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Jory Boling 03-01-2006 05:07 AM

Osaka & Kyoto recommendations
 
Hi,
Can anyone recommend something to do in Osaka for a few hours during the day? I'm meeting an aikibuddy (and friend) at the airport. The problem is, he will be coming in the evening and i'm arriving early that same day. Can anyone recommend anything to do for a few hours (training or just sightseeing)? I've never been there at all.

Also, we're going to be going to Kyoto for a few days. Can anyone suggest some training there? Or any great places for budo-related shopping or off the beaten path sightseeing?

Thanks again,
Jory

batemanb 03-01-2006 05:39 AM

Re: Osaka & Kyoto recommendations
 
Despite spending a lot of time in Kobe, I don't know much about Osaka I'm afraid. Kyoto however.....

I've heard good things about Okamoto Sensei in Kyoto
http://aikidokyoto.com/e-index.htm

As for off the beaten track tourism, I recommend Saga nr Arishiyama on the Western edge of Kyoto. Tenryuji at Arashiyama is one of my favourite all time temples and there are some lovely walks through the bamboo forest of Saga, with some nice shops hidden away.

Not so off the beaten track, you of course have Kiyomizudera, Sanjusangendo, Ryoanji, Kinkakuji, all well worth a visit if you haven't been before.

When are you going? I'll be in Japan from 30th this month to 16th April, will be based in Kobe but will visit Kyoto during the trip.

rgds

Bryan

Jory Boling 03-01-2006 07:08 AM

Re: Osaka & Kyoto recommendations
 
Hi and thanks for the reply.

I'll be in Kyoto from the 31st of March to the 3rd or 4th of April. I've been to Kyoto once but my friend has never been. We will hit the major tourist spots and spend some time at Hiei-yama.
I did see the bamboo forest in Saga.

I might be able to hit Okamoto Sensei's morning class at the Kyoto Budo Center or another class at Tambabashi Fushimi Seishonen Katsudo Center (if it can be found).

One of my good friends back in the USA is from Kobe. I'm guessing you already know your way around but if you need any info, I'm happy to ask.

Thanks again for the info!

Jory

Ron Tisdale 03-01-2006 07:31 AM

Re: Osaka & Kyoto recommendations
 
I'd recommend Ryoanji, and just walking through the beautifull neighborhood just down the hill from it. Absolutely fantastic place to stroll in good weather. Also, get over to the parks in Nara if you get a chance. I know it's kind of sappy, but I did enjoy feeding the deer, and having them bow. ;) I didn't really like Osaka too much myself, but I don't like big cities.

I think Kyoto has a really neat market place about 4 stories of second and first hand stuff...I got a beautifull haori there.

Best,
Ron

Jory Boling 03-01-2006 08:50 AM

Re: Osaka & Kyoto recommendations
 
Ron,
thanks for the reply
do you know where that market place is? or is it wellknown enough that any local would know?
and i'm kinda with you on bigger cities. it's just i have no choice but to sit around for about 7 hours.

Brad Darr 03-01-2006 08:53 AM

Re: Osaka & Kyoto recommendations
 
As I currently live outside Osaka, you should definately go to the Aquarium in Osaka if you have time, its well worth it. In Kyoto I definately recommend Arashiyama, as Bryan said Tenryuji has an amzing garden and pond, if you are on the other side of town by Kyomizudera, definately see that, and Sanjusangendo is just cool. You should be getting here for the beginning of Cherry Blossoms maybe or the end of the Plum Blossoms so Kyoto will be amazing. There are a few other things to see and do in Osaka but mainly its just a big city. If you want to train I have heard good things about Fujitani sensei teaching in Juso, which is right outside Osaka. Or if you have time you can drop by Kobe and train with Nakao sensei in the early morning. Let me know if you need any other help.

Ron Tisdale 03-01-2006 08:59 AM

Re: Osaka & Kyoto recommendations
 
I think the market should be well known by locals, but I may ask my instructor tonight if I get an opportunity...he may remember the name.

If you can get to Kobe, Nakao Sensei is a 'must train with'. I trained with him once, here in the states, and he is amazing. I would not pass up that opportunity.

Brad, how long have you trained with Nakao Sensei? Please tell him the African American Yoshinkan student he trained with in Pennsylvania sends his regards and best wishes. And thanks for a wonderfull time on the mat. I doubt he remembers my name...

Best,
Ron

rottunpunk 03-01-2006 10:00 AM

Re: Osaka & Kyoto recommendations
 
shopping!!!
theres some good cheap budo stores in kyoto.
and lots of koryu iai dojos (if you are interested in them)
and a museum
and stuff

take me take me.
im only ickle, i could hide in your hand luggage
:p

senshincenter 03-01-2006 12:31 PM

Re: Osaka & Kyoto recommendations
 
My suggestion is to EAT AS MUCH FOOD AS YOU CAN! Try everything - it's all delicious - even Japan's versions of Europe's, India's, and China's best - soooooo tasty! I suggest you not just eat to eat but that you make eating a central aspect of your touring. You won't be let down if you do, and you'll have some powerful memories to take home with you.

batemanb 03-01-2006 02:42 PM

Re: Osaka & Kyoto recommendations
 
Quote:

Ron Tisdale wrote:
If you can get to Kobe, Nakao Sensei is a 'must train with'. I trained with him once, here in the states, and he is amazing. I would not pass up that opportunity.

I will be training with Nakao sensei as much as possible during my trip, although the first week is taking a hit because of commitments to visit family members and friends in Tokyo and such. I will be around 1 and 2 but then disappear for 4 days , back on 7, out on 8 (Peter, Peter, Michael :)), and then as much as possible until 16 :D.

Hope to catch up with Brad at the Seibukan, happy to catch up with Jory too if you're down Kobe way 1 or 2, good keiko on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

regards

Bryan

batemanb 03-01-2006 02:44 PM

Re: Osaka & Kyoto recommendations
 
Quote:

Deborah Bell wrote:
shopping!!!
theres some good cheap budo stores in kyoto.
and lots of koryu iai dojos (if you are interested in them)
and a museum
and stuff

take me take me.
im only ickle, i could hide in your hand luggage
:p

Deborah,

did you go to the course on Sunday? You didn't introduce yourself!! :sorry:

rgds
Bryan

koz 03-01-2006 02:59 PM

Re: Osaka & Kyoto recommendations
 
Every time I went to Kyoto, the first place I'd head to was the Maruzen bookstore.

My only piece of advice to you regarding Kyoto is, if you're driving, make sure you know the international symbol for 'no parking'. My first visit there I was dropping a friend off at the train station and had some time to kill. Arrived early in the morning (like before 6am) parked in the central city (where there were plenty of other parked cars) and spent the next few hours wandering around.

When I got back to where I left the van (with all my friend's luggage), it just wasn't there. I checked the landmarks I had used to orient myself, was pretty damned sure this was the place but then spent an hour wandering up and down looking for the van.

Then I happen to look down and see a large piece of paper taped to the ground with both Japanese and English. "Your vehicle has been taken to the Gojo-dori Police station." Great! Spend another 30 minutes trying to find it only to discover I had parked right outside it. :straightf

Spent all the money I had for book buying to get my vehicle back and it still wasn't enough! Had to phone my Sensei to vouch for me and promise to pay off the remainder at my local police station!

Ron Tisdale 03-01-2006 03:02 PM

Re: Osaka & Kyoto recommendations
 
Ouch! I've heard stories like this...hey, at least they didn't ask for you first born male child...

Best,
Ron

sisley 03-01-2006 08:47 PM

Re: Osaka & Kyoto recommendations
 
Quote:

Paul Kozlovskis wrote:
Every time I went to Kyoto, the first place I'd head to was the Maruzen bookstore.

Paul,

You might be saddened to know that the Maruzen is no longer in business in Kyoto. Yeah, I couldn't believe it either. Closed down last summer.

Jim

senshincenter 03-01-2006 08:52 PM

Re: Osaka & Kyoto recommendations
 
Quote:

Jim Sisley wrote:
Paul,

You might be saddened to know that the Maruzen is no longer in business in Kyoto. Yeah, I couldn't believe it either. Closed down last summer.

Jim

SHOCKING!

What is there now?

:(

Duarh 03-02-2006 03:11 AM

Re: Osaka & Kyoto recommendations
 
You should definitely not miss the opportunity to train with Okamoto-sensei - her classes are both fun and intense. Also, to me she seemed different from other Japanese instructors in Japan in some interesting ways, perhaps since she spent a long time training/teaching outside Japan (she founded Portland Aikikai).

Okamoto-sensei teaches at the historic budo center among other places - an interesting location to visit in itself. A number of other martial arts are practiced at the center and might be interesting to watch; I loitered in the vicinity of the kyudo range for a little while and was invited in by the sensei to sit down and observe part of the morning class. Fun if you haven't seen kyudo done formally before.

Also right outside the center, on the same street, is the Meirin sword store - excellent place to obtain iaitos/kenjutsu/kendo equipment. There are other gear stores just around the corner.

In Kyoto, I felt like I didn't even need to look for sightseeing locations; I'd just walk around and run into one after the other. . .

koz 03-03-2006 03:07 AM

Re: Osaka & Kyoto recommendations
 
Quote:

Jim Sisley wrote:
Paul,

You might be saddened to know that the Maruzen is no longer in business in Kyoto. Yeah, I couldn't believe it either. Closed down last summer.

Actually, yes. That place was always my first stop in town.

Is the one in Osaka's Shinsaibashi still there or has the chain closed?

Nick Simpson 03-03-2006 06:36 AM

Re: Osaka & Kyoto recommendations
 
Tokugawa Leyasu's palace in Kyoto is worth seeing, Nihonji I think it's called? My memory is shocking! Theres some really good bars/restaurants that overlook the river with balconies too, sitting on a tatami mat with a bar meal and a cold beer looking out over a river is a pretty good way to kill some time :)

Dillon 03-07-2006 04:42 PM

Re: Osaka & Kyoto recommendations
 
Getting some good food is a must.
The Aquarium in Osaka is fantastic. Definetly worth a visit if you have the time.
Any of the temples or shrines in Kyoto are great. If you can hop over to Nara, a visit to Todaiji would be an excellent way to spend a couple of hours. It's not far from the station in Nara, so it's easy to get to.

If you get the chance to train with Okamoto Sensei, take it. She's great. Any of her three dojo are nice. The Tambabashi dojo is my favorite, but that's where I spent most of my time, so I'm biased. The butokuden in Kyoto (where she teaches the morning classes) is worth checking out anyway, so if you're in the area you could catch a class there. There are usually a fair number of foreigners in her dojo, so it's easy for an outsider to fit in relatively well.


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