Japan - overrated / hidden gems

As above, please tell me where you wouldn't have bothered with in hindsight, and where was surprisingly good.


I went to Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Nara.  Loved all of it.

Wish I had gone with someone rather than being solo, but such is life.

Look up Naoshima. Not many people go there as it’s a bit awkward to organise, but it’s one of the most remarkable places I’ve ever been. 

Hiroshima, the museum was very good but there wasn’t much outside of that which set it apart for me. 

Loved all of it.

If you have never been before, you don't need to look for exotica because everything they have is different, it is like visiting another planet.

I did a short ten days variety pack of city/country, mountains/another city/ forest/another city/sea, then back to the city at the end - that's worth doing but you are not going to be bored no matter what you do.

If you do go to Hiroshima despite pancake's advice, it is worth continuing on to the island of temples, Miyajima, in Hiroshima bay, it is lovely.

Thanks all.

Judo: Was Hiroshima worth it? Did you go to Miyajima? If so, was it too touristy to enjoy, or was it nice?

Pancakes: what was so remarkable about Naoshima? I'd like to go, but I am not sure if I can justify the two days it will take. Some people seem to rave about it and others find it very disappointing. I have checked and the Bennesse hotel is fully booked.

Coase: I now see that you say Miyajima was lovely... Decisions, decisions. Where did you go exactly? I want to try and plan some 'nature' as well as cities, but don't like too much packing and unpacking.

Excuse the vagueness of this, it's 3 or 4 years ago but

Tokyo - worth staying in an expensive hotel, this is one of those cities where expensive is sometimes cheaper than the cheap option, because the hotel itself is the entertainment. Stayed in the Imperial Palace. Never been more comfortable in my life.

Their most famous castle, can't remember the name. It is either white with famous resident black birds or black with famous resident white birds. You pass Mount Fuji on the train on the way, 2 for the price of one.

Their most beautiful garden, can't remember the name.

Kyoto for the palaces and temples

Hiroshima, only for the purpose of getting to Miyajima island. It is not spectacular, its charm is that it is small scale, domestic, nice Japanese children being brought around on school trips, shops with local weavers and potters, that kind of thing.

Back to Tokyo to shop in Tokyo Hans.


Look up the Alpine Route from Tateyama especially if you're going when the wall of snow is up. Incredible place.

I did indeed go to Miyajima and I really liked it.  Yes, it is touristy but because it is 95 per cent domestic tourism that in itself is really interesting.

The museum at Hiroshima is very moving and outside of that I loved how the city has moved on to become a thriving city.  also is the place that does the best okonomiyaki (sp??)

I stayed in the Lost in Translation hotel in Tokyo (Tokyo Park Hyatt) which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I did the same as Judy, but also Osaka which I enjoyed. Hiroshima is only really worth it for Miyajima and the A Bomb museum, wouldn't want more than a day or 2 there. 

I echo what Judy says about accommodation in Tokyo. Either pay for a good hotel or do it on the cheap in an Airbnb. Anything inbetween won't be worth it. 

Thanks all. Rof can still be helpful on occasion.

Have got a posh hotel booked in Tokyo and will be there for a week. Hope to do some day trips from there.

It's the rest of it I'm trying to map out. Am I going to have temple exhaustion in Kyoto after 3 days? I fear I might.

Tokyo is brilliant - utterly alien as ron says.  Loved kyoto - the best garden is ryoanji.

Also went to hakone which is great - stay in the fujiya hotel from a james bond film and you can reserve the baths to yourself.  Also does a good brekkie.

Nikko is well worth a day or two trip from Tokyo. 

We stayed at the New Otami hotel first time I went to Tokyo, would recommend.  Woke up to a fantastic view of Fujisan. Dinner or at least drinks at the New York Bar & Grill (of Lost in translation fame) is worth the cost.  

Check out the Abroad in Japan youtube channel for more ideas.  



Also check if the sumo is on, if it is go.  Next to the Tokyo-Edo museum which itself is not so interesting.  3 times a year in Tokyo and another 3 times elsewhere in Japan. 

YES! Sumo wrestling. That is the only thing I wanted to do that I couldn't - it has a season.

Each occasion is a 2 week slot.  Go on a weekday and it's easy to get tickets.  

There's a cable car ride over the sulpher vents of the volcano which is pretty cool.  Smelly tbf but tres cool.

There is also a tiny shack (turn left from the stn rather than right twards the fujiya) which does the absolutely best dim sum in the world ever.  L9vely soft squishy dumplings filled with gooey wonderousness.  If it is still there - was in the lonely planet guide i think.

And the brekkie as mentioned above.

SUMO Is awesome

All of Japan is amazing

I want to go back

Doeant sumo have a very limited "season"?  No idea when it is 

There are 6 x 2 week tournaments, 3 in Tokyo and 1 each in Osaka and 2 other places (not sure where).  

Sumo is in Fukuoka in winter.

Sadly I think there's fuck all else to do in Fukuoka.

Tbf the photo by the "welcome to Fukuoka, population 43,572 absolute wankers and some cats" wpuld be worth it for me clive.

I met a geography teacher from Manchester who didn't like sushi or noodles and ate only omelettes for 2 months. That was a fucking gem. 

That meeting took place on the Koya-san funicular railway. It was -2 up there and he only had shorts. 


Possibly the most inept traveller of all time.