Travel Forums Asia Japan

1. Posted by Aussie123 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi all, Going for a trip to Japan - Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo. Any sites, markets worth a visit?. Any cultural cautions to consider when in Japan?


[ Edit: Edited on 14-Mar-2010, at 03:50 by Aussie123 ]

2. Posted by stoa (Budding Member 17 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi there.

My number 1 recommendation to those visiting Japan is going to an onsen! Preferably several onsens! It really is a great experience to get to know the bathing rituals which is such a huge part of the culture there.

In Tokyo I visited 2 onsens, Oedo Onsen Monogatari, which is a huge, modern onsen on Odaiba, the artificial island. It has restaurants, massage, souvenir-booths and the works, so a bit touristy perhaps but really beautiful and fun, you can even spend the night there.

I would however also recommend visiting some of the smaller, more local, onsens. They're not as fancy but a bit more real, I visited one in Asakusa neighborhood and also one in Fujikawaguchi, by Mt. Fuji, and one in Kyoto as well. The staff at whatever hotel/hostel you're staying at should be able to direct you to the nearest place. You just need to keep in mind while at the onsen that you are expected to clean yourself very thoroughly from head to toe, sometimes they even brush their teeth there. If you don't do it properly though you will probably have some locals come up to you and demonstrate, so it's a great way to interact ;-)

I haven't been to Osaka, but would like to recommend Hiroshima if you can squeeze it in. It's a short ride away from Kyoto via bullet train, I only spent a day there and went back to Kyoto in the night but it was really worth it. The perfect combination is to visit the A-bomb museum in the morning and then go to Miyajyma island after lunch to wear of the inescapable sadness. The island truly is a beautiful gem, going there was one of the highlights of my trip to Japan.

Since you asked about markets I must of course mention the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, go early in the morning to watch the fish come in and then enjoy some fresh-as-can-be sushi for breakfast ;)

3. Posted by HaadRinGuide (Respected Member 550 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I would recommend just giving Osaka a brief visit, as I much preferred Kyoto and Tokyo to Osaka. Osaka was just basically an unremarkable city, whereas Tokyo has loads of interesting districts, and Kyoto is excellent - loads of traditional buildings and stuff. Hiroshima is also worth a visit if you have time.

4. Posted by wotthefiqh (Inactive 1447 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

When are you going and how long are you going for?

5. Posted by Yatina (Budding Member 56 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi there,

If you plan to travel to Tokyo, Osaka & Kyoto, I would suggest u get a rail pass (http://www.jrpass.com/).
Get it prior to you trip as it is more convenient. Rail pass allows u to take certain bullet trains and u can use it as often as u want.

Tokyo -> Tsukiji market, Asakusa Kannon (oldest temple in Tokyo), Sweets Forests in Jiyugaoka has the best passionfruit souffle (a must for me each time i visit Japan), Doughnut Plant in Jiyugaoka (an all organic doughnut place famous in New York and has franchised in Tokyo).

Osaka -> Dotomburi (a street full of things, restaurants, shops, etc.). I will go for the crab kaiseki. A little expensive but worth it. You can also try the puffer fish kaiseki if you like.

Kyoto -> Miyajima (must go), Hiroshima (must go), Gion (walk around the street and u might get lucky and see some ladies in full flegded kimonos, very pretty). Kyoto is also famous for green teas. Go to Tsujiri (a well-known cafe) for it's towering green tea parfait.

If you have other queries, ask away...
Have fun & cheers...