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Small people who resemble my wife running around Japan . . .

Small people who resemble my wife running around Japan . . .

Old Sep 12th, 2013, 09:39 AM
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Small people who resemble my wife running around Japan . . .

We're trying to plan a BIG trip next summer (read: end May, early June) and both the wife and I loved our trip to Japan. We'd like to take the hobbits (boy, will be pushing 7, flies well, travels fairly well; girl, will be 4+, settles down as easily as a highly caffeinated frog). We'd like to go back to Kyoto because . . . Kyoto. We'd spend 5-6 nights there and probably 3-4 in Tokyo. The boy LOVES trains, so his interests are easy to handle. She likes castles and can find fun playing with a box. They both like critters of all sorts (Zoo and Aquarium memberships are kept current, always).

Suggestions on cool things in Kyoto/Tokyo areas (no Disney) for the halflings? I'm at a bit of a loss on what to do to entertain them if we do take them across the big pond - Cormorant fishing? Gifu-jo? HIroshima? They'd probably like wandering around the Fushimi-Inari shrine and Arashiyama. Not sure what will be accessible at Himeji.

Help appreciated.
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 05:18 PM
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Think about taking a quick trip to Nara.

There is a park like area where lot of deer roam around and mingle with the public.

You can buy special food and feed them.The kids will enjoy this activity.

But while we were there we did note that sometimes the deer are very curious and come sniffing the backpacks or any handbag. Everyone is in a happy mood and thus it is fun.

There are many very nice temples also in Nara.
You can take a train from Kyoto to Nara as it not too far.
Have a good day planning your trip.
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 05:46 PM
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I watched cormorant fishing from Gifu and thought it very interesting and entertaining. I sat on the shore and was glad I had binoculars with me. One could also take a boat and get closer. Check the hours - the boats might return to shore a bit late for the halflings (LOL).

If you go to Hiroshima (and I'm sure you are aware that it can be a very painful place to see), you might cross over to Miyajima. Not only is Itsukushima Shrine very cool (at low tide, you can all walk out to it), but there are monkeys at the top of Mt. Misan (no guarantees that they'll come out, though). Too, the deer on Miyajima are, like those in Nara, used to humans; unlike the deer in Nara, the ones in Miyajima aren't as likely to bite.

I trust you've looked at japan-guide, but if not, here's a link to its page on "hands-on" activities.
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2424.html

In mid-May (too early?) there's a major parade in Kyoto -- the Aoi Matsuri. It might take too long for the halflings, but watching it for a short time might be worth considering.
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3948.html

Also in mid-May, the geisha of Kyoto perform in a stunning musical, the Kamogawa Odori -- lovely!

And more-or-less all year round, there's an enjoyable, if touristy, show of various Japanese arts at Gion Corner in Kyoto. I would think they would enjoy the bunraku, dances, and theatrical performances.
http://www.kyoto-gioncorner.com/global/en.html

Hope that helps!
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 09:04 PM
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Gifu-jo is on top of a mountain. You take a ropeway to take up and then a bit of a walk uphill to the small reconstructed castle which a nice little museum. The view might be spectacular when it is not hazy or cloudy. I visited there and Inuyama castle (a pretty sweet National Treasure) on a day trip from Nagoya. Inuyama-jo is an easy walk from the station and there is a nice teahouse and garden on the way.
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3351.html

Your son might like riding the streetcars in Hiroshima but the Peace Memorial Museum might be a bit much for hobbits.
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 09:07 PM
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The more May, and less June, the better. Forgot to mention the Sanja Matsuri in Tokyo in May.
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 09:25 PM
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Oh, that reminds me -- I stumbled upon a wonderful Yayoi festival in Tokyo in late May. As I understand it, it is a firefighters' festival. Companies of firefighters arrive at and process around the temple and then they lift tall poles which they position and hold without any mechanical support. Then one member of each company ascends the pole and performs incredible acrobatic feats. Awesome!
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Old Sep 13th, 2013, 01:15 AM
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My friend tells me that Osaka aquarium is excellent, though I've not been.

If your two are into food, I'm guessing a walk through Nishiki market, trying to identify and talk about some of the unfamiliar foods could be fun?

And you could book a private cookery class in a Japanese home, which may also be a nice way for them to learn about Japanese life whilst having fun activities to do.

I think I read about a crafts place where people can try/ learn traditional crafts, may be some are suitable for children...?
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Old Sep 13th, 2013, 08:14 AM
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These are really good suggestions. Thanks.

We do want to visit Nara - it's one place the boss and I did not visit on our previous trip but knew we'd go to because we liked Kyoto so much.

Mr. W: is this statement "The more May, and less June, the better" weather related or due to tourist invasions? We're from Texas so even a hot summer elsewhere is likely a step down in the heat intensity.
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Old Sep 13th, 2013, 01:13 PM
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http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/engli.../archives.html

I am lucky enough to have NHK World on my cable tv. The above link goes to the listing of a program called Tokyo Eye - if you go through some of the shows there are a few with some good ideas for kids' things....enjoy!
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Old Sep 13th, 2013, 05:07 PM
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May is likely to offer better weather than June. Here's the info:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2273.html
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Old Sep 16th, 2013, 09:02 AM
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Ok. We'd be going late May/early June. Dependent upon mileage rewards and school schedules.
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Old Sep 16th, 2013, 10:06 AM
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As the link that kja gave explains it is a matter of more rain, not heat, in June. Not that that should stop you.
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Old Sep 17th, 2013, 08:19 AM
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Yeah, I checked that. It wouldn't. ;-)
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