> From: Oliver Haas <[log in to unmask]>
> Dear Robert,
> I'm going to attend the conference in Japan and wondered whether you can
> give me some ideas what to do in a few days I would like to take after the
> conference to have a look around.
> I've never been to Japan and have little idea how easy it is to, for
> example, get to Kyoto from Osaka, or how much Japanese I need to know to
> get around in public transport. Is it feasable to just do day trips to
> Kyoto from Osaka?
> I hope also that there will be some time to talk about cognitive shift.
> I've read your book and got so much to comment that I don;t find the time
> to fit it into an e-mail. However, I'm eagerly following the mailbase
> Best Wishes,
> Oliver Haas
December 3, 1999 (5:35 PM JT)
Whether you agree with me fully, in part, or not at all, thanks for
reading my book!
Almost all Japanese study English in junior high school and high school,
but few learn to speak it well, partly because the two languages are very
different - more different than English and Chinese, for instance. Still,
you'll always be able to find someone glad to give you directions.
As for Kyoto, from Kandai-Mae Station, which serves Kansai University,
take a local train several stations south (towards downtown Osaka, not
Kita-Senri) to Awaji Station, and from there an express north to Kawaramachi
Station, the terminal in downtown Kyoto. It should take about 60 minutes in
all. This is on the Hankyu Line. Two other lines, the JR and the Keihan, run
between Osaka and Kyoto. From downtown Osaka to Kyoto, the fastest way -
other than the Shinkansen (bullet train) - is a JR rapid express
(shinkaisoku) from JR Osaka (which is 5 minutes on foot from Hankyu Umeda
Station) to JR Kyoto. It takes 29 minutes, and you can look around JR Kyoto
Station, which is new and quite impressive.
Points of interest in the Kansai area include the Umeda area in north
Osaka, a shopping and entertainment district, which you can reach simply by
staying on the train through Awaji to the terminal, Hankyu Umeda; Kobe,
which foreigners tend to love, 30 minutes more or less beyond Umeda,
depending on which line you take: the JR, the Hankyu, or the Hanshin; Nara,
70 minutes or so beyond Umeda, which is to say 90 or so beyond Kandai-Mae -
take the subway Midosuji Line south (towards Yodoyabashi, not Nakatsu) to
Namba Station, change there to the Kintetsu Line express for Nara (not
Kyoto, Kashihara, or someplace else - though if you mess up you can change
at Saidaiji), and get off at the terminal, Kintetsu Nara Station; and more
beauty spots in Kyoto than you could see in twenty years (one of them, the
Kinkakuji or Golden Pavilion Temple, 10 minutes on foot from my office here,
and another, the Daitokuji Temple, 5 minutes). The Kansai University campus
is fairly pleasant, but that general area unbeautiful. Be aware that
western Japan in July can be a steambath.
You can reach Tokyo from JR Shin-Osaka Station in about 150 minutes on the
Shinkansen Nozomi, the fastest train in the world, and Hiroshima, one of my
favorite cities in the world, in about 110 minutes, as I recall, but it's
But why don't you let me show you around? I can include my house in the
tour - it's just outside Kyoto on Mt. Hiei - and you can stay there a few
nights. WHOEVER WANTS TO TAKE ME UP ON THIS, SEND ME AN E-MAIL!