Old Mar 13th, 2002, 02:52 PM
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I know this is long, but it was suggested I be more specific where and what I'm seeing so more advice could be offered. Hoping I'll receive more responses this time. Thanks for the help. Lucy

Message: Posting this again, but with more specific information. Will be travelling to Japan in June with the following itinerary. These dates/sights ARE etched in stone (going for educational purposes with a group so even though it looks like I might be in a place a long time, it has already been scheduled). Would like to extend stay after and am wondering how much time I should allow, what to see, etc. Our last day will be in Tokyo and that's where we will depart from. Will be furnished with a 14 day rail pass and thinking about adding on and making it a 21-day pass. Any information or help or suggestions from those of you who have been, seen, etc. would be most appreciated!

Nagoya - 2 days: Tokugawa Art Museum

Kyoto (& Uji)- 3 days: Kiyomizu-dera (?), Nijo Castle, Gold Pavilion, Ryoanji, Heian Shrine, Museum of Modern Art, Handicraft Center

Matsue - 3 days: City tour, Matsue Castle, Lafcadio Hearn, boat ride, seacoast tour, winery

Hiroshima - 1 day: Atomic Bomb Museum

Tokyo - 4 days: Kabuki, Kiyosumi Garden (?), Kamakura (?), Mt. Fuji (?), Baseball Game (?), Mt. Fuji (?)

Those are the definite sights I will see. Question marked items indicate a possibility or a choice.

Based upon the above "itinerary" would staying 5 additional days be too much? Too little? I don't have to stay the entire time in Tokyo, not afraid of travelling by myself to outer areas, just have to depart from Tokyo. It has been suggested to do Kamakura as a day trip, see Nikko (??allow day for travel, day to see), Hakone & Lake Ashi, Onsen.

Would appreciate any feedback anyone could give me about suggestions--what not to miss and what not to waste my time on (not a huge shopper--only for souvenir purposes and representative of where I am!)

Thanks so much in advance for your help and to those who did offer advice. Lucy
Old Mar 13th, 2002, 09:40 PM
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Bonjour Lucy,
Your itinerary will already make you cover a lots of the "must sees" and give you a glimpse of some things you might want to see in more details. I would therefore suggest that you don't plan too much in advance, but that spend those 5 days exploring in more dephth one place you've enjoyed with the tour. IMO, 3 days in Kyoto is much too short. Nikko can be visited in one day, travel included, but I would recommend a night there. The TIC (Tourist information center) can help you book hotels at the last minute, something that shouldn't be difficult in June. Just go to see them in Kyoto or Tokyo (addresses at and ask them what you're looking for. They'll arrange everything for you, and it's free. I've done it countless times at peak travel seasons and have never had any problems finding accomodations.

Wherever you go, take with you a notebook (buy one in a traditional paper shop - if you can stop at only one) and have it stamped at temples, museum, and even train stations you visit. Some of those stamps are work of art and in many temples, you can have a monk calligraphy something on the next page for a small fee. On a rainy day, you can go through the 26 stations of the Yamanote loop line in Tokyo and have your booklet stamped. This makes for a wonderful travel log and a great souvenir.

Old Mar 15th, 2002, 03:49 PM
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Florence, thanks so much for taking the time to respond again (I was hoping you'd see the more detailed itinerary! *S*) I had heard those things about the temple stamps and will definitely take your advice. Since you think I might want more time in Kyoto, is it logistical to go back from Toyko (since I can't extend anything during the official trip) or just "wing it" and see what looks good to me at the time after several weeks in Japann?

Again, thanks for your help and advice, Lucy
Old Mar 15th, 2002, 11:21 PM
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Kyoto is only 3 hours away from Tokyo by Shinkansen (bullet train).

I've noticed your itinerary in Kyoto leaves out Nara, a pleasant daytrip (beware of the deers, don't leave your handbag open), Nishijin textile center, the traditional craft museum (handicraft center is a tourist trap), Nishiki food market, any flea/craft market, second hand kimono and obi shops, Shinmonzen street antiques area, ... isn't that enough to fill a few more days ? ;->

In Tokyo, you might want to stroll in traditional areas like Ueno/Yanaka, visit Shitamachi (low city) museum in Ueno, take a boat from Asakusa and visit Hama Rikyu gardens (or better, go from the gardens to Asakusa) ...

Of course, you might fall in love with a totally different area while on the tour and end up there: The inland sea, between Honshu and Shikoku is enchanting with all those small islands.
Old Mar 17th, 2002, 06:02 AM
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So sorry, this isn't a reply to any of the messages posted. It's just I want to ask help...Can somebody out there give me directions on how to go to Kansai Airport from Kamogawa City? Details on how long the travel is, whether bus or train and how much is the cost. I would greatly appreciate if somebody could provide me the needed infomration. Much thanks.
Old Mar 18th, 2002, 12:50 AM
Posts: n/a has a collection of travel articles on Japan plus geisha tours in Kyoto. Some of the Japan material is written by the authors of Rough Guides. It helped me!
Old Mar 26th, 2002, 04:56 PM
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Hi Lucy,

When making the day trip to Hiroshima, I would suggest being a very early riser and booking one of the last trains back to wherever you may be staying. On my last trip I did so and still felt a little rushed.

As well, have you ever considered staying in Osaka? I used Osaka as a launching pad for day trips to Kyoto, Kobe and Hiroshima and found it very convenient. And - as suggested by another respondant - from Osaka, a side trip to Nara would be relatively easy to take (the Todaaji Temple is spectacular).

As far as whether taking an extra 5 days is too much - think about whether you will ever return to Japan on vacation. If not, I suggest you take a few extra days - I am looking at going back for a third visit (if that gives you any indication of the potential enjoyment of the trip).

Have a Great & Safe Journey!


Old Apr 4th, 2002, 03:35 PM
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A couple words of advice about touring temples and shrines:

1- many of them require you to remove your shoes before entering. I was very glad I wore slip-on shoes without laces. This will also be true if you are staying in traditional Japanese inns (and absolute *must*)

2- even though they are are beautiful and exotic you *will* burn out on them, just like churches and cathedrals in Europe. Try to break up visits to ancient/traditional sites with some shopping and modern attractions. Do not miss the department stores in Ginza and the trendy shops in Shabuya in Tokyo.

I also agree that 3 days in Kyoto is not enough time.

Since you are going to Kyoto, you can probably skip Kamakura. But do go to Nikko - it is unique in Japan and spectacular. A day trip to Nikko from Tokyo is plenty of time.

Another nice trip from Tokyo is Hakone. Beautiful hot spring resort area, and it will be much cooler up in the mountains. Worth it to stay over night.
Old Apr 5th, 2002, 03:45 AM
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Dear lucy,
Just got back from japan. My main stay was in Nara area. Just beautiful. The deer park and the cute shopping center there.
Yes you will burn out on temples. Yet we spent 2 days in Kyoto, 3
days in kobe. You
will need more time in kyoto
if you plan to visit more than a few temples.
Have a great time and enjoy the culture.

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