Trip to Japan

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Skarjo
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Skarjo » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:29 pm

Also sign me up for the ‘do not need two weeks in Tokyo’ club. Honestly a few days is more than enough to see pretty much all you need.

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Parksey
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Parksey » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:37 pm

Outrunner wrote:
Lotus wrote:Also, I've been reading about this wifi rental - can anyone recommend a site/service?


I use Sakura Mobile - they deliver to your hotel. I found it invaluable and helped loads with my travel anxiety


I use them for just my normal Japanese phone and so do a few of my friends. Bar the fact that they once sent out a replacement SIM that didn't work, they've been fine.

My parents are coming for three weeks and are doing: Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Kyoto, Nikko, Hakone, Koyasan, Nara, Hiroshima, Himeji and Kobe. That's quite a packed schedule but just shows that two weeks purely in Tokyo would be a bit of a waste. And - whisper it - once you've been to a couple of places and seen a bit of neon, it's not that interesting beyond the selection of bars and restaurants.

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Bunni
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Bunni » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:45 am

We're spending around three weeks in Japan, starting in Fukuoka, then heading up to Hiroshima, Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Hakone and finishing in Tokyo. A couple Wee day trips from each on the way too.

Granted last time we went we spend practically the whole month in Tokyo. While we certainly missed out on exploring the country, we found it very easy to settle into Tokyo and no longer felt like we were tourists after a few days. Just sorta stayed and became happily familiar with the place.

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Outrunner
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Outrunner » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:12 pm

Parksey wrote:
Outrunner wrote:
Lotus wrote:Also, I've been reading about this wifi rental - can anyone recommend a site/service?


I use Sakura Mobile - they deliver to your hotel. I found it invaluable and helped loads with my travel anxiety

And - whisper it - once you've been to a couple of places and seen a bit of neon, it's not that interesting beyond the selection of bars and restaurants.


I'd probably agree with that. I pick Tokyo to start and end my trip mostly as a comfort thing. I love Japan and I love travelling but I do tend to suffer from nerves and anxiety a lot in between all the great stuff. I bizarrely find Tokyo relaxing and familiar. The beginning of the trip at allows me to get my bearings and the end of the trip calms down any residual travel anxieties before coming home.

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gamerforever
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by gamerforever » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:37 pm

So tokyo can get a bit boring after a few days?

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Outrunner
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Outrunner » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:58 pm

Not so much that it's boring. I mean, it's huge and there is plenty to do depending on what you're looking for and what time of year you go. I'm personally coming at it from two angles:

1 - I've been there 12 times (6 trips all bookended by Tokyo). I've seen most of the stuff I wanted to see.

2 - While Tokyo is great and I would recommend it to anyone visiting, loads of the things I've enjoyed the most have been outside of Tokyo. Kyoto, Nara (definitely Nara), Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Kyushu are all worth visiting. I'm not a huge fan of Osaka but I think I'm in the minority and it is worth a visit.

I still like the city and if I go to Japan again this year I'd still start and end it there. I just wouldn't necessarily spend two weeks solidly there. That's not to say you wouldn't, plenty of people do.

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Lotus
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Lotus » Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:07 pm

I've got 6 days in Tokyo for my trip. Banking on that being enough.

Outrunner wrote:Nara (definitely Nara)

I haven't heard much about Nara, what do you like so much about it?

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Parksey
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Parksey » Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:27 am

It isn't that Tokyo is boring, it's more just that I wouldn't necessarily say it's a "tourist city" in the sense of London, Paris, Rome etc. There are probably a few reasons for this, one of which being Westerners' ignorance of Asian history prior to the Second World War, so there could be a lot of history and famous things stuffed away that we don't know about.

The other reason could be due to Tokyo (and to a certain extent, Osaka, and obviously the two cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki) suffered a lot of intensive bombing during the war and so had to be rebuilt afterwards. I know a few other places like Kobe and Kyoto have had bad fires in the past too, and with most of their buildings being made out of wood as recently as 100 years ago or so, not much of the old cities remain. Even a lot of temples and castles you see are reconstructions.

I think Tokyo is a great place to just be, but a lot of my time there now is largely spent just going to a restaurant or a bar - stuff you could do anywhere and in a lot of other big Japanese cities. Once you've spent about three days in Tokyo, you could almost get the same sort of experience in Osaka, in Kobe, in Nagoya. That's not a disparaging comment, and I think the people who come here tend to be the ones who just revel in being Japan. Which I think is why some people spend two weeks in Tokyo and think it's awesome and the best place on Earth, whereas the people who live here - and indeed, a lot of Japanese people - prefer other places. I find people living here tend to prefer the quieter, older, more traditional places. Sort of maybe how a lot of people in the UK are critical of London. But unlike London, which still has strong reminders of its history and past appearance, Tokyo, and many other modern Japanese/Asian cities, are largely compromised of grey/white concrete.

A lot of the busy neon area in Tokyo - Shibuya, Ueno, Ginza, Shinbashi, Harajuku, Shinjuku etc - are all quite samey. Akihabara is a bit different but that's largely because it's otaku Mecca.

Nara was the old capital of Japan around maybe 700AD. Believe it or not I still haven't actually been, despite living here for over three years now. But I imagine it's because it's got a lot more (visible) history than Tokyo. Same reason Himeji Castle is famous, as it's one of the fee big castles that isn't a recent reconstruction.

From what I gather, Japanese people prefer to travel to the countryside, and more traditional natural places too.

I would definitely recommend you do this too. Go to a hot spring town or stay in a traditional Ryokan (an inn) with a good onsen (hot spring bath). Or go somewhere that isn't full of 24 million people as some of my favourite places here have been those which were quieter and more peaceful. Koyasan in Wakayama was pretty nice. As was Kamikochi and a few places in the mountains in Nagano.

Quite a few people here like Takayama, though that does get tourists there too.

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NickSCFC
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by NickSCFC » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:06 pm

gamerforever wrote:Any advice/ ideas would be appreciated.




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Karl
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Karl » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:11 pm

Parksey wrote:Go to a hot spring town or stay in a traditional Ryokan (an inn) with a good onsen (hot spring bath).

<Translator's note: keikaku means plan.>




;)

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Rightey
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Rightey » Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:37 pm

Lotus wrote:I've got 6 days in Tokyo for my trip. Banking on that being enough.

Outrunner wrote:Nara (definitely Nara)

I haven't heard much about Nara, what do you like so much about it?


Nara is really nice, it has a big park with loads of deer that come up and bug you for food, as well as a number of other historic sites, I would highly recommend it for a day trip.

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Outrunner
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Outrunner » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:59 pm

Lotus wrote:I've got 6 days in Tokyo for my trip. Banking on that being enough.

Outrunner wrote:Nara (definitely Nara)

I haven't heard much about Nara, what do you like so much about it?


There's a lot of temples and shrines and gardens which I love. It also feels quite peaceful compared to some cities. Last year I was in Kyoto (which I loved) but felt the need to get away for the day to calm my nerves. I just spent the day aimlessly wandering without any plans and enjoyed every minute of it. I've been twice and loved it both times. Also you can make the deer bow to you like your some sort of deer Emperor.

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Outrunner
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Outrunner » Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:03 pm

Parksey wrote:Quite a few people here like Takayama, though that does get tourists there too.


I liked Takayama the first time I went in 2010. There were tourists but it didn't feel crowded (though maybe we got lucky). Fast forward to 2016 and it was wall to wall tourists. I didn't mind so much as I was using it as a base to get elsewhere but I found it a bit overwhelming.

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Parksey
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Parksey » Sat Feb 03, 2018 5:41 am

Karl wrote:
Parksey wrote:Go to a hot spring town or stay in a traditional Ryokan (an inn) with a good onsen (hot spring bath).

<Translator's note: keikaku means plan.>




;)


Not everyone is as kakkoii as us, Karl, and can drop cool Japanese words in all bara bara. Got to compensate for baka gaijin, innit. We all know the really cool kids use kanji not romaji if they want to be totemo Nihonjin-ppoi and show off how pretentious they are that they know some Nihongo.

Anyway, gotta go to the ol' ekimae now. That manko isn't going to nanpa itself now.

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Lotus
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Lotus » Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:11 pm

Outrunner wrote:
Lotus wrote:I've got 6 days in Tokyo for my trip. Banking on that being enough.

Outrunner wrote:Nara (definitely Nara)

I haven't heard much about Nara, what do you like so much about it?


There's a lot of temples and shrines and gardens which I love. It also feels quite peaceful compared to some cities. Last year I was in Kyoto (which I loved) but felt the need to get away for the day to calm my nerves. I just spent the day aimlessly wandering without any plans and enjoyed every minute of it. I've been twice and loved it both times. Also you can make the deer bow to you like your some sort of deer Emperor.

Nice. Definitely keen to check out some of the quiter areas, and the temples and shrines and such, and I'll be in Kyoto for a few days. Not sure if the time will allow it, but could be an option for sure. If not, next time. :toot: :slol:

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gamerforever
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by gamerforever » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:27 am

After having spent a bit of time looking at prices and packages and the fact that I want to go away to India in December, I am veering towards booking 2 weeks in tokyo, but filling up the holiday with excursions to places including mount fuji, which are easily available. This would cost around £5k in total for the two of us, which is manageable and I just think that I will have to do Japan in stages rather than one big trip! The school holiday prices kill it!

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Parksey
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Parksey » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:37 pm

Break down that £5000 cost?

My parents are coming for 3 weeks and not spending that, and presumably you aren't getting the rail pass if you're staying in Tokyo?

I would repeat: you shouldn't stay 2 weeks in Tokyo. And because of the layout of the country (basically a long, thin strip of usable land running horizontally, it's not a particularly efficient base for a lot of places too.

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Roonmastor
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Roonmastor » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:29 pm

Best website to buy the JR Pass from?

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gamerforever
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by gamerforever » Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:47 am

Parksey wrote:Break down that £5000 cost?

My parents are coming for 3 weeks and not spending that, and presumably you aren't getting the rail pass if you're staying in Tokyo?

I would repeat: you shouldn't stay 2 weeks in Tokyo. And because of the layout of the country (basically a long, thin strip of usable land running horizontally, it's not a particularly efficient base for a lot of places too.


£3k flights and hotel and £1k per week for travel, excursions and food. I must admit i am a little nervous travelling about and planning a trip. End of july/ early august seems more likely as we can only take a week off in april.

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Outrunner
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PostRe: Trip to Japan
by Outrunner » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:13 pm

Roonmastor wrote:Best website to buy the JR Pass from?


https://www.japan-rail-pass.co.uk/jr-pass

I've used these every time and found them fast, reliable and sometimes a little cheaper than the rest.


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