View topic - Great Places to Visit and Things to do
I was wondering if you could give a list and a tiny descripition of great places to visit or go see in Japan. Or you can possibly list things you must try like food or an activity!
This is just a list of things that you would think would be fun to see on a vacation or a visit to another part of Japan.
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Go to Tokyo and Kyoto. There are many reasons, just go - try to hit both. Kyoto seems quieter (it's not quiet as such, but compared to somewhere like Shibuya or Shinjuku it doesn't seem as extremely alive with people). Kyoto has a lot of temples and whatnot, including the somewhat famous Kiyomizu-dera and Fushimi-Inari Taisha. Must-sees for me would also include Kinkakuji and Ginkakuji. Kyoto is also close to Nara (see below). But there's a lot more to Toyko and Kyoto than what you see and read in the media, you've really gotta go find out.
Kamakura (in Kanagawa, fairly close to Tokyo) has a wonderful atmosphere, feels like a small town with some crazy history going on - to me, it feels kind of 'traditional' in a way. It has a Daibutsu and the amazing Tsurugaoka Hachimanguu, but just wandering the streets of Kamakura feels wonderful. It's also fun to try and figure out how the f the buses there work. I had native speakers with me and still got it wrong (but that's alright because so did they). If you go to Kamakura, try to ride the Enoden, it's a wonderful journey.
Yokohama is also fairly close to Tokyo, and is well worth a visit. I went for half a day, to Minato Mirai (it has the current tallest building in Japan if I'm not mistaken - the Landmark Tower), and Chinatown. The only other Chinatowns I have been to are in London and Newcastle, UK (and that is more of a street than a town), but Yokohama's most certainly takes the crown. I really wanted to explore more of Yokohama, its relitive proximity to Tokyo is kind of interesting too. Every single Japanese person I've met is really impressed if I tell them I went there for some reason (maybe it's just that not many tourists go, I dunno), and everyone I've met from Yokohama has been extremely friendly. Anyway, from what I saw, it's a really neat place worth at least a little of your time.
Nara, a reasonably small town (well, it seems it compared to nearby Kyoto), was the capital of Japan back in the... seventh century maybe? I think it was capital for less than a hundred years. Anyway, it's well worth a visit, with what is reportedly the biggest wooden building in the world, within which is another extremely impressive Daibutsu. And it's lovely to stroll through Nara park (as long as you're not afraid of deer). I spent a day in Nara, it's wonderful. Takes maybe 45 minutes to get there from Kyoto by express train, or between 1hr 30 and 2hr by normal train.
A final note, although I didn't get a chance to go, I did have Hakone highly recommended to me by an old Japanese guy. He said I could see many facets of Japan if I went.
My travel around Japan was fairly limited so I'd love to hear other people's recommendations (for when I go back! haha). But for me Japan was not just about sightseeing and going to interesting or significant landmarks. Any trip you take there will be so, so much better if you try to talk to the people that live there. If you begin to look at the people behind the culture and the culture behind the people, it's really rewarding.
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