Monday, August 18, 2008

japan-bound



well, we are off to japan from september 30-october 20! i really wanted to go in the spring to see the cherry blossoms, but i am sure there will be no shortage of beauty in october. i hear the changing leaves are quite beautiful as well. we are planning to take some side trips to kyoto for sure, and maybe osaka or perhaps somewhere in the north.

if anyone has any recommendations for accommodations (under $150/night) or stores, or just general travel tips, i'm all ears! i'm working on learning some phrases... based on the crazy maps i've come across so far (my jaw dropped when i saw the superfuture maps!) i think "can you show me where ___ is" will be the most important thing to learn!

14 comments:

erin said...

oh lucky you! that will definitely be a nice time in Japan... i spent 2 years there and i loved the fall best. i'll try to remember some must-sees before you go!

bleeding_eyelids said...

HARAJUKU!!! Harajuku is the place to be, I really think.

Well some japanese phrases to know are:

__________ wa doko desu ka?
(Where is __________?)
__________ ga arimasu ka?
(Is there a _________?)

erica said...

so jealous, so jealous, so jealous. so happy for you both, though!

shockingly, or perhaps not so much, japan tops our travel list, edging out paris and london, both places i've never visited.

koos shoes! i love their soft shaped boots.

Stephanie said...

bleeding eyes- thanks! i'm finding the 'expert village' videos quite helpful for phrases

erica- i always said that if i ever go to japan i would have to save up $ for at least a year... well, we decided to go and i have less than 2 months to save up! hah! i am going to try and focus less on shopping and more on cultural/historical attractions... we'll see how that goes!

Stephanie said...

erin- do let me know! what other city should we visit besides kyoto? i know there are so many worthy...

Yayer said...

I haven't been since I was a teen but my best friend's husband goes for work every month always brings me back gifts from Muji, Uniqlo, Head Porter and Tokyu Hands (craft/general store). Fun stuff and not a killer on the wallet.

minirobot said...

you must visit kamakura. such a beautiful place. and ghibliland! daikanyama! an onsen! there are the most amazing fabric store in japan -some are as big as department stores.

minirobot said...

oh yeah and try staying at a ryokan. they're more traditional and inexpensive. there's one in or near ueno that was really nice called sawanoya ryokan.

ps i went to chura salon on howe and it was good. they are precise, but be sure you are specific about what you want and bring pictures. also very inexpensive.

Joanna Goddard said...

how fabulous! you're going to have an amazing time. xo

Stephanie said...

yayer- i can't wait! thanks for mentioning tokyu hands!

minirobot- thanks for all your recommendations! i'm sure i will just end up wandering around in wide-eyed amazement half the time! i will definitely need an empty suitcase for the fabric stores! any in particular that are better than others?

joanna- thanks! i can't wait :)

cc said...

you know what you should do...

get a copy of the latest issue of

tokyo shopping guide (issue 3) by fruits/tune/streets magazine (it's a street snap mag) it's really great, has the hippest stores in the shibuya,harajyuku,aoyama,daikanyama districts

have fun! and i like your blog

Stephanie said...

cc- thanks! i will look into that :)

Famapa said...

hi, just came across your blog and a fellow blogger (lottie at sprink) is also going to japan soon and I left this long rather rambling comment there, hope you'll find it useful too!

where do I start?
make sure you stay in a ryokan, it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, we stayed at the hiiragiya in kyoto: http://www.hiiragiya.co.jp/en/room.html which was v. pricey but worth it (actually someone gave us the stay there as a gift so we were very lucky), if you stay in one make sure you have a kaiseki-ryori meal in your room and ask for the japanese breakfast (providing you like japanese food of course).

get a japan rail card, so useful and the best way to travel round and can also be used on some of the tube network in tokyo

go to:
kyoto -beautiful temples, charming city and you can hire bikes to get around

osaka - just an hour or less from kyoto by train but completely different and good fun

hiroshima - fascinating place, I can't put into words what I felt there but it was very powerful. it's a daytrip from either kyoto or osaka

nara - amazing amazing temples, hire bikes for next to nothing at the train station and your feet will thank you for it (also a daytrip from kyoto or osaka)

tokyo - of course!

as you can see we only went to honshu, would have loved to have gone to hokkaido - next time!

actually somewhere on my computer I've written a whole list of recommendations for a friend who went recently, I'll try and find it and I'll email it to you.

I really envy you as I really want to go back but I know I will one day!

p.s. it's not as expensive as you might think, you'll be amazed how much cheaper it is than London, well at least it was when we went 2 & 1/2 years ago :)

p.p.s I also found the rough guide book to be hopeless out there, I actually found the Fodor's one to be really helpful: http://www.amazon.com/Fodors-Japan-18th-Gold-Guides/dp/1400017793/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1211063990&sr=8-14

montmarte said...

hey stephanie!

i'm going to be in tokyo/kyoto mid-october! i picked up a general guidebook to japan, but i really like the wallpaper city guide books
to tokyo and kyoto.

http://www.phaidon.com/travel/