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Old 2009-03-07, 06:44   Link #441
ZephyrLeanne
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Wellington, NZ
Age: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystique View Post

Uhh right, because Yoyogi park is just one big ass mass of sand, right?

Or even better, Ueno Park is an ocean!
And don't even get me started with Shinjuku Goen, Higashi Goen (near the Imperial palace), Hibiya Park.

Gee I know Tokyo is concrete haven than most cities in Japan, but parks do exist in freaking captial cities. The one's I listed are just tourist trap ones even.
Just walk off the main path, turn a corner or two and you may be pleasantly surprised at what you'll find, especially in a country like Japan.
</city slicker rant>
Depends, as some parts of Tokyo ARE pretty concrete. I think he's just not been looking.
Still. I think it's a good idea to take a day trip out of Tokyo sometimes.
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Old 2009-03-07, 07:07   Link #442
Mystique
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShimatheKat View Post
Depends, as some parts of Tokyo ARE pretty concrete.
What... like the roads and buildings you mean? About 5 instant cities around the world spring to mind when I think 'concrete'
Quote:
I think he's just not been looking.
Still. I think it's a good idea to take a day trip out of Tokyo sometimes.
Bingo.
Tokyo won't offer green at every corner but if you make a little detour from your everyday lives and explore, it can be a pretty neat treasure grove in itself
Naturally, Yokohama (one of my top fav places) is next door below if you wanna step out of central metro Tokyo.
Visit Yamashita Park, Chinatown and all the port area in the spring and it's delightful. <3
*makes a mental note to do so herself in the coming spring weeks*
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Old 2009-03-07, 07:09   Link #443
ZephyrLeanne
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystique View Post
What... like the roads and buildings you mean? About 5 instant cities around the world spring to mind when I think 'concrete'
Shinjuku? Shibuya? I've never lived inside Tokyo proper, I always resided in Tama.

Quote:
Bingo.
Tokyo won't offer green at every corner but if you make a little detour from your everyday lives and explore, it can be a pretty neat treasure grove in itself
Naturally, Yokohama (one of my top fav places) is next door below if you wanna step out of central metro Tokyo.
Visit Yamashita Park, Chinatown and all the port area in the spring and it's delightful. <3
*makes a mental note to do so herself in the coming spring weeks*
Yokohama. Nice place. Also the only place in Japan that's more expensive in Tokyo IMO.
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Old 2009-03-07, 10:43   Link #444
nikorai
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Quote:
Probably the only major industrialized first world country I have heard you may have trouble with is Russia.
Uh, Russia is mentioned again. Now I'm gonna cry.
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Old 2009-03-07, 12:33   Link #445
Ryuou
進む道は武士道のみ
 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Dying to get back to Japan (but currently near Chicago)
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What? There are actually parks in Tokyo? Where the hell have I been looking all this time?

I'm talking about the lack of grass, trees, and greenery in many parts of Tokyo (the city, city parts). Sure you can go and find a park in many different places, but that doesn't change the fact that you've been walking for the past 20 minutes without seeing a single bit of green. (slightly exaggerated)
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Old 2009-03-07, 19:51   Link #446
Mystique
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Originally Posted by Ryuou View Post
What? There are actually parks in Tokyo? Where the hell have I been looking all this time?
Out of a pair of 'Tokyo has no parks!' goggles, so you've never noticed, nor thought otherwise to try?

Quote:
I'm talking about the lack of grass, trees, and greenery in many parts of Tokyo (the city, city parts). Sure you can go and find a park in many different places, but that doesn't change the fact that you've been walking for the past 20 minutes without seeing a single bit of green. (slightly exaggerated)
That's the thing.
The reason I went off on one earlier is cause that's like people going 'there are no green in Egypt by the pyramids!!'
It. Is. A. City.
London and Tokyo aside, they're capital cities. They are central business HQ for Europe and Asia and I can even risk adding Singapore to that group too, but it's more well balanced as a little island landscape wise.
And if we're gonna narrow it down to central tourist trap areas,
It is a metropolitan area meant for businesses and consumerism and tourism.
Mass people? Yes.
Mass traffic? Yes.
Lots of hustle and bustle? Yes.
Parks? Yes.
Harbour? Sea? Yes. (Odaiba is one example for those who're wondering)

Like New York, like London, like the main business/shopping district of Singapore (Ochard Street iirc from visiting) there will be masses of concrete.
Hell New York dominates with skyscrapers too, when I went there, central Manhattan is pretty 'concrete'. The only main park that place has (that I know and went to) is Central Park, otherwise I saw no 'green' but wasn't actively looking for it anyways.
It's a c-i-t-y.
But yes, those are areas specifically built for industrial life. If you want green, you'd have to make a conscious effort to visit a park, and they have their fair share just as beautiful, peaceful in all its aesthetic Japanese glory.
Search it out, but do not randomly go 'uggh, don't visit Tokyo! It’s concrete and nothing else, waste of time.'
It's not just you guys, I've seen it time and time again in this thread, but this time it was enough to pass my 'endurance' (ganman) point.

That kinda ignorance irks me to no end.
Kyoto is great at all, but is just as crowded with tourists, hell, you'll catch more foreigners doing the same damn thing as you, trying to experience the same than you'll see natives. It also has it's fair share of traffic and noise, just that it has a diff atmosphere to the place but I personally don't see it as 'better' than Tokyo.
Osaka is no diff either, hit central tourist trap areas and we're looking at a mini Tokyo.
Shinjuku has Shinjuku park and Yoyogi next door and are lovely wide places. Shibuya, hop on the Yamanote Line for 1 stop to Harajuku and you're by the Imperial Park or 10mins ish walk from Yoyogi again.

So like I said, make an effort to research what you want in a city/town (for any holiday or foreign place you visit) and you may be surprised or heaven forbid, even satisfied and pleased.
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Last edited by Mystique; 2009-03-07 at 20:03.
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Old 2009-03-07, 20:14   Link #447
Ryuou
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Dying to get back to Japan (but currently near Chicago)
Age: 26
Haha, the way you think I know nothing about Tokyo is just as irritating. I may be getting close to my (ganman) point as well.

Quote:
Search it out, but do not randomly go 'uggh, don't visit Tokyo! It’s concrete and nothing else, waste of time.'
I don't remember myself or anyone else mentioning that.

Quote:
It. Is. A. City.
Obviously, but it's not too much to ask for a patch of grass or a tree here and there. I'm not talking about a whole park. I personally don't like cities as I prefer the nature (which may make me more sensitive to the issue), but out of all the cities I've been to in the world, Tokyo may be the most lacking when it comes to this. I've talked to many people who can feel that element of unnaturalness to Tokyo.

But again, no one is hating on Tokyo like you seem to think. Tokyo is my hometown (city) so no matter how many issues I have with its city aspects, I’ll always have a very deep connection to it. So maybe you can come off your Tokyo high horse.

Quote:
Kyoto is great at all, but is just as crowded with tourists, hell, you'll catch more foreigners doing the same damn thing as you, trying to experience the same than you'll see natives.
This is true.
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Old 2009-03-08, 00:33   Link #448
Mystique
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: In the eastern capital of the islands of the rising suns...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryuou View Post
[COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana]Obviously, but it's not too much to ask for a patch of grass or a tree here and there. I'm not talking about a whole park. I personally don't like cities as I prefer the nature (which may make me more sensitive to the issue), but out of all the cities I've been to in the world, Tokyo may be the most lacking when it comes to this. I've talked to many people who can feel that element of unnaturalness to Tokyo.
That's the funny thing.
I walk around and see the trees here and there. A lot of main roads have tree lined streets. In the spring a busy section of central Tokyo (let's take Meiji Dori) can be transformed in pink, in autumn as it was some months back it can be transformed into a red/gold/green kaleidoscope.
You can walk down many small streets of residential areas and find the odd hidden tree lined river here or there, or a shrine surrounded with trees and plants. Depending on the shrine, if it's fairly big, a small garden can be found to sit and relax in relative silence and greenery just maybe 2-3 mins from a main noisy traffic jam packed high street, but you'd never guess from the change in atmosphere.
If it's not parks you're thinking of but some green here and there and the trees big and small planted and scattered around central isn't enough, then I wonder what aspect of 'greenery' you're thinking of as a native resident of the city.

The only aspect I can relate to in terms of that 'unnaturalness' is that it's literally squeezing 12million odd or so people in a very small circumference of space, so it's incredibly overwhelming. I don't think other major cities are any less unnatural than Tokyo, save in the fact that they have slightly more space to spread the hustle and bustle over, whereas central tokyo is crammed, packed and concentrated. (Well a good majority of cities within the country typically are)

I mentioned above, it's not just you guys, it's something I've heard a fair bit time and time again so when i read the post earlier it was like
Just as you have your deep connection to the city, I've my own as a city slicker from another culture who often makes the comparison and contrast between the two, which probably why I went off on one.
At least if people reading here want a general impression, to think they're not really gonna get to see a blade of grass about isn't doing it justice. It's not as bad on the negative front as typical tourist guides show via pictures (neon lights at night, typically) or give by hearsay.

At the end of the day, always best to do your homework in regards to what a person wants from a holiday, but if we're all giving opinions in here as advice to others at least peeps should at least try to balance the bad with the good.
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Last edited by Mystique; 2009-03-08 at 00:53.
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Old 2009-03-08, 00:55   Link #449
Ryuou
進む道は武士道のみ
 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Dying to get back to Japan (but currently near Chicago)
Age: 26
As your tone has changed, I'll go ahead and offer up an apology for my attitude in my previous posts.

What the problem probably is, is space. Japan is limited on space and Tokyo even more so. (Although it'll probably increase its size in time as it grows and swallows up its surroundings) The proportionality between areas with and without is probably what gets to me. This is; however, sort of unavoidable as Tokyo has to try and cram a ton of people and buildings into a limited area (like you mentioned).

But I should also make it clear like Mystique has been trying to do, that there is plenty of green to be found in Tokyo if you look for it. I wasn't trying to deny that, I was just voicing a complaint that you'll hear from many people, tourists and natives alike.
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Old 2009-03-08, 01:07   Link #450
Mystique
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: In the eastern capital of the islands of the rising suns...
*offers an olive branch from up above her high horse*
Tone changed, cause I went outside and came back and my emotions have calmed down xD
So I don't blame ya for retaliating in kind off of them.
But I still stand by my words and feelings earlier, as you said it's a complaint many people utter, I have already heard it over and over and over and it's like 'kyaaaaaa', so I'll be riding up on here for a little while longer I suppose.
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Old 2009-03-08, 01:24   Link #451
Ryuou
進む道は武士道のみ
 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Dying to get back to Japan (but currently near Chicago)
Age: 26
*offers the same in exchange but is stifled by the cross Pacific distance*

I understand your frustrations on the topic. I guess I shouldn't have jumped in when I did and this discussion could've proceeded more civilly. Oh well, it's over with and all is good. I'm sure somebody still got something out of it anyway. ( maybe?)
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Old 2009-03-08, 19:22   Link #452
Yuelon
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Then what happen to those cherry blossom moments happen in Tokyo?
Do we have to go to the outskirts of Tokyo or Osaka/Kyoto to view the rich pretty BLOSSOMS ><

Then again Tokyo where top students and otaku rule in, can't help it if there isn't much green there.

I just like a quick question where would be the best place for first visit to Japan not exclusive to Tokyo any where like Hokkaido or all the way down to Osaka ANY Where. Would like any festivals or events around that time.

Times: Spring And Winter.
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Old 2009-03-09, 00:30   Link #453
Mystique
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuelon View Post
Then what happen to those cherry blossom moments happen in Tokyo?
Do we have to go to the outskirts of Tokyo or Osaka/Kyoto to view the rich pretty BLOSSOMS ><

Where ever there is a sakura tree, and where ever there is some free time (like weekend) and good weather, be sure you'll see someone with a sake bottle underneath it, creating hiaku masterpieces
(In other words, the Japanese rarely let a chance to paty slip by)

Yes it is in tokyo, it's in Tokyo central too (which I'll visit this year) Heading over to Uneo park will be filled (good weather permitting) with families and work people having hanami.
Quote:
There are more than one thousand cherry trees in Ueno Park along the street that leads from the Saigo statue towards the National Museum and around Shinobazu Pond.
I'm not sure what you mean by 'pretty' though, the only difference to head to the hills is that you'll see the pink among a mass of other flowers along the hills, so it's a bit of a natural rainbow.
Quote:
Then again Tokyo where top students and otaku rule in, can't help it if there isn't much green there.
*Just sighs*
Quote:
I just like a quick question where would be the best place for first visit to Japan not exclusive to Tokyo any where like Hokkaido or all the way down to Osaka ANY Where. Would like any festivals or events around that time.

Times: Spring And Winter.
This is a events calander for the March and April month in tokyo and areas surrounding it, some of the hanami festivals are mentioned there if you scroll down.
You can also filter by week, which will give you more details on smaller festivals, or just look at a generic events calander for april.

Official tourist websites offer way more info and tips than us guys here, so make sure to browse around that website and bookmark it if you're planning to visit as well as check out a generic 'Japan guide' website too.
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Old 2009-03-10, 04:03   Link #454
Yuelon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystique View Post

Where ever there is a sakura tree, and where ever there is some free time (like weekend) and good weather, be sure you'll see someone with a sake bottle underneath it, creating hiaku masterpieces
(In other words, the Japanese rarely let a chance to paty slip by)

Yes it is in tokyo, it's in Tokyo central too (which I'll visit this year) Heading over to Uneo park will be filled (good weather permitting) with families and work people having hanami.
I'll keep that in mind thanks for reply

Anyone else have more suggestion?
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Old 2009-03-10, 07:37   Link #455
RandomGuy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuelon View Post
I'll keep that in mind thanks for reply

Anyone else have more suggestion?
If you do want to leave the confines of Tokyo—and really, you should—there are a bunch of places to see the cherry blossoms in Kyoto. My favorites are along the Kamo River and the canal/aqueduct coming from Lake Biwa, which tend to be slightly less overflowing with people than Maruyama Park (which is the Hanami Party spot, it seems). Daigo-ji is also worth a look.

In Osaka, Osaka Castle Park in full bloom is quite the sight. But since I live along the Kintetsu Minami-Osaka Line, I'll probably be headed down to Yoshino to check out the multi-stage inflorescence there. (Mt Yoshino is covered in trees in deliberately-chosen shades that bloom at different points, so they create a unique effect.)
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Old 2009-03-10, 13:55   Link #456
Ryuou
進む道は武士道のみ
 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Dying to get back to Japan (but currently near Chicago)
Age: 26
Man, I'm so jealous. I absolutely love Sakura. The amount of times one is allowed to see it in a life time is really limited and yet I have to spend time outside of Japan and miss it. If you think about it, you’d be lucky to see it 80-90 times in your life. In your whole life, just that amount of times. But how fleeting Sakura is lends a lot to its beauty some argue. Personally I’d rather have it bloom year-round.
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Old 2009-03-10, 15:19   Link #457
kokiafan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystique View Post
May I ask your gender/age/ethnicity, if you don't mind sharing?
I'm kinda curious to why you poised the question, was it something you heard I wonder?
Is Japan safe?
As someone mentioned in regards to the metro areas, 'as safe as any main city'
You always need to keep your wits about you, be street smart and sensible, aka don't walk in quiet dark places alone.
If you miss the last train about after 0.30, take a taxi and so on.

I'll admit though, to a degree, I take liberties with the fact that Tokyo is safer than London and will be walking around at night around midnight/1am on my own for a spell without being too concerned. Salarymen are kinda too drunk to even walk, let alone assult me, but nonetheless its better to be safe than sorry, so I try not to let my guard down completely.

Are people nice to foreigners?
Yes. If you go to Japan as a tourist (and planned the trip as you want it), you'll have one of the most magical, amazing times of your life.
If you live here as a resident, it's a different ballgame.

In that sense, you'll begin to see the cracks in the politeness mask that they don usubconsciously and see moments of discrimination.
The only difference in the form of discrimination is like a lot of things Japanese wise is, it's indirect and silent, but still very much felt.

Can be useful, means I don't get bombarded with flyers in Shinjuku cause they assume I can't understand Japanese or read kanji.
Also means I gotta fight to get those free tissues on the street though, they kinda withdraw their hands when they see me
(That's a very light and insignificant example I'm tossing, but you should get the idea...)
thanks a lot for your information
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Old 2009-03-10, 16:58   Link #458
Mystique
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Join Date: May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryuou View Post
Man, I'm so jealous. I absolutely love Sakura. The amount of times one is allowed to see it in a life time is really limited and yet I have to spend time outside of Japan and miss it. If you think about it, youd be lucky to see it 80-90 times in your life. In your whole life, just that amount of times. But how fleeting Sakura is lends a lot to its beauty some argue. Personally Id rather have it bloom year-round.
I dunno what Chicago's like, but there are sakura trees in England too. It's not a flower just limited to Japan only
There's quite a few all over central Oxford too, my old uni and the schools surrounding it used to spout them (on trees typically bigger than japanese ones) in pink and white.
They do create quite a mess when the petals fall though, I think after spending 1 week in Kyoto during sakura season back in '04 (I arrived and it was 90% ready. I left and it was about 70% gone) - I'm not too crazy about them. There's something about literally breathing the stuff, spitting out petals and coming out plucking bits from your hair from the confettii shower that makes you think
'You know... 1 week a year is good enough for me...'
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Old 2009-03-10, 17:11   Link #459
Circular Logic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryuou View Post
Man, I'm so jealous. I absolutely love Sakura. The amount of times one is allowed to see it in a life time is really limited and yet I have to spend time outside of Japan and miss it. If you think about it, you’d be lucky to see it 80-90 times in your life. In your whole life, just that amount of times. But how fleeting Sakura is lends a lot to its beauty some argue. Personally I’d rather have it bloom year-round.
I suggest Hatsunejima. :>
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Old 2009-03-10, 20:21   Link #460
Ryuou
進む道は武士道のみ
 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Dying to get back to Japan (but currently near Chicago)
Age: 26
Quote:
I suggest Hatsunejima. :>
From Da Capo? Yeah I know, my dream place.

@ Mystique - Yeah I know there in other places (I actually saw a couple while I was still in England), and I'm pretty sure there may be some around here. But it's not the same unless you're in Japan. Most other people don't see it the same way.
Quote:
There's something about literally breathing the stuff, spitting out petals and coming out plucking bits from your hair from the confettii shower
It's all great to me. We must’ve been fated not to get along.
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