Re: Where to go in Japan?
- 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.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "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!