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DUers in Japan - Rabrrrrrr's taking a trip!

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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:27 AM
Original message
DUers in Japan - Rabrrrrrr's taking a trip!
His first international trip! (besides numerous excursions into Canada, but those never felt much like leaving the country except for the average intelligence level seeming to go up and things being cleaner, including in the Yukon)

So, I'm off to Japan next week for 12 days staying in Kyoto. Not for business, not for anything other than to go and have fun and see the city and the surrounding area.

Any DUers around Kyoto? I found one already in Nagoya, and we've exchanged PMs, but I'm looking for more. Would be nice to meet up with some expats or even Japanese national DUers while I'm there. Side trips to far away places will not be possible, like Tokyo, etc. I need to stay in the Kyoto area.
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spinbaby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
1. Yay!
I'm going in August. Really looking forward to it.
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Snow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
2. Kyoto's a good place to be if you can't travel much...
there's tons to see there. Old capital & all that. Whenever I went travelling in strange cities that were walkable, I'd go on walks that usually led to getting lost. It's the most interesting way to learn about a city. It's even more challenging if you don't speak the language. And that's even more challenging if the language is non-European, so you have no clues at all.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Yes, quite true!
I won't even have the advantage of the same alphabet. At least in Poland or Hungary or Italy, the letters are the same so it's easier to find places even one doesn't know how to pronounce the word or what it means. :-)

Thankfully, I'll have Japanese people with me.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Wonderful
My favorite places in the Kyoto area:

Kiyomizu Temple (built into a mountainside) and the well-preserved old streets leading up to it

The back alleyways in the Gion district and the streets of geisha houses along the Kamo River in Pontocho

Walking along the Kamo River

The Sagano area

The Golden Pavillion

The Silver Pavillion (on the other side of town) and the Philosopher's Walk

Mount Hiei: go one way by bus and ropeway and one way by bus on a ridge with splendid views of Lake Biwa

Hikone and/or Himeji: original samurai castles. The one in Himeji is larger and more famous, but the one in Hikone is closer to Kyoto. (The one in Osaka is a reconstruction.)

The village of Ohara, just northeast of Kyoto. It's a glimpse of rural Japan.

The entire city of Nara, which was the capital of Japan in the eighth century. It's about 30 minutes by train from Kyoto. All the historic sites are within walking distance of one another in the so-called "Nara Park," including the world's largest wooden building, which houses one of the largest Buddha statues in the world.

Warning: when you arrive in Kyoto, you will first see an ultramodern train station flanked by department stores and modern hotels, fronting on a drab modern plaza. Don't let your first sight of Kyoto be a letdown. There's plenty of old stuff, but you have to look for it.

See if you can spend at least one night in a shukubo (temple lodging).

You can go to the bus station in front of the train station and by a 24-hour pass good for all buses and subways in the city.

Be aware that there are two buslines serving the city: the tan buses and the green buses. They have some of the same numbers, so if somebody tells you to take bus #whatever, be sure to ask what color the bus is, too.

Above all, enjoy, and feel free to PM me with questions!

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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Thanks for the info!
My partner is a Kyoto native, so I'll be fine in regards to getting around, etc., but the sightseeing ideas are worthy - I do want to get outside the city adn see the countryside, the mountains, the lake, etc.

And go to a bath.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 09:20 PM
Response to Original message
6. Kickin' for the awake Japanese people
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
7. Kickin' for the morning Japanese DUers
Edited on Thu Apr-08-04 04:07 PM by Rabrrrrrr
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 10:18 PM
Response to Original message
8. If you want more information from DUers
send PMs to Zech Marquis, who has lived in Japan, and Art_from_Ark, who still does, although not near Kyoto.

Otherwise, Lonely Planet has a guidebook devoted only to Kyoto, and it's pretty good.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I know there's at least two more
Edited on Thu Apr-08-04 10:22 PM by Rabrrrrrr
JaySherman I know is there, but it seems there is one other name, one which you didn't mention, that I've seen in which the poster has said he/she lives in Japan currently.

But thanks for pointing out art_from_ark. I shall pm him. (I'm only looking for people IN Japan, to see if we can possibly meet up and say howdy - I'll be visiting with a bunch of people, my paprtner included, who are all Kyoto natives).

Thanks much! You da bomb!

:yourock:
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Bonobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. I'm so sad you didn't mention me, Lydia...
BTW, are the cherry blossoms finished? If not, you MUST go to Himeji Castle (or anywhere actually now that I think of it).

Your welcome to PM me too, Rob.

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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 10:24 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Sorry, I hadn't seen you around lately,
so I didn't know if you were still participating!

BTW, one of my Tokyo correspondents told me that the cherry blossoms are already gone.
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Bonobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. Yeah, I took a break for a while...
Nice to see you around! How are you?
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Are you in Japan now?
Sadly, I picked this time to travel because it is the normal cherry blossom time. But, my partner tells me the blossoms came out almost two weeks ago, so I doubt I'll see any at all.

Though she tells me this is to make up for all the Christmases in Wisconsin we spent in whcih I promised her plentiful snow for sledding, skiing, and tobagganing, and never had snow. :-)

Where is Himeji Castle?

I was really, really, really looking forward to the cherry blossoms along the riverfront in Kyoto. Damn! Double damn!
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Himeji
is about 50 minutes by Shinkansen from Kyoto. You go through Osaka and Kobe, and Himeji is the next stop after that. Pleasant little city with a tree-lined street leading up to the castle from the train station.

(I don't know how long it takes by regular train. With a Japan Rail Pass, it doesn't cost me anything extra to take the Shinkansen. However, since you're staying in one area, don't get a JR Pass unless you're planning to take a one-day run to Tokyo and back or something equally distant.)

There might be some cherry blossoms left up in Hokkaido. :-)
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. Thanks! That's close enough it's doable
and exciting to think about!

Thanks much!
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Bonobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 11:01 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. Nope, Western Mass. No damn cherry blossoms here either!
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name not needed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 10:25 PM
Response to Original message
12. everyone get out of japan!
:)
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democracyindanger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
15. Beer in vending machines
If this doesn't demonstrate Japan's technological superiority, I don't know what will ;)
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. It certainly demonstrates their higher intelligence level!
Can't wait to try one!
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-04 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Alas, beer in vending machines was banned a few years ago.
:-(

However, you can still get an amazing variety of things from vending machines over there, including numerous varieties of canned coffee, bottled water, "energy" drinks, and soda in flavors like plum, apple, and cardamom.
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