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gotoadgo
Member
(07-01-2013, 02:30 AM)
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Originally Posted by Zoe

Yeah, we only managed to see Kinkakuji and Kiyomizudera in one day. We got there kinda midday though.

I really wanted to see the deer at Nara :(

Hah, they attacked my girlfriend because she bought food to feed them with. Started chasing her and everything.

Originally Posted by jaxword

What else is there to do in Kyoto?

It's mostly just the temples, but there are quite a few of them and if you don't want to practically run through them all you'd need more than a day.
tarheel91
Member
(07-01-2013, 02:34 AM)
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I'm going to visit my girlfriend's grandparents in a few weeks here. They live in Komatsu. Any suggestions on what to see/where to go with Komatsu as a base of operations?
jaxword
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(07-01-2013, 12:10 PM)
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Originally Posted by gotoadgo

It's mostly just the temples, but there are quite a few of them and if you don't want to practically run through them all you'd need more than a day.

The temples don't hold too much of an interest to me...not that I dislike them, just that I've seen many of them already.

I was considering seeing Nintendo HQ in Kyoto, but reading this guy's attempt:

http://nintendoscene.com/2012/04/17/...q-kyoto-japan/

Tells me that's pointless.

So I guess I should ask: What IS there to do in the Kyoto / Osaka / Kobe area? I may be there for 2 days on my own.


A friend of mine is suggesting the factories in the area, i.e. Toyota. Anyone have any suggestions of which to see?
Last edited by jaxword; 07-01-2013 at 12:14 PM.
SKINNER!
Super Nintendo Chalmers
(07-01-2013, 12:24 PM)
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I'm in the same boat too (2 days in Kyoto) and apart from the temples I was thinking of just wandering around and see what the city offers. I hear the food's great in Kyoto. Might try my luck at Nintendo HQ and see how far I get.
Yonafunu
Member
(07-01-2013, 12:55 PM)
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I'm going to Japan for about 2 weeks with some friends in August. We'll start in Tokyo for about 4 days, then on our way to Kyoto we'll stay at a minshuku for a day. Then we have a week at Kyoto, before we go back to Tokyo for the last couple of days. We'll be using Kyoto mainly as a hub though, for whatever daytrips we might be making from there.
Megalosaro
Member
(07-01-2013, 01:00 PM)
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Do visit Meiji Shrine. It's absolutely gorgeous. The most beautiful part of Tokyo.
lobdale
3 ft, coiled to the sky
(07-01-2013, 01:07 PM)
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Lol at that dude's article mentioning the "Tetris-style paving" outside Nintendo HQ that is just standard sidewalk relief to assist the visually impaired.
jaxword
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(07-01-2013, 01:16 PM)
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Originally Posted by shorty_symd

I'm in the same boat too (2 days in Kyoto) and apart from the temples I was thinking of just wandering around and see what the city offers. I hear the food's great in Kyoto. Might try my luck at Nintendo HQ and see how far I get.

If we're in Kyoto at the same time, we should try and get to the Nintendo HQ. We'll obviously get denied because it's a business building and not an Otaku hangout, but dammit we can say something the other billion Nintendo nerds did not: We went there.

Maybe we can print out a small Neogaf logo and slap it on the side and take a pic before security chases us away.

Originally Posted by Yonafunu

I'm going to Japan for about 2 weeks with some friends in August. We'll start in Tokyo for about 4 days, then on our way to Kyoto we'll stay at a minshuku for a day. Then we have a week at Kyoto, before we go back to Tokyo for the last couple of days. We'll be using Kyoto mainly as a hub though, for whatever daytrips we might be making from there.

Sounds like a lot of us will be in the same areas during August...
Megallica
Junior Member
(07-01-2013, 01:19 PM)
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Originally Posted by tarheel91

I'm going to visit my girlfriend's grandparents in a few weeks here. They live in Komatsu. Any suggestions on what to see/where to go with Komatsu as a base of operations?

Kanazawa is very close and is my favourite place in Japan. Lots to see such as Kenrokuen, geisha district etc.. I also recommend Noto peninsula.
Yonafunu
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(07-01-2013, 02:21 PM)
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Originally Posted by jaxword


Sounds like a lot of us will be in the same areas during August...

Wooow, a Japan meetup or something would be awesome!
SKINNER!
Super Nintendo Chalmers
(07-01-2013, 04:00 PM)
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Originally Posted by jaxword

If we're in Kyoto at the same time, we should try and get to the Nintendo HQ. We'll obviously get denied because it's a business building and not an Otaku hangout, but dammit we can say something the other billion Nintendo nerds did not: We went there.

I'll be in Japan in September for TGS. If you're there too then definitely we can try and see if you can get in.
CHusson91
Banned
(07-01-2013, 04:01 PM)
Let's do a Japan meetup! I'll be free around the time TGS starts. October is also pretty free for me.
tarheel91
Member
(07-02-2013, 02:56 AM)
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Originally Posted by Megallica

Kanazawa is very close and is my favourite place in Japan. Lots to see such as Kenrokuen, geisha district etc.. I also recommend Noto peninsula.

Yep definitely planning on visiting Kanazawa, and Noto looks beautiful. I was thinking of trying to visit at least one "big" city. Tokyo is pretty far away but Nagoya, Kyoto, and Osaka look pretty close at ~3 hours. Any thoughts?
hwalker84
Member
(07-02-2013, 07:33 PM)
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So I don't have much planned yet but so far

Nov 8th leave Pittsburgh
Nov 9th arrive in Tokyo @ 3:10pm
Nov 9th Check in to wherever the hell i'm going to stay. Wash and start exploring
Nov 10th dunno yet
Nov 11th Travel to the otherside of Japan (Probably Hiroshima) stay a day or so then start working my way back
...
...
...
...
...
November 30th Head home
I'm an expert
Banned
(07-02-2013, 07:41 PM)
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Originally Posted by hwalker84

So I don't have much planned yet but so far

Nov 8th leave Pittsburgh
Nov 9th arrive in Tokyo @ 3:10pm
Nov 9th Check in to wherever the hell i'm going to stay. Wash and start exploring
Nov 10th dunno yet
Nov 11th Travel to the otherside of Japan (Probably Hiroshima) stay a day or so then start working my way back
...
...
...
...
...
November 30th Head home

Bike across the Shimanami Kaidou to Ehime and go to an onsen in the Dougo onsen area. Then you can head east to Takamatsu or down to the Iya if you want to do Tokushima. Work your way through either amazing prefecture, then go across Awaji to get back to Kobe, then whatever. Much better than simply going through Okayama.
FireAndBlood
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(07-02-2013, 09:13 PM)
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I'm going to Tokyo for four days in January. You guys have any must-sees? I'm open to anything. Is it wrong to use one day for Tokyo Disney Sea?
Valkyr Junkie
Member
(07-02-2013, 09:27 PM)
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Originally Posted by worldrevolution

Bike across the Shimanami Kaidou to Ehime and go to an onsen in the Dougo onsen area. Then you can head east to Takamatsu or down to the Iya if you want to do Tokushima. Work your way through either amazing prefecture, then go across Awaji to get back to Kobe, then whatever. Much better than simply going through Okayama.

Damn straight. This was the highlight of my trip to Japan in 2010.
hwalker84
Member
(07-02-2013, 09:30 PM)
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Originally Posted by Valkyr Junkie

Damn straight. This was the highlight of my trip to Japan in 2010.

How does one obtain a bike?
I'm an expert
Banned
(07-02-2013, 10:18 PM)
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Originally Posted by hwalker84

How does one obtain a bike?

They have rental stations at either end. Get a bike pillow or biking shorts if you don't bike much.
Valkyr Junkie
Member
(07-02-2013, 10:49 PM)
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Originally Posted by hwalker84

How does one obtain a bike?

Rental spots at both ends as mentioned, and on just about every island along the way. All of the renters are also semi-affiliated. I jacked my derailleur up about 60% through the trail and was able to swap my bike out at a grocery store that particated in the rental system. They just amended my rental agreement.

Here's a good write-up on the trail.
www.japan-guide.com/e/e3478.html
Megallica
Junior Member
(07-02-2013, 10:51 PM)
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Originally Posted by tarheel91

Yep definitely planning on visiting Kanazawa, and Noto looks beautiful. I was thinking of trying to visit at least one "big" city. Tokyo is pretty far away but Nagoya, Kyoto, and Osaka look pretty close at ~3 hours. Any thoughts?

Kyoto is around 2 and a half hours from Kanazawa. Definitely worth visiting but maybe it would be best to stay there a few days to get the most out of it.
hwalker84
Member
(07-02-2013, 11:05 PM)
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What cities are must visits for the 3 weeks i'm going to be there? Starting in Tokyo and ending in Tokyo? Just too much damn information to process.
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(07-02-2013, 11:29 PM)
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Originally Posted by hwalker84

What cities are must visits for the 3 weeks i'm going to be there? Starting in Tokyo and ending in Tokyo? Just too much damn information to process.

Well, you said you're going to Hiroshima and working back, so I'm going to assume you're not going to Kyuushuu. Also I'm going to skip shit like Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto because those are so touristy that you should know whether or not you want anything to do with them. That's why my above suggestions definitely include going to Kagawa for Takamatsu, Sanuki, or Marugame, or Tokushima for Iya, Tokushima City, and Naruto. If you go the Okayama route, Okayama city is quirky but nothing too amazing. If you go a more northern route, you could do Tottori City for the dunes, but you're going during November so the usual summer parties and shit will have ended. If you get down to Wakayama, you'll be treated to a bunch of amusement/water/safari parks and you can check out Shirahama too.

I'm not going to go into detail about central Japan like Gifu or Aichi or Gunma because more than likely you won't go to any of them lol. I'd say pick whether you want to stay on Honshu or go down to "real" Japan on Shikoku, and then plan accordingly.
hwalker84
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(07-03-2013, 03:38 AM)
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Originally Posted by worldrevolution

Well, you said you're going to Hiroshima and working back, so I'm going to assume you're not going to Kyuushuu. Also I'm going to skip shit like Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto because those are so touristy that you should know whether or not you want anything to do with them. That's why my above suggestions definitely include going to Kagawa for Takamatsu, Sanuki, or Marugame, or Tokushima for Iya, Tokushima City, and Naruto. If you go the Okayama route, Okayama city is quirky but nothing too amazing. If you go a more northern route, you could do Tottori City for the dunes, but you're going during November so the usual summer parties and shit will have ended. If you get down to Wakayama, you'll be treated to a bunch of amusement/water/safari parks and you can check out Shirahama too.

I'm not going to go into detail about central Japan like Gifu or Aichi or Gunma because more than likely you won't go to any of them lol. I'd say pick whether you want to stay on Honshu or go down to "real" Japan on Shikoku, and then plan accordingly.

I want some of both. I didn't think I had the time for kyuushuu. I did want to go to Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe. But everything you said as well. Sigh so much to do so little time. 3 weeks is going to fly.
I'm an expert
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(07-03-2013, 04:41 AM)
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Honestly, you can do a lot in 2 days. 2-3 days per prefecture is about the perfect time. If you went out to Fukuoka for example, spent 2 days there, then 2 days in Hiroshima, then do the bike trip or just head east, you'd get to Osaka/Kyoto/Kobe on your second week, which is plenty of time between them. I love all 3, but out of all of them Osaka is easily the most entertaining.

Kyoto will give you that rustic, classic feel but you can get the tower/temples/castle just by going up on Karasuma Douri right in front of the station. What you want to do is cross the river and head into old style Kyoto, and do some research before hand on restaurants you might like to see. The next day you can do all the touristy Kinkakuji shit. Kobe..I dunno..I used to go to Kobe once a month for the outlet malls and shopping but that's all I really enjoyed about it. They have terrible clubs there..with terrible reggae djs..fuck.. You can skip it altogether or give it a day. Osaka I could write a book on since I own a place there, but I'm sure there's plenty of info for you out there. Then it's you're call if you want to do Nara type stuff..I dunno..it's good for pictures and shit but it's not worth wasting days in my opinion. Tokyo is Tokyo..you'll find shit to do.

My advice though is not to hit all the big touristy name places, just pick and choose some, and fill in the rest with more unique spots. I barely write in all the visiting Japan threads though because in the end people usually just end up spending their whole trip in one or two spots.
hwalker84
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(07-03-2013, 04:47 AM)
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Originally Posted by worldrevolution

Honestly, you can do a lot in 2 days. 2-3 days per prefecture is about the perfect time. If you went out to Fukuoka for example, spent 2 days there, then 2 days in Hiroshima, then do the bike trip or just head east, you'd get to Osaka/Kyoto/Kobe on your second week, which is plenty of time between them. I love all 3, but out of all of them Osaka is easily the most entertaining.

Kyoto will give you that rustic, classic feel but you can get the tower/temples/castle just by going up on Karasuma Douri right in front of the station. What you want to do is cross the river and head into old style Kyoto, and do some research before hand on restaurants you might like to see. The next day you can do all the touristy Kinkakuji shit. Kobe..I dunno..I used to go to Kobe once a month for the outlet malls and shopping but that's all I really enjoyed about it. They have terrible clubs there..with terrible reggae djs..fuck.. You can skip it altogether or give it a day. Osaka I could write a book on since I own a place there, but I'm sure there's plenty of info for you out there. Then it's you're call if you want to do Nara type stuff..I dunno..it's good for pictures and shit but it's not worth wasting days in my opinion. Tokyo is Tokyo..you'll find shit to do.

My advice though is not to hit all the big touristy name places, just pick and choose some, and fill in the rest with more unique spots. I barely write in all the visiting Japan threads though because in the end people usually just end up spending their whole trip in one or two spots.

I appreciate all the suggestions. I'm definitely not one of those guys that's going to chill in one city. I need to maximize this trip to the fullest. Kids, house, etc. will be taking up my adulthood in the next year(s). No clue when I'll be able to do this again.

Another question is cellular service. Can I get a sim and put it in my unlocked phone?
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(07-03-2013, 04:50 AM)
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Originally Posted by hwalker84

I appreciate all the suggestions. I'm definitely not one of those guys that's going to chill in one city. I need to maximize this trip to the fullest. Kids, house, etc. will be taking up my adulthood in the next year(s). No clue when I'll be able to do this again.

Another question is cellular service. Can I get a sim and put it in my unlocked phone?

Yes, you can rent a sim, rent a phone, or rent a pocket wifi which is basically a little mini 3g modem you carry around with you that you can connect to with any wifi device. You can pick them up at the airport or have them send it to a hotel for you.
supergiz
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(07-03-2013, 05:17 AM)
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You should go to Mori tower in Roppongi Hills and there is a huge spider statue there. Nearby there is an overlook with an amazing view of Tokyo tower. Best to go at night.
John Rabbit
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(07-03-2013, 05:25 AM)
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i'm going to tokyo for 2 weeks at the end of this month, it's hard enough cramming day trips to Kamakura, Yokohama, Fuji/Hakone and Nikko let alone doing some of this long-distrance traveling y'all are planning.

then again, i'm looking forward to being able to just wander the city without any particular plan.
jaxword
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(07-03-2013, 05:42 AM)
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Originally Posted by John Rabbit

i'm going to tokyo for 2 weeks at the end of this month, it's hard enough cramming day trips to Kamakura, Yokohama, Fuji/Hakone and Nikko let alone doing some of this long-distrance traveling y'all are planning.

then again, i'm looking forward to being able to just wander the city without any particular plan.

Plan a day in Akibahara. I walked in circles for probably 4 hours there and still found something new each time.

The storekeepers hated me, damn white Gaijins, and preferred to say "it's not for sale" rather than listen to my broken Japanese, but who cares, seeing all the video game stuff was so fun.
lobdale
3 ft, coiled to the sky
(07-03-2013, 05:50 AM)
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Originally Posted by jaxword

Plan a day in Akibahara. I walked in circles for probably 4 hours there and still found something new each time.

The storekeepers hated me, damn white Gaijins, and preferred to say "it's not for sale" rather than listen to my broken Japanese, but who cares, seeing all the video game stuff was so fun.

If you go to only one arcade in Akiba/Japan, make it HEY (Hirose Entertainment Yard). All the others pale in comparison, it is the best game center in the world.
Biff
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(07-03-2013, 05:55 AM)
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So has anyone here climbed Mt. Fuji? How hard was it?

Are hiking boots mandatory? I'm getting such conflicting information online, ranging from "dirt path along a gentle hill" to "boulders of ankle doom."
John Rabbit
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(07-03-2013, 06:59 AM)
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Originally Posted by jaxword

Plan a day in Akibahara. I walked in circles for probably 4 hours there and still found something new each time.

The storekeepers hated me, damn white Gaijins, and preferred to say "it's not for sale" rather than listen to my broken Japanese, but who cares, seeing all the video game stuff was so fun.

i actually have 2 days scheduled for akihabara, lol but i'm keeping a fairly lose schedule. we might go to odaiba one of those days instead.

Originally Posted by ChefRamsay

So has anyone here climbed Mt. Fuji? How hard was it?

Are hiking boots mandatory? I'm getting such conflicting information online, ranging from "dirt path along a gentle hill" to "boulders of ankle doom."

this is the main event of my trip. we're packing hiking boots, poles, jackets. etc. from my research, the biggest thing people end up regretting about Fuji is being underprepared for either the change in temperature, or not wearing sturdy enough footwear.

we're going for subashiri trail, which from everything i've read is an easier hike overall, but a little longer than the more popular but slightly tougher yoshida trail. both of these trails are on the east side of the mountain, which is good since we are hiking overnight to watch the sunrise. so even if we don't make it to the top before that, we'll still be able to watch it.
TheBryanJZX90
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(07-03-2013, 07:03 AM)
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Yea it's cold as fuck on top of the mountain. Also keep in mind that it's going to turn into a traffic jam almost as bad as the Tomei Expressway when you get close to the summit a couple hours before sunrise.
muu
Member
(07-03-2013, 07:19 AM)
get into the central tokyo JR trains during rush hour once during the trip. You'll get to feel like Michael Jackson along w/ more people than you thought you could fit inside a train, and you'll learn to appreciate any shitty commute you have back home that doesn't involve cramming two cans of sardines into one.
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(07-03-2013, 11:18 AM)
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Originally Posted by ChefRamsay

So has anyone here climbed Mt. Fuji? How hard was it?

Are hiking boots mandatory? I'm getting such conflicting information online, ranging from "dirt path along a gentle hill" to "boulders of ankle doom."

I did old sneakers both times, but be prepared to throw them away immediately after your trip. They will be destroyed and dusty inside out. Nothing wrong with taking boots.
keiichi
Member
(07-03-2013, 01:11 PM)
I'm traveling with some family later this year, do people think it would be better to book tours and such to Mt Fuji and other destinations here or through the hotel once we get there?

Loving the recommendations so far.
luca1980
Banned
(07-03-2013, 01:27 PM)
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i am going there this august!

arrival at tokyo, departure from osaka!

5 days tokyo 1 day takayama 1 day kanazawa 2 days hiroshima 4 days kyoto and 2 days osaka!

while in tokyo i am planning two day-trips 1 for fuji and the other one for Kamakura!

hiroshima i plan a day a Miyajima trip!

i plan to see nara and nikko and shirakawago!

2 weeks rail pass! can't wait for august really!
Last edited by luca1980; 07-25-2013 at 10:58 AM.
John Rabbit
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(07-03-2013, 06:44 PM)
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Originally Posted by TheBryanJZX90

Yea it's cold as fuck on top of the mountain. Also keep in mind that it's going to turn into a traffic jam almost as bad as the Tomei Expressway when you get close to the summit a couple hours before sunrise.

we're aiming to start hiking at 6pm the evening before. hopefully we'll arrive at the summit well before sunrise.
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(07-03-2013, 06:49 PM)
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Originally Posted by John Rabbit

we're aiming to start hiking at 6pm the evening before. hopefully we'll arrive at the summit well before sunrise.

You will. Just stay in one of the beds up there and then finish the last bit before the sun comes up.
luca1980
Banned
(07-05-2013, 08:23 PM)
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which things shouldn't be missed in tokyo?

how much does it take to visit kamakura from tokyo and Nikko?

I plan 2 day trip...
Last edited by luca1980; 07-05-2013 at 10:07 PM.
TheBryanJZX90
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(07-05-2013, 09:27 PM)
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Originally Posted by worldrevolution

You will. Just stay in one of the beds up there and then finish the last bit before the sun comes up.

I thought you had to reserve those huts well in advance? I heard they're mostly taken up by JTB tour groups and such. Plus, they're not at the actual summit, right? Are we talking about the same thing?

When I did Fuji the people in my group that got to the summit really early were especially miserable. It was just cold and there was nowhere to take shelter except for the bathrooms, which were pretty disgusting.
Liha
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(07-05-2013, 09:29 PM)
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Originally Posted by leadbelly

I'm interested in going to Japan myself so quite interested to hear what people have to say.

I am also interested to visit japan after my study.
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(07-05-2013, 11:47 PM)
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Originally Posted by TheBryanJZX90

I thought you had to reserve those huts well in advance? I heard they're mostly taken up by JTB tour groups and such. Plus, they're not at the actual summit, right? Are we talking about the same thing?

When I did Fuji the people in my group that got to the summit really early were especially miserable. It was just cold and there was nowhere to take shelter except for the bathrooms, which were pretty disgusting.

Depends on which side you climb, but I've only climbed from the Kawaguchiko route. Around the 8th station there's plenty of huts that you can just jump into a bunk bed in. I've only done it twice but never seen more than a few people in there. Timing is definitely important during the climb. If you're starting at night, 10-11 is best so you can get up right before and down immediately after. If during the day, around noon is best so you can grab a bed and get up early. I usually assume about a 6 hour hike for the normal tourist taking it easy and enjoying the views.
TheBryanJZX90
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(07-06-2013, 12:35 AM)
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Oh damn, I almost forgot. For everyone staying in Japan, you should try and spend a night in a ryokan. If you've got 3 or 4 nights planned in Tokyo, spend one of those nights in Hakone, do some sightseeing there, get an awesome formal dinner at your ryokan, relax in some hot springs, then head back to Tokyo the next day all relaxed. It's a good way to actually experience some traditional Japanese culture, much more hands on than just looking at a temple or shrine. Just don't bring all of your luggage because there will be plenty of train hopping between Tokyo and Hakone.
hwalker84
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(07-06-2013, 02:33 AM)
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Originally Posted by TheBryanJZX90

Oh damn, I almost forgot. For everyone staying in Japan, you should try and spend a night in a ryokan. If you've got 3 or 4 nights planned in Tokyo, spend one of those nights in Hakone, do some sightseeing there, get an awesome formal dinner at your ryokan, relax in some hot springs, then head back to Tokyo the next day all relaxed. It's a good way to actually experience some traditional Japanese culture, much more hands on than just looking at a temple or shrine. Just don't bring all of your luggage because there will be plenty of train hopping between Tokyo and Hakone.

Any particular Ryokan you recommend?
TheBryanJZX90
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(07-06-2013, 03:37 AM)
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Depends on where you're going. Probably my favorite ryokan so far was Hakusuikan in Ibusuki, but that's way off in the middle of nowhere in Kagoshima. I've been to Setsugetsuka in Hakone a couple times and it was great each time and fairly reasonable. Food was good and you get a private outdoor soaking tub on your room's balcony. But keep in mind "reasonable" prices for ryokan also include the price of a really nice dinner as well. Usually breakfast too, although I'm not too big on Japanese breakfast food.
Ether_Snake
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(07-06-2013, 03:58 AM)
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I might go to Japan for a month later this year. Not sure if it's too long.

If you don't have a driver's license I guess you can still manage perfectly fine in Japan?
Neo C.
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(07-10-2013, 04:11 PM)
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I'll be pretty soon in Japan for a three weeks language course in Kobe. Very exciting.

I also plan to visit friends in Tokio, do you guys recommend a one-day-trip or should I plan a one-night-stay in Tokio. If it's the latter, what's the most preferable way to do?
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(07-10-2013, 11:55 PM)
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Originally Posted by Ether_Snake

I might go to Japan for a month later this year. Not sure if it's too long.

If you don't have a driver's license I guess you can still manage perfectly fine in Japan?

For what? Driving? Get an international license from your home country, that will be fine to rent a car.

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