly half full so dinning after dark is possible in Miyajima with a few choices. Strolling around Miyajima back streets after dark could be interesting. I saw one racoon and 2 deers facing each other in the dark, just in front of a couple of private houses. I couldn't believe my eyes. They were not fighting or anything. Then the deers moved on and the racoon alone just stayed there. Remember, on this holy island, you are not allowed to harm any living creature, I read.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2005, 01:57 AM
  #73  
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Kappa, wow, that is a really good rate for Miyajima. I'll have to check that out for next time. Your animal story made me smile, it seems so much like something that could happen on Miyajima. I am trying to recall right now why the island is considered so sacred. I have read that pregnant women (and maybe very old people?) aren't supposed to go there but I can't recall why- they don't want them delivering or dying on the island?

ozgal: You are going to have such a fantastic time w/your sons. Maybe they won't even argue so much since they will be having so much fun and awe. My foot is still a mystery, still having tests done. I had such wild thoughts about it. I do drug product liability work and have worked on a case where a bad herb concoction caused kidney failure. I thought maybe I had gotten batch of contaminated melatonin or No Jet Lag, and how ironic would it be if I had gotten some kidney insufficiency. I also thought it might just be some weird reaction to 12 hrs in a poorly pressurized airline cabin (747s are not well pressurized), but I've been back a wk now and it is still a problem. Probably they will do all these tests and it will go away and never know what it was. But next time I am getting a travel medical policy.

mrwunrfl: Did you get a wood tea canister on Miyajima? They are pricey there but I think it is because the woods are so exotic. Do you know how much money the sumo wrestlers get for the last match of a day? I read that the number of flags paraded before a match tells you the worth of the match, because the flags coorespond to corporate donors to the prize, but I have no clue how much they win and am interested in finding out.
Wishing you good luck on planning for your May trip, the Shirak.-Toyama connection, etc. Kiso valley??

cwn: check back later this weekend, i'll get that ferry info to you.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2005, 05:20 AM
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Hi emd, nope got my first one in Takayama a couple days after visiting Miyajima. Booked three nights at the W. Miyako. Nephew will fly to Osaka immediately after 10 days out in the field in the Korean boonies, so a heavenly bed will work. Maybe spend a night in S-go and then send him home from Toyama. He and I have been to a few dozen Pirates games together in Pittsburgh. Looks like it will be the Buffaloes visiting the Tigers for us on May 24 or 25. I don't know the finances of sumo. Thought the flags were for sumo stables, but makes better sense that at would be sponsors. I got a big foot two years ago when staying at Ffx Hosp. (for 24 days!) which they attributed to a blod clot. That was when I learned the definition of pulmonary embolism and what warfarin sodium was.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2005, 05:34 AM
  #75  
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oooo, 3 days at Miyako and Kyoto, & Tigers game- lucky boys. Are you staying in a Japanese room at Miyako or like the one we had? If in the Japanese ones I want to hear about what it is like. I wanted to see one but they were all booked the whole wk. we were there. The gardens and bird trail right there at the hotel will be spectacular. I've only been back one wk. and I want to go back, am already researching places to stay overnight in Ohara or Kurama, maybe a temple night in Kyoto also. Re the blood clot, it was 1st thing I thought of but no red hot or pain in my calf. DVTs and PEs are so dangerous and common w/immobility, and getting more publicity from the reporter in Iraq who got one in the tank and died.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2005, 05:51 AM
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Am planning on w. style at miyako, but will be looking for a traditional ryokan for a night, I think. Would love to hear what your research yields for Ohara, Kurama, and/or temples.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2005, 05:53 AM
  #77  
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P.S. There is a very good baseball store in Osaka Dome but it is not easy to find. I stumbled on it as I was wandering around before the game. It is inside what they call "the mall" area where you would go to enter the club boxes and the several restaurants at club box level. You enter from outside the stadium. I wondered how to eat at those restaurants, do you have to have a club level ticket? You don't have to have a club level ticket to get in the mall area and it seeme dlike you could have just walked into these restaurants w/glass fronts looking right onto the field. Anyway, there is a store down there that has baseball items from all the big teams. It is a bigger and nicer store than the one at Tokyo Dome. Your nephew might like something from there. It is down the stairs from the outfield fan seats and walk towards the lower number gates and you'll see the entrance. And the outfield fan seats are entered at gate 11.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2005, 06:20 AM
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ooo, already finding good ryokans for Ohara. See: www.oohara-no-sato.co.jp/english/html/about.html
(and they have two rooms that have bath and toilet, and nabe is the specialty, sounds good to me; there is a review of this place at http://www.virtualtourist.com/hotels...-MISC-R-1.html It is the 1st one reviewed there.)
Also see: Seryo, right across from Sanzen-in temple at: http://japaneseguesthouses.com/db/kyoto/seryo.htm


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Old Apr 2nd, 2005, 06:22 AM
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and also looking into Ohto Ryokan in Ohara.
I am interested in the Sagano area outside of Kyoto also.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2005, 07:22 AM
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emd- you may look into the possibility that you have lymphodema.

I have it in one arm, and flying makes my hand and arm swell up horribly. I prevent it with a compression sleeve & glove.

They are quite expensive, but you can also use ace bandages if a lymphodema person shows you how to wrap them.
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