where to go in japan?

Aug 4th, 2002, 12:50 PM
  #1  
les
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where to go in japan?

Please help. I'm planning to go on a tour with friends to Japan next year (Autumn 2003) and we need to pick one specific destination since we are limited on time. These are our four choice: Sapporo, Saitama, Yokohama or Kobe.

I have never been to Japan before and would like your opinion on which destination would be the best choice. Thanks for your kind help.

Les
 
Aug 4th, 2002, 10:01 PM
  #2  
Florence
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Bonjour Les,

Those are 4 very different regions: do you have a reason for going to any of them ?

Sapporo, Yokohama and Kobe are big cities with lots less to see than Tokyo or Kyoto, Saitama is OK for nature but doesn't offer much for a first time visitor.
Have a look at www.jnto.go.jp and www.jinjapan.org for a general glance at Japan

for Sapporo http://www.welcome.city.sapporo.jp/t...ish/index.html

Saitama prefecture and Yokohama both have websites too.

Please let us know what you (your friends) expect to see and do in Japan, and we'll gladly help you plan further.
 
Aug 5th, 2002, 12:26 PM
  #3  
M
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Could you let us know how limited on time you are? If you have one week only, there will be a lot of first timers in your group, and you want to see a sampling of different scenery, I would base myself in Tokyo and take a few day trips (possibly an overnight or two) in what I call the "basic" trips from Tokyo: Kamakura, Nikko, and, time permitting, an overnight stay at a traditional in somewhere in the greater Hakone area. An alternative is to base yourself somewhere in the Kansai area and again take day trips (with maybe an overnight or two) in Nara and Kyoto.

Let us know some more of your constraints.
 
Aug 11th, 2002, 12:08 PM
  #4  
les
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Thank you Florence and M for your replies.

The four specific cities are sites of conventions that I can choose from to attend. In addition to the one convention city that we will pick, our tour will also include a brief stop in the Kanagawa pref.

I am told that our visit will probably be only a week or a little longer. So I wanted to find out which convention city I should pick based on what there is to see and do in those cities I listed.

Florence, thanks for those web sites. I briefly checked it out and right now I'm leaning towards going to Sapporo.

More suggestions/opinions are welcome.

Les
 
Aug 11th, 2002, 09:40 PM
  #5  
Florence
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Bonjour Les,

If you decide on Sapporo, try to fly directly there, or consider flying from and to Tokyo/Kanagawa. Train will "eat" 1 day in travel both ways.
 
Aug 12th, 2002, 12:09 PM
  #6  
les
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Florence,

Do you have any suggestions of things we "must see" in the Sapporo area? We would like to go shopping as well as tour scenic areas.

Also, if the number of openings to the Sapporo convention is filled, I must choose a second choice for a convention city (Saitama City, Kobe or Yokohama). Which do you think would be the best 2nd choice destination for first time visitors?

Thanks again for your suggestions.

Les
 
Aug 12th, 2002, 02:48 PM
  #7  
joe
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Since this is your first time in Japan, I would not recommend Sapporo as your destination. One of most interesting things about Japan is the juxtaposition of old and new, and Sapporo has very little of the old. After all, it was settled during the Meiji era when Japan was already being westernized, and Americans assisted in the planning. It therefore lacks the narrow, winding streets characteristic of other Japanese cities. Of your other choices I would pick Kobe, although it too has some western influences it is close enough to Kyoto and Himeji.
 
Aug 12th, 2002, 09:47 PM
  #8  
Florence
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Les,

I'm sorry I haven't been to Sapporo yet, it is still on my "to see" list. I know I'd like to do the breweries tour ;-)

As a second choice, I'd pick Kobe (with a stop on the way to Tokyo to visit Himeji castle, and Kyoto), or Yokohama for its proximity to Tokyo.
 
Aug 13th, 2002, 01:37 AM
  #9  
nori
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I back Florence's 2nd choice, Kobe as your travel destination.

Kobe itself and also being close to Kyoto, Himeji, etc, you will provide you possibilities to see older and traditional Japan. As Joe mentioned, Sapporo (and all of Hokkaido island) has been formed since Meiji-era, a little more than 100 years or so.). You go to Hokkiado on ski holidays or for thermal baths. Otherwise Kobe and its surrounding area sound lots more interesting, esp. for the first-timers, as I agreed with my friends, all Japanese here,in Geneva. You are not scared of earthquakes, are you?
 
Aug 13th, 2002, 01:42 AM
  #10  
nori
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"you will provide you possibilities to see older and traditional Japan"

Correction. please delete the 1st "you".

Thanks.
 
Aug 13th, 2002, 12:21 PM
  #11  
les
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Thank you Joe and Nori for your replies. I didn't realize Sapporo was a relatively "new" city. I was persuaded to pick Sapporo as a 1st choice since I saw beautiful pictures of the Autumn leaves and landscape in travel books. Touring the brewery was an added plus for me! Will Kobe also offer such scenery in mid-late October?

The "earthquake fear factor" is also a concern for one of my friends. Are we just being paranoid tourists?

So do you think we should change our choices and pick Kobe 1st and Sapporo 2nd? How would you rank Saitama City and Yokohama?

Les
 
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