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Old 2006-03-18, 17:01   Link #121
moogle33
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Going to japan in 2 weeks, What do I need to know?

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

Iv wanted to go for ages whoohoo I can speak and write a little japanese, if that helps.
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Old 2006-03-18, 20:20   Link #122
ShikaShika
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Join Date: Jan 2004
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Age: 33
Some important details, like where are you going? And how long are you staying? Are you traveling alone or with someone else?

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

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

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

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

Anyway, there's some stuff to get you started, if you give more details about your plans maybe I can offer more help.
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Old 2006-03-19, 15:39   Link #123
=KatanaViolet=
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sephon
I'm one of those guys that always thought about going to Japan, not to live but to go sightseeing and experience the culture.
After whats said in the thread I'm compelled to visit Kyoto instead of Tokyo, so I'll guess I will take a trip to Tokyo and Kyoto so that I'll get a bit of both my dreams.

I really have to take some Japanese lessons first though, so I at least can speak some basic sentances, hopefully I can find quick lessons which only focuses on comprehension and conversation, since reading is a bit overkill for just a quick 2-week visit.
I hope to go to both Tokyo and Kyoto, although if I go to Japan on exchange (which is what I intend on doing) I'll probably be out a little south west of central Tokyo. I would really love to see Osaka as well. I'd like to take a nice little tour of everywhere in Japan. You now, see the country side and whatnot.

I'm learning Japanese at my university, so that's what I got covered for me. I actually have an interest in Japanese language though, so if I went I'd be trying to completely immerse myself in the language. But definately have a phrase book, learn how to ask how much things cost, how to order food, etc, etc. And believe me, you'll have plenty of time to memorize phrases on the plain over there.
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Old 2006-04-17, 14:41   Link #124
shoukun03
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Two weeks in Japan

I plan to visit some family in Tokyo, but first I'll be taking a short tour beforehand.

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

Thanks!
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Old 2006-04-17, 14:49   Link #125
Ziv
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: ALASKA!!! W00t! I'm BACK FINALLY!!!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoukun03
I plan to visit some family in Tokyo, but first I'll be taking a short tour beforehand.

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

Thanks!
Make sure to check out the imperial palace. It looks pink from the google earth picture, and I hope that isn't the case.
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Old 2006-04-17, 14:53   Link #126
momogal
koi ni KNOCKOUT!
 
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: japan
Age: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoukun03
I plan to visit some family in Tokyo, but first I'll be taking a short tour beforehand.

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

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

shibuya is good for girl shopping if you have girlfriend/sister, etc.!
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Old 2006-05-10, 22:33   Link #127
sorvani
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Age: 41
Hey all, I'm headed to Tokyo for the second time. The first trip was with PJT and was a lot of fun, this time i'm on my own. I've been thinking to stay around Shibuya(picked at random), but i also found an interesting place in Asakusa. So far i've got two different hotels in mind, but thought i'd ask for opinions of them, or for other suggestions in the two areas.

Shibuya: サクラフルール青山 (Sakura Fluer Aoyama)
Asakusa: Ryokan Asakusa Shigetsu

Arrival at Narita is 13:30 on June 23rd and departure is 18:00 on June 29th.
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Old 2006-05-10, 22:38   Link #128
Rich
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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yeah i'll be going to tokyo this summer but i want to know where i can get some cool ass kicks, like dunks, airforces and sbs...... anyone know?! thanks.... well the closest i've found is harajuku but i just wanna know more places =P like rare ones
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Old 2006-05-10, 23:54   Link #129
raikage
日本語を食べません!
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: San Francisco
Age: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by a03
yeah i'll be going to tokyo this summer but i want to know where i can get some cool ass kicks, like dunks, airforces and sbs...... anyone know?! thanks.... well the closest i've found is harajuku but i just wanna know more places =P like rare ones
You intend to go to Japan to buy American shoes...?

They won't be cheap by any means.
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Old 2006-05-10, 23:57   Link #130
Rich
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hey you know there are some asian exclusive ones. you know what i mean... like supreme or tiffany or zoo york can't be found in the US anymore.. and btw JP is the fashion country, you know how japanese are fashionable (dunno if its a word =P). they know their clothes.. of courz i go to jp to shop and to sight see
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Old 2006-05-11, 07:58   Link #131
ainin
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Join Date: May 2006
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Hahahah!!! I went to Japan for student exchange programme for 2 times!!! It's fun!!!! Exciting. I think student exchange programme is the best! You can go to many places and have the chance to feel the Japanese lifestyle!!!!
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Old 2006-05-11, 10:37   Link #132
Vaines
Imagination's fool
 
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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I'd just suggest to all people considering to go to Japan for a student exchange to go there on holidays BEFORE to see how it is with your own eyes, not all the symbolism, videos or forum comments, or even travel websites you've seen. Because deciding to go move somewhere, even for a short time, needs to be prepared, at least in my opinion. I've got a friend who did just that, and is now studying in Japan, after having done several voluntary help trips to Hokkaido. Also, don't forget that most people who went to live in Japan stated that after some time of amazingness, there was a period (when the Japanese realised you weren't just going to leave after some weeks, or months), where things just go a bit (or a lot) harder, and contacts are more difficult, also some people say they've been depressed because of that. And that "phase" thing comes back in many reviews of personal moves to Japan.

I personally am going there on July for one month to do almost the entirety of Japan (I'm missing Nagasaki and those nicey islands in the bottom east). Although that means I won't be staying long in one place, I will have seen a broad picture, and I am going also to see my friend over there, so it will be interesting to see what someone who's been there for some months has to tell me
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Old 2006-05-11, 11:03   Link #133
kj1980
kaii~...kana? kana?
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Age: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziv
Make sure to check out the imperial palace. It looks pink from the google earth picture, and I hope that isn't the case.
It's pink because it is blooming with cherry blossoms. By summer, it will be vivid green. Then, auburn and gold in the autumn.
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Old 2006-05-25, 02:37   Link #134
DingoEnderZOE2
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Join Date: May 2004
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Ways to visit Japan without killing your wallet

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

Also while my Japanese skills isn't that of a novice, is it really required that you know how to SPEAK the language in order to get around?
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Old 2006-05-25, 03:51   Link #135
Chichi
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Join Date: Dec 2005
You really need to define 'cheap'? Also, it really does depend on where you are flying from, obviously.

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

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

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

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

As for the language, in major cities like Tokyo and Osaka, particularly Tokyo you'll get around, but it'll far more enjoyable to have someone who can speak the language, or someone who actually lives here traveling with you as a guide. Many Japanese people in the cities can speak English though, so if you can speak simple phrases that should help you. I don't suggest traveling too far out into other parts of Japan alone but I suggest perhaps going to Tokyo first and then arranging to join a tour guide. That way you'll get the benefits of seeing things you might miss, with the extra aid of someone who speaks fluently. And who knows, you might actually make a friend on those tours that you can join for the rest of your holiday.
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Old 2006-05-25, 06:40   Link #136
Potatochobit
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Join Date: Dec 2005
dont count on having the local residents speak english, its like going to france!!!

but you really want to get the smallest number of stops and transfers when goiong overseas. bad things happen when u have to change flights frequently. best to get a tour agency to set something up or at least provide accomodations.
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Old 2006-05-25, 07:58   Link #137
diabolistic
pythagorean≠python gorax
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: look behind you...
I just got back from a three week vacation (11 days in Japan, 11 days in Hong Kong). It was amazing. Since this is the "Visiting Japan" thread, I'll only briefly go through the Japan portion of the trip.

The Places
My base of operations was Oyama
Spoiler:
, which is about 45 minutes away from Tokyo by train. I spent the first few days in Osaka/Kyoto, eating and shopping around the Dotonburi
Spoiler:
(has anyone else eaten at an okonomiyaki
Spoiler:
restaurant with a sign that reads 'there's no substitute for okonomiyaki~beethoven'?) and going to the temples (kiyomizu was packed during golden week). Then Tokyo area (eating/drinking around the scummier parts of ueno
Spoiler:
is really affordable), and the last few days were spent around Oyama/Toshigi area. This has probably been in a previous post, but if you're visiting Japan, the JR Pass is absolutely necessary. It's a pass that allows unlimited travel on any JR Line in Japan. Taking the Shinkansen
Spoiler:
for a return trip alone covers the cost of the JR Pass.

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

The Food
The food wasn't as expensive as I thought. A filling meal between three/four people never went over 5000/6000 yen. A pint of beer usually goes for 500 yen (though parts of ueno serves pints for 350 yen ), and supermarkets are good places to shop for cheap food as well (sushi on the go costs about 100-200 yen).
Spoiler for probably the worst breakfast imaginable:


The Engrish
Spoiler:


Final Impressions
I really loved visiting Japan, and I'm definitely going to return (as long as I've got free boarding again ;P)
Spoiler for Thats me, walking around in Shibuya:
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Old 2006-05-25, 23:57   Link #138
sorvani
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Age: 41
For my trip next month, i am flying into Narita and staying at a hotel in Shibuya. This trip i do not plan on leaving the Tokyo area so I am not bothering with the JR pass. I don't think i will cover it's cost since i'm not taking the Skinkansen anywhere this time. The farthest i'm probably going to go will be Saitama or Kamakura. I'm estimating that a couple ¥5,000 rail cards will suffice. diabolistic was right though if you are planning to ride the shinkansen around the JR pass can't be beat.

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

by the way can any of our tokyo natives tell me anything about the hotel i picked (pretty much at random) the Sakura Fleur Aoyama, サクラフルール青山 . I couldn't find any reviews in english and my Nihongo is not good enough to read anything.
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Old 2006-05-26, 01:15   Link #139
Tommy
Mr. Prince
 
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Awesome pics diabolistic! Although this is a Japan thread you should post up your pics from Hong Kong as well! I know thats a place I would like to visit as well as Japan someday.
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Old 2006-06-03, 23:21   Link #140
Zelath
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I hope to someday move to Japan, I love the language and the culture seems very interesting. I have recently just plain gotten sick of this country that I live in, I hate our government, and people here are way too racist (at least where I live)
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