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Change of plans - going alone - no idea where to start - 08-09-2008, 03:07 PM

ok so my trip to Japan for New Years is now a solo trip!! which means there is much more planning to do... i was rather relying on my now ex-japanese bf to know where to go & what to do.

i either want to start in Kyoto and work my way up to Tokyo, or Tokyo and work my way to Kyoto.

Which place is better to celebrate New Years? That will determine my start point. (And I'm hoping it won't look strange to be celebrating alone.)

Any tips for places to stop and visit on the way to the other city? I'm looking to see traditional Japan and anything scenic (like this stuff http://www.travelinstyle.com/japan/i...Togetsukyo.jpg and yes i realize it wont be exactly like this since im going during the winter).


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08-11-2008, 12:34 AM

Celebrating New Year's alone is going to be a difficult affair. New Year's is like Thanksgiving in the US. Many businesses are closed from the 31st to the 3rd, so unless you have a family to celebrate with, it's going to be kind of lonely.
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08-11-2008, 12:36 AM

Also, I would think it wise to avoid the places you were going at the times/dates you had planned, if you had set up plans with this now-former friend of yours. Avoiding awkwardness and hurt feelings and all that.


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08-11-2008, 05:23 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koir View Post
Also, I would think it wise to avoid the places you were going at the times/dates you had planned, if you had set up plans with this now-former friend of yours. Avoiding awkwardness and hurt feelings and all that.
Right I won't be going to his hometown now, so I'll be alright.

Now MMM has me worried - if most places are closed .... how will I eat? Or are the resturants open? I don't mind it being 'lonely' ... I'm going alone so I kind of expect that. It will be a good chance to just walk around and see the sights though.


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08-11-2008, 05:31 AM

Maybe you should mingle with some Japanese people on here or something.
Cause hanging out alone sounds terrible x.x
I wouldn't be able to stand it.



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08-11-2008, 05:48 AM

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Originally Posted by ARose View Post
Right I won't be going to his hometown now, so I'll be alright.

Now MMM has me worried - if most places are closed .... how will I eat? Or are the resturants open? I don't mind it being 'lonely' ... I'm going alone so I kind of expect that. It will be a good chance to just walk around and see the sights though.
I spent a couple New Year's in Japan, one time with another American friend, and we just wanted to find a place to celebrate the "count down" but all we found was one empty bar. I am sure Roppongi has some foreigner bars open, but I was with a friend, and we were both kinda depressed walking past one closed shop after another.

Of course not everything is closed down, but I would just say I can't think of a worse time to be alone in Japan. You have a few months, so let's see if you can't find some alternative to walking the streets during those days.
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08-11-2008, 08:51 PM

Well, I have one friend in Kyoto, but she might be spending New Years in Canada with her boyfriend... so I'm not counting on that. I'd reschedule but I'm using 1 weeks from 2008's vacation and one week from 2009's vacation to give myself a lil over 2 weeks.

Maybe I'll run into some other foreigners .... or some really really nice locals that will take me under their wing.


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08-13-2008, 11:32 AM

Book your hotels now, if you haven't already. You can stay as far away as Osaka if you have to, Kyoto is not far by train. More than likely you'll see foreigners at the train station or other places. Don't feel shy about talking to them, many of them enjoy the opportunity to speak to other foreigners in their own language. Hotels in Tokyo will be easier to find during the holiday as many people will leave the city and return to their home towns.

Kyoto would be the best place to spend New Year's eve and day. Where I live, there is a tall hill which has a wonderful view to the east. Many people climb the hill to view the first sunrise of the year, and a local restaurant serves free osechi to anyone who wants some.

Tokyo doesn't slow down much for the holidays, you'll find plenty of places open for business.

You'll have no problem traveling alone, it's perfectly safe here. Wear very comfortable shoes, a backpack, and a camera, and enjoy your stay. If you are interested in seeing places in the Tokyo area, feel free to PM me, I can tell you where to go and how to get there.
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08-13-2008, 11:01 PM

Thanks!

So Kyoto for New Years it is! I'd like to go somewhere pretty to watch the first sunrise! Any recommendations?


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08-14-2008, 04:13 PM

Follow the crowd. Most people go to the temples in the hills which overlook Kyoto. Pack a light lunch, and a bottle of vending machine tea. Bring a mat, you'll find them for sale everywhere, you lay the mat out like a beach blanket in the spot you want to reserve. Take off your shoes before stepping onto your mat.
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