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Loki

Going to Japan

Will you be going to Japan in the future?  

86 members have voted

  1. 1.

    • Definitely!
      45
    • Probably... depends on if I have the time and/or cash.
      31
    • zOMG!!!111 i wanna be like Narutard and like eat ramen and hit on japanese school girls!!! (ie - I'm so fanboy/girl that they wouldn't let me in)
      4
    • Not in my plans.
      6


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Leaving this topic open even though it's older, because it's still relevant despite its age. :wub:

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Thanks Meredith!

This June (the 19th - July 3rd) my buddies and I are going to Tokyo and maybe some other places around the area for about two weeks. There is no doubt that we are seriously excited about this dream vacation. It's going to be their first and its going to be my second time around. We have done a lot of research on this trip and have all the documents (which is basically a passport) ready to go!

I was able to snag a pretty decent deal off the Air Canada site for a round trip of $950 from outta Philly International. Considering its during peak season and rising fuel costs, I think thats a great deal. Also, to cut costs down, we'll be staying at a hostel the whole time there (2000 yen a night). I really don't have any problems with hostels, since I do plenty of backpacking and traveling on my own free time. As long as we keep our common senses with us (ie not leave 30,000 yen or your passport laying around in the room), we'll be fine.

Considering that I've been there before, I wanna try and culture myself there, instead of touristy spots. I was thinking of maybe spending time socializing at some local bars and clubs there. Maybe I'll also take a trip out the outter areas to like the beach or other places. My Japanese is okay where I can hold a conversation.

I wanna try and check out the music scene and see whats up. Im hoping to make it to an Ayumi Hamasaki concert in Yogogi in late June. That would be awesome!

My biggest concern isn't necessarily for myself, but rather for my 2 buddies who are going. What should they go see? What should they do? We're not doing any tours because we kinda despise those kinds of vacations where we'll be restricted to less free time. I would hate for them to wander aimlessly! or maybe thats a good thing? lol

Anyways, I'd figured I could ask for some input. Even if some of you guys haven't been there, I could use some of that input as well!

what would you do there?

cheers!

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Considering that I've been there before, I wanna try and culture myself there, instead of touristy spots. I was thinking of maybe spending time socializing at some local bars and clubs there. Maybe I'll also take a trip out the outter areas to like the beach or other places. My Japanese is okay where I can hold a conversation.

I wanna try and check out the music scene and see whats up. Im hoping to make it to an Ayumi Hamasaki concert in Yogogi in late June. That would be awesome!

My biggest concern isn't necessarily for myself, but rather for my 2 buddies who are going. What should they go see? What should they do? We're not doing any tours because we kinda despise those kinds of vacations where we'll be restricted to less free time. I would hate for them to wander aimlessly! or maybe thats a good thing? lol

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Here's some advice, based on 5 trips thus far. (The first, I was there completely on my own for a day or so, then joined by another non-Japanese speaker for a week; the rest have been with Otakon.)

1. Take a good half-day when you first arrive to explore the area around your hotel, especially between your hotel and the nearest subway/train station. It's time well spent -- you will want to note easy places to eat, figure out which conbini has the best selection, etc. -- and it'll keep you from getting lost on day two when you stumble back, exhausted and overwhelmed, late at night.

2. Pick up a Lonely Planet pocket guide -- the green book with the foldout subway map -- and a small Berlitz phrasebook (the kind with phrases in both languages printed there). These are pretty much indispensable, and you should carry both with you at all times, or at least until you figure out the subway system. The LP guide has some great unexpected gems.

3. Pick up a SUICA or PASSMO card and charge it with at least 5000 yen; you'll use this for travel throughout your trip, recharging frequently. DO NOT LOSE IT.

4. If you're a nerd, plan a full day for exploring Akihabara; you may want to include Ikkebukuro as well. Plan another half-day, at least, for Shinjuku. If you see a tall building with a cow on it in Akihabara, that's what I call "Tower of Meat" -- there are some excellent beef restaurants there, and I recommend the korean BBQ place upstairs.

5. Book foreigner passes for the Ghibli Museum BEFORE YOU GO, and make sure it's booked for a day or two after you arrive. Don't miss out. And if you can manage it, plan to walk through the park because it's lovely.

6. Don't miss the Meiji Shrine and Harajuku (same subway stop); Harajuku is colorful and absolutely mobbed on weekends, but the shrine is serene and very pleasant. And the bridge between is a hot spot for cosplayers and gothloli fashionistas, as well as occasional street performers. I try to make time to go there every year.

7. If you're a beer drinker, visit the Sapporo Beer Museum in Ebisu. There are some wonderful ramen places right there at the Ebisu station (or just up the street), and the beer museum itself has a fun little museum and some cool tastings at the end to reward you.

Good luck!

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I would love to go for our honeymoon but I still need some conviencing from the finance.

Hehe, Alabaster, YOU should be my tour guide since you seem very skilled.

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I would love to go for our honeymoon but I still need some conviencing from the finance.

Hehe, Alabaster, YOU should be my tour guide since you seem very skilled.

Heh, when I went in 2002, it was a COMPLETE case of winging it. I arrived alone in a strange land, spoke almost no Japanese, had no clue how to get around, and to top it off it was pouring when I arrived in Shinjuku and had to hoof it 7 blocks to my hotel. (I didn't know about the underground walkway that led directly there!) But I'm pretty adventurous and quickly figured out that nobody expected me to speak Japanese anyway, and with subway, street signs, and prices generally in English, it wasn't necessary. By the next morning, I was Mr Explorer and looked like a bloody expert by the time my buddy showed up.

In following years I was lucky enough to have translators and Tokyo natives to help out, and that's an advantage most people won't have. But that first year of exploration stood me in very good stead -- when we took Kaki and Terry out for birthday goodness, I knew how to get to the restaurant (even though NOBODY believed me!) because it was in the hotel I'd stayed at back in 2002.

One other thing: you will walk a LOT. Make sure you have at least TWO PAIRS of comfortable walking shoes. And a lightweight jacket because the temperatures inside the subways can be a good 20-30 degrees warmer than outside. My jacket and I had a very on-again, off-again relationship!

Smile and be polite, learn your basic politeness words (you'll say "excuse me" and "sorry" a lot!), and be willing to try new stuff. You'll have fun.

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Most people go to Roppongi for the night scene.

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I was actually thinking about maybe taking a day trip down to the Fujisawa, Kamakura, and Enoshima region. I've heard lots of cool things going around down there in the summer! But I'll definitely research some of the locations you specified!

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I'm speculating about going to Japan the next time I have a couple of solid free weeks, which would probably be the second half of December. (I've been to Japan once before, but that was a night in Osaka on a missed connection when I was 8, so it doesn't really count.) Is that time of year kosher for any sane person to be flying to and/or going around Japan? Are places like the Ghibli Museum and the 'streets' of Shibuya/Harajuku/etc still interesting to visit? Living in upstate New York and going to school in Cleveland has desensitized me toward most kinds of winter weather shenanigans, but if the tourist infrastructure is ill-suited for winter it might be harder to justify.

And does anyone have any tips for booking flights to Japan? I would consider taking a bus to New York or Toronto or Chicago if it would mean a better price and hopefully a direct flight.

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I'm speculating about going to Japan the next time I have a couple of solid free weeks, which would probably be the second half of December. (I've been to Japan once before, but that was a night in Osaka on a missed connection when I was 8, so it doesn't really count.) Is that time of year kosher for any sane person to be flying to and/or going around Japan? Are places like the Ghibli Museum and the 'streets' of Shibuya/Harajuku/etc still interesting to visit? Living in upstate New York and going to school in Cleveland has desensitized me toward most kinds of winter weather shenanigans, but if the tourist infrastructure is ill-suited for winter it might be harder to justify.

And does anyone have any tips for booking flights to Japan? I would consider taking a bus to New York or Toronto or Chicago if it would mean a better price and hopefully a direct flight.

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I was wondering what the best time to go to Japan was? I'm going with my friend Erin and I really wanted to go in the spring during sakura blossom season...ooooh prettyful.....but her friends who live over there suggested fall because it's cheaper...I personally don't care because I've wanted to go my whole life and price isn't an object, I just want to know what's best for a first timer.

I'm also very excited that her friends that live there....live on a military base. Which means we can stay with them for $35 a night! Yet another reason the super expensive airfare in the spring wouldn't be a huge deal, it'd even out in the end.

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I was wondering what the best time to go to Japan was? I'm going with my friend Erin and I really wanted to go in the spring during sakura blossom season...ooooh prettyful.....but her friends who live over there suggested fall because it's cheaper...I personally don't care because I've wanted to go my whole life and price isn't an object, I just want to know what's best for a first timer.

I'm also very excited that her friends that live there....live on a military base. Which means we can stay with them for $35 a night! Yet another reason the super expensive airfare in the spring wouldn't be a huge deal, it'd even out in the end.

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I'll throw a bit of business to the guys we've used lately: JTA. Japan Travel Advisor (http://www.japantravel.com). Sometimes you can find things cheaper but in my old age I'm happy to have a travel agent.

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I'm planning to go in 2011 ^^ as a university graduation present to myself! I'm saving already

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I live there.

...

...

...

So... yeah. ^^

If any of you lot need some help, let me know. Particularly if you're looking to check out Akihabara. My buddy runs the Akihabara Channel, and we'd be happy to showcase the good spots. Can also recommend other good spots to visit, places to eat, et cetera. I'd not mind meeting up with some folks at the airport and running them out to Akihabara/Harajuku/Shinjuku/Shibuya/whatever.

Trips outside of Tokyo would still be doable, but tougher. And more expensive.

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Thank you ^^! I would totally need someone in Japan to buy me a concert ticket or something I heard getting concert tickets from outside Japan is really expensive and a pain. But 2011 is far away ~ Thanks for offering ^^! Living there must be cool yet stressing ^^"

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The second half of December, however, may be somewhat expensive due to winter holidays. If price matters, an off-season is much better. Tokyo is Tokyo all year long, with the exception that you wear thicker clothing in winter and thinner clothing in the summer. I wouldn't worry about things to do, unless you plan on going a festival or going to the beach. Or other season specific things. It really doesn't snow in Tokyo anyway (unless instant-melt snow counts). But if you plan to go outside of Tokyo, there is the possibility of going snowboarding or seeing some pretty winter sights.

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I went to Japan for Christmas/my birthday (December to January)

I stayed in Tokyo. The only thing I can "complain" about it the prices of more "Americanized" food. Like, Pizza, chicken fingers, french fries... haha. A pizza from Pizza-Hut cost roughly almost (if not on the dot) $30.00!

Although when we went to the supermarket (Supermarket OK! Always low price! ... lmao) I loved it. The prices were indeed good, and you could just buy stuff there and cook it at home. Haha.. I loved when the little Japanese kids would stare at me... almost like, "Whoa! Look at that person's nose!"

I really am not an Otaku, but could not stop myself from actually buying stuff in Akihabara. I went to some other places... Shibuya, Nakano, Harajuku, Roppongi, many more.

I can't wait to go back. If you're an adult, honestly... it isn't scary to go there. I flew there all by myself (14 hours!) and met up with my girlfriend. You just need the money, and a little time. Stop making excuses and plan your trips! : )

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Im hopefully going 2010. After graduation from high school, so that would be a present to myself. If my mom helps me then thats her present to me. i just want to go to sight see. Iv traveled almost all over the europe and iI want to visit a part of asia and i would love to see japan so that would be wonderful. I hope my friends go with me.

Thanks for the tips. Im just obsorbing the information so I know ahead of time. Also thanks for the travel sites. They helped.

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I'm heading back on May 11 - May 27 next year. Hopefully it won't be too rainy during that time, but as long as were not hit with a typhoon I'll be happy. I would have liked to travel again during the cherry blossom blooming, but I'm taking my niece and her college freshman year doesn't end until May 9.

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I've been to Japan before to visit my family, but that was a while ago! ;) I'll probably go back next summer!

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shopping in Japan is awesome!! I plan to visit again for a concert later in winter :]

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shopping in Japan is awesome!! I plan to visit again for a concert later in winter :]

Luckyyyy..... I've never been outside of the states myself, but when I have enough money saved up I definately plan on visiting (tuition and car payments come first xD) So pretty much my graduation present will be a trip to Japan.

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I might go next year or 2010...it's either to Japan or Hong Kong, my other hometown.

LOL...I guess some nice girl would like to join this old geezer for a trip to the Far East? lol...as if that would ever happen...

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shopping in Japan is awesome!! I plan to visit again for a concert later in winter :]

Luckyyyy..... I've never been outside of the states myself, but when I have enough money saved up I definately plan on visiting (tuition and car payments come first xD) So pretty much my graduation present will be a trip to Japan.

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Already been once - I was an exchange student in high school. I didn't get much time to do any tourism, though, because I was busy in school. Though I did a lot of historical tourism around Kyoto/Hikone/Biwa, I'd like to do some stuf in Tokyo and Hokkaido.

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