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Newbie to Japan

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Mar 28th, 2012, 08:05 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 130
Newbie to Japan

Possible trip to Japan the first week of May with open options. I have never been there.....interests? Photography, culture,nature.............Is the only way to fly into Tokyo and go from there? How is driving in Japan? With about 10 days, how's the best way to hone in on an itineray?
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Mar 28th, 2012, 09:40 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: May 2004
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Yes you can fly into Tokyo but also Kansai and Centrair(Nagoya) and now Fukuoka from some US cities.

With 10 days the standard "first trip" would include Tokyo and Kyoto with maybe Hakone or Nikko sandwiched in between.

With your interests just about anywhere in Japan would do but if I were to see Japan again for the first time I think I would fly in and out of Kansai and concentrate on Kyoto and the areas immediately around the city ie Osaka, Nara, Mt Koya. Check out this site for ideas on what and where to visit in Japan.

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2158.html

Aloha!
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Mar 28th, 2012, 06:40 PM
  #3
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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The 1st week of this coming May? The first week of May, known as Golden Week, is a very busy travel / holiday season in Japan, so if you do mean this May, you would be well-advised to begin trying to book your lodging NOW!

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2282.html

Good luck!
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Mar 29th, 2012, 09:04 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
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My suggestion is to definitely spend some time in Tokyo to see and feel the action and enjoy the modern capital of Japan, then take the Shinkansen to Kansai area. Kyoto of course is a must! I could spend one month in Kyoto without getting tired of it. It is a very beautiful city full with culture. If you have time, there are many hot springs in the Kansai area that is worth a visit e.g. Arima. There are so many places to see and it really depends on your interests. I second the advice that you need to book lodging now if you want to travel first week of May, and it is much better if you could avoid that week because it will be difficult to make train reservations as well.
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Mar 30th, 2012, 06:54 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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With your stated interests, I would ditto what Hawaaiantraveler said, plus add a day trip from Kyoto to HImeji castle on the way to Hiroshima and the Peace Park (and maybe even a ferry ride over to Miyjima). I did that all in one day from Kyoto. Oh, and a bus ride to Ohara, just outside Kyoto- great nature and photography there.

WIth your stated interests, Tokyo could just be a miss this time...It is nowhere near Kyoto area for culture, nature, and photography (except Nikko, north of Tokyo, but I think most here would agree that Nara trip from Kyoto trumps Nikko, because Nara used to be the capitol of Japan and is supposedly amazing- disclaimer, I have not been to Nara). And Fujisan area and Hakone are close to Tokyo but most of what you can get there you can get in Kyoto, except of course Fujisan.

But whereever you decide, you really need to go some wk. other than Golden Week if possible.
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