japan trip (hell yea!!!)

Discussion in 'Whatever' started by Lalo, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. Geekabilly

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    japan trip (hell yea!!!)
    Have a great time! I really want to go back since my trip in 09'. The S7 Tokyo Underground book is a must, and just the right size to fit in a backpack. And remember no photos in Mandarake! I almost got kicked out after snapping this photo 3 min after walking in. (Did not see the sign)
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. justin

    justin Addicted

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    japan trip (hell yea!!!)
    :shock: MUST. GO. THERE.
     
  3. Mr. Humphreys

    Mr. Humphreys S7 Royalty

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    japan trip (hell yea!!!)



    It's a pity that it costs extra to have a pet in the apartment :cry: .

    There is a rumor that someone is trying to open a Nekko Cafe in Boston, but typical.... lots of rules and regulations and such. One worry is that it stresses out the kittees to be in public day and night, and they are exploited. Well, if you gave the kittee an option of escaping into another area for isolation from humans, that would solve that argument....

    P.S. Great photo Geekabilly! :shock:

    P.P.S. BILL! This has your name written all over it! :D

    ;)
     
  4. kurumonz

    kurumonz Side Dealer

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    japan trip (hell yea!!!)
    Sacrilegious, if you don't go to Tokyu Hands when in Tokyo!

    The Shibuya Tokyu Hands is great, there's a Mandarake nearby too. Put your wife there, she WILL NOT want to leave...then sneak over to Mandarake :lol:

    Food sampling at Isetan basement would be a meal on its own. :D

    [​IMG]
     
  5. moonbeams

    moonbeams Toy Prince

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    Tokyu Hands is the greatest store ever. I recommend the Shinjuku Tokyu one. It's just a short walk from Shinjuku Gyoen and there's lots of Disk Union
    stores around it if you're into music.

    I go there every day in my day dreams.
     
  6. GhostTrainGray

    GhostTrainGray Toy Prince

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    japan trip (hell yea!!!)
    Awesome, keeping an eye on this thread as I'm planning a Japan trip with the girlfriend this year. Thanks dudes.
     
  7. T.J.

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    japan trip (hell yea!!!)

    I second this notion. I am headed over in early May. I'll have limited time(only a week) and will be mostly in Tokyo with the exception of maybe a quick trip to Kyoto for a Balzac show.
     
  8. trueadrn

    trueadrn Line of Credit

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    japan trip (hell yea!!!)
    awesome, looks like you'll have a blast. Take some pics for us unlucky bastards.
     
  9. Lalo

    Lalo Mini Boss

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    japan is just around the corner!!!
    thanks everyone for all the tips and tricks!
     
  10. ---NT---

    ---NT--- Prototype

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    Rather than start my own thread, I figured I'd just bump up Lalo's! My wife and I are headed to Tokyo/Kyoto/Osaka this fall, with a stop at a ryokan along the way.

    If anyone has any non-toy suggestions since this thread was first started please post 'em! So far the only thing we have nailed down is our airfare - we're arriving the day before the Chofu Autumn Fireworks display!

    Things we're interested in:

    • Art galleries
    • Restaurants or recommended dishes - I hear Osaka is the food capital?
    • Music venues - where does Boris play when they're in Tokyo/Osaka? Where's a good place to catch a local band?
    • Things that aren't your typical tourist destination. We'll certainly be doing that, too, but like stuff that's more obscure.

    Given that we haven't booked lodging yet, what are the minimum and maximum (realistic!) number of days needed for Tokyo/Kyoto/Osaka? We're going to spend the most time in Tokyo, but haven't determined exactly how long that will be, and will depend on the minimum number of days we need to devote to Osaka/Kyoto.
     
  11. MisterYuck

    MisterYuck Comment King

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    japan trip (hell yea!!!)
    If any of you dudes wouldn't mind just shoving my girlfriend and myself into your carry-on, that'd be great. Thanks.
     
  12. Lalo

    Lalo Mini Boss

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    can't give any cool destination spots that haven't already been shared, but both of my brothers said that the jrpass was super useful. my wife and i bought a ticket at every station and didn't know about the jrpass, which was fine, but the jrpass saves you some yen if you're going to be hopping on constantly. https://jrpass.com/

    i don't remember if i got my tokyo underground book back from my brothers, but if i did, i'll lend it to you. it has some great tips and a simplified tokyo train map that made it easy to get around (proud to say i never got lost).

    also, google translate. it's been radically updated since i went years ago, and it can translate speech on the spot. my brother and his wife had a full-on conversation with a lady on the train.
     
  13. Mr. Humphreys

    Mr. Humphreys S7 Royalty

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    Not exactly a destination recommendation, but Amazon has a wonderfully shot series on Japan. You can watch it on Amazon Prime for free, or if you don't have a membership, you can still watch by subscribing to a 30 day free trial. Many neat locations and nice cinematography, but the guy who "stars" in it, is a hipster (sorry, I find him very amateurish). If you can tolerate that, and somewhat questionable music tastes, the video has some helpful info and locations. There's even an episode on ryokans. I like the episodes devoted to sushi, confectionaries, and the ramen episode is whimsically entertaining...
    https://www.amazon.com/Sushi/dp/B01...F8&qid=1501552071&sr=1-1&keywords=prime+japan
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  14. ---NT---

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    Thanks guys! Yeah, we'll be looking into the JRpass - on our first run through it didn't appear to pay for itself, but that was just comparing the price to the price of Tokyo > Kyoto > Osaka. I'm sure once we factor a ryokan in we'll at least break even on it. One thing I'm not clear on is whether it's good for getting around Tokyo, or whether it's just for going from city to city.

    I'll check out that Amazon series! Sounds great!

    Also, we'll be doing this!
    http://maricar.com/en/shinagawa.html
     
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  15. TattooDougHardy

    TattooDougHardy Comment King

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    japan trip (hell yea!!!)
    The JR pass is only for going on trips between cities unfortunately. You can get a Suika card once you are in Japan and use that for the subways. I also HIGHLY recommend getting a pocket wi-fi rental and using that! You actually can get it mailed to the airport you are landing at and pick it up right after you go through customs, making is super easy to be able to use google maps (which includes all the subway stops and times) and google translate. You put your phone in airplane mode, turn on the pocket wi-fi and then turn your phone's wi-fi on and connect to that local network. I use this company and they've been pretty awesome: https://www.japanwifibuddy.com

    If you are doing Air BnB's (it can save you a bunch of money over hotels) many places will include a pocket wi-fi with the rental, but I still rent one so I can use the Air BnB unit for when my main one's battery runs out on long days.

    Edit: A suika card is a card you fill with yen to pay for subways
     
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  16. Anti Social Andy

    Anti Social Andy Die-Cast

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    ^^^^^^^ This!

    Just as an FYI . . . Pasmo is an alternative to Suika. Both serve the same purpose.
     
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  17. ---NT---

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    Interesting about the pocket wifi - I've definitely seen several airbnb's mention that they come with them. Good to know that it's something that's useful/needed! Also, thanks for clearing up the issue about the JRpass and Tokyo subways. I'll check out Suika/Pasmo.
     
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  18. danlord

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    yes you can use the Japan rail pass in Tokyo but just in the JR lines like Yamanote line, Chou line etc, just go to the officer booth and show your JRpass and they will let you in, but its not valid on the Tokyo Metro / Toei Subway and all other private trains/subways
     
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  19. Lalo

    Lalo Mini Boss

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    japan trip (hell yea!!!)
    what danlord said. both of my brothers were able to take the jr lines all over tokyo with the jrpass.
    and i gotta echo what everyone else is saying about the pocket wifi! luckily our air bnb had one and we were set.
     
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  20. andy

    andy Mini Boss

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    I'd definitely recommend a Suica card for a trip around the country, It's good for JR, Metro, and private railways, not to mention buses, all over Japan. I think the most you (might) lose is the 500 yen it costs to buy the thing. Do it and save god knows how much time buying tickets from machines.

    Off the beaten path stuff:

    So, if you're in the Osaka area and it's open, I would highly recommend the 1970 World Expo Park:
    http://www.expomuseum.com/1970/

    If you are in Nagoya, are interested in onsen and nice countryside, and want to avoid awful crowds while having a good experience, consider Gero:
    http://kaijukorner.blogspot.jp/2010/03/gero.html
    http://kaijukorner.blogspot.jp/2017/07/stepping-back-in-time-thatched-roof.html

    Not far from Osaka is the world renowned Himeji Castle (lots of lining up and people though):
    http://kaijukorner.blogspot.jp/2015/08/experiencing-himeji-castle.html

    Enoshima makes a nice (though kind of touristy) day trip from Tokyo:
    http://kaijukorner.blogspot.jp/2015/06/enoshima.html

    Finally, Kanazawa is one of the only "old timey" places I would recommend. Many others, including much of Kyoto, are over run and hyper touristy.
    http://kaijukorner.blogspot.jp/2008/10/kanazawa-part-1.html

    Have fun!
     
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  21. ---NT---

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    Thank you! I've put the Expo Park in Osaka and Enoshima on my mental list. Unfortunately I think Kanazawa is too far off our path, though I'll keep Gero in mind. Himeji Castle looks really cool from the outside, but unless we decide to go near closing time, I'm not too into the "rush through empty rooms in a crowded line" aspect. We did that in an underground city in central Turkey, and while it was cool it was also frustrating to be rushed.

    Initially we were only going to give Kyoto a cursory visit, but several friends have told us how much they liked it so we've been thinking of adding a 2nd day in Kyoto. It's interesting to hear that you aren't too fond of it when compared to other places. We'll have to do more of our own research to decide whether it's a one-night or two-night stop. Also still trying to figure out how many nights to stay in Osaka. Once we get those figured out we can work on the ryokan, and then we'll know if the rest is going to be solely Tokyo or if there's enough time for another side adventure.
     
  22. andy

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    The thing about Kyoto is it fits into visitors' expectations of the Disney wonderland they think Japan is - kind of like Akihabara for anime + video game types and idol otaku. So in the Kyoto touristy areas they play that up hard - renting kimonos, putting on gesiha makeup, etc. It all feels very done up - much like other overly hyped visiting spots like Takayama and Yufuin. Lots of people are into it, I guess.

    That aside it's a nice little city, and there are plenty of things to explore in and around Kyoto that don't pop up on every site and guide book, but that's a time commitment.

    Osaka is extremely, extremely touristy, especially in the Shinsaibashi area due to low cost regional airfare, so you will be SURROUNDED by tourists. It's an OK place to base for a few days and take day trips to Nara and elsewhere. You could also consider staying in a nearby place like Kobe which is more authentic, less touristy, etc. I guess it depends on how much you want to visit postcard Japan and how much you want to hit the pavement and forge your own path. Or do a bit of both. Plenty of options and things to see and do.
     
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  23. ---NT---

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    Also very good info! Definitely not at all into dress-up - other than maybe putting on Mario costumes when we MariKart in Tokyo! We're going to Osaka because (a) that's where we fly out of and (b) we heard it was a food capital of Japan and the Portland/Austin of Japan - being that we're from Portland we figured we'd check out the analogous Japanese city. My wife had heard that Osaka is kind of the base for indy music/art/street culture/etc, and was interested in checking out that sort of scene. But given its proximity to Kobe, I'll look more into that! Another place south of Osaka we're looking into is Naoshima. I am typically worn out on our last few days of vacation, and am looking to mostly be more leisurely in wandering around an unfamiliar place.
    Personally, I'm most interested in Tokyo and a countryside ryokan - everything else is gravy!
     
  24. ---NT---

    ---NT--- Prototype

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    Hey there again! Any recommendations on where to stay in Tokyo? I've read that Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Chiyoda are the top 3 recommended areas, and that staying near the Yamanote line is desirable. But figured I'd try to solicit info from people I kinda sorta know (or really know!) rather than the faceless internet. Some older people told me they enjoyed staying a transfer away from the Yamanote line, where it was a little more quiet - I think Taito or Arakawa?

    We just booked a ryokan for the middle of our trip, but now we need to pin down where we're staying in Tokyo (and then figure out Osaka, Kyoto, Naoshima, and any other places in that vicinity we might want to check out).
     
  25. andy

    andy Mini Boss

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    Shinjuku is loud and crowded. Much of Shibuya is the same. They're on a lot of train lines, but so are a lot of stations. Ironically, somewhere in dead central Tokyo like Suidobashi or Ochanomizu are not only more quiet, but also more picturesque, being situated along the Kanda River, not to mention straddling the key Chuo Line artery. No idea about the accommodation situation, but there are thousands of hotels in Tokyo, so that shouldn't be hard to sort.
     
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