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Unread 30 May 19, 12:04 PM  
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Mrs_Taz
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Originally Posted by Pumpkin Pie View Post
Thank you for this, our trip is very close now and I must admit the language barrier was starting to worry me so it reassuring to read your experiences.

Can I ask the name of the temple with the market in Kyoto and I'm intrigued what the unusual things were you bought

Thanks

Louise
Dont worry about the language barrier - most people we came across had some knowledge of English but even when they dont it is amazing how much communication can be done with hands and nodding. My husband was laughing watching me talking to people on the busses in Kyoto.

The temple is called Toji Temple and the market is on the 21st of each month. There is also another one on the 15th of the month which I read has more handmade items which I would have liked to have gone to. Depending when you are there I think other temples have markets too.

I bought hand printed fabric, a handmade purse, lots of scraps of leather which had handmade printed on them (I will use them on my sewing). Pin cushions and some second hand bits and pieces like little pots. There are loads of second hand kimono stalls but I thought they smelt musty so didnt buy one although I had planned to for using the fabric. I also bought Japanese wooden dolls (only the largest one in the photo was bought at the market

[/QUOTE]

I love the dolls I will look out for some while we are there. Unfortunately we are only in Kyoto for one day on 5th so looks like we will miss the markets.

Thanks

Louise
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Unread 30 May 19, 02:56 PM  
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Originally Posted by Mrs_Taz View Post
Dont worry about the language barrier - most people we came across had some knowledge of English but even when they dont it is amazing how much communication can be done with hands and nodding. My husband was laughing watching me talking to people on the busses in Kyoto.

The temple is called Toji Temple and the market is on the 21st of each month. There is also another one on the 15th of the month which I read has more handmade items which I would have liked to have gone to. Depending when you are there I think other temples have markets too.

I bought hand printed fabric, a handmade purse, lots of scraps of leather which had handmade printed on them (I will use them on my sewing). Pin cushions and some second hand bits and pieces like little pots. There are loads of second hand kimono stalls but I thought they smelt musty so didnt buy one although I had planned to for using the fabric. I also bought Japanese wooden dolls (only the largest one in the photo was bought at the market

I love the dolls I will look out for some while we are there. Unfortunately we are only in Kyoto for one day on 5th so looks like we will miss the markets.

Thanks

Louise[/QUOTE]
The other two dolls were bought in a little second hand shop in Nara. The smallest was only 100 yen and the other 500 yen which I thought was cheap. It was just luck I spotted them on our way to a temple.
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Unread 31 May 19, 12:52 PM  
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Your trip sounds amazing. Im hoping to go to Japan in 2021 (flying from Edinburgh as well). My daughter will be 11 by then so a trip to Disneysea and Disneyland is definitely on the cards along with Kyoto, Osaka, Hakone and Hiroshima. Did you fly into Narita or Haneda and where about in Tokyo did you stay? Did you use a luggage forwarding company between the cities or just carry your suitcases on the train? Can I ask what size suitcases you used as Ive been recommended to take medium ones but have a feeling Id never get everything I plan to buy into one if I did!

Thanks
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Unread 31 May 19, 01:19 PM  
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Unread 31 May 19, 03:36 PM  
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Originally Posted by Alidoll View Post
Your trip sounds amazing. Im hoping to go to Japan in 2021 (flying from Edinburgh as well). My daughter will be 11 by then so a trip to Disneysea and Disneyland is definitely on the cards along with Kyoto, Osaka, Hakone and Hiroshima. Did you fly into Narita or Haneda and where about in Tokyo did you stay? Did you use a luggage forwarding company between the cities or just carry your suitcases on the train? Can I ask what size suitcases you used as Ive been recommended to take medium ones but have a feeling Id never get everything I plan to buy into one if I did!

Thanks
Hakone was a great day trip. I really recommend the outdoor museum which is on one of the stops. It is beautifully landscaped with sculptures dotted about. You can sit and steep your feet in a sort of channel which hot water runs through - there are small Hakone towels you can buy for 100 yen to dry your feet!

We flew into Narita and caught the NEX train into Tokyo which free with the JR rail pass.

When booking we were not sure we had made the right choice at all with our hotel which was in Shinagawa which was a bit further down in the Yamanote loop but it turned out to be perfect for us. The station is easy to navigate and has only two exits. The NEX train stops there as do all the Shinkansen trains. The hotel was The Strings Intercontinental and we thought it was great. It takes around 10 mins to get to Tokyo Station for example. It also made it easy to choose to go up the east or west side of Tokyo for the day.

We would not have liked to have stayed at Shibuya or Shinjuku as it was just too busy for us but we dont go clubbing at night or anything! The area outside Tokyo Station looked really nice to stay.

Before leaving Tokyo to travel to Kyoto we asked the hotel if they would keep our second suitcase as we were returning to the hotel for our last two days. They said we could leave as much as we wanted and when we returned to check-in our luggage was brought out to us immediately without having to ask. We had 2 large suitcases and in fact we took a large canvas bag inside one as I knew I was going to buy lots of fabric!

There is limited space on the bullet trains (and NEX) for large suitcases but there is space to squeeze the cases in front of your seat if needed (we had to do this on the NEX on arrival). You will manage - dont worry about that. Returning to the airport we had the two large suitcases, large hold-all and two cabin bags!

Edit: if you were planning to travel and stay in a few different places in different hotels then carting luggage around could be a bigger problem.

Edited at 03:51 PM.
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Unread 31 May 19, 03:54 PM  
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Oh my, I am going to post this thread to myself for future reference. Japan is top of our bucket list. I know a little Japanese language already but would be interested to know if you learned from a course or dvd? Also did you buy your JR tickets on line before you went Please?
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Unread 31 May 19, 04:01 PM  
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We ended up buying our JR pass from STA travel rather than online. You have to buy them before you travel as the pass is not available in Japan. It is a voucher you receive and you get it validated at the airport (or major rail stations) where you then receive the rail pass.

I learnt Japanese (well a few words and sentences!) from YouTube. I was complimented quite a few times and was told I spoke it clearly whereas my husband gave up very quickly. Even when he used the correct word nobody could understand him lol.

Edited at 04:19 PM.
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Unread 1 Jun 19, 06:19 PM  
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Originally Posted by Pumpkin Pie View Post
Yes you can use cash or if you get the Suica card you can pay with that. There are ticket machines and at the station our hotel was next to (Shinagawa) there was always someone at the machines to help tourists. There was also a route finder machine where you clicked the station you were leaving from and wanted to arrive at and it would give you a print out of times, platform etc. if you are not sure how to get somewhere.

I must admit though the rail pass made it really simple. We only used the metro once in Tokyo.
Thank you - thats really helpful. Where did you pick up your JR passes from? Did you make seat reservations? Love the idea of the stamps. Is it obvious where you get them?

Many thanks
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