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deadman29 (Offline)
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Trip to Japan - 04-19-2009, 01:23 AM

Hey guys kinda new to posting here after browsing around for a while. Was planning on going to Tokyo and other close areas for 3 weeks next February and was hoping id get some advise on how to fill up my "plan". Aim really is to visit/do as much as possible in those 3 weeks. Any recommendations on where to go? Also been looking at accommodation and not sure what to do. Was planning on renting an apartment out for the 3 weeks, anyone know of any good sites I can check that are pretty reasonably priced and furnished?

Thanks
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MMM (Offline)
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04-19-2009, 01:51 AM

You could do a weekly mansion, but I can't imagine spending more than a week in Tokyo before running out of things to do.

I always recommend Osaka/Nara/Kyoto/Kobe because they are each distinct cities and all very close to each other.
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Pashwala (Offline)
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Talking 04-28-2009, 10:02 AM

Hi deadman

Just back from a 3 week hol in Japan myself. We go really lucky with the weather hehe 25 degree most days for the last half.

Anyway to your question.

As MMM posted Tokyo itself can provide at most 4 days of stuff to see and do unless ofcourse you are a nightbird and love clubbing etc in which case you could waste a whole week easily hehe.

The stuff to do in Tokyo is obvious though Tokyo tower is a fail for views and over priced. We did the Shidomo tower (500 yen) to the 60th floor and what awesome views at night.


Tokyo as a base is perfect being the public tranport runs like clockwork making it easy to get to Tokyo station.

My top tips for Tokyo area were Nikko and Kamakura. Not to heavy on tourists when we went in March but enough to see and do for day trips from Tokyo. Nikko was awesome we go 3 seasons in one day up at the Tokugawa tomb. It was cold and snowy when we arrived as it is right in the mountains. So in Feb i would pack warm clothes. Kamakura ofcourse has the Buddha and some spectacular views from the hill walk around the temples etc. It also had a nice beach but with nice views. Ofcourse in feb you wont be swimming hehe.

In Nikko there is this place to eat which I cant remember the name of. It caters to backpackers and serves simple dishes like ramen, yakitori. The old woman who runs is is brilliant very friendly. Rough english but she tried and made us feel right at home after a cold day walking hehe. Its easy to spot on the way road back down from the Tokugawa temple. It would be on your left and is marked outside by a signsaying we serve vegetarians.

Beware if she spots you your as good as in and eating hehe.

I liked Kamakura. Quiet little town.

For a day visist i would rate nagoya aswell. We only had acouple of hours between trains. But the people were nice and seemed like plenty to do.

If you can spare a night I would leave early and goto Takayama from Tokyo via Nagoya for a day. Brilliant little town again in the mountains. I think the total travel time from Tokyo is about 4 and half hours. So pack a overnight bag book a hostel and go Leave Tokyo really early get here do stuff get up next morning check the morning markets on either side of the river. Then you can easily head back to Tokyo.

Look into getting a 2 day shinkansen pass for the trip to Nagoya. The train to Takayama is standard local express and isnt too expensive.

In Tokyo itself make sure to do the Tokyo bay islands. Can easily pass a day there. We always found ourselves coming back to Akihabara at night for eating and general soaking of atmosphere.

For Nikko there is some Nikko pass you can get which covers all the buses. Though I would advise just walking about. A combined ticket for the entire Tokugawa temple (one of my highlights) is about 1300 yen. Gets you into every part of the temple (which is still active as we saw some monks chanting away in corners of the temples). Also gets you into a really nice garden.

Tbh deadman to do anything futher than Nagoya you would be best shifting to Osaka. We stayed in Kyoto but the general atmosphere of the place was a bit stuck up and as a general rule it wa s abit of a dump hehe. I advise Kyoto on day trips based from Osaka. Then from there you can easily cover Himeji, Nara, Kyoto etcetc al lthe usual spots. But we also found you can cover Hiroshima though we were going there anyway.

We did Miyajima on the last day in Hiroshima. Spectacular and a whole long day out though the 30 degree heat and 70% humidity was a kiiller. Early spring yeah right

Osaka on other hand is like small version of Tokyo. Loved it.

And on word Hostel! We hosteled the entire trip except for Hiroshima. Great laugh and get to meet new people and find out where theyve been. We dropped Hakone purely because everyone was saying its overrated and Fuji was overcast all the time anyway ^^.

By the way two big tips for Tokyo.
1) Do no goto Ueno Park zoo. Its crap and prob the most depressing zoo ever.
2) If you goto Roppongi be careful and leave any CCs, high value money and valuables in secure storage at hostel/hotel or even in a train station locker.
Only take what you intend to spend and avoid eye contact with anyone hanging on the street side. Some of the folk in our hostel were getting accosted by pimps every 5 minutes which they found rather annoying and also when we were there the police were clamping down on Roppongi a bit after a spate of muggings recently of foreigners. Also always keep your drink with it you in sigght

And one tip for Tokyo you must goto into the Yodabashi camera at about 8pm in Akihabara for the atmosphere. It is manic never seen anything like it before

If you would like any more advice just ask I have been recently which makes it a bit easier to give updated tips.

But one thing is sure we did a hell of alot in 3 weeks. So it is possible. Make a rough plan and then work on i when you get there. Dont plan everyday precisely as it is easy to spot something interesting or waste time simply people watching in places like Shinjuku. Also your mood and weather can change everyday affecting things to do.

Tokyo will be very cold in Feb it was avg about 7 degrees C in the 3rd week of march. Then a heatwave hit for the remaining two weeks hehe.

Its nit for once to be able to offer tips now i have actually been

I am definitely going back in two years and doing a more obscure route around the north coast and central Japan.
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RediscoverTravel (Offline)
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04-28-2009, 03:52 PM

I agree that 3 weeks in Tokyo is a lot. If you want to stick with this plan there are many gaijin houses where you can get a room cheap for 3 weeks. See Guesthouses or Gaijin Houses.
February is slow season and many ryokans/minchukus have special deals. This is also an ideal time to visit hot springs (onsen). There is no better way to connect with Japan in the winter. See Japanese Guest Houses - Hot Spring Map of Japan and List of Hot Springs in Japan and
Japanese hot springs (onsen) for more ideas.


---
Japanese Guest Houses
Ryokan (Japanese Inn) Reservation Service
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shincastle (Offline)
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Tokyo - 04-30-2009, 10:53 AM

I have been living in Tokyo for 2 years, so I can there are many places to visit. I would recommend Shinjuku, Shibuya, Akihabara to start with.

Well I don't know your tastes so I also maybe you should check this Tokyo | Explore Japan | Japan-i there is nice place to visit organized by cities, it's quite well done.

I hope it will help,

Shin
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