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Old 2008-12-18, 21:57   Link #401
Mystique
Honyaku no Hime
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: In the eastern capital of the islands of the rising suns...
As far as I can tell, both America and Japan have the same two slim pin sockets and voltage anyways, I use the same adapter for both countries when using a UK device. It shouldn't be too much of an issue compared to the UK. >.>

(Mystie has learnt, never to charge Japanese items back home without a transformer, unless she wants to see more fireworks and smoke in her room again) >.>
Seems that Ronin has had the same experience as me though. xD
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Old 2008-12-18, 22:23   Link #402
Shadow Kira01
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If you are buying electronics from Japan to use in the US. I think it would be a good idea to swap the AC adapter, in case you end up with a burnt fuse..
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Old 2008-12-19, 03:41   Link #403
Yukinokesshou
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystique View Post
(Mystie has learnt, never to charge Japanese items back home without a transformer, unless she wants to see more fireworks and smoke in her room again) >.>
Seems that Ronin has had the same experience as me though. xD
Incidentally, Hong Kong is probably the best place to buy Japanese electronics for the 220~240V range, especially if you live in a country with UK-type sockets. There is a nearly 1-to-1 correlation between products designed for the Japanese market and the Hong Kong market (i.e. different product names and numbers, but otherwise identical in design and function).

I'm not sure about the variety of Japanese products in Korea or Mainland China (both 220V). Japanese manufacturers seem to have a larger market share in Hong Kong since Korea and China have strong local industries and are therefore less dependent on imports.
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Old 2008-12-19, 04:23   Link #404
kyon.haruhi.suzumiya
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Singapore now, QLD next.
Age: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukinokesshou View Post
Incidentally, Hong Kong is probably the best place to buy Japanese electronics for the 220~240V range, especially if you live in a country with UK-type sockets. There is a nearly 1-to-1 correlation between products designed for the Japanese market and the Hong Kong market (i.e. different product names and numbers, but otherwise identical in design and function).

I'm not sure about the variety of Japanese products in Korea or Mainland China (both 220V). Japanese manufacturers seem to have a larger market share in Hong Kong since Korea and China have strong local industries and are therefore less dependent on imports.
^^ You mean Hong Kong AND Singapore. But of course, HK is better in the sense that there's no GST at all.
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Old 2008-12-19, 04:50   Link #405
Mystique
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Join Date: May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukinokesshou View Post
Incidentally, Hong Kong is probably the best place to buy Japanese electronics for the 220~240V range, especially if you live in a country with UK-type sockets. There is a nearly 1-to-1 correlation between products designed for the Japanese market and the Hong Kong market (i.e. different product names and numbers, but otherwise identical in design and function).

I'm not sure about the variety of Japanese products in Korea or Mainland China (both 220V). Japanese manufacturers seem to have a larger market share in Hong Kong since Korea and China have strong local industries and are therefore less dependent on imports.
I plan on popping over there next year, so thanks for the tip
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Old 2008-12-20, 13:27   Link #406
Amray
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Join Date: Feb 2008
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I plan to journey to Japan one day. It has been an ambition of mine before I even started to watch anime and such. I just like the culture and the girls there. Ofcourse there are other reasons for me wanting to go there. There are some people that I would like to meet, and some locations that I would like to see.
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Old 2008-12-20, 23:27   Link #407
LynnieS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystique View Post
As far as I can tell, both America and Japan have the same two slim pin sockets and voltage anyways, I use the same adapter for both countries when using a UK device. It shouldn't be too much of an issue compared to the UK. >.>
Slight correction. The voltage and frequency (if in the east or Kantou area) are different. Japan (East) is at 50 Hz, and Japan (West) is at 60 Hz; the voltage for the entire country is 100V. The U.S. is at 120V and 60 Hz.

I didn't see any problems plugging in my U.S.-bought stuff into an electrical socket and then using them, but I was always careful about not keeping things plugged in all the time. Electronics with AC/DC converters like a PC or a game player should be able to take the change, but read the details, if they are on the converter, carefully.

The outlets in Japan is the slim kind that you might not see often now in the U.S. The plug's blades are both in the same rectangular shape, and there isn't a ground pin. You may or may not need a socket converter for your stuff when coming from the U.S., and there are a number of places that you can buy one in Japan should you find out only when you arrive.

Some details that look to be accurate.
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Old 2008-12-24, 14:31   Link #408
lixuelai
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I spent last summer on a study abroad in Kanazawa. Never knew it is actually on people's itinerary when they visit Japan It is pretty far from Tokyo and Osaka (aka 99% of Japan lol). It was and is still an important cultural center though.
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Old 2008-12-30, 00:29   Link #409
ZephyrLeanne
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Originally Posted by lixuelai View Post
I spent last summer on a study abroad in Kanazawa. Never knew it is actually on people's itinerary when they visit Japan It is pretty far from Tokyo and Osaka (aka 99% of Japan lol). It was and is still an important cultural center though.
It's rather isolated to start with, no Shinkansen being the top reason.
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Old 2008-12-30, 06:48   Link #410
RandomGuy
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Join Date: Sep 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lixuelai View Post
I spent last summer on a study abroad in Kanazawa. Never knew it is actually on people's itinerary when they visit Japan It is pretty far from Tokyo and Osaka (aka 99% of Japan lol). It was and is still an important cultural center though.
What surprised me when I went there was the downtown area. It reminded me a bit of Kyoto's Kawaramachi, but glitzier. It even had a pedestrian scramble that looked like Shibuya's (the 109 building nearby added to the effect). All the residential areas outside of that bit seemed much less imposing, so to me, it appeared that most of it had been built for the sake of the tourists. (Because as we all know, you just can't pack your bags and go traveling if you don't have all the shopping options you do back home, right?)
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Old 2008-12-31, 00:44   Link #411
suguru
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Originally Posted by Lord Raiden View Post
I'm looking at taking a trip to Japan this summer (yes, lucky me. ) and I'm wanting to bring along a bunch of my electronic toys. But I'm concerned whether or not I'll need a travel adapter to use my devices (chargers, laptop, etc) over there. Anyone know if I can just take something I use here in the US and just plug it in over there without any conversion and use it as is? I did some searching already, but nothing conclusive came up saying yes or no. From what I saw it *looks* that way, but I'd rather be 100% certain, rather than get there, plug something in, and watch it go poof, or even possibly not be able to plug it in at all.
On vacation in Kyoto a couple years back, I plugged in my laptop, electric razor, Nintendo DS charger, and digital camera charger into Japanese plugs with no problems at all. I'd recommend going to Japan in the fall if you can though, just because the fall color in Japan is just awesome--there's some good pics of fall in Kyoto on this guy's blog:
http://regex.info/blog/category/japan/fall-colors
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Old 2008-12-31, 14:51   Link #412
Shii
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suguru View Post
On vacation in Kyoto a couple years back, I plugged in my laptop, electric razor, Nintendo DS charger, and digital camera charger into Japanese plugs with no problems at all. I'd recommend going to Japan in the fall if you can though, just because the fall color in Japan is just awesome--there's some good pics of fall in Kyoto on this guy's blog:
http://regex.info/blog/category/japan/fall-colors
Yo, don't forget to suggest living in Kyoto rather than Osaka or Tokyo, because if you go to one of those big cities your experiences has already been documented in the movie Lost in Translation.
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Old 2009-02-09, 18:50   Link #413
Guardian Enzo
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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So, I'm going at the end of March - got an amazing deal and finally living out the dream. Yes my view is romanticized and I have no doubt I'll be disappointed by some of it - but I don't really care, I just want to live it and experience it. What you recommend for a week in Tokyo and environs as far as otaku-centric sightseeing? I have plenty of ideas for general interest stuff (I'm just as obsessed with history, nature and art, so no problem there) but I'm looking for the can't miss pop culture spots. I could easily spend two days retracing the rail journey and locations from Byōsoku 5 CM and have a good time, but I want more than that!
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Old 2009-02-09, 19:14   Link #414
Shii
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
So, I'm going at the end of March - got an amazing deal and finally living out the dream. Yes my view is romanticized and I have no doubt I'll be disappointed by some of it - but I don't really care, I just want to live it and experience it. What you recommend for a week in Tokyo and environs as far as otaku-centric sightseeing? I have plenty of ideas for general interest stuff (I'm just as obsessed with history, nature and art, so no problem there) but I'm looking for the can't miss pop culture spots. I could easily spend two days retracing the rail journey and locations from Byōsoku 5 CM and have a good time, but I want more than that!
Well, I went to Tokyo for a couple weeks so I'm feeling all smug and ready to reply to this.

You'll want to dedicate about a lot of time to Akihabara. If you've only got a week you should wake up early, get on the train, and spend the day walking around. The best places there are undoubtedly Toranoana and Don Quixote, and basically everything else you can find yourself if you really look closely. See if you can find the 2ch goods stores. This is obvious, but ignore the English speaking cafes and stores because they are aimed towards clueless "Fujiyama, geisha, Zen" foreigners. Everyone's got a favorite maid cafe. Mine is Schatzkiste but it's closing permanently on March 15th. It looks like Miko-san Cafe might be closed too, which is a damn shame (for me) (because I have a fetish). You might want to try the Don Quixote cafe, although it has none of the pure class and creativity of those two.

Ignore Ikebukuro unless if you are an otomen.

Most of the doujinshi fairs are in Tokyo. Fairs occur on almost every weekend in Japan and if you only go to Comiket you are missing out on real doujinshi culture. Go to http://ketto.com/ a week before you leave and find out what's good. They generally cost $10 or so to enter, and even if you don't buy anything you may be treated to cosplay, copibon, and other such fun stuff. Most of these are NOT in Akiba so plan ahead. This is also a fun chance to get to be a foreigner who stands out, because on the streets of Tokyo or in a cafe you are generally considered an irritating tourist who can't speak the language, but if you go to a doujin fair some people can be all like

If you are up for a local trip the Ghibli Museum is the most obvious thing to do. You need to reserve tickets about a month in advance. In order to get in you will have to find a Lawson near your hostel and ask the cute Japanese girl at the counter how to buy museum tickets. Don't get nervous! If you're not going to be in Japan for a month you have to buy tickets through JTB.

If you actually have the time to enjoy Japan on non-otaku merits-- and if you're anything like me you will get tired of Tokyo culture within 24 hours-- you should take a ride to Kyoto, which has like a dozen World Heritage sites, and Nara, where you can act out that scene from Lucky Star. Kyoto cafes are way better than maid cafes, especially if you know a little Japanese. Kyoto and Nara prefecture have the most beautiful tourist attractions in Japan if you can find anyone knowledgeable about the area. If you're planning on leaving Tokyo buy a Japan Rail Pass BEFORE you leave, and when you get to Japan keep that thing safe and don't leave it in your pants pocket when you wash your clothes, because they won't give you a new one.
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Last edited by Shii; 2009-02-09 at 19:25.
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Old 2009-02-09, 19:25   Link #415
Guardian Enzo
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Thanks for the good advice. I'm thinking hard about a rail pass - only thing is, my cheap (cheap!) deal includes 7 nights at a pretty nice hotel in Shibuya, so I'm reluctant to spend a lot on overnights outside the city. Day trips for sure and maybe one (max two) overnights, as paying for two rooms can add up fast. Is Kyoto feasible as a day trip? I know it can be done logistically, but is it worth it? I hate the idea of missing Kyoto but I don't want to do even worse by shortchanging it. I'm also thinking of Kamakura and Hakone as day trip options, though Hakone looks like another one better with an overnight.

As for Tokyo itself, yes, I'm toying with the Ghibli Museum - worth it, in your opinion? Obviously I'll hit Akiba and try and get to a meido cafe and a doujinshi fair for sure. I'm also up for an onsen visit (how can I visit Japan without the obligatory hot springs episode) and I thought Hakone might be good for that...
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Old 2009-02-09, 19:30   Link #416
Shii
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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Yeah, Kyoto is more like a weeklong excursion. It is utterly awesome but I would feel bad if you had to rush through it and missed, say, Kiyomizu-dera, or Fushimi Inari. Hakone, on the other hand, is a tourist town... I've never been there but I'm guessing you could spend one night and get back to your hotel.

As for Tokyo itself, yes, I'm toying with the Ghibli Museum - worth it, in your opinion?

It's very small, so you shouldn't expect Disneyworld, but it's an extremely well-put-together museum if you're willing to suspend feelings of childishness and enjoy Ghibli. I enjoyed the movie. Also, it only takes three hours at most to look through, and if you're smart you can take a walk through the surrounding park as well. It's a nice break from Tokyo.
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Old 2009-02-09, 20:01   Link #417
Guardian Enzo
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Originally Posted by Shii View Post
Yeah, Kyoto is more like a weeklong excursion. It is utterly awesome but I would feel bad if you had to rush through it and missed, say, Kiyomizu-dera, or Fushimi Inari. Hakone, on the other hand, is a tourist town... I've never been there but I'm guessing you could spend one night and get back to your hotel.

As for Tokyo itself, yes, I'm toying with the Ghibli Museum - worth it, in your opinion?

It's very small, so you shouldn't expect Disneyworld, but it's an extremely well-put-together museum if you're willing to suspend feelings of childishness and enjoy Ghibli. I enjoyed the movie. Also, it only takes three hours at most to look through, and if you're smart you can take a walk through the surrounding park as well. It's a nice break from Tokyo.
So let me put it this way - if you had two days and two days only in Kyoto and had to really bite the bullet, what would you do? As for the Ghibli Museum, I've been leaning towards going all along, and probably will end up doing so.
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Old 2009-02-10, 03:36   Link #418
Shii
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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
So let me put it this way - if you had two days and two days only in Kyoto and had to really bite the bullet, what would you do?
OK, I'm not necessarily recommending this, because while it is physically possible to visit the necessary parts of Kyoto in 2 days, it is not easy. It would also take a huge bite out of your time in Akihabara. But I am up for a challenge for some reason.

edit: This post was a little over the top, so I saved it here instead: http://shii.org/knows/Kyoto
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Last edited by Shii; 2009-02-10 at 23:49.
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Old 2009-02-10, 09:53   Link #419
ZephyrLeanne
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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Age: 33
I'm from Chubu, really [Shima, Mie], so I don't think I can really be very biased here

But ANYWAYS. I don't really agree with spending a WHOLE week in Tokyo. 2-3 days should max it. I think you can do this: Buy a Japan Rail Pass, fly in from Kansai Airport and leave via Narita. I say so because the queue immigration for arrival in Narita for foreigners is very long, more so than Kansai. But it's not where you want to be flying back from, since duty-free is [almost] non-existent and airport tax is super-high.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shii View Post
Places you will sadly miss: Saihou-ji, Byoudou-in, Kouzan-ji, most of the cafes. It's OK, I missed these things too.
Fine to miss, really. Not worth the time.

Places you can feel free to miss: Imperial Palace, Ginkakuji, Kinkakuji, Ninnaji, Hieizan, Daikakuji, Nijojo, Heian Jingu, Ujigami Jinja Shimogamo Jinja, Nishi and "Higashi" Hongwanji. These places are for scrubs. (Note: I'm betting if any Kyoto residents read this they will hate me)
Places to loathe: Kyoto Tower[/QUOTE]

AH. Agree with all EXCEPT that I feel that you can drop Kyoto ALTOGETHER.
I'd agree with Shii for the Tokyo part... but let's go thru the recommendations, yes?

[QUOTE]
Quote:
You'll want to dedicate about a lot of time to Akihabara. If you've only got a week you should wake up early, get on the train, and spend the day walking around. The best places there are undoubtedly Toranoana and Don Quixote, and basically everything else you can find yourself if you really look closely. See if you can find the 2ch goods stores. This is obvious, but ignore the English speaking cafes and stores because they are aimed towards clueless "Fujiyama, geisha, Zen" foreigners. ...
^^ The truth. You'd want to try the first/second train. Really, because the trains get packed very easily after 7. The worst is on the Yamanote line. [It's famous for a reason]

Quote:
Ignore Ikebukuro unless if you are an otomen.
NO!Although it's aimed at otome, it's not too bad, really. And since it's about 200m only, it's not too long and can be easily fitted into plan. Just avoid the after-work hour[s].

In fact, I think the two [Akiba/Ikebukuro] can take a whole day

Quote:
Most of the doujinshi fairs are in Tokyo. Fairs occur on almost every weekend in Japan and if you only go to Comiket you are missing out on real doujinshi culture. Go to http://ketto.com/ a week before you leave and find out what's good. They generally cost $10 or so to enter, and even if you don't buy anything you may be treated to cosplay, copibon, and other such fun stuff. Most of these are NOT in Akiba so plan ahead. This is also a fun chance to get to be a foreigner who stands out, because on the streets of Tokyo or in a cafe you are generally considered an irritating tourist who can't speak the language, but if you go to a doujin fair some people can be all like

If you are up for a local trip the Ghibli Museum is the most obvious thing to do. You need to reserve tickets about a month in advance. In order to get in you will have to find a Lawson near your hostel and ask the cute Japanese girl at the counter how to buy museum tickets. Don't get nervous! If you're not going to be in Japan for a month you have to buy tickets through JTB.

This, you've gotta do your homework, I can't help you here.

Quote:
If you actually have the time to enjoy Japan on non-otaku merits-- and if you're anything like me you will get tired of Tokyo culture within 24 hours
Make that 48. You'd want to buy a PASMO in Tokyo, in addition to a JR Pass.

Quote:
-- you should take a ride to Kyoto, which has like a dozen World Heritage sites, and Nara, where you can act out that scene from Lucky Star.
Sorry, I disagree. Besides, Lucky Star scene was in Saitama.
And, I think you should go to Osaka and Kobe next, if for the food. Real Japanese food is to be had in Osaka, not Tokyo. Tokyo's food is like business-class, Osaka is first-class Japanese food [along with Hakata].

In Osaka, you'll want to spend a half-day in Nipponbashi, the Akiba of Kansai. As well as Shinsaibashi [but start as Nagahoribashi station, where Crysta Nagahori mall is]. Both are on Sakaisuji Line on Osaka's subway.

In Kobe, be sure to visit Disaster Reduction Museum, but it may be a little out of the way... Well, the architecture of that plot where the DRM stands is quite striking as well.

I seriously think that Nara isn't worth your time, but the Kyoto guide above may or may be suitable, depending on what you're looking for.

AFTER Kansai, then you should go to Tokyo. Which is why I say: arrive at Kansai, depart at Narita.

Cheers.
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Old 2009-02-10, 12:46   Link #420
lixuelai
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Last time I went to Kyoto the Imperial Palace was only open for guided tours. Not sure if it was a one day thing or not. But if you cant go inside it isnt really worth the time as the walls all look the same.
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