Need ideas for Trip to Japan in March

Old Jan 8th, 2006, 09:14 AM
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Need ideas for Trip to Japan in March

Hello Fellow Travelers,
I have the opportunity to visit Japan March 17-26. I will be traveling with a friend who is visiting a fellow teacher, JL who lives near Narita. JL will serve as our hostand travel with us.We would like to use her apartment as a base to do some day trips, ie Toyoko and the surrounding area. Then perhaps a few overnighters via train to Hiroshima and Kyoto.
We all love the gardens, shrines and temples, hot springs, etc. I would love to see a sumo match and try as much interesting food as possible. We are open to ryokans or inns.
I don't know if we really have enough time to get very far north if we do visit Hiroshima and Koyoto.

Was hoping to hear about some of your favorite sites. JL does have a car and will pick us up at the airport but I know that we may not use it much after that.

Thanks for any ideas or suggestions on how to best spend our seven days in Japan.

BK
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Old Jan 8th, 2006, 09:20 AM
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I have to suggest Nikko which is a 2 hr train ride from Tokyo. Its a wonderful shrine complex with great waterfalls neaby. Also, some crazy shopping to Tokyo!

Have a look at my site for info about the Nikko trip and also the details of some great shops.

www.mcdougalladventures.com/category/japan
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Old Jan 8th, 2006, 12:50 PM
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The Grand Sumo tournament in Osaka this year will be March 12 through 26. You can get tickets at the door.

http://www.sumo.or.jp/eng/index.html
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Old Jan 8th, 2006, 02:39 PM
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mrw:
We will be in Kyoto at that time and would like to see a sumo match. What's the best way to get to the arena from Kyoto? How long would transit take? Thinking by train to be the best way?
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Old Jan 8th, 2006, 03:46 PM
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mrwunrfl - If things go well this year I may be in Kyoto around that time. If I get a ticket on the day of the event, are there cheap seats still left, do you think?
Thanks,
Mara
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Old Jan 8th, 2006, 08:13 PM
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I haven't been to the tournament in Osaka yet but I am sure that there will be seats available. The only exception might be on the last day, or next to last day, if the tournament champion had not been determined yet. Even then I would be optimistic.

emd and her son went to the tourney last year. I don't recall if she had details in her trip report.

The sumo.or.jp website has access info:
http://www.sumo.or.jp/eng/ticket/hon...oho/osaka.html

Looks like the Nankai Rail Co. station at Nanba (a.k.a. Namba) is most convenient. But it doesn't look like it is very far from JR Namba station. Or JR to Shin Osaka and transfer to the subway. Would be about an hour travel from Kyoto.

The lowest priced seats are 3600 yen for the Tokyo tournament that started today. I went to that tournament on a weekday, first week of the tournament, and had no trouble at all getting an Arena A seat. The B and C seats were not that much farther back.

While writing this reply, I learned something new! Seat availability is shown on the sumo.or.jp website:
http://www.sumo.or.jp/eng/ticket/han...kyo/index.html
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Old Jan 8th, 2006, 10:50 PM
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The website shows that the last day is already completely sold out and the next-to-last day nearly so.
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Old Jan 9th, 2006, 07:00 AM
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Yes, I gave details in my trip report. We went to a 1 p.m. basbeall game at Osaka Dome first that day, left the game a bit early at 3 p.m. and got to the Osaka Municipal Gymnasium at 3:45 - 4 p.m. We saw the best matches between 4 and 6 p.m. Although I had a map and someone from www.japan-guide.com who lives in Osaka had helped me online while I was planning for the trip and figuring out how to get there, it was somewhat difficult to find Osaka Gymnasium from the subway stop; we asked about 5-6 people on the street and no one could tell us the correct way to get there. Having done it, I woudl say to find the indoor shopping mall at Namba, and the gym is a direct walk down that street, just past the "Book-Off" store w.a big sign. We walked up and got tickets at the Gymnasium, about $50 apiece. We sat in the chairs, not on the floor on the mats. We took binoculars. There were some seats left open around us, not a lot, but some. It was a great day; we loved seeing the sumo and the wrestlers (who were milling around outside when we walked up. I personally would not have wanted to be there all day. Between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. you see the best matches w/the top wrestlers.

Here is my trip report:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=27

Look for day 10, 3/22 - that was sumo day

If you are interested in the map mentioned, let me know (although it was still a bit difficult to find).

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Old Jan 9th, 2006, 01:11 PM
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It would really help you to have a map of the Osaka train and subway lines, then a map of where the Osaka Gymnasium is in relation to the stops. I'll see if the ones I have were found online or not...
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Old Jan 12th, 2006, 09:28 PM
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Well, I found out that my friend lives in the Nagano perfecture in Komoro.
Can you give me some feedback on this preliminary itinerary.

Jan 18 - Arrive Narita 4pm. Travel to Komoro spend the night and recup.

Jan 19 - Spend the day checking out Komoro and the surrounding area via car.

Jan 20 - Travel to Koyoto via train. spend the night.

Jan 21 - Koyoto

Jan 22 - Travel to Hiroshima, overnight.

Jan 23, 25, 25 - Here's where I need some suggestions. Would you recommend trying to see Toyoko or concentrating on sights along the way form Hiroshima to Narita. And/Or perhaps an extra day in the Nangano perfecture?

Jan 26 Depart Narita 3:15 pm

Also, wondering if any of you can suggest hotel, ryokans on our route.
I am assuming a JP pass is the best way to go on this itinerary?

Thanks for any help or suggestions you may have.
Brenda
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Old Jan 14th, 2006, 09:05 AM
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Oh, and here is a link to my friends site with his Tokyo must do's for you:

http://www.ttsai.net/index.php/archi...f-youre-there/
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