I'm also going to Japan and having stuff delivered to ones hotel sounds like a good idea. So besides amazon.jp does anyone know the places with the cheapest prices to order stuff from (stones as well knives - and come to think of it the Japanese cutting boards that because of shipping are insanely expensive in the US ). In fact, I wonder if Hong Kong wouldn't be a better place to buy Japanese stuff (and of course I'll be visiting CCK while there :- ) )
Google with "kenji site:Jp" usually can get you a bunch of good sites. Rakuten is good as well.
Originally Posted by apathetic
That's the problem with visiting Japan, especially when the leaves are changing. If it's something worth seeing, it'll either be surrounded by a million Japanese tourists, or hours away in the middle of nowhere.
Takayama is the best idea I can think of - good local food and culture, great architecture and scenery, plus hot springs. Also an easy jumping off point for Shirakawa-go, if you want to see something really unique. Takes some time to get there, but not too bad - you can take the shinkansen to Gifu, then it's another 2 hours by train (which is a great experience in itself, winding through the mountain passes). And while Seki isn't the best place for kitchen knives, it's a quick detour along the way.
@ Timthebeaver: Thanks for the link, there is enough to keep me busy for quite a while
Need to figure out which ones I need to prioritise, probably the most obscure ones first!
@pkjames: This is great advice as well!
@gic: if you're there around end of october let me know, it would be fun to meet up!
@spaceconvoy: Thanks for the recommendation, seems quite easy to get to from Tokyo so I will most likely go to Takayama.