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Going to Japan in Late March to Early April

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
So, my wife, her mother, and I are traveling first to Fukuoka to visit the mother in law's home town and ancestors' graves, then we're taking the train up north to Tokyo but will stop by either Kyoto or Kobe. Now, I've spent a couple of days in Kyoto but felt rushed in the food/cooking supply alley they have there and would love to go back, however I don't know if I should scrap that to have the opportunity to visit a new city like Kobe.

What do you guys think?

Also, I would love some recommendations on Kobe, Kyoto, and Tokyo - places to shop but not really clothing.

Thanks!
Edited by HORNS - 2/17/12 at 8:46am
post #2 of 57
Quote:
Title: Going To Japan In Late May To Early April
Experiencing the trip with time reversed, sure would make it more a more unusual trip... biggrin.gif

..
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Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
K. no real specific recommendations to give other than to enjoy it!

Perhaps alter, impolyt, fang ect. can jump on board.
post #3 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by erdawe View Post

Quote:
Title: Going To Japan In Late May To Early April
Experiencing the trip with time reversed, sure would make it more a more unusual trip... biggrin.gif
..
.. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
K. no real specific recommendations to give other than to enjoy it!
Perhaps alter, impolyt, fang ect. can jump on board.

ffffuuuu.gif

Late March to early April.

I was reading some of the older threaks and saw that Alter lives in Kobe - so Alter, I summon thee.
post #4 of 57
Hey Horns, Sorry I missed this earlier. Yep, I live in Kobe and office is in Osaka...and frequently vist Kyoto.

Tough call to say which would be better for you...on the surface most Japanese cities are fairly similar. Could you be more specific about your interests? Feel free to pm if preferred.

Kobe has an easy to walk around downtown area (around Motomachi/Sannomiya station) with ample shopping malls and underground shopping areas. Kobe is well-known as a "fashionable" city so the clothing options are excellent. For sightseeing, there isn't too much going on...the world's longest extension bridge is kind of cool if you like that kind of thing...and there is a nice path from there along the seaside leading to an "outlet" mall. A nice morning or afternoon activity. There is also a particularly nice castle in Himeji but it is around an hour west of Kobe...and it is under some construction at the moment.

Osaka could be an option too. Just around the Osaka station area, called Umeda, are many many places to eat and shop. But nothing that you couldn't find in Tokyo.

But...given all of the above, I think I would still opt for Kyoto. There are just so many places to visit there. In one day you can see an amazing temple, eat some great food (traditional or modern) and shop.

I have some more specific recs for hotels and restaurants in all three cities so let me know if that would be helpful too.
post #5 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alter View Post

Hey Horns, Sorry I missed this earlier. Yep, I live in Kobe and office is in Osaka...and frequently vist Kyoto.
Tough call to say which would be better for you...on the surface most Japanese cities are fairly similar. Could you be more specific about your interests? Feel free to pm if preferred.
Kobe has an easy to walk around downtown area (around Motomachi/Sannomiya station) with ample shopping malls and underground shopping areas. Kobe is well-known as a "fashionable" city so the clothing options are excellent. For sightseeing, there isn't too much going on...the world's longest extension bridge is kind of cool if you like that kind of thing...and there is a nice path from there along the seaside leading to an "outlet" mall. A nice morning or afternoon activity. There is also a particularly nice castle in Himeji but it is around an hour west of Kobe...and it is under some construction at the moment.
Osaka could be an option too. Just around the Osaka station area, called Umeda, are many many places to eat and shop. But nothing that you couldn't find in Tokyo.
But...given all of the above, I think I would still opt for Kyoto. There are just so many places to visit there. In one day you can see an amazing temple, eat some great food (traditional or modern) and shop.
I have some more specific recs for hotels and restaurants in all three cities so let me know if that would be helpful too.

Thanks Alter. I think that my wife would enjoy the shopping in Kobe if it is a hot-spot for clothing and design. I, on the other hand, would love to have access to clothing there was a chance that they could fit me but I think that's doubtful. Otherwise I am in love with craftsmanship in whatever form it manifests itself.

Kobe is a large sake brewing city - is it worth it to visit those places? And any places to eat "land toro" aka Kobe beef would be greatly appreciated!

We are definitely staying in Kyoto for two days, which is a longer period of time than you might think considering that we have already seen all the temples and palaces.

What about other places that are on the way from Fukuoka to Tokyo that aren't even on my radar?
post #6 of 57
You will be near a number of quality bonsai nurseries. If I were you I would be sure to avail myself of their wares.
post #7 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by edinatlanta View Post

You will be near a number of quality bonsai nurseries. If I were you I would be sure to avail myself of their wares.

That's a great idea, edina! I'm goin to research bonsai in general and see what comes up.

That reminds me, I meant to ask if anyone has ever seen a bonsai sakura?
post #8 of 57
Horns I was going to rcommend some shoe stores but at size 12 you'll be SOL in Japan. Give us some more specifics about what type of thing you're interested in and I'll try to give some recs. Do you play golf?
post #9 of 57
Thread Starter 
Thanks for chiming in, Fang.

I do not play golf, which would indeed be helpful. Restaurants, gardens, cooking supplies/knives, and design store recommendations would all be very helpful. A destination that I look forward to is the Commes de Garcons store in Tokyo.
post #10 of 57
Thread Starter 
Oh, and apparently my mother in law has an uncle in the Fukuoka area who owns an Ikizukuri restaurant, where fish are prepared so quickly that you eat the meat off of the animal while it's still alive. I think we have dinner there planned, but I really, REALLY don't want to go. They're telling me what a great, once in a lifetime experience this will be but I find it repugnant.
post #11 of 57
That restaurant sounds good to me!

I am putting together some suggestions for you for restaurants in Kobe for Kobe Beef, there are many of course.

About craftmanship: in Fukuoka there is a leather goods shop that sells stuff by Herz. This website has some of their stuff...I own a few pieces and the workmanship and proces are excellent: http://www.leatherbag.co.jp/05_webshop/index.html . I will find the address butI think it is right at Hakata station.
Edited by Alter - 2/20/12 at 4:04pm
post #12 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by HORNS View Post

Thanks for chiming in, Fang.
I do not play golf, which would indeed be helpful. Restaurants, gardens, cooking supplies/knives, and design store recommendations would all be very helpful. A destination that I look forward to is the Commes de Garcons store in Tokyo.

For cooking gear/knives Kappabashi in Tokyo is definitely a must.
post #13 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alter View Post

That restaurant sounds good to me!
I am putting together some suggestions for you for restaurants in Kobe for Kobe Beef, there are many of course.
About craftmanship: in Fukuoka there is a leather goods shop that sells stuff by Herz. This website has some of their stuff...I own a few pieces and the workmanship and proces are excellent: http://www.leatherbag.co.jp/05_webshop/index.html . I will find the address butI think it is right at Hakata station.

That shop looks niiice!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fang66 View Post

For cooking gear/knives Kappabashi in Tokyo is definitely a must.

Yeah, I spent five hours one day on Kappabashi and was just amazed - there's a wonderful coffee equipment shop there.
post #14 of 57
That Herz leather shop has shops all over, saw one in Shibuya I think
post #15 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by impolyt_one View Post

That Herz leather shop has shops all over, saw one in Shibuya I think

I'd love to hear some recs from you as well. This will make the SW&D people roll their eyes, but where do you recommend my wife and I both getting a good deal on some jeans?
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