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Kakashi Sensei
2003-11-21, 12:48
Has anyone here ever been to Japan? Heck, I'm seriously thinking about doing a student-exchange thing or maybe like a trip there. How awesome would that be? Anyone know any good sites? Is it like a big necesity to speak Japanese? (Do they even have American tours?)

I've gone to virtualtourist.com, and that site is awesome.

Anywho, post your thoughts!

gravitation
2003-11-21, 12:52
ooo i plan on going as an exchange student when i finish skool!! ^__^ :D i really like japan and would love to live there for a while:D there is this thing called the JETT programme or summin and they deal with things like that:) im not to sure of their site but ive heard they are good ^_~

microlith
2003-11-21, 12:55
You should take the effort to pick up a minimum of Japanese if you want to stay for more than a few weeks.

Doing student exchange is good, be sure to pick up a fair bit of Japanese even if your classes are in English. They may not be if you're attending anything less than College.

If you're going as a tourist, zero Japanese is necessary cause they're used to tourists babbling in a foreign language and will just point you where you need to go (or give you a menu and you point at what you want!)

Mr. Bushido
2003-11-21, 13:02
both korea and japan have high schools for english speakers. but they expect u to know the language a little, and eventually speak fluently.

Laguna
2003-11-21, 13:18
I'm leaving to Osaka as exchange student next autumn.. still lot's of time left. The university I'm attendin in is international one, so teaching language is english. That's good, cause I wouldn't understand a thing spoken in full-japanese university.. I've been studied Japanese language about 2 years now, but it seems I'm still total beginner :(

Here's link to universitys homepage if someones interested: http://www.kansaigaidai.ac.jp/ -- Oh yeah, if someone has been in there I would love to hear opinions about that place. Of course also all other stuff related to being exchange student in Japan is very much welcome!

Hunter
2003-11-21, 13:29
Some advice if you go in Japan ;)

-If you know someone in Japan, you should live with him, or to make an exchange with a japanese student in your family for example, because the price of the hotels is incredibly expensive .

-don't eat in the restaurant for the foreigner it's extremely expensive too : forget the meat, bread and all the western food in general, on the other hand the fish, and all the regional food (noodles and sushis in the sushis's bars ^^), are really not expensive.

-Transport is also extremely expensive (more or less 150-155 $ for Tokyo-Kyoto-Tokyo for example).

-if you don't talk japanese very well take a map! (and if you speak japanese take a map too :p), the name of the streets aren't indicated, if you didn't know the places, you will remain 3 days in the street ^^

-Don't spend all your money in the first manga store by seeing that they can cost less than one dollars :D

-Don't look the beautiful japanese girl too closely in the street people will think that you're a stalker http://kaosounet.free.fr/gif/biggrinangelA.gif

0ink
2003-11-21, 13:34
Ok dreamers. First things first, visit japan before you make up these grand plans.

Who knows, you might think it seriously sucks when you get there, yes it is possible. Your view of japan is a romanticised one (yah i spellt that wrong ;) ).

Yes i admit i would like to do the same thing but first things first, check the place out. After i get my armymoney im thinking of going there, it probably wont happen though since i dont want to go there by myself and it costs hellishly much.

So, before you make up plans, visit there for like 2 weeks or so.

Otherwise you might end up being in japan for a year while thinking it suxxors big time :P

Remember kiddies, anime is not real.


Rant mode, off.

Mr. Bushido
2003-11-21, 13:37
Some advice if you go in Japan ;)

-If you know someone in Japan, you should live with him, or to make an exchange with a japanese student in your family for example, because the price of the hotels is incredibly expensive .

-don't eat in the restaurant for the foreigner it's extremely expensive too : forget the meat, bread and all the western food in general, on the other hand the fish, and all the regional food (noodles and sushis in the sushis's bars ^^), are really not expensive.

-Transport is also extremely expensive (more or less 150-155 $ for Tokyo-Kyoto-Tokyo for example).

-if you don't talk japanese very well take a map! (and if you speak japanese take a map too :p), the name of the streets aren't indicated, if you didn't know the places, you will remain 3 days in the street ^^

-Don't spend all your money in the first manga store by seeing that they can cost less than one dollars :D

-Don't look the beautiful japanese girl too closely in the street people will think that you're a stalker http://kaosounet.free.fr/gif/biggrinangelA.gif

especially the last one, listen to the last one the most.
i dont know if its true in japan as well, but in asia men will beat u up if u make one wrong move on a grl. They hate molesters u see. they sometimes make bad judgements. haha

:joke:

0ink
2003-11-21, 13:40
Hey, the guys in japan are all stalkers... its in europe we will kick your ass if you do something like that :)

Mr. Bushido
2003-11-21, 13:47
if ure a grl (i know ure not but if someones reading) watch out in the subways. really crowded and the boys will want to grab ur ass. blaming it on the crowd.

Hunter
2003-11-21, 13:50
especially the last one, listen to the last one the most.
i dont know if its true in japan as well, but in asia men will beat u up if u make one wrong move on a grl. They hate molesters u see. they sometimes make bad judgements. haha

:joke:

lol no, The japanese aren't like that, more 'calm' (it's not exactly that thought), but when you will see a cop appear in front of you suddenly, you will not laugh, especially when he speaks so much quickly that you don't understand a thing about what he says :p

The cop : *******Hentai*****Gajin******! *****keisatsusho*****?
You : HeEeeEey? :D

p3psi
2003-11-21, 14:31
If there is a study aboard program, go do it. Cuz the one that they offer at my college, it costs almost the same as summer session here. So you pay the same price as you would if you went to school for the summer here, but instead your chasing japanese girls instead!

And ive been to japan many times, you wont be dissapointed if you go. But of course you will get home sick for the first couple of weeks

Kawaii_Sennin
2003-11-21, 14:36
A really good site for foreign exchange programs is www.yfu.org (http://www.yfu.org) . The name sounds kinda funny but its a really usefull site for people who want to get out of the country.

Mr. Bushido
2003-11-21, 21:36
lol no, The japanese aren't like that, more 'calm' (it's not exactly that thought), but when you will see a cop appear in front of you suddenly, you will not laugh, especially when he speaks so much quickly that you don't understand a thing about what he says :p

The cop : *******Hentai*****Gajin******! *****keisatsusho*****?
You : HeEeeEey? :D


hahaha. I heard even the police is very tolerant unless is something perverted.

well im not 100% sure, since ive only seen this on tv, but in korea they do that. If some grl crys for help, the nearby men walks up and beats the guy up. since molester and criminals were rare in asia. (until the 1990's then it started to rise) I heard my dad did that once, or was it my mom.... who cares, the molester got wat he deserved.

tsurumaru
2003-11-21, 22:28
Hmm its been three years but here's some useful stuff I remember...

Tsurumaru's guide to visiting Japan - Part 1;

Accomodation:

Ok, so three weeks accomodation and living expenses in Tokyo was equal to my entire 3 month budget in India....^^;

Try not to arrive on a late night flight into Narita airport (Tokyo), you might just find yourself stuck at the airport with an expensive overnight stay at a hotel!

If you do not already have a place to stay then try a gaijin house (Foreigner's house) usually found in the outer suburbs of Tokyo, beware though some of these places are run by extremely dubious types (ones with "Big" in the name ie Big apple etc), they also tend to attract a strange old crowd and are not recomended for the inexperienced traveller. Saying this though, they can be a great starting place to meet people both Japanese and foreign (usually also new to the country). About 3 years ago rent for a place in a dormitory was about 10-12,000 yen a week, with sometimes this being negotiable.
Some positive points to this are that if you're lucky enough, the district you are in will have a 100 yen shop, these places are essential to keeping yourself fed well without bankrupting yourself.

Money.

Think your Visa credit card is going to get you out of some sticky situations...? Think again, bizarrely enough in Japan most cash machines will only let you withdraw money with a "Magic" Japanese only visa card. Be aware any visa delta card you have too may be useless, although purchases hould be fine for both standard and Visa delta cards. Some good cards that are accepted at most cash points are mastercard and any cashcard with a "cirrus" symbol on.
Dont also get caught out by those incredibally useful ATM's that close overnight (kinda defeating the object) but don't worry of you couldn't get your cash out the Beer vending machines will have closed by now too (usually 11pm).
Japanese coins and notes are pretty easy to get the hang of, use the rough ready reckoner that 100 yen = 1 US $ if you're having trouble working out the value of an item.
It is possible as a gaijin to open a bank account in Japan but you'd have to be either masochistic, or employed to want to get through the red tape. watch with amusement as the staff try to convert your name into katakana...
Actually having a bank account is pretty essential if you are going to be working and by this I mean being properly employed, ie not basing yourself in Roppongi (A nightclub filled area where "cash in hand" work is possible).
Its can also be useful if you are going to be transferring monies to/from abroad a lot as you can usually set up a simple sort of account to transfer funds (this saves you from filling in the paperwork again and again).
Don't expect any sort of interest on any savings you have in Japan though as the interest rate has been close to 0% for many years now......


Travel.Pt 1

Like mentioned previously travelling within Japan is expensive here are a few tips;

JR -line railways.

Ah the joy of the JR lines,

Don't even try to travel peak time if you are claustrophobic, or have issues about getting friendly with complete strangers (ie having hundreds of Japanese business men crushed against you). People are actually employed to physically crush as many passengers on board some trains at the busiest stations.

Off peak though they are usually pleasant experiences, just ignore the staring.....remember it your fault for being such a Hen-na gaijin!

Each line of the JR is colour coded making it fairly easy to use. Feet marks on the platform aren't just for show, the train doors will actually stop at these points. When arranging meet someone at a station exit make sure you specify which exit! Some JR stations can have 8 or more exits...... !

Useful Japanese phrase:

Sumimasen.....Kono densha wa ......... ni ikimasu ka? - Excuse me.....is this train going to ...........? A classic for if your not sure if you've got on the right train.

Useless trivia:
Ever notice how upon getting on a train most Japanese people fall straight to sleep? Waking up seconds before they are due to get off, this one had me puzzled until I realised how,
A) punctual each journey is, each trip will vary usually only by a number of seconds from the last.
B) How some children have small ear pieces in (these can be set for a specific time period ( ie the length of the journey) and then emit small beeping noises at the end of the time period to wake up a sleeping person. This must take a long time to be subconciously absorbed but is the closest I have come to an answer to the above....


The Underground/Subway

Ok I have to admit to not even knowing about the Tokyo underground system until about a month into living there! This is not to say it is a bad system, rather that the JR lines and bus system's are remarkably prompt and cover an wide range of places efficiently and conveniently...
remember though the subway closes very close to midnight, its all to keep the below people in their jobs.....

Useful Japanese phrase:

chikatetsu wa doko ni arimasu ka? - Where is the the subway?


Taxi's

Just getting into a Taxi will cost you 600 odd yen (about 6 US $) and thats before you actually go anywhere make sure yuo know how to say the name of the place your going to and your drivers knows it too! Most taxi drivers I used understood (or claimed to understand) no English.

Therefore here are a few useful phrases:

... made onegaishimasu - Please go to ............

Mou sukoshi massugu ni itte kudasai - please go on a little further ahead.

(koko de/tsugi no kado de) Migi/hidari ni mawatte kudasai - (here/at the next corner)Please turn Right/Left

Koko de tomatte kudasai - Please stop here

Koko de ii desu - here is fine

Also dont try and open or close the taxi cab's door yourself as you will only suceed in annoying the driver (its all automatic) you will only reinforce his stereotype of the "baka gaijin").

Ok thats it for today, if you found this interesting or even midly amusing please let me know and I will go on to part two....... :)

diabolistic
2003-11-21, 22:51
WRA!
Very good guide, tell me more!

Hunter
2003-11-22, 00:27
Also dont try and open or close the taxi cab's door yourself as you will only suceed in annoying the driver (its all automatic) you will only reinforce his stereotype of the "baka gaijin").


I'm so happy, I wasn't the only one to look like a baka by trying to open these damn door the first time :heh:

Neko no Makai
2003-11-22, 00:32
Ever notice how upon getting on a train most Japanese people fall straight to sleep? Waking up seconds before they are due to get off, this one had me puzzled until I realised how,
A) punctual each journey is, each trip will vary usually only by a number of seconds from the last.
B) How some children have small ear pieces in (these can be set for a specific time period ( ie the length of the journey) and then emit small beeping noises at the end of the time period to wake up a sleeping person. This must take a long time to be subconciously absorbed but is the closest I have come to an answer to the above....



Tsurumaru - When i was in grade school, i also did something similair on my bus. I think once u get use to time frame you can work it out. Usually i was half consious so i could feel the street bumps and knew when my stop was coming up. Weird huh?

Mr. Bushido
2003-11-22, 01:43
btw Hunter u mentioned mangas' being only about a dollar. how much is it in yen?(dont know the conversion ratio) and is it still that cheap over there? i mean 10 japanese manga is about one manga here in the US?? I remember the japanese manga being cheap in little tokyo, but it wasnt a dollar...

auto taxi door?? ive been in America too long....

p3psi
2003-11-22, 01:58
The conversion is about 120 yen to 1 dollar.

Dont worry about looking like an idoit, you're a dam tourist, you're suppose to look out of place.

You can either change your money here in america, or at the airport. If you go to a bank in japan, I think i had to show them some ID, and it took them like 10-20 mins just for them to make sure everything was in order and give me my yen back.

There was a money changing machine at the malls, dont know if it was at every mall, but it gave a lower rate like 115 or 118 yen to the dollar. But it just a diffrence in pennies and you don have to go to the bank and possibly pay a fee. And dont change your money at the airport either, cuz i think they charge a rather large fee.

And make sure you got like 50-80 bucks worth of yen for each person in your group, cuz when you leave japan, the airport charges your a fee for useing thier airport hub on your way out of the country (you dont have to pay a fee when you get off the plane into japan). I remember that we had too pay like a 15% exchange fee just too change our dollars into yen, so we could leave the dam airport. Ah, i forgot which hub this was, i think it was osaka.

tsurumaru
2003-11-22, 08:01
The conversion is about 120 yen to 1 dollar.

Dont worry about looking like an idoit, you're a dam tourist, you're suppose to look out of place.

You can either change your money here in america, or at the airport. If you go to a bank in japan, I think i had to show them some ID, and it took them like 10-20 mins just for them to make sure everything was in order and give me my yen back.

There was a money changing machine at the malls, dont know if it was at every mall, but it gave a lower rate like 115 or 118 yen to the dollar. But it just a diffrence in pennies and you don have to go to the bank and possibly pay a fee. And dont change your money at the airport either, cuz i think they charge a rather large fee.


Heh if you get really desperate most bars in Roppongi will change your hard earned US dollars into exotic crisp new Japanese yen. Just look a how big a smile they have on their faces to work out how favourable the exchnange rate is to you though!

PT 2 of the guide to come tonight

Including:

Budget travel secrets!

How to find "Secret" raves at Yoyogi park - Harajuku.

Illegal working practices

Most Bizarre ufo catcher machine

How kakoii are you???

Akihabara - is finding an electrical bargain possible?

Wandering A.I.
2003-11-22, 08:47
>-Transport is also extremely expensive (more or less 150-155 $ for Tokyo-Kyoto-Tokyo

A friend of mine who went to Japan mentioned something about a rail pass visitors can buy that helps a lot for the trains at least. Might be worth looking into.

>(koko de/tsugi no kado de) Migi/hidari ni mawatte

I was about to complain this should be 'kado wo magatte', but my dictionary saved me and it seems both are right. Just out of curiosity, does anyone know the difference between magaru and mawaru (if it exists ^^)? Google isn't giving me any love. ;/

Btw, thanks for all the interesting info/tips people, since I was planning a trip soon too. ^^ *re-enters lurk mode*

gravitation
2003-11-22, 09:56
my japanese tutor said when she went over there for the first time some ppl stroked her hair! ^_^ she said it was coz she had fair blonde hair and most of the ppl over there have black and stuff lol. She did find it kinda strange at first but then someone told her that its alrite :)

Hunter
2003-11-22, 11:19
btw Hunter u mentioned mangas' being only about a dollar. how much is it in yen?(dont know the conversion ratio) and is it still that cheap over there? i mean 10 japanese manga is about one manga here in the US?? I remember the japanese manga being cheap in little tokyo, but it wasnt a dollar...


That depend where indeed, in Tokyo or Kyoto all is more expensive, but yeah you can find them for more or less 1$/€ (but the quality of the paper is close to the toilet paper :D), in the US manga are incredibly expensive.

I was about to complain this should be 'kado wo magatte', but my dictionary saved me and it seems both are right. Just out of curiosity, does anyone know the difference between magaru and mawaru (if it exists ^^)? Google isn't giving me any love. ;/


This 2 words can have the same significance : to turn.
But mawaru can also mean to swivel or to veer whereas magaru can mean to curve, bend or to fold.
It's slightly different ;)

Mr. Bushido
2003-11-22, 15:35
That depend where indeed, in Tokyo or Kyoto all is more expensive, but yeah you can find them for more or less 1$/€ (but the quality of the paper is close to the toilet paper :D), in the US manga are incredibly expensive.


hmm so i can get the manga for really cheap price... REALLY cheap. i cant even get a bag of chips with a dollar. And plus if i dont like the manga, i can wipe my shit with it. Nice i love it.

FinFangFoom
2003-11-23, 05:49
Well once I graduate from college my friend and I are talking about going to Japan together, so when the Seattle Times had a whole travel section on traveling in Asia with the biggest focus on Japan I decided to save it. Here's some info that might be really useful. (Im typing this pretty much directly from the paper so there may be lots of spelling mistakes because it's alot to proof read, I'm also just typing the more key points)


When to go - Spring and fall have the best weather. Summer can be steamy hot, and winter is as dreary as Seattle in the Tokyo/Kyoto area.

Visa - American tourists don't need one for visits under 90 days. For more information, see the Web site of the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C. www.us.emb-japan.go.jp/english/html/

Money matters - Despite its high-tech culture, Japan remains a cash society. Locals carry wads of cash and small businesses often prefer cash (and may not except foriegn credit cards.) Japan's low crime rate makes it possible, and convenient, for travelers to carry a stash of yen, too.

In past, it was difficult to use ATMs to get cash. Post offices throughout Japan now have international ATMs, with instructions in English, and tey're also found in some large department stores and some major hotels. One financial plus: Tipping is not customary nor expected in Japan.

Rail Travel - On major lines, station neames and some onboard information are in English. The Japan Rail Pass is economical for those traveling a lot by rail: it's valid for 7, 14 or 21 days and, like a Eurail pass (whatever that is), needs to be purchased before entering the country. For more information, contact a travel agent or see www.japanrailpass.net Also see www.japanrail.com for more information and links to Japanese rail sites.

In tokyo (as mentioned) there's an extensive, excellent subway system which takes visitors just about anywhere they'd want to go. Station names are in English, and information booths at major, multi-level stations such as Ginza, an upscale central Tokyo shoping area, have English-speaking staff wo can give advice plus maps.

Hotel basics: Room rates can be skyhigh, but decent hotels are available in Tokyo for about $80-$100 a night if you avoid upscale neighborhoods and the luxury hotel chains.

Outlying cities tend to be cheaper, and tru budget travelers can stay cheaply in youth hostels (about $20 a night) which are scattered throughout the country. Or try B&Bs or the traditional (and Sartan) accommodations in temples.
Ryokans, traditional Japanese inns with tatami mats on the floor and roll-out futons, range from budget to ultra deluxe.

The Japanese National Tourist Organization has information on hotels and links to online booking. The Welcome Inn Reservation Center is a free service, aimed at foreigners, that books mony mid-range hotels throughout Japan: www.itcj.or.jp

Be aware that there's a 5 percent lodging tax; top hotels also have a 10-15 percent service charge.

Eating - As in New York or London, you can spend a fortune on restaurant meals, but low-priced noodle restaurants about in Tokyo and other cities, with a filling, decent meal costing around $8.

For sushi lovers, the "conveyor-belt" sushi restaurants are an economical way to eat. Diners pluck plates of sushi from a mini conveyor belt that a chef continually loads; you eat well for $12-15.

Etiquette - Japanese society is permeated with social conventions, some so arcane that most foreighers won't even know they're breaking the ruls. But travelers who observe some of the basics will find it much appreciated. Among them:

Dress up a bit. Japanese women and men rarely wear shorts or other such casual clothes in cities. There's no way most Americans will be as stylish as the Japanese, but dont't dress as if your're cleaning out your garage or going to the beach.

Bowing is still commonplace. To be polite, bow back at the same angle, although for foreigners a polite dipping of the head can suffice.

Japanese rarely eat on the street, exceptright around outdoor food stalls. Nor should you blow your nose in public; it's poor manners. And don't point your feet at people when you're seated on a mat at a tea ceremony, ect; that's also considered rude.

Japan is a gift-giving society. At major tourist sites, shops are packed with elegant gift boxes of dried fuits, cookies, and candies, plus andless knick-knacks. Japanese travelers load up for family and office mates even after just a weekend jaunt. Take along some small items from your hometown - from Seattleietes, Ichiro items area a guaranteed hit - to bestow upon new acquaintances.

Some good websites listed in the artical are also -

www.frommers.com/destinations/japan/ - I guess it has lots of cultural information and affordable Japanese-style places to stay. "Best Castles" has discriptions of some of Japan's grandest monuments. Then check out "Best Temples" and "Best small towns"

Japan National Tourist Organization is at www.into.go.jp/ - has guides and info about getting around Japan.

www.japannet.de/index.html - is a website by a German photographer with scores of photographs and website links.

Tokyo Convention and Visitors Bureau site www.tcvb.or.jp/ for details on areas of Tokyo, museums, tips on shopping, a subway guide and a gallery of slick panoramic photos.

Japan Sightseeing Guide www.admillion.com/j-guide/ and you'll be able to find information on local sights such as the Rengein Tanjyo-ji Okunoin Temple in Kumamoto Prefecture on the southern island of Kyushu, or the historic city of Imaichi in Tochigi Prefecture. This site has links to most of the nation's 47 prefectures, plus sections on "Traditional Culture" and festivals.

www.japan-guide.com - an etiquette guide.

www.gojapan.about.com - photo gallery and regional travel information you can reach by clicking on a map. Links to japanese history and live web cameras, and you can even read instructions on using a traditional Japanese bath.

http://jin.jcic.or.jp/ - for a quarterly magazine aimed at overseas readers.

There's more stuff but way to much to type. Info on places to shop, interesting area's or places that are free, shopping tips to find the best deals. And an interesting story about a femal reporter traveling Japan with her daughter. While see goes on and on about great experiences she does mention an encounter with some drunk Japanese Salarymen learing and shouting at her while walking late one night but they went away when ignored.

Anyways, that was a lot to type so please forgive any typing mistakes. I tried to be extra careful with the links but if any don't work let me know and ill double check to make sure I typed it in correctly.

EDIT: Oh, yeah! I thought it was funny that they also warn against trying to open taxi doors. :heh:

tsurumaru
2003-12-13, 14:30
Sorry this took so long in getting round to do!

PT 2

Tsurumaru's Travel Guide part 2

Firstly I'd like to say that Fingfanfoom has provided excellent information and I would like to stress that if you are going to purchase a Japan Rail Pass you can only purchase these outside of Japan! (You are given a ticket which you must exchange for the actual pass at any JR station once in Japan).

And so to continue the guide........

Travelling by Bus:

These are quite frequent in Tokyo and other major cities first of all are the standard sort that most of you will be familiar which operate at set times/routes during the day with usually a few late services to ferry people around in the early hours of the morning (these can be an excellent alternative to a taxi ride home). Be aware that depending on the type of vehicle used the bus may have one or two sets of doors (two is usual) A set at the front and a set towards the rear. Depending on the bus company/area you may only be able to exit the bus from the rear set of doors and board from the front or you may be able to exit from the front and rear doors but only board from the front doors. This is because you usually have to pay the driver your intended fare (sometimes by dropping the correct change into a box that weighs whether this is the correct fare or not to your specified destination). Bus stops are usually in excellent condition and Tokyo one's often specify how long you have to wait until the next three services to arrive!

Night buses/coaches

Certainly one of the cheapest methods of long distance travel I came across. Travelling to and from most cities main train stations, if you take the night coach you can roll your travel costs and accommodation costs into one! Depending on whether you can sleep on coaches or not though will dictate the sort of state you will be in when you arrive at your destination! You can usually book ticket at a main train stations coach depot or at a travel agents.

Budget train travel

Ok so youre skint and you didn't bother to by a Japan rail pass but hang on you're in Tokyo and your flight to leave Japan leaves from Fukuoka? Well you've got a couple of limited options...

You could try Hitchhiking but then as with this method of travel in any country there are risks.

Or you could be sneaky and use the following method for hardcore travellers only.
JR rail offers a type of ticket where for a flat fee you can purchase a ticket that allows unlimited standard rail travel (by normal services ie no Shinkansen bullet train services) on 6 seperate occasions (to be specified by the user at the time of travel).
This means you can travel as far a distance as you can in one day on standard rail services and use a sixth of the ticket up. Perhaps rest for a few days then use another 6th of the ticket up to travel as far as you can for another day.
Here's the best bit Japanese people who have purchased these types of tickets sometimes sell tickets with a couple of "days" travel left on them to Ryokokaisha's or independant travel shops (usually found near main "intercity" train stations). Therefore you could pick up a ticket with three out of the six days free travel used up (leaving three days remaining) usually it will cost you about 3000 yen per day remaining on the ticket. Making this the cheapest way I've found to travel by rail....

Travel by Aeroplane!

Well air travel is expensive, but JAL and some of the other domestic carriers usually do seasonal internet deals where you could pick up a cheap flight to Okinawa for example. However don't expect to be able to chose the dates of travel or for their website to be in English, so the help of a Japanese friend might be useful!

By Ferry

Ferries are a great way to travel if you have plenty of time on your hands. They can be comparitively cheap compared to other methods of travel and usually provide a bed for journey's of over a day. However the downsides are that the ports they travel from/to can be a bit out of the way and unserviced by public transport. Services will only run on certain days (not every day of the week so plan in advance!). They also usually hold only a limited selection of food on board which can be a bit on the expensive side (so you might want to bring your own snacks/Pot Ramen - Hot water is free!). I personally travelled from Fukuoka to Okinawa by ferry and had a very pleasant journey. However I would advise avoiding travelling when there are typhoon's in the area (for obvious reasons) Unless of course you happen to be the mad masochistic type.

Ok so thats about it for travel, here some random stuff:

Free internet cafe's:

Ok so I only ever found two in Tokyo but they do exist! Harajuku had one and Shibuya another.

Manga Kisatens! (or Manga Cafe's).

These places ROCK! They will basically be a "library of manga for you to read that you pay for on a time basis whilst you are there you can have: Unlimited hot and cold drinks (no alcohol), unlimited browsing of their extensive manga collections (thousands of volumes) unlimited play on their consoles (with most new games available) Unlimited use of their computers for internet access. They also do a wide selection of food at reasonable prices and most run a loyalty scheme whereby you can either get a free visit/free food after a certain number of visits. Japanese people also tend to "crash" here after late nights out and grab some kip on the comfy chairs they have untill the underground reopens! These places are like Otaku- heaven and can be found in most towns/cities.

Secret Raves

Sometimes you'll be handed flyers for these so called secret raves that take place in Tokyo's many parks. Erm what can I say, thy're not exactely secret...just turn up at a park late at night and follow the sound of the music. Usually there are some stalls selling various "ethnic goods" and the such that are also there and the police never usually bust the place...just a word of warning because of the below note things can get "rowdy" later on so its up to you whether you want to risk being involved in any incidents.

Aside: Just for your general information Magic Mushrooms (ie the type that can induce halucinations if eaten) are perfectly legal in Japan (or a least were 3 years ago when I was there). Here in the UK they are a class A drug if found "prepared" ie dried out and you might get a lengthy prison term if found with them in your possesion however in Japan you can see them being blatently sold on the stalls on the streets (that the Yakuza operate). Sometimes you can get trouble from people who are "tripping" on these so its worth checking out if they are available at the venue you are at... just to keep you on you toes.

Illegal working practices

Yes you can work illegally in Japan, although you'll be limited to a small number of jobs and places. Touting, Bartending and Waitering in Roppongi are good places to start looking, if you are an attractive Lady you might also want to try Hostessing (which is the equivalent of conversational prostitution).
The most important thing in gaining employment is that your "face fits" the job you are looking for. Most foreigners in Japan are grouped into certain types of jobs by nationality (strange though it may seem) I don't want to get into a deep discussion about it but it has been said that this is a type of open racism that is visible in Japanese society.
Beware though that there are risks in becoming associated with the types of people that are willing to employ you, as long as you've got your head screwed on straight though you should be ok. You can also usually find axcellent value dormitory accommodation that comes with the job and is usually docked from your pay. Expect to work long and hard hours though.......

Most Bizarre UFO Catcher machine

Just for fun, in addition to vending machines from which you can purchase Young Schoolgirls underwear (alongside a picture of the girl who wore them), and the vending machine that you can purchase Live pet stick insects or Stag beetles from comes....

A Live Lobster UFO Catcher! Yes move the claw and sucessfully catch one and you will have a live lobster. Apart from the animal rights issues the thing I most wanted to know was what happened if you actually won one? Imagine being in the middle of a shopping centre with a wet, slippery, live Lobster. The best I could get out of the passing people was "You would be very lucky!"

I'll post a pisture of the machine here when I've scanned it in.....

How "Kakoii" (Cool) are you?

Well if you visit Japan and are either Black or Caucasian you will probably achieve minor celebrity status by merely stepping off the plane. Like I mentioned before it is slightly unsettling the way that being a westener makes you instantly a Japanese persons icon. My advice would be don't let it get to your head and try and show everyone the respect that they deserve.
On a fashion front try to get yourself to Harajuku and check out what the Youth of Japan are wearing (the less scary examples usually make their way out of Japan thru Asia and into the west a couple of years later so it can be interesting to pinpoint possible future fashion trends this way)

Akihabara bargaining

Ok it is possible, but don't try it in the main department stores. Try to focus on the market stalls situated near the main JR station entrance, try to ask for an "international" model and be polite, eventually you will have luck with someone willing to do a deal in exchange for your hard cash. Make sure you will have the relevant mains adapter/recharger from the area you are from included in the final deal.

Phew If I get the chance I will make some additions/revisions if I can remember greater detail however for the moment thats it!

Dopeskills
2003-12-13, 16:04
Very good insights!!

I always try to make international friends whenever possible and then visit them in their country so that I get more than just the basic tourist experience. I've always had a lot more fun that way. In return I show them them around New York whenever they decide to visit.

sothis
2003-12-13, 16:33
Ok dreamers. First things first, visit japan before you make up these grand plans.

Who knows, you might think it seriously sucks when you get there, yes it is possible.

this is seriously good advice to listen to, but i doubt many people will.

i was one of many who had this glorified idea of what japan would be like, and was set on going to school there for a year. then i ended up visiting a year ago, and now, there is no way in hell i'd live there.

are you a woman? did you know that in japan, it's fairly normalplace to be married by the time you are very early 20s? and if you are not, you are considered an old maid. the divorce rate is something like 1%, because it is incredibly bad to be divorced, or for people to know you are divorced. once married, a woman either quits her job, or seriously cuts back on it. women get married, stop working, and become a housewife.

this really shocked me. as a woman, (working in the computer science industry), this came as a big blow. really, you can see this aspect of their culture everywhere, or even by talking to people. i went in lots of lingerie stores (so much cute underwear over there) and couldn't find *one bra* that wasn't a pushup. women there, a major (if not ultimate) goal is to find a man.. which means making yourself look better to snag one, etc.

when japanese exchange students came to my school, i met one of them, Toshi.. he is who i ended up staying with when i visited japan. anyways, i knew him for about a year and a half prior to this. i remember once when i first met him, he asked if i had a boyfriend. when i said no, he was really surprised. i didn't understand it at the time. fast forward to a year later, he asked the same question. the answer was still no (way too much going on in school, and no real desire at the time). he was genuinely taken back, and surprised, and asked me why not. the fact that i wasn't always dating someone at this age (ie: trying to find a husband, ultimately) was a shock to him. Toshi's dad is actually the one who explained this all to me, because he wanted to know what it was like in the States. i went over new years holiday, and they had a special on TV where people were proposing in special ways. one guy proposed to a woman, and she started crying and said she couldn't. later, the show followed up on the story to find out why. i asked toshi what the problem had been (Since i obviously couldn't understand that much japanese). the answer? she had been divorced once. know what happened? the guy refused to marry her after that.

Toshi's mom woke up every day, and would sweep the entire house. she would wash all the blankets (that were on that low table that is heated), clean the tables, essentially, cleaning the house from top to bottom, hardcore. she then would start cooking breakfast. once she was done, she would clean. then she would cook lunch. then clean (maybe rest a bit), then cook dinner. she never did anything else, i swear, except cook and clean. that life, just isn't for me.

difference of cultures, yes... but that is definitely a huge-ass step in the wrong direction as far as im concerned, and now, there's no way in hell i'd live in a society which would expect me to get married, give up my job, and be a housewife.

in any event, i know most of you are guys anyways, so you don't care... but all im saying is, listen to this guy's advice that i posted. you all have extremely high ideals about a country that most of you have never even stepped foot in, because of anime. in reality, the country is not some perfect haven that you are imagining. before you decide to commit a year or any amount of time of your life there, be smart and visit it first.

Dopeskills
2003-12-13, 17:00
Sounds like I should pick up a woman in Japan :heh:

You get culture shock like that just about everywhere you go. Ever been to an Arab country?

But I think you are right, I here to many people talking about wanting to live there before even visitng.

Lord Raiden
2003-12-13, 17:14
You guys have got me wanting to at least take a visit over there now. I was wanting to do it anyways, but now I'm REALLY curious about Japan and would LOVE to at least get a real visit over there to see what things are like. Would anyone be willing to let me crash a week or so at thier place while I visited? :D ;)

Kurara
2003-12-13, 17:58
Well... ^^;;
I'm a girl, and I'd like to visit Japan one day. My friend is going to live there, and we're going to visit him one day or another ... So I need to prepare myself. I really don't have an idealized idea of how Japan is.. On the contrary.. <_<;;; I'm a bit afraid of going because of what a lot of people told me.

I really don't know what type of image foreign women have in Japan. ^^;; Well, I'm Canadian, I look a lot younger than my age.. And I have blue eyes.. I don't have big lips or blonde hair or big boobs like Japanese people might expect of Caucasians.. x_x A lot of people think I'm from Europe for some reason too. Which is another thing I'm wondering about ... I went to a lot of websites about Japan, and a lot of Japanese people seem to think that Americans are fat and have a bad temper or something ... X_X [ there was a thread about Americans in the forums.. ] I don't know if it's a rumor though ..

Everyone tells me that Japanese people dislike foreign people.. Which is why I'm kind of scared. I don't really believe that, but it's true that Americans have a.. weird image in anime. ^^;; A lot of guys I've heard about who went to Japan.. Instantly found a girlfriend. So I thought they were sort of popular.. But a lot of them were treated differently because they were American.. And a lot of them seemed to say that they kind of made fun of Americans in Japan. @_@ Is that true?

Another problem is about my interest in anime and video games. I always hear how "otakus" have a really bad image in Japan, specially .. American ones. I always hear how Japanese people think it's weird for a Caucasian person to like some things about Japanese culture.. ^_^;; Also, I dress in a way that's very inspired by Japanese street fashion. I'm not a Japanese wannabe.. I don't really like Japanese food or Japanese music anyway. But I'm afraid I'll be labeled as one and that people will just think I'm a freak and everything..

What do you guys think?

0ink
2003-12-13, 18:02
you all have extremely high ideals about a country that most of you have never even stepped foot in, because of anime. in reality, the country is not some perfect haven that you are imagining. before you decide to commit a year or any amount of time of your life there, be smart and visit it first.

Yes yes yes, finally someone that has seen the light. I guess were the only realistic ones in here that arent dreaming youths :P

Try the demo, like it?, go get the full version. No, you cant download japan as warez.

Kurara
2003-12-13, 18:59
Well... ^^;;
I'm a girl, and I'd like to visit Japan one day. My friend is going to live there, and we're going to visit him one day or another ... So I need to prepare myself. I really don't have an idealized idea of how Japan is.. On the contrary.. <_<;;; I'm a bit afraid of going because of what a lot of people told me.

I really don't know what type of image foreign women have in Japan. ^^;; Well, I'm Canadian, I look a lot younger than my age.. And I have blue eyes.. I don't have big lips or blonde hair or big boobs like Japanese people might expect of Caucasians.. x_x A lot of people think I'm from Europe for some reason too. Which is another thing I'm wondering about ... I went to a lot of websites about Japan, and a lot of Japanese people seem to think that Americans are fat and have a bad temper or something ... X_X [ there was a thread about Americans in the forums.. ] I don't know if it's a rumor though ..

Everyone tells me that Japanese people dislike foreign people.. Which is why I'm kind of scared. I don't really believe that, but it's true that Americans have a.. weird image in anime. ^^;; A lot of guys I've heard about who went to Japan.. Instantly found a girlfriend. So I thought they were sort of popular.. But a lot of them were treated differently because they were American.. And a lot of them seemed to say that they kind of made fun of Americans in Japan. @_@ Is that true?

Another problem is about my interest in anime and video games. I always hear how "otakus" have a really bad image in Japan, specially .. American ones. I always hear how Japanese people think it's weird for a Caucasian person to like some things about Japanese culture.. ^_^;; Also, I dress in a way that's very inspired by Japanese street fashion. I'm not a Japanese wannabe.. I don't really like Japanese food or Japanese music anyway. But I'm afraid I'll be labeled as one and that people will just think I'm a freak and everything..

What do you guys think?

[ for some reason my post was before some other less recent posts so I'll just quote myself here ]

I don't really think anime presents an idealized image of Japan.. Of course.. x_o Magical girl anime and unrealistic series aren't reality ^_^;; But they're anime, that's normal.. I just think that.. A lot of things in Japanese culture influence manga/anime.. Like Sothis mentioned.. In Japan, a girl over 25 who isnt married yet is considered an old maid.. A lot of manga series talk about this from time to time.. Sometimes it's very subtle, but you can still see it.. Also you can see how strict schools are in Japan.. and other things like that..

sothis
2003-12-13, 19:28
dopeskills:
i definitely understand that culture shock is prevalent in any country not a huge deal like your own. i have visited europe twice, to about 7 countries, though they definitely were a lot "closer" culturally than japan.

Try the demo, like it?, go get the full version. No, you cant download japan as warez.

fantastic analogy. ^_^ unfortunately, though, people get so obsessive over this culture that they tend to not listen to this advice. i do definitely think it is a facet of youthful dreaming, as you mentioned.

luckme10
2003-12-13, 19:35
are you a woman? did you know that in japan, it's fairly normalplace to be married by the time you are very early 20s? and if you are not, you are considered an old maid. the divorce rate is something like 1%, because it is incredibly bad to be divorced, or for people to know you are divorced. once married, a woman either quits her job, or seriously cuts back on it. women get married, stop working, and become a housewife.

this really shocked me. as a woman, (working in the computer science industry), this came as a big blow. really, you can see this aspect of their culture everywhere, or even by talking to people. i went in lots of lingerie stores (so much cute underwear over there) and couldn't find *one bra* that wasn't a pushup. women there, a major (if not ultimate) goal is to find a man.. which means making yourself look better to snag one, etc.

when japanese exchange students came to my school, i met one of them, Toshi.. he is who i ended up staying with when i visited japan. anyways, i knew him for about a year and a half prior to this. i remember once when i first met him, he asked if i had a boyfriend. when i said no, he was really surprised. i didn't understand it at the time. fast forward to a year later, he asked the same question. the answer was still no (way too much going on in school, and no real desire at the time). he was genuinely taken back, and surprised, and asked me why not. the fact that i wasn't always dating someone at this age (ie: trying to find a husband, ultimately) was a shock to him. Toshi's dad is actually the one who explained this all to me, because he wanted to know what it was like in the States. i went over new years holiday, and they had a special on TV where people were proposing in special ways. one guy proposed to a woman, and she started crying and said she couldn't. later, the show followed up on the story to find out why. i asked toshi what the problem had been (Since i obviously couldn't understand that much japanese). the answer? she had been divorced once. know what happened? the guy refused to marry her after that.

Toshi's mom woke up every day, and would sweep the entire house. she would wash all the blankets (that were on that low table that is heated), clean the tables, essentially, cleaning the house from top to bottom, hardcore. she then would start cooking breakfast. once she was done, she would clean. then she would cook lunch. then clean (maybe rest a bit), then cook dinner. she never did anything else, i swear, except cook and clean. that life, just isn't for me.

difference of cultures, yes... but that is definitely a huge-ass step in the wrong direction as far as im concerned, and now, there's no way in hell i'd live in a society which would expect me to get married, give up my job, and be a housewife.

in any event, i know most of you are guys anyways, so you don't care... but all im saying is, listen to this guy's advice that i posted. you all have extremely high ideals about a country that most of you have never even stepped foot in, because of anime. in reality, the country is not some perfect haven that you are imagining. before you decide to commit a year or any amount of time of your life there, be smart and visit it first.
Not every country had a post baby boom generation... Women in america truely have the freedom to do whatever they want...Although the ones that juggle their jobs and children leaving them to be babysitted by some stranger during the most vunerable times in their lives leave me a bit baffled...

0ink
2003-12-13, 20:24
fantastic analogy. ^_^ unfortunately, though, people get so obsessive over this culture that they tend to not listen to this advice. i do definitely think it is a facet of youthful dreaming, as you mentioned.

Hmm yes. Im fantastic sometimes. Youve witnessed one of the few times iam.

This whole obsessive part can probably be blamed on anime. Anime is what japan would like to be and in some cases are. SO SAYETH I!

Anyway. This youthful dreaming isnt all that bad (it makes the world a better place, damn thing is that you can become to obsessed), unless you follow them without research or serious thought.

Myself, as a youth im part of the whole "Woooo japan is so great"-group. Im just wise beyond my years (lots of trial and errors). Sure id like to go there, hell. Once upon a time i even wanted to become japanese, get myself a suit and a briefcase, a wife and a small robot dog for my ultrasmall apartment. :dots:

Well ok, thats not true but still.

Ive changed my life a little for Japan. I like the language, history and such so im going to continue learning about it in the uni later on. I might hate japan but i dont hate the history and language.

So where am i going with this?, i dont know... youre the guy reading it... you tell me. If you dont find a reason, i guess i wasted your time :P

aznkoodies
2003-12-13, 21:04
Wow, thanks for the incredible tips and info on Japan.

I'm leaving this Tuesday and will be visiting Japan on my way back from my vacation in Vietnam.

Of course, a moment like this requires a camera and pictures I'll take. If it's worthy, I'll post them up here when I return in ... uh ... the middle of January around the 15th? haha, hope this thread survive til' then :p

FinFangFoom
2003-12-14, 04:24
Cool, I'm glad this thread has been revived! :D

aznkoodiesOf course, a moment like this requires a camera and pictures I'll take. If it's worthy, I'll post them up here when I return in ... uh ... the middle of January around the 15th? haha, hope this thread survive til' then
I hope you do deside to post your picture and tell us about your experiance, if this thread is dead (and i'm sure it will be :( ) please just do a search for this thread and revive it again :) . And have a safe trip!


0inkSo where am i going with this?, i dont know... youre the guy reading it... you tell me. If you dont find a reason, i guess i wasted your time :P There is really nowhere to take this. If you enjoy something, why wouldn't you want to learn more about it? I really can't see how it could be detrimental to you since your being realistic about it.

Kurara - I think you worry waaay to much :p . I'm sure there are Japanese people who don't like foreigners, but thats true of any culture to some extent. But I've never talked to someone who visited Japan who has said they were not treated very kindly. You just have to remember how used to being around different cultures we are in the U.S and Canada, you just don't really take note of it when you see someone who looks so different from you. In Japan they just don't see many people who look so different from themselves, so you'll probably draw a lot of stares. Being stared at constantly by different people and seeing them whisper back and fourth, could cause some people to worry that they are being badmouthed or laughed at, but i'm sure it's mostly just in there head. The Times article I quoted in my other post mentions that last year they estimated that only 730,000 americans traveled to Japan last year in contrast to 3.6 million Japanese who visited America. And of those American's who did visit, most of them went only to Tokyo and Kyoto, in the rest of the country American and other western tourist are very sparse, so many may not have ever even meet one before. I'm sure that some of them do make fun of American tourist, the same way we make fun of them. They come over here and walk around with there camera's taking pictures of every little thing with big smiles on their faces and bowing politly to everyone, it does make you laugh. But it is never mean spirited, (most of the time at least :( ) and I'm sure it's the same way in Japan, some tourist just stick out like a sore thumb. As far as being worried about how they will precive you since you like anime and video game, as long as you don't dress up as your favorite character while your there I doubt anyone is going to label you as a "otaku".

Maybe someone who has actually been to Japan can better eleviate your fears, but if you read tsurumaru's post (who has actually been there) it sounds like you will be treated fine. And like iv'e said before, i've met others who have traveled to Japan and have never heard anything bad about it beyond the food (for some).

Laguna
2003-12-14, 05:25
I want to thank all people who spend time writing those great insight guides! :bow: It really helps when you hear pracical tips like this before traveling.

I still like to say couple words about peoples experimences of visiting other culture. Of course it's interesting to read what is ppl's opinions about japan (culture, habits and so on) but I don't think it's good to accept these views as given. When you hear bad (or good for that matter) experimences from people, you might get unreal stereotypes and biases. Only way you can tell for sure what the country is like is to visit (or rather live) and experience it yourself.. that's should be kept in mind always in threads like this.

I myself don't really expect anything from my studying perioid in Japan. All I do is wait and see what comes ahead. Or well, there is one thing I expect: "difference" :) .. That is what I'm after anyways.

Btw. Anyone been in Osaka ? Most tips here seem to center in Tokyo area, and I'd like to know more about Osaka (or "kinki region") cause that's where I'm going..

gravitation
2003-12-14, 07:09
I hope ya have a nice time aznkoodies and i look forward to some piccies :D



I was originally planning on going to japan as an exchange student but after reading what some people wrote i think i will visit it first :)

Thanx everyone ^_^

NenMaster
2003-12-14, 18:37
damn i wanna go now,

is it easy to pickup japanese women? :)

tsurumaru
2003-12-14, 18:48
I want to thank all people who spend time writing those great insight guides! :bow: It really helps when you hear pracical tips like this before traveling.

You're welcome ;)

Actually my trip was part of a year round trip which took in India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand to mention just a few. If you are from a developed country I would seriously not recommend travelling directly to Japan from a developing country (like I did from India) as I suffered quite a high amount of reverse culture shock with the extreme differences between these two countries. For example I found it very difficult to budget effectively for at least the first couple of weeks because of the huge difference in the value of everyday items (I had spent the previous three months in India).

I'd also like to say (and I won't go into great detail) that Japan is IMHO a country of great contradictions (at least from my own perspective) The media onslaught of how great western life is, gives such a biased view on our societies that I feel that many Japanese have a very distorted view on what it is really like to live in the west. This also causes a lot of problems as it jars against the Japanese "them and us" social structure. (If you were not born Japanese you will never be accepted as truly Japanese no matter how long you live there etc etc) and I felt quite upset by the way that the Japanese themselves felt they were both in some ways "inferior" to people from other countries (such as the large amount of cosmetic surgery that certain types of Japanese people undergo to make themselves look more westernised) and yet naturally looked down own/ignored other ethnic types.
But the truth is you can only try to change these views to greater reflect reality by your interaction with the people you will meet. The Japanese people I met were probably the most helpful, genuine, and kind people of any of the countries I spent time in and I never felt unsafe in all my time there.


Btw. Anyone been in Osaka ? Most tips here seem to center in Tokyo area, and I'd like to know more about Osaka (or "kinki region") cause that's where I'm going..

Ah gomen, I didn't go to Osaka, but loved the time I spent in Kyoto (a truly beautiful city). Tokyo is so big its hard to grasp the scale of it all and easy to lose your bearings amongst the high rise buildings. Whereas Kyoto has its beautiful temples and traditional buildings that have survived WWII. Nestled as it is between the folding mountains that are common across Japan you can easily trace the outline of the city by simply looking at the horizon.

A couple of suggestions if you go there:

Kyoto

There are plenty of cheap hostels about 10-15 mins from the main station.
Hire a bicycle for the day! You could probably visit 30 temples in a day (beware of overloading as your brain will become complacent if you go to see too many at once) The main tourist office is just opposite the main station (attached to the department store which has the Kyoto Tower on top of it) They are extremely helpful, speak english and will be able to provide you with any information you require - including the best place to hire a bike.
If you dont want to pay to go up the Kyoto tower then head for the "Skywalk" above Kyoto station, its free and you get and equally good view!
Definitely check out "Kiyomizu dera", Ginkakuji and Kinkakuji temples they are truly stunning in their own ways. Also be sure to say "Hi" to the neverending groups of School children and Japanese tourists who filter through at all times of the year.

Update: There is a museum dedicated to Osamu Tezuka ("The Father of Anime") Creator of such classics as Astro Boy, The Phoenix, Blackjack etc etc just two minutes walk from Kyoto's main JR station. Leave the station via the main exit (facing Kyoto tower) and turn right it is attached to the main station building on the right hand side.
Also check out the underground shopping centre directly under the front of the station (but dont get lost!) there are some interesting shops and some fairly cheap eateries.....

Otherwise near the Ginza area there is a secondhand bookshop (just across the river) = Very cheap manga.

Also several of the restaurants in this area do all you can eat buffet lunches for a set price (the pizza restaurant is very good) this can be a great way to stock up on some vauable calories if you have been running low... (I lost 4 and half stone when I was in India & Japan (63 pounds) due to the change in diet, work and weather etc)

Kinki ben (Kansai Dialect)
O ki ni - Arigatou - Thank you
Honmani - Hontou ni - Truthfully
Akan - Dame - Useless

(Sorry thats all I can remember except they have different sounding sentence endings)

British Passport Holders

Before I forget: Whilst I was in Japan I found out an interesting thing about British Passport holders. Apparently because of a reciprocal agreement between Japan and Great Britain you can have your 90 day Tourist Visa extended at any Japanese cities immigration department for a further 90 days for only a small cost. I did this to allow me to stay longer and had no problems (as I could show my onward flight ticket to prove I would be actually leaving) I was the envy of my American/Australian colleagues who usually had to take a short trip to Korea (by high speed ferry from Osaka or by a short flight) and then reenter the country after a few weeks.
It would be worth double checking that this is still the case though as you know how these things can change!

Dopeskills
2003-12-14, 19:30
Sorry to change the subject, but

How did you like Singapore? That's the first place in Asia that I plan on visiting. Mainly because I have friends there and because they speak English.

Is it extremely expensive?

tsurumaru
2003-12-15, 10:32
Sorry to change the subject, but

How did you like Singapore? That's the first place in Asia that I plan on visiting. Mainly because I have friends there and because they speak English.

Is it extremely expensive?

I liked Singapore, although being so close to the Equator its HOT and HUMID (they deserve the capitals!) I famously broke into a sweat getting off my friends sofa. You can also sit and watch the thunder storms grow all day and watch them slowly drift your way.

There isn't a whole amount to do (being a fairly small island). But you could try checking out the slightly "cheesy" Sentosa tourist park. Which isn't all that expensive and does have quite a few Japanese tourists including Bikini clad Japanese Girls :heh: :D. The Japanese and Chinese gardens (a bit of a trek by MTR - metro system) are also worth a visit as is of course Orchard Street <shopping central> don't bother using the roads/pavements/sidewalks there, as there are networks of air conditioned corridors linking most shops with each other. You can also check out the famous Singapore Raffles Hotel (although lunch is a "tad" expensive). The area by the river in town is a pretty nice area for a stroll.

Food and travel is pretty cheap and the people are friendly. Cheap shopping can be found in either the Little India or China town area's of the Capital.
There are also a number of Comic/Video game shops worth visiting on the outskirts of China town.

Oh yeah and a piece of advice, if you find yourself walking through either Little India or China Town and there are a group of Girls lounging around outside of an unmarked building that would be the local brothel.....! :heh: Remember you're not THAT popular they are just touting for business! :p

Lastly remember Singapore is FINE place, there are literally fines in place for almost everything. Absolutely no chewing gum, no running, (no having fun) ! :p Although you will probably be shown some leniency as a foreigner.

Lord Raiden
2003-12-15, 11:21
tsurumaru: Aside from your recommendation of Kyoko when going to Japan, what other cities would you recommend going to and what airports would you suggest flying into to get to them? I do agree with you that flying into Tokyo kinda blows the whole explerience...well, unless you're an uber geek and love lots of cool electronic toys. :D

tsurumaru
2003-12-15, 13:52
tsurumaru: Aside from your recommendation of Kyoko when going to Japan, what other cities would you recommend going to and what airports would you suggest flying into to get to them? I do agree with you that flying into Tokyo kinda blows the whole explerience...well, unless you're an uber geek and love lots of cool electronic toys. :D

Thats a difficult question, because of my Round the World Ticket I had to stipulate my point of arrival and departure well in advance. I decided on Arrive in Tokyo and leave from Fukuoka (in the very west of mainland Japan(Kyushu)). this allowed me to take a round trip ferry service to Okinawa from Fukuoka and travel direct to Hong Kong although I would have prefered to take a slower journey and stop on some of the islands along the way.

I'd probably recommend you do fly in to one of the Major cities purely in order to be able to find English speaking assistance. Although most Japanese learn English for about 7 years mostly this is based around reading and comprehension skills and not conversational skills a lot of the Japanese I met unless particularly skilled were not willing to "Lose face" and try to communicate with me in English in public, for fear that they would be judged as failures by their peers.......

I regretted not being able to travel very far to the North of Japan (I heard many say that Sapporo in Hokaido was quite beautiful) However whilst I was in Okinawa most of the Japanese students/youth who had also travelled there seemed to be from Hokaido too as apparently whilst it was mid 20's Celsius in Okinawa it was -30 Celsius in Sapporo! (PS if you manage to get to Okinawa try Ryukyu Soba)

Okinawa - Sadly most of the culture on the main island has been wiped off the map by the Japanese and Americans but check out Shuri castle even though its reconstructed it has been done so to the original 14th (?) century designs and there is both beautiful craftmanship and unique design ( a blend of Japanese, Chinese and original Okinanwan ethos). Its also worth checking out Okinawan folk music with its use of Sanshin's (three stringed guitars) and watch out for Japan's deadliest snake, the Habu, which is only found in Okinawa and some outlying islands (To be honest with you you'll probably only see these at the bottom of bottles of the famous Awamori or "Habushu Snake Liquor" alcoholic drinks).

I managed to visit a friend who was on the Jet scheme in Tochigi and also ventured up to Nikko (Which is definitely worth a visit) but sadly didn't go any further North than that. Niigata and Sendai also got several mentions from friends who had managed to travel round a bit more.

Osaka is meant to be fairly industrialised, (so I opted for Kyouto instead) Nara (which is the third city in the so called Golden triangle is also worth a visit if you are going to spend any amount of time based in either Kyoto or Osaka).

In the south Hiroshima, Fukuoka (You've gotta try Hakata Ramen - Oishii!) and although I didn't manage to get that far south Kagoshima, are good places to start (wanted to go visit the active volcanoes near there but perhaps next time)

Sorry, I cant write more at the moment I have to go out soon.

Lord Raiden
2003-12-15, 15:13
No problem. That's good info there either way. :) Thanks!!

LynnieS
2003-12-19, 12:47
tsurumaru - Do you mind if I ask how long was your stay in Japan?

Would you also happen to have information on the pros and cons of staying in the country for work purposes? Not really concerned about the finding a job part, but I'd like to get all of the facts in advance to make a proper decision.

The best site that I had found is the DaiJob (http://www.daijob.com/wij/en/)'s site, which is fairly informative, but if there is one that is even better, I'd like to take a look inside.

tsurumaru
2003-12-19, 20:40
tsurumaru - Do you mind if I ask how long was your stay in Japan?

Would you also happen to have information on the pros and cons of staying in the country for work purposes? Not really concerned about the finding a job part, but I'd like to get all of the facts in advance to make a proper decision.

The best site that I had found is the DaiJob (http://www.daijob.com/wij/en/)'s site, which is fairly informative, but if there is one that is even better, I'd like to take a look inside.

No problem - I stayed for about 5 and a half months overall.

Hmm for work purposes? It really does depend on:

A. Where you are from.
B. What type of work you intend to do.

For example a LOT of foreigners I met in Japan were from Autralia or New Zealand. This was deu to the fact that the Yen was so strong compared to the Australian and New Zealand Dollar that they could make a lot of money either teaching English or doing bar work etc on either year (legal) or three month (illegal) placements.

Some of the advantages to working there that I can think of are:

Low Tax threshold (I cant remember off the top of my head but Tax was only around 10-15% when I was there). Obviously if you are working for cash in hand then you might not even need to worry about this.

Its a great way to meet (and understand) people, this might sound obvious but I found that working in a bar was a fantastic way to meet people (both foreigners and Japanese) that I would not have done under other circumstances.

If you are interested in learning Japanese then having to confront everyday life in Japan is probably the best way to learn I can think of. Constant immersion in the language and culture (that you might not get from say a vacation) really does force your mind into learning mode.

Working will definitely help top up your funds, I think the cost of living in Tokyo worked out slightly more expensively than in London (UK) which if you dont know is ridiculously expensive. Your funds will decrease at an alarming rate if you don't do something about it.

Disadvantages:

No interest on savings, Japanese banks give close to 0% interest on savings due to the financial situation. Most foreigners ship any savings home via international money transfers. Watch out though as there are thresholds for the amount you can transfer without having to pay fee's (in addition to the cost of converting Yen to $'s or £'s)

In Japan like in most of Asia long hours of employment with few holidays are usual. This will eat into any amount of time you have to actually visit anywhere! It would be best to plan in advance what hours you can afford to work to leave yourself some time to actually experince the "Living" part of "Living in Japan"! You might find teaching for cash in hand a good way to organise your own time but the disadvantages of this are that you will spend a lot of time finding willing clients to pay for your lessons and therefore should not guarantee on any form of immediate income.......

Getting caught, if you were ever caught working illegally then you would probably face immediate deportation/ a lengthy jail term, or both..... You would probably forfeit the right to ever reenter Japan...(or at least face a lengthy ban). Depending on your level of exposure/ how much your legal employer is paying the right people depends on how likely you are to ever experience a police bust. (ie in Roppongi not since the late 80's).... ^^;

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you wanted to stay legitimately and are a native English speaker with a degree then I would definitely recommend the JET scheme (Japan English Teacher Scheme). this is a one year (usually) Governement funded placement teaching English in a Japanese school. the money is good, its stable and you will be provided with accomodation without having to organise your own (which can be a bit of a mare to say the least).

Types of Visa:

Also take into consideration the type of visa that you will be issued with upon entry to the country:

These ae all the types I came across but if anyone else is aware of any more or of any corrections then please do let me know.

3 or 6 (very rare) month tourist visa. Officially employment is not available to you.

6 or 12 month cultural exchange visa. Usually issued for the purpose of studying something (such as Martial arts, caligraphy etc) Work officially not allowed, however possibility of teaching English/other work.

12 months Student Visa, not sure about this but may allow limited work to supplement students income.

12 Working Holiday Visa only available to citizens of a country that has a reciprocal agreement with Japan and has its own working holiday scheme for Japanese citizens. This is a great one to try for potentially you could work anywhere legally. However you can only ever apply for one of these visas so be careful!

Spouse Visa: Must be married to Japanese citizen, allows some kinds of work. Very unfair though if you get divorced you risk deportation even if you have kids by your wife....! Didn't stop some people I knew getting into marriages of convenience.....^^;

Working Visa (usually 12 months) a Japanese person (usually your employer) is required to be your guaranter (in the case of the JET scheme I believe this is the government).

Important point if you enter the country under any visa except working or spouse Visa and are offered a job then you will have to leave and then re-enter the country to be issued with your working Visa. (Most people take a short trip to Korea for example). If you are planning on this tactic then remember it can take up to two months to find employment so budget for at least this amount of time before depending on any income). Getting a place can even involve up to 5 months equivalent rent in advance! Therefore see if you prospective employer can help you secure decent accomodation. Also remember that a lot of the posts that will become free are because someone hads just left a year or more placement. These opportunites can be quite "seasonal" ie around the time a school year ends.....

Lord Raiden
2003-12-19, 23:54
hehe. Very cool. I think teaching english in Japan would be just too cool. :) I could get better at my Japanese and they'd learn how to talk like a Michigan Podunk. (aka northern michigan/Upper Peninsula hillbilly :D)

大和魂
2003-12-20, 00:51
[QUOTE]Who knows, you might think it seriously sucks when you get there, yes it is possible.


It should be against the law to use this kind of talk


日本はこの世界の国の中で一番だよ!!!

LynnieS
2003-12-20, 01:20
No problem - I stayed for about 5 and a half months overall.

Hmm for work purposes? It really does depend on:

A. Where you are from.
B. What type of work you intend to do.

Some of the advantages to working there that I can think of are:
...
Low Tax threshold (I cant remember off the top of my head but Tax was only around 10-15% when I was there). Obviously if you are working for cash in hand then you might not even need to worry about this.

Its a great way to meet (and understand) people, this might sound obvious but I found that working in a bar was a fantastic way to meet people (both foreigners and Japanese) that I would not have done under other circumstances.

If you are interested in learning Japanese then having to confront everyday life in Japan is probably the best way to learn I can think of. Constant immersion in the language and culture (that you might not get from say a vacation) really does force your mind into learning mode.
I think the tax rate for the first year is generally very low, but it jumps afterwards in the second year and so on? As for learning the language and getting to know the country's people and culture, yeah, they are certainly factors that I'm considering. Since I'm interested, long-term, in getting to know the Asia-Pacific region, staying in Japan should give me a good place to travel around the area. As best as it could be done, anyway, within a couple of years.

From a career point of view, having an ex-pat experience should also be a plus.


Working will definitely help top up your funds, I think the cost of living in Tokyo worked out slightly more expensively than in London (UK) which if you dont know is ridiculously expensive. Your funds will decrease at an alarming rate if you don't do something about it.
LOL! Tell me about it. I just about broke even when I totalled up my expenses for London and compared that number to my salary that I was drawing down, and the only thing that made that possible was that my company was picking up the rent on my apartment. :) It's really the use of weekly rent, I think, that threw me at the time. Multiply that number by 4 and convert into USD, and :eek: :p


Disadvantages:

No interest on savings, Japanese banks give close to 0% interest on savings due to the financial situation. Most foreigners ship any savings home via international money transfers. Watch out though as there are thresholds for the amount you can transfer without having to pay fee's (in addition to the cost of converting Yen to $'s or £'s)
Very true. OTOH, I think that inflation is near zero also, no? Helps somewhat, I suppose.


In Japan like in most of Asia long hours of employment with few holidays are usual. This will eat into any amount of time you have to actually visit anywhere! It would be best to plan in advance what hours you can afford to work to leave yourself some time to actually experince the "Living" part of "Living in Japan"! You might find teaching for cash in hand a good way to organise your own time but the disadvantages of this are that you will spend a lot of time finding willing clients to pay for your lessons and therefore should not guarantee on any form of immediate income.......
That's what vacation days are for. ;) To go play wide-eyed tourist at every major tourist trap in the region. Isn't Saturday also an "official" work day in the country? I know that a holiday like Christmas is just another day, but they, for 2004, get Jan. 1st, 2nd, and, I think, 5th off.


Getting caught, if you were ever caught working illegally then you would probably face immediate deportation/ a lengthy jail term, or both..... You would probably forfeit the right to ever reenter Japan...(or at least face a lengthy ban). Depending on your level of exposure/ how much your legal employer is paying the right people depends on how likely you are to ever experience a police bust. (ie in Roppongi not since the late 80's).... ^^;
No worries. I don't want to deal with the hassles of Immigration anyway, so I'm not going to work without getting a work visa sponsored first. Don't need the rep of being a hardened criminal. ;)

I'm in the process of applying for a job in my company's Tokyo office, which is why I'm asking all these questions. Our HR dept should cover all of this, but since I didn't go through that dept... Oops. Unfortunately, there's also time pressure on their side, it seems, so everything feels really rushed. Blegh!


If you wanted to stay legitimately and are a native English speaker with a degree then I would definitely recommend the JET scheme (Japan English Teacher Scheme). this is a one year (usually) Governement funded placement teaching English in a Japanese school. the money is good, its stable and you will be provided with accomodation without having to organise your own (which can be a bit of a mare to say the least).
That is actually quite a sweet deal. There had been a thread of this in the old forums, but it may not have gotten rescued by the Big Reset of November 2003. I wonder if it can be resurrected?


Types of Visa:

Also take into consideration the type of visa that you will be issued with upon entry to the country:

...

Important point if you enter the country under any visa except working or spouse Visa and are offered a job then you will have to leave and then re-enter the country to be issued with your working Visa. (Most people take a short trip to Korea for example). If you are planning on this tactic then remember it can take up to two months to find employment so budget for at least this amount of time before depending on any income). Getting a place can even involve up to 5 months equivalent rent in advance! Therefore see if you prospective employer can help you secure decent accomodation. Also remember that a lot of the posts that will become free are because someone hads just left a year or more placement. These opportunites can be quite "seasonal" ie around the time a school year ends.....
That's what I'm hearing too. That along with the use of key money and such that, as you had mentioned, can really eat into your savings. So long as you're willing to commute into the city - not to mention which city you're near/in - the rent should be more reasonable than a place like New York or London, no?

Do you know anything about (I think they're called) gaijin houses? I did some digging around, and they sounded okay. Not the same as having your own apt, but they basically sound like dorms that aren't owned by a company or the government. Cost-wise, they look reasonable, but you do give up a certain amount of privacy.

In any case, tsurumaru, thanks a lot for providing such great information. Much appreciated!

XHeartEyesYouX
2003-12-20, 23:19
i personaly believe that people make far too big a deal about japan, yeah sure its technology is great and shit but...its got alot of sexual inequality and strange often plain stoopid customs, its not all like the animes, with pretty blue haired maidens and young dorky school boys out to get them the girl of their dreams before college starts. I think that if u visit japans, realy read up on it and stuff. and by read up i dont mean pop down to ur local comic book store and pump the resident hardcore fanboy for facts and ep guides. you know what i mean...you guys know...you know

ff7799
2003-12-21, 00:44
Well I plan to move to japan right after college, because I have alot of tech and programming skills I should be able to fit in well with their high tech industry and I make decent money right now so I will most likely be able to fund my trip without too much effort compared to many of you poor children whom can bearly afford to make it to the next day. Heres my question have you been to japan or do you plan to go, if so, tell us when and why, if now tell us why not.

Tomomi
2003-12-21, 00:47
Yup, I would love to go there to further my studies! :D

gravitation
2003-12-21, 00:47
Maybe this thread will help visiting japan (http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?t=1356)

I would like to go to improve my language skills, but i still have lots to learn!! :D ^_^

Dopeskills
2003-12-21, 00:57
I'm pretty sure they have an abundant supply of tech workers in Japan and little need for a foreigners who barely speak the language. Not to mention trying to get a work visa.

And would you really want to work in Japan? Haven't they been in a recession for the last 12 years? You would probably make more money in the US.

XHeartEyesYouX
2003-12-21, 00:59
i used to wanna go but then i realised...i was being a pretentious twat....so i decided i didnt wanna go...i'm a much btter person because of it

Lord Raiden
2003-12-21, 01:03
Actually, I'd like to go and visit for a week or two. I think I'd enjoy myself. Not sure when I will go, but I definately want to go. :D Maybe I could team up with a couple of animesuki members and we could make it a group trip? It would make it much easier I think moving in a small group of say 6-8 people.

ff7799
2003-12-21, 08:25
Actually, I'd like to go and visit for a week or two. I think I'd enjoy myself. Not sure when I will go, but I definately want to go. :D Maybe I could team up with a couple of animesuki members and we could make it a group trip? It would make it much easier I think moving in a small group of say 6-8 people.
Lol. Well before I move their I might just go for the visit, my friends wanted go their next christmas however i'am going to have to find a good travel agency.

wnkryo
2003-12-21, 09:41
Yes i do plan on going in the future, but thats just to check out the illegal street racing in tokyo at night! ... and all the sexy hot japanese girls ^^

Katana
2003-12-21, 12:33
I plan to go right after college, too-nyo. I'm gonna go when it's around the time of an anime convention. ^_^ Tee hee...

corp20
2003-12-21, 12:39
... and all the sexy hot japanese girls ^^
Well one day I would like to go. But any way one of my buddys went for a summer (He didn't buy anything while he was there. :(). It funny, he wishes that he didn't go because now he can judge when japanese girls are hot and when they are not. If this happends to me when I (hopefully) go, I'll be sad. :sad:

Shii
2003-12-21, 13:00
The people on #animesuki, some of whom live in Japan, would probably like me to point out that Japan has no anti-racism laws, so there's nothing to stop them from charging Americans twice as much to stay at a hotel, kicking Americans out of a store, etc.

kazusa
2003-12-21, 13:04
Yup, I've stayed in Japan a lot and I love it ^ ^
Americans really gotta appreciate the public transportation there. Although it's kind of hard to remember routes O.o

raikage
2003-12-21, 13:25
Well I plan to move to japan right after college, because I have alot of tech and programming skills I should be able to fit in well with their high tech industry and I make decent money right now so I will most likely be able to fund my trip without too much effort compared to many of you poor children whom can bearly afford to make it to the next day. Heres my question have you been to japan or do you plan to go, if so, tell us when and why, if now tell us why not.

Firstly, I think Dopeskills is right; they've had a pretty bad recession for over a decade now.

Um..if you're talking about computers, I think the US is the place to be. Japanese computers still run Windows or Macs, and those programmers are still in America. In fact, due to export laws, I believe our computers are faster than theirs are (Give the rest of the word old-tech).

So, I'm a poor child who can barely afford to make it to the next day? Thanks, man...!

'If not, then why not'? You want people to tell you WHY they haven't gone to Japan?

Anyway, I went for 3 weeks a couple of summers ago. It was late July/early August, so the heat/humidity were in full effect. Went on a whirlwind tour of Kansai & Kantou, it was pretty cool. No trips to Okinawa or Hokkaido.

So, before you make up plans, visit there for like 2 weeks or so.

Otherwise you might end up being in japan for a year while thinking it suxxors big time :P

true, trUE, TRUE! Remember, you're pretty much expected to be illiterate upon arrival. When I was there, very few Japanese people spoke English, and I had to rely on my broken-ass Japanese. It's much better now, so if I go again I should be okay. (Not nearly enough to live there, though).

If you do go, either know Japanese or bring someone who does. The airline did give us a little book of phrases to communicate with, but it was limited to pointing.

How much does this cost?--------------------------------------------これはいくらですか。
Where is the bathroom?-----------------------------------------------お手洗いはどこですか。
My stomach hurts.------------------------------------------------------御腹が痛いです。
Is there a bank nearby?----------------------------------------------近く銀行がありますか。
Can anyone speak English?------------------------------------------英語が話せる人がいますか。

I don't think you want to do this for a year or two. Finding your way around train stations can be difficult. Not really being able to talk to anyone for a year SUCKS.

microlith
2003-12-21, 14:29
Um..if you're talking about computers, I think the US is the place to be. Japanese computers still run Windows or Macs, and those programmers are still in America. In fact, due to export laws, I believe our computers are faster than theirs are (Give the rest of the word old-tech).

Your ignorance hurts me.

They have the latest and greatest of all hardware that can possibly be out, plus stuff not available elsewhere, including super-tiny laptops and small formfactor desktops.

Replies to other comments:

Having good programming/IT skills won't help you much. They have plenty skilled in that area.

There are no anti-racism laws but I'll be damned if I've had trouble because of it.

The first anime convention in several years is going to be AX-Tokyo in early January, 2004. I don't remember when the last one was, and Comiket doesn't count. And the Japanese will use ANY event as a reason to cosplay.

Hunter
2003-12-21, 14:35
Working and living in Japan is completely different that going to visit this country some weeks as a tourist.

Even if the Japanese language can be always learned on the spot and that a good English level is a serious advantage in a country which has much dificulties with this language, there is many problemes for the reasons that some people here have already pointed.

But the largest barrier isn't the language, but the social conventions.
This is necessary to take care to know to remain humble in any circumstance, not to humiliate his interlocutor by show an higher English level than him, understand that Japanese who says yes informs you that he listens, and not that he agrees your remarks.
The behaviors of work and the reference marks are to the antipodes of our (and by our I mean the western contries).

It's not rare to see a japanese closing the eyes in meeting. It's not a momentary somnolence, but a way of being with listening and of putting themselves in withdrawal compared to that which wants to speak.

It's easy to leave your country but it's possible that you may not to be done for the Japan.
That requires patience, humility and especially to know the gestures which can annoy.
Like crossing your legs, to put in one of your pocket in front of Japanese the calling card that you have just received or worse : to write above, to question Japanese on his way of working (to understand why he does something) is insulting, that means that you have doubts on his competences.
And there is many others cultural problem like that.

Shii
2003-12-21, 14:56
to put in one of your pocket in front of Japanese the calling card that you have just receivedDo you mean putting a business card in your pocket right after someone gives it to you?

Weird, ne ^^;

Lord Raiden
2003-12-21, 22:54
Welcome to the world of weird. It's like this all over the world. Heck, I don't even have to go but a state away here in the states to find a totally different culture at times. :) Like if you go down to New York, something that might seem totally natural in the northern states will probuby get you shot in New York. Same basic idea going to Japan. There's even cultural differences between provinces in Japan. :)

tsurumaru
2003-12-22, 06:17
Very true. OTOH, I think that inflation is near zero also, no? Helps somewhat, I suppose.

:heh: I think Japan's economy is actually in deflation..... Although you must find your local 100 Yen Shop!!! It will save your wallet......


That's what vacation days are for. ;) To go play wide-eyed tourist at every major tourist trap in the region. Isn't Saturday also an "official" work day in the country? I know that a holiday like Christmas is just another day, but they, for 2004, get Jan. 1st, 2nd, and, I think, 5th off..

As for public holidays I think theres also "Golden week" which is where there a large number of public holidays in close sucession (End of April/Beginning of May) - a lot of Japanese tend to take annual leave around this time and I was advised that unless I had masochistic tendencies to avoid travelling/touristy activity due to the large number of people in transit during this period although I heard from others (who had obviously become hardened to the crowded conditions in Tokyo that they did notice all that much difference......:p)


No worries. I don't want to deal with the hassles of Immigration anyway, so I'm not going to work without getting a work visa sponsored first. Don't need the rep of being a hardened criminal. ;)

Dress smart/casual for Immigration; Dreadlocks and a Hash Leaf T-shirt might win you a free body cavity search...... :)

I'm in the process of applying for a job in my company's Tokyo office, which is why I'm asking all these questions. Our HR dept should cover all of this, but since I didn't go through that dept... Oops. Unfortunately, there's also time pressure on their side, it seems, so everything feels really rushed. Blegh!

Hey cool, I think most of the "High Flying" executives that I met had been set up with very nice apartments in the Akasaka (or was it Asakusa area, I always get those mixed up). Most of these pads would be out of the majority of peoples price brackets but were rented out to employee's of Multinational Corporations at a very reasonable rate as part of a relocation package. (Sweet) Think your company could stretch to this??? :heh: :p

That is actually quite a sweet deal. There had been a thread of this in the old forums, but it may not have gotten rescued by the Big Reset of November 2003. I wonder if it can be resurrected?

Yeah its a very good scheme :).

That's what I'm hearing too. That along with the use of key money and such that, as you had mentioned, can really eat into your savings. So long as you're willing to commute into the city - not to mention which city you're near/in - the rent should be more reasonable than a place like New York or London, no?

As anywhere, rates do get more reasonable the further from the centre of the city you go. Most Gaijin houses tend to be about 35 - 50 mins train journey from the centre of Tokyo (with most on the western side). Although they do vary in design and suitability it would be better for you if your company can sort out your own accomodation for you. (most of them either seem to have dubious management or are not in the best condition, 100 yen per hour heaters / Air conditioners will also start to get on your nerves too........ie During winter its not great to have the heater shut off whilst you are asleep because you forgot to put enough coins in....)

Btw Rooms are usually measured by the number of traditonal tatami mats that the floor space can accomodate.

Also prepare yourself for a financial mugging in advance.......

Do you know anything about (I think they're called) gaijin houses? I did some digging around, and they sounded okay. Not the same as having your own apt, but they basically sound like dorms that aren't owned by a company or the government. Cost-wise, they look reasonable, but you do give up a certain amount of privacy.

Yeah, as I've mentioned above there are some advantages and disadvantages to the whole gaijin house thing. You get to meet Japanese and foreigners, its cheap, but often the management is suspect and they are only after your cash. I stayed in one place where they disliked one of their long time tenants, as he had a contract of tenancy they couldn't just kick him out so instead started up a rumour mill that he was a rapist (even though the supposed "victim" completely denied anything had occured and was herself offended) this all just to try to get him to leave.....In the end both the guy and his "victim" went to the lawyers....... The owners had also apparently "bought" all the staff who worked there (all female), by paying their debts off for them. In exchange they had to work like slaves for him both at the gaijin house and his business seven days a week.
Other places I stayed in were better, if a little rundown. If you want the name of this one (so you can avoid it) let me know .....(Actually its a chain of about 4 owned by the same guy Lets just say they are "Big".....that should be enough of a clue)

In any case, tsurumaru, thanks a lot for providing such great information. Much appreciated!

Just glad you found it useful...I've also updated Kyoto's information as I forgot the Osamu Tezuka museum is just next to the main train station!

LynnieS
2003-12-22, 12:25
:heh: I think Japan's economy is actually in deflation..... Although you must find your local 100 Yen Shop!!! It will save your wallet......
Hard to say, honestly. You hear things like their Central Bank being bullish on the country's economy, and the next day, there is an article about a regional bank being nationalized. :p


Dress smart/casual for Immigration; Dreadlocks and a Hash Leaf T-shirt might win you a free body cavity search...... :)
As tempting (yeah, right!) as that sounds, I do believe that I'll take a pass on that one.


Hey cool, I think most of the "High Flying" executives that I met had been set up with very nice apartments in the Akasaka (or was it Asakusa area, I always get those mixed up). Most of these pads would be out of the majority of peoples price brackets but were rented out to employee's of Multinational Corporations at a very reasonable rate as part of a relocation package. (Sweet) Think your company could stretch to this??? :heh: :p

Dunno about that, truthfully. There's a chap here who just came back from Japan after five years in the country, so I'm going to see what's going on with the situation. All I know is that the relocation package includes only the first month's housing at either a hotel or a corporate apartment, which seems to be pretty standard for the process here. What you're describing sounds like an ex-pat package, and we gave that up awhile ago as being too expensive. It's also a multi-year commitment - assuming that the head office okays the expense and the Tokyo hiring manager decides to extend the offer to me - and I can't really see anyone giving up a corporate apartment for 3+ years.

Besides, I'm not an executive, but a lowly programmer. :) I'm not even sure if there's going to be a cost-of-living adjustment.


As anywhere, rates do get more reasonable the further from the centre of the city you go. Most Gaijin houses tend to be about 35 - 50 mins train journey from the centre of Tokyo (with most on the western side). Although they do vary in design and suitability it would be better for you if your company can sort out your own accomodation for you. (most of them either seem to have dubious management or are not in the best condition, 100 yen per hour heaters / Air conditioners will also start to get on your nerves too........ie During winter its not great to have the heater shut off whilst you are asleep because you forgot to put enough coins in....)

Btw Rooms are usually measured by the number of traditonal tatami mats that the floor space can accomodate.

Also prepare yourself for a financial mugging in advance.......

Gotcha. No Gaijin houses, then. Don't need the aggrevation.

Maybe I could team up with a couple of animesuki members and we could make it a group trip?
I think that Hellychan was in charge of this project, but it went bye-bye when the forums went to the Great Beyond. It seems to be a nonstarter, however, since people were only tossing dates that are years in the future at the time.

Hellychan
2003-12-22, 13:12
Actually, I'd like to go and visit for a week or two. I think I'd enjoy myself. Not sure when I will go, but I definately want to go. :D Maybe I could team up with a couple of animesuki members and we could make it a group trip? It would make it much easier I think moving in a small group of say 6-8 people.


I think that Hellychan was in charge of this project, but it went bye-bye when the forums went to the Great Beyond. It seems to be a nonstarter, however, since people were only tossing dates that are years in the future at the time.

Ah!!! Yes, I was in charge of this project, but unfortunately, many people seemed like they couldn't make up their mind ^^"

LynnieS
2003-12-22, 14:25
Ah!!! Yes, I was in charge of this project, but unfortunately, many people seemed like they couldn't make up their mind ^^"
Tsk. You have to be tougher on these guys, then! ;)

MwyC
2003-12-22, 15:32
actually, if you dig around, the 'gaijin houses' err...ryokans? can be quite nice
mine was a 3 minute walk from takanobaba station, which is part of the yamanote line.. and a minute away from the subway
so i was able to get around really easily
and my kanrinin-san and her daughter were sooooooo nice to me
the first night it took me a while to get to the place, being my first time in jaapn and all, and it was raining, so i didnt have time to get a proper dinner; ie, none at all
so my kanrinin asked if i would like her to prepare something
and on the last night my kanrinin's daughter took me to her friend's restaurant and since i cant read kanji, she helped with the ordering too
my room wasnt too expensive either, it came out to about 35-40ish canadian a night

yep...i loved the time i spent in tokyo, the only regrets i have are not being able to speak japanese.
the only stuff i knew i pretty much picked up off anime, so i could barely make myself understood with only that and a phrase book...heh...i even mixed up the different levels of politeness with different accents in the same sentence
everyone i met though, were REALLY helpful
i would love to go back after i learn more of the language...

oh....and if anyone requests it, i can post some pics of my vacation

tsurumaru
2003-12-22, 18:59
actually, if you dig around, the 'gaijin houses' err...ryokans? can be quite nice

"Ryokan's" are traditional Japanese style hotels. - Very Nice :)

"Gaijin Houses" are cheap accommodation aimed at foreigners - Erm not always very nice :heh:

LynnieS
2003-12-22, 22:34
"Ryokan's" are traditional Japanese style hotels. - Very Nice :)

"Gaijin Houses" are cheap accommodation aimed at foreigners - Erm not always very nice :heh:Hmm... If a room in the ryokan costs approx. CA$40-50, I'm wondering if they permit long-term lodgers. :heh:

MwyC - If you put up a link to your photo album, that'll be great. Much obliged!

MwyC
2003-12-23, 02:28
ahh..my pbase account is acting up..soo..brinkster it is..
may have to copy and paste urls, sorry
-edit- if you click the links it will give you an error...but you can just press enter in the address bar again since it retains the url

http://www31.brinkster.com/rrmc/yasumi/airsoft3.jpg
http://www31.brinkster.com/rrmc/yasumi/anime2.jpg
http://www31.brinkster.com/rrmc/yasumi/anime3.jpg
http://www31.brinkster.com/rrmc/yasumi/jfood2.jpg
http://www31.brinkster.com/rrmc/yasumi/nightstreet2.jpg
http://www31.brinkster.com/rrmc/yasumi/jroom.jpg
http://www31.brinkster.com/rrmc/yasumi/jstreet0.jpg
http://www31.brinkster.com/rrmc/yasumi/jstreet5.jpg
http://www31.brinkster.com/rrmc/yasumi/jsubway1.jpg http://www31.brinkster.com/rrmc/yasumi/jt.jpg http://www31.brinkster.com/rrmc/yasumi/jt3.jpg
http://www31.brinkster.com/rrmc/yasumi/jt2.jpg
http://www31.brinkster.com/rrmc/yasumi/stuff.jpg
hehe....me after walking from my ryokan to shinjuku, exploring the place and walking back...an 8 hour romp
http://www31.brinkster.com/rrmc/yasumi/P1010037.jpg

i was by myself for the first bit, then my family came for the last 3 days, these are without my family
oh...and if you are using a digital cam...make sure you r memory cards are good
i lost half my pics cause one of my cards died on me :mad:
so no pics of the beautiful countryside/rural areas

RichMan
2004-02-23, 18:20
For my internet class we're doing a project on "Where would you go for your senior trip if you had $1500?" I decided on going to Tokyo, Japan. I'm not really going there, this project is about what I would do if I did go and I have to write about it on powerpoint(this project basically is to teach us more about search for info online and using powerpoint in general). I used "expedia.com" and have found the prices for flight+hotel. The hotel I got is the "Hilton Narita New Tokyo International Airport"(it's a 4star hotel, and I guess it's also the airport as well ^_^'). If you already know, this hotel is in the chiba region(not Tokyo, but really close!).

What I need help on is, can you guys suggest some cool things I can do there that is anime/gaming related? I already got some idea's, but since I don't know the area well I have no idea if the places are close or far. Tell me some things that are close to that hotel. Oh yeah, also the we suppose to leave June 1 of this year and I can go as long as my money lasts(i've planed 5 days, but i'll only actually be there 3 because it takes a day to fly to Japan). With the flight+hotel I've already spent about $1,200. So I got $300 to last me three days.

:help:

Roots
2004-02-23, 19:09
forget it, go somewhere less expensive. I'm surprised you're even thinking you can afford anything with a $1,500 budget. Unless you ship yourself UPS, and live in the box you were packaged in for your days in Japan. I hope you booked a round-trip ticket in that $1,200 you spent, otherwise you're going to have to swim back home :heh:

Baba
2004-02-23, 19:19
Beware the price of transportation, I think the ride from Narita airport to your hotel might easily cost you around 100$.
Beside, but that's just personal opinion, I think you've got so much more things to see in Kyoto (splendid temples and gardens) that it's a shame to go to Japan to visit only Tokyo. :).

LynnieS
2004-02-23, 19:39
Take a look at the "Visit Japan" thread in General Chat, and there were several on anime-related visits earlier. Do not take a taxi from Narita to Tokyo; it'll run you several hundred dollars, and there goes your budget. Take either the subway or the limo bus instead, with the second costing approx. Y3000 or so.

As for hotel, there are cheaper places that are not listed in expedia.com, but rather in the travel guides like "Time Out", "Frommers" and such. Use one of those for your budget instead will make your budget last longer.

To be totally honest, though, US$1500 will not last you very long, though, but it should be doable provided you don't go crazy.

RichMan
2004-02-23, 19:55
Yeah, I don't plan on going crazy, besides this isn't real so I can lie a little bit about some prices or just say I looked at the sights and bought very few things.

If I could, I think it'd be cool to visit some japanese video game companies I like, like: Capcom, Konami, Sonic Team, and SquareEnix(just to name a few). I really have no idea if they'd let me in the doors or not, but like I said I "can" lie a alittle and say I talked to the guy that created Rockman(Capcom character) or something.

IRL, i'm not interested at all at seeing any temples, so I'm cool with that.

RavenChild
2004-02-23, 22:50
tokyo is over-westernized. becasue of this, the only difference in tokyo and new york is the language(which is slowly picking up english phrases). if anyone goes, you need to visit a small country town where the culture is still existant.

RichMan
2004-02-23, 22:53
yeah, like i've been trying to say. I'm not actually visiting Japan, it's just a project for internet class. Read my first post.

LynnieS
2004-02-23, 23:44
I have yet to hear of any company, video game or otherwise, offering tours of their facilities to anyone other than prospective job candidates, so dropping in unannounced - or saying that you'll get a tour - might raise a few eyebrows during your presentation. You might be able to get tours of TV studios, though, but not free.

I believe that in the Sony building in the Ginza area, there are displays of games and consoles that you can try out. Can't take them with you, naturally...

Shinobu_Maehara
2004-02-24, 09:17
Here a retour flight ticket costs around €500,- and then you're at the airport..

then you need food, hotels and random stuff.... so
yeah

dragonz20
2004-02-24, 10:31
I would visit the holiest of all console gaming shrines, Nintendo headquarters... you might hit the jackpot and meet Shigeru Miyamoto while he's running around making the best games in the world... :love:

ummm... what else can you do?... i've never been to Japan but i would definitely want to visit someday. There are tons of castles and parks that are national landmarks in Japan. Maybe a japanese museum?...
I would also eat the the local cuisine... look for small restaurants... hhmmm sushi...

RichMan
2004-02-25, 00:54
alright, can you guys name exact names of places near the Hilton Narita New Tokyo International Airport. It's really hard getting this kinda info online. Anything that a tourist would see or a person that just likes anime and video gaming would like to see.

Plz help

RichMan
2004-02-25, 10:10
bump, help me plz

Racheal
2004-02-25, 10:23
There is a possibility.

1) Take budget flights instead of direct flights. You see more while paying less.

2) Try to visit places where you have a friend staying so you can save up on hotel fees.

3) Buy a weekly pass for unlimited rides on the rail.

4) Decide a budget and by hook or by crook stay with it.

5) Visit the rural areas, they are about 60 percent cheaper than going to shinjuku areas. Some temples also allow lodging for a pittance. The people are also more friendlier and not always in a rush.

tsurumaru
2004-02-25, 12:49
alright, can you guys name exact names of places near the Hilton Narita New Tokyo International Airport. It's really hard getting this kinda info online. Anything that a tourist would see or a person that just likes anime and video gaming would like to see.

Plz help

Hmm I actually stayed in a hotel opposite Narita Airport about 3 years ago and dont remember there being a whole lot to see :heh: (But then I was Jet lagged and recovering from my stay in Bombay :heh:)

I would recommend using this map to plan to move on into central Tokyo:

http://www.narita-airport.or.jp/airport_e/access/train/index.html

Catch the Narex into Tokyo (about a 60 min trip). From there you are a short trip to anywhere in the centre of Tokyo, a lot of culture hidden away and lots of anime/manga/game areas of interest.

Cammie
2004-02-25, 14:16
Cherry Blossom season is the best time to visit Japan! My friends say, its the most amazing sight to see.. another must see is Mt. Fuji!!! they also say the hike is breath taking! Don't forget to relax and soak in a onsens! after that long hike. :)

RichMan
2004-02-25, 19:01
ugh, I didn't get the kinda help I asked for and it's now obvious that the area in Japan I got blows.

I've switched places, I'm doing an easier place for my Powerpoint project. Now I got Honolulu Hawaii(has really no anime/gaming places, but this isn't why I would want to go here anyways. I'll go for the sun, beach, helicopter tours, etc.)

Umbrae
2004-02-26, 02:31
I managed a one month stay in japan for apx 2000 US. Yes I am amazing at low cost travel. of course I know people that live in japan, so I only had to stay for 3 nights in a hotell. I ended up at daynice hotell in tokyo. I am not sure about the hilton for narita airport, but narita itself is a long ways from any thing in tokyo.

As far as anime and games go you could just mention going to 500000 video and game stores in shinjuku. Personal on that budge you are going to learn how to aviod spending $. I would not recomend picking up anything, just memories. . . yea that is perty much all I got, and a 2 sets of chopsticks at a ₯99 store.

Most of the $ I had left over from basic airfare, hotel, and food went into travel. I spent several hundered getting arround japan, and I only took a cab once, as town I was in at the time had not other options to get from the train station to my friends place.

If you want to keep to that budget and be some what realistic, I would simply talk about the places you walked arround at, and what you saw, who you talked to. be sure to talk about the 5 japanese girls you met that were going out to a rave, but ended up back at your hotell room for all 3 days :) (Hey if you are making it all up, might as well make it good)

LynnieS
2004-02-26, 07:34
alright, can you guys name exact names of places near the Hilton Narita New Tokyo International Airport. It's really hard getting this kinda info online. Anything that a tourist would see or a person that just likes anime and video gaming would like to see.

Plz help
There aren't any that I can think of near Narita, but had you stayed with Tokyo as the topic, I simply would have recommended that you change your hotel to somewhere closer to the center of the city (at least within the JR Yamanote loop) and walk to the placed mentioned here and within the other threads on vacationing in Japan.

As for directions, there aren't very many - that I've found - street signs in the city. The streets are rather confusing, and unless you have the direction instincts of a homing pigeon ( :) ), you're better off getting a guidebook (or more than one!) and work from it.

The fact that building addresses are not assigned in sequential order doesn't help much either...

aurora704
2004-06-16, 09:07
hi. i am leaving for a 2 week exhange program in japan tomorrow. i ended up getting my host mother 2 Bath and Body Works body washes by accident. would body wash be offensive? because i don't wan't to imply that she is a smelly person or anything. :twitch:
do i have to gift wrap the presents, or can i leave them in gift bags or something?
and also, what would be the phrase to say when i am giving them their gifts?

oh yes, how do i say something along the lines of "i am really excited (to meet you)" and also "i'm nervous."

if you have any other suggestions, please give them!

Roots
2004-06-16, 10:55
hi. i am leaving for a 2 week exhange program in japan tomorrow. i ended up getting my host mother 2 Bath and Body Works body washes by accident. would body wash be offensive? because i don't wan't to imply that she is a smelly person or anything. :twitch:
do i have to gift wrap the presents, or can i leave them in gift bags or something?
and also, what would be the phrase to say when i am giving them their gifts?

oh yes, how do i say something along the lines of "i am really excited (to meet you)" and also "i'm nervous."

if you have any other suggestions, please give them!

*faintly recalls what they said to bring in Japanese class*


Umm, I think you should get them something they could not easily find over in Japan. If someone from Japan was coming to stay with you, wouldn't you be more excited over them bringing manga, anime, Pocky, etc. over an English novel or something?

I do think you should gift wrap it, but I"m not sure. My memory about Japanese gift-exchange is hazy. As for your translations, I'm honestly not entirely too sure but "Tokidoki desu." might fit the bill for both. (tokidoki is the Japanese onamonopeia for fast-paced heart beating). Get a second opinion on that one though, because I'm sure there's a more appropriate prhase that I'm unaware of.

Enjoy your stay in Japan you lucky dog! :D

Sakai
2004-06-16, 11:24
would body wash be offensive?
I think it's okay.

do i have to gift wrap the presents, or can i leave them in gift bags or something?
As you wish. ;)

what would be the phrase to say when i am giving them their gifts?
"Tsumaranai mono desuga, douzo."
means "I have a small present for you."
It literally means "It’s a trivial thing, but please accept."

"i am really excited (to meet you)"
"Hajime mashite, oai dekite ureshii desu."

"Hajime mashite" means "Nice to meet you."
It literally means "This is the first time (to meet you)."

"Oai dekite ureshii desu" means "I am glad to meet you."

...and more (http://www.translasian.nl/6_japanese/conversation.htm)

"i'm nervous."
"(Totemo/Sugoku) kinchou shite imasu."
'Totemo/Sugoku' means 'so' or 'very'.

(tokidoki is the Japanese onamonopeia for fast-paced heart beating).
It is 'Doki-Doki'.
'Tokidoki' is 'sometimes'.
ex. Doki-doki shite imasu. (I am excited)


Anyway, good luck, aurora704! :D

Mr_Paper
2004-06-16, 11:58
Usually, the best gifts are things that can only be found in your country.

For example, being Canadian, in my case real Maple Syrup makes a great gift. It's regionally specific, commonly associated with my country and seems to be quite the rare treat in Japan. Similarly, something like Roots clothing has also been well recieved.

You basically just need to find something with gerenal appeal since you won't know the likes and dislikes of the family ahead of time.

Slade xTekno
2004-06-16, 12:15
Agreed. The best gifts are those that can only be found in your country.
Make sure it can only be found in your country.
I wonder what you could bring from America. A good number of American things can be found in Japan. It'd be cool if you could bring something genuinely American [Levi jeans [wait, scratch that], a Hooter's shirt, etc]. I like the book idea mention above.
The Japanese exchange students that we hosted gave us something to hang off the rearview mirror of my car. Maybe a pair of fuzzy dice would do. Then again, a good number of Japanese don't own cars...
I don't think you should bring anything technological, since Japan has us beat.

Sakaki
2004-06-16, 15:02
I stayed with a host family a couple of years ago on a college program.

Along with the gifts for my host family I also transported the gifts from the college to the city mayor and others.

As we were coming from Michigan they were things bought at the "Michigan store", where everything is a product of Mi and packaged in a Mi theam.

So, not only national items but even more local products would be a good ideal too.

The only problem with gift wraping could be airport security, they don't like wraped packages. So maybe take paper with you and do it there or a very nice gift bag.

Roots
2004-06-16, 15:09
It is 'Doki-Doki'.
'Tokidoki' is 'sometimes'.
ex. Doki-doki shite imasu. (I am excited)



Dammit I always confuse the two! I'm a failure at life WAHHHHHH *commits seppuku*

abubo
2004-06-16, 17:51
If you're from the States, get them bags of beef-jerky. Appearantly this was a very American omiage to buy . I've seen lots of tourists buying jerkies for their folks back home. In fact, if you goto some store which specializes in Japanese tourists, you'll usually see a whole section dedicted to beef jerky.

I don't know if this is still true but years ago western-related stuff was also considered "American". Get them things like cow-boy hats if you're from the Southwest.

I think almost anything goes for young people... check out at this Japanese page (http://www.amy.hi-ho.ne.jp/candy/omiage.html) listing omiage from Hawaii.. this guy considers a tube of Ben-Gay and Listerine breath mints proper Hawaiian gifts :)

aurora704
2004-06-17, 04:11
thanx a lot! i got them st. louis stuff cause that's where i'm from. i will be heading towards japan in a half hour. i hope i do ok over there. thanx again for the suggestions!

Mr_Paper
2004-06-17, 11:27
Have a safe and enjoyable trip. :D

kakashilion
2004-06-17, 14:46
hi. i am leaving for a 2 week exhange program in japan tomorrow. i ended up getting my host mother 2 Bath and Body Works body washes by accident. would body wash be offensive? because i don't wan't to imply that she is a smelly person or anything. :twitch:
do i have to gift wrap the presents, or can i leave them in gift bags or something?
and also, what would be the phrase to say when i am giving them their gifts?

oh yes, how do i say something along the lines of "i am really excited (to meet you)" and also "i'm nervous."

if you have any other suggestions, please give them!

Gifts->
my grandmas friend went to vist her daughter in Japan.
Her daughter told her that you have to bring gifts for japanese people but they hate being given money.
My grandmothers friend brought them little bottles of scottish whiskey and they loved it so much they brought her a free return ticket to japan when ever she wants to go back.
In Japan they have like bottles of scottish whiskey for like £30 cause its gotta be transported. But if you buy him here (im in UK) theyre like £8 a bottle.
Of course don't go giving the kids scotch whiskey but if you give it to the father it should be a hit.
Like i said they love the stuff (according to my grandmas friend)

other things my grandmas friend was telling me about->

get ready to do a lot of bowing rather than handshaking
in most hotels and places your gonna have to take your shoes off and wear slippers. Some hotels even have seperate slippers for toilets. Oh and apparently the baths are sunken into the floor.

Other than that you should have fun. My grandmas friend said how well she was treated on the japanese airline, in and around the towns etc.


oh and lucky you for getting to go to japan. Could you tell me how much the flight costs.
thanks.

Mr_Paper
2004-06-17, 15:19
@kakashilion - They've already left. ^^;It was also mentioned that it was a exchange program of sorts, so the costs of airfare were probably offset a bit.

Mugen
2004-08-20, 09:52
o.k me and my friend are going to japan next week. We both got guide books etc. but of course they dont cover everything. What i was hoping is that some of you guys that have been to kyoto or tokyo could list top things to do in the citys, - possibly things that arent covered in guide books. Anything to do with anime, i.e shops museums etc. would be good. Well basically just things we shouldnt miss out on. If yoiu could list its location/adress it would be most appreciated, - thanks :)

Hisoka2k4
2004-08-20, 10:51
Score a hot asian chick first! :o

tsurumaru
2004-08-20, 11:04
o.k me and my friend are going to japan next week. We both got guide books etc. but of course they dont cover everything. What i was hoping is that some of you guys that have been to kyoto or tokyo could list top things to do in the citys, - possibly things that arent covered in guide books. Anything to do with anime, i.e shops museums etc. would be good. Well basically just things we shouldnt miss out on. If yoiu could list its location/adress it would be most appreciated, - thanks :)

Remember the search function is your friend! :) This has been dealt with in many topics before :heh: try searching for "visiting Japan" and you should get a slew of threads with useful information. ;)

veracromil
2004-08-20, 11:08
Hmm, you could play some ddr and get a rush off of Japanese snacks such as pocky, koala's march, hello panda, etc. :heh:

Mugen
2004-08-20, 16:37
wow guys nearly all of that information was totally useless :)

tsurumaru
2004-08-21, 03:52
wow guys nearly all of that information was totally useless :)

Try reading this merged thread now.......... :p

Sephon
2004-08-27, 05:59
Just had to add that you guys are awsome, thanks a lot for all the information about Japan.

I'm one of those guys that always thought about going to Japan, not to live but to go sightseeing and experience the culture.
After whats said in the thread I'm compelled to visit Kyoto instead of Tokyo, so I'll guess I will take a trip to Tokyo and Kyoto so that I'll get a bit of both my dreams.

I really have to take some Japanese lessons first though, so I at least can speak some basic sentances, hopefully I can find quick lessons which only focuses on comprehension and conversation, since reading is a bit overkill for just a quick 2-week visit.

The only pleasure I have had from Japan and the culture is meeting Shigeru Myamoto

http://img48.exs.cx/img48/562/LondonJagOchSigge.jpg

Mr_Paper
2004-08-27, 20:53
I really have to take some Japanese lessons first though, so I at least can speak some basic sentances, hopefully I can find quick lessons which only focuses on comprehension and conversation, since reading is a bit overkill for just a quick 2-week visit.

The only pleasure I have had from Japan and the culture is meeting Shigeru MyamotoYou probably won't need those Japanese lessons if you're going to be staying in major metropolitan areas. Most people in Japan can speak enough English to help you should you be in need of it and you'd be suprised by the number of signs with Enlish on them. If you're desperate, get a phrase book, they're infinitely more valuable then people give them credit for.

LynnieS
2004-08-28, 05:36
You probably won't need those Japanese lessons if you're going to be staying in major metropolitan areas. Most people in Japan can speak enough English to help you should you be in need of it and you'd be suprised by the number of signs with Enlish on them. If you're desperate, get a phrase book, they're infinitely more valuable then people give them credit for.
Maybe I'm in the wrong part of Tokyo or something, but most of the non-corporate Japanese people with whom I interact don't speak English all that well or at all. :) You don't need lessons for a short trip, but as Mr_Paper mentioned, a good phrase book will be a lifesaver. A good map for Tokyo, for example, will be very helpful as well; the ones in the guidebooks are, truthfully, terrible and not detailed at all.

Bring your sense of humor also - things are not going to go as smoothly as you'd like - but if you're traveling to a different country and/or culture, you should do that anyway. ;)

Carpe Jugulum
2004-09-01, 07:25
hey, me and my friend are currently in japan we arrived a day ago and are staying in kyoto but will be going to tokyo in 5 days, we were wondering if you knew anywhere particularly good to go whilst we are here we have heard about anime places where you go just to read manga etc, does anyone know where any of these places are or even if they exist :D.
if anyone lives in either kyoto or tokyo and knows of any local places which would be good please let us know
thanks alot.

Cheesemon
2004-09-01, 08:09
http://www.beochan.com/guides/tokyo/index.html is a great guide for anime places in Tokyo.

But my favorite anime place in Tokyo is Tokyo Dome City. It's not all anime, it's kinda like "we got some anime, but not enough to be overwhelming." There's this one store in Tokyo Dome's Sky Theater, I think it's the Shonen Jump store, that sells stuff from Naruto, One Piece, Prince of Tennis, Bobobo, Sailor Moon etc that I believe may be exclusive merchandise. You can get to Tokyo Dome by going to Suidobashi, about 5 minutes from Tokyo Station by train

If you want overwhelming, just walk along the Akihabara district. :) 5 minutes north from Tokyo Station, I think.

And I gotta plug Bandai Museum. The most awesome museum ever -- I mean, Gundam Cafe!! It's a little hard to get to though, just PM me if you want directions. I also put a gazillion photos of the place on my blog if you're interested. ^^

moogle33
2006-03-18, 17:01
I'v managed to get sum cheep late flights and ive got a bit of cash saved up, but its very little time to get ready so I 4t id ask here. The kind of things I need to know is what to go see, and I supose more importantly how much does everything cost? and can anybody recomend places to stay becuase Ill have to find a hotel when I get there.

Iv wanted to go for ages :) whoohoo :) I can speak and write a little japanese, if that helps.

ShikaShika
2006-03-18, 20:20
Some important details, like where are you going? And how long are you staying? Are you traveling alone or with someone else?

It's kind of impossible to recomend a place to stay without that info. Most important thing first though. Assuming you stay in Tokyo but also want to travel outside of Tokyo, I'd really recomend the Japan Rail Pass (http://www.japanrailpass.net/eng/en001.html). You must however buy a voucher for this pass in your own country before you go, it cannot be purchased in Japan. The cheapest 1-week rail pass costs 28,300 YEN and it entitles you to travel on any JR train (all you need to get basically anywhere in Japan) except the very fastest bullet trains (Nozomi). Japan is generally expensive, but this pass is a bargain. One round trip to Kyoto (which I definitely recomend if you can spare the time) is basically enough to warrant a purchase of a one week pass.

If you wanna stay in Kyoto I recomend Gimmond Hotel (http://www.gimmond.co.jp/kyoto/khome-e.htm), which is pretty cheap, has an English speaking staff (don't count on it everywhere) and is basically good value for the money. If you wanna trim the price down a bit, you can skip breakfast (there's a 7-eleven just across the street). The best part though is that you can make reservations over the internet, without using a credit card or anything. Just fill in the form with your name and which nights you'll be staying, and all you have to do is show up on the day of your check in.

Now, for things to see it depends completely on your interests. I would recomend having a look at www.japan-guide.com, which is an excelent travel resource. In fact any questions you have about traveling could probably be answered much quicker in their forum if it isn't even on the site itself. Here (http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2164.html) is a list of attractions in Tokyo, they all include details on how to get there, and prices if there are any.

The only things I can add to the locations on Japan-Guide are anime locations such as Korakuen Hall (from Hajime no Ippo) and the Japanese Go Institute (from Hikaru no Go). Neither are very "cool" spots, but if you have an interest in either show it can be fun to have been there. Korakuen Hall is right by Tokyo Dome (check Japan-Guide), but the directions to the Japanese Go Institute are a bit more complex so I can write 'em down if you really want 'em. You can also ride the ferris wheel ridden by the characters in Honey and Clover, found on Odaiba in the Tokyo bay. You can also take the Sumidagawa river cruise that I believe they took to get there. :)

Anyway, there's some stuff to get you started, if you give more details about your plans maybe I can offer more help.

=KatanaViolet=
2006-03-19, 15:39
I'm one of those guys that always thought about going to Japan, not to live but to go sightseeing and experience the culture.
After whats said in the thread I'm compelled to visit Kyoto instead of Tokyo, so I'll guess I will take a trip to Tokyo and Kyoto so that I'll get a bit of both my dreams.

I really have to take some Japanese lessons first though, so I at least can speak some basic sentances, hopefully I can find quick lessons which only focuses on comprehension and conversation, since reading is a bit overkill for just a quick 2-week visit.


I hope to go to both Tokyo and Kyoto, although if I go to Japan on exchange (which is what I intend on doing) I'll probably be out a little south west of central Tokyo. I would really love to see Osaka as well. I'd like to take a nice little tour of everywhere in Japan. You now, see the country side and whatnot.

I'm learning Japanese at my university, so that's what I got covered for me. I actually have an interest in Japanese language though, so if I went I'd be trying to completely immerse myself in the language. But definately have a phrase book, learn how to ask how much things cost, how to order food, etc, etc. And believe me, you'll have plenty of time to memorize phrases on the plain over there.:cool:

shoukun03
2006-04-17, 14:41
I plan to visit some family in Tokyo, but first I'll be taking a short tour beforehand.

I was wondering if anyone would have any specific suggestions or recommendations to any particular locations they would be interested in going. Once I'm there, I'll whip out my camera and begin my photo blogging adventures.

Thanks!

Ziv
2006-04-17, 14:49
I plan to visit some family in Tokyo, but first I'll be taking a short tour beforehand.

I was wondering if anyone would have any specific suggestions or recommendations to any particular locations they would be interested in going. Once I'm there, I'll whip out my camera and begin my photo blogging adventures.

Thanks!
Make sure to check out the imperial palace. It looks pink from the google earth picture, and I hope that isn't the case.

momogal
2006-04-17, 14:53
I plan to visit some family in Tokyo, but first I'll be taking a short tour beforehand.

I was wondering if anyone would have any specific suggestions or recommendations to any particular locations they would be interested in going. Once I'm there, I'll whip out my camera and begin my photo blogging adventures.

Thanks!

visit daikanransha of diamond and flower in odaiba!! its so nice and good for date.
there is also many anime shop, etc. in odaiba.. i think you will like it..

shibuya is good for girl shopping if you have girlfriend/sister, etc.!

sorvani
2006-05-10, 22:33
Hey all, I'm headed to Tokyo for the second time. The first trip was with PJT and was a lot of fun, this time i'm on my own. I've been thinking to stay around Shibuya(picked at random), but i also found an interesting place in Asakusa. So far i've got two different hotels in mind, but thought i'd ask for opinions of them, or for other suggestions in the two areas.

Shibuya: サクラフルール青山 (Sakura Fluer Aoyama) (http://web.travel.rakuten.co.jp/portal/my/info_page_e.Eng?f_no=29764&f_ptn1=kaigai)
Asakusa: Ryokan Asakusa Shigetsu (http://www.shigetsu.com/)

Arrival at Narita is 13:30 on June 23rd and departure is 18:00 on June 29th.

Rich
2006-05-10, 22:38
yeah i'll be going to tokyo this summer but i want to know where i can get some cool ass kicks, like dunks, airforces and sbs...... anyone know?! thanks.... well the closest i've found is harajuku but i just wanna know more places =P like rare ones

raikage
2006-05-10, 23:54
yeah i'll be going to tokyo this summer but i want to know where i can get some cool ass kicks, like dunks, airforces and sbs...... anyone know?! thanks.... well the closest i've found is harajuku but i just wanna know more places =P like rare ones

You intend to go to Japan to buy American shoes...?

They won't be cheap by any means.

Rich
2006-05-10, 23:57
hey you know there are some asian exclusive ones. you know what i mean... like supreme or tiffany or zoo york can't be found in the US anymore.. and btw JP is the fashion country, you know how japanese are fashionable (dunno if its a word =P). they know their clothes.. of courz i go to jp to shop and to sight see

ainin
2006-05-11, 07:58
Hahahah!!! I went to Japan for student exchange programme for 2 times!!! It's fun!!!! Exciting. I think student exchange programme is the best! You can go to many places and have the chance to feel the Japanese lifestyle!!!!

Vaines
2006-05-11, 10:37
I'd just suggest to all people considering to go to Japan for a student exchange to go there on holidays BEFORE to see how it is with your own eyes, not all the symbolism, videos or forum comments, or even travel websites you've seen. Because deciding to go move somewhere, even for a short time, needs to be prepared, at least in my opinion. I've got a friend who did just that, and is now studying in Japan, after having done several voluntary help trips to Hokkaido. Also, don't forget that most people who went to live in Japan stated that after some time of amazingness, there was a period (when the Japanese realised you weren't just going to leave after some weeks, or months), where things just go a bit (or a lot) harder, and contacts are more difficult, also some people say they've been depressed because of that. And that "phase" thing comes back in many reviews of personal moves to Japan.

I personally am going there on July for one month to do almost the entirety of Japan (I'm missing Nagasaki and those nicey islands in the bottom east). Although that means I won't be staying long in one place, I will have seen a broad picture, and I am going also to see my friend over there, so it will be interesting to see what someone who's been there for some months has to tell me :)

kj1980
2006-05-11, 11:03
Make sure to check out the imperial palace. It looks pink from the google earth picture, and I hope that isn't the case.

It's pink because it is blooming with cherry blossoms. By summer, it will be vivid green. Then, auburn and gold in the autumn.

DingoEnderZOE2
2006-05-25, 02:37
I've been interested in visiting the land of the Rising sun since I was 16, but due to the insane prices for a ticket that was unlikely. However I had heard of certain cases where it's possible to get Tickets to go to Japan for cheap. My question is what are the best ways to ensure that you get cheap tickets to visit Japan while making sure it's not a complete ripoff?(As in cheap tickets = extremely short stay)

Also while my Japanese skills isn't that of a novice, is it really required that you know how to SPEAK the language in order to get around?

Chichi
2006-05-25, 03:51
You really need to define 'cheap'? Also, it really does depend on where you are flying from, obviously.

For example, I frequent Europe quite a bit, specifically the UK from Japan, and it normally costs me around 80,000y (£400) or about that.

In my experience it really is best to travel with a dependent airline on extremely long flights. I don't know how far it is from where you are to Japan, but most budget airlines do not fly that far, and if they do, there's usually a really bad catch to it.

I suffer a lot when flying back to the UK (14-15 hours), and the airline I usually go with are mainstream, so I'm not even going to consider flying in any less comfort merely to visit a country.

Besides, Japan isn't going to disappear, I'm sure in the future you'll be in a better position to come here, but I honestly don't think it's worth the stress of finding some dodgy budget airline. Either way 80,000y doesn't break the bank in my book but it really depends on your financial position as well I guess...

As for the language, in major cities like Tokyo and Osaka, particularly Tokyo you'll get around, but it'll far more enjoyable to have someone who can speak the language, or someone who actually lives here traveling with you as a guide. Many Japanese people in the cities can speak English though, so if you can speak simple phrases that should help you. I don't suggest traveling too far out into other parts of Japan alone but I suggest perhaps going to Tokyo first and then arranging to join a tour guide. That way you'll get the benefits of seeing things you might miss, with the extra aid of someone who speaks fluently. And who knows, you might actually make a friend on those tours that you can join for the rest of your holiday.

Potatochobit
2006-05-25, 06:40
dont count on having the local residents speak english, its like going to france!!! :D

but you really want to get the smallest number of stops and transfers when goiong overseas. bad things happen when u have to change flights frequently. best to get a tour agency to set something up or at least provide accomodations.

diabolistic
2006-05-25, 07:58
I just got back from a three week vacation (11 days in Japan, 11 days in Hong Kong). It was amazing. Since this is the "Visiting Japan" thread, I'll only briefly go through the Japan portion of the trip.

The Places
My base of operations was Oyamahttp://tk.files.storage.msn.com/x1p29C9bHBj5N09GR7791wRQAeFp1qKRcko0YYEqsH9jf-hs8I8cGQerb8VJt1CFc__TUnRLdquhGBjGPiC6HlU2Ij73GwXn-LklE8Ag3WCtryHet7udm7rWUeVmdDRFyrEVEB9o7IiSBs, which is about 45 minutes away from Tokyo by train. I spent the first few days in Osaka/Kyoto, eating and shopping around the Dotonburi http://tk.files.storage.msn.com/x1p29C9bHBj5N09GR7791wRQHQE8NmV3BILswUoDrFQpplIFSg PvKtNTYevlenaKZ0dmcOgSeDzht75Dig1D3UAOgd5LklY_Ewwy 8-6AtY34CcR1dW1lu9WoqowFiPPDtfffIGaTeHJQ4Ahttp://tk.files.storage.msn.com/x1p29C9bHBj5N09GR7791wRQCka43F1sHcbiH1lqiaEpgGBIc7 jYwQ9DfwTXYNaOBfWoPP84oa1J_lteDtO8VttL5R819ZSdztV5 cZp1dHj9p-VJmA0SnuvQxLMD4uwIZYH3eknIGCK-T4http://tk.files.storage.msn.com/x1p29C9bHBj5N09GR7791wRQExRpr28qkzHkYeUc9swLm7M5AC jMfYMxn7V9to3PShVENZxSek7bt6NtUc0IX3TuiP-mSjAsEt3O05oOco8j1cOz5JDFeQQrKsTYT1BcyIQIeLGJZ3tHN 8(has anyone else eaten at an okonomiyakihttp://tk.files.storage.msn.com/x1p29C9bHBj5N09GR7791wRQLX_I6KOXTgqUHVKvbYyX4Clke-CUObgpe3eiJFJXuK9O7qpS2pHuwSXFDCKCFLP18-E2U8veRfFQ7UTEPW1lgt8FuGC0D4cU4mKQ35C7LudSXVlfsmsM 1k restaurant with a sign that reads 'there's no substitute for okonomiyaki~beethoven'?) and going to the temples (kiyomizu was packed during golden week). Then Tokyo area (eating/drinking around the scummier parts of ueno http://tk.files.storage.msn.com/x1p29C9bHBj5N09GR7791wRQOyHgz43O0Cm1m08Vbuld2K8N-yPApYjjHwA2vzdDBVn9QGkzOUQxUwEDqvEezTXSK-tLEJ_nH0KvlAcCmi_6LcgkNogqhhHHwU2FI5X9tG9ib9K_-oVm58is really affordable), and the last few days were spent around Oyama/Toshigi area. This has probably been in a previous post, but if you're visiting Japan, the JR Pass is absolutely necessary. It's a pass that allows unlimited travel on any JR Line in Japan. Taking the Shinkansenhttp://tk.files.storage.msn.com/x1p29C9bHBj5N09GR7791wRQFFUoaIOdHn0XIvE82yGXO-6-0Kiw_E9q4QydrGNquKYPKl-yCTaXlaJp-GTp43p_vwQxOqFBMPh0XvSAitKlhYFPbIbyDhLgzUA3VmPvlim y4sUjJ10j2Q for a return trip alone covers the cost of the JR Pass.

The People
I have never received such high quality service from vendors/restaurants/government workers before in my life. Everyone is so polite, and the crime rate is so low, you'd feel safe walking around most parts of Japan alone at night. If you're taking the the first train car, watch out for the train conductor's hand signals :).

The Food
The food wasn't as expensive as I thought. A filling meal between three/four people never went over 5000/6000 yen. A pint of beer usually goes for 500 yen (though parts of ueno serves pints for 350 yen :):)), and supermarkets are good places to shop for cheap food as well (sushi on the go costs about 100-200 yen).http://tk.files.storage.msn.com/x1p29C9bHBj5N09GR7791wRQDy8Eppn4XY3Zf0HDH9_-uFOOPRgPLoEp64MMuBIYh0zE3ja5HD-54rw8_R-qJh_R9ZYWR11g_Dpgy4SRnUHm7ri2idHvNeU8J8Gpo5x9ETSQv qHkWJnhXA

The Engrish
http://tk.files.storage.msn.com/x1p29C9bHBj5N09GR7791wRQDIUfwNE6oSoEnXcNWFFayFjY3G g4COX-NVbZXUf6M95YLqq2K4XmYhWxgD0t4EoOEl08Vln_xVu396AOq3 J55zBblEm7S8li3FQt0vyV5fdDK1lAURjJGo

Final Impressions
I really loved visiting Japan, and I'm definitely going to return (as long as I've got free boarding again ;P)
http://tk.files.storage.msn.com/x1p29C9bHBj5N09GR7791wRQJERTgS07rpNqeZUKYuA6cgAk9a 7GXCgsO14fUUsXgfttVXPEVaFOGAjtCiTdzplOeQdqzYHFGodW D7kVuyjPIZYzcea5H6dMi2PRV4M8qAsS7r6ZMN9_Iw

sorvani
2006-05-25, 23:57
For my trip next month, i am flying into Narita and staying at a hotel in Shibuya. This trip i do not plan on leaving the Tokyo area so I am not bothering with the JR pass. I don't think i will cover it's cost since i'm not taking the Skinkansen anywhere this time. The farthest i'm probably going to go will be Saitama or Kamakura. I'm estimating that a couple ¥5,000 rail cards will suffice. diabolistic was right though if you are planning to ride the shinkansen around the JR pass can't be beat.

my biggest quandry is i can't settle on certain things to do while i'm there this time. my last trip was a tour so in my limited free time it was easy to pick a couple things to do. This time around i keep saying this or this or this..... i am down to a month to go, i really need to work on picking specific things to do.

by the way can any of our tokyo natives tell me anything about the hotel i picked (pretty much at random) the Sakura Fleur Aoyama, サクラフルール青山 . I couldn't find any reviews in english and my Nihongo is not good enough to read anything.

Tommy
2006-05-26, 01:15
Awesome pics diabolistic! Although this is a Japan thread you should post up your pics from Hong Kong as well! I know thats a place I would like to visit as well as Japan someday.

Zelath
2006-06-03, 23:21
I hope to someday move to Japan, I love the language and the culture seems very interesting. I have recently just plain gotten sick of this country that I live in, I hate our government, and people here are way too racist (at least where I live)

ainin
2006-07-07, 10:07
I hope to someday move to Japan, I love the language and the culture seems very interesting. I have recently just plain gotten sick of this country that I live in, I hate our government, and people here are way too racist (at least where I live)

where are you living???

Yeah!!! I love Japanese language and culture too!!!!! It's just too wonderful!!!

zeeke
2006-07-07, 11:20
meow.. i'v been to japan twice ^^ i live at my uncles place (no hes not japanese, but he married a japanese woman, and i dont know japanese) its really cool. im gonna go there soon again (in half a month) its really cool there, but when u get lost u have to go to mc'donalds for directions >.>' (the babes there have to know english, part of the job) anyway, if u havent been there, and have a chance, USE IT!

Toxic
2006-07-07, 11:25
He lives in Mansfield, Ohio. I'd like to move to Japan too, but first I'd have to gather up money, learn Japanese and last but not least... turn 18. :p

Veritas
2006-07-07, 13:53
If you want really cheap (sometimes even free) air travel, but you're willing to wait for an oppurtunity try becoming an Air Courier (http://www.courier.org/).

Dhomochevsky
2006-07-07, 15:44
Another way to get a cheap flight is to wait until there`s a soccer world worldcup tournament being held in your country and fly while everyone else watches tv.
The prices really drop during that time! :D

Tommy
2006-08-12, 04:02
So I'm going to Japan with a friend next month sept 19 to Oct 3 and I am a little overwhelmed by all the planing I have to do. My friend was really gungho about going but now he's put 80% of the planing in my lap.

Some suggestions on things to do would be great! :)
Just for starters let me kickoff what I have planned and what we wanna do. We are most likely going to stay 6 to 7 days in Tokyo and then go around Japan for the rest.

-Tokyo Game Show, Really this is the only thing about the trip that is planned out and where we have a hotel booked.

- The Zoo, My friend wants to go here but I really don't know how many zoo's there are in Tokyo or where we should go.

- Shopping! I pretty much wanna check out everything from electronics, anime, clothing, nic nacs and other cool stuff.

-Museums? Really have no idea of where to start here.

-Although I don't really listen to Jpop or Jrock I think it would be cool to go to like a small rock bands show or something, so any advice on where to go would be awesome.

-Bars, Clubs and nightlife, Suggestions from anyone on where to go and what places are "poppin" would be cool.

Any generally cool places that are must sees in Tokyo. I also have a big interest in cars so something car related would be cool.

Then it's out to see Japan for the rest of the trip! The book I purchased has been Extrememly helpful on this part it's The Fodor's Exploring Japan book.

- Mt Fuji, my friend wants to go hiking there so I Guess a day or two there for that...

- Hot springs, I know theres a bunch of places I could go for this but, any suggestions from you guys?

- Kyoto, I really wanna go here to check out some shrines and soak up some culture and I don't really think planning should be to hard here. Anything else to do besides check out shrines though.

- We also wanna go to a good beach, I hear the best places are in Okinawa but you have to get a plane ticket and I would rather go somewhere where we can get to by train. Any suggestions? Somewhere in Kyushu maybe?

My friend also said he'd like to see Northern Japan but really hasn't said gone into it more then that, so I don't really know wheres cool to see in the Northern part.

So I guess the most stressful part of the planning is where I should book hotels and getting around. I've read about the Rail Pass and I don't know if its worth getting the 2 week pass over the one week since I'm gonna be in Tokyo for about a week or so and won't be traveling long distances. As for hotels if I can stay keep it at about 100 bucks a day (us dollars) I'll be happy.

Gaiarth
2006-08-12, 07:04
I can answer a few of these for you.

The Zoo: Ueno Zoo is right there in Tokyo, and it's an ok place to visit. They have a fairly successful panda breeding program, and it's nicely laid out for strolling. Also, Ueno Park has a couple of museums in it (including the Tokyo National Museum, Japans largest) and a few temples/shrines. So you could make a day out of a trip there. I would suggest getting the Lonely Planet guide to Tokyo (or even the main book on Japan). They have a huge list of museums, including quirky ones.

For cars, if you go to Ikebukuro (a good area for general shopping), you could try Toyota Amlux. It's basically a huge showroom, but they have special exhibitions. It's next to Sunshine City, which is also worth dropping into if you are in the area. We wandered through there last time I was in Japan and caught the last day of an anime art exhibition.

For shopping: Well, Akihabara is the obvious place for your electronic and anime needs. For clothes, Harajuku is the place the trendy things. From loligoth outfits to the boutiques down Omote-sando. Also, further down is the Oriental Bazaar, a handy place for getting gifts for the family. And there is also Meiji-jingu. Best time to go there is at the weekend, when the cosplayers are out on the bridge.

For small bands, you want to check out the various Live Houses. I can't really recommend anything there; again the Lonely Planet book lists a few. It's a shame that they stopped closing the road to let the bands play at Yoyogi Koen. It was great just to walk down and see all the various styles trying to grab their piece of the crowd and sell a few CDs.



I really like Kyoto, although to do it justice you really need at least a week there. The temples and shrines are the main thing, of course, but I would suggest doing the Johnny Hillwalker tour. (Assuming he's still going.) You get to see a few things you probably wouldn't just going around yourself with a guidebook.

The 'new' Kyoto station is worth seeing in itself. Head up to the top in early evening, avoid tripping over all the young couples, and you can get a nice view over Kyoto lightes up. Plus, there is a huge selection of restaurants at the top.

Again, I would recommend the Lonely Planet guide.




As for the Rail Pass, it's certainly convenient in Tokyo, as you can ride the Yamanote and other JR lines without the bother of lining up at the ticket machine. If you were maybe going to do a few day trips from Tokyo (say to Kamakura or Yokohama) it might be worth having. Otherwise, the convenience probably wouldn't out-weigh the cost.


THis is getting a bit long, so I'll wrap up by once again recommending the Lonely Planet guides. And no, I'm not on commission :)

Tommy
2006-08-12, 15:47
Thanks a lot Gaiarth you are awesome!

horsdhaleine
2006-08-20, 10:33
You probably won't need those Japanese lessons if you're going to be staying in major metropolitan areas. Most people in Japan can speak enough English to help you should you be in need of it and you'd be suprised by the number of signs with Enlish on them. If you're desperate, get a phrase book, they're infinitely more valuable then people give them credit for.

well, actually you can get by in the city without knowing too much Japanese, not because they can speak it, but because most things are self-explanatory and user-friendly so there's no need for too much communication. i study japanese but i rarely use it to "get by" to the city life. i usually just nod my head. i use japanese more when i'm with my friends...

sedukshun
2006-08-20, 11:38
oh damn i wanna go japan and perhaps live there for awhile one day O.O"
perhaps wen i am older with free time and money...
england is **** LOL

love the culture/language/anime/kawaiiness/hot springs....

Sankari
2006-08-21, 00:20
I hope to someday move to Japan, I love the language and the culture seems very interesting. I have recently just plain gotten sick of this country that I live in, I hate our government, and people here are way too racist (at least where I live)

I am too sorry to burst your bubble but if you are going to move to japan because your goverment is too racist, don't expect any better from the japanese goverment or people out there. Japan probably is one of the biggest racists out there (in secrecy naturally, but ask anyone who has been to japan and they can tell you that its not all that pretty in there.) However, the language and culture are interesting and I'm most likely going to do the same or go for exchange program, but its gona take few years before I want to do this and who knows where I am in that time.

diabolistic
2006-08-21, 10:21
If you want to go bar/club hopping, the best place to do it is in the Dotonbori in Osaka.

Great food, friendly people, and a killer red-light district ;P

sorvani
2006-08-26, 21:19
I've read about the Rail Pass and I don't know if its worth getting the 2 week pass over the one week since I'm gonna be in Tokyo for about a week or so and won't be traveling long distances.Depending on exactly how much traveling you are doing the rail pass is really not worth it except for the convienience of not having to purchase tickets. I spent the last week of June in Tokyo, and decided against the rail pass before i went, because after checking fares, i found that i would not actually use the Rail pass enough to actually pay for it. I stayed in a hotel in Shibuya 2-3 blocks from the station. The most expensive single fare i had was the NEX(Narita Express) between Narita and Shinigawa station for ₯3,100 each way. The next largest fare i had was from Shibuya to Omiya for ₯590. I took at least 4 trains a day all around Tokyo. When i stopped and added up all my fares for the week, including the subways that would not have been o the pass anyway i spent around ₯18,400 on train fares. The rail pass costs ₯28,300. The only real hard part is determining your fare at the ticket machines. They only have the big fare map above the machines in english at the major stations. But i printed out the english map from their website (http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/info/map_a4ol.pdf) and kept it in my bag/pocket so if the fare map wasn't in english i could jsut reference mine and play match up.
As for hotels if I can stay keep it at about 100 bucks a day (us dollars) I'll be happy.I used Rakuten Travel (http://travel.rakuten.co.jp/en/index.html) to find my hotel. I stayed at the Sakura Fleur Aoyama and it cost me ₯8,400 a night except for saturday which was ₯9,800. Single occupancy, 1 bed. To save you the time a double room at the same hotel costs ₯14,800.

Good luck and have fun!

Gaiarth
2006-08-27, 04:26
On the subject of hotels, I should have mentioned the Japanese Inn Group.

http://www.jpinn.com/

I've stayed in a lot of their places, and they have all been good. You get to try out sleeping on a futon in a tatami room, the staff are very helpful and used to dealing with foreigners, and they are relatively cheap. In Kyoto I generally stay at the Hiraiwa. It's in a nice quiet location not too far from the station. There is neighbourhood sento on the corner, a couple of nice little restaurants near-by. And, best of all, an office just round the corner is used by the local Yakuza. (Or at least, it still was a couple of years ago.)



(As an aside, in two seperate instances [one in Kyoto, one in Tokyo] I have been interviewed by TV crews while staying at JIG places. I think they know that they cater to Westerners...)

sorvani
2006-08-27, 17:47
On the subject of hotels, I should have mentioned the Japanese Inn Group.

http://www.jpinn.com/

One of the hotels listed there, Ryokan Asakusa Shigetsu (http://shigetsu.com/) was my initial hotel choice for my trip, until after speaking with the person i was there to see, and she suggested Shibuya for other reasons.

One other thing. Visit the websites, and CALL the hotels and JR if you got any questions for them. SkypeOut is extremely cheap and works wonderfully. Just remember to call during their business day(generally after 8pm in the US is safe). You never know if the night shift can speak english or not. Until daylight savings time ends, Tokyo is 13 hours ahead of the east coast and 16 hours ahead of the west coast.

icf20405
2006-08-30, 21:29
Japan is the safe place
If you exclude the crime of the Chinese and the Korean
Foreign distinction it is difficult

When you come to Japan, it comes to akihabara&shinjuku-nityoume regardless,

andAs for one day please stay in the ryokan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Of3terOcg4U

Urzu 7
2006-08-30, 22:12
I would like to hear some people's input on something I've been working towards, maybe somebody has some good advice.

In the past spring semester, I became friends with a woman from Japan who was in an English class of mine. By the end of the semester, I expressed to her an idea I was playing around with for some years, about the possibility of going to live in Japan for at least a while, or possibly starting a life there (of course, going to visit the country first to assure if I want to stay there for an extended amount of time or start a life there), and she was really positive and supportive of this aspiration I shared with her, and it quickly inspired me to start working towards these things.

One thing I should mention is that I probably won't have the money and time to go and give a long visit to Japan until summer 2007, after graduating college. However, I am fortunate to have a relative on my father's side of the family who lives there (he recently married a woman from Japan and had their first child last winter :)). So, there is family over there, so this would help ease myself into this society if I decided to go live over there for a few years or decide to establish a life there.

The other thing to mention: My Japanese frined introduced me to the JET program; she gave me the rundown and said such a program would compliment my aspirations nicely. :D So, I am on my way to graduating college, which my friend says really helps in landing in the JET program. Also, in my last two semesters, I will be taking a two semester long Japanese language course. Lastly, I have started to teach the language to myself. I just started, but I am using the aid of some interactive software to help learn basics, and may even be able to learn the language at the intermediate by the time I would enlist in the JET program.

So, any advice or opinions you guys want to share on this? Oh yes, also, I want to do some more research on Kyoto and the region around Kyoto, I have developed an inclination to locate there or around there.

sorvani
2006-08-31, 00:52
Right out of college is the best time to do something like JET. Go and check the place out. It is a great country, I'm back in school at 33 myself with the eventual goal of getting a internal transfer within my company to the asia/pacific region.

makeyourself
2006-09-07, 23:05
After finishing Uni (Marketing course, finish in 2010 :'( ), I had picked three countries for career opportunities: Back to Thailand, Singapore and Japan. My choice for Japan was a rather old decision I had, and then again I thought of really going to Japan through pre-conceieved impressions, anime and the news/documentaries on TV.
After reading through this thread, Japan might only be worth a visit. Shame.

DingoEnderZOE2
2006-09-27, 18:28
I've now seriously decided that I would like to go to Japan at least once before I hit my mid Twenties. However theres the problem of the seemingly insane prices for tickets that seem to plague the ears of an average American citizen. I already had a plan to get me two jobs(yes I have that much energy) to buy me fun things,food,clothes, while at the same time saving up money to get me a plane ticket(preferably two.....but I dunno.)to visit Japan.

What I would like to know is how likely is it to get a plane ticket for Japan with two jobs but with no rent of my own(Gotta make the most of that now while I can!) to pay yet? I heard there was a travel agency somewhere on the net that could send you tickets for cheaper than the average price.

I would also like to know the best places to stay for a 3 day long period of time should I manage to get the tickets and arrive there. I wouldn't wanna finally get to japan only to encounter a HUGE problem known as "WHERE CAN I SLEEP!?".

Finally if my plan doesn't sound reliable, whats the best way to get to Japan and back while still having enough money to stay for 3 days to a week(maybe.)and to shop?

sorvani
2006-09-27, 21:48
my experiences and recommendations are a few posts up (http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?p=658603#post658603).

seriously airfare from the middle of the US for only $800 is cheap. it is $650 from the west coast. i can't help you figure out anything more than that .

as for where to stay, hit the website linked in my previous post. it lists hotels of many price ranges.

raikage
2006-09-28, 02:48
Two jobs and no rent can add up to a LOT of money.

One full-time job is:
40 hours a week times, say, 50 weeks a year (two weeks off) = 2,000 work hours a year.

$10/hour, one full-time job = $20,000 a year (not counting taxes, health insurance, other expenditures you might have).

So having a goal of saving enough for a very short stint in Japan, considering your economic situation, is very doable.

Roxy06
2006-10-04, 08:20
Has anyone here ever been to Japan? Heck, I'm seriously thinking about doing a student-exchange thing or maybe like a trip there. How awesome would that be? Anyone know any good sites? Is it like a big necesity to speak Japanese? (Do they even have American tours?)

I've gone to virtualtourist.com, and that site is awesome.

Anywho, post your thoughts!

I've thought about going there one day... like a vacation thing or somethin!!:p

K_R
2006-10-04, 10:22
If you can't get into JET, just come to Japan and do some interviews with the major English teaching schools - berlitz, nova, geos, etc. They will sponsor you for a working visa, if they hire you.

Grifis
2006-10-04, 11:54
I've now seriously decided that I would like to go to Japan at least once before I hit my mid Twenties. However theres the problem of the seemingly insane prices for tickets that seem to plague the ears of an average American citizen. I already had a plan to get me two jobs(yes I have that much energy) to buy me fun things,food,clothes, while at the same time saving up money to get me a plane ticket(preferably two.....but I dunno.)to visit Japan.

What I would like to know is how likely is it to get a plane ticket for Japan with two jobs but with no rent of my own(Gotta make the most of that now while I can!) to pay yet? I heard there was a travel agency somewhere on the net that could send you tickets for cheaper than the average price.

I would also like to know the best places to stay for a 3 day long period of time should I manage to get the tickets and arrive there. I wouldn't wanna finally get to japan only to encounter a HUGE problem known as "WHERE CAN I SLEEP!?".

Finally if my plan doesn't sound reliable, whats the best way to get to Japan and back while still having enough money to stay for 3 days to a week(maybe.)and to shop?

I don't know where you live but anyways, their offices are in the US (so you want to call their office if you live in the area). It's a nice package if you go with someone.
http://www.jalpak.com/tours/jp_dicovery_pkg/

I didn't want the trouble of reserving things myself so I got their package. I went 2 years ago and pricing for a triple room was 1600 some and 1900 some for twin. That included round trip on JAL (from NY), transportation from airport to hotel and from hotel to airport, 7 nights in Kyoto and 6 nights in Tokyo. In Kyoto, we stayed at New Miyako and Karasuma. New Miyako is the most spacious and is right across the Kyoto station so you can catch buses or trains easily. The nice thing about Karasuma room is they served breakfast both Western and Japanese styles. The food was really good. It was also close to the shopping area. In Tokyo we stayed at Shinagawa. The room was alright, not too big but it was close to station and shopping areas so that was convenient. The cost for one way on bullet train from Kyoto to Tokyo was around 130 some for reserved seat if I recall correctly. Most tickets to various temples, castles, museums were under 1000 yen. The ticket price for Ghibli museum was 1000 yen and that was the highest. The day pass for buses within most Kyoto was 500 yen.

When I was there I went to Harajuku and saw a lot of jpop stuff but I wasn't into it before now I really want to go back. :D

LoOnatick
2006-10-04, 23:37
I'm visiting Kyoto some where next Winter (hopefully). Heard from a few friends that Kyoto is extremely beautiful in Winter.

raikage
2006-10-14, 12:50
Just found a way to get to Japan.

Warning: May not be worksafe.

http://www.keikos-homepage.jp/funtime.htm

raikage is not responsible if you take up this offer, go to Japan, and promptly get all your money taken at knifepoint by the Yakuza.

Shay
2006-10-14, 13:35
Just found a way to get to Japan.

Warning: May not be worksafe.

http://www.keikos-homepage.jp/funtime.htm

raikage is not responsible if you take up this offer, go to Japan, and promptly get all your money taken at knifepoint by the Yakuza.

HAHA! That is hilarious! Got to be a scam, just got to be...

*emails* See ya there JOJO-San ~ ;)

JOJOS'STAR
2006-10-14, 14:51
HAHA! That is hilarious! Got to be a scam, just got to be...

*emails* See ya there JOJO-San ~ ;)
Some people are just too cruel.. or much too naive. Ha-ha-ha.

It does sounds like someone is making fun of the gaijins.

*email sent* ...sounds pretty much like a gangbang to me... Shotgun on the toes!!

rio
2006-10-14, 18:24
Just found a way to get to Japan.

Warning: May not be worksafe.

http://www.keikos-homepage.jp/funtime.htm




oh, what a woman....
i am really ashamed of such kind of women as a same japanese woman.

Sazelyt
2006-10-14, 22:41
Just found a way to get to Japan.

Warning: May not be worksafe.

http://www.keikos-homepage.jp/funtime.htm

raikage is not responsible if you take up this offer, go to Japan, and promptly get all your money taken at knifepoint by the Yakuza.If true that will be a great experience for whoever is interested in. The "real" person who wrote it might be real "funny", for instance, a 50 year old, roundy around the belly area, having beard, mustache, lots of hairs, and everything. The best, you can share your experiences on TV.

Loniat
2006-10-15, 10:54
The real one: http://jennicheung.com/index.html

JOJOS'STAR
2006-10-16, 13:17
The real one: http://jennicheung.com/index.html
Watching Kelly Clarkson drunk was not something I was anticipating..

kj1980
2006-10-16, 17:41
Just found a way to get to Japan.

Warning: May not be worksafe.

http://www.keikos-homepage.jp/funtime.htm

raikage is not responsible if you take up this offer, go to Japan, and promptly get all your money taken at knifepoint by the Yakuza.

It's a fake.

Yeah, and her Japanese sucks (http://www.keikos-homepage.jp/index.htm). Her Japanese sentence and grammar structure is that of a level of an internet-based translator.

I highly doubt she goes to Todai either.

durrem
2006-10-18, 14:35
Another dream forever destroyed by kj "Dreamcrusher" 1980. lol

kj1980
2006-11-01, 20:51
Another dream forever destroyed by kj "Dreamcrusher" 1980. lol

Yeah, that's me. If you have any illusions about Japan, come and ask me and I will smash them down to pieces.

ainin
2006-11-23, 23:40
Yeah, that's me. If you have any illusions about Japan, come and ask me and I will smash them down to pieces.
Why would you do that?

ainin
2006-11-23, 23:43
I do have a lot of illusions about Japan like they sell Anime goods everywhere, but it is crushed by reality. They don't do that. Just stupid me. Well, Japan will be a fun place if you have a good friend companion. If not, it will be just quite and boring.

ainin
2006-11-23, 23:44
I do have a lot of illusions about Japan like they sell Anime goods everywhere, but it is crushed by reality. They don't do that. Just stupid me. Well, Japan will be a fun place if you have a good friend companion. If not, it will be just quite and boring.

That is just my opinion. Don't take it seriously.

Gundam Zero Force
2006-11-25, 18:35
ah . . . . I would like to go to Japan,

I live in USA and pretty much lived all over the place moving about every 2 years . . . it would be cool to go to Japan at least once.

Scribble
2006-12-13, 16:27
I visited Tokyo in January, and I can say pretty much that Japan lived up to my expectations and more. kj1980 and other Japanese members will obviously have a different perspective than non Japanese people because to them, being in Japan is a reality so they've obviously seen the ugly side of it.

But since I was a visitor on the surface, I never got to see that, and if others have the same experience I have, then it's easy to leave Tokyo with your "Japan in an anime dreamland" fantasy still in tact. Living there is an entirely different matter.

It's the same with London, I suppose. When I see tourists, I ALWAYS think "why the hell are they ooohing and aaahing at this disgusting place"

ps3mania
2006-12-13, 18:09
well, I lived in japan for six years during childhood, and I have to say it has its positives and negetives like all the countries. But I would love to live there than anywhere, bec they have the best convinient stores, there are places where otakus gather in thousands everyday, and bec I like japanese food (well, that is what I ate for 6 years in school). One of the negetive sides of japan has to be lack of space, and higher % of bullies being there than canada. But then again, there is not a single thing in the world thats perfect

ThoHell
2006-12-13, 20:17
I went to Japan along time ago, like when I was 9, actually yeah I was 9 because I remeber going there for my 9th birthday. An now I've made Japanese my major. Should be going to Japan again within the next few years to finish up the require credits needed to graduate then come back to San Francisco to graduate! LOL..I'm sure you all wanted to know that.... JAPAN IS REALLY PRETTY ^_^!!

darkcloud
2006-12-14, 08:20
Ok I didn't read all the thread yet, but, I wanted to reply to a few things......

-If you know someone in Japan, you should live with him, or to make an exchange with a japanese student in your family for example, because the price of the hotels is incredibly expensive .

-don't eat in the restaurant for the foreigner it's extremely expensive too : forget the meat, bread and all the western food in general, on the other hand the fish, and all the regional food (noodles and sushis in the sushis's bars ^^), are really not expensive.

-Transport is also extremely expensive (more or less 150-155 $ for Tokyo-Kyoto-Tokyo for example).

-if you don't talk japanese very well take a map! (and if you speak japanese take a map too ), the name of the streets aren't indicated, if you didn't know the places, you will remain 3 days in the street ^^

-Don't spend all your money in the first manga store by seeing that they can cost less than one dollars

-Don't look the beautiful japanese girl too closely in the street people will think that you're a stalker

-Hotels are not really expensive.... Yes you have to look in the right place but you can find cheap nice places to stay.. If you really get stuck you can stay in a damn love hotel for really cheap. lol

-Ehhhh? Avoid meat? lol I wouldn't have eaten very much if I had taken your advice.. Food infact can be very cheap, atleast a lot cheaper then here in London. Oh and no bread? wtf? lol I do suggest you avoid eating anything you would normally get at home though. Go for new experiences....
If you can find it go to the all you can eat/drink (including alcohol) Okonomiyaki place on the sunshine side of Ikebukuro... Really really awesome place... Nice owners there as well. :) Might be a bit hard to find though cause it's upstairs.

-If you are going as a visitor and will be travelling about get a JR Rail pass.... Me and my girlfriend both got a 21 day pass when we went for 3 weeks and saved a lot of money.... We went from Tokyo -> Kyoto -> Osaka -> Tokyo -> Hokkaido -> Tokyo as well as travelling about in the various cities every day... If you are staying in 1 city it's alright though.... Tickets around Tokyo were about 300 yen I think. That's less then the current price in London. v.v;;

-A map isn't all that helpful really, you find them getting in the way a lot. It's really easy to find your way around most places anyway.. Take one just for safety, but, otherwise you will find people very helpful and it will be a lot easier then studying a map. ;) You'll also find interesting places whilst lost. :)

-Yeah don't spend all your money in the first manga store you go to.... There are so many of them around it would be a pity not to have money for all of them. =P If you're a girl whatever you do go to the sunshine side of Ikebukuro! Loads of anime shops targetted at girls there. lol Guys should go there as well as they have a different selection of things you find in other places. ;)

-If you're there long enough you might end up getting stalked yourself like I did.... Don't take things to seriously there. ;)


Ok dreamers. First things first, visit japan before you make up these grand plans.

Who knows, you might think it seriously sucks when you get there, yes it is possible. Your view of japan is a romanticised one (yah i spellt that wrong ).

Yes i admit i would like to do the same thing but first things first, check the place out. After i get my armymoney im thinking of going there, it probably wont happen though since i dont want to go there by myself and it costs hellishly much.


Otherwise you might end up being in japan for a year while thinking it suxxors big time :P

Remember kiddies, anime is not real.


Yes do visit there first gives you a nice basis on what to build your plans on. ;)

If you like what you've seen about the place so far it isn't likely you'll think it sucks. Just as long as you're will to go about life differently to how you have before. ;) For me my view of the place was as I expected. lol

Seriously, go by yourself if you must it would be a shame to miss out on a great time because you were scared of going alone. ;) It really doesn't cost all that much.... Me and my girlfriend spent about £3000 on our trip, but, we spent large amounts on things you wouldn't expect.... £500 on concert tickets for a start (amazingly close to the stage of a Tokyo Dome sellout). ;)

That's not really likely unless you just sit inside the whole time. lol

Anime isn't real, but, a lot of it is based on life inside Japan so when you rip out the fantasy aspect of it you're left with what you can expect of the country really. =P

especially the last one, listen to the last one the most.
i dont know if its true in japan as well, but in asia men will beat u up if u make one wrong move on a grl. They hate molesters u see. they sometimes make bad judgements. haha

Not gunna happen. :-/ Getting into a fight at all in Japan isn't that likely. Don't molest people. >.>

And make sure you got like 50-80 bucks worth of yen for each person in your group, cuz when you leave japan, the airport charges your a fee for useing thier airport hub on your way out of the country (you dont have to pay a fee when you get off the plane into japan). I remember that we had too pay like a 15% exchange fee just too change our dollars into yen, so we could leave the dam airport. Ah, i forgot which hub this was, i think it was osaka.


Hmmm that never happened to me. :-/ You sure you didn't take luggage back that was over the limits? Cause that's the only time I can think of them doing that.

I do have a lot of illusions about Japan like they sell Anime goods everywhere, but it is crushed by reality. They don't do that. Just stupid me. Well, Japan will be a fun place if you have a good friend companion. If not, it will be just quite and boring.

That's not an illusion really. :-/ Tokyo has tons of 5-8 floor anime shops.. You will find 100-300yen machines everywhere with anime figures.... Random shops will have anime stuff. If you are a figure collector go to Den Den Town to see the TONS of figure shops everywhere.... Litterally about half way down it gets to a point where there is one every 3-5 shops. lol

Scribble
2006-12-14, 09:43
That's not an illusion really. :-/ Tokyo has tons of 5-8 floor anime shops.. You will find 100-300yen machines everywhere with anime figures.... Random shops will have anime stuff. If you are a figure collector go to Den Den Town to see the TONS of figure shops everywhere.... Litterally about half way down it gets to a point where there is one every 3-5 shops. lol

This is exactly what I mean....I had people telling me that I shouldn't expect much anime wise before I went to Tokyo. When I went to Tokyo I was like, "huh? Have these people actually been to Japan or are they just trying to stomp other people's anticipation and just trying to join in on the 'weaboo hate' bandwagon". Not everyone there has a good opinion of anime, as some of the japanese members here are saying, but saying that Tokyo won't quench an anime fan's thirst is just SO UNTRUE. Argh, I miss Akiba SO MUCH.

darkcloud
2006-12-14, 10:49
Yeah the reason I posted is because a lot of posts just seemed to be trying to put people off going with stuff which isn't really true....

Strangely Akiba wasn't the place I would call my heaven..... I had a lot more fun in Den Den Town and Ikebukuro....... Ikebukuro's animate was awesome and Den Den was just shop after shop of models..... It's also where I got my Minna models (densha otoko)! XD

Akiba was very cool though.... Oh and they had this special kind of crushed ice using some random machine for the ice or something... Delicious..

It certainly did quench my thirst and did the same for the games fan inside me..... The number of arcades everywhere was incredible!

A little hint for anyone going to Japan... Whatever you do don't stick to the main roads 100%.. Little less obvious side streats hold great secrets!


If you wanna stay in Kyoto I recomend Gimmond Hotel, which is pretty cheap, has an English speaking staff (don't count on it everywhere) and is basically good value for the money. If you wanna trim the price down a bit, you can skip breakfast (there's a 7-eleven just across the street). The best part though is that you can make reservations over the internet, without using a credit card or anything. Just fill in the form with your name and which nights you'll be staying, and all you have to do is show up on the day of your check in.


I just saw this........... That's crazy! £50ish a night is the cheapest room they have? That is not cheap by any means..... I stayed in hotels which were about 4000 yen a night and they were awesome... The rooms were every bit as nice as the ones in them pics..... The only difference is the ones I was in were in "shady" areas....... As in down back allies, with hostess clubs in Ikebukuro..... Whilst you sometimes got bothered by the scouts trying to get you into the clubs (as did everyone) it was perfectly safe and the hotels themself were awesome. If you're thinking that prices in Japan are high just don't go for these more mainstream hotels....

Scribble
2006-12-14, 14:43
Strangely Akiba wasn't the place I would call my heaven..... I had a lot more fun in Den Den Town and Ikebukuro....... Ikebukuro's animate was awesome and Den Den was just shop after shop of models..... It's also where I got my Minna models (densha otoko)! XD

I did go to Ikebukuro's animate, but by then I had spent all my spending money in Akihabara. Animate wasn't really my favourite shop because I didn't have PLENTY of money, and Animate seemed like the HMV/Virgin of anime and you could find cheaper prices in smaller shops in Akiba. Tora no Ana was good even though it was big, though and I had fun browsing through doujin (made me hungry for Comiket) Picked up a few Rozen Maiden ones.

The thing with these anime stores is I was just TOO overwhelmed by the number of goods available, especially since I live in London where anime merchandise is hard to come by cheaply.

We should have spent more time in Ikebukuro, we just visited that street which begins/ends at the Hello Kitty store, and ends/begins at that car showhouse.

sykopath
2006-12-14, 23:44
I lived in Japan for about 5 years and I'll tell ya, it's about one of the greatest places on Earth. All the people there are like so nice and it's such a beautiful place. I sure wish I didn't have to leave Japan. It was such a great place and I had great friends. I lived in Hiro, Tokyo.

darkcloud
2006-12-15, 04:37
I did go to Ikebukuro's animate, but by then I had spent all my spending money in Akihabara. Animate wasn't really my favourite shop because I didn't have PLENTY of money, and Animate seemed like the HMV/Virgin of anime and you could find cheaper prices in smaller shops in Akiba. Tora no Ana was good even though it was big, though and I had fun browsing through doujin (made me hungry for Comiket) Picked up a few Rozen Maiden ones.

The thing with these anime stores is I was just TOO overwhelmed by the number of goods available, especially since I live in London where anime merchandise is hard to come by cheaply.

We should have spent more time in Ikebukuro, we just visited that street which begins/ends at the Hello Kitty store, and ends/begins at that car showhouse.

The animate there was really cool if you looked around. There was a lot of stuff there which I didn't see anywhere else.... I got my complete set of Genshiken figures there for that reason. :) Also on that main road with the hello kitty shop there were a couple of arcades which had some really awesome grabber machines... Inside this 1 arcade in particular (the middle one I think) there was this cluster of grabber machines in a corner upstairs which all contained random anime/game figures.... I was getting tons of 600 yen figures for 100 yen each. :) I got loads of Higurashi and streat fighter figures mainly as I could litterally get one every time. ^^;;; They ended up adjusting them so I couldn't do it anymore. Me and a laugher there were laughing about it. =P (I can't speak Japanese so it was really strange how we ended up joking about it lol)


As for comiket, my girlfriend started harassing me about how we didn't go during that time....... The thing is I wanted to go during that time just because it was hotter, but, she suggested going during Tokyo Game Show. lol That was really awesome, me her and a familly of 3 cosplayed as bleach characters and we ended up getting way more attention then I thought...... 1 of the 3 we went with was a 6 year old cosplaying as Yachiru so that kinda explained it. =P This kinda ruined any future cosplaying experience though because it was on such a massive scale.... It's just not the same here in London. lol

Yeah some of the stores are overwhelming sometimes, but, I just decided to take my time, stroll through them and visit some shops more then once. lol I ended up very comfortable with that size shop by the end of the 3 weeks though... Now when I walk through London I look up at the skyline and it just seems too low... I've still not adjusted back to life here properly. =P

Me and my girlfriend only spent so much time in Ikebukuro as that's where we were staying in Tokyo.. We would end up back there every night no matter what so we got to see something new.... Speaking of which, there was an awesome restaurant there called Milkyway..... It had the nicest milkshakes and really cool parfaits...... It was decorated like space as you could guess from the name... This was also something I really liked about Japan, the amount of effort they put into stuff like that.... ^^d Anyway, Milkyway is an awesome date locations. lol

zvy
2006-12-25, 23:41
Hello everyone,
First day on this forum. :D

Could someone here could send me an invite for Mixi (www.mixi.jp (http://www.mixi.jp)) or Globee (www.globee.jp (http://www.globee.jp))?

I want to meet Japanese people and find friends in Japan before I go there. I want to join a Japanese network! Help!

Thank you in advance,
Z

Jessev
2006-12-27, 15:40
Hey,

I'm new to this thread (in fact, new to this forum :) ), and I don't really want to read the whole topic, buuuuut....

I've been to Japan last summer, for 1 month, and that was way too short. But it was a lot of fun, met a lot of people, etc.

Pictures can be found at: http://jesse.ssnt.org (categorized as well!).

With just a little bit of Japanese and a lot of english you can get around easily. Sometimes you have to adjust your english to how they say it, which is pretty funny. (One time I asked for the "subway" in Tokyo. This guy didn't understand me so I said "metro". Still didn't work so I tried "me-te-ro" and bingo!).

The Japanese are very friendly and the country itself has a lot to offer. I plan to go their again next summer!

Cheers,
Jesse.

NamiSukiNe
2006-12-30, 21:41
Well... uhmm... for me since I live in Japan
I think it's a great place to stay ne?
^_^
If you're friendly you'll probably Meet lots of friends...
^_^

CTU:AGENT_HOGAN
2007-01-26, 19:43
1.I'm considering to moving to japan but i dont speak any japanese just "bits and pieces" so what will be the best ways and also should i lived in a part of japan that is mostly gaijin that speak english and/or if they speak another language with english

2.Working in japan - i know there are "bilingual >japanese/english " place to work but my like of work fall under "Construction/Maintenances/Laborer/Driver" is there any company or jobs site that is bilingual friendly "since i'm a gaijin"

3.About driving in japan can can you tell me more about it

4.I heard that some japanese mock gaijin / make fun at them who try to speak there language is that true

5.Housing can you tell me more also " i want to pay the rent only no hidden fee "

6.Utilities work "Electricial,Water,Other " Tell me plz

7.is there any tv and radio is that englsih/japanese station

and to let you know i look at other site about

work and living in japan but is gave me a " smoking picture " so any info let me know

LSD-25
2007-01-26, 19:50
1.I'm considering to moving to japan but i dont speak any japanese just "bits and pieces" so what will be the best ways and also should i lived in a part of japan that is mostly gaijin that speak english and/or if they speak another language with english

If you only know 'bits and pieces' then I suggest you study hard and learn before you even consider moving to the country full time.


2.Working in japan - i know there are "bilingual >japanese/english " place to work but my like of work fall under "Construction/Maintenances/Laborer/Driver" is there any company or jobs site that is bilingual friendly "since i'm a gaijin"

I imagine there are places that will hire you but again knowing Japanese is going to be required if you're going to work with people that don't have a great understanding of English (IE, most any job you'll find).

3.About driving in japan can can you tell me more about it

What do you mean? Are you planning on getting a driver's license? In that case I'm un sure. If I were you I'd move somewhere with public transportation.

4.I heard that some japanese mock gaijin / make fun at them who try to speak there language is that true

Yes and No. If you're asking if you'll be seen as an 'outsider' then yes it's true. For example many property owners will be iffy or outright refuse to rent to a gaijin. I suggest you have a local friend help you with things like this if you do plan on going.

Will you get odd looks in public? Sure. Will kids point and say rude things about you? Sure. Often times they don't mean to be mean and/or rude though, you just look odd to them and in the case of the kid he's probably never seen someone from outside of Asia before. This will vary from person to person though, most of the time people are very friendly. I got a lot of "Your Japanese is very good" when I visited the country durring high school (I took entry level japanese in high school). My Japanese was and still is very poor, but they tell you how good it is anyway. :) I was also told the similar things when I used chopsticks (something any japanese child can do).

5.Housing can you tell me more also " i want to pay the rent only no hidden fee "

See above

6.Utilities work "Electricial,Water,Other " Tell me plz

Depends on where you live. Although I suggest you read up on the differnce between a 'western' bath and a japanese bath. ;)

7.is there any tv and radio is that englsih/japanese station

Should be the least of your concerns atm. Moving to Japan is not something one should do on a whim, it's a long process with much paper work to be done and many things you'll have to learn. Study the culture, the language, the people, visit the country a few times then decide if you'd like to live there.

Scifience
2007-01-26, 21:07
1.I'm considering to moving to japan but i dont speak any japanese just "bits and pieces" so what will be the best ways and also should i lived in a part of japan that is mostly gaijin that speak english and/or if they speak another language with english[QUOTE]

If you're planning on coming to Japan to work and live, you will need to speak at least some Japanese (unless you are going with JET/NOVA or the like, and even then it is highly recommended). You won't find a job without language ability, you won't be able to buy stuff, find an apartment, etc. I would say you would want to have at least JLPT level 3, and probably 2, certification under your belt if you were planning a permanent move for anything other than teaching English.

There is no "part of Japan that is mostly gaijin that speak English." There are very few foreigners living in Japan on a long-term basis at all when compared with many other countries, and they most certainly do not all live in one place. Obviously, there are more foreigners in large cities than in smaller towns and rural areas.

[QUOTE]2.Working in japan - i know there are "bilingual >japanese/english " place to work but my like of work fall under "Construction/Maintenances/Laborer/Driver" is there any company or jobs site that is bilingual friendly "since i'm a gaijin"

If you have a skill that is in demand, you'll be able to find a job. You'll need to find one before you go, though, or you won't have a work visa and therefore won't be able to legally work at all. Please keep in mind that you need at *least* a four year degree to get a work visa and a company willing to sponsor you (except in very rare circumstances, such as being a freelance journalist and therefore having no sponsor company). If you are fluent in Japanese, you will find many more jobs open to you.

3.About driving in japan can can you tell me more about it

Unless you are going to be living in inaka, the country, you will have no need for a car. Public transit is ubiquitous, prompt, clean, and safe. There is no need to have a car for 99% of foreigners, and a majority of the Japanese do not have cars.

In addition, cars are extremely costly. There are expensive required inspections, petrol is around USD $5.00 a gallon, and in a large city, parking expenses alone are enough to ruin your budget.

4.I heard that some japanese mock gaijin / make fun at them who try to speak there language is that true

Act like an idiot foreigner with no respect for the local culture and they will treat you accordingly. Learn the customs, the language, and don't act like a jerk and people will treat you very well. Obviously, there are racists and rude and mean people everywhere in the world, and Japan is no exception, but many of the "problems" reported by foreigners in Japan come because they feel they can act as they do in their native country without taking Japanese culture into account or simply do not understand the language or culture sufficiently to not appear rude to the natives.

5.Housing can you tell me more also " i want to pay the rent only no hidden fee "

Nice housing in large cities is expensive. You will almost always need to pay "key money," which is essentially a gift to the landlord, and a security deposit before moving in plus the rent. Expect to pay around to USD$1000 a month for what I would consider a "decent" apartment in one of the main wards of Tokyo.

As with anywhere in the world, though, you can find relatively cheap places and super-expensive ones. It depends on what you want. Again, though, you'll almost certainly need to be able to read and speak at least a good bit of Japanese to navigate the somewhat daunting process of finding an apartment in Japan.

6.Utilities work "Electricial,Water,Other " Tell me plz

Same as anywhere else in the world. You have to pay for them... :confused:

7.is there any tv and radio is that englsih/japanese station

Unless you subscribe to a satellite service, all broadcast television is exclusively in Japanese, except for some language learning programs.

Radio is the same, with the exception of the radio station aimed at US military people stationed in Japan.

and to let you know i look at other site about work and living in japan but is gave me a " smoking picture " so any info let me know

Bottom line: I'm afraid you haven't thought this through terribly well. Moving to the other side of the world is not something to take lightly, and you seem to have little idea what you want to do there or how to go about doing it. You seem to have no real language skills, and no job skills that would be marketable in Japan. Unskilled labor (which seems to be the sort of thing you mention) is not the type of thing you can usually get a work visa for.

I don't mean to discourage you or shatter your dreams or anything like that, but rather to provide a bit of a reality check. I hope you (and others) have found this information helpful. :)

CTU:AGENT_HOGAN
2007-01-26, 21:17
If you only know 'bits and pieces' then I suggest you study hard and learn before you even consider moving to the country full time.



I imagine there are places that will hire you but again knowing Japanese is going to be required if you're going to work with people that don't have a great understanding of English (IE, most any job you'll find).



What do you mean? Are you planning on getting a driver's license? In that case I'm un sure. If I were you I'd move somewhere with public transportation.



Yes and No. If you're asking if you'll be seen as an 'outsider' then yes it's true. For example many property owners will be iffy or outright refuse to rent to a gaijin. I suggest you have a local friend help you with things like this if you do plan on going.

Will you get odd looks in public? Sure. Will kids point and say rude things about you? Sure. Often times they don't mean to be mean and/or rude though, you just look odd to them and in the case of the kid he's probably never seen someone from outside of Asia before. This will vary from person to person though, most of the time people are very friendly. I got a lot of "Your Japanese is very good" when I visited the country durring high school (I took entry level japanese in high school). My Japanese was and still is very poor, but they tell you how good it is anyway. :) I was also told the similar things when I used chopsticks (something any japanese child can do).



See above



Depends on where you live. Although I suggest you read up on the differnce between a 'western' bath and a japanese bath. ;)



Should be the least of your concerns atm. Moving to Japan is not something one should do on a whim, it's a long process with much paper work to be done and many things you'll have to learn. Study the culture, the language, the people, visit the country a few times then decide if you'd like to live there.


so should i forget it "because i know not to give up but in my situwation" i shouldn't ?

I want to add one other detail my paret are from ireland and i travel about maybe 15 to 20 time from when i'm young to now with my father and i work over there help out my farther with his properity and operated heavy machinery

and i might consider working over there and there is a problem that i experience "even those my parent were born in this country and me going back with my father so many time - i fell there is some bias against me because irish-american but is doesn't brother me because i ignore them :dots:

i make good money here in the state but i fell that there is not enough work in NY " i'm not saying work is dead but for me is complicated "

is just that " what is best 4 me " and i my answer is i don't know


but also considering moving to pittsburgh near my brother in laws and one of my sister

so there is a alot a concerplating and decision making

kayos
2007-01-26, 22:00
So why do you want to move to Japan CTU:AGENT HOGAN? I mean it's a big world and there's plenty of places to move to.

Well anyway, getting a job in NY depends on who you know, it's all about connection.

I think it's a good idea to move closer to you family, you'll have the support if anything ever goes wrong.

CTU:AGENT_HOGAN
2007-01-26, 22:38
So why do you want to move to Japan CTU:AGENT HOGAN? I mean it's a big world and there's plenty of places to move to.

Well anyway, getting a job in NY depends on who you know, it's all about connection.

I think it's a good idea to move closer to you family, you'll have the support if anything ever goes wrong.

Well i got extended family in ireland

and i got my brother in laws and my sister in pittsburgh,PA

and why japan well here

>well i'm bend into anime since i saw "akira" for the first time and i was intrigue by this and well i get to know anime little by little thank " Sci-Fi AnimNation - that where they show all the cool anime " and well i got hook and my friend intoduct me to "jpop" and i didn't what jpop was unilt he explain like my favorite anime like

From Orginal Gundam & Akira to Dot.Hack he explain about how japanese muscian loan there music for op and en credit for anime and i get to know more about jpop and including jrock "from online"

my first real crush on jpop artist was " ayumi hamasaki " for inuyasha

and i can say that i use to collect action figure but not anymore i gave it up and sold them on ebay " some anime and some non anime "

and also from the movies like

Mr.Baseball
Black Rain " My Favorite "
Lost In Translation
Kill Bill 1 & 2
That Christopher Lambert Film "where he was being chase by ninjas on that train and get help by another ninjas"
Ju-on 1 & 2 " aka The Grudge 1 & 2 "
The Brother "is a good yakuza / americana gangsta film - ending suck "
Battle royale 1 & 2

Vexx
2007-01-26, 23:07
o.. my...

Well... moving from Ireland to the US is a bit of a culture shock... but moving from the US to Japan.... superficially some similarities but it is about as close to moving to an alien civilization as you are probably unable to imagine.

I'd suggest *visiting* there before moving there --- get a 3 month visa and find a ryoko or a host family to stay with ... *live* there, eat where the locals do, shop, etc. Work *very* hard on language ... no matter how good you get, be resigned to being the "dancing bear" -- they're just amazed you can do it at all.

It used to be nearly impossible to find blue-collar work there but with the local population collapsing ( no one having babies ) that attitude may change in a few years.

You'll probably never achieve citizenship but if your company finds you valuable you can probably get a long-term visa extended repeatedly. And that may change in 5 or 10 years as well as the need for tax-paying workers becomes more desperate.

Whatever you do, learn to speak, read, and write Japanese at least at the high school level for your own sanity. Preferably take a few courses in "business japanese" so you won't offend your boss. Study the local customs, religion (Shinto and Buddhism), learn how to behave in a civil manner the japanese are accustomed to (i.e. not the Loud Obnoxious American or European). Anime and manga is a *VERY* small part of the country's culture, many gaijin make that mistake.

Everyone should have goals ... I'd like to spend a few years there myself (teaching or at least regular extended visits).

CTU:AGENT_HOGAN
2007-01-27, 00:27
o.. my...

Well... moving from Ireland to the US is a bit of a culture shock... but moving from the US to Japan.... superficially some similarities but it is about as close to moving to an alien civilization as you are probably unable to imagine.

I'd suggest *visiting* there before moving there --- get a 3 month visa and find a ryoko or a host family to stay with ... *live* there, eat where the locals do, shop, etc. Work *very* hard on language ... no matter how good you get, be resigned to being the "dancing bear" -- they're just amazed you can do it at all.

It used to be nearly impossible to find blue-collar work there but with the local population collapsing ( no one having babies ) that attitude may change in a few years.

You'll probably never achieve citizenship but if your company finds you valuable you can probably get a long-term visa extended repeatedly. And that may change in 5 or 10 years as well as the need for tax-paying workers becomes more desperate.

Whatever you do, learn to speak, read, and write Japanese at least at the high school level for your own sanity. Preferably take a few courses in "business japanese" so you won't offend your boss. Study the local customs, religion (Shinto and Buddhism), learn how to behave in a civil manner the japanese are accustomed to (i.e. not the Loud Obnoxious American or European). Anime and manga is a *VERY* small part of the country's culture, many gaijin make that mistake.

Everyone should have goals ... I'd like to spend a few years there myself (teaching or at least regular extended visits).

you mean anime is NOT huge in JPN

WOW :twitch:

this is weird for a country that where anime for came from "inside japan"

can i ask you another thing is there a catholic church in japan "not religeous but curious "

but can i add one thing - everyradio station i'm not say the whole day but some station will have "talk forum" and while i'm with my father in his car i turn to some station and the complain and complain about the ireland goverment being so crappy

WHAT !

for one stop complainting have a guiness LOL !

and two ireland is the biggest country for all major manufature

if you order a dell,apple,ibm,dell if you lived in in europe the computer is made in ireland

also we got cannon and car maker chevrolet

but ireland is like other country that they dont like when goverment destroyed ireland history and land so they are very catiousbut now they are paying big $$$$ to buy land for larger project like the "by-ways" that link limerick to dublin

instead of take many road this will lead upto dublin

kayos
2007-01-27, 00:55
you mean anime is NOT huge in JPN

WOW :twitch:

this is weird for a country that where anime for came from "inside japan"

can i ask you another thing is there a catholic church in japan "not religeous but curious "


Dude there's more to life than anime, most people are probably just trying to make a living. They don't have time to watch anime or they're just not materialistic of the nonessential things.

After hearing your reasons for moving to Japan, I'd also recommend you visit before moving. I just don't think you have a solid reason but that's just me. Hell if it's your dream than go for it.

Oh and for the Catholic Church, I'm gonna guess they do (just using my common sense).

If you do end up moving, good luck and may the force be with you.

darkcloud
2007-01-27, 08:17
1.I'm considering to moving to japan but i dont speak any japanese just "bits and pieces" so what will be the best ways and also should i lived in a part of japan that is mostly gaijin that speak english and/or if they speak another language with english

2.Working in japan - i know there are "bilingual >japanese/english " place to work but my like of work fall under "Construction/Maintenances/Laborer/Driver" is there any company or jobs site that is bilingual friendly "since i'm a gaijin"

3.About driving in japan can can you tell me more about it

4.I heard that some japanese mock gaijin / make fun at them who try to speak there language is that true

5.Housing can you tell me more also " i want to pay the rent only no hidden fee "

6.Utilities work "Electricial,Water,Other " Tell me plz

7.is there any tv and radio is that englsih/japanese station

and to let you know i look at other site about

work and living in japan but is gave me a " smoking picture " so any info let me know

1. Well there is Rappongi inside Tokyo, but, it's not really what you're talking about....

2. *shrug*

3. Bikes, lots and lots of bikes.....

4. Are there American's who mock Asians and the way they talk?

5. Well the fee isn't exactly hidden.... You'll have to pay it, but, as it's so well documented no problem.

6. Yes you get water, electricity and stuff........ :-/ They do work.... If you pay..

7. .... :-/ Not on standard TV....

You got a smoking picture because people get a hard time from people when they have thought it through..... You haven't thought about anything. :-/ You sound really clueless.... :)

Anime and manga is a *VERY* small part of the country's culture, many gaijin make that mistake.

you mean anime is NOT huge in JPN

WOW

this is weird for a country that where anime for came from "inside japan"

How did you get that? He was saying there is so much more to learn about the country then anime and manga. :-/ Anime and manga is huge but it's not all you need to know..... Go back to the drawing board..... :-/



Reading your other thread I feel like maybe you are a joke character..... hmmm...

CTU:AGENT_HOGAN
2007-01-27, 09:42
Dude there's more to life than anime, most people are probably just trying to make a living. They don't have time to watch anime or they're just not materialistic of the nonessential things.

After hearing your reasons for moving to Japan, I'd also recommend you visit before moving. I just don't think you have a solid reason but that's just me. Hell if it's your dream than go for it.

Oh and for the Catholic Church, I'm gonna guess they do (just using my common sense).

If you do end up moving, good luck and may the force be with you.

What is the best place to find a good deal to fly to japan " flight / hotel / car rental " - just curious

and also what will i expect before getting there

and i know you going to say this

>learn some japanese phraise and when i get there get to know there language

right !

and also let me add something else

Japan Town / Little Tokyo - how that is compaire to japan " the same amount of stuff or just give your input "

kitto-chan
2007-01-27, 10:38
I dunno where some of the info you guys are providing are sourced from. But my experience in Japan is. First, Learn the phrase "(insert destination) doku desu ka?".
Secondly, memorize the Kanji for your city you are staying at. Third, The train stops running at 11:00pm. The green line stops are 10:00pm. So if you planning on going more than 7 stop be prepared to sleep at the train stop till 5:00am.

Purchase a train pass at the window. They have 1 day pass and 1 week pass. Trust me it will save you alot of money than shelling out 200-700 yen each time.

The toliet is not what you will be used to. Remember this is Japan, public restroom toliet requires you to squat, to do a number 2. Number 1 you can still stand but your shoes may get wet.

Don't get mad at the acarda if someone challenges you. The gaming system over there are far more advance, The acarda we have in the US the 2 control are side by side, in Japan if very different. You might be challenge without ever seeing your opponents faces till you walk to the other side. (of coruse we're not childrens)

Last piece of advice. Don't walk in the park alone at night. Trust me on this. If you see a couple walking in the park, chances are eventually they will dissappear into the brush and you might interruprt their good time. (I was embrassed the first time I did that). Oh and always have at least 7000 yen with you, never know when you will need to used the taxi.

kayos
2007-01-27, 11:01
What is the best place to find a good deal to fly to japan " flight / hotel / car rental " - just curious
I don't know, you're going to have to try all the different airline travel service.

cheaptickets.com
travelzoo.com
orbitz.com
cheapflights.com

But I usually use Jetblue, I found it to be the cheapest airline. I don't know if it goes to Japan though.


and also what will i expect before getting there
What do you mean? You mean what's gonna happen when you get there or what to expect? I don't know, personally I haven't been to Japan. But expect to see a lot of asians folks.


and i know you going to say this
>learn some japanese phraise and when i get there get to know there language
right !
It would help alot but you don't have to. I've traveled all around the world to at least 14 different countries and did you think I actually took the time to learn the language before going there, no.

Here's some lesson in life, all you have to do is be respectful and show kindness. Learning things as you go along is very helpful. Like it was said before, getting to know the custom and tradition is a plus. But all of that you can do over there. If you really have no clue, I'd suggest you make friends with someone that's fluent in Japanese or just get a guide (guide tour).

Hmm... that's not a bad idea, there's some japanese language courses that takes trips to Japan. Why not sign up for that, it'll be the perfect experience for you.


and also let me add something else

Japan Town / Little Tokyo - how that is compaire to japan " the same amount of stuff or just give your input "

Are you talking about Little Tokyo in Los Angeles? If so, I don't think you can compare that small part to the actual Japan itself. It's like comparing Little Italy in NY to Italy.

darkcloud
2007-01-27, 13:39
dunno where some of the info you guys are providing are sourced from. But my experience in Japan is. First, Learn the phrase "(insert destination) doku desu ka?".
Secondly, memorize the Kanji for your city you are staying at. Third, The train stops running at 11:00pm. The green line stops are 10:00pm. So if you planning on going more than 7 stop be prepared to sleep at the train stop till 5:00am.

If you're in Tokyo you don't need to really know that phrase.... It's easy to find people who know English there.. Infact, I found someone who spoke in english in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hokkaido (Hakodate). Just go to a train station and you should be ok....

.....Which green line? You mean in Tokyo? Cross country trains? What? In any case ever train line I travelled on stopped running at 24:00.... Even if you did miss the last train you could stay in a capsule hotel.... That's what they were intended for....



Or if you are just visiting the country then get a JR Rail pass..... Well that's if you are going cross country.....

[quoteThe toliet is not what you will be used to. Remember this is Japan, public restroom toliet requires you to squat, to do a number 2. Number 1 you can still stand but your shoes may get wet.

...........Yeah some toilets occasionally are the tradition Japanese style...... all the ones I found are modern though.. My girlfriend was telling me a lot more female toilets do have traditional style toilets though..... It isn't really a worry though. Everywhere that served food had a modern toilet and places that had traditional toilets also had a seperate place for modern ones....

Don't get mad at the acarda if someone challenges you. The gaming system over there are far more advance, The acarda we have in the US the 2 control are side by side, in Japan if very different. You might be challenge without ever seeing your opponents faces till you walk to the other side. (of coruse we're not childrens)

That's standard everywhere isn't it? Here in England people sit directly next to you and challenge you... It's the way things are done..... We also have some old machines which are opposite each other...... Is this really not done in the US? :-/

Last piece of advice. Don't walk in the park alone at night. Trust me on this. If you see a couple walking in the park, chances are eventually they will dissappear into the brush and you might interruprt their good time. (I was embrassed the first time I did that). Oh and always have at least 7000 yen with you, never know when you will need to used the taxi.


..........Ermmmm I never saw this once............... Also whhy would this stop you walking alone? Were there no love hotels in the area you stayed in? :-/

Scifience
2007-01-27, 13:57
I dunno where some of the info you guys are providing are sourced from. But my experience in Japan is. First, Learn the phrase "(insert destination) doku desu ka?".
Secondly, memorize the Kanji for your city you are staying at.

This is great for a tourist. If you're living and working there, your language ability needs to be on a totally different level.

Third, The train stops running at 11:00pm. The green line stops are 10:00pm. So if you planning on going more than 7 stop be prepared to sleep at the train stop till 5:00am.

What the hell are you talking about? There is no "green line" as far as I am aware, and there is certainly not a train line in any large city that stops running at 10PM. Most major train lines in Tokyo close around midnight: certainly not 10PM!

Purchase a train pass at the window. They have 1 day pass and 1 week pass. Trust me it will save you alot of money than shelling out 200-700 yen each time.

Different train companies have different passes. Different cities have different passes. What trains is this advice supposed to be for? Further, most commuter passes are monthly, not weekly and certainly not daily. There are some places with tourist day passes, though, and if you are a short-term visitor you can buy a JR pass (which only works on JR trains) before you leave for Japan.

The thing that *does* make sense to do if you will be spending time in Tokyo, though, is get a Suica and PASSNET card (which will be combined into one card, PASSMO, in March). Instead of buying a ticket each time, you can just preload the card with money and use it on most of the trains and subways in Tokyo.

The toliet is not what you will be used to. Remember this is Japan, public restroom toliet requires you to squat, to do a number 2. Number 1 you can still stand but your shoes may get wet.

I'm beginning to wonder how many years ago you were in Japan. Almost everywhere has western style toilets these days, and most of these have "washlet" features - that is, heated seat, bidet, dryer, etc - and you are unlikely to find many restrooms, even public ones, in large cities without at least one western style toilet.

It definitely pays to learn how to use the "squat toilets" - you never know when you might really need to use the restroom and find that this is the only option.

Don't get mad at the acarda if someone challenges you. The gaming system over there are far more advance, The acarda we have in the US the 2 control are side by side, in Japan if very different. You might be challenge without ever seeing your opponents faces till you walk to the other side. (of coruse we're not childrens)

Wow. Very useful advice: absolutely essential for anyone thinking of spending any time in Japan. :twitch:

Last piece of advice. Don't walk in the park alone at night. Trust me on this. If you see a couple walking in the park, chances are eventually they will dissappear into the brush and you might interruprt their good time. (I was embrassed the first time I did that).

There are some parks that are known for this sort of things and others that are not. I certainly wouldn't let this stop you from walking through a public place, though, since this certainly does not apply to all parks.

Oh and always have at least 7000 yen with you, never know when you will need to used the taxi.

Japan is very safe, and as such people usually carry a lot of cash with them. This is good advice, not just because of needing to use a taxi, but because many (probably even most) shops and restaurants will not accept credit cards.

kayos
2007-01-27, 14:01
That's standard everywhere isn't it? Here in England people sit directly next to you and challenge you... It's the way things are done..... We also have some old machines which are opposite each other...... Is this really not done in the US? :-/


Nope, here in the US, the challenger stands next to you and there's no chair (or bench) for us to sit on. All participants have to stand up. I guess it's better for communication between challengers and let you see who you're up against. You could say it's a face to face competition, sometimes it gets kind of intimidating.

darkcloud
2007-01-27, 14:36
Nope, here in the US, the challenger stands next to you and there's no chair (or bench) for us to sit on. All participants have to stand up. I guess it's better for communication between challengers and let you see who you're up against. You could say it's a face to face competition, sometimes it gets kind of intimidating.

Yeah, in England a lot of the time you get lines of people challenging (well not a lot, just for popular/new games) and if they want to challenge they put there money down on the machine waiting for someone to lose...... If you see one person playing a two player game though you can just go over put money in and challenge...... :-/ Depending on the set up you might or might not see the person...


Hmmm scifience seems to agree with me on the things that confused me most about Kitto's post.... Did you by any chance go to a really small town Kitto? :-/ That's the only thing I can think of, but, even the small town I went to had modern toilets........

By green line I automatically thought of the yamanote line Saikyo line as both went through Ikebukuro...... I never noticed one of them closed before 12pm and that was my hub to Japan as I mainly stayed at the hotel star plaza there.... :-/
One other thing that poped into my line was that there was a green JR pass, but, that wouldn't be it. lol

kitto-chan
2007-01-27, 15:55
What the hell are you talking about? There is no "green line" as far as I am aware, and there is certainly not a train line in any large city that stops running at 10PM. Most major train lines in Tokyo close around midnight: certainly not 10PM!
Where are you basing this off, the internet??? There are 3 lines , The Black (local), the red(intermite), and the green(Express) all operated by the JR Line. What do you mean they shut down at midnight? If so I wouldn't had to sleep at the Ebisu subway.

Different train companies have different passes. Different cities have different passes. What trains is this advice supposed to be for? Further, most commuter passes are monthly, not weekly and certainly not daily. There are some places with tourist day passes, though, and if you are a short-term visitor you can buy a JR pass (which only works on JR trains) before you leave for Japan.
There are only 3 companies that operate the trains in Japan as far as i know it. But the commuter trains that I used and that most japanese use is controlled by JR.

The thing that *does* make sense to do if you will be spending time in Tokyo, though, is get a Suica and PASSNET card (which will be combined into one card, PASSMO, in March). Instead of buying a ticket each time, you can just preload the card with money and use it on most of the trains and subways in Tokyo. Are planning on staying for an extended period? If not then get 1 week pass.



I'm beginning to wonder how many years ago you were in Japan. Almost everywhere has western style toilets these days, and most of these have "washlet" features - that is, heated seat, bidet, dryer, etc - and you are unlikely to find many restrooms, even public ones, in large cities without at least one western style toilet.1999-2001, when was the last time you were there?



Wow. Very useful advice: absolutely essential for anyone thinking of spending any time in Japan. :twitch: If you have childrens you will know the feeling.



There are some parks that are known for this sort of things and others that are not. I certainly wouldn't let this stop you from walking through a public place, though, since this certainly does not apply to all parks. you might be right. But then again I was in toyko was I stumble thru a session. The park near the castle with a 47' trench.


Japan is very safe, and as such people usually carry a lot of cash with them. This is good advice, not just because of needing to use a taxi, but because many (probably even most) shops and restaurants will not accept credit cards.
Correct, most shops don't accept cards, except that almost always within less than 1 mile there is an ATM or a Sumitomo bank, or a HSBC. The reason I adovacte carrying that much is not for spending but as I stated after 11:00pm Say you out partying in Roppongi, andyour hotel is in say, Chiba. that's 12 stops away. Well the express line is closed and the black line will only take you 4 more stops. Then what??? you either sleep at the station or catch a cab.

kayos
2007-01-27, 16:23
Say you out partying in Roppongi, andyour hotel is in say, Chiba. that's 12 stops away. Well the express line is closed and the black line will only take you 4 more stops. Then what??? you either sleep at the station or catch a cab.

Or you could carry a map and make your death defying journey to your hotel room. With two legs and a map, you can travel far.

Scifience
2007-01-27, 18:46
Where are you basing this off, the internet??? There are 3 lines , The Black (local), the red(intermite), and the green(Express) all operated by the JR Line. What do you mean they shut down at midnight? If so I wouldn't had to sleep at the Ebisu subway.

See this: http://www.jref.com/practical/transportation_tokyo.shtml

Look at the pictures. I can count quite a few more than three train lines there. Also of note is the fact that there are two metro companies, JR, and seven listed private rail companies that operate trains in the Tokyo area. There are some that are not even listed there.

There are only 3 companies that operate the trains in Japan as far as i know it. But the commuter trains that I used and that most japanese use is controlled by JR.

Again, see the page I linked to above. There are far more than three companies operating rail lines in Tokyo alone. In other areas of Japan, there are other private companies as well.

Are planning on staying for an extended period? If not then get 1 week pass.

Yes, but the OP was mentioning *moving* to Tokyo, not going as a tourist. Even as a tourist, the pass isn't always the cheapest route, depending on how often you will be using the trains and where you will be going.

1999-2001, when was the last time you were there?

November 2006. And I will be back in Tokyo starting this Tuesday.

If you have childrens you will know the feeling.

Quite possible. I'm still a teenager in high school, so I wouldn't know.

you might be right. But then again I was in toyko was I stumble thru a session. The park near the castle with a 47' trench.

I believe you. I was just pointing out that this is certainly not always going to be the case, and there is no need to stay clear of parks because of this.

Correct, most shops don't accept cards, except that almost always within less than 1 mile there is an ATM or a Sumitomo bank, or a HSBC. The reason I adovacte carrying that much is not for spending but as I stated after 11:00pm Say you out partying in Roppongi, andyour hotel is in say, Chiba. that's 12 stops away. Well the express line is closed and the black line will only take you 4 more stops. Then what??? you either sleep at the station or catch a cab.

The only problem with the ATMs is that most of the ATMs close after regular business hours or begin charging a hefty surcharge. That is one thing that has always baffled me: in a country with so much technology, what is so hard about having a 24-hour ATM? :confused:

Loniat
2007-01-28, 14:42
CTU:AGENT_HOGAN, don't go to Japan, it is sinking, or so some people believe.

kayos
2007-01-28, 15:24
well considering the fact the the artic is melting, you could say all the lands are slowly sinking.

Chobits*
2007-01-29, 01:34
So whats everyones guess on how long Japan will be underwater?

Ewok
2007-01-29, 03:46
Errgh, this thread (the last page at least) makes me queasy.

Going to Japan to work is not just a thing you do because you want to. There are conditions and requirements that you need to consider and pass before you can enter the country.

First if you want to work you need a working visa. If you don't please immigration, you can't enter the country for work. You have to have a company that is willing to hire you (that means finding an employer before you go to Japan), and generally you need to have graduated from college or university.

Once you have a company willing to hire you and you meet immigrations requirements, the paperwork is sorted, and several weeks or months later you get your visa and you can go to Japan.

When you get there hopefully your company will organize accommodation, or you have to do it yourself. For a normal apartment (not a more expensive guest house or monthly apartment) that means having somebody in Japan who will be your legal guarantor, having enough money for at least 4months rent (first month, broker fees, security deposit, and key money), and then you need to phone the utility companies and request they they turn on the gas, etc.
In Japanese of course, this being Japan and all.

Before that you will need a bank account so that you can pay for the apartment (you cannot pay cash), as well as receive you wages, and apply for things like a mobile phone. To do that you need to go to city hall and apply for an Alien Registration Card (ARC), which takes about a month. So for that first month you are a little stuck.

Then after all that everything is not-too-bad. You need to renew your "visa" before it runs out, your company will help with that.

Loniat
2007-01-29, 15:03
So whats everyones guess on how long Japan will be underwater?

Japan will be underwater and will become a legend, a mystical land were wonderful animes were produce, but nobody will believe because archaeologists will just find remnants of Hentai in H.264.

Now, sorry, back to the topic please..

CTU:AGENT_HOGAN
2007-01-31, 18:23
Well you gave me the info but

the consulat of japan located in new york gave me EVEN more info but you have gave me the good amount of info

so they did explain to me about the whole processure

but let me ask you this "for the people who lived in japan"

1.what part of japan that you dont pay alot for rent in japan

2.can you ask for translated bill "Electricial,Water,Telephone,Tv,Cellphone,Auto Insurances " ?


and also with a twist " unrelated to this " i email the consulet of ireland about the same time that i email the consulet of japan about moving & working in ireland and guess what "nothing " so this is what irish people think of me and irish-american

IRELAND + Goverment = RACISM !

Ewok
2007-01-31, 23:20
1.what part of japan that you dont pay alot for rent in japan

Anywhere away from the city centers. You have to travel further to get to work (which means that it costs more), or you work for less money outside of the cities.

2.can you ask for translated bill "Electricial,Water,Telephone,Tv,Cellphone,Auto Insurances " ?

Some you can, some you can't, some theres no point.

Water, Gas, Electric, Auto insurance, TV, telephone/internet are in Japanese, but simple to understand. They generally have "Gas Bill" written on the front and the important items (like when to pay, how much) will have an English note, with the majority of it being in Japanese.

Most cellphone companies will arrange an English bill if you want.

Remember Japanese people live in Japan and speak Japanese. English is a foreign language, and very little use to them.

and also with a twist " unrelated to this " i email the consulet of ireland about the same time that i email the consulet of japan about moving & working in ireland and guess what "nothing " so this is what irish people think of me and irish-american

IRELAND + Goverment = RACISM !

They just sound lazy. I can take a few days to reply to emails, don't mean I'm racist or hate you ;)

Quarkboy
2007-02-01, 06:11
So, I'm going to be coming to Japan for 2 years on a JSPS Postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Tokyo, Komaba (Researching string theory with the physics department).

So, for 382,000 yen a month, where should I live?

I'm a single, 20-something american male.

I was doing some internet apartment searching, and it seems like it might be worth it to pay more for a nicer place that's not too far away (yoyogi-chou or nearby).

Kyuusai
2007-02-01, 08:56
So, I'm going to be coming to Japan for 2 years on a JSPS Postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Tokyo, Komaba (Researching string theory with the physics department).

So, for 382,000 yen a month, where should I live?

I'm a single, 20-something american male.

I was doing some internet apartment searching, and it seems like it might be worth it to pay more for a nicer place that's not too far away (yoyogi-chou or nearby).

You'll probably want to find a liaison to help you make a selection. I'm from a small town and used to checking for rental property myself just by calling every place around, but in big cities it does make sense to find a "real estate agent" (kind of a funny term to use when talking about rental property). That goes doubly so when you're talking about entering a location where the rules are so very, very different, and a gaijin can get the short end of the stick very easily, it makes sense to have some one to help from the beginning to the end of the process. Perhaps the university can suggest a person or agency familiar with that area?

It can get hard for reasons you may not expect. There's the deposit, plus up-front rent, plus key money, plus whoknowswhat, plus... etc. One apartment might be more spacious for the same price, but has practically zero insulation. Another deal might seem to be good to be true, but is a genuinely good deal because it's numbered wrong (superstition is powerful in some places). One place might not want to rent to gaijin, another might rent to them but expect them to park somewhere else, and another might want to charge more... And these are just a few light-hearted examples pulled from memory. :)

felix
2007-02-01, 09:13
@ Chobits
Sinking?! Uhh, land masses cannot sink.
Have you seen one sink before :p

@ Quarkboy
Weren't you born on 25th of December 1979, so "something" = 7 ;)

@ Kyuusai
And what are the magical unlucky lucky numers in Japan.

Quarkboy
2007-02-01, 09:13
It can get hard for reasons you may not expect. There's the deposit, plus up-front rent, plus key money, plus whoknowswhat, plus... etc. One apartment might be more spacious for the same price, but has practically zero insulation. Another deal might seem to be good to be true, but is a genuinely good deal because it's numbered wrong (superstition is powerful in some places). One place might not want to rent to gaijin, another might rent to them but expect them to park somewhere else, and another might want to charge more... And these are just a few light-hearted examples pulled from memory. :)

I'm not particularly ignorant of the intricacies of the Japanese rental system (and I've had about 4.5 years of japanese), so I'm well aware of key-money (rei-kin), pre-rent, real estate agent fees, etc... And I'm pretty sure the university will act as my guarrentor.
One question I have: should I live at aome short-term (week to week) gaijin house while I search for a more permanent apartment, or maybe just rough it at 24 hour internet cafe's till I get a place? I wonder how long it'd really take to find an apartment in tokyo... I'd hope not more than a few weeks.

Kyuusai
2007-02-01, 10:56
I'm not particularly ignorant of the intricacies of the Japanese rental system (and I've had about 4.5 years of japanese), so I'm well aware of key-money (rei-kin), pre-rent, real estate agent fees, etc... And I'm pretty sure the university will act as my guarrentor.
One question I have: should I live at aome short-term (week to week) gaijin house while I search for a more permanent apartment, or maybe just rough it at 24 hour internet cafe's till I get a place? I wonder how long it'd really take to find an apartment in tokyo... I'd hope not more than a few weeks.

It sounds like you have the information you need (sorry for assuming you didn't, but "better safe than sorry", andI've been conditioned by the rest of the thread...).

Perhaps your college life has prepared you for the stress of uncertain living arrangements (especially if you've been an office-dwelling grad student), and you can get by with some shut-eye in 24 hour establishments, but with everything else you'll have to do, it could be rough. Personally, I'd be concerned about the stress and random circumstances (should clothes go un-ironed, etc) creating a bad impression at your new place of employment.

If it were me, personally, I'd stay at the gaijin house before I'd try the cafe-hopping route, unless I had prior experience in Japan that would assure me I'd have no problems doing it (and could fit all my luggage into one inconspicuous backpack!). But before I'd do THAT, I'd try to arrange housing prior to arriving in Japan at all.

Vexx
2007-02-01, 13:07
You might also check out the "host family" arrangements to see if they offer any short term arrangements... those are good for socialization purposes (initiating social networks) if naught else - while you look.

I'd be surprised if the university doesn't have the sort of facilities that you couldn't just bum on campus (shower at the gym or a bath house, nap out in a library or office, communicate via cafe).

Personally, I'd work extra hard to avoid the gaijin house ... most people I know of weren't fond of the experience if only because it has an isolating effect (never mind the potentially huge variation in housemate quality :) ).

Gaiarth
2007-02-01, 16:45
I can't vouch for them personally, never having used them, but people have told me that Sakura House (http://www.sakura-house.com/) are an ok option for a month or two while sorting out longer term accomodation.

Ewok
2007-02-01, 21:14
So, I'm going to be coming to Japan for 2 years on a JSPS Postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Tokyo, Komaba (Researching string theory with the physics department).

So, for 382,000 yen a month, where should I live?

Get onto Chintai (www.chintai.net)

If you can't work it out, drop me a PM ;)

If you are receiving 382,000en/mth and living alone I'd get a nice 1DK/1DLK (1 bedroom, Dining Living and Kitchen), no more than 100,000 a month. Maybe if you get a 70,000en place and get parking (30,000mth) then you can buy a car and get about on weekends and during holidays.

Don't forget Japanese apartments are unfurnished - buying second hand is cheap though.

Oops - Location - You will be around Shinjuku, so Shinjuku-ku, Shibuya-ku, maybe even out towards Roppongi. Expensive areas, but convenient for you. Takadanobaba is alright too.

I wonder how long it'd really take to find an apartment in tokyo... I'd hope not more than a few weeks.

Month at least. Find a place, check it out, sign the papers, wait for the landlord to prep it. 2 weeks at shortest if you found a room on day one.

kitto-chan
2007-02-01, 22:59
Get onto Chintai (www.chintai.net)

Oops - Location - You will be around Shinjuku, so Shinjuku-ku, Shibuya-ku, maybe even out towards Roppongi. Expensive areas, but convenient for you. Takadanobaba is alright too.


if you planning on Shinjuku, you won't need a car, that's a major hub for the trains. ie.. that's where they park it at night.

Ewok
2007-02-02, 00:12
if you planning on Shinjuku, you won't need a car, that's a major hub for the trains. ie.. that's where they park it at night.

Thats not where they park the trains at night - Higashi-jujo, Oku, Ueno are 3 places I know where trains are stationed overnight.

Shinjuku is a large train station, but it does not have access to Shinkansens (they are 30mins away at Shinagawa), and you can't take a train to everywhere.

What I was getting at is if on weekends and holidays he wants to go out into the country or see something specific it will be of use to him.

Quarkboy
2007-02-02, 03:20
Thats not where they park the trains at night - Higashi-jujo, Oku, Ueno are 3 places I know where trains are stationed overnight.

Shinjuku is a large train station, but it does not have access to Shinkansens (they are 30mins away at Shinagawa), and you can't take a train to everywhere.

What I was getting at is if on weekends and holidays he wants to go out into the country or see something specific it will be of use to him.

I'm not sure that the expense of keeping a car in Tokyo is worth it if I'm alone. I'm the kind of guy that'd be happy to take local trains around the county. Plus I'm totally scared of driving on the other side of the road.... that'd freak me out! :)

Navel
2007-02-02, 05:22
I wonder how did this custom of driving and driver on the right side caught in Japan. I though only England was like that ! ^^

Have a pleasant stay in Japan, Quarkboy !

Gaiarth
2007-02-02, 20:13
Rather off topic I'm afraid, but you'll find that rather a lot of countries drive on the correct (as opposed to right :) ) side of the road. Most of them were British colonies, but Japan were on the right tracks themselves before we made up their minds for sure..

Road side stuff (http://users.pandora.be/worldstandards/driving%20on%20the%20left.htm)

To try and get back on subject:

As for having a car, it might be easier to just rent one on those occasions you feel like going out into the middle of nowhere. No need to worry about parking, and you could pick it up near the area you want to explore rather than drive all the way there as well.

Scifience
2007-02-02, 21:22
As for having a car, it might be easier to just rent one on those occasions you feel like going out into the middle of nowhere. No need to worry about parking, and you could pick it up near the area you want to explore rather than drive all the way there as well.

I agree fully with this. You really don't want to mess with a car unless you have to - the constant and expensive inspections, the parking charges, the high cost of gas (at least if you are coming from America), and the fact that, if you are living in a major urban area, you don't need one, are all reasons not to get a car.

You'd be much better off just renting if you decide you need one. Of course, you'll still have to go to the trouble of getting a driver's license, which isn't an especially fun and easy process in Japan.

Gaiarth
2007-02-03, 14:44
Well, as a stop-gap measure an international driving permit would be acceptable and valid for a year. After that you would need to take a test though. The UK is one of those countries that has an agreement meaning that you can get a Japanese license with only minimal work. The US, unfortunately, isn't and you'll need to pass a full test.

Vexx
2007-02-03, 22:23
But again.. there's very few places in Japan that lack public transportation so the expense of leasing/renting, driving, and finding somewhere to put it become questionable. I never use a car in San Francisco or New York and as little as possible in other cities (Portland, OR - Vancouver, BC, Victoria, etc) and avoid it in Europe so in a country like Japan with such an extensive public system I'm not really sure why one would need one. Cars are really a pain in the ass in some places.

Part of exploring and visiting a country is to see and experience how the locals live - not bunk up in a HoJo's, spend all your time looking for McDs/Pizza, and driving everywhere alone in a car.

Ewok
2007-02-05, 23:10
There are many places where I would say having a car is almost essential if you want to explore - Tokyo is not really one of them, but if you have the time and money I recommend it purely for the fact that 90% of the interesting, non-tourist-trap locations are far from stations, and trains don't run 24hours a day.
(Those teaching English, or on wages below 4mil/yr should not even bother).

Saying that the trains and buses will get you to just about anywhere you need to go.

retardation
2007-02-28, 23:29
i have some questions. sorry i haven't read the entire thread so i don't know if these have already been addressed:

1. how good of a vacation is going to japan all by yourself. i've never traveled anywhere alone before but i really would like to visit japan and don't know anyone who wants to go with me/can afford it. is it easy to say make travel friends with random people or anything like that. one guy i know told me that people are really friendly but then another japanese-canadian friend of mine said that most people are actually annoyed by foreigners and are just being polite. is it easy to make friends with other tourists... any situation i could put myself in to make friends with other tourists?

2. is there anything especially bad about being of east indian origin? i hear that blacks and whites get looked up to and other east asians like filipinos are looked down upon so where do indian guys fit?

3. what you think about the strategy of booking a known/major hotel for 2-3 days before i go and then trying to find a hostel/cheap hotel for the remainder of my trip? note: i don't speak japanese.

Gaiarth
2007-03-01, 05:11
The first time I visited Japan was by myself. I had fun, but it can also be a bit overwhelming if you have nobody to share the experience with. Especially if you have little or no Japanese.

If you stick to places like Tokyo and Kyoto you'll have no trouble just surviving and seeing the sights. As for making friends with other tourists, it really just depends on who you meet. Most places I've stayed where there have been other tourists we've at least chatted; you have the shared thing of being outsiders so it's easy to start a conversation just by asking where they have been/planning to go. A couple of times I've gone on with some to visit places, and once on an all-night bender in Roppongi. (Which was interesting, but not something I'd do more than once...)

As for the Japanese, it really depends on the person. Some of them may just be acting polite, some really are friendly. I've had some nice chats with Japanese on long train journies and such, been taken for a drink completely at random by some old guy in Kagoshima who wanted to chat about the time he'd spent in England. On the whole, I'd say I've had more positive experiences than negative.

As for where to stay, you can do it quite easily the way you suggested. But if you know where you plan on going and how long you plan to stay in each place, it can be much simpler to book all your accomodation in advance. I always recommend the Japanese Inn Group to people who are visiting for their first time. http://www.jpinn.com The ones I have stayed at have all been very friendly, they are geared towards foreign visitors and you get a taste of sleeping on a futon in a tatami room.

One other place I would recommend in Tokyo is the Kimi Ryokan. http://www.kimi-ryokan.jp/ They are very popular amongst foreign visitors, located quite handily near a major station, reasonablt priced and very easy-going in their rules. Because it is so popular, and because you have no TV in your room and people tend to congregate in the lounge area, it is also a good place to meet other tourists.


Afraid can't be of any help at all with the second question...

Shiokaze
2007-03-11, 21:42
I am visiting Japan this summer with my school exchange program. I will be staying with a host family and I was wondering what would be a good gift for them? Some gift I could probably give to the family as a whole. I don't know if there is a daughter or son in the family yet, so I don't know what I should bring for them. I was thinking something America themed, however, even that is hard. I don't know... hmm maybe some baseball caps?

Syaoran
2007-03-12, 02:14
They know baseball very well in Japan. I'd look for something different :)

No idea what would be a typical American product. Don't you've some traditional/artisanal stuff? For Belgians it's easy: chocolates. We know they're fond of it :p

Vexx
2007-03-12, 02:56
From the US, I'm afraid hotdogs or lawyers don't store well in backpacks :)

Wine is a big fad there... wine from oregon or some unusual place in the US might be a hit (e.g. Texas wine) ... but then you're probably not 21+.... (also not sure what you can actually import so check customs rules)

The chocolate idea isn't bad as there are some excellent "micro-brew" chocolatemakers in America.

The more you find out about your host family the better, but you might look for something that your home town or region is known for ...
that would be an icebreaking measure as they will be curious about your home area. Obviously you'll have to decide how much to spend, but something that implies thoughtfulness and uniqueness rather than a "gift card" :) is the direction you want to go here...

The more I think about it, the harder it gets.... mostly food items come to mind and they're either hard to transport or possibly against the rules. Here in Oregon, we have a store called "Made in Oregon" that sells locally made items, perfect for such a situation. Your state may have something like that.

poptart
2007-03-12, 09:42
I am visiting Japan this summer with my school exchange program. I will be staying with a host family and I was wondering what would be a good gift for them? Some gift I could probably give to the family as a whole. I don't know if there is a daughter or son in the family yet, so I don't know what I should bring for them. I was thinking something America themed, however, even that is hard. I don't know... hmm maybe some baseball caps?

for something about where you are from, maybe this could help.

for christmas me and my roommate got each other photo books of our home towns. we were both from big cities so it was pretty cool. i'm from chicago so there were tons of books with some awesome photos taken by some of the worlds best photographers. she was from boston and i was suprised by how beautiful some of those old buildings are.

so maybe like a book on architecture or famous spots. so that way they could literally see where you're from and it a cool ice breaker.

silverwolf
2007-03-14, 22:00
Well iv been in japan and honestly speaking i didnt like it its crowed the dudes over their are all perverted (and i a dude btw)theirs panty machines that the dudes go to.This is stupid but i shall say it non the least in the train i took, (its F ing expensive btw) i saw a dude going in sum girl skirt the weird part was she didnt scream or anything im not bull sh ing u! + the takeout is so expensive the hotels are expensive ...

well if I may, if u want to travel the world take a look at ROME its so beautiful and the landmarks too and its like u feel that u are always welcome everywhere u go:)

anyway this is my experience in those countries maybe u will have it totally different from me

sorvani
2007-03-16, 20:07
I've been to japan two times and my third trip starts on Thursday.

I can not say I have had those kind of problems. Staying in Tokyo is no more or less expensive than staying in New York City.

Ewok
2007-03-20, 03:24
theirs panty machines that the dudes go to

I'm not going to correct your hideous grammar, but there are no more used panty vending machines in Japan. Zero. Zilch.

i saw a dude going in sum girl skirt the weird part was she didnt scream or anything im not bull sh ing u!

Oh no! And if they were a couple? Or married? Hmmm?

+ the takeout is so expensive

Matter of opinion. Average meal price is 600-1200 yen - thats $5-11.

the hotels are expensive ...

~$80 for a twin share per night at the cheaper end (queenbed, ensuit)

Syaoran
2007-03-20, 04:29
Lol Silverwolf... where have you been hanging around in Japan XD
And Italy is certainly not cheap either O.o
Move your ass the to the Dolomites and your money will melt away as well.
Japan isn't that expensive when don't spent money on the first thing you see. The only really expensive things were the flight tickets.
You get a good meal for around 5€ where in my country you'll easily pay 10-15 € and that doesn't include the drinks you get for free in Japan and as much as you want: water or tea

Vexx
2007-03-20, 16:18
silverwolf probably got the "bakagaijin" travel package which is available in almost any country including Italy :) :)

As Ewok, Syaoran, and the Lonely Planet travel guides point out -- you can experience a lot in Japan for far less than wandering aimlessly in New York. You just have to do as the locals do...

I prefer the family-run inns and ryoko ... more expensive than the hostels... but lots more human than the "I can get this room in any city on the planet" HoJo-Hiltonesque crapola.

Gaiarth
2007-03-20, 19:24
Well, in all fairness, I have to say that my visits to Japan have been very expensive...but that's because of all the shopping I do. Akihabara is doubly deadly, as I enjoy anime and I love gadgets :)

As far as accommodation and eating go, it's the same as pretty much anywhere, you can do it expensive or you can do it cheap. I've always set myself a daily budget of 10,000 yen for living expenses (accommodation, food, local transport, shrine visits, drinks from vending machines etc) and always had a very comfortable stay without using generic business hotels. And I dare say you could do it a fair bit cheaper than that if you didn't mind roughing it a bit.

Vexx
2007-03-21, 13:19
Aye... a "$100" a day (~12000yen) per person pretty much describes my target budget for my wife and I almost anywhere we travel. We usually undershoot by a large margin even in Japan.

Ikaruga22
2007-03-23, 00:23
hey im taking a vacation in japan for the first time. i was wondering if u guys had suggestions on what to do there. i am going to be staying in ikebukuro. thanks !