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Where to go in Japan?

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  • Carey G
    Ok so it s still more than a year away but I am starting to plan a trip to Japan. I know there will be more to see than I can realistically see in one trip so
    Message 1 of 8 , Oct 6, 2011
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      Ok so it's still more than a year away but I am starting to plan a trip to Japan. I know there will be more to see than I can realistically see in one trip so I am looking for suggestions on the things that an SCA person just should not miss. I figure if I get a list of things I want to see and do figured out early then I can actually figure out the best plan for seeing as much as possible. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
      Agnes (the German persona with a Japanese persona boyfriend)
    • JL Badgley
      How long do you have? You should see: Hiraizumi - Esashi Fujiwara no Sato - Chusonji (the golden hall is period and it is where they found mummies of ancient
      Message 2 of 8 , Oct 6, 2011
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        How long do you have?

        You should see:

        Hiraizumi
        - Esashi Fujiwara no Sato
        - Chusonji (the golden hall is period and it is where they found "mummies"
        of ancient Fujiwara, with clothing!)
        Nikko
        - Nikko Toshogu (Shrine to Ieyasu. It is also the location of the famous
        monkeys (monkey see, hear, speak no evil) and other beautiful Edo period
        carvings.
        Tokyo
        - Tokyo National Museum (great book store, with a small, but decent,
        English language section)
        - Ueno Park (ancient site of a fortified temple, now a park with various
        temples, a zoo, and museums)
        - Asakusa + Asakusadera
        Kamakura
        - Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu
        - Kotoku-in (Daibutsu--large, bronze Buddha statue)
        Kofu
        - Takeda Jinja
        - Good views of Mt. Fuji
        Matsumoto
        - Matsumoto Castle
        - Hot Springs
        Okazaki
        - Okazaki-jo (Ieyasu's old castle)
        Nagoya
        - Nagoya Castle
        - Tokugawa Bijutsukan
        - Inuyama Castle (extant castle)
        Gifu
        - Gifu-jo
        Sekigahara
        - Sekigahara battlefield
        Ise
        - Ise Jingu
        Kanagawa
        - Kanagawa castle (ancient castle of Maeda Toshiie)
        - Kenrokuen (one of the most famous gardens in Japan, attached to the
        castle)
        Shirakawago
        - The village is enough. Ancient A-frame style houses, preserved when
        people fled the cities in WWII. The village is now a UNESCO World Heritage
        site
        Kyoto
        - Ryoanji
        - Kinkakuji (Golden Pavillion)
        - Kyoto Costume Museum
        - Sanjusangendo
        - Kiyomizudera/Seisuiji
        - Toei Eigamura
        - Ginkakuji (Silver Pavillion)
        - Kyoto Gosho (Imperial Palace)
        Fushimi
        - Dai-inari Jinja
        Uji
        - Byodoin
        - Genji Museum
        Nara
        - Heijokyo ruins
        - Todaiji
        - Kasuga Taisha
        - Kofukuji
        - Nara National Museum (best to go when the Shosoin Exhibition is on, in
        the Fall)
        - Yakushiji (original Nara temple architecture)
        - Toshoin (original Nara architecture used for temple)
        - Various tumuli
        - Horyuji (actually on the train line between Nara and Osaka)
        Asuka
        - Takamatsuzuka (ancient burial mound with 8th century murals; good
        display; a goodly walk from the train--lots more tumuli to see, and other
        stuff, but I can't tell you too much because we haven't had time to really
        spend there, yet, beyond the one tomb)
        Osaka
        - Osaka National Museum
        - Osaka Castle (rebuilt, but impressive)
        - Shitennoji
        Himeji
        - Himeji Castle
        Okayama
        - Ancient Kibi province. Good place to bike around for a day and see
        things--some of the largest tumuli in Japan, temples, and an ancient
        history--and up on the hillside you see:
        - Kinojo (Demon's Castle): Ancient Korean-style hilltop fortress built in
        the Kofun period, iirc. It is credited as the castle in the famous Momotaro
        legend, which may have roots in local history about a prince who took the
        castle from its previous owner. You can see the fortress from the valley,
        but it is difficult to get to (we had to grab a taxi).
        Hiroshima
        - Hiroshima Peace Park and Atomic Bomb Museum
        - Find Hiroshima-fu okonomiyaki!
        Fukuoka
        - Korokan (This is the ancient site where ambassadors would come and stay
        when they entered Japan)
        - Hakata Bay (I understand there are still some walls up from when the
        Japanese repelled the Mongol invasion, but I didn't get a chance to go see
        them)
        - Kyushu National Museum
        - Dazaifu Tenmangu (shrine to Suguwara Michizane, near the ancient
        Dazaifu--the gov't center in Kyushu)
        - Yoshinogari (actually a little ways away, but a great reconstruction of
        a Yayoi era village on the site that they discovered it)
        Nagasaki
        - Nagasaki Peace Park and Atomic Bomb Museum (A very good memorial to the
        casualties of the bomb on Nagasaki)
        - Dejima (The island where foreigners were allowed to stay during the Edo
        period; mostly Edo, but still interesting).

        That should get you started ;)

        -Ii

        PS: I'm leaving out a lot, here--if you have to choose, stick with Kyoto,
        Nara, and maybe Tokyo; Kamakura is a daytrip out of Tokyo.


        On Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 10:49 AM, Carey G <agnesvonh@...> wrote:

        > Ok so it's still more than a year away but I am starting to plan a trip to
        > Japan. I know there will be more to see than I can realistically see in one
        > trip so I am looking for suggestions on the things that an SCA person just
        > should not miss. I figure if I get a list of things I want to see and do
        > figured out early then I can actually figure out the best plan for seeing as
        > much as possible. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
        > Agnes (the German persona with a Japanese persona boyfriend)
        >
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Solveig Throndardottir
        Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! Rather than attempt to add to Ii dono s already long list, I am curious just how long you will be in Japan. Maybe that
        Message 3 of 8 , Oct 7, 2011
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          Noble Cousin!

          Greetings from Solveig! Rather than attempt to add to Ii dono's already long list, I am curious just how long you will be in Japan. Maybe that will help focus things a bit.

          Your Humble Servant
          Solveig Throndardottir
          Amateur Scholar
        • art_fetish
          Outside of period I suggest going during Akuri Matsuri - which is teir fall festival. The fall festival is as big as the cherry blossom fest, but with less
          Message 4 of 8 , Oct 7, 2011
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            Outside of period I suggest going during Akuri Matsuri - which is teir fall festival. The fall festival is as big as the cherry blossom fest, but with less tourists. The fall fest also features sake and beer gardens where you can sit and be served and talk to modern Geisha and Maiko.

            Kyoto is the hub of historical culture and arts in Japan. Much of the focus is on Edo, all the same there are many famous places you can visit.

            If in Kyoto you MUST visit this tea room: http://www.yamasa.org/japan/english/destinations/kyoto/ichiriki_ochaya.html even if you can only stand outside it and get pictures.

            -Lady Kimiko

            --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, "Carey G" <agnesvonh@...> wrote:
            >
            > Ok so it's still more than a year away but I am starting to plan a trip to Japan. I know there will be more to see than I can realistically see in one trip so I am looking for suggestions on the things that an SCA person just should not miss. I figure if I get a list of things I want to see and do figured out early then I can actually figure out the best plan for seeing as much as possible. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
            > Agnes (the German persona with a Japanese persona boyfriend)
            >
          • Carey Gorla
            Well hopefully it will be two weeks. -- Sent from my Palm Pixi On Oct 7, 2011 7:04 AM, Solveig Throndardottir <nostrand@acm.org> wrote:   Noble
            Message 5 of 8 , Oct 7, 2011
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              Well hopefully it will be two weeks.



              -- Sent from my Palm Pixi
              On Oct 7, 2011 7:04 AM, Solveig Throndardottir <nostrand@...> wrote:


               










              Noble Cousin!



              Greetings from Solveig! Rather than attempt to add to Ii dono's already long list, I am curious just how long you will be in Japan. Maybe that will help focus things a bit.



              Your Humble Servant

              Solveig Throndardottir

              Amateur Scholar




























              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • art_fetish
              Their autumn is amazing - the tea gardens, temples, castles, and other places with natural scenery will be outstanding. What city are you going to? -Lady
              Message 6 of 8 , Oct 7, 2011
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                Their autumn is amazing - the tea gardens, temples, castles, and other places with natural scenery will be outstanding. What city are you going to?
                -Lady Kimiko

                --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, "Carey Gorla" <agnesvonh@...> wrote:
                >
                > Well hopefully it will be two weeks.
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                > -- Sent from my Palm Pixi
                > On Oct 7, 2011 7:04 AM, Solveig Throndardottir nostrand@... wrote:
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                > Noble Cousin!
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                > Greetings from Solveig! Rather than attempt to add to Ii dono's already long list, I am curious just how long you will be in Japan. Maybe that will help focus things a bit.
                >
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                > Your Humble Servant
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                > Solveig Throndardottir
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                > Amateur Scholar
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              • ErinK
                I m starting to sketch out my next trip too! Gotta print out Ii s list and do some research - we re looking to branch out from the main attractions a bit more
                Message 7 of 8 , Oct 8, 2011
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                  I'm starting to sketch out my next trip too! Gotta print out Ii's list and do some research - we're looking to branch out from the main attractions a bit more this time.

                  Here's my basic list:

                  especially for SCAdians:
                  - Tokyo National Museum - definitely a must
                  - Himeji Castle - Allow plenty of time, we took hours and hours to go through the whole thing because we had to stop and imagine attacking or defending it at many, many points!
                  - Himeji Castle garden - This was a highlight of our trip, around every corner there was a different, fabulous, perfect scene.
                  - Nijo Castle - nice interiors & garden, you could imagine living here!
                  Costume Museum in Kyoto - check hours, it's small & hard to find, but worth the trip. They only have some full-scale costumes out and the big Genji-themed doll model, which is as good for accessories and architecture as for clothing.
                  - Gion district in Kyoto (Kiyomuzu-dera is worthy too, it's right there)
                  - Open-Air Museum of Old Japanese Farmhouses, Osaka - yes, everything is post-period, but it gives a great feel for pre-electricity life in Japan (some of my photos: http://tinyurl.com/3l2uhyd)

                  For everybody:
                  - Sensoji temple in Asakusa (Tokyo) - the road between the outer gate and the temple is a huge touristy festival all the time, only it's been that way for hundreds of years. http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3004.html Decent souvenir shops, every kind of street food you could want, oh, and there's a temple too. Don't go on a weekend. There are nice but not very expensive ryokan on the side streets, it's fun to come home there & see the grounds empty.
                  - Todaiji & Nara park (Nara)
                  - Various places in Kamakura - there are just a billion historic temples there, and it's fun to walk between them because you see cool houses.
                  - Inari Shrine in Fushimi (near Kyoto) - you can walk miles but the fun part is the beginning, under a canopy of orange torii http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3915.html
                  - Ginkakuji, Kinkakuji - Ginkakuji for the gardens and Kinkakuji for the pavilion

                  For some people:
                  - Daibutsu Hiking Course - in Kamakura there's a wooded trail through the mountains that goes between some of the temples and to some other sites. It was fun to be in the woods.
                  - Studio Ghibli - The Hayao Miyazaki theme museum; awesome shopping if you're into Miyazaki. You can buy a tour that includes bus transport to the small town.
                  - Horyuji (Nara) - not everyone goes here but there's some important art and it's historically significant because it was for the founder of Japanese Buddhism. I think I skipped it my last trip so I'm a little rusty on it. (I think it has nifty guardian statues?)
                  - Ryoanji (Kyoto) - it has a famous rock garden, but it's best contemplated. First time I went I was practically alone there and it was awesome; second time there was a lot of chatter and I didn't really appreciate it until I sat down by the garden and was still for a while. If you're just there to bag a photo it's not worthwhile.

                  Oh, I also have all kinds of advice about when to go and where to sleep and what to eat (and how to eat without going broke) and other cool things when you're ready for that!

                  ERIN
                • art_fetish
                  When visiting the Gion district in Kyoto there are specific times you need to be there to catch sight of a geisha. the best time is early afternoon / afternoon
                  Message 8 of 8 , Oct 8, 2011
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                    When visiting the Gion district in Kyoto there are specific times you need to be there to catch sight of a geisha. the best time is early afternoon / afternoon when they are leaving their Osaka to go visit and entertain their clients. This is often the one and only time frame to catch sight of a real one.

                    There are dress up places that for a price will dress you as a Geisha, Maiko, or even Oiran and let you take photos and such. That being said a number of tourists are photographed believed to be 'geisha' when they are not. These fake dress up geisha are so good that they have even been in a few books about geisha, believing the person in the photo is a real one.

                    The real ones rarely stop and pose for photos and are normally only out at specific times.

                    -Lady Kimiko

                    --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, "ErinK" <tupan4@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > I'm starting to sketch out my next trip too! Gotta print out Ii's list and do some research - we're looking to branch out from the main attractions a bit more this time.
                    >
                    > Here's my basic list:
                    >
                    > especially for SCAdians:
                    > - Tokyo National Museum - definitely a must
                    > - Himeji Castle - Allow plenty of time, we took hours and hours to go through the whole thing because we had to stop and imagine attacking or defending it at many, many points!
                    > - Himeji Castle garden - This was a highlight of our trip, around every corner there was a different, fabulous, perfect scene.
                    > - Nijo Castle - nice interiors & garden, you could imagine living here!
                    > Costume Museum in Kyoto - check hours, it's small & hard to find, but worth the trip. They only have some full-scale costumes out and the big Genji-themed doll model, which is as good for accessories and architecture as for clothing.
                    > - Gion district in Kyoto (Kiyomuzu-dera is worthy too, it's right there)
                    > - Open-Air Museum of Old Japanese Farmhouses, Osaka - yes, everything is post-period, but it gives a great feel for pre-electricity life in Japan (some of my photos: http://tinyurl.com/3l2uhyd)
                    >
                    > For everybody:
                    > - Sensoji temple in Asakusa (Tokyo) - the road between the outer gate and the temple is a huge touristy festival all the time, only it's been that way for hundreds of years. http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3004.html Decent souvenir shops, every kind of street food you could want, oh, and there's a temple too. Don't go on a weekend. There are nice but not very expensive ryokan on the side streets, it's fun to come home there & see the grounds empty.
                    > - Todaiji & Nara park (Nara)
                    > - Various places in Kamakura - there are just a billion historic temples there, and it's fun to walk between them because you see cool houses.
                    > - Inari Shrine in Fushimi (near Kyoto) - you can walk miles but the fun part is the beginning, under a canopy of orange torii http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3915.html
                    > - Ginkakuji, Kinkakuji - Ginkakuji for the gardens and Kinkakuji for the pavilion
                    >
                    > For some people:
                    > - Daibutsu Hiking Course - in Kamakura there's a wooded trail through the mountains that goes between some of the temples and to some other sites. It was fun to be in the woods.
                    > - Studio Ghibli - The Hayao Miyazaki theme museum; awesome shopping if you're into Miyazaki. You can buy a tour that includes bus transport to the small town.
                    > - Horyuji (Nara) - not everyone goes here but there's some important art and it's historically significant because it was for the founder of Japanese Buddhism. I think I skipped it my last trip so I'm a little rusty on it. (I think it has nifty guardian statues?)
                    > - Ryoanji (Kyoto) - it has a famous rock garden, but it's best contemplated. First time I went I was practically alone there and it was awesome; second time there was a lot of chatter and I didn't really appreciate it until I sat down by the garden and was still for a while. If you're just there to bag a photo it's not worthwhile.
                    >
                    > Oh, I also have all kinds of advice about when to go and where to sleep and what to eat (and how to eat without going broke) and other cool things when you're ready for that!
                    >
                    > ERIN
                    >
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