Subject: Re: Four days in Japan
Hi Joel, I started to suggest that you go to Tokyo AND Kyoto because it's a relatively quick train trip but...then you'd only have a few days in each place and be rather rushed (not to mention the high price of the train ticket, since you won't be there long enough to take advantage of a Japan Rail Pass). So....instead I suggest that you spend your time in and around Tokyo .....and I guarantee you'll be hooked and want to return for a longer period in the future (when you'll be able to schedule more time to go to Kyoto).

My favourite place to stay in Tokyo is Ryokan Shigetsu ( ) which has both traditional Japanese (tatami) rooms and western ones. It's in one of the older areas of Tokyo, overlooking the wonderful Asakusa Temple. It's a great area to walk around and drink in the atmosphere of the city.

There are so many places to recommend that you see ....hard to know where to start ( but a lot of my favourites are on the Japan pages of my website.....which hasn't been updated for a long while and so, I warn you that many of the links might not work should be helpful just the same: ).

I highly recommend that you spend a day in Kamakura (just an hour or so by train south and west of Tokyo). It's an old capital and very much like a small version of Kyoto (to me anyway). I think it's actually my favourite place in Japan (if I was pressed to choose a favourite). We lived in Tokyo for 6 mths and travelled a lot throughout the country - we now try to go back at least every other year and we visit Kamakura and neighbouring Enoshima Island almost every time.

Another place that I mentioned to someone else a few months ago is Narita City. If you have a very late flight into Narita or a very early flight out - I suggest you spend the night in Narita City and then wander through that lovely town (with beautiful temple and park).

I can give you more specifics (how to get to these places, etc) if you'd like - always thrilled to hear someone going to my favourite country! We love to walk and explore cities - off the beaten tourist track....if that's what you like to do, can recommend lots of places in Tokyo.

Cheers! Judy in Hong Kong