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Old 2014-01-23, 09:03   Link #1281
Guardian Enzo
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Kobe, Japan
I feel your pain. Every trip here was full of agonizing decisions.

I'm not sure you should cancel Fuji-san - it is a uniquely Japanese experience, and it sounds like you really had your heart set on it. Just know exactly what you're getting into.

As for Osaka, the thing is that with a JR Pass you can take a Shinkansen from Kyoto to Shin-Osaka and be there in 14 minutes. I like it as a day - or even better - evening trip from Kyoto. An underrated city (with great food) that should be seen, but not necessarily a full day or an overnight.

My personal view is, doing both Hiroshima/Miyajima and Kyushu in this trip might be too much - I'd pick one or the other. I think if you budget 5 days for the Tokyo area, you can do day trips to Kamakura and/or Nikko or Hakone. I would try and stay at an onsen ryokan at least once, whether it be Hakone or elsewhere.
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Old 2014-01-23, 09:15   Link #1282
Zakoo
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Indeed you saw through me I deeply wanted to do the fuji san but my mates doesn't share my excitation and above all, it can be pretty tiring, kind of ruining the next two days if it was too hard for the body.

As for Shin-Osaka, people told me the same, the evening/night are much more interesting there than Kyoto or Nara, so we probably stay all nights at Osaka and when we want to go to Kyoto/Nara we take the shinkansen.

Another question, is it better to use a travel agency or going free as I think doing? We fear some "unexpected" problems, but heh, it's Japan we aren't going in the wildness, for me the worst problem that could happen is being refused in an hostel.
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Old 2014-01-23, 09:44   Link #1283
JokerD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zakoo View Post
Indeed you saw through me I deeply wanted to do the fuji san but my mates doesn't share my excitation and above all, it can be pretty tiring, kind of ruining the next two days if it was too hard for the body.
If you are worried about that, leave it to the end of your trip so it would not have a knock on effect. You can grab a bus from Tokyo (since you are leaving from there) to M. Fuji

Just... research on it first before going ahead. Despite how it's depicted, it IS a mountain and there are steep slopes and thin air on top.
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Old 2014-01-23, 10:29   Link #1284
AmeNoJaku
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
Some people might disagree with me but for a first visit I'd actually skip the day in Osaka and add an extra day to Kyoto.

You can always take the train to Osaka from Kyoto and spend an evening there.
I couldn't agree more.

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Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
@AmeNoJaku : Why did you even suggest Ikebukuro you sick twisted mentally ill nut! That is a market for peddling illegal, pornographic and socially deplorable products!

Whatever any of you do, do not visit Otome Road. It is a road walked only by the socially outcasted.
I was very clear about who will find Ikebukuro interesting.
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Old 2014-01-23, 10:39   Link #1285
SaintessHeart
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Originally Posted by AmeNoJaku View Post
I was very clear about who will find Ikebukuro interesting.
Stop spreading your sinful, depraved lies in this forum you evil heretic!

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Originally Posted by Zakoo View Post
Thanks for your answer, some people told me to not go to the mount Fuji and that there's actually far better things to do ( more days in kyoto or going in the north of main island).

So well I took their advise and will probably cancel the ascension of fuji san, and spend more time in Kyoto ( I mean a millenium capital, there must be tons of things to see there)
You can drop by Iga-Ueno and look for a BBQ house. There is barbeque house and awesome meat. Inclusive of a cute waitress there. It is recommended that you go to the nearby ninja castle to learn a few skills to stalk get to know her better.



Kinkakuji is a nice place. I managed to catch a photo of one of its attractions here, though it is small.



Btw if you are going to stay in Kyoto, I recommend going to the Jiyu-jin, overall nice atmosphere, a public bath nearby, lots of places to eat, walking distance to Gion and a cute megane-dojikko welcoming you on behalf of her parents and spell your name completely wrong in a goodbye note slipped under your door on your last day. Moe level >>>>9000
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Old 2014-01-23, 11:04   Link #1286
Kirarakim
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As for the anime shopping places I still love Nagano Broadway best of all. But I enjoyed both Ikebukuro and Akihabara. Sunshine city in Ikebukuro is kind of fun (although I am not sure if I'd recommend for a first visit as there is so much else).

Honestly just in Tokyo there are so many places to find anime goods, it's insane. I mean there are 4 Mandarake's just in Tokyo.
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Old 2014-01-23, 11:55   Link #1287
Cosmic Eagle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
As for the anime shopping places I still love Nagano Broadway best of all. But I enjoyed both Ikebukuro and Akihabara. Sunshine city in Ikebukuro is kind of fun (although I am not sure if I'd recommend for a first visit as there is so much else).

Honestly just in Tokyo there are so many places to find anime goods, it's insane. I mean there are 4 Mandarake's just in Tokyo.
There's no trouble looking for otaku stuff in any decent city really....

Any second hand shop, if you are desperate....will have hordes of games and stuff.
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Old 2014-01-23, 12:10   Link #1288
AmeNoJaku
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zakoo View Post
Indeed you saw through me I deeply wanted to do the fuji san but my mates doesn't share my excitation and above all, it can be pretty tiring, kind of ruining the next two days if it was too hard for the body.
You can combine Fuji with a stay in Hakone, in fact should you visit either, I recommend it. Still though, despite being famous, I would agree with your friends that it shouldn't be a priority in such a short visit. I think that day-trips in Kamakura+Enoshima and/or Nikko+Senjogahara are much better choices.

Now something I totally forgot, while in Tokyo, try to visit comitia, it's less crowed than comiket and comic1 and focuses on original works. It also has a great variety in merchandise, unlike the more focused doujinshi expos. The next ones are Feb 2nd, May 5th and Aug 31st.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zakoo View Post
As for Shin-Osaka, people told me the same, the evening/night are much more interesting there than Kyoto or Nara, so we probably stay all nights at Osaka and when we want to go to Kyoto/Nara we take the shinkansen.
Again, I agree with your friends. Having a walk in Dotonburi is interesting, as well as the castle and the park of the shrine where they protect Kusanagi. But there are far more interesting and iconic places in the area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zakoo View Post
Another question, is it better to use a travel agency or going free as I think doing? We fear some "unexpected" problems, but heh, it's Japan we aren't going in the wildness, for me the worst problem that could happen is being refused in an hostel.
This depends on how experienced and picky you are. My brother arranged everything himself, but he mainly stayed in hotels and occasionally couch-surfed. When I travel alone, I use Toyoko Inn, but that's more me being lazy

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Stop spreading your sinful, depraved lies in this forum you evil heretic!
The Abyss stares back at you pure-hearted shounen

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Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
You can drop by Iga-Ueno and look for a BBQ house. There is barbeque house and awesome meat. Inclusive of a cute waitress there. It is recommended that you go to the nearby ninja castle to learn a few skills to stalk get to know her better.
About these ninja villages, I haven't visited myself, but heard from several travelers that unless one is into Naruto and the like, it doesn't worth the visit... and personally I agree since the grand shrine of Ise is close by and far more significant historically, religiously and scattered within an imposing ancient forest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Kinkakuji is a nice place. I managed to catch a photo of one of its attractions here, though it is small.
It's one of "must go" places in Kyoto along Ginkaku temple, Fushimi Inari grand shrine, Nijou castle and Gion (from Heian shrine to Kiyomizu temple), but be prepared for hordes of tourists and inconvenient transportation. It doesn't help also that they are far away from eachother.

And that's just the most important sites that none should miss. I also enjoyed my visit to Toei movie village, which mainy now is an attraction for kids, it kept most of my beloved films' sets intact. NE (Arashiyama) from there you can plan a walk along countless temples and shrines, which might not as famous as the ones in Gion/Higashiyama, but really worth the look... and are less crowed.

Also consider the temples in the centre and south of the city (Honnou-ji, where Oda Nobunaga died, East and West Hongan-ji, Tou-ji with its impressive pagoda and Shousei Garden).

And as I wrote already along with Nara try to squeeze in a trip to either Hieizan or Kōyasan. If you still have time try either Ise Taisha or Izumo Taisha (for the later better stay at least one night to visit Matsue for the castle, mounds and hiking paths). Hiroshima+Miyajima can be just a day-trip with shinkansen. Kyuushu and Shikoku are really hard to reach, and better left for another trip by themselves. Same is true for the Japanese Alps and the NE of Honshu.
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Old 2014-01-23, 19:20   Link #1289
Guardian Enzo
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I find both Ginkakuji and Kinkajuji a letdown, frankly, and utterly overrun by tourists. Fushimi Inari and Kiyomizudera are large enough that it doesn't feel so swamped by tourists (and I think they're more interesting to begin with).
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Old 2014-01-24, 04:11   Link #1290
Cosmic Eagle
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Speaking of Izumo Taisha....anyone here actually visited those Yamato Kofun burial tombs before?
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Old 2014-01-24, 04:14   Link #1291
AmeNoJaku
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Speaking of Izumo Taisha....anyone here actually visited those Yamato Kofun burial tombs before?
Fudoki no Oka in Matsue, yes.
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Old 2014-01-24, 05:26   Link #1292
Cosmic Eagle
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Nice. Can you actually look inside the mounds themselves?
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Old 2014-01-24, 07:15   Link #1293
AmeNoJaku
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Nice. Can you actually look inside the mounds themselves?
At least in one at the NE corner of the site yes (first and second photos), I don't know about the rest. You can look inside, but not enter. They have reconstructions for that, and their museum gives a comprehensive explanation about the period... in japanese You can also climb on it's roof to get a better view of the site than their maps and diagrams offer.

Also should you visit the area anytime except summer or under heavy rain take the path through Kamosu shrine leading to Yaegaki shrine. It is clearly marked (with random facts about Lafcadio and Matsue in english too) and very beautiful. And both shrines really worth the visit.

Ah! both ends are served by bus at least every hour (usually every half hour) to the center, and to Kumano Taisha from Fudoki no Oka.

Fudoki no Oka



Haniwa Road



Kamosu shrine



Yaegaki shrine



Not my photos, in between
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Old 2014-01-24, 09:21   Link #1294
SaintessHeart
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Zakoo, if you have a chance to go up north, take the train from Otaru. You might get a chance to chat with a MILF like my travel buddy (JokerD) admist a snowy background.
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Old 2014-01-24, 10:26   Link #1295
Cosmic Eagle
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Originally Posted by AmeNoJaku View Post
At least in one at the NE corner of the site yes (first and second photos), I don't know about the rest. You can look inside, but not enter. They have reconstructions for that, and their museum gives a comprehensive explanation about the period... in japanese You can also climb on it's roof to get a better view of the site than their maps and diagrams offer.

Also should you visit the area anytime except summer or under heavy rain take the path through Kamosu shrine leading to Yaegaki shrine. It is clearly marked (with random facts about Lafcadio and Matsue in english too) and very beautiful. And both shrines really worth the visit.

Ah! both ends are served by bus at least every hour (usually every half hour) to the center, and to Kumano Taisha from Fudoki no Oka.

Fudoki no Oka



Haniwa Road



Kamosu shrine



Yaegaki shrine



Not my photos, in between
Explanations being in Japanese are not an issue. In fact, the more said about Yayoi period the better....total sucker for that part of Japanese history.

What's the place in summer like? It's closed then?
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Old 2014-01-24, 10:57   Link #1296
AmeNoJaku
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What's the place in summer like? It's closed then?
No, it's open, but it's also between two lakes so all kinds of unpleasant life forms dominate the area... I heard and sounded logical.
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Old 2014-01-24, 19:49   Link #1297
Guardian Enzo
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If you're interested in early Japanese history, Asuka (Japan's first capital) might be an option too. It can easily be done as a day trip from Kyoto.
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Old 2014-02-21, 17:37   Link #1298
AmeNoJaku
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Watching InaKon (as the new official short title is), got me pondering on whether shintou shrine grounds are open at night. I have lived next to Meiji Jingu in Tokyo, which was only open from dawn to dusk (except Hatsumode, of course), same is true for the Ise Taisha, but I read that Izumo and Fushimi Inari Taisha grounds are open 24/7... has anyone visited any major shrines at night? Particularly Fushimi Inari would be even more mystifying without tourists and under the cover of darkness.

PS: Small shrines are practically accessible all time, I am not asking about them, rather those in the wild and/or with extensive grounds, like Kasuga in Nara or Daizafu near Fukuoka, Kumano Sanzan in Kii, etc.
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Old 2014-02-21, 20:11   Link #1299
Kirarakim
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That is one thing I do regret not visiting Fushimi Inari at night. And yes it is open all night
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Old 2014-02-23, 08:19   Link #1300
Guardian Enzo
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One note though - if you go to Fushimi Inari at night anytime between say, April and October, slather yourself with DEET or you'll be devoured with extreme prejudice (and not by kistune).

As to the general question of whether shrines are open at night, most are. Exceptions, as you noted, are places like Meiji Jingu (government run) and Ise (with extreme restrictions on who can visit and when, and where they can go).
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