Tokyo and Kyoto - any recommendations?

(32 Posts)
flowerpowergirl Fri 21-Feb-14 14:11:13

We are hoping to go to Tokyo and Kyoto for a weeks holiday this April. We live in China so we won't be jet lagged or anything. We need a day in Tokyo for DH work then I think bullet train to Kyoto then perhaps fly back from there. But maybe there are better places to go? Any advice would be much appreciated! Thanks.

bluesky Sat 22-Feb-14 14:01:11

flowerpowergirl, I remember reading this article recently in the Telegraph Travel section, it sounded amazing:

www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/journeysbyrail/10619754/Japan-by-train-spirited-away-in-Tokyo-and-Kyoto.html

Notsoskinnyminny Sun 23-Feb-14 14:49:33

Kyoto is supposed to be amazing my colleague's wife is Japanese and tells everyone they should go there but we never left Tokyo when I visited with DD for her 18th last summer. She's Japanese-sized so we based ourselves in Shibuya and shopped, shopped and shopped some more. The trains are easy to navigate with signs/announcements in English and kanji and we didn't get lost once.

We visited a few museums but only because it was so hot and humid. Disneysea was amazing and we could've easily spent another day there, Disneyland is a scaled down version of WDW Florida and we probably won't revisit. Studio Ghibli was ok but needs to be booked 3 months in advance.

We had planned a day for me at the hot springs in Hakone but ran out of time jetlag and humidity meant we were exhausted so its on my to do list for my next visit when she's on her year abroad.

flowerpowergirl Tue 25-Feb-14 15:30:25

Wow these sound great. Thanks. thanks

ShanghaiDiva Wed 26-Feb-14 10:58:03

Agree Disney Sea is worth visiting - also pop into Uniqlo as it is cheaper than in China.
You can rent a tradtional house in Kyoto (think there about 50 of them). We booked ours on Flip Key (part of the Trip Advisor site).

joydivisionovengloves Wed 26-Feb-14 16:58:09

Kyoto is well worth a visit and very different from Tokyo. Stay in a Ryokan if you get the chance. Hiroshima and nearby Miyajima Island are also worth a visit.

I am green with envy OP, that is my dream holiday. envy

Batbear Wed 26-Feb-14 17:10:11

http://www.the-frugality.com/2014/01/frugal-city-guide-kyoto.html?m=1

http://www.the-frugality.com/2013/10/frugal-city-guide-tokyo.html?m=1

These links have some good ideas!

Batbear Wed 26-Feb-14 17:12:31
MoreBeta Wed 26-Feb-14 17:31:27

Kyoto is the ancient capital of Japan. A UNESCO World Heritage site. We spent a day there and did the main tourist sites.

We really needed two days at least. There is now a hop on and hop off bus that goes around the major sites.

Search Google for Kyoto world heritage. I especially liked the Golden temple called Kinkaku jiin a very peaceful Japanese Garden and the Higashi-Hongan-ji Temple with an enormous wooden roof tied together with ropes of human hair.

Japanese people were very friendly and helpful if you get lost or need help. My wife worked in Japan and visited many times and we like it as a country and would like to go back.

Geneticsbunny Wed 26-Feb-14 17:36:11

There is an amazing ninja themed resteraunt in tokyo called ninja Asaksa. Definitely well worth a visit and the food is lovely. Ueno zoo is also lovely if you like zoos and the mirikian museum has lots of robots and other cool science things if you like that sort of thing.

flowerpowergirl Tue 04-Mar-14 04:28:37

Wow some great ideas. Thanks. I like the sound of the robots and ninja restaurant. The kids would love that. Not so sure about ropes of human hair..! Good links too. I think I need a month there though. cheers.

Geneticsbunny Tue 04-Mar-14 15:14:22

The ninja resteraunt is really difficult to find. It is here. As you can see it doesn't really look like a resteraunt.

HalfSpamHalfBrisket Tue 04-Mar-14 18:34:49

We are going to watch this, it looks fab:
www.miyako-odori.jp/english/index.html

You can reserve tickets via: ticket-info@miyako-odori.jp

Halsall Tue 04-Mar-14 18:50:17

If you're going to Kyoto I'd strongly recommend a day trip out to the Miho Museum. It's an amazing modern art museum in the countryside - looks like something out of a Bond film. You approach it through a tunnel carved through the hillside and can ride through on a little golf-buggy driven by a uniformed staff member. They also have a restaurant serving beautifully-prepared organic food.

Tokyo is fab and I'd happily spend weeks there, but Hakone is a great trip - you could pack it all into one day but a couple of days would be worth it. It has a wonderful open-air museum too.

The temples at Nikko are well worth seeing, again, that's an easy day trip. A nice thing to do in Tokyo is ride the tram that winds through part of the city, or do a walking tour round the Yanaka district (I really recommend that, actually).

And don't miss any festivals (matsuri) that are going on while you're there. They are usually pretty spectacular and people dress up in traditional costumes and parade portable shrines round the neighbourhood.

You'll have a great time. I'm massively envious! DH and I love Japan and I'm desperate to go back (would be our 5th visit if we manage it).

HalfSpamHalfBrisket Tue 04-Mar-14 18:57:29

Halsall - we've just been very lucky and managed to get some accommodation for the 2nd day of the Takayama matsuri - looks amazing (sorry to crash your thread flower power!)

Halsall Tue 04-Mar-14 19:31:33

That will be amazing, HalfSpam. Takayama is beautiful and we had the best meal of our most recent trip there - they specialise in a particular sort of beef which is just delicious (with apols to veggies).

Watch out for the festival food stalls! They have grilled fish on skewers, amazing noodle stalls, and okonomiyaki - like savoury pancakes with shredded cabbage and egg. We never quite had the nerve to try the octopus balls though grin

SoldeInvierno Mon 24-Mar-14 08:06:50

I preferred Kyoto to Tokyo. The temple in the small town nearby with the deer park attached was amazing. Cannot remmember the name but I will check from home tonight and come back to this thread.

glorious Fri 04-Apr-14 14:02:50

Nara?

We had a wonderful time in Japan with our DD who was then 8mo. We enjoyed the area around Matsumoto too if you have time.

Where are you in China if you don't mind saying? I loved China too smile

Eastpoint Fri 04-Apr-14 14:29:22

We went to Tokyo, visited temples, went on a boat trip etc then went on to Kyoto via Hakone where we stayed for 2 nights, we loved the sculpture museum. We caught the train from there to Kyoto & visited Nara (deer & temples) from Kyoto. We went somewhere near Tokyo with a huge Buddha but I can't remember where. We also visited an old temple which was underground in a very clayey area. If you'd like I can look out our itineraries, I feel a little ashamed I don't remember all the names.

MyBaby1day Sun 13-Apr-14 06:25:16

I've never been to Japan so sorry no experience but Tokyo sounds amazing. Like a poster above said I am also Japanese/Chinese sized (dinky)! smile and so I easy fit into their clothes!! so yes, would be cool!. I bet it's a fascinating place.

WaveorCheer Sun 13-Apr-14 07:12:07

Check out the 7 day JR pass with unlimited Shinkansen travel (not the fastest one, but the others are still pretty blooming fast smile). You need to book in advance from overseas.

I would visit Nara to feed the deer and see the giant Buddha. A previous poster mentioned a giant one near Tokyo too - that's Kamakura. That and Nikko (the see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil monkeys) are good day trips.

In Tokyo, what kind of culture do you want to see? Do you want to get up super early to go to Tsukiji? Roppongi for the clubbing experience? Harajuku to see the mad fashions, Shibuya for shopping, shinjuku to get hopelessly lost in enormous crowds or Ameyoko market for the most insane market experience (not for the faint hearted)?

We did the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Osaka once, stopping in a seaside town called Atami, which looks like it was abandoned in the 50s and is full of hotels which will rent you a private spa bath (kashikiri onsen), nice if you're too shy or tattooed for the public experience.

In Kyoto, kinkakuji is beautiful, as is ginkakuji (kin and gin mean good and silver respectively). Don't miss Kiyomizudera, the beautiful temple set into the hillside.

BB01 Sun 13-Apr-14 16:34:16

Tokyo and Kyoto both must-sees so definitely would do both. Sorry if someone has already mentioned this but there's a brilliant place called something like Monkey Hill just outside Kyoto where you feed and interact with the monkeys while they roam free but you're behind bars - like a reverse zoo!

BB01 Sun 13-Apr-14 16:35:31

Also, I absolutely loved Miyajima, one of my favourite places. We saw monkeys grooming deer and cuddling up to them. One of the most magical places I've been.

flowerpowergirl Sun 29-Jun-14 07:21:51

Revisiting thread as now booking. Fab ideas all. Thanks!!(getting excited now)

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