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minto Feb 6th, 2007 05:05 AM

Just booked tour of Imperial Palace in Kyoto: any tours you wish you had booked/ organised before leaving for your Japan trip?
Hello, I just booked a tour of the Imperial Palace in Kyoto on the JNTO website. You have to do it at least a day beforehand. I don't know if it's at all busy at this time of year but I feel happier having organised it before leaving home.

Which got me thinking... what else should I have organised before my Tokyo and Kyoto trip? Do any other sites have restricted access? I am not buying a JR rail pass so I don't need to think about that.

apatinage Feb 6th, 2007 05:28 AM

I am very curious about this myself... I just booked the tour yesterday as well for Kyoto and Tokyo on March 16th and March 20th. I would love to know about any other tours that I need to plan ahead for.

kja Feb 6th, 2007 09:36 AM

Katsura Rikyu - another imperial villa in the Kyoto area - can also be booked ahead of time.

lilipad Feb 6th, 2007 11:44 AM

Nijo Jinya - it is pretty much next door to the castle in Kyoto and it's an old ninja hide out house BUT, you need to schedule in advance and have a japanese guide. u can reserve a FREE japanes guide (university students), BUT, u have to schedule in advance 2-3 days and we did not and they would NOT let us in :(.

minto Feb 6th, 2007 04:22 PM

Thanks lillipad. Had you heard good things about Nijo Jinya?

withkids Feb 10th, 2007 04:31 PM

We will be in Japan for 1 week. I am just starting to research Japan.

I just went to the JNTO website and couldn't figure our what you are talking about. Can you explain more about this? It sounds like there are tours that need to be booked in advance. Is this true throughout Japan? We are planning to visit Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima.

Is there a list of these tours?

Also, is there a better way to travel than with the JR rail pass?


kja Feb 12th, 2007 10:02 AM

Tours of current imperial properties must be booked in advance, but as I understand it, most other sites do not require advance booking. is a good source of information about things like that. Hope that helps!

withkids Feb 12th, 2007 07:36 PM

Thanks. We will keep that in mind as we move forward. Thanks!

gard Feb 12th, 2007 10:12 PM


My wife and I went to Japan a couple of years back and I have posted a trip report with pictures and links on my homepage . Maybe you can find some useful general information there :d

Gard - trip reports and pictures

withkids Feb 12th, 2007 11:04 PM

Looks like a lot of good information. Thanks!

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