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11 nights in Tokyo. 2 in Kyoto.

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  • 11 nights in Tokyo. 2 in Kyoto.

    Hi all.

    A mate and I are heading to Tokyo/Kyoto over NewYears. There is an assload of information of things to do (Shibuya, nightspots, Akihabara, cosplay, temples, shrines etc), but we're looking for things off the beaten track.

    The plan is to hire bikes most days and just cycle around the suburbs, try tap into the culture. I've read good things about the suburb Shimokitazawa, and have come across blogs suggesting a few odd bars.
    I guess we're looking to tap into the local youth and creative culture, the more underground the better. I want to see the bizzare/tapped out side of Japan. Preferrably without running astray of the Yakuza or Nigerians that I keep reading about...

    We can get a rail pass so will probably do day trips to the smaller towns, so any regional info about places not to far from Kyoto/Tokyo wouldn't go astray either. Neither would any info pertaining to NYE celebrations :-)

  • #2
    How old are you?

    One slightly off-the-beaten-path trip from Tokyo would be to hike up Takao-san. It's an easy train ride from Tokyo, and the hike isn't very strenuous. There's a little-known 'zoo' at the top of the mountain.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ruserious View Post
      How old are you?

      One slightly off-the-beaten-path trip from Tokyo would be to hike up Takao-san. It's an easy train ride from Tokyo, and the hike isn't very strenuous. There's a little-known 'zoo' at the top of the mountain.
      I can totally recommend that. Been there a couple of years ago and had lots of fun. It's only an hour or so from Tokyo and it's definitely worth going there.

      There are two ways to get there: a chairlift or a cable car. The zoo isn't really a zoo, it's more of a shelter for monkeys if I remember well. There are some nice paths in the area as well. The view from the top is nice too.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by _J_ View Post
        We can get a rail pass so will probably do day trips to the smaller towns, so any regional info about places not to far from Kyoto/Tokyo wouldn't go astray either. Neither would any info pertaining to NYE celebrations :-)
        So you want to do the temple tour or what? 1/2 day or full day tours of the temples around Kyoto. I would visit Arashiyama, the Torokke Railway. Go to Eigamura where all the samurai movies are made. Osaka is not far from Kyoto and neither is Nara. Let me know what you want to do there.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the helpful replies so far.
          The temples are cool but I cant imagine spending more than two days sussing them out..
          Cablecar/hike up the hill sounds good though.
          So do the castles. I was reading into them but the biggest one (cant recalk the name off top of my head-started with E...) is closed for repairs?!

          Howabout within Tokyo/Kyoto?

          We are 24year old guys, open minded and looking for an adventure.

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          • #6
            Yeh like KB said, Arashiyama is definitely worth while. Always beautiful, spring, summer, fall and winter.

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            • #7
              Just keep in mind that Dec 31st - Jan 04th are public holidays in Japan and Universities/many Offices & smaller bars/shops will close even longer. That also means that tourist destinations such as Kyoto will get very crowded and 'student suburbs' like Shimokitazawa will not be as 'lively' as usual. Also make sure to book hotels/transport early.

              PS : Kyoto is just 30 min away from Osaka which has a much more active night life. So rather stay in Osaka just do the Kyoto sightseeing as a day trip. All Kyoto temples close very early at dusk while some sights in Osaka (Umeda Sky building, Glico Runner) can also be seen in the evening.
              Last edited by ttokyo; 2011-12-13, 11:07 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ttokyo View Post
                Just keep in mind that Dec 31st - Jan 04th are public holidays in Japan and Universities/many Offices & smaller bars/shops will close even longer. That also means that tourist destinations such as Kyoto will get very crowded and 'student suburbs' like Shimokitazawa will not be as 'lively' as usual. Also make sure to book hotels/transport early.

                PS : Kyoto is just 30 min away from Osaka which has a much more active night life. So rather stay in Osaka just do the Kyoto sightseeing as a day trip. All Kyoto temples close very early at dusk while some sights in Osaka (Umeda Sky building, Glico Runner) can also be seen in the evening.
                That's true...And dusk is REAL early this time of year...Like, 4.30.
                11 nights in Tokyo seems long.

                Be sure to check out Akihabara. It won't be as lively as usual but still pretty fun.

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                • #9
                  Thanks again for the helpful posts

                  Yeah tbh I assumed there would be a ton of stuff to keep us occupied.. but thats ok if we run out of stuf in Tokyo itself we'll just hit countryside for daytrips.

                  I had read about a bar that presents its ____tail menu through interpretive dance/puppetry, and on my last night Im staying in a capsule. Unfortunately I miss the first sumo tournament of the yr :-(
                  Stuff that is uniquely Japanese that you wont find anywhere else.

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