Winter Japan Trip Recommendations

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KuroRyu
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Winter Japan Trip Recommendations

Post by KuroRyu » Sep 30th, '07, 07:38

My friends and I are going to Japan for 3 weeks this December (around Christmas until mid January) :cheers: We're mostly planning to stay in Tokyo, but we'd like to make a couple of 2-3 day trips to other places around Japan. I'm wondering if anyone's got any tips on "must visit" places? This would also include within Tokyo.

yoroshiku onegaishimasu !

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Yorokobi
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Post by Yorokobi » Oct 13th, '07, 01:51

go to akihabara!
it really depends on what type of things you want to see. Like do you want to explore the japanese culture and if so the modern of past culture or both?
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K 's
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Post by K 's » Oct 13th, '07, 05:29

tokyo tower!!!!!!
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hadmish
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Post by hadmish » Oct 13th, '07, 05:43

Outside of Tokyo -
Nikko is really nice. def worth a day trip, although I have not been there in winter, so Im not sure how it would be. mostly has really nice temples (and great gift shops)
Kamakura is also very nice, but again I've never been there in the winter. nice big buddha, a city by the sea.
you can also take a day trip to Hakone, at the foot of mt. Fuji, with sulfur planes - a lot more nature than culture/temples (which is what Nikko and Kamakura offer).
Nagano can also be a nice place for a 1-2 day trip out of Tokyo.

In my opinion, the things you MUST experience here are; Onsen (hotspring), Shopping, Karaoke, Purikura and Izakaya (Japanese style pub with food).

Remember though that Jan 1st till the 3rd is a national holiday, very few things are open (in Tokyo the shops are open and have sales), but its a good time to go to shrines (all the Japanese go dressed up, so its nice to see).

Enjoy your visit! Im sure you will fall in love with Japan (and never wonna leave!).

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KuroRyu
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Post by KuroRyu » Oct 13th, '07, 11:33

Yorokobi wrote:go to akihabara!
it really depends on what type of things you want to see. Like do you want to explore the japanese culture and if so the modern of past culture or both?
Well two of us are mostly interested in the more modern side of Japan so I guess staying in Tokyo is ideal of them :p But the other two (incl. me) would like to see a contrast of the past culture and the new evolving society. Akihabara is definately a gogo for us :) We're gonna live in Asakusa which I guess releatively central Tokyo? A few min. away from Akihabara. Thanks!
hadmish wrote:Outside of Tokyo -
Nikko is really nice. def worth a day trip, although I have not been there in winter, so Im not sure how it would be. mostly has really nice temples (and great gift shops)
Kamakura is also very nice, but again I've never been there in the winter. nice big buddha, a city by the sea.
you can also take a day trip to Hakone, at the foot of mt. Fuji, with sulfur planes - a lot more nature than culture/temples (which is what Nikko and Kamakura offer).
Nagano can also be a nice place for a 1-2 day trip out of Tokyo.

In my opinion, the things you MUST experience here are; Onsen (hotspring), Shopping, Karaoke, Purikura and Izakaya (Japanese style pub with food).

Remember though that Jan 1st till the 3rd is a national holiday, very few things are open (in Tokyo the shops are open and have sales), but its a good time to go to shrines (all the Japanese go dressed up, so its nice to see).

Enjoy your visit! Im sure you will fall in love with Japan (and never wonna leave!).
Thanks for all the great tips! I'll definately discuss these places with my friends, sounds really interesting! What's the best onsen places close to Tokyo? And what things around the Kyoto area would you recommend to visit? As we're planning to pay a visit to the old capital as well.

hadmish
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Post by hadmish » Oct 13th, '07, 13:19

Hej,

uhm, best onsen...there are many and varied. if you have tattoos that might be a problem, so keep that in mind (if its small you can put a band aid or something then its ok). Nikko has really nice Onsens. Nagano is renowned for their Onsens. inside Tokyo there's a nice -but expensive -one in Odaiba, which I really liked. if you go to any TIC (Tourist Info Center) they will be more than glad to give you some specific info.

As for Kyoto, it really depends on your mood. if you haven't had enough of shrines and temples, then go to as many as you can. they're all special and lovely. I'd give Nijo-jo and the imperial palace a miss (they're quite ordinary). Kinkakuji, Kiyomizudera, Heian Jingu, Ryoanji are the top must-see, but most of the others are really different and nice. Choose wisely though, when I first came, I went to Kamakura, Nikko and Kyoto and was kinda sick of all the shrines by the end...so chose the right combination and don't do all those places together. Kyoto has a great night life too (as does Tokyo of course!) so don't forget to try that out!

In tokyo apart from Akiba, you should def go to Harajuku and takeshitadori, Odaiba and Shinjuku. Asakusa is also cool, its a good place to stay - they have some cheap hostels there. (and great capsule hotels if you'd like to try that) - its easy to get around from Asakusa.

have fun planning!

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spacecommand
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Post by spacecommand » Nov 8th, '07, 03:45

Places near Tokyo would be Nikko, Hakone, Kamakura, Yokohama. There are many different places in Tokyo, some with modern flare and some with traditional feel. Asakusa is one of the more traditional older parts of Tokyo. http://www.tokyoexplorer.org

aimlesswanderer
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Post by aimlesswanderer » Nov 8th, '07, 06:40

We stayed at Hakone, near Mt Fuji for 2 nights after xmas last yr. The scenery is impressive, but we had to find a better view of Mt Fuji as we were disappointed with the view on our first day there. It was quite cool and the wind was bloody freezing.

The hotel had an onsen and all you can eat food. Japan was normally very orderly, but man, was there was a real rush for the buffet at 6pm!! We turned up for dinner at 6.15 and most of the food was gone, piled onto plates sitting on tables already.

I would have to agree about not overdoing the shrines and temples, as there are a limitless supply of them. In Kyoto I'd suggest visiting the Gion district (the old entertainment district, we didn't spot any geishas though), Kiyomizudera and Sanjusan Gendo Temple (for the 1,001 buddhas).

Make sure you buy a book at the first big shrine/temple you visit, as you can get each temple to 'sign' and stamp it for only a few $. I can't read any of ours but it looks nice!

the JNTO has lots of info
http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/index.html

I'd suggest you arrange for a few Goodwill Guides, locals who speak some English and take you where you want to go. Very helpful and also a good way to get to know a local. Ours were very helpful and friendly. It's nice to take a gifts to show your appreciation. We took small stuffed koalas.
http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/arrange/essen ... s_a-n.html

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KuroRyu
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Post by KuroRyu » Dec 3rd, '07, 10:09

thank you so much for all the great tips and links!! Been really helpful for our planning!

I'm going to keep a Travel blog when Im there. I'll update it every other day at least with pictures, video clips et.c.

www.xanga.com/HaramKutta

aimlesswanderer
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Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by aimlesswanderer » Dec 3rd, '07, 14:38

For the first few days of the New Year everyone visits shrines and temples, and the line at the Meiji Shrine was just massive, though we weren't quite sure what we were lining up for.... 3 hours later we were finally in.

We also went to the Imperial Palace for the first appearance of the Emperor, and thankfully the wait was fairly short.

Check to see what other special new Years events are on.

The studio Ghibli museum is a must for anime fans, well worth a visit.

http://www.ghibli-museum.jp/ticket/overseas.html

I'm sure you will have fun!

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frashdi87
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Post by frashdi87 » Dec 3rd, '07, 15:02

hi..
i juz came back from japan this evening...
if u r going during the winter...
try to go to kawaguchiko...so nice..
but im not really sure how is it in the winter..
and also kiyomizudera is really nice with all the red leaf....
sugoku sugoi...
u should find place where u can join the matsuri over there..
i guess there should be bon odori somewhere in tokyo during the new year but im not so sure..
but japan is really nice..and dun 4get to bring a lot of money..lol

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