Going to Japan in October

May 14th, 2004, 12:59 PM
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Going to Japan in October

I will be visiting Japan right after my trip to Taiwan. I will be in Japan for a about 7/8 days and I have gotten a package tour for my trip with an extra day in Tokyo and in Kyoto.

Tokyo - I will have pretty much 1 full day and 2 half days to sight see on my own. I was wondering what is worth seeing. I am in to technology so I have to see some of that when I am there.

Mt. Fuji/Hakone/Nara - After Tokyo, the tour will be visiting Mt. Fuji and Hakone (staying at Hakone overnight), when I am there on my own, is there anything I should check out around Hakone? Then I will be going to Nara and finally ariving in Kyoto.

Kyoto - I will 1/2 day tour and then the rest is on my own. Is there anything specific I must see in Kyoto after the tour ends? I will also have the next day on my own. I was thinking of either going to Osaka or Hiroshima, or would it be smarter to sight see more in Kyoto? About how much would a round trip ticket to Hiroshima or Osaka be?

Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated, as this is my first time out of the US by myself. Because, I am basically going to be on a tour for most of my trip, I do not think that I will need to get a JR Rail Pass, instead, I probably get day passes in Tokyo and Japan, but I hear there are multiple day passes, what would you recommend? I was also looking into possibly getting an International Drivers Permit for my trip. I won't be driving on the roads, but I hear you can test drive cars at Toyota on a track. I also heard it is handy going overseas because it has my information in multiple languages. Does anyone have any input on this?

Thank you,
AGoela is offline  
May 14th, 2004, 01:44 PM
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there has been lots written on Tokyo, so I'll let you do a search to pick up ideas that appeal to you there.

I would definitely not leave Kyoto for Osaka given your limited time and relative inexperience in travelling. There is enough to do to keep you busy for many days, but not knowing where you'll go on the tour, it is hard to give you specifics...Nijo Castle, Ryoan-ji, Kinkaku-ji, Ginkaku-ju, Kyomizu-dera, Sanjusangen-do, wandering the Gion district, Teramachi shopping, etc are all great. You can pick up an all day bus pass to save.

If you have time I'd recommend this book: "Japan Solo" by E. Kanno and C. O'Keefe.It has good ideas for walks and good help on public transport in many cities in Japan.

I wouldn't bother with an IDP if you won't be driving (and you won't want ot in Japan or Taiwan!). Your passport will have all the info you need...plus I'd guess Toyota will let you use your own Driver's license, as you won't be testing cars on pub lic streeets.
lcuy is offline  
May 14th, 2004, 04:09 PM
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If your tour includes transport from Tokyo to Kyoto and back then you don't need a JR Pass.

I agree with Icuy about not leaving Kyoto. The answer to your how much? question is that to go from Kyoto to Hiroshima it will cost you (6 hours and US $60) or (96 minutes and US $100). That's each way.
mrwunrfl is online now  
May 14th, 2004, 09:39 PM
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If you get a chance , go see the culture show in Guion. They have one in Japanese and one in English . Far from being corny and touristy , it is a very interesting exsposure to Japanese customs.
Peteralan is offline  
May 15th, 2004, 09:18 AM
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I agree with Icuy that with just 1/2 a day, travelling to Osaka from Kyoto is not feasible. Though the Shinkansen journey between the 2 cities are short but the time it takes to get your bearings in Osaka just isn't worth it.

I had a great time in Kyoto. It's filled with lots of sights to see.

A must for me when I was there was the Golden Temple on the lake which had a marvellous reflection in the waters. Pics turned out great there.

I made a call between the Osaka Palace and one of the Kyoto Palace with the "nighting bird" floors that purposely creaked so the Shogun would not be caught off guard of anyone approaching him.

I chose the Osaka Palace which had a lovely view but if I could make another choice, I would have chosen to stay in Kyoto for its more traditional samurai-era sights.
Tiger_Lily is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 08:35 AM
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Thanks for all your help. 1 thing is that, MegaWeb says that you will need an IDP to try one of their cars, and you can get one at AAA for $10, so that I will have to think about is it worth it or not, but I do appreciate your thinking on that matter. Another is that how much are one day passes in Tokyo. I hear that you can get a pass that incorporates all the trains/subways/buses in Tokyo for 1,580 Yen. Is that true, and does it include the Yurikamome to Palette Town (Yurikamome is 1,000 Yen that includes all stops in Palette Town)? My tour includes a trip to Tokyo Tower durring the day, but in many Anime, it looks wonderful at night, is it worth a second trip after the sun sets (especially when I am going to be by myself)?

Thank you,
AGoela is offline  
May 23rd, 2004, 09:35 PM
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Amanda is offline  
Jun 26th, 2004, 07:00 AM
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I just received my tour itenerary for my trip to Japan and I wanted to know what you all think:

Day 1: Arrive at Narata around 14:00. Take Shuttle service to hotel and then I plan on going to Pallette Town that afternoon/evening. (Can anyone give me an estimate on how long it will take to get from Narata to Shinagawa Prince hotel by shuttle service?)
Day 2: 1/2 Day Tour starting at 07:50 - Visit the National Diet Building, Akasaka Guest House, Meiji Shrine, Tokyo Tower, Imperial East Garden and Ginza. Will go to Sony Building after Ginza since it is in the same area. The rest of the day is free.
Day 3: Whole day on my own
Day 4: Mt. Fuji/Hakone Tour starting at 07:50 - Visit Owakudani Boiling Valley, Hakone Ropeway and Boat Cruise on Lake Hakone. Go to Palace Hakone Hotel, planning to relax in the hot spring.
Day 5: Afternoon tour of Nara at 13:15 - Leave Hakone at 08:30 and go to Kyoto. Visit Todaiji Temple, Kasuga Shrine and dear park. Then return to Kyoto.
Day 6: 1/2 day Kyoto Tour at 08:55 - Visiting Nijo Castle, Golden Pavillion, Imperial Palace and Kyoto Handicraft Center. Rest of day free on my own.
Day 7: Whole day on my own. Will probably check out Tondaya.
Day 8: Fly out of Kansai back to the US at 13:30.

I was thinking to change my tour on Day 2 to Day 3. One reason is that it does not break up the tour and it allows me to just walk around and get lost a little. On the other hand it may help me get some ideas of what I want to see for my day off. Just to let you know, I will be flying in from Taipei so the flight is about 3.5 hours that is why I think I can go to Pallette Town on Day 1. At Hakone, do you think the Lake will be a better view or Mt. Fuji? I am probably overthinking my vacation.

All your help will be greatly appreciated.
AGoela is offline  
Jun 26th, 2004, 07:22 PM
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Looks like a fun itinerary. The airport bus to Shinagawa takes about 80 minutes and costs 3000 yen. Not sure what you mean about switching the half-day tour from day 2 to day 3. I don't see that it matters which day you take the tour as much as it matters what you do with the rest of the day and a half.

Your Hakone hotel looks really nice. Here is their home page:
There are some panoramic views on their webpage that are interesting. Looking at the map it seems that the hotel is in a position that faces Ashi's Lake and Fuji-san would be in the same view but on the other side of the lake. The panorama view on the webpage doesn't show either Ashinoko or Fuji-san.

Actually, I think the panorama view just might show both the lake and the mountain and you can make your choice of view based on it. Go to the hotel web page listed above and click on the iPIX hotel tour link. Scroll to the bottom and click on the "View Around the Hotel". The view moves from left to right and goes over the roof. Above the parking lot, you can see a sliver of white below the ridge. I think that is Ashinoko. A bit further to the right there is a pond in the foreground and in the back is the snow covered peak of Fuji-san rising above the ridge. Looks like the Fuji view is a little better.

Day 6, Nijo-jo (Nijo Castle) is the one Kyoto castle that Tiger Lily was referring to.

Have a great trip, Amit!
mrwunrfl is online now  
Jun 27th, 2004, 12:07 PM
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The shuttle is included in my package, so that is why I am taking that over the train. Sorry to confuse, day 2 of my the package is the 1/2 day tour and day 3 is day free. I was thinking to do the whole day on day 2 (Oct. 15) and tour on day 3(Oct. 16). But I will probably keep it as it is now.

Thank you all for your help.
AGoela is offline  
Jun 27th, 2004, 01:03 PM
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If you have a free day, I would highly suggest visiting Kamakura.
In Hakone, one of the fun things we did was go to the outdoor museum. Unique.
Also in Hakone, taking the ropeway to the top and eating the hard boiled eggs cooked in the boiling water of the hot springs.
Recommendation for the Sony Building, is take the elevator to the top floor and walk down. While in Ginza, if there about five am or so, go down to Tsuki Fish Market. Fun and the stalls have some neat stuff to buy at good prices. Notice the theater for Kubuki, (A big white building on your right as you leave the fish market and hike down to Sony)
As for Palette Town, on O'Daiba. This is one of my favorite places as an expat. My husband and I often go over to see movies. The whole little island is full of malls. Palette town is beneath Venus Fort. Across from Venus Fort, the same level is a Toyota Town! Sort of fun to walk around. Also a few rides are just beyone the Toyota building.On this side of the island one can find a cute museum.
There is a bridge that crosses over the expressway to the other side of O'Diaba that contains more stores and a wonderful view of Tokyo. We often eat at one of the restaurants on top facing the city. Sort of near where the Statue of Liberty is.
The is a Maritime Museum here too. Again fun thing.
When visitin Meiji Shrine, go over one of the walkway bridges into Omontesendo. The best price can be found at Oriental Bazaar on this street. (Asakusa also has stalls with interesting things to buy too, but the prices are better at Oriental)Go over to Takeshita Street and browse with the teens. Interesting because you will see these fashions show up in the states in about a year.
If I can answer more questions, please ask. [email protected]
I am living in Tokyo but am moving to Shanghai July 6.
Myszka is offline  
Jul 20th, 2004, 03:00 PM
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I found out that I will be in Kyoto on October 19th and apparently there is a festival called the Jonan Festival. Any information on this festival and what to see/do would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
AGoela is offline  
Sep 6th, 2004, 07:21 AM
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I have a friend who went to Japan last year and he was telling me that he went to a ninja's home and saw the trap doors and the like, i thought it would be interesting to see one myself. Does anyone know of any ninja homes you can see in/near Tokyo or Kyoto? any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you,
AGoela is offline  
Sep 6th, 2004, 08:05 AM
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Ifyou are in to technology, Matsushita electric have an interesting place to visit based on future technology.
I understand it re opens in early october after a refit project, check out this site.

Have fun

Mucky is offline  
Sep 6th, 2004, 11:42 PM
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Bonjour Amit,

The "ninja" house you refer to is called Nijo Jinya. It is a former inn that was used by Daimyos (provincial lords) wishing to survive political intrigues when visiting Kyoto during the Edo Period. Since assassination was seemingly a national sport at the time, inns like this one, including secret pathways, trap doors, hidden escape routes and various other security gadgets, were built in important post towns.

Florence is offline  
Sep 26th, 2004, 06:43 PM
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I will be leaving for my vacation, and just wanted to know if there was any last minute advice since this is my first trip alone. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance.
AGoela is offline  

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