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Old 2003-11-22, 08:01   Link #21
tsurumaru
I refuse to die dammit!
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: UK
Age: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by p3psi
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?
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Old 2003-11-22, 08:47   Link #22
Wandering A.I.
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>-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*

Last edited by Wandering A.I.; 2003-11-22 at 09:03.
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Old 2003-11-22, 09:56   Link #23
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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
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Old 2003-11-22, 11:19   Link #24
Hunter
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Join Date: May 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoro
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 ), in the US manga are incredibly expensive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wandering A.I
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
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Old 2003-11-22, 15:35   Link #25
Mr. Bushido
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunter
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 ), 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.
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Old 2003-11-23, 05:49   Link #26
FinFangFoom
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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.
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Old 2003-12-13, 14:30   Link #27
tsurumaru
I refuse to die dammit!
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
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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!
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Last edited by tsurumaru; 2003-12-14 at 18:08.
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Old 2003-12-13, 16:04   Link #28
Dopeskills
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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.
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Old 2003-12-13, 16:33   Link #29
sothis
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Quote:
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.
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Old 2003-12-13, 17:00   Link #30
Dopeskills
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Sounds like I should pick up a woman in Japan

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.
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Old 2003-12-13, 17:14   Link #31
Lord Raiden
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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?
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Old 2003-12-13, 17:58   Link #32
Kurara
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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?
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Old 2003-12-13, 18:02   Link #33
0ink
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Quote:
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.
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Old 2003-12-13, 18:59   Link #34
Kurara
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurara
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..
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Old 2003-12-13, 19:28   Link #35
sothis
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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.

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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.
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Old 2003-12-13, 19:35   Link #36
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Originally Posted by sothis

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...
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Old 2003-12-13, 20:24   Link #37
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Originally Posted by sothis
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.

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
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Old 2003-12-13, 21:04   Link #38
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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
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Old 2003-12-14, 04:24   Link #39
FinFangFoom
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Cool, I'm glad this thread has been revived!

aznkoodies
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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
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!


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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
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 . 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).
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Old 2003-12-14, 05:25   Link #40
Laguna
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I want to thank all people who spend time writing those great insight guides! 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..
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