Thursday, May 31, 2012

Travel Tips - Japan: Osaka, Kyoto & Nara

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                     JOTARO'S TRAVEL TIPS                   
These are tips we picked up during the course of preparation for our trip to Japan & while we there (... see Japan: Kyoto/Osaka), hope it helps. This page provides : useful net sites, hand-phone apps, maps and a simple discourse on the Japanese people. Hope this is helpful.

Useful Net Sites:

For Travel Spots

Kyoto Travel Guide          - Welcome To Kyoto
OSAKA - INFO                 - Nara Travel Guide

For Transportation & Hotels

Hyperdia (Rail Transportation)
Welcome To Kyoto (for Bus Transportation & Taxi)
Sagano Romantic Train
Air Asia (for Air Travel) (Hotel bookings - this site is good as no deposits required, pay at counter)
- (Hotel bookings)
Tripadvisor (Hotel users' reviews)

Useful Apps:

Hyperdia Lite (for rail-transportation)
Learn Japanese Phrase Book (Basic Japanese - resides in memory, no internet required)

Japanese People:

The Japanese are disciplined, honest, courteous, helpful, clean, etc.
Disciplined - you won't see queue jumping, no bumping into people, etc.
Honest        - No worries about leaving things behind and getting them stolen. No snatch-thieves.
Courteous  - They greet people with warm smiles. In shops they will thank you profuesly, whether you make a purchase or not. "Arigato, Arigato! Unlike some other countries, where one will face sultry looks and rude remarks if one does not purchase or ask to many questions.
Helpful         - They will go out of their way to help lost tourist (like us) in their limited English. One helpful chap who hardly speak English even went looking for a directory book to direct us more easily. Another (who worked in Malaysia before) disembarked at one of the train stations to help us change trains and then re-boarded another train to continue his journey.
Clean           - Most streets & alleys are clean, hardly any rubbish around. No lazy throwing of rubbish anywhere, even if public bins are scarce (many were removed after the subway poison attack). We noticed that in fast food outlets, they will clean up after finishing - even to the extent of wiping the tables.
Neat              - Products are nicely packed and arranged even in the wet markets. A lot of effort and detail made to ensure packaging is neat and beautiful.
Workers sifting out fallen leaves at Sogenchi
Meticulous - Japanese are meticulous in maintaining their image. At Sogenchi Gardens, workers could be seen sifting the ground to remove fallen leaves.
No Smoking!
Smoking Zones - Many areas are designated non-smoking zones, especially in Kyoto. Smoke only where there is a public ash-tray stand.
Urinals for elderly and the blind
Handicapped Friendly - Special embossed floor tiles are there to help the blind. Raised line for normal walking and raised studs for junction points, top of stairs - and even for urinal standing positions. Railings for elderly - even for urinals.

Useful Maps
(click on map for better view)
Map of Kuala Lumpur Rail Links (More Info)

Map of Kansai Airport (More Info)

Osaka Rail/Subway Map

Kyoto Bus Route Map

Click here for (Kyoto Sanjo Station PDF Map)

Click here for (Kyoto Kawaramachi Area PDF Map)

Click here for (Interactive Maps of Kyoto)

Click here for (Nara PDF Map)

Click here for (Osaka-Namba PDF Map)

Map of Arashiyama

Kyoto Tourist Spots Map

Kinkaku-ji Temple Plan

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