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One week trip to Japan

post #1 of 306
Thread Starter 
Hi, I'm going to Japan for about 6 days/5 nights. I'm planning on staying in Tokyo for 3 days and then going to Kyoto for 3 days until I return to Korea from Osaka airport. My aunt booked me a hotel even though I would much prefer to just stay at hostels, since it'd be easier to make friends and stuff, but whatever. Anyway, I was wondering if there was anything that I absolutely should not miss out on while I'm there. I'm planning on visiting the following, but I'm open to changing up my plans:

Tokyo Tower at night
Mt. Fuji
Edo Castle
*ABSOLUTE MUST* Eating REALLY good ramen and sushi (any recommendations for these? I personally really like Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen, but I'm open to any style, really. As for sushi, some place amazing where I could just sit in front of the chef without any worries)
Kyoto Imperial Palace
One night of drinking with friends from the US while in Tokyo
Maybe look around Osaka before my late afternoon flight? What is there to really see in Osaka?

I would love to go to a random ryokan while I'm there, but I heard they're not really keen on just taking one person (especially during travel season) since bookings are per room. I really want to try kaiseki-yori, so it would be great if I could get some recommendations and maybe drop by one of them to see if I can actually get a room.

Thanks guys
post #2 of 306
If you have money, I recomend you take your gaijin ass to some poor village and flash the cash and then lay all their hot daughters
post #3 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by nahneun View Post
Hi, I'm going to Japan for about 6 days/5 nights. I'm planning on staying in Tokyo for 3 days and then going to Kyoto for 3 days until I return to Korea from Osaka airport. My aunt booked me a hotel even though I would much prefer to just stay at hostels, since it'd be easier to make friends and stuff, but whatever. Anyway, I was wondering if there was anything that I absolutely should not miss out on while I'm there. I'm planning on visiting the following, but I'm open to changing up my plans:

Tokyo Tower at night
Mt. Fuji
Edo Castle
*ABSOLUTE MUST* Eating REALLY good ramen and sushi (any recommendations for these? I personally really like Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen, but I'm open to any style, really. As for sushi, some place amazing where I could just sit in front of the chef without any worries)
Kyoto Imperial Palace
One night of drinking with friends from the US while in Tokyo
Maybe look around Osaka before my late afternoon flight? What is there to really see in Osaka?

I would love to go to a random ryokan while I'm there, but I heard they're not really keen on just taking one person (especially during travel season) since bookings are per room. I really want to try kaiseki-yori, so it would be great if I could get some recommendations and maybe drop by one of them to see if I can actually get a room.

Thanks guys

I would go ahead and try to book a good ryokan. I think it will give a more traditional Japanese experience, including the food (kaiseki). With ryokan, the more you pay, the better the food (in general).

Where are you staying in Tokyo? Depending on the location, I am sure there are some ramen and sushi places members can recommend.
post #4 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragon View Post
I would go ahead and try to book a good ryokan. I think it will give a more traditional Japanese experience, including the food (kaiseki). With ryokan, the more you pay, the better the food (in general).
+1. I would do a top ryokan in Kyoto
post #5 of 306
I would stay in shitty business hotels & capsule hotels.
post #6 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by nahneun View Post

*ABSOLUTE MUST* Eating REALLY good ramen and sushi (any recommendations for these? I personally really like Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen, but I'm open to any style, really. As for sushi, some place amazing where I could just sit in front of the chef without any worries)


not sure what your budget is, but you should try to go to one of the top sushi spots

mizutani, jiro, or kyubei

besides those, you can also have a fantastic experience at tsukiji fish market
post #7 of 306
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragon View Post
I would go ahead and try to book a good ryokan. I think it will give a more traditional Japanese experience, including the food (kaiseki). With ryokan, the more you pay, the better the food (in general). Where are you staying in Tokyo? Depending on the location, I am sure there are some ramen and sushi places members can recommend.
I am staying in Shinjuku at Shinjuku New City hotel but I wouldn't mind traveling around a bit for the best of the best
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdl203 View Post
+1. I would do a top ryokan in Kyoto
My aunt did reserve a business hotel room for me in Kyoto as well, but I really do want to stay at a ryokan. I actually have almost zero knowledge of Japanese, so that hinders my chances of actually finding one that's good (and within my price range). Also, I'm going to Japan this week, so I'm not sure how easily I could procure a room in such conditions, especially given the fact that every single ryokan reservation site said that it's nigh impossible for a single traveler to book a good ryokan room early August.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cchen View Post
not sure what your budget is, but you should try to go to one of the top sushi spots mizutani, jiro, or kyubei besides those, you can also have a fantastic experience at tsukiji fish market
I just graduated from college so I wasn't planning on spending more than 100 USD (maaaaaaaaybe 150 if it's worth it) on an omakase tasting (something I've been dying to do for like...practically my entire life). Am I expecting too much? I just saw a few people's reviews for Mizutani and they say it's around 275-300 a person. That's a bit unreasonable for a 23 year old, I think Do you know of any other places that would be more fitting? Thanks!
post #8 of 306
I've stayed at the New City before. The rooms are small, but clean. The hotel is in a great location and 5 minutes from Shiunjuku Station (new south exit).

There's a Seattle's Best Coffee next door, with free wi-fi in case you need it! The hotel is also a block away from the Takashimaya Department Store. The green sign is a great beacon in case you ever get lost!

If you're not sure how to find the hotel, or get to shinjuku from Narita, PM for directions! I know the area around the hotel well, so feel free to ask any other questions!

Have a friggin' blast!!!!!!!!!
post #9 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by nahneun View Post
I am staying in Shinjuku at Shinjuku New City hotel but I wouldn't mind traveling around a bit for the best of the best

Be sure to visit the shoe department at Isetan Shinjuku.
post #10 of 306
I recommend visiting Dogenzaka, Shibuya's Love Hotel Hill
post #11 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by amd123 View Post
If you have money, I recomend you take your gaijin ass to some poor village and flash the cash and then lay all their hot daughters

make sure you drift into town in a Nissan S-15 Silvia
post #12 of 306
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by impolyt_one View Post
make sure you drift into town in a Nissan S-15 Silvia

will this elevate me to daimyo status?
post #13 of 306
For ramen -- try and find Mendokoro Kukuri ramen located in Central Tokyo ... (partial re-post from another thread) When I had some friends visit me in Tokyo, I could not understand how and why they had such a hard-on for Ippudo in Ebisu - after all, it's just a fucking chainstore. What I did not realize was that they had a branch restaurant in NYC which seems to have generated some hype. As there's hardly any hype or PR in English, most people visiting Tokyo will miss out on the ramen shops considered to be the best by Japanese in the know. This TV program a few years ago, picked a small shop called Mendokoro Kururi as its #1 pick: A review (in English) is here ... lots of other good picks on this English-language ramen blog. For sushi--- Tsukiji... (the FISH MARKET) http://www.tsukiji-market.or.jp/tukiji_e.htmthe calendar is here: http://www.tsukiji-market.or.jp/etc/calendar/2010.htmlIf you want to see the tuna auction, you'll need: 1. to get there early. from 4 AM or 5 AM or 6 AM ... 7AM by the absolute latest. Staying out all night is a popular option especially if you have jetlag. If you get there after 0630 the tuna auction might be over but there'll still be lots to see. 2. the floor can be wet. be forewarned. Recently they instituted some new initiative whereby tourists can only go in with a registered guide or on a tour with new signs declaring " "no admission without permission" Apparently some ding dong tourists were getting in the way of the workers who zip around on motorized trucks. There is supposedly a new system whereby visitors to Tsukiji are required line up to get a special jacket or something - which means if you follow the stupid rules, you risk getting up for nothing. There are security guards who might you to leave, but actually they can't legally do so as it is a public area so they're obviously depending on coercing stupid tourists; it's better to keep an eye out for them and not run into them -- or draw too much attention to yourself by standing out. The problem is they recently approached a friend of mine whom they mistakenly assumed was a tourist due to his round-eyed appearance. He's a chef and has a very short temper. If uncertain, pay these guys 7500 yen to guide you around discreetly: http://homepage3.nifty.com/tokyowork...ijiTourEng.htmAlthough the idea of eating sushi at 6 or 7 AM in the morning (with a beer) might make you feel squeamish -- it's a great opportunity to have some of the freshest sushi you'll ever eat. Most tourists will opt for lining up at Sushi Daibut I would recommend opting for the lesser-known Sushi Bun (see map below): Also, two reviews including a photo which will help you identify the restaurant's sign: http://www.bento.com/rev/3215.htmlhttp://aki-eats.blogspot.com/2007/07/sushi-bun.html
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post #14 of 306
Thread Starter 
Ah, thank you for the advice, blackjack! I was also wondering where I could get some good horse sashimi and fugu hahaha. I feel like this is a foodie trip ):~
post #15 of 306
Jangara ramen in Harajuku (nearby Omotesando station) is my favorite Tonkotsu ramen restaurant.
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