So I am planning my first trip to Japan, can you give me any good “insider” tips? Places to stay, places not to be missed, etc…
Well, it would help to know what cities are on your itinerary…
I live in Hiroshima, so I can give you very detailed info about stuff here. I’m sketchier on other places. But let me know where you’re going to go and I’ll do my best.
Yeah, Savannah. Try Mcdonalds.
Don’t you mean “makudonarudo?” Seriously though, like Char said, it depends where you plan to be, unless you plan to travel all over the country. I lived near Tokyo for two years, so I might be able to help you if you plan to be near there.
I used to live in America. Hey, I still live in America.
Just bumping this to let you know that I’m going to be out of the office on Monday (my Monday), so I might not be able to reply for a little longer than usual…
How long are you going for, where are you going, what time of year? You could spend a week in Tokyo alone, so if you could give me a little more info, I woudl be glad to give you some suggestions.
Well, I am probably not going until next April, but I like to have ample time to plan. Also, gives me time to take a language course. Ideally I will be able to spend at least three weeks. Cities I know I definetly want to include on the itinerary are Osaka, Hagi City, Kyoto, Yamaguchi City, and Hiroshima. (My father’s family is originally from Kyoto). I am a potter, and originally studied fine art and art history, so I am really interested in anything art related.
Hre is a tip: go to Thailand instead
Wow, three weeks, hope you have lots of money:-). I would definitey get a rail pass. The Japanese Rail system is awesome, and with the highspeed trains, it is a great way to get around. Kyoto, is a definite must see, there is so much history there, and Osaka is close, so you could hit both. Nara is also in that area. I am not really sure how long it takes to get to Hiroshima, char dawg can tell you that. If you decide to go to Hiroshima, You could stop off in Himeji and see the great white castle there. There is also a small town, I think it is called Kurashiki, where there are many little shops selling traditional Japanese handicrafts. I will have to double check that with my mom. I will also find out more about potttery, and where to go from her. She is into ceramics, and knows alot about them. I will post again.
Thanks for the info! I am looking into hostels and actually I just started checking out some short-term intensive study programs, that way room and board are taken care of up front. Also may travel with a couple of friends which will hopefully help minimize costs a little, particulary if we can stay in hostels of the time. I grew up in rural Alaska too, so don’t mind roughing it a little too(although I’d rather not!).
Actually, you might want to re-think the railpass thing. Assuming you fly into Osaka, Kyoto is close enough that you wouldn’t really use it. The Kansai area (Osaka and Kyoto) is a little ways away from Hiroshima (about ¥14,000 worth one-way), but once you get to Hiroshima both Yamaguchi City and Hagi aren’t far. About $20-25 to Y.C. from here, and the bullet train doesn’t go to Hagi at all. So before you buy that pass, make sure that it’ll be worth the money, and that it covers local trains as well as the Shinkansen (bullet train).
As for the pottery, yes, Hagi is the place to visit, with Y.C. not far behind. Hagi-yaki is very famous in Japan, being rated something like the second-most-elegant pottery style in the country. Not bad for a provincial little town.
If you come to Hiroshima, I’ll be happy to play tour guide for a day or two. Osaka and Kyoto are more problematic, but then they’re large enough that any good tour book can get you to what you want to see. Let me know as your plans firm up.
I agree that if you fly into Hiroshima, the railpass may not be cost effective, but if you fly into Tokyo, it would be worth it. That is how we traveled,and we went from Tokyo to Kurashiki in two weeks, with stops in Nara, Kyoto, Osaka, Himeji, Okayama and Kurashiki. We could have seen more, but we were also spending time with friends and relatives.
Thanks Chardawg, I may take you up on that. I’ll keep you posted.
You do that. Love to finally meet someone from T-land. But don’t forget my hyphen!!!
Cripes! The hyphen! Please forgive the oversight(Although please note it is not lacking in my initial post).
Okay. But just this once…