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  The Chatter Box : Travel
Two Weeks in Japan by Nikolajf on 13 May 2006 10:47pm
Dear All,

I am going to Japan for two weeks.

Any suggestions?

P.S. I have already read most of the Lonely Planet guide and consulted a friend of mine who lives in Tokyo. Nevertheless, I would dearly appreciate any in-put from the Palin's Travels-crowd ;) Perhaps something off the beaten path?

Thanx in advance,
Re: Two Weeks in Japan by tucsonmike on 14 May 2006 4:25am
If you like stuff off the beaten path in Japan, go to Hokkaido or Western Honshu facing the Sea of Japan. Except winter you will freeze.
Re: Two Weeks in Japan by tim96 on 14 May 2006 4:31pm

i'm off to japan in august for a month, 2 weeks volunteering and 2 weeks travel. i'm going to climb fuji, then get the bullet to hiroshima and work my way back up to tokyo. not exactly sure where i will get to but im thinking of spending some time in the japan alps. i guess thats slightly off the beated track.

any suggestions welcome.

Re: Two Weeks in Japan by pandab on 17 May 2006 2:41am
I spent just under two weeks in Japan last autumn. Fantastic trip!

I recommend trying one of the hot spring resorts around Hakone. The one my group stayed in was wonderful, not fancy but very comfortable. The baths were sublime. I had no idea a Japanese bath was so relaxing. Sorry, I can't remember the name of the resort where we stayed, but there are plenty in the area.

Kurashiki is another nice place. The historic district is beautiful with plenty of interesting shops to explore and restaurants ranging from simple noodle shops to Japanese haute cuisine.

I loved Kyoto, though I was wretchedly sick and couldn't see much. If you are into shopping or are interested in Japanese crafts, check out the Arts & Crafts Center. It's a building dedicated to Japanese crafts. The artisans make and sell their products on-site, and it has everything from swords to paper dolls.

Nara is another beautiful place, especially if you like temples and shrines. The Todaiji Temple is awe inspiring.

Miyajima is another very interesting place. It's a small island not far from Hiroshima. Again, the shops and restaurants are excellent, and the temples are fascinating.

The one place that made the biggest impression for me, though, was Hiroshima. I spent a lot of time wandering through the Memorial Peace Park. It is a very strange place, incredibly sad and wonderful at the same time. The A-Bomb Dome reduced me to tears.

Check out the Japan Guide web site at http://www.japan-guide.com/. They have tons of information about just about anything in Japan.

Have fun!

Re: Two Weeks in Japan by Lafcadio on 18 May 2006 10:35am
When are you going to Japan? If it's in July or August it would be best to stay away from the big cities in the plains and maybe head north. I live in Japan and it really gets very hot and humid here in summer. If you like it hot though, how about Okinawa? You can have a sun holiday there with a lot of culture. Go scuba diving during the day, go to a shamisen concert in the evening!
Nagano is also a wonderful place to visit. Lovely mountain scenery and pretty villages.
If it's later in the year you could do worse than touring around Kyushu. There's some amazing volcanic scenery there. Also great hot springs in Oita prefecture. Nagasaki is also in Kyushu and not only is it a place to remember the atomic bomb that was dropped there but it's also one of Japan's most attractive cities. If you go to that area you could also cross the straits to Yamaguchi prefecture and visit Hagi. It's a lovely town by the sea with lots of old samurai houses and a rich pottery tradition.
Kyoto is also great and not to be missed. I would spend one week divided between Tokyo and Kyoto with a day trip to Hakone(nice views of Mt Fuji) and the other week in one of the other places I mentioned.

Re: Two Weeks in Japan by marji1919 on 25 July 2006 7:10am
Totally out of the way ... Tokushima, Kochi, Matsuyama and Takumatsu prefectures on the island of Shikoku! In August, Tokushima holds the Awa Odori dance festival.
Re: Two Weeks in Japan by Mystic Traveller on 19 August 2006 11:36am
Hey, as a British resident in Tokyo, I recommend that you climb Fuji. The climbing season is from July to September.

It is a tough climb for those not used to stretching the calf muscles, and some people do get mild altitude sickness, because the peak is well above 3000m. However, the fantastic sunrise above the clouds below makes it all worth it.

The Japanese saying goes: A wiseman climbs Fuji-san once. A fool climbs it twice.

.....I'm a fool!

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