It's getting close now! The invitations have all been sent…
Planning for Japan
Preparing for our upcoming trip to Kyoto has turned out to be all-consuming. I’m spending hours each night trying to decode maps and book hotels for November. It’s going to be awesome…once I figure it out.
We’re especially struggling with where to spend some time outside of Kyoto. Nara seems to be booked up. Any other suggestions?
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AH! I LOVED Kyoto–it's such a great city. Nara is pretty close, so you should be able to spend some daytime there.
Osaka is also a great city–it's a little smaller than Tokyo, but you're still able to get the large city feel with the more historical sites (castles, museums, etc).
I'm so jealous that you're going–I really want to go back!
no suggestions here. i am, however, feeling very envious. the food….!
A few years ago, I stayed in Kyoto and took a day trip to Nara. I was able to visit almost all of the temples. The trains are frequent and efficient!
Echoing the comments above, Nara is an easy day trip and train ride away from Kyoto. Also you can visit Kobe and Ise on day trips. Osaka is a good starting point for Mt. Koya, where you can stay overnight in a temple. The Miho Museum is worth a visit for the setting and architecture alone.
I highly recommend Koyasan. It was so amazing to stay at a buddhist temple. One of the highlights of our trip to Japan.
Yes, Nara is a great choice. Miyajima is the most beautiful little island town-half day trip. Also, it's nice to visit the Himeji castle. And in Tokyo-the Tsukiji fish market is truly incredible.
I'd also recommend Koya-san (Mt. Koya)and a stay at a temple…it's a one of a kind experience! Osaka is huge, try the Shinsaibashi area to gaze at neon nightlife. Ise is a little ways away, but the grounds of the Ise "inner" shrine(Naiku)are very peaceful and the architecture is unique. Have a wonderful time!