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Old 01-17-2006, 09:15 PM   #1
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hey, so it's not exactly for me, but a friend of mine is going to japan in early february because she won a trip through starbucks. she's flying into Tokyo and was then going to go to osaka, but she's not sure if there is much to do there. she only has five days in japan and is now looking at going to kyoto instead. so when she came to me to ask for help, i said, hey why not ask travelpunk. of coarse! so what are some must sees or some really cool-interesting things that she could do there? what would be a good city to stay in other than tokyo? she has also been given a $2500 spending allowance so money isn't entirely an object. her hotels are also already paid for.
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Old 01-17-2006, 11:00 PM   #2
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No informative input here but DAMN that's a lucky girl!!

5 days in Japan with $2500 and paid accommodations?

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Old 01-18-2006, 01:24 AM   #3
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yeah, i know. it was available to anyone who worked for starbucks and entered the raffle. she happened to win and i ended up at her store 5 months later. weird. yeah and no shite, $2500 spending...and she gets to take one other person.
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Old 01-18-2006, 04:08 AM   #4
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I'd definitely opt for Kyoto over Osaka - the latter is more of a commercial place, Kyoto has a lot more historical stuff. She could take the shinkansen (well, she's got to, really) and be there in just under 3 hours. Otherwise, it takes about 8, but is much cheaper. The shinkansen fare was around $130 in my 1995 book, so it check the fare in a more current edition! Anyway, if she has plenty of money to spend, that's a great way to spend it. We stayed in a cool little ryokan there, but I can't remember the name at all. Must she stay in Tokyo, or does she have an allowance wherever she chooses to stay? You could do Kyoto in a long day trip, but it would be better to spend a night or two and take the city at a more leisurely place.

In Tokyo, the Ueno train station is a great one-stop place to explore. There are something like 5 major museums and a big park all in the same complex, and if you wander away from the main streets, you can get a bit of a feel for "small town" Japan. Narrow, uncrowded streets, tiny restaurants filled with locals - a nice change from the hubbub of the city. Again we stayed in a ryokan and one night I looked out to see a woman in traditional garb walking down the street, her geta clip-clopping on the stone street. Very atmospheric.

Two days in Kyoto and three in Tokyo would be a very busy but exciting intro to the country. If she had more time, I'd recommend heading up north to Aomori, which is still pretty undeveloped compared to the south of the island, but it's way too far to manage in such a short visit.

What a great opportunity! I'm glad she's taking it, I knew a guy who had a chance to spend a week in Japan all expenses paid, and he didn't go! I still give him grief about that!
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Old 01-18-2006, 04:11 AM   #5
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Kamakura and Nikko are also both beautiful, but still pretty crowded (Kamakura less so). In Feb, if she went during the week it wouldn't be so bad. Both are a train trip from Tokyo, but not as far as Kyoto, so might be better options if she has to stay in Tokyo every night. Nikko's about 2 hours, Kamakura about 1.
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Old 01-18-2006, 11:16 PM   #6
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I second tumblezweedz. 2 days Kyoto, 3 Tokyo...

Lucky girl!
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Old 01-21-2006, 12:08 PM   #7
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i also would say Kyoto, and the must sees there I would say are kiomizudera, yasaka jinja, I really like sanjusangendo as well, but it is a wonderful city that is fairly easy to navigate. gion is also a really cool area where you have a chance of seeing some maiko- geisha in training. also the area near the kamo river at night is beautiful with lots of interesting music and performers. there is really so much to do in kyoto its hard to say just how to spend your time, i would say that shooting over to nara one day might be worth it but it might not be wise as im sure it would push the time.
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Old 02-04-2006, 08:25 AM   #8
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Maybe a little late, but when my friends came to visit me in Tokyo I did the major sites in 1 day.. all on the Yamanote line (a train line in tokyo that circles the city and stops at ever major stop INCLUDING Ueno, Tokyo Station, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Harajuku, Ikebukuro and my fav Takadanobaba because its fun to say)

If she could I would say 2 days in Tokyo unless she really likes to Shop because thats the major past time, and 2 days in Kyoto to see all the temples Kyle said and a day in Nara to see Japan's biggest Buddha, the world's biggest wooden building, and some cute and slightly persuasive deer.
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Old 02-04-2006, 08:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Calliopaeia@Feb 4 2006, 08:25 AM
Maybe a little late, but when my friends came to visit me in Tokyo I did the major sites in 1 day.. all on the Yamanote line (a train line in tokyo that circles the city and stops at ever major stop INCLUDING Ueno, Tokyo Station, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Harajuku, Ikebukuro and my fav Takadanobaba because its fun to say)

If she could I would say 2 days in Tokyo unless she really likes to Shop because thats the major past time, and 2 days in Kyoto to see all the temples Kyle said and a day in Nara to see Japan's biggest Buddha, the world's biggest wooden building, and some cute and slightly persuasive deer.
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ooh ooh and you can get a major cheap hotel/shinkansen deal if you go to JTB.. if you call them they can speak English pretty well.. for me it was 250$ CAD inclusive for 2 nights round trip on the new NOZOMI (uber fast train)
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