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Old 10-18-2017, 08:52 AM
 
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it sounds a touch like (and please forgive the assumption) you're the sort of tourist that wants to go places just to say you've been there, whistlestop tour etc.

2 weeks is barely enough to scratch the most infinitesimal surface of japan. I was a week in Tokyo recently, and even that was barely enough.

Stay in japan. Check online travel agencies for suggested tour itineraries, then buy yourself a shinkansen rail pass and get out there
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:52 AM
 
629 posts, read 494,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotjambalaya View Post
it sounds a touch like (and please forgive the assumption) you're the sort of tourist that wants to go places just to say you've been there, whistlestop tour etc.

2 weeks is barely enough to scratch the most infinitesimal surface of japan. I was a week in Tokyo recently, and even that was barely enough.

Stay in japan. Check online travel agencies for suggested tour itineraries, then buy yourself a shinkansen rail pass and get out there
Agree completely. Spend 2 weeks in Japan and don't try to combine with another country. If you divide up your time, you won't get to know either one. You'll just get to tell people that you've been to Japan and a second country.
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Old 10-18-2017, 10:57 AM
 
Location: NYC
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For a couple of weeks I would stay in Japan: Tokyo obviously; then its more down to earth (& more affordable) lively cousin Osaka: then to traditional Kyoto, perhaps a stay at a ryokan for a few days; then go to extremes: the northern Hokkaido region & then visit the totally different culturally & subtropical Okinawa. I think this would be more convenient & interesting than flying off to Korea or ?

Edit to add: Please don't just schedule 2 days to see here & 1 day to visit there & 1 day to go there, etc... stay in one place for several days & do things like: take a cooking class, take a class of traditional flower arranging - a very Japanese thing, spend a few days at a traditional ryokan near some temples, in Tokyo visit some of the unique nightlife like the mini izakayas in Ebisu or the tiny pubs of Shinjuku golden gai & you have to visit the utterly unique Robot Restaurant. 2 weeks will fly by

Last edited by Hefe; 10-18-2017 at 11:15 AM..
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Old 10-18-2017, 01:07 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,694 posts, read 40,062,283 times
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Depends on the 'objectives' of the OP.

Tokyo vs Japan...

I'm rural centric, so Tokyo would be 'optional'. There are a lot of cities that have more history / sights / ez to navigate (faster for the 'time constrained' traveler) and certainly CHEAPER!!! than Tokyo.

Narita is 'close-enough', take a flight on ANY of the great cities. (if you need a city) otherwise, head out and ENJOY the people and landscape of Japan! Plenty of variety available.

Have a blast!
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Old 10-18-2017, 03:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bus man View Post
We all have our opinions. Mine is that South Korea is a lot of fun and very interesting. If you (the OP) want to add a second country to your list with only a minimal amount of extra traveling, it fits the bill perfectly. I would just stay in Seoul and not worry about the rest of the country. You'll find enough to do there to occupy your time.

Though, to be honest, if I had just two weeks available, I'd stay the entire time in Japan. I've never been there, but I'm sure there's more than enough to see and do to fill the time.
I was always of the opinion you have to see more than just the largest cities in a country to truly experience it. I guess maybe I'm looking at it from the perspective of the U.S. It's most likely hard for people visiting from other countries to truly get a gist of the U.S. in a short period of time because it's so big and really you need a car to do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
yes, the truth is even a 2 hour flight will likely burn up one entire day considering the time getting to the airport (1 hour+), the waiting (1.5 hour), customs (1 hour), transport to the destination city (1 hour +), finding the new hotel and check in etc (easily an hour), which is why it is not worth it to fly one more time just to "see" a new country for 30 hours, which includes sleeping time.

And don't forget Narita airport is very far from central Tokyo. I remember it takes at least an hour by train, and that train ticket itself is very expensive too.

Asia is not western Europe with a dozen small manageable countries well connected by trains. Japan is not suitable to be combined with another country. Japan is the size of Germany, but Germany has 8 or 9 neighbouring countries all connected by trains, Japan has none.
This makes a lot of sense to me I would think Japan would have to be considered a trip all by itself unless you have 3 weeks or something. You have to factor in all of the time consuming things that are a part of traveling as you said.
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Old 10-18-2017, 04:14 PM
 
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Kyoto alone deserves 5 days.
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Old 10-18-2017, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
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Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
OP wants a side trip and people recommend Hawaii?? It is far and it is expensive. And although it may look like so, there is almost no flight that goes to Japan from the US with a connection in Hawaii because it makes no sense. I don't know why people think you can just make a stop in Hawaii from North America to East Asia... planes don't fly that way.

Japan is not huge but there is plenty to see, even if you have two weeks. There is more than just Tokyo, Kyoto and Fuji Mountain. Korea is close by but it is one of the most boring countries to travel to (along with Singapore in the East Asian context), so don't waste your four days there.

China is not far but too big. It deserves another trip. Plus you need a visa, so probably not worth spending just 3 or 4 days there.

So instead of wanting to see more countries, why not see more regions in Japan, unless you have more than two weeks to spare.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nn2036 View Post
South Korea. You can spend about 2 days there to cover most. Not as exciting or interesting as Japan.

As bus man says below we all have our opinions. I for one completely disagree with Japan being all that much to compare against South Korea. I would put them both on equal footing. I don't know when the last time any of you visited South Korea but life has changed dramatically there. I will admit I am partial to South Korea as I married my wife there and my daughter was born there. We have family there but I spent 3 entire years there late 1976-77 and 1980-1982. They were the most eventful and exciting years I had. Yes I got to see places that most people don't see. I also saw stuff that most GI's don't see. I also just got to visit there for the first time since 1982 a couple of years ago. So much fun and definitely not enough time to do it all. 2015 I was able to revisit a few places that I saw before and a few places I never saw. I so wish I had more time but we were still working and our time for vacation was short.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bus man View Post
We all have our opinions. Mine is that South Korea is a lot of fun and very interesting. If you (the OP) want to add a second country to your list with only a minimal amount of extra traveling, it fits the bill perfectly. I would just stay in Seoul and not worry about the rest of the country. You'll find enough to do there to occupy your time.

Though, to be honest, if I had just two weeks available, I'd stay the entire time in Japan. I've never been there, but I'm sure there's more than enough to see and do to fill the time.
I did spend some time in Japan but being a fan of Korean culture I kind of have a bad taste of the Japanese. Now I know that these Japanese are not the same that concurred Korea and basically used it as a carpet to brush their dirty feet on. I can tell you though even today many Japanese have a disdain for Koreans and vice versa. We will as a family go to Japan in our lifetime and probably spend a good deal of time but I promise anyone that thinks they will get good food in Japan needs to try the restaurants in South Korea for real tasty food. Not the bland Japanese fair. Even comparing Sake to Soju is night and day.

Sorry for the rant but it is my opinion.
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Old 10-18-2017, 07:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by oldsoldier1976 View Post
As bus man says below we all have our opinions. I for one completely disagree with Japan being all that much to compare against South Korea. I would put them both on equal footing. I don't know when the last time any of you visited South Korea but life has changed dramatically there. I will admit I am partial to South Korea as I married my wife there and my daughter was born there. We have family there but I spent 3 entire years there late 1976-77 and 1980-1982. They were the most eventful and exciting years I had. Yes I got to see places that most people don't see. I also saw stuff that most GI's don't see. I also just got to visit there for the first time since 1982 a couple of years ago. So much fun and definitely not enough time to do it all. 2015 I was able to revisit a few places that I saw before and a few places I never saw. I so wish I had more time but we were still working and our time for vacation was short.



I did spend some time in Japan but being a fan of Korean culture I kind of have a bad taste of the Japanese. Now I know that these Japanese are not the same that concurred Korea and basically used it as a carpet to brush their dirty feet on. I can tell you though even today many Japanese have a disdain for Koreans and vice versa. We will as a family go to Japan in our lifetime and probably spend a good deal of time but I promise anyone that thinks they will get good food in Japan needs to try the restaurants in South Korea for real tasty food. Not the bland Japanese fair. Even comparing Sake to Soju is night and day.

Sorry for the rant but it is my opinion.
Marrying to a Korean probably influence your opinion of Japan.

Korea is dirtier and people are less nice.

For me, Korean food is yucky and I am entitled to my opinion.
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldsoldier1976 View Post
I can tell you though even today many Japanese have a disdain for Koreans and vice versa.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nn2036 View Post
Korea is dirtier and people are less nice.

For me, Korean food is yucky and I am entitled to my opinion.

I know quite a few Korean people and I agree that they don't think too highly of the Japanese. Granted, they've got good historical reasons to dislike them; but I still think that an attitude of forgiveness would do wonders for their collective psyche. The whole spat over Dokdo/Takeshima island, and their refusal to agree on a name for the body of water between the two countries (East Sea vs. Sea of Japan) is emblematic of both sides' refusal to just . . . Let. It. Go.

That said, when I was in South Korea this past summer, I was struck by how amazingly clean it was. I don't think I saw a single speck of litter anywhere. And the people were great; very friendly and welcoming. If Korea is dirtier and the people are less nice in comparison to Japan, then Japan must truly be paradise on earth. (I've never been there, but I'd dearly love to visit it.)

Oh, and I agree that, in my opinion, most Korean food is kind of yucky. That's just my opinion, of course; YMMV. (Their snack crackers, though . . . I could live on them and die happy!)

I think the OP ought to go to both places, just so he can see for himself where he falls in the Korea vs. Japan debate.
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,860,228 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bus man View Post
I know quite a few Korean people and I agree that they don't think too highly of the Japanese. Granted, they've got good historical reasons to dislike them; but I still think that an attitude of forgiveness would do wonders for their collective psyche. The whole spat over Dokdo/Takeshima island, and their refusal to agree on a name for the body of water between the two countries (East Sea vs. Sea of Japan) is emblematic of both sides' refusal to just . . . Let. It. Go.

That said, when I was in South Korea this past summer, I was struck by how amazingly clean it was. I don't think I saw a single speck of litter anywhere. And the people were great; very friendly and welcoming. If Korea is dirtier and the people are less nice in comparison to Japan, then Japan must truly be paradise on earth. (I've never been there, but I'd dearly love to visit it.)

Oh, and I agree that, in my opinion, most Korean food is kind of yucky. That's just my opinion, of course; YMMV. (Their snack crackers, though . . . I could live on them and die happy!)

I think the OP ought to go to both places, just so he can see for himself where he falls in the Korea vs. Japan debate.
Not bolded I see some easing of the friction between the two cultures but as I saw it the Japanese looked down their nose at Koreans and not the other way around. I know a few Japanese and met many more. It is my perception only.

Korea is very clean. Shop owners and home owners constantly clear and clean in front of shops and homes. There are also a lot of people whose job it is to ensure that they keep an area clean.

On the Korean food. Yes there are things even I will not eat. However I at least try them. Kimchi is best fresh but many times it is can be a little strong especially if it is from the bottom of the container. They make it is large batches and so it sometimes takes a bit of time to get to the bottom and then be ready for the next batch.

In my honest opinion I would suggest Korea while visiting Japan. Even if it is to compare both cultures but more importantly they both share a history. Many older Koreans speak some Japanese. I don't know if the reverse is true. I also know that you can travel very nicely on English in Korea. Many Koreans have some English skills. It has been a long time since I spent time in Japan so I don't remember how I go around there. I was doing a lot of bar hopping and spent time with young ladies who were very well educated in entertaining.
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