We're planning to go to Japan next March-ish for DP's 40th birthday. I'm starting to research the trip & have found some potential accommodation and bought a few travel guides, which I'm planning to read when we go on hols to Yorkshire in a couple of weeks. I'd especially like to stay in a Ryokan for a day or 2. We'll be in Tokyo most of the time, but I want to stay in at least 1 other city/town while we're there. Does anyone have any recommendations for places to visit or accommodation? We're a family of 5 & our children will be 9, 5 & 2 by then.
I stayed with my sil and I found jsut travelling around near where she lived was amazing.
I took the bullet train down to Hiroshima - amazing place. Stayed in the Youth Hostel - very clean and very empty but it was just prior to Christmas and probably not the busiest time for travel.
Just some advice - get a JR rail pass before you go. I was there 10 days but bought a 7 day pass. Meant all travel on JR trains was covered. Otherwise for example it would have cost more than my rail pass just to do the trip to hiroshima.
In Tokyo there are a number of areas you can visit and the metro is a really good way of getting around. You have to pay for that - not covered in your rail pass but not expensive. I can dig out my travel diary and check where we went exactly and let you know.
Kyoto is supposed to be beautiful - very traditional Japan. My db and SIL stayed there in a Ryokan and they loved it.
Sorry not mroe specific. If you have travel guides you will be able to find the huge shinto shrine that is in Tokyo as well at the buddhist temple. Well worth the Visit. They now have a Tokyo disney I think.
just to remember Japan is very expensive - accomodation etc is expensive. But well worth a visit. There are others who have been for longer than I and hopefully they might see the thread. If not I might try and direct them here.
I lived in a small town about an hour outside Hiroshima, quite a long way from Tokyo though. You could do the touristy Kyoto type trip.
However I'd suggest going somewhere rural- doesn't really matter where- go to an onsen or something. Outside of cities you'll be made to feel very welcome, people will be very friendly, and you get to see a different side of Japan.
I'd really recommend reading 2 books: The Roads to Sata and Looking for the Lost both by Alan Booth. Both are very funny and very real books. Originally from East London he lived in Japan for years (unfortunately he died in his 40's of cancer), and he really manages to capture the place. When something was driving me mad about Japan when I was there I'd read Roads to Sata and laugh out loud!
I stayed in Tokyo with a firend who lives there and we went out of town for a weekend to a resort near mount Fuji and oh dear I can't remember what its called now but it's quite well known as I gather all the japanese go there. Stayed at a Ryokan. Was lovely. Will ask my friend where it was.
Sammy, I recommend Shikoku (the south island) and Sapporo. I agree about the rail pass, saves you a fortune and you can't buy them in Japan, they are only for tourists. I go every year for work and although they are very popular I would say don't miss Kyoto and Nara - fascinating. I love Tokyo too. I don't think it is any more expensive than London as long as you eat Japanese food. Have a great time.
Thanks for all of your advice! Did any of you take your children to Japan?
I'll try to get Roads to Sata since I enjoy that sort of insight.
I was considering Kyoto but am wary of anywhere too touristy. I hadn't heard of Nara before so I'll keep an eye out for it in my travel guides.
Sue, please let me know the details of the Ryokan when you find out.
I was thinking about taking my children to the Hello Kitty theme park, but they enjoy rides & I understand that there's only 1 at the park. I'm Disneyed out so I'll give Tokyo Disney a miss, hopefully in favour of another day out for them.
I was considering the rail pass & you've convinced me that it's worth it. My kids will definitely enjoy travelling on a bullet train.
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