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starcam

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Trip to Japan
« on: April 18, 2013, 06:31:25 PM »
Hi all,

I will be traveling to Japan in September for 2 weeks, my first time there.  I'll probably spend approximately half the time in Tokyo and the rest of the time somewhere else - within several hours train ride from Tokyo at the most.

Obviously photography will be a prominent aspect of this trip.  Can anyone recommend any can't miss subjects or places to visit?  Must be public transit accessible, as I will not have a car.  How about a good place to base myself for the half spent outside of Tokyo.

Thanks!

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Trip to Japan
« on: April 18, 2013, 06:31:25 PM »

CanadianInvestor

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Re: Trip to Japan
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2013, 07:07:35 PM »
Every time I am in Tokyo, I set aside 3-4 hrs to wander around Shinjuku station with my camera.  It's a city all to itself and has over 200 exits.  I cannot help you with the other part of your question, but good luck and enjoy this great country! 

JPAZ

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Re: Trip to Japan
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2013, 07:27:39 PM »
That time of year, I would recommend Shikoku Island with its many temples and gardens.  Do try to get to Miyajima Island and plan to spend a whole day there with its Torii Gate, temples and deer.  Also, Kyoto is worth a visit.  All of this depends on how much time you've got.  If you are arriving by way of Narita ariport, even the village of Narita has an impressive temple complex. 
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neon

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Re: Trip to Japan
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2013, 08:24:18 PM »
If you are there on the weekend then Yoyogi park is always interesting for photography, if candid photos of people doing odd things and/or dressed even more oddly is your thing.

Get off at Harajuku station and right when you leave the station head for the strangely dressed kids on the bridge. But that's just the start, in the park there is also a temple where there will usually be traditional weddings taking place on the weekends. And then around the edge of the park across from the stadium the rock bands are set up along with the the 50's rockers dancing right by the entrance. In the park itself you never know what kind of strange things might be going on.

Brand B

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Re: Trip to Japan
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2013, 08:26:39 PM »
You should also spend 1/2 hour to check out a Yodobashi camera store while you're in Tokyo for kicks.  Photography megastore, although the prices are higher than the US.

randyfath

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Re: Trip to Japan
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2013, 08:28:15 PM »
You will enjoy Japan, but it is during the hot time of year.  I lived there 6 years and ended up getting married to a lovely Japanese woman.   My greatest recommendation is to go to Kyoto and do the walking tour...  Kyoto was one of the two cities not fire bombed during the second world war, so there are lots of wonderful historical buildings there.  You will find the Japanese people some of the best people you will ever meet... even though they are quite shy to foreigners that does not mean they do not want to communicate.  Many many Japanese take English classes with the hope that they can help a foreigner some day...  The biggest thing is to smile and present yourself friendly, that greatly reduces their stress.   Tokyo is huge, I would not spend too much time there unless you like lots and lots of city...

There are Youth Hostels around the major towns which can save you tons of money on your stay, but if you have unlimited money that is not your worry.  Youth Hostels, or as they have changed their name officially, are great places to meet other travelers and get local advice..

Enjoy your time... I wish I were going as well...  but I am thankful my commercial studio is busy at this time...


starcam

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Re: Trip to Japan
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2013, 08:39:59 PM »
Thanks for all the great advice!  Keep it coming!

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Re: Trip to Japan
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2013, 08:39:59 PM »

eml58

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Re: Trip to Japan
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2013, 08:53:18 PM »
I was in Japan with my 2 Teenage Sons December 2012/January 2013, spent 10 days in Tokyo, then down to Kyoto & Osaka by Bullet Train, then up to Nagano.

Kyoto/Osaka are just great if your into the Old Japan, Temples & Beautiful Parks scenery.

We went up to Nagano not for the skiing but for the Snow Monkeys, your probably going at the wrong time to appreciate these Guys as September there will be no Snow, we were lucky last December as we had heavy snowfall mid December & arrived early January at Nagano.

where ever you go in Japan you are going to find simply amazingly friendly & respectful people, I was blown away by just how welcoming the Japanese people are, the fact that they are also a very Beautiful people was made clear by my 2 Teenage sons, they both want to go live in Japan when it comes time for a more sincere interest in Girls.

beautiful Country & Lovely People, you cant go wrong.
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87vr6

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Re: Trip to Japan
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2013, 09:06:28 PM »
I live in Okinawa, Japan is pretty spectacular.

definitely go to kyoto, see the temples there. Check out Harajuku in Tokyo, lots of wild sights there. Go visit the Tokyo skytree for sure.

There's a really cool overnight train that goes from Tokyo to Sapporo on Hokkaido. If you have time/money it's worth it.

Can you speak/read any Japanese? The trains and planes all have English, but the bus system is more hit and miss. It can be tough to figure out.

Get up early and check out the Tsukiji market as it's due to close next year.

The Ueno area has some really nice museums, parks, and sights.

makuroske

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Re: Trip to Japan
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2013, 09:12:36 PM »
One of my favorite places is Nikko! They are doing remodeling on the main shrine entrance though, so it will be covered up. Still worth a visit! There are many other shrines there! I believe its a world heritage site.

Kawaguchi-ko - great view of Mount. Fuji... although it maybe cloudy/foggy in the summer time. Check the weather!

Kanagawa Daibutsu - large statue of Buddha that attracts a lot of visitors, pretty close to Tokyo.

Shirakawago - world heritage site, really cool thatch roof village.

Jigokudani - the monkey hot spring - Not sure how it is in the summer time.

Meiji Jingu - Tokyo, Harajuku station.

Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara are all close to each other.

www.hostelworld.com has a lot of listings for cheap places to stay!

Hope this helps!


davidcampbellphotography

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Re: Trip to Japan
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2013, 10:52:52 PM »
I lived in Japan for a total of 3 years for work (2 sperate periods).
I have a bunch of photos on my flickr that will give you an idea of a lot of different areas, some often not commonly travelled to by tourists. Most of them should be labelled or tagged with the location (no GPS though)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidcampbellphotography/collections/72157608783712689/
I would highly reccomend using www.japan-guide.com for research, there is a lot of good content on there.

During september, the autumn leaves will be turning in higher latitudes and higher altitudes. Autumn is my favourite time in Japan. This website, as you get closer to the trip will give you an idea of the autumn leave progression. http://kouyou.yahoo.co.jp/ it is in Japanese but you should be able to put it through google translate.

If you are into Landscapes, Kamikochi in Nagano Prefecture has a lot to offer.

Nearby is Matsumoto that has a stunning original castle. This town also has a woodblock print museum where you can buy nice original process hand made wood block prints/replicas of more famous works.
Also Nearby is Takayama, Shirakawago which have traditional grass hut villages.
Kanazawa has a stunning garden, nice geisha/gold leaf district as well as a cool "ninja temple" called ninja dera. Basically a temple with many levels and hidden doors etc.

I also reccomend the following places Nikko, Koya san, Nara, Kyoto, Kamakura, Hiroshima/Miyajima, Sendai/Matsushima.

In Kyoto, there is an un written rule that you cant use tripods in/around the temples. I used to get told off a lot as many places dont have signs.

Good luck with the trip planning.

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Re: Trip to Japan
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2013, 10:52:52 PM »