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Old 2010-03-08, 21:40   Link #741
Guardian Enzo
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnieS View Post
BTW, I'm not sure when you were there, but the Animate in Akihabara changed sometimes... a couple of years ago, I think. It got moved to its new building but still near its old location. With 7-8 floors of much better labeled/categorized goods, it's definitely better than the old store in the area.

For travel to Japan from the U.S., Delta is pretty convenient, esp. now that NW is gone. For people traveling, you should also check to see if there are flights to other airports reasonably close to Tokyo (or your final destination). While you probably don't want to fly into Osaka if you are looking to sightsee in Tokyo, if the saving is really good, a quick trip on the Shinkansen, esp. if you have a valid JR pass, could be doable.
I was there last March and I assume that was after the change - Animate was pretty much right next to Toranoana and both had 7-8 floors, including the "ladies only" doujin floor.

I flew JAL last year, and this year I'll be flying ANA - and I found them to be as cheap as any other direct flight from SFO. Cost savings is great and all, but I'll say this much - the level of comfort on service (even in coach) is way, way better on either Japanese carrier than any of the American one. And with the flight already being 11 hours, I'm done with connecting fights - I'll pay the extra $75 it cost me for a nonstop any day of the week.
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Old 2010-03-09, 04:59   Link #742
Reckoner
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http://kotaku.com/5484581/japan-its-not-funny-anymore

Very interesting article about someone who quite frankly found disdain for Japan after living there for awhile.
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Old 2010-03-09, 07:23   Link #743
Arbitres
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Interesting article.

I heard and figured the japanese in general were similiar in that fashion. Though what bothers me the most is the "You aren't Japanese" comment, which would happen quite abit. in my opinion. I'm not planning on moving to Tokyo, just somewhere similiar with open air and nice scenery. Some screenshots from Okinawa have made me romance over it. Though I will probably try Osaka or a prefecture. I personally would like to see Hokkaido.

My only personal bias is the meat... I don't mind bacon or ham, or even fish. But what gets me is the octopus.... Never had crab, so I'll keep my mind open, yes?

The stores/Clubs/somewhat stress relieving activities seem rather troublesome. But since i'm a westerner, I wouldn't know of work perfection. Work perfection being stressed, of course.

I'll make it a habit to look at Tim Roger's columns, since they seem more or less intelligent with realistic points. I can relate with the 'Game of life' paragraph(s).

Though I usually greet people regardless, which may be abit of a headstart in the workplace/existence within Japan, I'd probably have problems adapting, should I somehow miraculously do my dreamplace. Tokyo however, is a no. Okinawa or Hokkaido, plz. :3
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Old 2010-03-09, 08:55   Link #744
Mystique
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Location: In the eastern capital of the islands of the rising suns...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
http://kotaku.com/5484581/japan-its-not-funny-anymore

Very interesting article about someone who quite frankly found disdain for Japan after living there for awhile.
It's a long ass article, I skimmed 70% of it xD
(Will read later)
I did drop this message to the writer though...
Quote:
Yep, I'd say you've been there too long enough. There are a lot of things in your article where you have literally translated them and approached them as a Westerner.
Which to do that in a country and culture like Japan, would drive any of us to suicide
- So either you 'shouganai' it *winks* or move out and take a breather in another country.

I know after 3 years or so, this country begins to grate on Westerners, methinks it better to live in an environment where you feel more at ease, or don't mind fighting the 'gaijin' fight over here until generations begin to see the light.
I often hear from a lot of Westerners,
"Japan is a great place to visit, but I wouldn't/couldn't live there."

With due reason too.
I do not convince nor tempt people to come live over here at all, in all honesty.
It's not easy and it can be an ongoing battle when trying to mix water and oil together.
(And even when those wanting to learn Japanese on a whim, I have a scary perfect article for them to read just to see if they'll change their minds.)

A good piece of advice from someone else is what I'll end with here...
Quote:
If life has taught me (academically, anyhow) anything, it's work the system. Learn the rules and work with them, bend them only when necessary, and you'll be a much happier person. Accept that the entire world is full of crap. Things aren't going to go your way. Adapt.
As for more comments on his rant (cause it is just that), I'll post in the Japanese Culture thread.
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Old 2010-03-09, 18:51   Link #745
yoropa
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My big problem with Japan:
* I will not eat meat and most seafoods.
* I will not drink alcohol.
* I am of a foreign race.
* I am poor.
From a cultural standpoint, this doesn't work out.

For more personal issues (that can be solved with internet):
* Most modern anime makes me vomit.
* Japanese comedy is bland.
* Japanese films really really suck.

Most importantly is that I will never drink. Ever. EVER. I hate the stuff. Beer looks like foaming urine from the bladder of a dehydrated and unhealthy man.
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Old 2010-03-09, 21:04   Link #746
Rajura
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I have an uncanny ability with accents; when I took my final several years ago, the professor who flew in to administer the test asked me when it was all over asked if I had spent any appreciable time in Japan... I told him I had never been but...

To this, he replied "you speak like someone who has lived in Kobe."

All I could tell him was that that was where my teacher's home city.

Really funny when a guy with a Southern drawl can drop it in a second and "go native".

So foreigner, yeah can't do anything about that.
Status being attained.
Money... soon... hopefully.
Alcohol... in moderation.
Food... I'm not picky; I'll tell you if it was good or not and if it wasn't... I still probably ate it all. And being a Southerner, I loves me some seafood and meat.
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Old 2010-03-09, 21:37   Link #747
Kyuusai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoropa View Post
My big problem with Japan:
* I will not eat meat and most seafoods.
* I will not drink alcohol.
* I am of a foreign race.
* I am poor.
From a cultural standpoint, this doesn't work out.

For more personal issues (that can be solved with internet):
* Most modern anime makes me vomit.
* Japanese comedy is bland.
* Japanese films really really suck.

Most importantly is that I will never drink. Ever. EVER. I hate the stuff. Beer looks like foaming urine from the bladder of a dehydrated and unhealthy man.
- Vegetarians DO have a hard time in Japan. It's possible to get by, but it can be aggravating. (I can't relate to you there. My dental structure makes me a clear omnivore.)

- I can definitely relate to you on the issue of alcohol. While I'm no longer bound to an oath of teetotaling, I have always found the taste of almost any alcoholic beverage utterly repulsive, and not in the mildly unpleasant way most other people experience and overcome. I also achieve no euphoric effect from it as others apparently do. No, for whatever the reason, I am apparently simply not a drinker. I've never had a problem with someone in a western nation being offput by that, but I've been repeatedly told that not drinking is a handicap in Japan. Still, there are non-drinkers in Japan, both native Japanese and foreigners. They still manage to have careers and social lives.

- There are many foreigners who get along just fine in Japan. Those who are willing to learn and blend in tend to do better.

- Poor people can improve their financial situation. Poor is a state, not an inherent trait. You would be very surprised at the financial state of some people who've visited Japan repeatedly (or moved there).

The common trait here is negativity. You won't find success or happiness through a negative outlook. Positivity, kindness, and a willingness to overcome obstacles are the best tools you can employ in finding success in the things that interest you. (Of course, it doesn't actually sound like you're interested in visiting Japan, really, but it's good advice in general.)
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Old 2010-03-09, 22:15   Link #748
yoropa
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I won't pay $30+ for a music CD or any form of souvenir, and I'm not going to go to Japan solely to take pictures of skyscrapers and nature. I can get that where I am right now for free.

My main issue is that supposing I do go to Tokyo, what the heck would I even do? In other words, what is there to do in Tokyo? I've only ever left this country I'm in right now to visit family to be perfectly honest, so I really wouldn't know.

And back in the day I used to be interested in Japan but the more I hear of it the less I like it. Along with almost everything else to be honest.

I'm in a Japanese class and I'm one of the top students of the class, so... yeah...

Last edited by yoropa; 2010-03-09 at 22:26.
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Old 2010-03-09, 23:09   Link #749
Kyuusai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoropa View Post
I won't pay $30+ for a music CD or any form of souvenir, and I'm not going to go to Japan solely to take pictures of skyscrapers and nature. I can get that where I am right now for free.

My main issue is that supposing I do go to Tokyo, what the heck would I even do? In other words, what is there to do in Tokyo? I've only ever left this country I'm in right now to visit family to be perfectly honest, so I really wouldn't know.

And back in the day I used to be interested in Japan but the more I hear of it the less I like it. Along with almost everything else to be honest.

I'm in a Japanese class and I'm one of the top students of the class, so... yeah...
Every place has its good and bad. But if a place in particular doesn't interest you... that's really OK.

I don't really enjoy being a tourist, myself. I've done some traveling and enjoyed experiencing the things around, meeting people, and learning about/integrating into a new culture. But, like you, just going to take pictures means nothing to me. I happen to have an interest in and love for Japan and its people because that is the heritage of part of my family and because I will have things to accomplish there in the future. Appreciating Japan's pop culture and language has intensified that ( ), but if that was all I cared about from Japan, I wouldn't have much interest in going there. There are plenty of people that's true for. There's no shame in it.

As for what there is to do in Tokyo, there's a lot! But if you aren't interested in sightseeing or simply experiencing another culture, then recommendations really depends on what you enjoy.
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Old 2010-03-10, 21:41   Link #750
yoropa
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No, I enjoy culture. Culture is something I truly, truly appreciate more than most people in this country, certainly. Often times whenever a foreign culture is brought up in class, I already know of it. And I will jump head on into it.

Going to a country and staying in tourist-only areas is not experiencing culture.

The last nation I was in was Jordan (and from this you should be able to guess my own ethnicity), and when I was there, I didn't stay in the hotels made specifically for Americans in the district carved solely for American tourists. I lived in the friggin' ghetto. I often experienced power blackouts. I saw a building blow up right in front of me (and I wet myself thanks to that).

There were prisoner convicts living down the road. One day a street gang essentially kidnapped me, drove me downtown, and inaugurated me into their entity solely because I could speak English fluently. From all this, I saw the true face of the country, one that is impossible to experience solely from staying in the bounds of a tourist area. And this, to me, was the most incredible travel experience, beyond my wildest dreams. It also was scared the crap out of me. Literally.

If I go to Japan I don't think I would have an experience like that. No, I'm not expecting the yakuza to kidnap me, but I expect more than just going to the places that exist solely for tourist revenues. I'll be experiencing a fake culture. I don't want that. I want to be there in the REAL thing. I'd love that. I don't know how possible that is for me. That's why I'm asking what there is to do in Tokyo beyond the generic sightseeing.

I'm sure if I do go I'd stop by Tokyo Tower, but simply going there won't let me see the culture, or even the history. Jordan's capital's landmark was the Ancient Colosseum, and in there I experienced history regardless of it still remaining solely for tourist revenues. In the museums there I was allowed to touch an excavated ancient weapon dating back before civilization. It was like feeling back generations to the origins of humanity.

Again, I don't expect the same from Japan, but I expect to do more than "Go to Japan. Find something to eat. Stop by Akihabara to be a complete creep. Take a few pictures. Go home." That's again why I asked, "what is there to do in Tokyo?"

Maybe Tokyo isn't the right place for me to visit (though certainly the cheapest to get airfare to). Maybe Kyoto or Osaka or Niigata have more that fits my interests. I don't know. You said you were part Japanese, so then you've probably been there. I again ask what there is that I can do there. I'm not trying to be that rude, I'm sorry if I offended you, I just want to know what a guy like me can do in the country before I go into the country?
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Old 2010-03-11, 02:27   Link #751
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yoropa, I can definitely understand your meaning.

I think the hard part here is that culture isn't something you go to meet. It's something you experience along the way. I imagine that when you went to Jordan, you didn't go there just for those particular experiences. Other circumstances put you there, in "real Jordanian life". I don't guess it would be very simple to decide to just "go to Jordan" and, as an otherwise unaffiliated visitor, have the experiences you had. (Speaking of which, it might be worthwhile to post about your experiences in the "Visiting somewhere other than Japan" thread.) In all the places I've been, it's been much the same. Everywhere I've been, I've gotten to know interesting people and had some interesting times (from fleeing a protest march to walking ancient city streets night after night to my shower catching on fire to being hit--gently--by a bus to so much more), but all of my notable experiences have been a result of the natural interactions one has in going about particular business or living in the area.

That's why I think it's better to look at it from a perspective of what you're already interested in, and seeing what Japan has to offer there. By making those things your "goal" in the country, the rest will naturally happen along the way if you're open. What are your interests?

I've been in several places in my travels, but I have yet to go to Japan. I had planned on living in Japan for a period of time before, but have been delayed. (I apologize if I was misleading. I am not part Japanese, but half of the my generation in my family is, and having a Japanese step-mother and aunt definitely left its mark on me.) My first purpose in Japan will be schooling to improve my Japanese. I don't have much plan other than that aside from visiting Akiba, shopping at Book Off regularly, and just walking around, exploring. It may sound like a boring plan, but that's exactly the sort of thing that put me in a position to having interesting experiences elsewhere. If the language interests you, that might be a worthwhile goal, even if you went only for a short period.

If I had to name anything off the top of my head without knowing anything about you but what I've read here, I would say seek historical museums. These would not tend to be as gaijin-oriented as other attractions, and are still tremendous learning opportunities. But it's a big city with quite an interesting country surrounding it. I dare say they might have something to do that is particularly suited to your interests (although how much language skill you would need to enjoy yourself in that venue would depend on what the venue is).

Regardless of why you go, I promise that it won't be the destination, but the journey that is fulfilling.
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Old 2010-03-11, 12:47   Link #752
yoropa
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In terms of interests, I really can't say. I don't have many interests that would be very concrete. I'm pretty bland to be perfectly honest. I like politics but I doubt foreigners would be allowed into the Diet. Historical and old cultural interests I can find through museums, since I doubt I'd find many people who still wear kimono and other traditional garments. Most likely I'd look through Akihabara for "otaku gear" but most likely won't buy anything due to the fact that I'd need to save money for food. Other than that I think I'd mostly wander about until something interesting happens (and for some reason weird things always happen whenever I'm around, as you could tell from my recent trip to Jordan).

Assuming I go this summer, I would probably find some cafe to crash in during the World Cup Japan v. Denmark match to cheer with other locals.

I'm not helping you much, am I? XD
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Old 2010-03-17, 00:00   Link #753
onehp
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Does the capsule hotel in Tokyo offer showers for men? It sucks that it is only offered to women
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Old 2010-03-17, 00:52   Link #754
Claies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoropa View Post
My big problem with Japan:
* I will not eat meat and most seafoods.
* I will not drink alcohol.
* I am of a foreign race.
* I am poor.
From a cultural standpoint, this doesn't work out.

For more personal issues (that can be solved with internet):
* Most modern anime makes me vomit.
* Japanese comedy is bland.
* Japanese films really really suck.

Most importantly is that I will never drink. Ever. EVER. I hate the stuff. Beer looks like foaming urine from the bladder of a dehydrated and unhealthy man.
You will get right along with this guy.
http://kotaku.com/5484581/japan-its-...yline=true&s=i
It's a ridiculously long rant, but 6 out of 7 of your problems are in there.

To be honest, my interest in going to Japan is very high but beginning to wane. Having lived in Hong Kong for my childhood and revisited it multiple times, I already have a pretty good idea of what Asian shopping centers look like and what they offer, so I feel like most of downtown Tokyo will check out really fast for me (besides the fact that it's probably very clean throughout). I'm aiming to go there mainly for the food and some snap manga and artbook purchases. Maybe seeing a few temples, maybe finding a festival by coincidence and hanging out. Mostly natural sightseeing and food.
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Old 2010-03-17, 06:10   Link #755
JMvS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onehp View Post
Does the capsule hotel in Tokyo offer showers for men? It sucks that it is only offered to women
Hmm, the one I stayed at (IIRC in Shinjuku) had quite a large public bath (with no extra charge), actually a whole floor was like a Sento. I think those are fairly standard within capsule hotels.
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Old 2010-03-23, 10:05   Link #756
WanderingKnight
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almost 1 week before my trip aujsdaujsdaujdsh
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Old 2010-03-28, 02:30   Link #757
Doraneko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoropa View Post
Historical and old cultural interests I can find through museums, since I doubt I'd find many people who still wear kimono and other traditional garments. Most likely I'd look through Akihabara for "otaku gear" but most likely won't buy anything due to the fact that I'd need to save money for food. Other than that I think I'd mostly wander about until something interesting happens (and for some reason weird things always happen whenever I'm around, as you could tell from my recent trip to Jordan).
Personally I find Tokyo a boring place that at most worths visiting once in your life, unless you are an otaku who has to go to Akiba and Comiket every year. It is basically another Asian city like Hong Kong / Singapore / Taipei / Seoul / Shanghai, with a slight bit of otaku touch. But Japan is certainly more than Tokyo.

Seriously, if you are remotely interested in cultural and history stuff, how can you be satisfied with air-conditioned museums when you can see real ancient temples and castles? And of course there are people who still wear kimono if you know the right place and right time.

The only reason tourists stick with Tokyo is because it is a convenient and well-developed city, and they can get away without knowing one single word of Japanese. If you are the top student in your Japanese class, I fail to see why you need to waste your time there.

A nice trip that let you experience the local culture and experience needs not be as dramatic as getting kidnapped by gangsters. Go for a stroll in the rural areas. See the amazing natural landscapes. When you are tired, take a rest at a tiny roadside store/cafe, pick up a snack and have a chat with the owner (Rural Japanese are very friendly and sometime you can get extra "bonus" if you impress them with your Japanese ).

Or, if you have enough time, find a small old town and stay in a traditional hostel for an extended period during their summer festival time. If possible, offer to help with the preparations of the festival. Seeing a cultural from its inside is much more interesting than as a mere tourist. But of course this is aprivilege limited to those who can speak the local language like you.

Btw, for the beer problem, tell the locals that you have alcohol intolerance. I got away with that.
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Old 2010-03-28, 12:06   Link #758
yoropa
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See, that's what I've been asking, since I don't know where those places are. XD
And not just beer problem but also meat problem too.
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Old 2010-03-28, 13:57   Link #759
JMvS
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Originally Posted by yoropa View Post
See, that's what I've been asking, since I don't know where those places are. XD
And not just beer problem but also meat problem too.
Well, while there are still a lot of fun to have in Tokyo, provided you like museums (a lot, and of any kinds), or "odd spots": fish market, Akihabara, Hachiko statue, etc...

Now if you want something else than a "random" large Asian City, it's actually pretty simple: go to Kyoto instead.

While it's true that it is known mostly as a tourist destination, trust me, it's really worth it, especially if you want to have a feel of Japan.
The whole City is really beautiful, filled with traditional architecture, old neighborhoods, shrines, temples, museums, parks and such.

Actually, it being a major Japanese destination add to it's charm, as I've seen quite a number of people who were wearing traditional clothing while visiting. Also, the City is very tourist friendly, with street names in roman characters, dense public transportation and loads of relatively cheap lodgings.

There are also a lot interesting spots all across Japan, but making a list of it here would be way too long.

Depending on when you intend to go, I encourage you to check the calendar and locations of the Japanese Festivals, as those are also very nice to see.


Regarding the food and drink issue, if you count fish as meat, then you are screwed pretty much everywhere in Japan, as fish broth is in almost everything. You'll have to look for a Buddhist Temple, or a restaurant serving it's traditional food, for true vegan food I think; else you can try the most basic Japanese food: rice, pickled vegetables, umeboshi, nori.
If you have a sweet tooth, all the "go with tea" pastries in Kyoto should be safe. And tea is of course!
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Old 2010-03-28, 19:53   Link #760
Guardian Enzo
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I see a lot of Tokyo-bashing on just about every travel site, but I must confess I love it. For a huge city it's easily navigable - the rail system is unmatched. Because it's a city of neighborhoods you can find so much variety in terms of character. Food is tremendous (sure, Osaka may be great but so is Tokyo). And it's wonderful to find little slices of old Edo hiding amongst all the glitz and insanity of the modern. For me, Tokyo is a huge part of what Japan is today and a great destination in it's own right - vibrant, quirky, and surprisingly cheap if you know where to go. It's not representative of everything in Japan by any means - just a great city.
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