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2 Weeks in Japan?

Discussion in 'travel and world' started by sim667, Sep 9, 2013.


    ATOMIC SUPLEX Member Since: 1985 Post Count: 3

    I know it's not relevant to this thread as such but I've just heard a good friend of mine from Japan has just died. She was way too young. I'm glad she showed me such a good time in Tokyo and touring across Japan. So many happy memories, and she always took the time to show me what she considered were the best places to eat and play for real locals. I'll miss you Mika and it will be weird you not being there when I return.
    bi0boy likes this.
  2. green.tea

    green.tea POWER and FIRE! Banned

  3. Part 2

    Part 2 bizarre wanking accident

    Off to Japan in June for 2 week with my 16 year old.

    We fly into Osaka, probably stay there 5/6 days then considering hiring a campervan for a week but would probably need to do this from Tokyo to get the most basic vehicle which i think is all we'd need. A Mazda Bongo is only about £50 a day.

    Osaka we want to see some gigs and maybe football. Maybe a trip out to Nara. I think maybe its not worth going to Tokyo just for a few days but could be convinced.

    Probably stay in Air BnB in Osaka, my eldest son said he stayed in one there that was fine.

    Any tips/ideas on where to go in the camper?

    Would like to go to Onsens while camping but I have sleeve tattoos which I know will be an issue some (most?) places.

    ATOMIC SUPLEX Member Since: 1985 Post Count: 3

    Osaka is OK but if you are in Japan it would really be worth going to Tokyo. I'd get bored of Osaka pretty quick to be honest, two days max, it's no way near as interesting as Tokyo. If you are in Osaka it's only a short trip to Kobe which is also mildly interesting.
    Not sure where would be good to go in a camper, but I like the rural areas around chiba and narita, however they are not really places to camp. Sendai is / was nice, but probably not somewhere to visit now.

    . . . and yes, onsens are out if you have tattoos. Maybe a private onsen in a hotel, but that would be very very pricey. I have an arm tattoo and I have never found an onsen that will allow me in, I have to wear a special swimming top just to visit the pool (even in hotels that have international guests). Sadly you can't wear these in onsens.
  5. sparkybird

    sparkybird ask the bird...

    I was in Japan 3 years ago and both me and my husband used public onsens. We both have tattoos, although not extensive. We didn't have problems, i suspect as it was pretty obvious we weren't Japanese.
    We were staying with a Buddhist monk at the time, although he of course didn't use the women's onsen!
    Really miss them!
  6. Artaxerxes

    Artaxerxes Well-Known Member

    Plenty around Osaka if you want to explore, Kyoto, Nara are the obvious ones but a trip to Hiroshima down the coast and Miyajima shrine well worth it. You could also go to Koyasan temple complex or there's a few places along coast.
    Ted Striker and Part 2 like this.
  7. Part 2

    Part 2 bizarre wanking accident

    Now thinking of a week or so in Osaka with a train pass then train to Tokyo, forget the camper.

    As you say I reckon with a train pass there's plenty of day trips and much as I'd like to see some of the country but I've enough memories of driving aimlessly in other places to know there'll be a lot of time wasted.

    Any tips in Tokyo then.... :)

    ATOMIC SUPLEX Member Since: 1985 Post Count: 3

    Meji jingu. Shinjuku for shopping. Shimotoktazawa street food and shops. Koeji market Street. I love heavy sick in hatagaya for gigs. Harajuku on a Sunday is mildly entertaining. Shibuya or akihabara electric town maybe.
    Part 2 likes this.
  9. Part 2

    Part 2 bizarre wanking accident

    Do live houses generally allow 16 year olds in?

    ATOMIC SUPLEX Member Since: 1985 Post Count: 3

    I've seen toddlers in live houses.
    Actually it's quite common. Teens, not sure, I think it's ok. I've seen bands play that are about that age. No beers until you're 20 though. Actually, I've seen one of the (past) managers of Heavy Sick give his 12 year old daughter souchu.

    In short, I think it's OK if it's one of the regular live houses and not a big arse venue. I doubt anyone would even know if a westerner was 16 or 21 anyway.
  11. mwgdrwg

    mwgdrwg THIS IS WHAT WE DO IN THE F.B.I.!

    Kyoto and Nara are about 50 minutes on a train from Osaka if I recall.

    I stayed in an Airbnb in Osaka for a week and did about 3 or 4 day trips to Kyoto and Nara to meet a friend that was staying in Kyoto. Getting the 8 o' clock tra'n from Shin Osaka station to Kyoto and returning about 9 or 10 at night ish. It was all very easy and stupidly cheap. Kyoto station has an awesome food court on the 7th floor I think. Loads of great ramen and sushi to fill up on.

    Do go to Nara to see the Daibutsu, it's magnificent.

    Tokyo...well, I fucking love it. Been twice now, and can't wait to go again (which will be in 2019). If only I'd gone when I was young, I would be living there.
  12. Artaxerxes

    Artaxerxes Well-Known Member

    Public Transport is insanely friendly in Japan and the culture of car use is also very different so leaving the car at home should be fine. You can also easily rent bikes to tootle around the main cities for a couple of days.

    The JR Pass is fab and you can even get area passes (Osaka would be the Kansai pass I believe) that'll give you coverage of trains in one particular area.

    Only been to Tokyo once a few years ago but the Ghibli museum was nice, there are a shit load of palaces and temples to explore as well. Your 16 year old might like the Shibuya shopping street but it gets very crowded, same with Akhibara.

    One place on my radar is Hakone which might be a bit busy that time of year if you want a few days away from Tokyo itself.
  13. Part 2

    Part 2 bizarre wanking accident

  14. starfish

    starfish No dialogue. Just plot.

    We stayed 7 nights in Nihombashi-Ningyocho. For us it seemed perfect. Lots to see in the local area, plenty of restaurants & bars & quick & easy access to everywhere we wanted to go.

    ATOMIC SUPLEX Member Since: 1985 Post Count: 3

    If you want cheap and want to be central, I recommend koenji guest house. But you have to be fast to get a booking in. I love it but have never officially stayed (just crashed a few times after missing the last train) .
  16. Cid

    Cid 请等一下

    I did Airbnb when I visited, was great... Stayed in Shinjuku, from where you can get anywhere quickly (though best to avoid rush hour). It does admittedly house a red light district, but that's easily avoided.

    Do you know what you want to do? What the teen wants to do etc?

    ATOMIC SUPLEX Member Since: 1985 Post Count: 3

    I dunno, it's easy to just walk into it. Never really been a bother, though I was kind of almost hustled into a 'bar' once early in the morning, mildly frightening (enough for me to do a light jog in the opposite direction).
    Red light places in all the central areas, and for the most part they don't really bother anyone. A lot of it really only consists of host/hostess bars, but yes, really should be avoided if you like having money in your pocket.

    I used to always stay in Shinjuku, so I guess I must have loved it. Certainly recommended for a first time visit if you can afford it. . . and if possible avoid hotels and go for an apartment (especially if you are a family sharing). Just walking distance to Meji Jingu, Harajuku then down to Shibuya. . . but then I always prefer to walk.
  18. Cid

    Cid 请等一下

    I suppose I didn't spend much time in that bit - I stayed on the other side of the railway, nearest place on google maps Joen-ji temple. Actually there were a load of interesting looking Izakayas there that I never checked out, being on my own and not very confident.

    Mind you I went to Shinanoya wine and food quite a lot, that's in the red light district.

    I walked to Meiji Jingu too, but I didn't have a 16 year old. Though there's always stuff to observe I suppose... In Tokyo I kind of preferred the parks; Hamarikyu and kyu shiba rikyu were highlights (Hamarikyu you can also do the whole tea thing in a nice lake-based tea-house). Kyoto for temples/shrines... Tokyo also obviously has good museums and galleries. Ueno park for the National museum and various galleries, you can probably just leave the teen in the swords bit. I also liked the Japan folk crafts museum (small one in an old building just south of Uehara).

    I also visited Roppongi (for 21_21 design sight gallery) which was er... interesting. Lots of small dogs and very rich looking people. And for more contemporary architecture there's stuff like the Prada store, which I didn't get round to. There's a bunch of other good contemporary architecture round there too, but very much on the massively expensive shops side of things. I'll probably have a look if I go again, but am a bit disillusioned by that kind of design.

    I dunno... kind of depends what Part 2 and teen are into. Other than football I mean.

    Hamarikyu tea house from a high place (they have sculpted hill things, probably that):


    I kind of like the contrast of being in the calm of a traditonal park and having massive buildings around. Same goes for Shinjuku gyoen, though much of that is western (French and English) in design (it does have a Japanese style bit too).
    starfish likes this.
  19. Part 2

    Part 2 bizarre wanking accident

    I need to get a list together tbh, Ghibli museum will be on there. Ramen museum sounds fun too. Teen will want to shop for clothes, probably vintage markets, he's a big film fan too so a trip to the pictures. We saw an ace Japanese film the other week called Harmonium which he loved. Probably go up some tall building or other.

    I've been looking at this site... Tokyo Cheapo aswell as watching a load of Youtube videos.

    The thing I'm not sure of how to fit in at the moment is the bullet train.
  20. Cid

    Cid 请等一下

    Are you just staying in Tokyo now?
  21. Part 2

    Part 2 bizarre wanking accident

    No so far looks like this....

    18-24th Osaka....we'll do trips from there to Nara and Kobe.
    24-26th Kyoto
    26th back to Osaka to fly to Tokyo possibly until 1st although should really go to Mt Fuji I think so may have a night in Hakone.

    Tokyo we were looking at Shinjuku area.

    I've really sort of thrown this together (in case you haven't noticed! :D)

    ATOMIC SUPLEX Member Since: 1985 Post Count: 3

    Make sure you book Ghibli well in advance, there are limited places per day.
    Ramen museum in Yokohama is fun, and if you are going there visit the perspective museum too. Bring a camera!!
    Part 2 likes this.
  23. Cid

    Cid 请等一下

    Bullet train Osaka-Kyoto. Also, unless you want to go back to Osaka for something, why not take the train from Kyoto to Tokyo?
  24. Part 2

    Part 2 bizarre wanking accident

    Already bought the flights. It was a lot cheaper than train from what I could see, £60 return
  25. Cid

    Cid 请等一下

    Ah, ok. But presumably you'll still be taking the Shinkansen from Osaka to Kyoto.

    It's possibly a slightly odd travel plan, but probably only by hours. I think the Osaka-Kyoto-(Hakone)-Tokyo route just has a more sensible look to it (being a linear progression rather than hopping about).
  26. Part 2

    Part 2 bizarre wanking accident

    Yea I guess we could do that leg on Shinkansen.

    Also seem to have found an Onsen in Kyoto that's ok with tattoos, not sure how the teen will feel about me being naked mind.
  27. Cid

    Cid 请等一下

    I had a JR pass, so I suppose didn't think about price. You could just take the Shinkansen one way, then the slower (by not very much) train the other way (Osaka-Kyoto bit).
    Part 2 likes this.
  28. Cid

    Cid 请等一下

    Shinkansen is definitely worth doing though.
  29. Part 2

    Part 2 bizarre wanking accident

    Yea I did consider a JR pass but was surprised to see how cheap train fares seem to be. I bought one for my eldest lad when he went last year and he didn't think he'd saved that much.
  30. Cid

    Cid 请等一下

    My friend was living in Kumamoto (on Kyushu) when I went, so going Tokyo-Kumamoto (meet friend) - Kagoshima (weekend trip) - Kumamoto (leave friend) - Kyoto - Tokyo it made more sense. Also didn't want to piss about getting to and from Osaka (Kyoto station is right in the middle, and was a 20 minute walk from where I stayed). That and for once the train was a decent alternative to flying. Even then thinking about I probably could have saved money by strategically timing a 2 week JR pass.
    Part 2 likes this.

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