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Roy Lindus




Location: UK
Joined: 28 Mar 2005

Posts: 68

PostPosted: Sat 09 Apr, 2005 3:44 pm    Post subject: Japan trip         Reply with quote

We are off for our first trip to Japan soon. any suggestion as to a good visit in Nara, Kyoto or Tokyo?.
30 year obsession
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Steve Grisetti




Location: Orlando metro area, Florida, USA
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PostPosted: Sat 09 Apr, 2005 5:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Have a great trip. I used to go there on business from time to time, to Tokyo and Nagasaki. I do recall once having a nice side trip from Tokyo to Kamakura and Hakone. They were very relaxed spots compared to Tokyo. Other than that, my visits were pretty much limited to business meetings, and the conference rooms look like anywhere else in the world.
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Gabriel Stevens




Location: St. Louis
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PostPosted: Sat 09 Apr, 2005 6:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nikko, about two hours west of Tokyo by train is really beautiful with many temples and the tomb of Ieyasu Tokugawa. As for sword stuff in Tokyo I saw a Japanese sword Museum advertised near Yoyogi park that I never got around to seeing. Kamakura is really nice as well, the Daibutsu is pretty cool.
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Benjamin McCracken





Joined: 26 Feb 2004

Posts: 83

PostPosted: Sat 09 Apr, 2005 9:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What do you want to see? I lived near Kyoto for about a year and I went to Kyoto and Nara quite often. In Kyoto you should see Kinkakuji and Kyomizudera. Kinkakuji is the also known as the golden pavilion and is a Shinto shrine. Kyomizudera is a Buddhist temple, both are really quite nice and easily accessible from the train station. In Nara you should see the Daibutsu. It is one of two extremely large Buddha statues. In both cities there are temples and shrines everywhere and there is plenty of travel information available. If you are interested in seeing some Castles and stuff you can visit Himeji (about a 30 min train ride from Kyoto). There is a beautiful ORIGINAL castle there. Osaka castle is beautiful on the outside, but it is a remake and the inside is just like any other building.

Again let me know what you want to see. If you are going to the south of Japan I lived there for about two years and I can give you some places to visit there as well.


Ben

"Your sword is your shield!"
Christian Henry Tobler


Last edited by Benjamin McCracken on Sun 10 Apr, 2005 7:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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Joe Yurgil





Joined: 01 Jun 2004

Posts: 122

PostPosted: Sun 10 Apr, 2005 7:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I second the Kyoto visit. For more traditional sites you really can't beat it. For the more moder japanese things Tokyo is the mecca. This is simplified of course but you get the gist.
Sj, ar s ek fur minn.
Sj, ar s ek mur mina ok systur mina ok brur minn.
Sj, ar s ek allan minn frndgar.
Sj, kalla eim tl min.
Bija mr at taka minn sta hj eim slum Valhallar, ar drengiligr menn munu lifa allan aldr.
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Roy Lindus




Location: UK
Joined: 28 Mar 2005

Posts: 68

PostPosted: Sun 10 Apr, 2005 1:50 pm    Post subject: Thanks for the replies         Reply with quote

The time spent will be in Tokyo,Nara,Kyoto with some side trips.
As I would not impose to many visits to Sword and Armour museums on 'She who rules' it will mainly be sightseeing and hopefully some Antique markets etc.
Regards
Eek!

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Lloyd Clark




Location: Beaver Dam, WI
Joined: 08 Sep 2004

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PostPosted: Mon 11 Apr, 2005 7:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Hachiman Temple in Kamakura is a MUST visit. They have a small arms/armour museum that lets you get about 6 inches away from the items within (they are behind glass, but I took some fantastic pics of the articulation that was common during the Tokugawa period utilizing the "Asian' maille pattern).

Also, when traveling by train - if you go through Kanagawa Station, take the time to get off and go to the little "ramen" shop that they have in the station, it was the BEST tempura soba that I had in the three years that I lived in Japan - and was a constant stop for me Big Grin

Also, if there is time, visit Fuji-sama (Mt. Fuji) - even if you don't have time to climb it, stopping at the base shop and seeing the rivers and lakes are very much worth the trip.

Have a great time!

Cheers,

Lloyd Clark
2000 World Jousting Champion
2004 World Jousting Bronze Medalist
Swordmaster
Super Proud Husband and Father!
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Sam Barris




Location: San Diego, California
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PostPosted: Mon 11 Apr, 2005 1:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I lived in Japan for almost three years. The most important thing to remember is that Japan is quite possibly the most expensive place to visit on the entire planet. Carry lots of cash with you. If you visit Kyoto or climb Fuji, it is a good idea to carry the equivalent of several hundred dollars in yen around. You don't really have to worry about being robbed, and you never know when you'll be in a "traditional" area where nobody accepts any payment other than cash. It's hard to guess when and where the Japanese will spontaneously decide to shun technology, but it happens. A 10,000 yen note is a better diplomat than an American Express card.

If you go to Kyoto (which I'd recommend), you'll probably want to see the Gyon District, the Temple of the Golden pavilion, Nijo Castle, and my personal favorite, the Fushimi Inari Shrine. There's also that really famous rock garden just down the street from the Temple of the Golden pavilion, but I found it to be very underwhelming. It's tiny. Any one of us could make the same thing in our backyards in about a day. If you can sign up for a tourist package in the Gyon District, it's well worth the money, and you'll see a good cross-section of traditional Japanese crafts, like the koto harp, tea ceremony and Kabuki theatre, and that's coming from a guy who hates packaged tours. They really give you a good deal. And a wonderful tempura dinner.

I'd also recommend you visit Kamakura. The temples there are magnificent, above and beyond the Daibutsu. There is also a swordsmith somewhere in Kamakura that neither Lloyd nor I could remember the name of. If you happen to see him, please let us know. :-)

The thing to remember in Japan is that most things that will stay with you forever are just off the beaten path, just beyond your peripheral vision and just beneath the surface. But Japan is clever like Inari and won't put these things out in the open for every wandering Gaijin to gape at. If you never look past the noise and flashing lights of the pachinko parlor, you'll never see them. If there is a temple that serves as a tourist attraction and you see a small trail leading back into the woods or up the mountain, take it. The real treasures are at the end of the roads that most people dismiss.

Otherwise, have fun!

Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." Thucydides
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
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PostPosted: Mon 11 Apr, 2005 1:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sam Barris wrote:
The real treasures are at the end of the roads that most people dismiss.


As with most things in life Sam. Well said.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Roy Lindus




Location: UK
Joined: 28 Mar 2005

Posts: 68

PostPosted: Thu 14 Apr, 2005 4:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Japan trip         Reply with quote

Roy Lindus wrote:
We are off for our first trip to Japan soon. any suggestion as to a good visit in Nara, Kyoto or Tokyo?.


Thank you all for your e.mails and input. We have watched several programmes and searched the web so it should be great fun as well as drawing us into the poverty zone.
Will let ya know how it goes...... Laughing Out Loud

30 year obsession
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Daniel Parry




Location: UK
Joined: 08 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: Fri 15 Apr, 2005 4:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not much more to add to above except that if you want a one night stay out from Kyoto area, Hida-Takayama, up in the hills, is a lovely place. Great views (can go up by a train). The town is small and the main street is typically ugly (as many Japanese towns are now) but it has some great old buildings (a few of which are featured in glossy books about Japanese traditional architecture) and which are open to the public (at least were 5 years ago !) , and also an historic building museum which has reconstructions of old Edo period buildings set in a kind of park-museum and is really very interesting. Also has a couple of Ryokan hotels to stay in. Good for one night excursion.

Kamakura is a must for a day trip. You can wander around most of it in a day.

Kyoto has a very good museum of costume (kimono mostly) which may appeal to 'she who rules' more than swords. My mum loved it when they visited.

If you do one sword thing, the Yoyogi National Sword Museum is a must. Not large but great stuff if that's what you're into. (Though some of their stuff is over here at the British Museum now for the 'Cutting Edge' exhibition).

Have a great time.

Daniel
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Roy Lindus




Location: UK
Joined: 28 Mar 2005

Posts: 68

PostPosted: Sun 01 May, 2005 7:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eek!
Just back.......29 hours return in all {Kyoto-Osaka-Tokyo-Heathrow-Cotswolds-Cornwall} am too old for that sort of thing!!!. Had a great time and would like to thank all for the advice,much of which we used. Amazed at the Nihonto price,eg, offerd four seppa in poor condition for 60 and in Junk shops terrible Kosherei for 100's.
Going to sleep for a week starting now,will dream of breakfasts at the Ryokan that consisted of Squid and sea weed.........
Regards to all
Eek!

30 year obsession
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Steve Grisetti




Location: Orlando metro area, Florida, USA
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PostPosted: Sun 01 May, 2005 8:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roy,
Congratulations on a safe return home. Those marathon planes, trains and automobiles trips are tough, aren't they. My longest trip was 30+ hours from gate-to-gate to get from an island in Malaysia to Orlando, FL ... after injuring my back in Malaysia.

So, I gather you did not purchase any of the not so good goodies that you mentioned. But, you must have picked up something as a souvenir?
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Roy Lindus




Location: UK
Joined: 28 Mar 2005

Posts: 68

PostPosted: Sun 01 May, 2005 8:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roy Lindus wrote:
Eek!
Just back.......29 hours return in all {Kyoto-Osaka-Tokyo-Heathrow-Cotswolds-Cornwall} am too old for that sort of thing!!!. Had a great time and would like to thank all for the advice,much of which we used. Amazed at the Nihonto price,eg, offerd four seppa in poor condition for 60 and in Junk shops terrible Kosherei for 100's.
Going to sleep for a week starting now,will dream of breakfasts at the Ryokan that consisted of Squid and sea weed.........
Regards to all
Eek!

Forgot to mention the 'Bowing' Deer at Nara..She who rules loved them and they certainly enjoyed her biscuits at 300y per pack!.
The museums in Kyoto were superb as was the Gion district with all the old area and junk shops. Also enjoyed the Hakone area off Fuji san,took a cable car trip to the live volcanic area and ate the black boiled eggs, so have another seven years of life in the bag.......
Terimichi St in Kyoto is well worth a visit with all the old/new combined. The Kyoto Royal Hotel is good and central but avoid the breakfasts as they are hugely expensive unless you need Bacon and eggs{We did}.
The saka shrine,Heian shrine and National museum of modern art are again well worth a trip while Nijo castle with it's wonderfull creaking floor is a must.
Have to say that the imperial palace was a little dissapointing though.
The Kinkaju temple{Golden pavilion} is just about as good as it gets and the Ryoanji temple with the Zen garden is another not to be missed,
I did not enjoy Tokyo, to much Concrete and steel for me but would guess that younger folk would love it,we stayed at the Crown Plaza, good area and fine hotel,would recomend.
Back to Kyoto, in the afternoons in April goto the Gion district and to the 'Miyako odori' {Cherry blossom dance} only an hour in performance but just splendid. Then come back and visit the Nanzenji temple, this will end a good day..........OK.......shut up

30 year obsession
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Roy Lindus




Location: UK
Joined: 28 Mar 2005

Posts: 68

PostPosted: Sun 01 May, 2005 8:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steve Grisetti wrote:
Roy,
Congratulations on a safe return home. Those marathon planes, trains and automobiles trips are tough, aren't they. My longest trip was 30+ hours from gate-to-gate to get from an island in Malaysia to Orlando, FL ... after injuring my back in Malaysia.

So, I gather you did not purchase any of the not so good goodies that you mentioned. But, you must have picked up something as a souvenir?


Aaah, you hit a tender point......as we were using hotels a Ryokan that offered Yukata and Kimono, my child bride of 38 years decided that she 'Needed some' {They will of course never leave the drawer} so a some of cash went in that direction.......As to Nihonto, no. All I saw were of poor quality and I have both better and could purchase purchase cheaper in the UK and US.
Loved the school kids on the plane and on the ground,happy,uniformed and polite.......also the lack of Graffitti,violence,gum on the street etc,where have the Japanese gon wrong?. WTF?! Eek!

30 year obsession
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Steve Grisetti




Location: Orlando metro area, Florida, USA
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PostPosted: Sun 01 May, 2005 8:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roy Lindus wrote:
...Also enjoyed the Hakone area off Fuji san,took a cable car trip to the live volcanic area and ate the black boiled eggs, so have another seven years of life in the bag....
That brings back fond memories. I took that same side trip to Hakone with a couple of cousins (who lived in Tokyo) about 20 years ago. Not sure the extra 7 years are worth the eggs.
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Roy Lindus




Location: UK
Joined: 28 Mar 2005

Posts: 68

PostPosted: Sun 01 May, 2005 9:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steve Grisetti wrote:
Roy Lindus wrote:
...Also enjoyed the Hakone area off Fuji san,took a cable car trip to the live volcanic area and ate the black boiled eggs, so have another seven years of life in the bag....
That brings back fond memories. I took that same side trip to Hakone with a couple of cousins (who lived in Tokyo) about 20 years ago. Not sure the extra 7 years are worth the eggs.


When your my age you grasp at straws(Read egg's) Big Grin

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