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Visiting Japan... recommend places to go?

Old 02-21-08, 07:14 PM
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Visiting Japan... recommend places to go?

The mrs and I will soon be traveling to Japan for a week. We'll be staying primarily around Tokyo but will be in Kyoto for a couple days. We're attending the wedding of an old friend of ours, and he has some things in mind for us to see, but he will also be busy getting ready in which case we may need to fend for ourselves. I've been there before, but this will be a first for my wife. Can anyone recommend things to do and see that maybe aren't in the major guidebooks?
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Old 02-21-08, 07:24 PM
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I can't, but I just want to say I envy you. Japan is #1 on my list of places I want to go. I'll probably make it there in a couple years once I'm done with school. Enjoy, and post your experiences when you return.
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Old 02-21-08, 07:38 PM
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Thanks and I'll try to let everyone know how it goes.

This trip was totally spur of the moment. We hadn't spoken to our friend in a while (he's been living there ~7 years) and he called one day and said "So, I'm getting married. What are you guys doing March 8th?" We chatted for an hour, and right after we got off the phone we thought, why not? We could both schedule the time off, we were already saving for another trip which was about to be cut short for other reasons, and so we had no excuse not to go to his wedding. Definitely the most impulsive decision we've ever made. Can't wait.
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Old 02-21-08, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by KillerCannibal
I can't, but I just want to say I envy you. Japan is #1 on my list of places I want to go.
Then you better take note of what happened to Paul McCartney there in 1980.
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Old 02-21-08, 09:02 PM
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I've lived in Tokyo for over a year now, and no guidebook will tell you this, but it is by far my favorite experience in the whole city: Zojoji temple (near Tokyo Tower.) Get there on a week day if you can, but weekend is OK too, at about 4:30 in the afternoon. Walk around a bit and enjoy the grounds. Go inside at 4:50 or so and find a seat. There is a beautiful ceremony starting at exactly 5:00 that lasts about 30 minutes. Just close your eyes and enjoy the chanting. I promise you will leave the temple feeling wonderful. I cannot emphasize enough what a wonderful experience this is. Enjoy!
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Old 02-21-08, 10:11 PM
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Kyoto is a great time. I enjoyed the Golden Pavilion and the train station there was also an architectural wonder. I was last there in '99 and had the best genetically modified grapes ever. They cost around 8 bucks but were the size of cherries. I don't know how far from Kyoto it is, but Himeji Castle is interesting if you're into history.
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Old 02-21-08, 10:37 PM
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Thank you, this is exactly the kind of info I'm after. I'm fairly certain I visited Zojoji when I was in Tokyo in '95, but I did not know about the ceremony. We'll have to try that one.

And about the "sex hotels"... yeah, funny story: our friend had a hard time reserving enough rooms for all the guests for all nights so for one night we're being put up in a "love hotel". Yes, it's a theme motel usually rented by the hour, this one has a "70's evil kung fu lord" motif, as our friend so gleefully described it. Good times.

*Edit* I was referring to someone else's post about fetish theme hotels, but the post (hopefully not the poster) has apparently been deleted.

Last edited by nurhaci; 02-21-08 at 10:42 PM.
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Old 02-22-08, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by nurhaci
... our friend had a hard time reserving enough rooms for all the guests for all nights so for one night we're being put up in a "love hotel".
Yeah right, all the hotel rooms in Tokyo are booked that night. Guess who is having a second honeymoon

There are 2 places in or near Tokyo that represent the old, quaint or unusual Japan that I would recommend that you go see. The first is Nihon Minka-en which recreates an old Japanese village complete with many farmhouses, samurai houses, etc. It's located in Kawasaki-city (a city right next to Tokyo), and about 30 minutes by train.

The second is Tsukiji fish market which is a fish market, but not just a fish market. You really have to see to believe. You have to get there early, at 5am to see all the fish bidding and sale action. It's listed in many tourist guides, but at 5am, you won't see many tourists around.

This site gives more details about those 2 places, and a few others: http://www.quirkyjapan.or.tv/Cool.html
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Old 02-22-08, 12:45 AM
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Take a look at my domain (in signature) - especially look at things which we did in March of the different years. If you have any specific question then e-mail me from the link on my web-pages. Lots to see, lots to do, depends on what you want to see?!?!? Flowers? Birds? Buildings? People?
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Old 02-22-08, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by X
Then you better take note of what happened to Paul McCartney there in 1980.
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