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John Lindsey
28th April 2003, 03:39
This year I am taking a few of my students to Japan to train at our Genbukan hombu dojo. While this will be my 9th visit, It will be their first time. I have a list of places I want to take them, but I wanted to get other member's input on what they would suggest in regards to Japanese culture and history.

PRehse
28th April 2003, 05:06
John - I might suggest you fly into Kansai, get a week rail pass and expand your plans just a little bit. The extra cost is minimal and culturally there is a lot more to see in the Kansai area. A one week rail pass is the same price as a return ticket between Tokyo and Osaka.

Tokyo is not the most interesting city in the world but I could suggest a day trip to Nikko which has the shrines to the Tokugawa Shoguns. Not typical, fantastic scenery. On the other side of Tokyo is Kamakura - seat of the - wait for it - Kamakura Shogunate.

If you do hit Kansai - make sure I know about it.


Originally posted by John Lindsey
This year I am taking a few of my students to Japan to train at our Genbukan hombu dojo. While this will be my 9th visit, It will be their first time. I have a list of places I want to take them, but I wanted to get other member's input on what they would suggest in regards to Japanese culture and history.

John Lindsey
28th April 2003, 05:41
We will be going to Nikko. Problem is that we only have Tuesdays and Thursdays for fun, all the other days have training. My students will only be in Japan for 2 weeks, but I am staying my normal 4. Thus, only day trips out of Tokyo this time. Oh, what about the Katori shrine? I have never been there, and its not too far out of the way...

PRehse
28th April 2003, 05:48
Shame.

Don't know about the Katori shrine - never been there.


Originally posted by John Lindsey
We will be going to Nikko. Problem is that we only have Tuesdays and Thursdays for fun, all the other days have training. My students will only be in Japan for 2 weeks, but I am staying my normal 4. Thus, only day trips out of Tokyo this time. Oh, what about the Katori shrine? I have never been there, and its not too far out of the way...

Amir
28th April 2003, 11:39
Depends on what you are looking for.

But a few of places I found great were:
1. the garden behind the Tokyo Dome
2. The harbour fish selling area (you must get there very early in the morning - around 6 at the latest), and then you can go to a garden nearby.
3. As a contrast - the Tokyo tours very modern complex, with the obseravtion on top of the tours

I forgot the names but they all apear on any guide (we used the "Lonly planet" for Tokyo and it indcated most places).


Amir

Andy Watson
28th April 2003, 15:24
Jon

Katori is a nice place to go and I wouldn't miss it if I had only one chance to go to Japan. It is however a bit difficult to get to if you aren't travelling on the road as the nearest station is a taxi ride away. Kashima Jingu is also splendid.

I spent my first months in Japan in Kanazawa which is a bit off the beaten track but is truly magnificent in it's beauty and it's history. There are so many little places to go and see or you can chill out in Kenrokuen.

Kyoto is of course the cultural and historic heart of Japan. The Heian Shrine is a must for martial shugyosha's and once again there are lots of places out of the way to go and visit. Saru-yama is great.

I liked Kamakura but it can tend to get quite busy during any festival or holiday seasons.

As for Tokyo, I can't really say that it is one of my favourite places in Japan when comparing it to places out in the styx. It's just too busy to take people to. I like being there by myself or with one other person but with a group it would be a nightmare in my humble opinion.

Best regards

BC
28th April 2003, 15:39
There is a group from my dojo in Japan right now, and one of the places they are visiting is Yamagata City, which is in the mountains. I have been told it is a very beautiful and friendly place to visit.

Daniel Lee
29th April 2003, 01:59
Edo Tokyo Hakubutsukan also has a Miyamoto Musashi art exhibition on at the moment. It's not that far with the museum being around 6 mins walk and visible from Ryogoku Station on the Chuo line too.

Meik Skoss
29th April 2003, 03:19
As A. Watson said, Katori Jingu is not very convenient to get to. I believe that Sawara is the closest JR station; the shrine is about a 30~45 minute walk, give or take. (We used to go there to pay our respects on New Year's Eve, after toshigoshi geiko and I was not, at that point, too capable of fine discrimination for things like time or distance. Then, after Katori, we'd go to Kashima. A much prettier place in my opinion, with a *very* interesting museum [it has the biggest/longest sword in Japan, about three meters!]). Kashima Jingu is also, by the way, quite convenient to get to, it is only about a ten-minute walk from the station.

D. Lee's suggestion, the Edo-Tokyo Hakubutsukan (Museum) is a must-see, too! The old Ryogoku Station is now a terrific beer hall and the Kokugikan is next to the station. If you're lucky enough to be there during a basho, that's another terrific adventure. The Sumo Museum (located in the Kokugikan), while small, is also very interesting to people interested in REAL grappling arts.

How about the Sword Museum (Token Hakubutsukan) in Yoyogi? It's about a ten~fifteen minute taxi ride from Shinjuku Station's south exit and there's a rather interesting selection of fine blades on display there. There's not much explanation in English, but you can see some National Treasure quality stuff, so...

The National Museum in Ueno also has a very good collection of swords, accoutrements and armor. If you can get the catalogue of their most recent major exhibition (back in '94 or '95, I think), it is worth the trip. The catalogue has an English section and all the swords pictured, of course, are extremely well photographed. The architectural models (first floor) are also interesting.

The Folklore (?) Museum in Sakura City, Chiba Prefecture, has lots of good stuff, including some incredible scale models of Kamakura and Sengoku Period warrior residences. If you're out that way, it might be worth a visit.

Remember, though, that museums are closed on Mondays, so do not waste a trip on those days.

Hope this helps.

Desmond
29th April 2003, 06:08
I guess I'm just a peasant because nite life is not complete without spending some time in several yatai. The food is regional and usually good and cheap. I've had lots of fun eating, drinking and making friends with whoever walks or staggers in. After sharing a beer with a new yatai friend they are often eager to take me to a new and different place. I think the tabi hodai nome hodai season is approaching soon too. My future plan when I take some of my students is to give them a map of the city and a all day pass to the Yamanote loop train. They cannot get lost as long as they stay near the loop and they will always get back to the hotel later. I collect books and dream of collecting GOOD Ukiyo-e. The place to see and dream is in Jimbocho. Go to a bookshop called Ohya-shobo and take a pocket of cash or visa. Ok for some class and culture there is the temple of the 47 ronin, Sengaku-ji just off of the Shinagawa subway station. The first to arrive in the morning and burn insence on the graves receives a special blessing.

My plan was to go this year but things have come up and my trip will not happen for another year or two. I guess I will have to live vicariously through my E-budo brethren.

JamesF
24th June 2003, 23:56
Hi

i'm going to Japan in Nov this year for the first time - what are the 'key' things to try and see?

Kodokan etc etc

thanks a lot for your help!

James
UK

Striking Hand
25th June 2003, 00:17
John.

If you are more on the adventourous side head to Koganei koen and the Edo-Tokyo museum outdoor section.

They got a whole village rebuild there and you can enter and see what life was like than.

Fairly easy to get to from Chuo line Higashi Koganei ir Musashi Koganei eki (20~25 min. walk) or Bus/Taxi.

Be on the lookout at Yatai's some are known to charge "round-eye" prices, especially if you got quiet a few tourists with you.

How about Kamakura shrine, some nice antique weapons & exhibits there too, or if you guys don't mind Hase Kannon shrine close to the big Buddha statue.

I normally do this and Yokohama China-town with 1 overnight stay in Yokohama.
Day-1: Yokohama Chinatown
Day-2: Head out early to Kamakura shrine and then to the Hase Kannon.

Cheers.

JamesF
10th July 2003, 05:56
hi

was thinking about a visit to the International Budo University, the Kodokan, the Budokwai (??), a Basho, a few museums and some shrines.

any ideas or help with this?

bit vague i know but have only just started thinking

thanks,

james
uk

El Guapo-san
11th July 2003, 14:05
Like some of the other folks here, I'd vote for:

- Edo-Tokyo Museum (take extra time)
- National Museum at Ueno (take extra time)
- Ueno Park
- Asakusa
- Tsukiji
- the Tshingura temple (nice exhibit in English)
- Meiji Jinja
- Akihabara
- the redeveloped area over by Fuji TV (take the skyrail at night)

Biggest thing is for your students to come away with is an appreciation for the country as a whole, both old and modern. The modern is something too many people skip over in order to live some kind of odd samurai fantasy. As well, read up on the differences between temples, Buddhist sects, etc. Best book I know of for Tokyo is called "Tokyo for Free" (skip Lonely Planet & Fodor's).

J. Vlach, Amsterdam

JamesF
15th July 2003, 03:29
just noticec my ooops with the Budokwai...it's in good old Blighty!

anyway, have done some more research and found some places.

big thanks to "El Guapo-san" for the ideas.

anymore are most welcome!

are there any festivals on in the first 2 weeks of Nov-03? Or any Budo displays etc?

JamesF
15th July 2003, 07:51
while it's on my mind....

...are there any demo's or annual festivals of Koryu or newer arts in the first two weeks of Nove-03

thanks for all the help :D