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Old 2011-04-08, 17:18   Link #961
Guardian Enzo
Seishu's Ace
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Kagurazaka, Tokyo
Quote:
Originally Posted by delirium View Post
You're not serious about the Gov. Ishihara saying that, are you? What else is there to do in such a situation for everyday people? Should they let the horrific, and depressing damage that has been done to their country overwhelm them? Or should they respect those that have died by enjoying their lives to the fullest?

All they can do is press on! I'm fucking appalled all the way here in Illinois for what Ishihara is telling the people of Tokyo to do, or rather not do. Fucking asshole.
The bit about the hanami parties is 100% fact. The smiling bit is my own implication...

Polls show Ishihara will likely win easily tomorrow. Wow.
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Old 2011-04-10, 08:14   Link #962
Guardian Enzo
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Kagurazaka, Tokyo
Ishihara did win, but I'm still having a phenomenal trip. Pity it ends tomorrow.

I wanted to post a bunch of pics and vids on the blog, but Blogger is driving me nuts and blocking me at every turn. Maybe it's the hotel connection. I'll post a zillion when i get back.
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Old 2011-04-12, 14:48   Link #963
Guardian Enzo
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Kagurazaka, Tokyo
Back home at last. Catching up on the anime side of things, but I've posted a trip wrap-up and a selection of pictures and videos if anyone is interested.
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Old 2011-04-13, 11:01   Link #964
ChainLegacy
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Massachusetts, US
Age: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
Back home at last. Catching up on the anime side of things, but I've posted a trip wrap-up and a selection of pictures and videos if anyone is interested.
Nice blog. If you ever quit your day job consider becoming a travel agent for people going to Japan. You've certainly renewed my desire to someday visit.
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Old 2011-04-13, 11:19   Link #965
thevil1
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Looking for Reason to hear it's voice
Age: 4
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This forum has a really good subforum on going to Japan http://softypapa.46.forumer.com/viewforum.php?f=25 It's also a really awesome forum to join. I've used it to answer a lot of questions I've had.

Anyway I have a question that I feel like asking here anyway, has tourist traffic gone down enough to hurt the tourist attractions since the quake/tsunami? I know a few people who really want to go but are now too afraid.
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Old 2011-04-13, 16:12   Link #966
Guardian Enzo
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Kagurazaka, Tokyo
Quote:
Originally Posted by thevil1 View Post
This forum has a really good subforum on going to Japan http://softypapa.46.forumer.com/viewforum.php?f=25 It's also a really awesome forum to join. I've used it to answer a lot of questions I've had.

Anyway I have a question that I feel like asking here anyway, has tourist traffic gone down enough to hurt the tourist attractions since the quake/tsunami? I know a few people who really want to go but are now too afraid.
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. I was in Nikko on a Sunday and the place was nearly deserted. I was in Kyoto and Miyajima during peak sakura season and there were almost no Westerners there.

Japan desperately needs people to come to the country and spend money, especially in areas that are tourist-driven - they're particularly hard-hit by the lack of tourism. If you're not comfortable going to Tokyo (I think Tokyo is fine at the moment) then go to the South, or Hokkaido. They're all hurting even though they're not impacted by the disasters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
Nice blog. If you ever quit your day job consider becoming a travel agent for people going to Japan. You've certainly renewed my desire to someday visit.
Thanks very much. Everyone needs to make their own decisions, of course - most of my friends and family thought I was crazy to go. But I truly believe that comes from misinformation as much as anything.
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Old 2011-04-28, 15:24   Link #967
JMvS
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: CH aka Chocaholic Heaven
Age: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. I was in Nikko on a Sunday and the place was nearly deserted. I was in Kyoto and Miyajima during peak sakura season and there were almost no Westerners there.

Japan desperately needs people to come to the country and spend money, especially in areas that are tourist-driven - they're particularly hard-hit by the lack of tourism. If you're not comfortable going to Tokyo (I think Tokyo is fine at the moment) then go to the South, or Hokkaido. They're all hurting even though they're not impacted by the disasters.



Thanks very much. Everyone needs to make their own decisions, of course - most of my friends and family thought I was crazy to go. But I truly believe that comes from misinformation as much as anything.
My very impressions and sentiments as I was visiting around during these past two weeks (just came back on Monday).
It actually felt eerie to see all those touristy spots almost deserted, with only a handful of westerners even during major festivals and the like (of course, there were still at least a lot of Japanese), especially since I've already been there in May (further from peak season I think), and I very well remember the crowds.


I think this odd feeling started in the plane, which was half empty at least from Moscow to Narita. It became more distinct when we arrived at the airport: lights offs, deserted terminals, a single booth being manned.
By contrast, the activity in Tokyo appeared normal: the crowds of Shibuya, Harajuku and Yoyogi park being as distinctive as ever. My cousin, who lives in Tokyo, and at which place we were staying, had to point me a few details for me to notice: rationing of dairy products and bottled water in some grocery stores, shops closing earlier to save power, fountains turned off to save water, and calls for the public to save both water and electricity.
Also, as we watched TV and visited the country, we could see more and more Nippon Ganbare! be it in posters, or on TV from stars, baseball players or random peoples. Similarly, I think almost every Shrine, Temple or shops, whatever their size, had trunks for the Tohoku victims. And a lot of TV programs were about the peoples in Tohoku: life in refugee centers, the anguish of cultivators as nobody wants their products, the despair of fishermen as their livelihood are in ruins, local business trying to resume operations in order to help the refugee, despite many workers having lost their own houses.
On a lighter note, it was peak Sakura season in Tokyo, and it truly was beautiful: evening hanami by the river in Shibuya, the moats of the Imperial palace park, covered in petals, the Yakusuni Shrine and its beautiful cherry trees.


After a couple days only, we went to Takayama, and there again, the oddness: of course there were loads of peoples during the festival, and a least a few westerns, but it felt kind of eerie, as if we had the whole town and its area to ourselves the day before the festival. The festival itself deserved its reputation, although it was a pity that the cherry trees had not bloomed yet this year.
By chance, we came by a small ceremony in a small Shrine. As we passed by, we were invited to watch by a kind lady, the priestess's sister, who explained to us the purpose and steps of the ceremony, which was held to honor the Shrine's kami: a deity favoring learning. We were the only spectators, safe for the families of the little girls performing the dance; as aside from the priest, priestess and their assistants in ceremonial garb, it was all an attendance of middle aged men dressed up in formal suits.


Next, in Kanazawa, we were lucky enough to found the city in full bloom: the sides of the river, the castle's park, not to mention the Genrokuen garden exceptionally open and lit up at night, and with free entrance to boot! It was also very pleasant to stroll in the preserved geisha street and samurai district.


Alas, in Kyoto, it was past peak cherry blossoms (some were still left, but at least it was close to peak plum blossoms). Again, it almost felt deserted (compared to my previous experience), but the sights were great, despite the changing weather.
Nara was similarly eerily deserted by foreigner, tough I admit it was nice to ignore the concepts of queue and crowd.


To all those who intend to visit Himeji for its castle, be aware that restoration has started on the main tower, meaning it's covered by a huge scaffolding, which actually look like a 13 storey white building, with a 1:1 scale drawing of the tower on it. You can still visit the whole castle complex, and at least a part of the main tower's interior. Also, for the duration of the restoration, there are actually 3 exposition rooms within the scaffolding, from which you can see the exterior of the tower being restored close, as well as a panoramic view of the city, and expositions on the restoration techniques being used. Again, no queues...


And it was the same in Miyajima, Hiroshima and Kamakura: no queues, no crowds, only a handful of westerners...



Overall, it was a great trip. Putting to use the little Japanese vocabulary I gained these years definitely helped to better enjoy it (and knowing of the way to speak English Japanese style really helps).
This time I really got to enjoy the food (and right in the season for mountain vegetable). My advice: go for Minshuku when you can, and ask for breakfast and dinner (you'll be served the local specialties), for lunch in a random restaurants ask for the taishoku: the day's lunch set is always a good price (and as my aunt says it, it's very hard to have a bad meal in Japan, unless you are very picky). I already miss the food: all those kinds of wagashi and tsukemono, and the rice, the rice!
On a side note, while we traveled, I was surprised at the number of middle aged peoples I met who could speak English or even French.

I don't know when I'll be able to go there again, but in the meanwhile: Nippon, gambare!

And for now, I've got two thousands pictures to sort...
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Old 2011-05-05, 10:46   Link #968
Sparvid
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: A Swede in Tokyo
Anyone who can help me about Suica?

I bought a card, but the only option I could see at the machine was for a commuter pass. Okay, I don't have to travel by train every day, but I chose the stations I use more commonly than others, and loaded it with money. The card is dated one month forward.

Since there will still be money left on the card after a month, what happens after that? I'm guessing that it simply turn into a regular pass, and the pre-programmed trip gets more expensive? Although I have yet to find out an easy way to see how much the regular prices are between various stations...
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Old 2011-05-07, 05:44   Link #969
Solafighter
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: God only knows
A friend of mine posted this and a couple of other videos on youtube with following description.

Quote:
I received the following email from Google the other day:

"As you may know, the number of tourists to Japan this March declined
by 50% compared to last March. What is most surprising is that many
tourists also canceled trips to Osaka, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and other
areas that were not directly affected by the disaster.

In order to help tourism in Japan recover from the recent troubles,
YouTube/Google Japan will launch a new program called "Japan is Genki,
Message from Japan Channel (working title)" to bring together message
videos from Japan-based video bloggers who are reporting the
conditions of the cities/towns in which they live. The videos will be
introductions and promotions of local business, sightseeing spots,
events, festivals, restaurants, amusement areas, etc."

This is one of my entries.

I love you!
And come visit Japan! It's FINE!
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Old 2011-05-07, 09:03   Link #970
JMvS
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: CH aka Chocaholic Heaven
Age: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparvid View Post
Anyone who can help me about Suica?

I bought a card, but the only option I could see at the machine was for a commuter pass. Okay, I don't have to travel by train every day, but I chose the stations I use more commonly than others, and loaded it with money. The card is dated one month forward.

Since there will still be money left on the card after a month, what happens after that? I'm guessing that it simply turn into a regular pass, and the pre-programmed trip gets more expensive? Although I have yet to find out an easy way to see how much the regular prices are between various stations...
I'm not sure I've understood your dilemna, so let me rephrase your situation:

You leased a Suica card, which is a kind of cash card you can use to pay directly for your fare at the gates without stopping, and loaded it with money.
At the end of your stay, you can simply return it and get your deposit back with the leftover credit.
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Old 2011-05-08, 20:01   Link #971
Sparvid
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: A Swede in Tokyo
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMvS View Post
I'm not sure I've understood your dilemna, so let me rephrase your situation:

You leased a Suica card, which is a kind of cash card you can use to pay directly for your fare at the gates without stopping, and loaded it with money.
At the end of your stay, you can simply return it and get your deposit back with the leftover credit.
Yes, that I understand, but what I can't find any official information on is specifically how the commuter part works. The card has a one month period printed on it, and I don't get what happens after the last day. Whether it automatically switches over to a non-commuter pass and I can just keep using it, or if I need to do something myself.
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Old 2011-05-08, 23:09   Link #972
JINNSK
今更ですが箱のWoTやってます
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparvid View Post
Yes, that I understand, but what I can't find any official information on is specifically how the commuter part works. The card has a one month period printed on it, and I don't get what happens after the last day. Whether it automatically switches over to a non-commuter pass and I can just keep using it, or if I need to do something myself.
the types of Suica
Probably,You bought Suica 定期券?

This one is suica.
This one is suica 定期券.

After your Suica定期券 expired as a commuter pass,you can use it as a suica.
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Old 2011-05-09, 00:47   Link #973
mysterious
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: somewhere on earth
@Guardian Enzo: seeing that you go to japan several times, could you tell me how bad is the discrimination of foreign people there? Is it apply for every one or the tourists got treated differently?
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Old 2011-05-09, 01:19   Link #974
Guardian Enzo
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Kagurazaka, Tokyo
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysterious View Post
@Guardian Enzo: seeing that you go to japan several times, could you tell me how bad is the discrimination of foreign people there? Is it apply for every one or the tourists got treated differently?
Hmm...

In my trips to Japan, I've been treated with more courtesy and genuine kindness by the local people than in any other country I've visited. Yes, politeness is a vital part of Japanese culture - but I think there's a very real desire to help travelers enjoy their stay. Most Japanese are very proud of their country and they want their guests to walk away impressed.

Now, I don't live in Japan - and many people who do say the picture is different for foreigners who live in Japan than it is for tourists. I've heard stories (but can't say first-hand) of foreign residents who carry a camera with them to work so locals think they're a tourist. I do think there's some validity to this notion - the Governor of Tokyo, for example, is known to be a vehement anti-gaijin crusader. I don't think that represents most Japanese, but this is an island culture that has been in isolation for much of their existence and I suppose there's probably some suspicion of foreigners that you'd see if you lived there.

However, as a traveler, I really don't think you'd run into any hostility whatsoever - quite the opposite. Even staring is a huge faux pas, though people tell me the Japanese are experts at doing it discreetly (in public baths, for example!). I've traveled to quite a few countries, and I can honestly say I've never been treated as well by locals than I have by the Japanese, and it isn't even close.
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Old 2012-05-04, 06:45   Link #975
Azuma Denton
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Just got back from visiting Japan for 2 weeks...
Places i go: Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka...

I must say the most memorable place in Japan is Kyoto (and of course Akiba )
The views during spring (especially Sakura season) is magnificent...
And visiting izakaya while mingling with the salaryman after office hours has been a great experience...
In my case, they are wondering why an Indonesian people with no Japan connection are drinking shochu and singing "1/3 Junjou no Kanjou"...
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Old 2012-05-06, 21:32   Link #976
fsior
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Everett, WA
Was wondering if anyone could tell me how difficult it is to get a visa to visit Japan? I've always wanted to goto Japan ever since I was a little boy. I fell in love with the culture from my 4th grade teacher's assistant who was a foriegn exchange student from Japan. Anyways off point, I have to say I've had a bumpy past, made mistakes, but have changed my life around. I don't want to give up on this dream that I have held in my heart since I was a child. Would a record shatter that?
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Old 2012-05-06, 21:44   Link #977
Kyuu
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: 42 10' N (Latitude) 87 33' W (Longitude)
Age: 35
Learn this game:
http://forums.animesuki.com/showthre...ewpost&t=82472

Then play in Japan. Plenty of automatic tables to play with.
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Old 2012-05-06, 21:49   Link #978
Haladflire65
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Normandy SR-2
Age: 19
So Japan's playing a huge factor in my university decision... After going to a year of middle school in Tokyo I totally fell in love and now I'm very determined to go back - so I'm pretty sure I'll be accepting a school that has an excellent exchange program to Japan. I have to start planning early so I'll be deciding on which school to apply to... Perhaps Keio or Osaka since those are specific to the faculty I'll be in, but other big ones like Waseda and Tokyo seem to be available too! I'm really excited, living university life in Japan is going to be amazing <3 Now to go study and polish my Japanese, I really haven't used much of it for anything other than reading a few articles and listening to J-pop...

Is anyone else here studying in Japan or has done it before? If so, I'd love to hear from you about your experiences I'm sure adult life there's way different from being in middle school with your parents around like me four years ago XD
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Old 2012-05-06, 22:32   Link #979
Kirarakim
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by fsior View Post
Was wondering if anyone could tell me how difficult it is to get a visa to visit Japan? I've always wanted to goto Japan ever since I was a little boy. I fell in love with the culture from my 4th grade teacher's assistant who was a foriegn exchange student from Japan. Anyways off point, I have to say I've had a bumpy past, made mistakes, but have changed my life around. I don't want to give up on this dream that I have held in my heart since I was a child. Would a record shatter that?
Are you in the US? If you are just going for vacation you do not need a Visa.

If you are outside the US it depends on your individual country but I don't think most countries have Visa requirements just for normal travel. Now if it is for extended stay that is a different story.

And all these posts make me want to go back. I was there once in 2007. Alas lack of time & steep airfare keeps me away. One day I hope to go back.
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Old 2012-05-07, 02:19   Link #980
TAN00KI
つがるしゃみせん
 
 
Join Date: May 2012
May I recommend a place in Japan?

Please Visit Aomori... It is beautiful and the apples are delicious. It is also home to the tsugaru-style of shamisen ^^
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