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Golden Week 2023

Golden Week 2023

Old Jan 28, 23, 1:39 am
  #16  
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Originally Posted by The _Banking_Scot
Also considering Iwakuni for the bridge and Okayama for the Korakuen garden
Am going to throw in an alternative. Since your trip clips into May and you’re in the area, Ritsurin Koen is coming into its most celebrated season.
It’s one of the “big three”, along with Korakuen and Kenrokuen. I personally prefer Ritsurin Koen to Korakuen and the chance to see it as the irises come into bloom is (or would be for me) an irresistible opportunity.
“Come into bloom” might mean still in their bud cocoons. My own visit was rather later in May.
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Last edited by LapLap; Jan 28, 23 at 1:50 am
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Old Jan 30, 23, 5:54 pm
  #17  
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Originally Posted by LapLap
Ritsurin Koen is coming into its most celebrated season.
Its one of the big three, along with Korakuen and Kenrokuen.
I thought the third of the big three was Kairakuen in Mito, Ibaraki?
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Old Jan 30, 23, 6:46 pm
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Originally Posted by KI-NRT
I thought the third of the big three was Kairakuen in Mito, Ibaraki?
Apparently, there are three great gardens, and three others that are just as good:
https://tripnote.jp/japan/three-great-gardens

So ... that would be six great gardens, then
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Old Jan 30, 23, 7:07 pm
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Then there is this garden.
Adachi Museum Gardens
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Old Jan 31, 23, 1:01 am
  #20  
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Originally Posted by KI-NRT
I thought the third of the big three was Kairakuen in Mito, Ibaraki?
You’re right. Not one of ‘the’ big three K gardens. I do prefer Ritsurin Koen over Korakuen so must have subconsciously pushed out a garden from ‘the three’, but I pushed out the wrong one.

Thanks for pointing that out.

Originally Posted by jib71
Apparently, there are three great gardens, and three others that are just as good:
https://tripnote.jp/japan/three-great-gardens

So ... that would be six great gardens, then
Interesting to see that the “big three” categorisations have some fluidity.
The article in that link explains how Ritsurin Koen was introduced to Japanese Elementary School students as one of the three famous gardens back in 1913 in a curriculum text book.
This is why I appreciate this forum, often the things we pick up need updating or realignment.

なかでも、大正2年(1913年)発行の教科書『高等小学読本 巻一』において三名園にも優ると評された栗 林公園、米国の日本庭園専門誌『ジャーナル・オブ・ジャパニーズ・ガーデニング』
Not sure this is entirely correct though as I can only see discussion on the textbooks that indicate the current big three were grouped at this time and Ritsurin Koen discussed in relation to them. So not that fluid after all.

This Wikipedia entry brings up the 1910 version of the textbook and describes Ritsurin Koen as superior to and more beautiful than the great 3
しかし1910年(明治43年)に文部省が発行した『高等小学読本 巻一』の第六課「公園」の末文には、「・・・我ガ国ニテ風致ノ美ヲ以テ世ニ聞エタルハ、水戸ノ偕楽園、金沢 ノ兼六園、岡山ノ後楽園ニシテ、之ヲ日本ノ三公園ト称ス。然レドモ高松ノ栗林公園ハ木石ノ雅趣却ツテ批ノ三 公園ニ優レリ」と記述され、栗林公園の「木石の庭の美しさは日本三名園より優れている」という[6][15]
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Last edited by LapLap; Jan 31, 23 at 5:08 am
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Old Jan 31, 23, 12:14 pm
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by hijiji
Can't go wrong with either of those. If you are also a Drinking Scot as well as a banking one, you might enjoy a distillery tour. Sakurao is from Hiroshima and the distillery is not far from where you would get the ferry for Miyajima. They make gin and whiskey. Sakurao Tour
just make sure to try the distilled in japan whiskey they make. Last thing you want to do is go to Japan and drink Canadian and Scottish whiskey. Thaha. That's what togouchi is....or at least a good chunk of it is but they might be moving away from this altogether although to their credit they have been "relatively" transparent on it unlike some producers.

Helful article .https://www.nomunication.jp/2022/12/06/red-flags-to-watch-for-in-japanese-whisky-labels/
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Old Mar 12, 23, 1:51 pm
  #22  
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Ticket Booked

Hi,

Have bitten the bullet and booked

ARN-LHR-HND-HIJ-HND-HEL-ARN
on Finnair/JAL in J/F ( birthday treat for JAL F LHR-HND)
for 30th april to 11th may

Will spend 6 nights in Hiroshima ( hilton price has fallen from Y37k to Y24k pn ) then 3 nights in Nagasaki and 1 night back in Hiroshima
Probably won't do that much long distance travelling but looking forward to the experience
Thanks to all the advice
Regards

TBS
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Old Mar 12, 23, 2:04 pm
  #23  
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Originally Posted by The _Banking_Scot
Hi,

Have bitten the bullet and booked

ARN-LHR-HND-HIJ-HND-HEL-ARN
on Finnair/JAL in J/F ( birthday treat for JAL F LHR-HND)
for 30th april to 11th may

Will spend 6 nights in Hiroshima ( hilton price has fallen from Y37k to Y24k pn ) then 3 nights in Nagasaki and 1 night back in Hiroshima
Probably won't do that much long distance travelling but looking forward to the experience
Thanks to all the advice
Regards

TBS
Congratulations! May your trip coincide with plenty of wisteria.
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Old Mar 17, 23, 3:11 am
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by The _Banking_Scot
Hi,

Have bitten the bullet and booked

ARN-LHR-HND-HIJ-HND-HEL-ARN
on Finnair/JAL in J/F ( birthday treat for JAL F LHR-HND)
for 30th april to 11th may

Will spend 6 nights in Hiroshima ( hilton price has fallen from Y37k to Y24k pn ) then 3 nights in Nagasaki and 1 night back in Hiroshima
Probably won't do that much long distance travelling but looking forward to the experience
Thanks to all the advice
Regards

TBS
Just sign in to the Hilton Honors program. With that many nights you will get additional benefits.
Check their website for details.
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Old Mar 17, 23, 7:53 am
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Patrickschmidt
Just sign in to the Hilton Honors program. With that many nights you will get additional benefits.
Check their website for details.

Hi,

I'm already a Diamond member per my profile ( not easy to see if on a mobile though , i admit) so that is why I am staying at the hiltons ( being in the uk i have to stay the hard way ie nights rather than having a US credit card) and enjoy the hilton benefits

Regards

TBS
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Old Apr 5, 23, 5:04 pm
  #26  
 
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There is a newly opened art museum that may interest you. It is 4 stops past the Miyajima station. The building was designed by Shigeru Ban. A friend went there the other day and said the building itself was amazing. There is also a free shuttle bus from Otake Station. It only opened a month or so ago, so wasn't crowded at all.
Shimose Museum
​​​​​​​
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Old Apr 6, 23, 3:17 am
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Originally Posted by The _Banking_Scot
Hi,

I'm already a Diamond member per my profile ( not easy to see if on a mobile though , i admit) so that is why I am staying at the hiltons ( being in the uk i have to stay the hard way ie nights rather than having a US credit card) and enjoy the hilton benefits

Regards

TBS
yeah, on a mobile. Shouldve check it first.
Hard way here as well. Pity that there are no cards in all-EU similar to what is in US.
Enjoy your stay.
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Old May 5, 23, 4:34 am
  #28  
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200m queue to enter hiroshima peace museum Fri pm 5th may

Hi

After visiting mitaki temple ( beautiful hilly stone path)
I walked past the a dome building and past the museum intending on exploring in in more detail but one look atcthe queue (200m) with doubling back and a guard with a sign saying Tail end I gave that idea up and had some mango shaved ice in the museum shop.
when i went on tuesday at 9am I walked straight in.
will try again tomorrow.
Hotel (hilton( is very busy but manageable)
having a great time here and will post more on my return to the uk)
Miyajima island ( beware of the deer looking for food)
and okayama are great also

Regards

Tbs
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Old May 27, 23, 1:20 pm
  #29  
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Hi,

Had a wonderful time in Japan during golden week. Have posted a few pictures in the Japan photography thread, the main photography thread ( Beautiful pictures) and the hilton nagasaki and Hilton hiroshima threads. Just thought I would post what I did in 10 days

In summary

May 1 Monday
Arrived @ 1740 at HND from LHR. No queues at immigration or customs, quick bag recheck, got the free inter terrminal ticket from the info desk , took the monorail to T 1 and quick security
1950 JAL to HIJ. Arrived a few minutes early ( sch 2120) -bags off quickly. Used the ticket machine Y1450 and got the 2145 Limousine bus to Hiroshima JR station. Arrived at 2235. Walk to the taxi rank then Y1300 taxi to Hilton Hiroshima ( arr c .2250)

May 2 Tuesday ( beautiful sunny day)

Walked along Peace Boulevard to the Peace Museum ( Y 200) . no queue unlike later in the week, went to the Memorial hall and wandered through the park. Viewed the A-dome building from all the angles including across the river. Saw the Hypocentre memorial ( easy to miss being small and on the side street- the Nagasaki ground zero memorial more moving but the peace park at Hiroshima is more interesting with the river and A-dome but both are very worthwhilel
Went up the Orizuru tower and walked down the slope (Y2200)- a bit expensive but interesting and saw the a-dome building from above. Did not slide down the slide between floors that the building has
Went into Hiroshima castle
Walked to the shukkeien garden ( beautiful)
Back to the hilton for a swim, evening snacks in the lounge then walked back to the peace park at dusk ( different atmosphere with fewer people). Full moon ( or close to ) over the beautifully lit A -dome building
Light work out ( cycle ) at the hilton gym

May 3 Wednesday ( beautiful day)
JR train them 5 min walk then 10 min ferry to Miyajima island for the Itsukushima shrine. arrived just after high tide. Explored the temple, the main shopping street and temples and watched the tide go out. Had fried oysters and ice cream also. Avoided the deer trying to grab food out of peoples hands. Watched the tide go out and walked to the shrine at low tide 1430. Shopping street got busier as the day wore on but manageable. Waited 10min for the ferry back to the JR station. Bought tickets to Okayama and Nagasaki ( minimal wait at the ticket machines- amex taken with no issues)
Relaxed at the hilton pool ( busy but separate lane to swim a few lengths

May 4th Thursday ( beautiful day)
Took the JR Shinkansen to Okayama ( 40mins for 160k approx on fastest Shinkansen -smooth and less busy than expected)- lots of tunnels enroute. Tourist info centre in the train station
Tram then walk to the Korakuen garden ( beautiful and lit up at night in may and june with large carp lanterns in the lake). Went to the Castle , had ice cream in the coffee show ( also lit at night)- various food stalls along the river walkway
Back to the JR station for the Shinkansen back to Hiroshima
Pool , evening snacks and another walk to the peace park

May 5th Friday ( cloudy)
Hotel getting busier for Golden Week but manageable
Local Kabe line to Mitaki station then short walk up hill to Mitakidera temple ( beautiful path up hill with a river and waterfalls and lots of statues and shrines. Maps on street corners point the way. Loved the red pagoda.
Train back 2 stops then walk around the outside of Hiroshima Castle ( beautiful) -saw several trees that survived the atomic bomb ( labelled).
Walked along the river to the A-dome building and to the peace museum ( but queue was 200m long doubling back so gave up ). Walked along Honodri shopping street ( lots of G7 banners) which was nice and covered with a roof cover
Pool ,evening snacks and gym

Saturday May 6th ( rain - getting heavier during the day)
Sent my luggage to Hilton Nagasaki by luggage delivery service ( Y1750- concierge filled out the form)
Walk to the peace museum after breakfast , queue 200m long, explored the park then hondori street then back to the hotel to dry off and pool
Went to Tokia to meet with FT'er hijiji for okonmiyaki . Very good and filling. With plum wine about Y2500
Pouring with rain so back to the hotel

Sunday May 7th. ( Rain)
Pool in the morning then taxi to JR station ( Y1300). Taxi goes to the far side of the train station ( shinkansen entrance ) and can be subject to traffic. train to Nagasaki.
Arrived about 1530 ( rain all the way)
Checked into the hilton. Very handy as it is across the road from the JR station. explored the jr station and the tram stop. Still raining so back to the hotel for evening snacks ( lounge closes promptly at 7pm), gym them a night cap in the empty seven seas lounge in the lobby area


Monday May 8th ( sunny)
Took the tram to the peace memorial hall, peace museum, hypocentre memorial, peace park and urakami cathedral.
Back to the hotel for some small cakes and fruit in the lounge

Explored the bridges ( including Meganebashi or spectacles bridge , kofokuji and sofukuji temples ( beautiful and lots of steps)
Back to the hotel. evening snacks then took a taxi to Mt Insayama for the observatory and sunset. It was windy but beautiful sunset views and the city at night was wonderful. Y1850 by taxi to the top.

Tuesday May 9th ( sunny)
Sent my luggage via the luggage delivery service back to hiroshima hilton ( Y2000)
Tram to Oura cathedral but lots of cruise ship passengers were arriving so decided to visit Glover garden instead ( beautiful)
Back to the hotel and met Nagaskai Joe for lunch in one of the restaurants in the JR station shop/food court
Some fruit in the lounge.
Tram to Dejima, saw the entrance gate to Chinatown then down to the seaside park ( beautiful with water features) passing the Dejima wharf with bars and restaurants. Looking towards the bay and bridge reminded me a bit of san francisco
Walked up dutch slope, past several western style houses to the beautiful Confucius temple & shrine.
Tram to the Peace park for a final look in the late afternoon sun
Evening snacks in the lounge then walk through JR station to the memorial to the 26 christian martyrs ( very nicely lit up)
Gym and bar

Wednesday May 10th ( sunny)

Had intended on a lunchtime train back up to Hiroshima but could only get either a 1700 train or 0840 train ( some earlier ) so chose the 0842 so no time for exploring in the morning but at least it was only 5mins from the hilton lobby to the platform
Arrived at Hiroshima at 1144 and was at the hilton at 1230 ( bought a memory card at BIC camera beside the station)
Able to check in at 1230
Quick snack in the lounge
Walk up to the shukkeien garden for another look- beautiful
Walk to the peace park but was a bit too late to do the museum full justice
Evening snacks and gym

Thursday 11th May ( sunny)
walk via peace boulevard for another look at the peace museum ( no queue).
Quick walk around the peace park and a dome building
Visit to Don Quioxte shop to buy some Japanese Kit kats for my office colleague
Back to the hotel for a quick swim and lunch
1310 left by taxi for JR station for Airport limousine bus (Y1300 taxi)
bus is Y1450 ( 50 mins) -left at 1340 arrived at airport 1430
Checked in then 5 mins walk to Sankeien garden ( absolutely beautiful)
Back to the airport, up to the observation deck then through security to the lounge ( basic domestic lounge)

Flight up at 1640 , clear until osaka then cloudy ( captain said due to clouds we would not see Mt Fuji)
landed at Haneda about 20mins early after a heavy rainshower ( large amount of water being blown up on landing thanks to the 767 reverse thrust). Had to wait 10mins for a stand so still early
Got my free transit ticket and used the monorail
Had thought about going to the observation deck but it was damp and post sunset so went through security and exit immigration with no wait and to the JAL F lounge . Shoe shine still closed and the sushi dining room closed but in the main dining area you can order sushi and others via the QR code . Came quickly. Red suite excellent.
Showers booked via QR code ( minimal wait at 2000) and the salon area on 5th floor empty with nice hibiki whisky

Overall it was a fantastic 10 days in Japan. It was busy but saw everything I wanted to do and had wonderful weather ( 2 days excepted). Also it was nice to relax in the Hilton hiroshima pool and hot tub. Gardens and park were nice. It was warm enough for shirt sleeves during the day and a light sweater at night as I kept moving. I was taken aback at how beautiful the Miyajima temple was and the beautiful gardens. The Shinkansen trains and stations were quieter than expected but surprised at the length of the queues for the Hiroshima peace museum towards the end of Golden Week

With only 2 full days in Nagasaki I did not look at attractions outside Nagasaki ( but huis ten bosch and battleship island are options)
I found the peace park at Hiroshima with the a dome building and rivers more interesting than nagasaki ( but the hypocentre monument at nagasaki was more moving with the circles on the grass
Hiroshima is an excellent base for exploring Okayama and Miyajima island
The city of Nagasaki with the hills rising almost immediately from street level, the churches, western style houses and the waterfront is perhaps a more attractive city ( there are hills around hiroshima but they are mostly further away )

However both are very worthwhile to visit and would visit them again

Regards

TBS
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Last edited by The _Banking_Scot; May 27, 23 at 1:35 pm
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