Thursday, February 9, 2012

a trip

Hello friends! I have a favour to ask today - Have you been to Japan? We are planning a visit in May and are starting to work out a little itinerary for our our 20 day stay. We've booked the above Iwaso Ryokan on Miyajima island which came with fabulous reviews and are starting to explore other places to visit. At this stage we are looking at visiting Kyoto > Nara > Hiroshima > Takayama > Tokyo however our research so far has shown us that accommodation for the Spring months seems to book out very quickly!!

Have you been to Japan? Any favourite places to visit, stay and dine?


  1. Visit lots of paper stores in Kyoto... but make sure you know where they are on a map first, rather than just taking not of their street address! Japan has a rather different address system and lots of streets have no names

  2. ooh yes I recognise the photo - that's the one we stayed in. You'll LOVE it! x

  3. I stayed here about 5 years ago and loved it.

  4. I would recommend staying at Sutton Place Hotel in Ueno, or Lonestar Shinjuku for a budget small but tidy and central hotel. Or for a more luxurious experience The Park Hotel in Shiodome, a business hotel which is very central. Have a look at my posts, for some inspiration. I heart Japan! Have a great trip.

  5. We did a trip to Japan recently and stayed at a fantastic ryokan called Kinnotake, which is in Hakone in the mountains, SW of Tokyo. Each room has its own private onsen, which was perfect for us as we were a bit shy about being naked in front of strangers, but still wanted the onsen experience. This place was awesome, but warning - it's expensive, as are all great ryokan!

    Rooms included a 10 course traditional Japanese dinner (fantastic!!) and you could also have a traditional Japanese breakfast too. Highly recommend Kinnotake.

  6. You can't go wrong Alischa. It is a wonderful place through and through. And yes paper shops! Great sushi for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The bar in Tokyo that featured in 'Lost in Translation' is awesome! Enjoy you lucky thing.

  7. Ooh you lucky things...I went there two years ago and was just totally captivated. I could rave for hours about where to go and what to see but I think every place has something interesting and amazing to see.

    Check out my Flickr collection from my time there. I have named everything so you can see what is what.

    I will recommend - Itoya (for stationery), Fushimi Inari Taisha, in Kyoto (because its amazing), the Nishiki-koji (Nishiki food market)in Kyoto for a frenzy of yummy food!I also recommend the basement level of most big department stores for fabulous food on the go. We stocked up on lots of fresh food every other night when not in restaurants and enjoyed it almost as much. Ooh and Golden Gai too for a super crazy drinking experience. See I told you I could go on forever!

  8. I lived in Japan for two years from 2002-2004, though I lived in the north-east (Fukushima-ken, specifically where the nuclear disaster area is). I took plenty of trips to Tokyo, however, and wish I could remember the name of the ryokan and little okonomyaki place across the street that I stayed with one spring. It was amazing—a cheap little hideaway.

    I highly recommend staying in youth hostels whenever you can. Yes, they often have curfews (that you can arrange exclusion for special plans), but they're inexpensive and laid back and allow you to spend your money on other things. There are some great ones in all of the areas you're visiting—try a Lonely Planet guide for the skinny on the best for your yen.

    If you want to splurge, stay in a ryokan instead of a hotel. You get the authentic Japanese hospitality experience, especially with the meals and hot springs bath included. They are often still less expensive than a fancy hotel.

    In Tokyo, don't be afraid to eat in the little closet of a restaurant down some random corner on some narrow street. No, no one in there may speak English, but whatever you eat will be delicious. Smile and be gracious and it won't matter. :)

    If you have some extra time, take the bus and spend a night in the Mt Fuji area. There's some fantastic caves and lakes and the beautiful mountain view, even if you don't climb it (it's kinda dirty, which is a bummer ... better to gaze at from a distance). There's a delicious udon noodle restaurant on the Fuji-go-Ko train line that I think I still dream about sometimes.

    Okay, I've rambled enough. Feel free to email me if you ever want some more little secrets. :)


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