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Historical locations in Japan?

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Historical locations in Japan?

Postby Takeo Saeki » Sat 05.06.2006 5:58 pm

Hey, i'm just wondering. When I visit Japan within the next 3 or 4 years, i'm going to want to visit some interesting historical places there. Not just big cities like Tokyo and Yokohama, as I could see places like that right here in the States (Vegas, NYC, etc), or in almost any country. I'm looking for older places that leave more of a Japanese impression. I don't know of any, as my knowledge of Japan is still minimal. Can anyone suggest any of these places to visit, and tell me just where in Japan they are located?

Arigatou gozaimasu!
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RE: Historical locations in Japan?

Postby richvh » Sun 05.07.2006 10:35 am

Japan is full of interesting historical places. Kyoto and Nara, a couple of former capitals, are good places to start, I think.
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RE: Historical locations in Japan?

Postby keatonatron » Sun 05.07.2006 10:39 am

Kamakura is a good one.
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RE: Historical locations in Japan?

Postby Txkun » Sun 05.07.2006 10:44 am

I was in Nikkou - wonderful temples.
And what about Shikoku? But I wasn't there...
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RE: Historical locations in Japan?

Postby Takeo Saeki » Sun 05.07.2006 2:41 pm

Sounds good! I'll do some research on those places.

Oh, and Txkun, thanks for the link! That was fascinating. Shikoku is definitely a place I will visit.

Any more?
Last edited by Takeo Saeki on Sun 05.07.2006 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Historical locations in Japan?

Postby two_heads_talking » Mon 05.08.2006 11:49 am

i think the northern prefecture (tohoku) is very rich in history..

aizuwakamatsu (check out the castle of aizuwakamatsu and the grave of the 20 samurai.. from the story of the byakkotai)

also the sendai are is a very nice place to see some great old castles and military museums

you can check out iwaki which i believe is the headquarters for aiwa stereo's but it is a very old town.. lots of nicknack stores and small soba and raman shops or curry shops too.

you can also visit mt. fuji if you get the chance and take a ride on the shinkansen.. (bullet train)..
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RE: Historical locations in Japan?

Postby caroline » Mon 05.08.2006 1:52 pm

you might also want to visit Takayama, which is a small old town, with some streets still looking like the must have been in the Edo era. And Kanazawa, with one of the three "most beautiful" - officially- gardens of japan.
One of my favourite places is Miyajima, not only for the famous tori in the sea, but also for the old and sometimes unfinished temples. You might choose autumn to go there, as the もみじ is really beautiful there. Just avoid weekends, you'll find it quite empty - as the rest od japan - outside holidays, and school trips (a lot of them in Jne)
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RE: Historical locations in Japan?

Postby coco » Mon 05.08.2006 5:54 pm

I think if you will not go to Japan within one year, my recommendation is learning history/culture firstly.
For example, if you become interested in Buddhism history, you can make plan to visit to the place where related with Japanese Buddhism.
If you become interested during 鎖国 to 開国 era,you can make plan to go to related place.

If you will stay Japan more than years, you can make travel plan after you arrive here in Japan,I think.

kanazawa vs Fukuoka thread.
( Although you already had read this thread, it's for other readers.)
Mukade-san's post is full of information.
Clay-san once recommended 二条城 ni jou jou (Nijo Castle).

The historical interests will keep your motivation for Japanese learning.
Good luck with your studies. :)
Last edited by coco on Sat 07.22.2006 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Historical locations in Japan?

Postby S-san » Mon 05.08.2006 10:08 pm

Japan is covered with history. In Kyoto there are hundreds of temples, sword smiths, (if you know hewre to look) dojo's, and Gion is pretty cool. There are a lot of castles and museums in almost all big cities, as well as small. You could visit battle fields or go to some WWII exhibits. http://www.japan-guide had some cool things in the past, look at that, and if you don't find anything there, try going to the libray or to a book store.
Last edited by S-san on Mon 05.08.2006 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Historical locations in Japan?

Postby Takeo Saeki » Mon 05.08.2006 10:48 pm


That is my plan. I have already started researching Japanese history and culture. I am on Wikipedia right now on a different browser window just for starters. I am going to visit my library also, and I will look around online for other books on the subject of Japanese history. I am going to study it as extensively as I can before going to Japan. At this particular moment I am reading about the pre-feudal eras. I am going to research more, and I am going to study Buddhism. I know nothing about Buddhism at the moment. Well, a little, but not in detail. Obviously knowledge of Buddhism will be a must-have when I go there.

I intend to visit as much of the country as I possibly can. Not all at once, of course. I'd have to do it over a period of years. I'm assuming it would be expensive to do all that travelling. One thing I know for sure is that I am going on the trip through Shikoku, and not by way of a bus. LOL That would ruin the experience. Too modern. I want to feel the way the ancient Japanese felt as they walked throughout the island. :D
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RE: Historical locations in Japan?

Postby SuzuQ » Mon 05.08.2006 11:59 pm

I think Kyoto and Nara are good places if you want to see many temples and shrines. Those are pretty famous and popular cities for sightseeing, so you may find a lot of information written in English.
Osaka could be interesting, it has a beatiful Japanese castle.
Nikkou is nice place too. It's nearer to Tokyo than other places above. Toshogu is a gorgeous and famous temple there, and the nature is beautiful too.
Nagasaki and Hiroshima would show you the history from the WWII.

well, I say my favorite place to visit is Kyoto. Kinkakuji temple is always so beautiful :)
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RE: Historical locations in Japan?

Postby coco » Thu 05.11.2006 6:50 pm

Shikoku, I see, Takeo-san.
you will be お遍路(へんろ)さん^^
There are 5 pages. Please click all pages.

お遍路さん visit 88 temples which are established Buddhist sect named 真言宗(しんごんしゅう).
So, check up about 弘法大師 こうぼう だいし aka 空海くうかい.
I think there are some biography books about 空海 even in English.
He is a beginner of 真言宗(しんごんしゅう), which belongs to上座部仏教じょうざぶ・ぶっきょう ( also called 小乗仏教しょうじょうぶっきょう).

空海(774-835) is amazing person, was born in 香川(かがわ) prefecture in四国(しこく). He went to China to learn Buddhism.
If you are interested in 空海 or 真言宗. You should look 高野山(こうやさん Mt. ko(u)ya). There is head temple of a Buddhist 真言宗, wonderful place!! I really love 高野山. There is no commerce Hotel in 高野山 but you can stay over nights in temples. It (staying in temples) is called 宿坊(しゅくぼう). You can see how monks do in the morning chant(?). you can not eat meat at dinner in temples but there are a few restaurants which serve meat, so don't worry. ;)

You can see the movies around 高野山 金剛峯寺(こんごうぶじ) from this page.
click 訪れる→ 観る(パノラマムービー)→ choose 低解像度 or 高解像度
(need Quick Time version6.5 or latar)
When screen is showed, you can control your point of view.

enjoy the movies. :)
I hope everything will be alright.
Last edited by coco on Thu 05.11.2006 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Historical locations in Japan?

Postby Takeo Saeki » Fri 05.12.2006 4:01 am

Doumo arigatou coco-san! That post was very helpful! :D
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