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Thinking of going to Japan

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  • Bob
    Defender of the Runestaff
    • Dec 2003
    • 327

    Thinking of going to Japan

    Might seem an odd request, but has anyone been? I was planning to go in or around around October. I've always found the nation fascinating!

    Any must see sites, or places to visit that you can suggest?
    Call me cockey, but if there\'s an alien I can\'t kill, I haven\'t met him and killed him yet!
  • Paul
    Denizen of Moo Uria
    • Dec 2003
    • 127

    Kyoto is a must, doesn't take too long on the train from Tokyo, but the fares are quite steep.



    • Jerico
      Champion of the Balance
      • Jan 2004
      • 1577

      If you join the following group
      and send a message to a lady
      called CG H,
      she can tell you what she knows about Japan.
      She's there right now.

      \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
      Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview


      • Guest's Avatar

        Re: Thinking of going to Japan

        I lived in Japan for 8 years, in Osaka, Tokyo and in the countryside near Mt. Fuji, 1.5 hours west of Tokyo.

        You might consider getting a JR (Japan Railways) pass, like a Europass, which will give you unlimited access to all the JR trains in Japan, including the bullet trains. There are many train lines in Japan, but you can get pretty much everywhere on the JR. You have to buy them before you get there.

        My advice is to skip Tokyo/Kanto and go to Kansai (also called Kinki), which is the Nara/Kyoto/Osaka/Kobe area. The airport you would fly into would be Kansai International, south of Osaka.

        You can get all the big city/nightlife fun you want in Osaka, either in Kita (near Osaka/Umeda Stations) or Minami (near the Shinsaibashi subway station). The Abeno area is also kind of funky, more downscale. Osaka is otherwise pretty boring, ie not much other daytime sightseeing stuff there. Osaka Castle is fun to look at from the outside but it's fake - rebuilt after WWII with an elevator inside.

        Kyoto is where many many many cool temples and shrines are. There is a tourist information stand right across the huge bus area from Kyoto Station. You could spend a week there, but my suggested one-day trip is to start in the northeastern part of town, at the Silver Pavillion (Ginkaku-ji) and walk down the Philisophers' Path, visiting all the cool stuff there until you get to the Kiyomizu-dera temple. Watch the sunset there and then walk west down through Yasaka-jinja shrine through the Gion geisha disctrict to the Shijo area, which is downtown Kyoto. Many cool dinner spots there. If you have more time the Golden Pavillion is also a must-see. There is one other great rock-garden near there, the name of which escapes me - the Ryoan-ji shrine I think.

        Nara is 45 minutes south of Kyoto on several train lines, including the JR. The big deal there is Nara Koen (park) with its tame deer and the huge Buddha, which is worth seeing. Nara is an easy day-trip if you're in Kyoto or Osaka, or if you get an early start you could catch the park and the buddha in half a day if you're quick.

        Kobe is more of a moden city. I would skip it and instead take the JR to Himeji, which is about an hour west of Osaka. It's worth going to because it has the absolute best castle in all Japan: Himeji-jo. Don't miss this one. Like Nara, it's a very easy half-day or day-trip from Osaka or even Kyoto.

        If you get the JR pass you might also go to Hiroshima, which is like 1.5-2 hours west of Osaka on the bullet train. It's well worth seeing.

        There are many other great places to go in Japan, but for my money the concentration of great places to go in Kansai makes it the best destination.

        Have fun,



        • McTalbayne
          Eternal Companion
          • Jan 2004
          • 557

          I wanna go to Japan so Badly. I need money.
          It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor.