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3 weeks in Japan Summer 2010 - recommendations please

Kent
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3 weeks in Japan Summer 2010 - recommendations please

Hi

Two of us are planning on a 3 week tour of Japan at the end of July 2010. We want to see rural Japan and the cities and towns. We want to experience real Japan and although we want to see the tourist attractions, we don't want to fall into tourist traps. We are planning to book everything indendently and travel mainly by shinkansen. And we are doing it on a budget.

Where do you recommend we go? Any suggestions welcome.

Thanks very much

Becky

Illinois
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1. Re: 3 weeks in Japan Summer 2010 - recommendations please

I recommend doing a bit of research here - http://www.japan-guide.com/ The site has some suggested itineraries. Please use the search function in the Japan forum for Itineraries. Others have posted similar questions.

Durham
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2. Re: 3 weeks in Japan Summer 2010 - recommendations please

3 weeks on a budget mainly by Shinkansen? I hope the exchange rate improves for you before next summer!

I've always booked everything independently and haven't had any problems. I travel on a fairly low budget and that was fairly easy to do the last time I went 2 years ago at ~240yen/£ but now....

Short distance train travel is very good value in Japan so don't worry about getting a rail pass to cover your whole stay and do your sums in advance to work out if a pass will even be worthwhile.

Maybe you don't have a choice but spring and autumn would be more comfortable times to visit Japan. Maybe you're used to the heat though in Kent?!

Although Kamakura and Nara are places that many people visit I think it's for a good reason. They may be busy but they aren't too touristy and are definitely worth a visit. Avoid weekends for these popular places.

Personally I've enjoyed the cities I've visited in Kyushu especially Nagasaki and Kagoshima. I like the atmosphere of Kyushu in general (maybe not at the height of summer though!).

Matsumoto may be worth a look if you're in the area just for the fabulous preserved wooden castle - many castles in Japan are concrete reconstructions.

Outside of Tokyo you'll find the accommodation is better value - either cheaper rooms or larger rooms for the same money. Be prepared for small hotel rooms if you're on a budget.

Good luck!

Tokyo and California
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for Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Shinjuku, Japan
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3. Re: 3 weeks in Japan Summer 2010 - recommendations please

Since you're going in summer, I recommend including Hokkaido and Japan alps in your itinerary. These places will be much cooler than the rest of Japan. Kyushu is a nice area to visit but not in summer--It is going to be incredibly hot and humid in the end of July.

Seattle, Washington
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4. Re: 3 weeks in Japan Summer 2010 - recommendations please

If you are going for three weeks at the end of July, you have to think about your views of festivals - do you want to go, and enjoy the crowd, the excitement, the tradition, or do you want to avoid them because they are crowded, hot, and accommodation is hard to get?

Some great things to see ONLY in mid-summer:

Soma Noma Oi: web-japan.org/atlas/festivals/fes06.html

Nebuta:http://www.nebuta.or.jp/english/index_e.htm

Lake Suwa Fireworks: japantravelinfo.com/features/…

(a nice article about fireworks in general in Japan)

Gujo Odori: www.gujohachiman.com/kanko/gujo_odori_e.htm

Awa Odori: jnto.go.jp/eng/…a46_fes_awa.html

These are things you can only see in mid-summer; they are crowded and difficult to get to; they are worth every second and every yen, in my opinion. There are many other events in summer, some of which you only stumble upon in little totwns, but if you don't want crowds and expense be sure to steer clear of them.

5. Re: 3 weeks in Japan Summer 2010 - recommendations please

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