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If you only had one week in Japan where would you go and what month?

If you only had one week in Japan where would you go and what month?

Jan 18th, 2002, 07:52 AM
  #41  
Florence
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The Japanese have only one complaint about air conditionning: that it wasn't invented earlier. I've yet to find a place that didn't have it, even in the most remote villages and the smallest shops, restaurants, temple lecture halls, closed bus stops, etc.
 
Jan 18th, 2002, 01:29 PM
  #42  
Sarah
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thx Florence that is a relief
 
Jan 18th, 2002, 09:48 PM
  #43  
Caroline
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Sarah,
all places in kansai do have air condition, and as Jackie said, it is only outside that you might think it is soooo hot. But as Florence mentionned, the festivals, fireworks, and atmostphere in summer is very different too. July or August in Kyoto are not as crowded as usual, excepted for the Gion Matsuri. In fact, japanese tourists tend to avoid Kyoto at this time of the year, and prefer September/ April.
Have a great trip!
 
Jan 21st, 2002, 10:00 PM
  #44  
Erica
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I agree that edward g. seidensticker's is the best translation. I have it in the two book form in a box. It is very nice. One of my fav books on Japan is called The Brothers... I think that the subtitle is The Story of Japan's Richest Family, but I have loaned it out so I cannot check. It is by Leslie Downer whose "Women of the Pleasure Quarters" was recently published. I have not read the latter, but the former is out of print... you can sometimes find it on half.com I feel that Brothers is a great novel because even though a lot of it may not be true, it really teaches a lot about Japanese culture. I am not sure if all that it teaches would be so obvious to someone who does not know much, but I loved the book.

As for traveling to the "big city." I was just in NYC over the weekend visiting some friends. I am originally from NJ and almost all my close friends live in NYC. I was telling my best friend while I was there that visiting Tokyo is a lot like visiting NYC... if you don't think about the food, the abundance of Japanese people over any other race, and the signs... not an easy thing to do! Anyways, Kyoto is a "big little city" in my mind. It is an awesome place and you can see a lot of small town things there. I love it! The countryside is an easy train/bus ride as well.

I had my bro and sis to my home in Shiga Prefecture for a month in August! The heat was dreadful and we sweat a lot! But they loved it regardless. If you choose summer months, just go knowing that you will be hot!! NYC has a lot of humidity so imagine it being as humid as possible and that is what it will feel like!

Sleeping on tatami... I never had a problem but then again I could sleep on a hard wood floor if I had to. My sis and bro slept fine too. The only problem they had was that they were both allergic to the tatami! Every time we would pick up the futon to put away for the day they would start coughing very badly. We stopped picking it up during the day due to their allergies. (my sis is even allergic to tree bark though, so this may be extreme!)

Last but not least... touristy places... I love bringing people to them! The Golden Temple, Kiyomizudera and the surrounding area with the great pottery, Nijo (the castle from Genji), The Silver Temple, etc. etc. They loved it all. I also took them on a day trip to Himejijo (himeji castle). It is one of the only remaining castles still standing in its original form. My bro loved it, but my sis probably could have cared less. Non touristy things are fun too, but not as easy to find!

Have fun on your trip! Sorry if this email is not very coherent as it is 2am and I am only writing b/c I cannot sleep for some reason. Night, Erica
 
Jan 21st, 2002, 11:29 PM
  #45  
Florence
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Erica, there's one thing to remember about touristy places in Japan (outside of Disney and suchlike): they are geared towards Japanese tourists, not us, so that makes them a "purely" Japanese experience.
 
Jan 22nd, 2002, 09:01 AM
  #46  
Sarah
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Thanks Erica I hope you made it to sleep what are or were you doing in Japan? Sounds like a great experience.
 
Jan 24th, 2002, 02:40 PM
  #47  
Erica
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I just posted an entire reply and lost it because my explorer had an error! agh! anyways, to make it shorter than last time... i was in college at Waseda in Tokyo for a year and then i was a teacher on the jet programme for two years in shiga... my husband is japanese so we visit japan fairly often.

Florence, i wanted to take a moment to reply to your post on touristy places in japan. i don't really agree with you because i feel that even if one doesn't understand what is going on and can't read anything written, that seeing is such a great part of the experience that the rest is not necessarily required to enjoy the experience. anyways, i wrote a lot more about this before i lost it, but am too tired to write anything else now. i did want to ask though... if you were going to suggest non-touristy things to do/places to see in Japan, what would they be? and why would you think that what is non-touristy in japan would be more geared towards foreigners than what is touristy? sorry to ramble... Erica
 
Jan 24th, 2002, 08:37 PM
  #48  
Florence
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Erica,
I certainly didn't (want to) say that non touristy thing and places in Japan are foreigner's oriented ... Non touristy places like for example ordinary food and produces markets or tatami makers factories in Kyoto (in Myoshin-ji-michi, the street leading to Myoshin-ji temple), or the botanical gardens, are fascinating but certainly not geared towards foreigners at all ...

I just wanted to say that non-Japanese tourists shouldn't refrain to visit a place there because they've heard it was crowded by tourists, since those tourists will mostly be Japanese and the attraction will have an authentic Japanese flavor.
 
Jan 26th, 2002, 03:23 AM
  #49  
Erica
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Ohhh.. thanks for clearing that up. I had completely misunderstood what you were saying. And actually I do agree with it now! smiles, erica
 
Jan 28th, 2002, 05:37 AM
  #50  
Melanie
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My favorite spot - definitely removed from western influence - would be in Wakayama, at Nachi waterfall. You have the best of mountains and seaside in this area. It's about a 3 1/2 hr train ride from Osaka, south. Seaside: Stay at Urashima, a hot springs hotel in Nachikatsura. Then take a trip to the mountains. Take the bus ride to Nachi Waterfall, from there hike the trail up to Kumano Shrine - and walk the ancient forest route back down the mountain. At the top of the mountain are incredible views, ancient Shinto shrine and Buddhist temple. One day when we were there we got to witness a shrine maiden dancing at Kumano Shrine. Incredible. My daughter and I were the only westerners. It's beautiful, mention this area to Japanese and you can tell by their response how wonderful it is there!
 
Jan 30th, 2002, 09:45 AM
  #51  
Sarah
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Thanks Melanie that sounds so special. Ok I was reluctant to make a general post heading with this question but I had to ask. A friend who has done an extraordinary amount of reading on Japan has told me that there is a big problem with women being molested on the trains. Anybody know about this? I recall hearing about this some years ago did not know it was still a problem. Sounds like there are so many people pushed against each other the women are trapped while this goes on and it is quite common. Any truth to this in your experience or reading? I guess in general if you all could tell me some of the things I should brace myself for in terms of gender relations it would be helpful. I am well aware of the status gap between genders here but it is helpful to hear how this translates into everyday activities or how it impacted you on your trip.
 
Jan 30th, 2002, 12:27 PM
  #52  
lcuy
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Sarah- I have often heard of men groping or rubbing against women in very crowded trains, but have never had it happen to me or any of my friends. Even in my much younger days (when it WAS a problem in other countries)I have never felt the slightest bit scared being alone in Japan. My biggest complaint on trains is when you get stuck next to someone reading the pornographic manga, especially when my teen daughters can see it.
 
Jan 31st, 2002, 12:58 PM
  #53  
xxx
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up for Sarah
 
Jan 31st, 2002, 08:55 PM
  #54  
Florence
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Sarah and Lcuy,

I saw an article in either Japan Times or Yomiuri a few days ago, about a campaign to eradicate the groping of women and other forms of harrassment in the Tokyo subway at rush hour, like men reading pornography, etc. This problem exists only in crowded commuter trains and subways in the main cities.

Other than that and hanging in seedy places and doing the kind of things our mothers warned us against ("don't follow strangers or accept sweets from them, and don't forget to always wear a clean set of underwear because if you don't and get killed by a car, you'll die of shame"), a woman is perfectly safe everywhere in Japan.
 
Feb 1st, 2002, 10:43 AM
  #55  
Sarah
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funny Florence I thought you were serious about the candy.I was thinking jee they offer you candy . Then when I got to the underwear remark I saw the point.

My friend who I respect intellectually told me and I was reluctant to say this but she said some women have had men ejaculate on them. They turn back home get changed and then go back to work. She seem to underscore the return to work as it is just something that happens to women on the way to work. Actually she read that it happens to most women on these trains. Another friend years ago told me about women not wanting to yell out when they are being what she termed digitally raped on these trains. I am sorry again to shock or appaul but I did think this was something to take seriously.

Thanks for letting me know it is confined to commuter trains and perhaps not as bad as I feared.
 
Feb 5th, 2002, 06:35 AM
  #56  
kathleen donohue
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this is not a reply - i, too,will be ariving in Japan May 1, 2002 andleaving on May 16th - what I am looking for is an escorted all inclusive tour for about 12 days. what tour operators do you recommend? would like to go to toyko, okasa and kyoto as well as hiroshema. thank you for your help.
 
Feb 5th, 2002, 08:20 AM
  #57  
Sarah
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Kathleen if you look at the thread people could not suggest tours. I think you should make a separate thead for this question. Read the entire thread hear first and see what other suggested when I asked this question earlier.
 
Feb 6th, 2002, 07:35 AM
  #58  
sarah
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thanks for the info about escortedd tours. will contact jalpal,jace and nissin trael service. also will read carefully "gateway to Japan" appreciate your help. [email protected]
 
Feb 6th, 2002, 04:53 PM
  #59  
lcuy
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Kodansha publishing, which prints "Gateway to Japan", has come out with another book, "Japan Solo" (or is it Solo Japan???). It is an updated version of a book that was unavailable for a long time. I only just bought it, and only peeked inside, but it looks good!
 
Feb 27th, 2002, 08:17 PM
  #60  
thequinnster
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Back to your original question, I would choose a week in Kyoto with side trips to Nara, Himeji, etc. I live in Tokyo but Kansai has so much more to see for historical sites, etc. Re: the molesters, that is only on crowded trains during rush hour. But is still a terrible problem.
 

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