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Old 10-29-2012, 07:06 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
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Hey all! So I'm heading to Japan, specifically Kyoto and Tokyo and some time in my wife's home town that's about 2 hrs SW of Tokyo via bullet train.

That said, it'll be February.

So ... given that it's February, and given that I've never been to Kyoto in that season and nor has my wife, I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on what to see or do that's unique to that season? It'll be late February and early March. Too early for the plum blossoms? Any recommendations on what to pack, besides warm clothes?!
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Old 10-30-2012, 02:36 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Skiing and other wintersports is the obvious one. Kyoto isn't far from Japan's snowfields, although I hear skiing and boarding is expensive in Japan but it has some cool runs. Kyoto would be beautiful in any season, if you're lucky and you get snow you'll get to see the traditional buildings set among the bamboo forests under a mantle of white. I'm sure ice skating would be another possibility.
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Old 10-30-2012, 03:50 PM
 
Location: Shaw.
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You probably won't be there as early as February 3rd, but the Setsubun Festival is held then to mark the end of winter. They light a giant bonfire. It's held at the Yoshida Shrine, which is pretty cool to go to no matter what time of year.

I was only in Kyoto for two days, so I can't offer tons of advice like I can on Tokyo, but the tourist sites are not overrated in Kyoto and you should really go (I particularly like Kyumizudera, but I'm not sure what it's like in the winter). I'd imagine with Kyoto that you should hope for a recent snowfall because its beauty is its selling point.
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Columbus, Ohio
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It will be cold, please be prepared for that. Kyoto sits a little high in elevation. If the weather cooperates, visit the temples. They are very pretty year round and I can only imagine how they will be snow covered. I would take one of the bus tours that hits multiple temples. It is cheaper then taking a cab around, and the cost usually includes the entrance fee to the temples.

Since your in Kyoto, you can also take the 20 min train ride to Osaka or Kobe.

Below are pics from my visit last spring.
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Columbus, Ohio
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Columbus, Ohio
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:00 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
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Nice pics Momotaro!

... though they all appear to be summer or spring ... I will be there in Winter.

Still, should be amazing!
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:25 PM
 
Location: Columbus, Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eskercurve View Post
Nice pics Momotaro!

... though they all appear to be summer or spring ... I will be there in Winter.

Still, should be amazing!

Right, it is spring. Just imagine the same pictures, but with snow. hehe. Enjoy your time there!
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Macao
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I'd go for one of the many outdoor onsens, like Takaragawa Onsen.

Basically they are outdoor hot baths out in nature. You are surrounded by mountains, river streams, beauty all around you, and in winter, especially Takaragawa, it'll probably be snowing. NOthing is more beautiful than sitting in a warm-to-hot bathe in the middle of nature, with snow melting as it hits the onsen.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:20 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
I'd go for one of the many outdoor onsens, like Takaragawa Onsen.

Basically they are outdoor hot baths out in nature. You are surrounded by mountains, river streams, beauty all around you, and in winter, especially Takaragawa, it'll probably be snowing. NOthing is more beautiful than sitting in a warm-to-hot bathe in the middle of nature, with snow melting as it hits the onsen.

Japanese Snow Monkeys, Jigokudani - YouTube

If it's good enough for these guys!

I swear one of the monkeys seemed to be meditating in the hot spring, Zen style! lol
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