The following is a summary of my two week trip to Japan. I flew into Narita Airport outside of Tokyo, and then spent 6 days in Tokyo, 4 days in Kyoto, a day each in Nagoya, Osaka and Hiroshima.
In Tokyo, I mostly just wandered around and saw the city. It’s an amazingly large place and always crowded, but it can be a lot of fun. I was staying in Ginza, which is a high-end shopping district to the south-east of Tokyo train station, but I don’t think it really matters where you stay as all areas are pretty accessible by Tokyo metro.
Kyoto’s main attraction for tourists is the large number of temples, shrines and castles that are there. There are over 2,000 sites, and many of them are UNESCO heritage sites. The crowds can be pretty thick, though. The best bet is to arrive at places right at the opening hour, and get ahead of the bus tourists.
I spent one day in Nagoya, and during the day had one task in mind – the Nagoya Basho Sumo Tournament at the Aichi Prefecture Gymnasium. This sumo tourney takes place for 3 weeks in July (first Sunday to the third Sunday). Tickets are ¥2700 ($US 27), and can be bought at the door. If you go during the week in the first couple weeks of the tourney, you should be able to get tickets without any issues. The last week and the weekends are pretty busy. The 2700 Yen tickets allow you general admission, which means you can sit anywhere someone isn’t sitting. This allows you to get right up close and see the action, plus get some great pictures.