Hello, folks. I'm planning on taking off to Japan for about 18 days (14th of June to July 2nd). I don't have the slightest clue where I can go. I know about Tokyo, and the beautiful temples of Kyoto. Is this where all the great buddhist temples are, or where are some other locations to visit? I've heard about the great Ryokans, and Onsens; which ones would you recommend? What about a JR pass - Shinkansen train. I plan on taking about 2000 dollars for this excursion. Would this be a sufficient amount of money to last me through this trip?
Any advice would be much appreciated.
Hello. . . .Is this a forum where travellers can offer travel advice, or did I post this in the wrong location????
2000 should be enough for the trip, just make sure you spend it wizely... Japan can get very expensive. Take the JR pass as it saves you a lot of money... and shinkansens are great, but they can be expensive. It's often cheaper to fly. Kyoto is great, you'll get a fair dose of temples there and possibly be sick of them afterwards. If you want variety (depending on how much you can move around the country), Hiroshima and Miyajima are worth a visit... both beautiful and historical places. If you have time and/or money, head north to Hokkaido or South to Okinawa... both are beautiful and have a very different culture to mainland Japan (expecially okinawa). Ryokans and onsen are everywhere outside big cities... there are some great ones on Miyajima that I went to. Hakone is famous for the two, and it's only a few hours by local train from Tokyo.
I think 2000 is a little low for that time frame.You can do it budget but it requires alot of research as Japan is still not exactly a backpacker type country.
I live here and can get around cheaply but if you are unfamiliar it is a little more difficult. You will really have to watch your funds carefully. Ryokans are not cheap, especially for those with no Japanese. Kyoto is a sprawling area so transport can add up if you are hitting alot of temples. Definitely go with the JR pass as transport will eat up your budget quickly. Don`t take taxis!
It really depends on your priorities if you have an idea about your intinerary and can ask specific questions it is alot easier for people to help you. Get a guide book or check the net. There are a lot of countries you can just arrive in and travel aimlessly, in my opinion Japan is not one of those countries.
I spent about 3 weeks in Japan last year and ended up spending a seriosuly amount of cash. JR Rail pass is must have for getting around, you can even use it on some of the buses. Its saves you a lot of money but I am pretty sure you can only get one before you come to Japan. Accomodation and alcohol were probably my main expenditures as these seem to be expensive everywhere. I don't remember food being too bad if you eat in the right places.
Hiroshima and Miyajima are both worth heading to. I spent most of the time in Tokyo which is definietly worth a week then went by train to Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima by train. Tokyo isn't really a tourist city as there aren't set sights to see like in Paris or London etc but just taking in all the different districts can take a week. Kyoto was a nice place but see one temple and you've seen them all! Can recommend an excellent hostel in Kyoto. Osaka is really close so might as well head over there as well.
My girlfriend and I have lived in Osaka for about 4 months. Our favorite area to go to is in the Northern part of Kyoto. It is called Arashiyama. You can walk through a bamboo forest, go see some Monkeys and see some gorgeous temples.
Also, you have to go to Nara. It has the worldest largest Buddha and the worldest largest wooden structure. It is a must see.
For places to stay I would look at different hostels around in the different cities.
Also, you have to go to Nara. It has the worldest largest Buddha and the worldest largest wooden structure.
Actually, the daibutsu in Nara is the largest bronze buddha in Japan. The worlds largest daibustu is Ushiku Daibutsu in Ibaraki (and worth a visit if your in the area).
Yeah, I would suggest getting up north if you can at least for a week. It will be really hot and humid in the southern part of Japan, so what I would do is walk around Tokyo for a day or 2, then start off in Hiroshima for a day or 2, move on to Kyoto and Nara area for maybe 4-6 days, and then head up north to get a break from the heat. I live in Hokkaido, so I'm a bit partial to it. But here are some places you might want to check into...
[*]In Kyoto stay in Higashiyama, and just see the temples in that area or maybe venture to another part for one day, but don't go temple crazy because it's expensive and a lot of the famous temples are super crowded. Enjoy the parks and the ambiance of the city. Try talking to people and just take it easy. Go to Pontocho Dori rather than Gion for dinner- very cool little street near gion with lots of nice restaurants.
[*]Matsushima- really beautiful town on the coast with great seaside scenery and nice temples and parks
[*]Hirosaki- Nice castle and site-seeing
[*]Lake Towada or Bandai- experience Japanese-style camping, plus, it's beautiful.
[*]Maybe Hakkodate- great seafood and cool old fort, Lake Toya- active volcano nearby, or Sapporo- one of the newest and easiest to navigate Japanese cities, if you feel like you've got the time to get that far north
Here are some general tips:
[*]Do your research and find a festival or 2 to take in while you're there. It's usually free and you learn a lot about Japan
[*]Try staying at campsites if you can. They're not only beautiful, but they're cheaper than ryokans, especially if you're travelling with friends
[*]Try an izakaya, Japanese bar, at least once because you can taste a lot of Japanese foods. (slightly expensive, especially for the booze)
[*]Rather than eating out, try getting food/alcohol at a convenience store and eating/drinking at a park. It's fun to watch people play with their families, and often you'll get invited to join people for lunch.
[*]Enjoy it, relax, and don't get frustrated with people not knowing English. Bring your phrasebook and be patient.
I posted on another thread if you just search this forum for Japan. It was fairly recent. PM me if you have any other questions.
Hey Funkfaerie. Sorry about that, I had a bit of a brain cramp and missed the word Bronze.
Have you seen both of the Buddhas? Which one do you prefer?
I've been to Japan last summmer for 3 weeks and spend a lot of money. I had a free accomodation for 2 weeks, however I spend more than 2500 euro for the whole trip. It is dueable to spend 2000 dollars but you have be on a budget all the time. But on the other hand, I had an unforgettable experience. Using the JR rail pass, I saved money on other kinds of transportation. But there is a night train to Hokkaido and it is very nice up there. I found out the hitchhiking is ok in Japan, but not my favorite option to travel around. Japanese people are really helpful and will take you right away when you are kinda lost. But the best thing I've done is climbing Fuji-san at night. It is a really good experience and you have a great view whilst sunrise. Other recommendable destinations are, kyoto, hokkaido, nara, sapporo and Kamakura
if you want more info, pm me if you like