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Must sees in Tokyo and Kyoto?!

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Must sees in Tokyo and Kyoto?!

Postby Kailene » Fri 05.29.2009 1:27 pm

Hey Y'all!

FINALLY I'm going to Japan this summer!! Hoorah! I'm going to work at a church in 大田原 for 4 weeks, but before that, my dad and I are going to take a week to do a little touring. Unfortunately, since I have my high school grad party before the trip and an internship in August, a week is the max amount of time I can spend traveling (which is not NEARLY enough, I understand). Thus, the plan is to stretch the week so thin you can see through it.

I'm arriving in Narita on June 13th at 5:45 pm... I figure we probably won't get to our hotel until 10pm thanks to customs and travel time. The next day is the only day we'll spend in Tokyo (since Otawara is close enough to Tokyo that I'll have other chances to visit here). We'll spend the night of the 13th and 14th in Tokyo, then early morning on the 15th we'll head to Kyoto on the train (we've got the foreigner train passes or whatever). I'm estimating getting to Kyoto about 2 or 3 pm? We'll spend the rest of the 15th and the 16th in Kyoto, then VERY early on the 17th and go to Kumamoto. Why Kumamoto? Because I've interned with an exchange program from Kumamoto for 3 years, and I know about 150 people from there? Haha. We'll spend the rest 17th and the 18th in Kumamoto, and leave midday on the 19th to Otawara.

Basically, I'm not too worried about the time in Kumamoto as I'll mostly be visiting with people and will have plenty of tour guides. My question is... for my time in Tokyo with my dad, should we be spending it in Ginza perhaps? That's what he seems to think. Otherwise, what do you suggest are the most important places for me to visit with my dad in Tokyo? Same questions with Kyoto! I think we'll be living on minimum sleep :)

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Must sees in Tokyo and Kyoto?!

Postby tōkai devotee » Sun 05.31.2009 3:08 am

Hey, I have about the same number of friends in Kumamoto!! Maybe :lol:

There are so many things to do and see in Tokyo, don't limit yourself to just the Ginza, although that's a good place to start. There's Asakusa which is worth seeing, the Imperial Gardens and Tokyo Tower, just for starters. In Kyoto, there's the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaukji) which you can get to by bus 101 or 205 from Kyoto Station. There are other countless gardens, temples and shrines. eg Nijo Castle, Kyoto Imperial Palace, Heian Shrine, and Ryoanji Temple. I'd try and see most, if not all of these, if I were you. Ryoanji Temple is only about 15 minutes by foot (or about 5 mins by bus) from the Golden Pavilion so you could see them both on the same day.

Oh, I hope you enjoy your trip! :D
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Re: Must sees in Tokyo and Kyoto?!

Postby becki_kanou » Sun 05.31.2009 5:53 am

Unfortunately Ryoanji is under construction right now, but there are tons of great temples in Kyoto. I recommend Sanjuusanngendou, Ginkakuji and the temple gardens at Heian-jingu. Also making a side trip to Gion is quite nice and you may see some real geiko and maiko.

As for Tokyo I've always liked people watching in Harajuku (teens in strange costumes, e.g. decore-kei, gothic lolita etc.) and Akihabara (various geeks, freaks, otaku and cosplayers). The big temple at Asakusa is very nice, and though I've never been there I've heard good things about the Ghibili museum.
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Re: Must sees in Tokyo and Kyoto?!

Postby tōkai devotee » Sun 05.31.2009 7:05 am

becki_kanou wrote:Unfortunately Ryoanji is under construction right now


Oh, really?! I didn't know that, although I heard from my friend who lives in Kyoto that the Silver Pavilion (Ginkakuji) is currently under construction and will be until next March or something. I assume you can still go there.
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Re: Must sees in Tokyo and Kyoto?!

Postby spin13 » Sun 05.31.2009 7:45 am

becki_kanou wrote:Unfortunately Ryoanji is under construction right now...The big temple at Asakusa is very nice

Sensou-ji (浅草寺) is also currently under construction; the exterior is covered but you can still enter the temple. Kaminari-mon (雷門) and Houzou-mon (宝蔵門) and the 5-story pagoda (五重塔) are all "open."

tokai devotee wrote:Oh, really?! I didn't know that, although I heard from my friend who lives in Kyoto that the Silver Pavilion (Ginkakuji) is currently under construction and will be until next March or something. I assume you can still go there.

Yes, according to Japanese Wikipedia (慈照寺) the construction is about half-way through a projected two year repair. No worries, as the temple itself isn't particularly spectacular anyway; what is particularly nice about Ginkakuji is the gardens.
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Re: Must sees in Tokyo and Kyoto?!

Postby NocturnalOcean » Sun 05.31.2009 7:59 am

Another nice temple and area in Kyoto is 清水寺.
Another fun thing to do in Kyoto area is to go visit 嵐山 and the monkey mountain.
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Re: Must sees in Tokyo and Kyoto?!

Postby becki_kanou » Sun 05.31.2009 9:46 am

spin13 wrote:Yes, according to Japanese Wikipedia (慈照寺) the construction is about half-way through a projected two year repair. No worries, as the temple itself isn't particularly spectacular anyway; what is particularly nice about Ginkakuji is the gardens.


That's right. It was under construction last time I went there, but the gardens, especially the sand mountain and the beautiful moss are the best parts.
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Re: Must sees in Tokyo and Kyoto?!

Postby Kailene » Mon 06.01.2009 7:01 pm

Thanks for the suggestions!

As for Tokyo, I'm probably going to steer clear of Harajuku and Akiba until I go by myself or with my friends... my father's not a very... anime/modern crazies person? I don't think he'd be up for that kinda of stuff.

As for the other places to visit in Tokyo, since I'm only going to have a day in Tokyo with him, what's a realistic amount that we could see?? Is seeing Ginza and Asakusa in a day (without using a car) possible?
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Re: Must sees in Tokyo and Kyoto?!

Postby NocturnalOcean » Mon 06.01.2009 7:52 pm

Harajuku and Akihabara isn't just anime and such. They are definitly worth visiting, and I am sure even your father will enjoy both those places. They offer something very unique of Japan, and not visiting would be a waste in my opinion.
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Re: Must sees in Tokyo and Kyoto?!

Postby ss » Mon 06.01.2009 11:38 pm

I heard a very touching story when I came out the Hachiko exit of Shibuya station. This dog Hachiko was such royal to his master. A boy was dancing behind the status of Hachiko when he told us this story.

Image <---- :wink:

Go experience the crowd of Shibuya crossing. Take a deep breath..... be sure you know where you are heading to.

My experience in attempting to take the subway train was interesting. The stations had about 10 different train lines that service to different areas in Tokyo. It could be fun to figure out which tickets to buy, and which train to board, BUT eventually you realized that you were actually not at the correct boarding platform. However, there could be other surprises popped in your way!

There are in fact many interesting small streets in between main areas like Shinjuku, Asakusa, Shibuya, Akihabara, Ginza, Ueno ..... the fact that every tiny bit of things caught my attention.

Have a pleasant trip!
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Re: Must sees in Tokyo and Kyoto?!

Postby spin13 » Tue 06.02.2009 7:42 am

Cool things to see in Tokyo? How about 18m tall killer robots? I translated this article for a different site, but here you go:
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of "Gundam" a life-sized Gundam replica is being built in Tokyo.
Original article (FNN: Japanese)

To memorialize the 30 years since the first broadcast of Mobile Suit Gundam, a life-sized Gundam replica is being built in Shiokaze Park, Odaiba, Tokyo.

Even now in 2009 the animated show is as popular as ever.

To commemorate that, the "Green Tokyo Gundamn Project" to build the replica has been started.

It will stand over 18 meters tall and, once completed, will be even taller than the giant Buddha statue in Kamakura (Kanagawa).

The replica will not just stand, but fire mist and produce sound effects. When asked about the various pipe-like pieces at the construction, Mr. Kawahara Masatoshi(?), director of Nomura Kougei, Inc., manufacturer of the replica, stated, "Once the Gundam is complete various places on the machine will light up and fog will blast from the body thrusters. We are currently installing the wiring and plumbing to provide water for the fog."

Gundam fans have already started to gather at the construction site. "I live in Sapporo (Hokkaido) and I can't come to Tokyo very often, but despite that, no matter what, I have to somehow see this," said one.

Since the construction started in March, various Gundam-like accessories have been lined up and it truly looks like a Mobile Suit factory.

It has been reported that over 1000 carefully coated, sealed, and bolted parts have been faithfully reproduced for the construction.

When asked what it is like to build a to-scale Gundam, one worked stated, "It's like a dream."

Director Kawahara said, "I think each Gundam fan has his own image of Gundam. Our one goal was to see how much of a common image we could reproduce."

The actual-size Gundam will be open to the public from July 11th to August 31st in Shiokaze Park, Odaiba, Tokyo.

I've never actually seen the show, but who doesn't love giant death machines? It won't be finished while you're there, but you'll still be able to see something. Plus Odaiba and the Rainbow Bridge are pretty cool. I don't know what kind of license you need, but it might even be possible to test drive Toyotas at the Toyota showroom/track.

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