Traveling to Japan, any tips/suggestions?

Willywonka1493's picture
Rank: Baboon | 118

Hi Everyone,

I will be traveling to Japan next month for ~ 9 days (3 Tokyo, 3 Kyoto, 3 Osaka). I was wondering if any of you had any tips or suggestions on things I need to see/try. Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Region: 
Other APAC

Comments (30)

Dec 7, 2018

Try real sushi, completely different from the states

Dec 7, 2018

See a sumo match

Dec 7, 2018

I lived in Tokyo for 5 years. Go to the top of sky tree, lookout, and see where the concrete stops (it does not). Think about the density and how it got there, trains. Trains mean no significant highway systems every 40 blocks, no parking garages, no parking lots, walk-able city.
Tokyo is one of the most walk-able cities in the world due to its amazing train system. Ride the trains as much as possible.
Eat ramen, I miss ramen.

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Dec 7, 2018

What types of things do you enjoy doing while traveling (or what are you looking for on this trip)? Good food? Outdoors stuff? Bars/nightlife?

I have a ton of good restaurant recommendations if interested. I would also recommend spending one night outside of Tokyo at a traditional ryokan - there is a good one in Hakone.

Kyoto also has some great food and hotels. Definitely go to some of the temples, don't think it is worth paying for a guided tour there. Kinkaku-ji is cool, can get pretty crowded, go there early.

Also eat real tempura - so different than in the US.

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Dec 7, 2018

Kobe beef!

    • 1
Dec 7, 2018

Stay away from the lady boys

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Dec 7, 2018
theaccountingmajor:

Stay away from the lady boys

Wrong country

Dec 7, 2018
theaccountingmajor:

Stay away from the lady boys

Japan isn't Thailand...

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Dec 7, 2018

it was a JOKE lmao

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Dec 7, 2018

Check out Harajuku

Funniest
Dec 8, 2018

I would be very careful. From my television research, Tokyo is constantly harassed/destroyed by giant monsters.

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Dec 8, 2018

Tinder

Dec 8, 2018

I thought Osaka was kind of over-rated, I would re-allocate 2 of those 3 days to Tokyo and Kyoto. With the amazing train system, you won't burn too much time going from Kyoto to Osaka so don't feel like you 'need' to spend more time there than is necessary.

Tokyo is a massive city, you could spend 3 days exploring just 1 neighborhood there. Kyoto is the cultural capital of Japan and it is one of my all time favorite cities. I could spend all day exploring temples and gardens though so if that's not your thing, you might feel different.

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Dec 8, 2018

Some suggestions for Tokyo (in no particular order):

Yayoi Kusama Museum in Shinjuku (pretty interesting even if you don't like contemporary art)

Sensoji in Asakusa (the iconic temple that has the famous "Thunder Gate")

The Robot Restaurant dinner show in Shinjuku (food is overpriced and sucks, just go for the show)

The restaurant that was used for a scene in the Quentin Tarantino movie Kill Bill...

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Dec 8, 2018

To add onto what others have said:
- Definitely try to catch a baseball game in Osaka or Tokyo. It is a national sport for a reason.
- Experience a guided tea ceremony.
- Mori Museum & Suntory Museum of Art may also have exhibitions that you are interested in
- Go on an eating binge in Osaka: Kushikatsu and Okonomiyaki

Dec 8, 2018

To add:
- Go to an onsen in one of the three cities. It is something you just have to experience, though read about it a little bit first so you know what to expect
- When traveling between Osaka and Kyoto, go to Nara and walk between the wild deer to see the giant Buddha
- Clubs I've enjoyed while living in Tokyo: V2, AgeHa and The Womb
- If you are with others, go do karaoke in a private booth with a Nomihodai (all you can drink) before you go clubbing
- See the golden gai temple in Kyoto (and it's brother the silver temple)

Most Helpful
Dec 9, 2018

It's an awesome country! I was based in Tama for a while, and even survived the 2011 quake over there. Highly recommend packing dramamine if you're especially susceptible to motion sickness. Japan's a rather "shaky" place. I'd jump out of bed at night because I could feel a tremor, or we'd be in a meeting and we could feel things getting wobbly.

Meanwhile, if you're a nature & architecture buff, put Nikko on your to-do list. It's a day visit from Tokyo. It's little known by tourists, but UNESCO's big on it. Hands down the coolest and most shocking historic complex I've seen. The pictures on the web don't nearly capture the enormity of the buildings out there, and the craftsmanship. A very pretty forest setting too.

The Lake Ashi region around Hakone is a gorgeous day trip from Tokyo as well. Highly recommend grabbing the gondola ride to the Lake Ashi ferry because you get a view of Mt Fuji.

Agree with a prior poster on Osaka being a touch over-rated. In Kyoto, really take advantage of the geisha culture. It's really the show-stopper in Kyoto. Many opt for the staged dinners with geishas, but I personally much more enjoyed the casual outdoor rooftop terraces hosted by the maikos (geishas in training). They're simple enough to find once in Gion. And idk if its something you'd be willing to do for memories, but they have these "photo experiences" where they'll dress you up to look like a traditional samurai (or a geisha for girls), and give you a professional photographer for a few hours to snap magazine-worthy pics in Kyoto. I did it through Studio Shiki, I HIGHLY recommend it. SUPER FUN! Another cultural must is the Bunraku. It's a centuries-old traditional Japanese puppet show, very unique.

If you want a huge (pun intended) jaw-dropper, then try to make it out to Ushiku Daibutsu. It's on the outskirts of Kyoto. This thing is a beast. It's the world's tallest Buddha, and one of the 5 tallest statues in the world. They said that Ushiku Daibutsu could fit Nara's "huge" buddha in its palm, just as a signifier on size.

Hotel-wise in Kyoto, Sumiya Ryokan. Absolutely top in every capacity, and a location to match.

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Dec 9, 2018

SUICIDE FOREST

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Dec 9, 2018

you should look into hot springs if you like that type of stuff lot of japanese inns with water directly from hot springs and fantastic traditional japanese food where you chill wearing kimono type of wear instead of staying at a standard hotel have fun!

Dec 9, 2018

Check out the snow monkeys - season permitting, of course.

Dec 9, 2018

Sembikiya in Tokyo is a pretty unusual and interesting store where they sell high end and expensive fruit packaged very nicely. Worth a quick stop

Dec 10, 2018

I would echo previous comments on Osaka not requiring 3 days. Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Kobe, and Himeji are all roughly an hour away by train so you can easily see them all with the 6 days you have between Kyoto and Osaka.

I would definitely go to Nara as well as Himeji. If you're into steak you MUST go to Steak Aoyama in Kobe as well (although RSVP for that now - they're very popular).

As for Kyoto, the Arashiyama bamboo grove is very unique, and Fushimi Inari was probably the most memorable temple that I visited there. Nanzen-ji is also cool for an off-the-beaten path temple.

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Dec 23, 2018

What Reason are u travelling for ??
If its Officially Then Quit the idea of exploring

Aug 19, 2019

When you're visiting a country for the very first time, it's worth to find out about it as much as possible. Japan isn't an exclusion. This state extremely values their traditions so if you're going there, learn some simple rules. Never leave a tip as it will be offensive. Take off your shoes when inside and always bow when greeting people. Also, you shouldn't blow your nose and smoke in public places. These are only some few ones, there are many other tips to follow as well.

Aug 19, 2019
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Aug 25, 2019
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What do you call an economist who forecasts? Wrong!