Anyone who has travelled to Botswana or Japan talk to me...;-)

  1. We are deciding between these two for our summer holiday but I am overwhelmed with the amount of info out there. Plus I would rather work with someone's recommendation from a previous good experience. We would likely want a package tour...so any tips or advice would be awesome!
     
  2. Well I lived in Tokyo, but I traveled to Kyoto and Nara. Both were great experiences and even though it's quite touristy there's still lots of un touristy opportunities. Definitely stay near the shrines in Kyoto and then take a train to Nara if you choose those cities. Nara has tame deer walking around the city and it's an amazing experience. However, it's much smaller and easy to do just as a side day from Kyoto. Kyoto is a big city and you use buses to go to to the shrines.

    Japanese air conditioning is a joke and so be prepared to sweat even inside.

    A ryoukan will give you a nice experience instead of a hotel. It's a traditional style home and they offer dinner and breakfast at some.

    Tokyo is big and lots of shopping, but to be honest it's really only for the shopping :biggrin:
     
  3. I haven't been to Botswana but I lived in Tokyo too and have spent a fair amount of time travelling in Japan. Japan is very diverse from Hokkaido and lots of snow to Okinawa with beautiful coastline and beaches. There are so many wonderful cultural experiences and the people are just so generous and helpful.

    It depends where you are going to go in Japan I would say and what you want to experience. Tokyo is definitely a very eclectic city but I think it is stressful after a few days just due to the sheer rush of life there.
     
  4. www.japan-guide.com is a good source of information for travelers to Japan.
     
  5. I've been to Japan. The people are SO nice. Tokyo is big and bustling like any big city. Shopping, restaurants, shows, like most big cities (saw some interesting and great Kabuki and Noh theatre there).

    Kyoto for Zen gardens and Buddhist temples. I LOVED Japan.
     
  6. I've been to Tokyo a few times and all you need to do there is EAT and SHOP. That's it. :biggrin:
     
  7. Thank you for all of the responses!
    Is it true that Tokyo and Japan in general are really expensive to stay and eat in?
     
  8. Generally, yes, but of course there are little trade secrets on where to go to shop and save... I don't know if you can get around accomodation (gah can't spell!) though.

    I lived in Kyoto when I was 10 to 12 years old, but went back for a year during high school. I can't remember any specifics, you'll need to ask others about it. I'm sorry i'm not very helpful... but I could give you instructions to my old school... maybe... if I thought about it hard enough :p.
     
  9. It is on the pricey side to dine and stay in hotels in Japan but you get the quality that you pay for..
     
  10. I think Japan has two levels of dining.
    I ate on the street where Geisha preformed in Kyoto in the only place they let non-membered people in to dine and it was $100 a piece.

    However I think Japanese ramen is some of the tastiest stuff and it's easy for two people to get full on $18.00. Izakaiyas are popular as well where you get a bunch of small dishes like a tapas restaurant and drink. You can do an all-you-can-eat (tabehodai) for 20.00 a person and be full for a long time :biggrin:

    A good city guidebook can navigate you around to the places which provide English menus as well.

    I stayed last year in a room in Kyoto and it was 100 a night for two people in a well furnished old style room. I was there on a four-day weekend and during a popular season.

    However, Japan is hit with a rainy season half of the summer so be warned! Rain there just soaks you to your bones. >_<
     
  11. Oh, that is good advice. When is the rainy season, generally speaking?
     
  12. I spent 4 months if africa (including botswana) when i was 12 and have had to travel to japan numerous times on business. And i loved them both. My biggest deciding factor (if it were up to me) is you want to shop and do lots of THINGS (like consumer and tourist things) or more natural things (ie safari). Japan will be very stimulating but africa is very relaxing.
     
  13. I've spent time in Japan for both business and pleasure. Crazy place and tons of great shopping. However...

    My DH and I spent 3 weeks in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana for our honeymoon. Botswana was by far my fave part of the trip. We spent 4 nights in Xugaga, a private island on the delta. It accomodated only 16 guests and had 30 staff. After Xugana, we stayed 3 nights at the Chobe Game Lodge. It was an amazing experience. We saw tons of elephants, rhino, lion, leopards, hippo and buffalo. Botswana was quite expensive, not just because of the accomodations which ran around $1,000/night, but because we had to charter private planes to get around the country.

    It's my favorite place on earth. Not that I've been to many places, but I can't wait to go back.