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Tips for visiting Japan

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carlomagno
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Tips for visiting Japan

Postby carlomagno » Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:33 pm

Fellows, I will stay in Japan for full two weeks, arriving Narita in October, but no agenda until now. My most desire is visiting some old forest and shrines and taste in some way the old Japan but also tasting and living the new era. Probably some must see museums and one or two of those Pier's fairs? Would you help me with tips to quickly build my schedule? Hate expensive hotels and rather stay in guest houses or bed and breakfast if clean, and food market close. Rather stay more time in one place than running between places. Thank you in advance!
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souldeep
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Re: Tips for visiting Japan

Postby souldeep » Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:51 pm

Lucky man!!!

Well you fly into the best city in Japan to experience the modern, so you'll already have that covered. The tube network is surprising easy to get the head around. It's one big circle line. I found it strange at first, as not much in the middle except housing (opposite of London), but the line services most of that which is worth visiting in a short period of time.

Day trips from Tokyo I can heartily recommend the forest and lakes around the base of mount Fuji - although one area I visited felt quite spooky as a forest. I'll try and dig that out from old notes so you can avoid.

Hakone is a really beautiful nature reserve, in the shadow of Fuji. That shouldn't be missed, and at that time of year you'll find a part of the old tokado road in wonderful colours running along the south area.

There are a number of shrines (temples) well worth visiting around Tokyo. Perhaps one of the most interesting complexes is actually in Asakusa. Also a lovely gardens in Yoyogi (sorry if I spelt that wrong) park. That also has a really interesting temple inside the park.

To be honest though - please travel. Get a JR pass before you go and use the bullet trains. Reach out from Tokyo area and make sure to visit at least Nara and Kyoto - more gardens, shrines and natural beauty than you can find in the rest of Japan!

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Operafan
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Re: Tips for visiting Japan

Postby Operafan » Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:23 am

Agree with Martyn - get a JR pass (has to be bought prior to your trip, outside Japan), and travel around. The public transport everywhere is wonderful and easy to use.

Of the big cities - Kyoto is my favourite. If there, don't miss the Kinkaku-ji, Ginkaku-ji and the Ryoan-ji shrines, and the Arashiyama bamboo grove.

Two very special places away from the big cities:

- the village Shirakawa-go; stay with a family, enjoy local life and food. Beautiful nature.
- Koyasan - one of the holiest places in Japan. Stay at a temple, with the monks. Absolutely amazing places in and around the small town.

By the way, we could book both the home-stay and the temple-stay on booking.com.

Here are the links of Japan-guide to the two places:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5950.html
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e4900.html

Enjoy !!! :)
Alex

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souldeep
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Re: Tips for visiting Japan

Postby souldeep » Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:15 am

+1 on Koyasan.

JC - If you digress from your statement above, Koyasan is simply my favourite things to do whilst in Japan. Take a few days to live like a monk. It also has one of the most stunning Buddhist graveyards of Japan. The cemetery is home to the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi.

I've stayed in a few of the temples - but I find myself returning to Shojoshin-in. It's located right next to one of the entrances to the cemetery, and is entirely built of old wood. I think remembering it might also be the oldest. A beautiful temple. Be aware though, it is expected to live as the monks do. That includes waking for 5am prays, and joining in with the chanting.

AC_MtKoya_Shojoshin-in_15.jpg
Piglet: "Pooh?" Pooh: "Yes, Piglet?" Piglet: "I've been thinking..." Pooh: "That's a very good habit to get into to, Piglet." - A.A. Milne.

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Operafan
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Re: Tips for visiting Japan

Postby Operafan » Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:00 am

We stayed for three days at Shukubo Koya-san Eko-in temple, loved it. Took indeed part in the monks activities, but there it was not really compulsory.

The cemetery is a magical place. Did a guided night tour with one of the monks, and came back twice, by ourselves.

https://www.japan-experience.com/city-koyasan/okunoin

I enjoy re-living this visit, while telling you about it... Will definitely go back there sooner or later.
Last edited by Operafan on Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:35 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Alex

carlomagno
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Re: Tips for visiting Japan

Postby carlomagno » Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:25 pm

Martyn and Alex thank you. I hope to post from most of the pointed places.
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AFNetsuke
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Re: Tips for visiting Japan

Postby AFNetsuke » Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:04 pm

I hope others will post their favorite vacation spots in Japan. I'm enjoying reading this topic and getting ideas for a future trip. But is there a temple where the monks serve breakfast in bed around 8AM? |( :lol:
Alan

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Tsunuki
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Re: Tips for visiting Japan

Postby Tsunuki » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:22 am

I just got into Japan as an extremely last minute mini vacation for the next week, so the tips are helpful
Are there any can't miss netsuke sights I should know of? I've been to the Tokyo National Museum (that was one of my first introductions to netsuke), so this time I'm planning to check out the netsuke museum in Kyoto and the Tobacco and Salt Museum in Tokyo.
I was hoping to find more flea markets or shrine sales, but so far I've only identified two next weekend in Tokyo (I suppose I shouldn't have expected any to be mid-week).
Ryan

carlomagno
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Re: Tips for visiting Japan

Postby carlomagno » Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:50 pm

Ryan
Where did you find the flea market and shrine sales?
Last edited by carlomagno on Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tsunuki
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Re: Tips for visiting Japan

Postby Tsunuki » Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:15 pm

carlomagno wrote:Ryan
Where did you find the flea market and shrine sales?

Major markets by city:
https://www.japan-experience.com/theme-markets
A similar list:
https://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/shopping/market-morning-market/antique-markets-flea-markets.html
Some in Tokyo:
https://japaninfoswap.com/flea-markets-antique-tokyo/
Some in Kyoto:
https://fastjapan.com/en/p107533
A bunch more in Kyoto:
https://en.compathy.net/magazine/2017/06/21/kyoto-flea-markets/

This weekend in Tokyo I'm hoping to go to the Kasai-jinja Shrine Open Air Antique Market, Hanazono-jinja Shrine Open Air Antique Market and the Oedo antique city at the Yurakucho · Tokyo International Forum.
Ryan


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