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Old Posted May 25, 2010, 8:03 PM
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Tokyo Questions

Hello everyone. I will be in Japan for 10 day because of work. I am very excited! Most of the time I will be in Tokyo, although one day will be in Osaka and one day will be in Kyoto. Most of the time I will be working during the day. I do however have some free time during some of the days and have nights free after 6pm. Besides the traditional tourist spots are there any other places to recommend? I know there are tour guide books for Japan, but I do not want to be killed by expensive prices and I would like a resident's point of view. I am gay and I would like to hit a bar/pub one night to check it out. I would be obliged by any help.

Thank you!
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Old Posted May 25, 2010, 9:58 PM
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Yokoso Japan!

Most touristy places (and non-touristy places, really) in Kyoto seem to close at 5PM or earlier, that's probably why there is a karaoke bar on almost every corner "downtown". I'm not really sure what there is to *do* in Kyoto, I could never really figure that out myself, and have spent much time there. Always good to adventure I guess, it is so very unlike Tokyo, with very few of the "modern conveniences" that you may be used to if you spend a lot of time in Tokyo. If you have free time during the day, you should definitely explore the city... perhaps the most famous thing to see would be Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion). There are dozens of historic sights in Kyoto that you could not possibly see all of in a week, let alone 1 day, but the Golden Pavilion is the most famous.

But seriously, almost everything closes ridiculously early in Kyoto, so start your day really early, too~ Pick up some Mochi (famous Kyoto "candy") inside Kyoto Tower (sold in a ton of different flavors), across from Kyoto Station (which in itself is an AMAZING piece of architecture, and the biggest train station in all of Japan). It is rather easily identifiable as the... well, the only almost modern kind of tall building in the entire city.

In Osaka, definitely check out Dotonbori, it is a bit "touristy" but it is also kind of the place to be at night. Maybe go for dinner at Kani Doraku, the best crab restaurant in Japan. Rather easily identifiable by a big moving crab on the exterior of the building. Also make sure to try Takoyaki (fried Octopus balls), it will be hard to escape them in any form (even Takoyaki flavored soda...) while you are in Osaka. May as well give in to it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C5%8Dtonbori

And, you can observe the funny cultural differences between Tokyo and Osaka, which mix in Kyoto. Osaka and Tokyo are fierce rivals, and they seem to strive to do everything the opposite way of eachother. This includes standing on different sides of the escalator or moving sidewalk (yes, there are designated, unwritten rules for this!). It becomes mass pandemonium in Kyoto where people don't know where to stand because they mix and just stand everywhere...
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Last edited by Yume-sama; May 25, 2010 at 10:14 PM.
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Old Posted May 26, 2010, 2:54 AM
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Thank you for the help! The rivalry between the two cities is interesting. That gives me a great idea for a presentation i have to do when I get back. Thank you!
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