Going to Japan for the 1st time

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by phuucnguyen, Mar 14, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. phuucnguyen

    phuucnguyen Silver Member

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    Hi all,
    I took Aadvantage of the 25% off Citi coupon and SWU, therefore me and Mrs phuucnguyen, we are going to Japan for the very 1st time from 4/5-10. We will only be in Japan for a little bit over 3 days. I dont know anything in there yet. Could you all help me by recommending where should I go, eat, visit, and what to avoid, those kind of things. We are in out early 30, if you wondering, hehe
    Thank you very much in advance.

    PS: I book Hotel Niwa Tokyo for $100 a night based on the recommendation of TripAdvisor.
     
  2. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    Wow! Sounds like a nice trip!

    Impossible to say, and I don't have a ton of experience there, but can you give us some idea of what you do when you travel? Do you like great restaurants that are expensive or cheap? Do you care about history, culture, activities, meeting locals? What floats your boat?
     
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  3. Euan
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    Euan Silver Member

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    If you like sushi then a definite must is a visit to the Tokyo Fish Market - its a very early start to get there in time but well worth it! The sushi is amazing.
     
  4. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    I would even say, if you don't care at all about fish, that place is amazing and should be a mandatory stop - especially since you'll be up at the right hour due to the time change.
     
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  5. phuucnguyen

    phuucnguyen Silver Member

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    schnitzel - thanks, yes, we like cultures, a little bit history, activities, eating out, trying new food, walking around to see local shops. I think Fish market would be a terrific place for us then. Not too fancy restaurant but we are not afraid of trying new thing.
    Euan - thanks for the suggestion
     
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  6. lotso-bear
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    lotso-bear Silver Member

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    I think stopping by the Asakusa station to see the Sensoji Temple is worthwhile...Food-wise, I recommend a tonkatsu place like Maisen, and we really enjoyed Gonpachi in the Roppongi area. Gonpachi inspired the place in Kill Bill, part 1 with the big sword fight...Get the tasting menu.
     
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  7. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    There's a lot of great info on Japan in this thread here: LINK. Read up on it and it may answer a few of your questions. 3 days is not a lot of time to see Japan, let along all of Tokyo. You can certainly make the most of it.

    I lived in Japan for most of my life and I visit often. If you have any specific questions feel free to send me a message.
     
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  8. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    You've got to hit Harajuku and other parts of Shibuya, and, if you're into technology, a stroll in Akihabara is probably a good idea.

    Food-wise, I really liked this place in Shibuya called Suzuran that served tsukemen and played The Carpenters endlessly. No English there, but nice people who can work with you.
     
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  9. CharlesG

    CharlesG Gold Member

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    I already weighed in on this in the link DestinationDavid supplied; that is a great place to start. Have a great trip!
     
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  10. perryplatypus

    perryplatypus Gold Member

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    If you have the time visit the Great buddha in Kamakura. I always liked visiting the many temples in Japan as they are very relaxing and are great historical sites to visit.
     
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  11. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    My biggest recommendation is to avoid the top restaurants listed in guidebooks. They are all very good but are often high priced and with the exchange rate with Japan these days...

    There is lots of good food throughout Tokyo (which I assume is where you will spend all 3 days). Look where all the locals go and you cannot go wrong. Some of my favorite discoveries were random little ramen places everywhere.... including in the train stations.

    As mentioned, the Tsukiji Fish Market is a must for sushi lovers... but if you're not big into getting up at the crack of dawn to see the auction, it's at least good to go there and follow the lines for the top spots for sushi. Be prepared to wait a bit as the most popular places have lines out the door and only seat like 10 people. The spot I refuses to serve Salmon and served up the biggest slices of Toro that I've ever had... all for what I remember was about $15.

    The other thing I recommend is to go shopping in one of the nice Japanese department stores. Matsuya in Ginza was a very memorable visit where they had a roadshow of the Japanese puzzle box makers. Getting to spend time playing with the boxes and speaking to the inventors is something I'll never forget. We also found a great tea set for a pretty good price and got to see the most insanely good packing job performed by the sales clerk after hearing that we would be traveling back to the US. To say the least, the level of customer service in Japan makes the US look like we just learned how to spell "customer service".
     
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  12. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    Yes! Deparment stores! Good call, Restless.

    I particularly liked Takashimaya, especially in Shinjuku, and especially the insanely amazing food floor.
     
  13. phuucnguyen

    phuucnguyen Silver Member

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    Thanks a lot for all the recommendation guys. Cheer!!
     

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