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12-16-2015, 02:21 AM   #1
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Seeking advice for trip to Japan, Osaka Kyoto and Tokyo

I will be leaving for Osaka in 2 days and will be in Japan for a total of 10 days, but consider that I would be arriving very late night the first day and fly out in the afternoon on the last day, realistically I have 8 and a half days in Japan, this is a very last minute decision to go so I haven't done a lot of research on the destination, needed some advice on where to go/what to shoot. I will be travelling alone so I am very flexible with the schedule.

Currently I will be arriving in Osaka late night 18th, hoping to do a day trip to Kyoto before taking the Shinkansen to Tokyo on the 22nd(during the day probably), flying out of Tokyo in the afternoon of the 28th.

My main interest is street, of course sightseeing is a must because this is the first time I am in Japan. I've had some idea of location to visit in Tokyo through friends, so I am mainly looking for advice for Osaka and Kyoto, another area of interest for me is night time photography(either from a high vantage point or on street level, using tripod for long exposure), so any advice on suitable location in Osaka and Tokyo would be greatly appreciated.


Last edited by elpolodiablo; 12-16-2015 at 08:10 AM.
12-16-2015, 03:02 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Melbourne was nice and hot today. I was working all day in the sun all day, so my brain isnt functioning 100% so ill try to rattle off a few bullet points. I've been to japan twice, in September last year (tail end of summer) and April this year for cherry blossom season.

- In my experience with Osaka there wasn't a hell of alot to do. Check out the aquarium, its essentially the same as Melbourne and Sydneys aquariums but with a whale shark (did i mention whale shark? it is awsome!) and the giant Japanese salamander. The name of the area eludes me where the CBD is, the river running right through the centre of it is a great night time photo opportunity. Check out Dendon Town which is an entire street dedicated to electronics, anime etc. Make sure to have a wander through Joshin Super Kids store which is like a giant adult toy and hobby store. Go and have a beer after an evening of photos at Irish Murphy's Pub, Dan the guy the owns it is a pretty cool guy, He lived in melbourne for a few years.

-If you get a chance, jump on the shinkansen for around an hour and check out Himeji for a few hours during the day. Himeji castle is one of few remaining castles that wasnt bombed in WW2. Absolutely fantastic photo opportunity

-Kyoto is such a beautiful city. One day wont be enough, I spent six days there to check out everything. Grab the tourist map at Kyoto station and go nuts, The Fushimi Inari Taisha (bamboo forest) and golden temple are must see's. Public transport isnt as convenient as Osaka and Tokyo so you will find yourself catching alot of buses. Grab a daily bus pass for 500 yen

Hope this helps a little bit, I'll add more as I think about it. Either way you'll have a blast and good luck shaking the Japan addiction :P

Cheers,

stefan
12-16-2015, 03:23 AM - 1 Like   #3
JPT
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I don't know much about Osaka, but in Tokyo there are quite a few observation decks where you can get a good view of the city. It looks best as the sun goes down.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, Shinjuku - Free; indoors so you have to shoot through glass; I was stopped from using a tripod ; in the west so a good view to the east

Mori Tower Sky Deck , Roppongi - Charge to get in; outdoors so you don't have to shoot through glass; I don't know about tripods but I guess not, because they make you put your bags in a locker before you go up

Tokyo Sky Tree, Sumida - Charge; through glass; no idea about tripods; at 450mm by far the highest; in the east, which means there is a very cool view towards the city centre but not so interesting in other directions

Tokyo Tower, Shiba - Charge; through glass; similar vantage point to Mori Tower; a bit dilapidated

Bunkyo Civic Centre, Kasuga/Suidobashi - Free; through glass; people were using tripods unchallenged when I was there; cool view to the west it's clear enough to see Mt. Fuji because it appears through a gap in the skyscrapers of Shinjuku

So I recommend Mori Tower if you don't mind paying and Bunkyo Civic Centre.

Last edited by JPT; 12-16-2015 at 08:02 AM.
12-16-2015, 06:03 AM   #4
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Thanks for the info guys, really appreciated, I am in China at the moment so the internet is unstable to say the least, I will look those places up and hopefully cover them when I am there!

Thought I'd ask, I have just bought a ND10 filter and wanna try some day time long exposure, would using a tripod in busy area like Ginza during the day be a good idea at all? As I have heard it could get very crowded. Other than that, I think I will just use tripod for specific night trip.


Last edited by elpolodiablo; 12-16-2015 at 06:14 AM.
12-16-2015, 06:05 AM   #5
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Hi!
While in Tokyo, Shinjuku area, pay a visit to Ricoh Imaging Square Shinjuku
Tokyo Shinjuku Center Building oMB
Opening hours: 10:30 to 18:30
Day off: Every Tuesday More
They have a photo exhibition, Pentax and Ricoh gear, service center etc. It's well worth a visit.
http://m.yelp.com/biz_redir?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ricoh-imaging.co.jp%2Fjapan%2Fcommunity%2Fsquareshinjuku%2F&src_bizid=BqCctlv2_rkp0R_AbhHiKg&cachebuster=1450270794&5fe7f4f3bc22390bd7c4e020bbab97f0

Sorry for the bad link format...
12-16-2015, 07:06 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by zantaphia Quote
Hi!
While in Tokyo, Shinjuku area, pay a visit to Ricoh Imaging Square Shinjuku
Tokyo Shinjuku Center Building oMB
Opening hours: 10:30 to 18:30
Day off: Every Tuesday More
They have a photo exhibition, Pentax and Ricoh gear, service center etc. It's well worth a visit.
http://m.yelp.com/biz_redir?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ricoh-imaging.co.jp%2Fjapan...c4e020bbab97f0

Sorry for the bad link format...
Thanks for the heads up, as it happens I will be staying in the Shinjuku area, but in the east side of the station, I will definitely check out the Ricoh Imaging Square as I have hope that the hood of my fish eye zoom could be fixed, would like to hear from the technician directly!
12-16-2015, 08:01 AM   #7
Yos
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Don't forget to check out Visiting Tokyo? Then go here... - Japan Camera Hunter
Some good advice if you are in a shopping mode
12-20-2015, 08:20 PM   #8
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No trip to tokyo is complete without visiting tokyo tower, and no trip to japan is complete without pictures of the shinkansen (bullet train).

12-24-2015, 05:02 AM   #9
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Thought I'd share a few thoughts after 2days in Tokyo

I've been to the Ricoh Imaging Square in Shinjuku yesterday and the one in Ginza today, both of them had the prototype DA* 70-200 on display, the narration on the one in Shinjuku still says debut in December but the staff there said it will actually debut in Spring, I wish I speak Japanese because it's very hard to communicate, one staff from the Ginza store said the delay has something to do with cold weather, I can only assume it's with the weather sealing, again they don't speak much English so it was hard to communicate, but they did say it will be March/April before it would come out. As for the unicorn camera there isn't much they can tell me, the guy from Ginza said they are waiting for it too lol.

There was a photographic contest winner's presentation event going on in the Shinjuku location when I arrived yesterday, there could be a few Ricoh big people there but only one that I sort of remember from a PF interview, Mr Hiraku Kawauchi , was using a K-3 and DA*16-50 with flash to document the event, I think the winners uses 645Z.

The gallery there features a lot of photo from local Pentax Family members, and they have sample photo book taken with a certain camera model next to the display model, I've had a look and most if not all of them are local Japanese photographers, there is also a notice on the wall about the PENTAX PROFESSIONAL SERVICE, again it's Japan only.

Both location has a full range of current Pentax lens line up, I had the FA50 1.4 on my camera when I went in the Ginza store, and I asked the guy if this lens is still in production, they said it's out of production already, if you want a 50mm you can have the DFA50Macro, DA50 1.8 or DA*55 1.4 new. However I've checked MAP camera and some other store and I do remember seeing them in stock, probably just leftover stock though.

The Ginza store got a nice little thing going where you can loan a GR or a K-3 free for a day(till 6pm), only available to members of AWS or whatever it is called, I guess it's the local Japanese Pentax community thing.

The repair service in the Shinjuku seems very nice, I've seen people bringing in K-7 with F lenses and people with 645z with huge DA zooms and an old lady with a WG camera in for service, the staff were very knowledgeable and friendly, they can't fix my fisheye because it would need 2 weeks turnover but the master technician actually came out of the back room and explained to me it could not be fix in such short notice and apologised.

I've been to a few camera store in Shinjuku and Ginza, they all have more or less some Pentax stuff in store, and I've witness a staff trying to impress young couple with the WR feature of the K-3II and the multi coloured K-S1 and K-S2 shows a lot of ads specifically targeting young people. In the used camera store things a bit bleak, not many choices I am afraid, a few nice pieces here and there but nothing really got me like"I've got to have this at this price" , thought I drooled over a A*135 1.8 in Ginza for so long, but 270k yen is way too much for me to handle....MAP camera in Shinjuku got quite a few Limited Silver K-3s and a gunmetal Prestige version on the 3rd floor, but the 645Z belongs in the dungeon with the Leica cameras.

There we go, just some random pieces of info

Photographic wise, it's been tough this trip as I hurt my wrist, most of the time I would just take a RX100 and not bothered with DSLR, but I will try to do some long exposure stuff later on, is there fireworks planned for Xmas around Tokyo?
12-27-2015, 07:50 AM   #10
JPT
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Sorry to hear you hurt your wrist. Hope it's recovering now.

It's certainly possible to spend a lot of time in the camera stores and showrooms. I like the Ricoh showroom in Shinjuku more. It was originally the Pentax showroom and it always seems to be more lively. The one issue I have is that there is such a strong focus on landscape photography there, to the point where there are many genres that they never seem to exhibit. The Ricoh one in Ginza always seems a bit unwelcoming to me, although they do have some nice exhibitions there from time to time.

I really like Map Camera. I feel comfortable buying used stuff there because they offer a warranty on it. I think it is one year for some items now, which is crazy considering that's all you get with a new camera.

Sorry, not aware of any firework displays around Xmas. It's normally a summer thing. I hope you had a good trip overall.
12-31-2015, 09:57 PM   #11
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Thank you elpolodiablo for the Tokyo feedback. I'm in town there as well in a few weeks. I'm looking forward to the trip and shooting.
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