What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Yes! Another "planning a trip" thread!

JasonS

先輩
Joined
3 Nov 2006
Messages
42
Reaction score
2
I'm in the early planning stages for a trip next fall, Sep. or Oct. 2008. I know it may be pretty early to plan what to see and do, but I have to start sometime.

I'll probably have 10 days in Japan, 3 or 4 of which will be in Kyoto, and 1 or 2 days in Nara. I'm trying to decide what else to see for the remainder of the trip, and Koyasan and Ise City look like they might be interesting. (My main interest is in historical/cultural sites). I'm also thinking about Himeji.

Would Koyasan or Ise-Shima be decent side trips from Kyoto and Nara, and would a day be enough time to spend on them? Would it be hard to appreciate those places without being somewhat fluent in Japanese? I'm also curious if Koyasan sees many tourists.

Thanks!
 

Davey

Moderator
Moderator
Contributor
Joined
5 Feb 2005
Messages
7,542
Reaction score
588
Ise sure is interesting with their Ninja attraction park.

Kobe is also a nice play to go to, even though it's not the more historical city such Nara and Kyoto are. There are some great temples (Ikuta Jinja, 1600/1700 years old), and there are a lot of places where they fought the Battle of Ichi-no-Tani.

For some information about Kobe have a look here.

If you are interested in historical places you have to go to Himeji, it's only an hour or less away from Osaka with the Super rapid and you will be amazed about the size and the beauty of the castle (I would recommend you to go in three years to be honest because then they will probably be finished with cleaning the castle's walls, that are a bit dirty now).

Anyway, if you have more questions, just ask them.

P.s. Welcome to the forum 🙂
 

NekoMama7

Crazy Cat Lady
Joined
20 Mar 2007
Messages
49
Reaction score
3
I'm not very familiar with Kansai area, but how about Kanazawa? Is that too far?
 

sanji

secret-japan.com
Joined
24 May 2005
Messages
71
Reaction score
3
Kanazawa is quite far from Kyoto, you have to count at least 2h10 with the fastest train. Plus, it is relatively expensive. I would probably not recommend such side-trip, except if you already have visited the rest of the Kansai area...
I would rather visit Koya-san, which is a popular - but still great - destination. It is worth to stay one night in a temple, if you have enough time for that.
If you prefer a day-trip, then make it Himeji, the most famous castle in Japan. You can easily reach the place from Kyoto even without using the shinkansen.
There are other attractive places in the Kansai if you have extra time, including for example Yoshino. Or the great onsen town of Kinosaki Onsen.
Check Secret Japan Secret Japan - Travel off the beaten tracks - Voyager hors des sentiers battus for some details on those destinations...
Hope it helps,
sanji
 

Davey

Moderator
Moderator
Contributor
Joined
5 Feb 2005
Messages
7,542
Reaction score
588
Speaking of Onsen, Arima onsen is famous.

This onsen is the one of Japan's oldest, with Dogo Onsen in Ehime Prefecture and Shirahama Onsen in Wakayama Prefecture. Many documents since the 8th century mention this onsen.

According to these documents, among the many visitors to Arima Onsen are Gyoki (ツ行ナ?テョツ), a charismatic Buddhist monk in the 7th century, and Ninsai (ツ仁ツ青シ), another monk in the 12th century. Ninsai was said to greatly admire Arima Onsen and helped develop it. Hideyoshi Toyotomi visited this onsen several times in the 16th century.

Wikipedia
 

JasonS

先輩
Joined
3 Nov 2006
Messages
42
Reaction score
2
I'll read up on Kobe and see what I might want to visit there. I really haven't read much Japanese history yet. I'll visit the library and maybe find more ideas of historical sites to see.

I'm not sure I'll visit Ise. Oharaimachi (the approach to the shrines?) looks like it would be pretty interesting.

To be honest, I hadn't considered places outside of Kansai. I'm definitely open to any suggestions. I looked at a map of the Chubu region, and have to say that Takayama looks VERY interesting. I think my biggest problem planning the trip will be that the more I look, the more places I'll find that I want to visit. :p

I've thought about staying the night at a temple, but I'm not sure how proficient in Japanese you need to be. I'm taking lessons now, so I'll be able to at least ask for directions and say a few simple sentences. Beyond that though... I'll see how the lessons go.

Thanks for the responses.
 

epigene

相変わらず不束者です
Joined
10 Nov 2004
Messages
4,305
Reaction score
163
Temples that offer lodgings to visitors are called "shukubo," and you can find shukubo with English speakers at Koyasan (Wakayama).

http://www.jnto.go.jp/tourism/en/59.html
Kansai Concierge BBS

If you have great interest in Japanese Buddhism and wish to taste a bit of what it is like at a temple, I think Koyasan is the place to be. It is a World Heritage site, and people have reported a unique, mystic atmophere that surrounds the mountain (this is strictly hearsay, since I've never been there).

Just my two yen! 😌
 
Top Bottom