Your are viewing a read-only archive of the old DiS boards. Please hit the Community button above to engage with the DiS !
What goodies can the DiS hive mind divulge over these locations? It's going to be chilly in December right?
Liked them more than Tokyo.
Been years since I went there and my memory may be out, but Osaka is like Tokyo on a far smaller scale. There was neon everywhere, arcades, manga shops, record shops and loads of ultra cheap capsule hotels to stay in (if you're male, but guess that may have changed now). Ridley Scott based Blade Runner on it. Had a really friendly vibe and found more people in their 20s wanting to talk to me and practice their English there.
Kyoto is more classic Japan but handily placed on a train line between lots of good places. Lots of big wooden temples at Nara which have to be seen to be believed (they're apparently about 1/3 the size of the ones that burned down) and I recall doing a great boat ride down a ravine nearby too near a monkey sanctuary. But could be getting confused. It also has a RIDICULOUSLY amazing train station. I spent hours in there.
Sushi was pricey so I only ate it once or twice but it was great. Yakatori bar meals were cheaper and good ways to have stunted conversations at the bar with locals.
Other places I loved on my trip: Himeji-jo was cool for a day and seeing an old Samurai fortress, the lakes at the base of Mount Fuji are gorgeous, but may not be so great in winter, Miyajima down the far south was stunning and Hiroshima was fascinating to walk around for a day. I nearly killed myself squeezing that lot in mind...
An overnight stay there is my #1 recommendation to anyone going.
will be based in nara for a bit staying with a friend so sounds perfect!
p.s. not changed sex just yet
Spent almost a week in Tokyo which in hindsight was a tad too long.
Spent less than 24 hours in Miyajima & Fuji Lakes which in hindsight was a bit too short. Hiroshima and Himeji-Jo were totally fine to blitz in a day though.
May put the places into context for you:
those temples got me pumped
not too shabby with a camera are ye, delightful
I explored Kyoto by bike, but you may not want to do that when it's chilly. The Golden Pavillion is okay, but kinda ruined by the sheer number of tourists wrestling past each other for the perfect photo.
It's an expensive city though.I stayed at Khaosan guesthouse which is basically a really nice hostel. Staff were really friendly and it's near the Gion district which is just lovely in the evenings (think cosy restaraunts, quiet lantern lit streets, Geisha shuffling around)
I think I actually preferred Osaka, it's just a super fun modern city and much more manageable than Tokyo. I went to Rock Rock bar, which is an indie club - where I found loads of Japanese kids going mad for the likes of the sunshine undergoing and these new puritans. Absolutely brilliant.
The arcades are neon lit alleyways of bars, restaurants and gaming places.
I you have more time, I would recommend an overnight stay in Nara for a quieter, serene time of things.
Also, Kobe is good for a day trip.
Man you are going to have such a good time.
No idea what it was called, but a similar experience, Japanese kids going completely bonkers to marginal UK bands. The night concluded with the DJs stage diving topless into the crowd.
Great GREAT night out. Had 20 people have their photo taken with me because I had a Dfa1979 T-shirt on.
Some fun karaoke bars in town too, which are cheaper to book out for the night and stay in than find a hotel I recall.
we will actually be crashing in nara for a few days with a friend, some serenity sounds wonderful
is an overnight stay in miyajimi fairly simple to put together? looks magic
So you'll need to bullet train ride it (which in itself is pretty amazing).
So worth the trip though, absolutely gorgeous place...
If you have a JR pass you are sorted.
So a suggestion is you could do an early morning trip to Hiroshima. Visit the memorial museum and park (harrowing) after lunch jump on the train to the coast (just a few stops), and then the ferry to the island, which is also free with the pass.
To stay on the island overnight you have to stay in a Ryokan, which is a bit expensive, but actually cheaper than the ones I found in Kyoto for example. If you're gonna have a Ryokan experience, do it there.
In the evening go exploring with a torch, and see the shrine illuminated.
In the morning the Ryokan will do you an amazing breakfast. After that, take the cable car up the mountain, and then walk down via awesome shrines, temples and admire the views of the coast.
One of the many reasons to go back though.
Loved both cities but Kyoto was the winner for me. We only had 2 days in each which was nowhere near enough.
All the recommended temples in Kyoto are worth your time. Kinkaku-ji (Golden Temple), Heian Jingu and Fushimi Inari are all musts.
Kanga An is also worth a shout at night. It's a tiny temple with its own bars. Nobody seems to know about it apart from people who've found it in the time out guide book, we had the whole bar to ourselves looking out onto a beautiful Japanese garden. Perfect. http://www.simonseeks.com/travel-guides/kyotos-best-kept-secret__114531
Don't think we took advantage of the nightlife in Osaka enough so save some energy. Make sure you eat Kobe beef!
Arashiyama and the Phoenix Temple in Uji are definitely worth a visit. Love Nara too. There's a really cool Zen garden near the Golden Pavilion.
It's open quite late so good for killing time between daytime sightseeing and hitting the bars.
Costs me a good grand or 2
I ate basically pot noodles out of vending machines, slept in capsule hotels / karaoke bars and got takeaway meals from garages which wasn't classy BUT saved a fuckton of cash, as sushi and nice meals are a bit pricey.
The rail pass is great value if you buy it before you travel though.
got me nursing a swell of excitement over my trip next month
if any of you drop anchor in Hong Kong over the next year give me a shout and i'll show you about
starting prices were £1100 I think, this sounds like it was pretty good, for those of you who have done more research: was it? (The offer has gone now)