First Trip to Japan - HELP!

Feb 20th, 1999, 01:18 PM
Clueless in Boston
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First Trip to Japan - HELP!

Need advice for first trip to Japan in September. Will be in Tokyo for business for one week, then will have 1 or 2 weeks to travel around. Is it better to stay in Tokyo and take day trips, or better to travel farther and stay in other cities/towns. What should I be sure to see and do in Tokyo and beyond? What are your favorite gardens, temples, etc.? Are the trains easy to figure out? What about renting a car? Any advice and ideas are greatly appreciated!
Feb 27th, 1999, 09:38 AM
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Taking it to the top...
Mar 1st, 1999, 05:03 AM
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I will help as much as I can, but my own travel was limited to Tokyo and immediate vacinity. Went as part of a business school trip. Tokyo is a massive city. You can get to Yokohama pretty quickly from there, but I would probably stay in other cities and not do all the travelling to and from Tokyo. Although I have not been to other areas, might I suggest Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima as other city possibilities. I wouldn't rent a car, unless you are comfortable driving on the left side of the road. A nice walk is the Imperial Palace grounds in Tokyo; it has a pretty garden. Yoshukuni (spelling?) shrine is interesting if you are into history. It is dedicated to Japan's war dead, has some weapons in the gardens, and has a small museum - it occasionally creates controversy in Japan in regards to Japan's role in World War II. Narita has a wonderful temple called Narita-san. I know there is a similar large temple in Tokyo, but the name escapes me. I found the trains easy to use, and the subways are wonderful.
Mar 7th, 1999, 01:21 PM
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I've been to Japan twice recently, so here's my advice. A week in Tokyo is enough time to see everything. Unfortunetly there's not alot of "Old Japan" left in Tokyo. There's a few temples and shrines, there's Ueno park. A good guide book should help you out. The subways are easy to use, e-mail me if you need an explanation. I do suggest a day trip to Kamakura. It's only about an hour train ride from Tokyo. It's a seaside town that's just full of important temples and shrines. Including a REALLY BIG Buddha. You must go to Kyoto for a few days. It's about 3 hours by Bullet train. This is the real Japan! Beautiful temples and gardens. I only stayed there for 3 days, wish I was there longer. In Kyoto, the buses were easy to use, and the best part was a free student guide to show me around the city. (Again, e-mail me for this great little secret!) Although most Japanese don't speak English, there is an information desk at the bigger train stations, like Tokyo station, that can help you with tickets and train information. Call the Japan Tourist Bureau and ask for the booklet from the Japan Inn Group. This is a great source for hotels and Ryokans. Hope this helps!
Mar 8th, 1999, 06:11 AM
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I've been several times in Japan. I think one week in Tokyo in enough. Go to the Imperial gardens it's very nice and very quiet (which is a real luxury in Tokyo). Go to the clubs uselly they are situated in the fifth floor of building. But the real Japan is in Kyoto and Nara. There you will see beautifull temples, gorgeous gardens, geisha. Take the Shinkanshen from Tokyo. Sleep if you can (usually it's expensive) in a traditionnal hotel. It is called a Ryokan. Nara is 30 minutes away from Kyoto by train. I('s lovely. Many parks, a lot of gardens, beautifull temples. The world biggest Bouddha is in Nara. You will feed deer. Walk from temples to garden. It's wonderfull. If you need some adresses write me back
Apr 3rd, 1999, 03:21 AM
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If you have the time, visit Kyoto - you'll need a few days. From Tokyo, Kamakura is only about 1 hour by train.

In Tokyo, you'll find street and train signs in English. The subway system is color-coded, well-mapped at each station, and easy to use.!
Be careful at your destination stops, tho - there are often many exits and that can be confusing.
The Imperial Palace is worth a visit, as is Sensoji Temple and Ueno Park (there are a couple of good museums right near Ueno, as well). Tokyo Tower has great views at night - one word of caution - the higher in the Tower you go, the more you pay!
Driving is on the left - and there's lots of traffic. It will be a real challenge.
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