Japan

Who here has been to Japan? I’m headed over in January with my 11 yr old son.

Tokyo first, next skiing in the Alps then a week with a Rail Pass around Kyoto…then on to Jakarta.
Whats worth seeing around Kyoto/southern Japan?
What things are a must see in Tokyo? We are staying in Shibuya near the crossing
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I think I may have to attach a GPS tracking device to my son!

last edited by Bleedin Thumb

Been twice now, flew into Osaka both times, first time we did Kansai area, 4 days in Osaka, 4 Days in Kyoto, & 4 days in Wakayama. New city, old city & rural.
2nd time we did Central Japan, 3 night in Nagoya, 2 in Takayma, 2 in Kanazawa, 2 in Matsumoto, 3 in Toyohasi, 2 in Nara. We did day trips from Toyohasi to Tokyo.
At each place the first stop was the tourist info booth to grab a handful of maps & ask about public transport.
In Osaka, the trains & Metro (subway) worked the best for us, in Kyoto the buses were better. I Wakayama we used trains & buses. In Kanazawa the bus worked best, in Takaya & Matsomoto we used the train, in Tokyo we used the hop on hop off bus, but don’t buy a day pass if it is raining, you can’t sit inside, they give you a shity plastic poncho & make you sit in the rain.
There are lots of castles & all sorts of museums.
The guitar shops are beyond comprehension.
We did lots of walking & we were able to hire bikes for a day in one town & we found another where they were free, you just had to have them back before 5pm.
Train network is fascinating. (And not easy to understand, your rail pass won’t get you on all trains in Japan.)
There are a couple of rail museums, we did the one in Kyoto.
Toyota museum in Toyohasi is also interesting.
We didn’t go skiing, we were there in Autumn both times.
Have fun.

last edited by Cliff Rogers

Thanks Cliff
I want to spend at least 3-4 days in Kyoto.We have accommodation in the Gion district.
What did you think of Osaka?
If you were doing a side trips from Kyoto say for 2 days where would you recommend? I’d prefer traditional or rural to city…

While at Kyoto we did a day trip to Arashiyama, that was worth it.
Beware of the bloody 105 bus, it is not logical, it has more than one start & end point & it doesn’t always travel to the same place even though it is pointed that way. (Bit like the bloody 400 bus at the airport in Sydney)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arashiyama

Don’t miss Nara for sure, it is closer to Osaka that Kyoto.

Osaka wasn’t worth 3 days unless you are into shopping & you can do that in Tokyo.
Osaka was good for the first point of call while we worked out stuff.

Here is a tip, (we have found that this works world wide,) find where the locals eat.
You we get a decent feed for less than what you will pay in the tourist traps.
In Japan in the cities, look underground in the big shopping centres & some of the big transit hubs.
There is usually a string of little restaraunts wedged away in some claustrophobic catacomb of tunnels & corridors. Pick the ones that the locals line up at.
If you are stuck & shit out of time, the prepackaged food in Lawson Station, 7-11, etc won’t kill you. It is also THE best & cheapest place to buy booze. If you drink red wine be prepared to be surprised at how cheap you can get stuff from all over the world.

We also use Trip Advisor to do our homework before we pick places.
https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Tourism-g298564-Kyoto_Kyoto_Prefecture_Kinki-Vacations.html

This 3 day suggestion is a metric shitload to see in 3 days.
https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Guide-g298564-k215-Kyoto_Kyoto_Prefecture_Kinki.html

I’d try to work out which was the best Castle, Temple, Garden, historic building & point of interest in the city & just do them otherwise you get to spend a lot of time finding your way to more of the same.
We really enjoyed self guided walks, particularly the one in Nara.

You’ll also be amazed at how helpful & polite most people are, if you stand on a corner with a map in your hand, somebody will come & help & they will go out of their way to point you in the right direction or find somebody who can.
Most of the young ones can manage English & there are a lot of older ones who are learning English & talk to you just to practice, be prepared for some weird questions, they don’t really want to know the answer, they just asked weird questions to get you to talk to them. I had to get my iPad out & get onto bloody Google to answer some of the questions.
Have a basic map of Australia so you can point to where you are from, they will want to know.

last edited by Cliff Rogers

Good Stuff, thanks for that. :thumbsup:
Nara and Arashiyama will round out our trip nicely.
I just have to make sure I dont break anything when I go skiiing.
Its been 4 or 5 years and I’m not as flexible as I used to be.:smile:

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