I'm spending the first week of April in Japan. I'm spending about 3-4 days in the city and the rest at TDR. Any recommendations for where to visit? Specifically, I was wondering if there was any castle that was recommended.
By "the city" I'm guessing you mean Tokyo? It would be helpful to know what area you plan to stay during your trip.
Are you planning/willing to go out of the Tokyo area for either overnight or all-day trips?
Are you interested in seeing cultural, historical, natural, etc?
Japan has so many places to go and things to see so it really helps to know what your main interests are and how far you are willing to travel.
Regarding your specific question about Japanese castles, here is a link to a list of castles you can visit in Japan. Japanese Castles - Japan Guide - Japanlinked.com
You want to do some research to see which of these are close enough to where you will be staying so you can visit them in your desired time frame.
One piece of advice I will give you is to specifically research each of the castles you might be interested in visiting. Some castles have been restored and maintained to be very close to how they were back in the days of their use. Othere castles (e.g. Osaka Castle) have been gutted and modernized inside with elevators, tiled floors, modern ammenities, etc. Just some of the floors are restored to how they use to be.
Akihabra at night "electric town"
Harajaku " Fashion district" find out when the parades are
Agree with Roger Japanese Castles are very cool
Tsukiji fish market . Make sure you arrive really early. Heck stay in a capsule hotel the night before
Last edited by lighttragic; 02-10-2013 at 10:08 AM.
OK, if we are going to start listing places I'll throw in a few. I do think this method may not be as helpful to the OP because there will be a ton of places listed without enough info to see if it matches the OPs interest.
Tokyo Metro area:
Old downtown area (shi ta machi)
- Asakusa Sensou-ji Temple and surrounding area
- Ryogoku (Sumo stadium)
- Tokyo Sky Tree
Tokyo Station Marunouci area
- Old Tokyo Station Marunouchi side
- International (Koukusai) Forum
- Imperial Palace
- Many Japanese department stores and various high end designer shops
- Nissan showroom
- Nikon Plaza showroom
- Hakuhinkan Toy Park (toys and gadget shop)
- World famous Tsukiji fish market
- Tsukiji Honganji Temple
- Ueno Park (huge park)
- Ueno Zoo
- Museum district
- Nightlife district (esp for younger foreigners)
- Mori Building
- Tokyo Tower (nearby)
- Sunshine City shopping
- Toyota showroom
- Worlds busiest train station
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (Tocho)
- Harajuku district (young people's fashion district)
- Famous "Hachiko" statue
- Meiji-jingu (Meiji Temple)
- Rainbow Bridge
Nearby Tokyo (i.e. day trips)
- Kamakura (Great Buddha)
- Mt Fuji
Further away from Tokyo (each of these has a large list of places to see)
There is much much more I could list. I'm sure I've forgotten places because this is all just off the top of my head.
I think this is a good start for you to start researching based on your personal interests.
Go ahead and ask more specific questions if you have any and I'll try to address them.
The Op May need a month after that list ^ But they are all worthwhile places to see! I also forgot about the Kamikura great Buddha and temple.. With Osaka and Kyoto I did a one day side trip and did a super fast trip to see both.. The Shinkansen certainly helped and is a attraction in itself... Side note if you are going to use the subway and Shinkansen the Op should look into a 7 day transportation pass
Between visiting the giant Asakusa Temple in Tokyo, with it's shopping arcade, and a 1 or 2 day side trip to Kamakura (my favorite, only 60 minutes by train--many excellent shrines including the Daibutsu, aka Great Buddha, and the Bamboo Temple), and also Meji-Jingu and Ueno Park (with all the museums), both in Tokyo, you'll be able to do a lot of great sightseeing without going too far.
Judging by your stated interest, you'll need to get out of Tokyo. Go visit the National Treasures on the list provided by Roger55. Himaji and Matsumoto are considered to be among the best castles in the world. Matsumoto is located on a river island.