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first time Japan, which 2 destinations and when??

australia
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for New South Wales, Noosa
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first time Japan, which 2 destinations and when??

Going to make first visit to Japan in 2013. Would appreciate some suggestions on where and when.

Thinking with 10-12 days maybe just 2 (or a 3rd close by) destinations. 1 should be a big city (Tokyo??), and maybe Okinawa. But definitely open to suggestions

When - either late feb or mid July.

Middle aged male traveling solo, keeping budget low as possible, no fancy accommodation or restaraunts.

Would like to see nice scenery, some typical Japanese culture/lifestyle (non touristy). and again tell me what would be a 'must see'

Also traveling via Singapore or KL, or Bangkok so any budget airlines to Japan form any of these cities ?? ( i know air asia and jetstar

Thanks for any thoughts.

Tokyo, Japan
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1. Re: first time Japan, which 2 destinations and when??

Most 1st time travellers spare a half itinerary on Kanto(around Tokyo) and another half on Kansai(around Kyoto/Osaka) and make a day trip to surrounding destinations.

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2400.html

Tokyo, Japan
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2. Re: first time Japan, which 2 destinations and when??

Oh it's easy. Tokyo, Kyoto and Nara nearby.

Okinawa should be seen as a separate destination to Japan mainland for its distinct culture, history, and nature. Elderly Okinawan people speak a unique language which is incomprehensible to the mainland Japanese.

If you are from Australia the beaches might not appeal to you so strongly (but then Okinawa is definitely not just about beaches).

Japan is not a budget destination, but if you want to economize a bit, you can quite comfortably.

>>some typical Japanese culture/lifestyle (non touristy)<<

This is a hard question. I am writing this while in Asakusa (the most touristy yet traditional place in Tokyo) near Sensoji Temple after eating Pizza Margherita and Hawaiian Pochiki with Rhum Cola at Cafe Pronto with Robert Johnson music on. A typically Japanese evening lifestyle.

Tokyo, Japan
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3. Re: first time Japan, which 2 destinations and when??

Feb vs July? I would probably go with Feb, even though its cold.

Of course, Kanto and Kansai need to be on your itinerary. I would skip Okinawa. You can also fit in Hiroshima.

Jetstar is flying to both KIX from SG and NRT from Oz.

Scoot will begin service from SG to Tokyo soon.

Air Asia flies from KL to Haneda

Tokyo, Japan
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4. Re: first time Japan, which 2 destinations and when??

Tokyo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1BD1CIaJwY

Kyoto: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yv5mijLWRqQ

Nara: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JQNKFsKoGU

Italy
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5. Re: first time Japan, which 2 destinations and when??

Tokyo and Kyoto would be the 2 obvious choices with day trips to Nikko and Kamakura from Tokyo and Nara and Osaka from Kyoto.

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: first time Japan, which 2 destinations and when??

When to travel depends on your tolerance for cold vs heat/humidity. February will be cold and July will be warm, but the humidity in July is really unpleasant. It's a bit like breathing in steam! I would normally choose warmth over cold, but having been to Japan once in the summer, I'd have to say never again.

Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: first time Japan, which 2 destinations and when??

Too late to add to the previous post!

Jetstar have regular sales on their Japan fares, including (at least for the past 2 years) a really good sale in January for travel January-March and another in March for travel April-July. Almost all dates have been available, apart from school holidays, so it's a good idea to sign up for their online deals.

Kanazawa, Japan
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8. Re: first time Japan, which 2 destinations and when??

The question is, do you want the obvious choices which everyone makes, which are so standard that there wouldn't be any point in asking this question (99.9999% of people would do Tokyo and Kyoto), or somewhere a little more off the beaten track? Tracks don't get any more beaten than the Tokyo-Kyoto tour.

australia
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for New South Wales, Noosa
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9. Re: first time Japan, which 2 destinations and when??

yes, definitely off the beaten track ideas are good. I like to explore the non-touristy areas too. Though as not so many of my friends have been to Japan, so where ever I go, I wont be hearing, 'yeah we went there too' as much.

Monza, Italy
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10. Re: first time Japan, which 2 destinations and when??

I went to Japan last May, and I found no gaijin when I traveled to Nachi no Taki, in the Kumano area south of Osaka.

Beatiful scenery, green mountains, steep trails, waterfalls, vermillion pagodas, lots of pilgrim walking the Kumano Kodo trail clad in traditional dresses, possibly the most "film-like Japanese" experience during my holidays - but of course you must consider that actual Japanese lifestyle has been perfectly described by Yobekool in post #2...

The only drawback was that I could not find a budget accomodation (backpacker's hostel) in the area and had to make is as a looong daytrip from Osaka.

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e4952.html

Edited: 04 October 2012, 11:04