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Plannning A honeymoon in Japan

UK
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Plannning A honeymoon in Japan

We're thinking about spending our honeymoon in Japan in September 2005 approx 14 days. Is it better to sort out a tour in the UK before going over or to sort one out over there. What will the weather be like at this time of year. We're thinking of going to Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, trying out the hot springs and staying at a traditional Japanese house for a night or two.

Any help would be appreciated. Thank you

Cambridge, MA
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1. Re: Plannning A honeymoon in Japan

The way to go would assuredly be to plan most of your touring well ahead of time, but to allow enough flexibility so that you can allow for some spontaneity too. A very basic itinerary would consist of five days in and around Tokyo, including a day trip to Nikko and another to Kamakura (site of a world-famous giant outdoor Buddha statue.) Take an additional 1-3 days to visit the nearby Izu Peninsula, where you'll find many hot-springs inns. For the remainder of the time, devote most of it to getting a taste of Kyoto, the ancient capitol city which offers much to experience. Work in a day trip to Nara from there, while literally saving Osaka for a rainy day. Excepting a replica castle, and a spectacular modern aquarium, Osaka is a city of business with not much to offer a tourist. But its, Kyoto's, and Tokyo's department stores are like few of their modern counterparts in the US. (Having never been to the UK, I don't know how Harrods and the like would stack up against them, however.)

If by "staying in a traditional Japanese house" you mean just that, start inquiring now at travel agencies about home-visit programs. Realize going in that most Japanese households are either cramped apartments or small subdivision houses, with one of the major cultural distinctions being that you're expected to remove your shoes in the front entry hall. Everyday lifestyles are heavily Westernized, with the style of bathing (scrub, then soak) about the most different aspect. To better get a feel for classic-style quarters, investigate a "minshuku" or "ryokan" with the help of guidebooks. They tend to be pricy, but there are plenty of exceptions. Staying at one would afford you the chance to sleep on "futon" mattresses atop rice matting, be served local specialties in your room, etc.

Autumn is a wonderful time to be visiting Japan, with Kyoto being especially spectacular. Mild days and cool nights are the norm, with relatively little rainfall.

TOKYO
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2. Re: Plannning A honeymoon in Japan

In September, it might be a rainy season in Japan.

and, Japan has some typhoons in this season.

I recommend you to come to Japan at the late of October or the beginning of November if you can.

This is the best season. Because it isn't humid, cold.

If you go to Kyoto in this season, you can see red mountains.

(Because leaves turn red and yellow.) This is the most beautiful scenery in a year.

USA
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3. Re: Plannning A honeymoon in Japan

The first half of September is brutally hot and humid. Jungle weather. 90 degrees and 95% humidity, a little bit of rain every day, overcast skies, and perhaps a typhoon or two. (late July to early/mid-Sept is like this every day). Sometime in September, the weather changes, like flipping a switch, and it becomes much more bearable. 80 degrees, or 70ish, bluer skies, and less rain. Osaka and Kyoto stay jungle-like a little longer.

Regarding a tour, it's not really necessary. Tokyo is so utterly enormous that you can easily explore it for months and months and never begin to take it all in. Also, there are many places in Tokyo to book a tour or an un-supervised trip to Kyoto, Osaka, Nikko, or wherever. There are many travel agencies in the building above Yurakucho station, which can be walked to underground from Hibiya station and is a short walk down Harumi Dori from Ginza station or Higashi-Ginza station.

If you've never before crossed the International Date Line, expect that after 3-4 days your body clock will rebel and demand copious amounts of sleep. Plan a day of rest.

Do yourself a huge favor and go to Jena books in Ginza. (It's on Harumi Dori (dori=street) next to exit B3 of the Ginza subway line). It's a bi-lingual bookstore. purchase the Tokyo City Atlas -- A Bilingual Guide. (English books are on the 2nd or 3rd floor, I forget which.) It's about $20U.S. but you'll almost never get lost if you use it to plan your excursions around the city. Tokyo is completely void of urban planning. The streets are laid out like the noodles in a serving of spaghetti. And nothing, repeat, nothing, is numbered in numerical order.

Have fun. It will be a trip you'll never forget. Japan is amazing, Tokyo is overwhelming and amazing, and the experience just might change your life.

London, United...
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4. Re: Plannning A honeymoon in Japan

I am planning a couple of days stopover in Tokyo on my wa back to London, I'm a female traveller on my own and would prefer a japanese speaking guide so I can get around easier as I'm a little nervous about doing this alone.

Any suggestions??