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Q: Tourist Itinerary for a Japan Trip ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   5 Comments )
Subject: Tourist Itinerary for a Japan Trip
Category: Sports and Recreation > Travel
Asked by: applemango-ga
List Price: $3.00
Posted: 29 Jun 2004 11:07 PDT
Expires: 29 Jul 2004 11:07 PDT
Question ID: 367763
My girlfriend and I area going on vacation to Japan at the end of
August, and will spend approximately 12 days there. We're going to fly
to Tokyo from the U.S., and are planning our itinerary for the trip.
Can anyone recommend an itinerary for places to visit and things to see
while we're in Japan? We're relatively active individuals in our
mid-twenties, love sight-seeing, cafes, etc. We've never been to Asia
before. Thanks!
Subject: Re: Tourist Itinerary for a Japan Trip
Answered By: scribe-ga on 29 Jun 2004 12:19 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
I hope you will not consider this cheating, but my itinerary from a
1992 trip might be something to consider.

1. Tokyo. I recommend you stay in the Asakusa area, which is part of
Shitmachi or Old Tokyo. I stayed near the glorious Sensoji Temple.
It's a lively neighborhood and not glitzy like the newer parts of
Tokyo. html
 Tokyo deserves at least 3 days. Maybe two full days initially and
another day on the way home.

2. North of Tokyo is Nikko, with it splendid temple and national park
(inhabited by monkeys.)  It's a beautiful place and although you could
make it a day trip (as I did), stay overnight to give yourself time to
explore the park

3. Head south on a bullet rain from Tokyo to Kyoto, acient capital of
Japan and regarded as a kind of Athens. A large city. The famous
Golden Pavilion is there. And up in the hills, a series of Buddhist
Zen Temples, including Ryoanji, with its justly celebrated rock
garden. Walk back towards the city center on a footpath along a

4. An interesting day trip from Kyoto is Nara, capital prior to Kyoto
and home of Todaiji Temple, which houses Japan's largest Buddhist

5. From Kyoto, I took another bullet train to Hiroshima, which is of
course an entirely modern city. The Peace Park and the Memorial museum
are a sobering experience, especially for Americans I think.

6. Near Hiroshima is Miyajima (Shrine Island) with one of the primary
symbols of Japan, the Itsukushima shrine with its torii gates that
stand in the ocean at high tide. Our webguide recommends an overnight
stay here, and I second that.

7. From Hiroshima, I headed northwest to the city of Kanazawa, which
our guide calls "one of Japan's best lesser known cities" and I would

8. From Kanazawa, I ventured into more rural Japan and the small city
of Takayama. A fine way to see Japan as it was. Beautiful countryside
hereabouts, too. Take a hike!

And from Takayama, back to Tokyo.

I recommend you stay in traditional Japanese inns (ryokan) whenever
possible. Make reservations through the Japan-Guide website, which is
one of the best travel sites I have ever come upon.

Japan has lots of night life, by the way. The "entertainment" district
of Hroshima, for example, is really jumping.

Have a great time! Send me a postcard/
applemango-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $2.00
Thanks a lot, a very helpful answer!

Subject: Re: Tourist Itinerary for a Japan Trip
From: tar_heel_v-ga on 29 Jun 2004 11:09 PDT

I spent a month in Tokyo back in the early 90's and loved it.  My
recommendation is pick up a couple of tour guides and then simply get
on the train and get lost.  In Tokyo, the maps in the stations are in
English and as long as you know where your home stop is, you will be
fine.  I would simply pick an area that had something I wanted to see
and then just walk around.  It is amazing the things you will find
such as little hidden Shinto shrines, restaurants, etc.  If the two of
you love site-seeing, you will adore Tokyo.  Enjoy your trip!

Subject: Re: Tourist Itinerary for a Japan Trip
From: muna_jp-ga on 29 Jun 2004 21:15 PDT
Depending on what you and your girlfriend like of course budget too!

Note that around August 11-14 is a long holiday - Obon Holidays hotels
and train tickets will be a little more expensive during this period. 
I hope that you are not scheduled during this period.

You should include Kansai area (Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, etc...) in your
plan.  If you can post what you both like I can give you some
suggestion of places to go in Kansai area (I will let other people
fill in Tokyo info for you).

One more very important thing is to be sure and puchase the JR Tickets
while you are still in USA.   They have package ticket open tickets
(not sold in Japan) at a very-very good price.  This tickets can be
used on Bullet Trains and all JR lines.  Just to give you an idea a
round trip ticket from Tokyo to Osaka is around 30,000 yen per person.
 I am not sure how much the 2 weeks tickets are but I can assure you
that it will be a bargain!

Do post your actual dates and what you guys like to do and I can post
specific places you should visit in Kansai.
Subject: Re: Tourist Itinerary for a Japan Trip
From: applemango-ga on 29 Jun 2004 23:36 PDT

Thanks for very useful information! We are going to be in Japan from
August 25th until September 5th. Any tips regarding the Kansai area
visit would be apreciated.

Regarding what we like... We enjoy wondering around city streets,
discovering interesting cafes and shops, visiting museums and temples,
and getting to know the local cuisine. We'd like to experience both
the modern as well as the traditional side of Japan during our visit.

Thank you for your help.
Subject: Re: Tourist Itinerary for a Japan Trip
From: leoj-ga on 30 Jun 2004 09:03 PDT
I scanned the above and didn't see it mentioned, so I'll add my two cents.

Get a Japan Rail Pass!!!

The Japan Rail system is awesome, and not expensive if you buy a JRP
for your stay.  The only catch is you have to buy them outside the
country.  Check the internet.  Most JAL or ANA offices have them. 
Once you get in country, you convert the rail pass to a ticket.  You
buy the in week long durations and they are good for all the trains,
Shinkensen - except for one I believe, and some of the subways in
Tokyo.  When in Tokyo, buy multiday passes for the rest of the

I've been to Japan 4 times and love it.  I agree with the itinerary
above, but also love northern Japan.  Plan to come back and make sure
you stay at a ryokan at least once.  They can be expensive, but worth
the experience.  Hopefully, you can enjoy the traditional japanese
baths at one as well.
Subject: Re: Tourist Itinerary for a Japan Trip
From: muna_jp-ga on 30 Jun 2004 18:48 PDT
August 25th you escaped the summer vacation that is good.

Here are some places that you should visit in Kansai area:

Lots of temples and shrine in Kyoto city you will need at least two
days.  Definetly visit the Kin Kaguji, Gin Kanguji temple and
Kyumizutera.  These are in Kyoto city area.  There is also another
place that I personally like call UJI - try to be there in the evening
- they have boats that tied a bird call "UU" that catch fish for them
- more of tourism attraction.  Uji also have temple that is on the 10
yen coin.  Ryokan in Kyoto is pretty expensive - you may wnat to
settle more western style.  I will post a link you should become
member and get discounts for hotels etc...  If you have problem with
making reservation let me know I can help you with that.

Osaka is commercial city - may be a couple of days - you must go to
Universal Studio Japan and then spend the evening in Shinsaibashi,
Namba area and of course the Kita area in Umeda is ok too.

You must visit the Kitano area (about half day) lots of old houses and
cafes etc...  If you have a chance and the fund you should stay in
Arima Onsen - supposedly the best Hot Spring in Kansai area.  I am not
sure if they are avaolable online.  Go there by bus form Ashiya City.

NOTE - I left a lot other places such as Nara and Wakayama and Mie - I
am not very familiar woth them I will let someone else comment on

Here is a link that you can become a member and recieved discounts for
hotel/occomodation.  I am not sure if you can be a member if you are
not in Japan but you have nothing to lose to try.

I am a member of this site
I used them a lot for my trips to Tokyo area and sometimes stay in
local hotels with my family for R&R.  You can get great discounts from
them - pricing as low as 2,000 yen a day.  I am not sure if they have
English site.

If you need more info please post you questions.

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