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  • Going to Japanland

    In three weeks time me and two of my students are leaving on a jet plane to go to Japan (but unlike the JD song I do know when I will be back again).

    It's my first time and I am really excited about going. Two whole weeks with Oshita Sensei will be bliss.

    Looking forward to some sightseeing too; we already have in mind several obvious touristy places but can anyone here recommend some intesreting places not too far from Kobe which might also be of interest?

    thanks,

    Lee

  • #2
    Koyasan, the Shingon Buddhist mountain is well with visiting, Lee, but it's more of a two day trip, unfortunately. It was my favourite place when I went.

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    • #3
      Arima Onsen (有馬温泉). One of the most famous hot springs in Japan. And the best thing, it is within easy reach from the city center.

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      • #4
        Meirin. Tozando. Nijo castle has two sword shops close by, one on the road from the station, the other on the corner just before you go in. (You can see I have shopping up front first...) Nara, but be warned the deer attack you if you have any 'deer biscuits'... I like Kiyomisu (sadly under wraps last November and will be still when you go) and Sanjusangendo. Not sure if they have removed the plastic from the golden tea house yet either... more a plastic tea house... thats a nice walk around if you follow the stream, some lovely gardens. and as you are pretty close Osaka castle is pretty good, and has a iai/kendo dojo and a kyudo club you can wander into and watch. Himeji castle (was used in last samurai as a temple. weird people, film makers...) is also under wraps due to having a lift installed.
        Hope you get a better exchange rate than I did in November...(118 to was the worst I have ever had...) you need better than 175 to get a fair swap for your cash. And DON'T bring a spare case home full of stuff, airport will rip you off for 100 quid. Put it all in the post, miles cheaper.
        One final point... avoid Bactrian camel burgers, they smell and taste EXACTLY how you think they would...vile.
        For all this useful advice, you owe me a set of menuki (which I forgot to get when i was there last...will give you cash when you get back...)

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        • #5
          Next door Okayama has a sword museum where you can observe forging as well.

          Bizen Osafune Token Village
          966, Osafune, Osafune-cho, Setouchi-shi, Okayama-ken, 701-4271
          http://www.city.setouchi.lg.jp/~osa-...lish/index.htm

          Near that is Naoshima, an island in the Seto Inland Sea, which has Chichu Art Museum designed by the famous contemporary Japanese architect Tadao Ando.

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          • #6
            Americamura?

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            • #7
              definitely nara... And any budo shop that sell aya-ori sageo

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              • #8
                I know a good place right in the center of Osaka city. Our dojo!! lol

                Welcome anytime.

                http://www.wix.com/kodeniai/senshinkai#!mainPage


                Cheers

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                • #9
                  So... where's all our prezzies for all this good advice then????

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                  • #10
                    Dunno Kobe but good ta check out weather forecasts. Now entering the rainy season tho always forget how long it lasts (bad memories get vague): stuff doesn't dry, non-waterproof bags & shoes get, and stay, wet.... Enjoy!

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for the advice ladies and gents.

                      Kobe was a great place to stay but not particularly touristy. We did go and see the earthquake memorial which was interesting and quite touching. Also saw the Ikuta shrine and the Soekeken gardens which were pretty good.

                      Went to Kyoto twice. Once to train with Morita Sensei (everything everybody has said about his dojo is true and then some - it really is an impressive place). we also did a day sightseeing visiting the sanjusangendo shrine, Gion, the golden pavilion (not as impressive as i'd imagined) and the budo shops. I was also impressed with the train station; fantastic architecture.

                      Nara was very pretty- and the scale of the bronze buddha is just immense.

                      But of course the main reason for going was to train; especially with Oshita Sensei.

                      And it was fantastic.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for the feedback: glad it was a great trip! Just curious about your take on Japan: any surprises, good and bad? Communication was ...? Yeah, trains/stations are great, huh!

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                        • #13
                          The good?

                          The people. The trains. The buses. The food. The cakee (cakes). The historical stuff. Oshita Sensei. Oshita Sensei' s wife. Morita Sensei. Morita Sensei's wife. Marina san. Japanese bars. Training. Sake. Sushi. Kyoto. Nara. Nada. Customs people at Kansai airport. The massage people (mine was outrageously gorgeous). The traffic system. No Litter. no graffiti. Posh Japanese women. Gion.

                          The bad?
                          The price of things. Japanese pop music. Macdonalds (only place where there was litter).

                          an altogether amazing place. missing it already.

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                          • #14
                            Good - Kansai airport people? Bad: yeah, prices, but after a while get numbed to that. Though remember well first time I saw the price of what looked like just noodles - no veggies, protein source, etc. Anyway, glad to hear J. was good.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by satsumaruma View Post
                              The good?The people. The trains. The buses. The food. The cakee (cakes). The historical stuff. Oshita Sensei. Oshita Sensei' s wife. Morita Sensei. Morita Sensei's wife. Marina san. Japanese bars. Training. Sake. Sushi. Kyoto. Nara. Nada. Customs people at Kansai airport. The massage people (mine was outrageously gorgeous). The traffic system. No Litter. no graffiti. Posh Japanese women. Gion..
                              One thing I was disappointed about in Japan was it wasn't a beautiful place. Concrete, telegraph poles and associated wires obscuring places of beauty, and all the rivers I saw have concrete-reinforced banks, what's that all about? The man-made beauty was incredible: architecture, shrines and temples etc, but the natural beauty wasn't what I expected. Everyone should read 'Roads to Sata' and 'Looking for the Lost: Journeys through a vanishing Japan' both by Alan Booth for a sometimes brutally honest view of Japan.

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