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Thread: stuff to see in japan.

  1. #1
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    stuff to see in japan.

    so i will be going to japan on march 25th - april 5th. I will be going on trip with my college. I will be spending most of my time Tokyo but also some of the trip in sano city in the tochigi prefecture and osaka. alot of the trip is already planned out but theres going to be some free time. So I was wondering what would be worth while to see in any of these places. I already know everything in japan is going to be amazing but I want to have an idea of some of the things I need to see so that I make the most of the trip and just dont wander around aimlessly bahaha.

  2. #2
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    in Tokyo, i would really try to see the Edo historical museum. it has exhibits ranging from ancient samurai culture to a whole room dedicated to early Japanese transportation and JNCs.

    shibuya is also a pretty unique tokyo experience.


    Osaka has a Universal studios. Osaka also has very many tuner shops you can go check out. from my experience, they usually dont mind at all if you just stop in and check things out.

  3. #3
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    If you have free time in Tokyo and want to see car related stuff, go to:
    Toyota MegaWeb (new cars and a test drive area, bring an international drivers license) Brochures are sold here from vending machines;
    and the History Garage - both located at Odaiba.
    Toyota Amlux in Ikebukuro - 4-5 floors of new cars, brochures here are FREE. Just ask the girls for some. There is a Toys R Us around the corner bottom floor at Sunshine City.
    I think Nissan has a place near Ginza.

    And, the Tomica Shop at Tokyo Station, or the Ghibli Museum

    Use Japan Guide for more ideas... the Tokyo Page - http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2164.html

  4. #4
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    Also, try to visit a Tokyu Hands, Bic Camera or Yodobashi Camera.
    There is a Tokyu Hands and Bic Camera near Toyota Amlux. Yodobashi usually has a good toy/hobby section (if looking for diecast or models). Tokyo is a big city, and it takes time to get around depending on time of day and just getting familiar with things. Where in Tokyo will you be staying, and how much free time will you have (a few hours, or a whole day)?

  5. #5
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    +1 on Odaiba. You get an international driving permit from a AAA office for not much money. The test course at the Toyota MegaWeb is pretty fun. They have all of the current model cars on display and you can drive any of the auto trans models for 300yen. The last time I was there was a couple years ago, so the price may have changed.

    Since you're in the neighborhood, I'd also check out the Super Autobacs nearby. That is pretty much tuner car heaven and you will probably end up buying something. Fuji TV's studios are also in Odaiba, so that's worth checking out. It's the really interesting looking building that you will see on the Shiodome monorail as you come in to Odaiba. The have a tour and you can even get a picture of yourself in one of the current tv series airing on the network.

    I would also recommend checking out Akihabara. It's basically a geek and gadget town, so there are tons of electronics shops there, including Yodobashi's flagship "Yodobashi Akiba" location. Wander around the streets of Akiba for a little while and you'll see some maid cafe's. Those are fun to check out, just for the experience.

    Ginza is one of the premier shopping districts in the world, so that is definitely worth checking out. There are a lot of good restaurants and bars there, so be sure and stick around until the evening.

    If you plan to go to Shubuya, I would also check out Harajuku. If you can go to Harajuku on Sunday, you'll have the best experience. When you see pictures of all the kids wearing crazy colors and with wild clothing styles, that is all from Harajuku. It's also worth checking out the Meiji Jingumai shrine nearby. That's a huge park with a large temple in the middle and the entrance is right next to Harajuku station on the Hibiya sen subway line.

    If you have a whole day to spare, go to Yokohama. There is a cool water front with an amusement park and shops and attractions and they have the largest Chinatown in all of Japan. IMO, the best thing to check out near Yokohama is the small island of Enoshima. You can walk across the bridge to get there and then wander around the narrow streets of the island. The island has a large number of shrines on it (more than 20 IIRC) and it's a neat cultural experience.

    You'll need a car and someone that knows the area (and/or can follow a navi system) to do this, but I like to head out to Saitama to check out the tuner shops. It's about an hour's drive from center area of Tokyo, but there are tons of the tuner shops you read about in the magazines there.

    Keep in mind that the Tokyo area is quite large. Don't try to do too much in one day and be sure to plan where you will go in advance. It takes a while to get from place to place and often times, things are quite far apart. You'll mostly be traveling around by train, so I suggest picking up a SUICA or Tokyo Metro Rail Card. You can put 2000 yen on it and all you do is swipe it as you go through the station turnstile. If you don't get one of those cards, you'll need to buy individual train tickets. This can sometimes be problematic on the local lines because the maps and ticket machines are often not in english. If you end up somewhere that has no english signs, just buy the cheapest ticket and use the fare adjustment machine when you get to the destination station. Worst case, there is usually an exit that is manned by a human and you can hand the guy your ticket and he will tell you what the difference is in fare.

  6. #6
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    Affirmative on the Suica card. I don't leave home without it! :lol:

    Yeah for Yokohama!
    Take the ride up Landmark Tower and get the view.
    Check out Motomachi. It's where a local foreigners hang out. http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3203.html
    Chinatown is good - there are some good dim sum eateries!
    Head over to Honmoku and go to Mooneyes Area 51, & eat at the Moon Cafe! http://www.mooneyes.co.jp/shop/area1/inde-e.html
    :P

    If you go to Enoshima, hop on the monorail and go to Kamakura (the old political center of Japan) lot's & lot's of shrines & temples and the Great Buddha (Daibutsu)! http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3100.html

    Most import, I agree with what gotzoom? says .... don't do too much in one day & plan ahead. Sit down and map it out. Best thing a first timer can do.

  7. #7
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    I'll suggest a hand held GPS loaded with an English language Japan street map.
    Up Up Down is a pretty good one, if a little dated:
    http://www.uud.info/
    This functions as a perpetual "You Are Here" sign.

    You can compare to a paper map or to Google Maps on the internet. Google Maps has some address searching capability.
    If you are really good, you can load landmarks onto the GPS with the same program used to load the Japan map.

    Get used to walking 8+ miles per day before you leave.
    Take comfortable athletic shoes with you, as well as good socks.

    If you can navigate with a GPS and walk long distances, you will be the most dangerous thing in Japan, an unsupervised foreigner on the loose.

  8. #8
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    Good call on Kamakura. I forgot to mention that. I took an old local line from there to Enoshima and it was a nice train ride. There are a lot of tea houses inside of Kamakura, so you can sit (kneel, actually) down for a traditional tea ceremony there.

    Another cool place to check out is Asakusa. There is a large shrine there and a neat area surrounding it with a lot of vendors selling all kinds of stuff. There's a very famous restaurant nearby called Hatsuogawa. They are one of the most famous unagi (broiled river eel) restaurants in Japan.

    You didn't mention whether you will be meeting Japanese people or staying with Japanese people, but if you are, here are some things that will help you. It's customary in Japanese culture to bring gifts back (omiyage) when you travel. Your Japanese hosts may be expecting this. If they are not expecting something, they will certainly be appreciative of your understanding of this important aspect of their culture. Typically, omiyage are small items that don't cost much and have something to do with the place that you are coming from, so you might want to head to Costco and grab a 50 count pack of Ghirardelli chocolates or something similar from America and be ready to hand them out as the situation warrants. When you hand someone a gift, business card, your credit card, etc. use both hands. Also use both hands when receiving something from someone. This is considered good etiquette, but foreigners are usually given a free pass on minor etiquette violations. When Japanese people talk to you, it is polite to acknowledge that you are paying attention. You can nod your head regularly or even say "hai" to indicate that you are listening to what they have to say. If people suddenly stop talking, it's possible because you're not giving enough feedback. It's also customary to remove your shoes when entering someone's home and many businesses. Be conscious of this when you go places, since there are no signs asking you to remove your shoes. Just look around to see if there is a pile of shoes near the doorway and that is a pretty good indication that you should take your shoes off. you might want to wear low top shoes that you can slip on and off easily, since there may not be a place to sit while you lace up your Air Jordans.

    Many places do not accept credit cards in Japan. I'd even go as far as to say that most places do not accept them. Some restaurants will, most hotels and most larger stores will accept cards, but don't assume that everyplace does. The good news is that ATM machines are pretty common and any Citibank location, post office and 7-11 convenience store will have an ATM that should work with your ATM card, as long as you have Star or Plus symbols on the back of the card. When I go to Japan, I only change $100 at the airport before I leave and I go to ATMs when I am there. You don't pay any commission, get the actual daily exchange rate and only pay a flat fee for the transaction.

    Japanese typically expect that foreigners won't eat the "weird stuff" that is a normal part of the Japanese diet. If you are willing to try new foods that you haven't experienced before, your hosts will be really excited. This is also true of alcohol. As a culture, the Japanese love to drink, so be sure and pace yourself. If you get the chance to eat (and drink) at izakaya (something like Spanish tapas, small plate foods) restaurants, be sure and do so. Even better, if you can go with Japanese hosts. You'll be shocked at how much people can eat and drink, but if you eat slowly and drink slowly, you'll be able to keep up. If your idea of Japanese food is California Rolls and Teriyaki beef, I'm afraid you're in for a bit of a shock. Those don't exist in Japan. There are tons of Mc Donalds, Starbucks, KFC and other America things, in case you get homesick. Roppongi used to be a district that had a lot of foreigners living there, so there is a Tony Roma and Hard Rock Cafe there, as well.

    I hope that helps.

  9. #9
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    Hmm...I'm thinking a 'Going to Japan' thread should be made a sticky....
    Hidden Content Originally Posted by datsunfreak
    No Kev, you are eating a duck fetus.

  10. #10
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    Yeah, and should include links to those old grandJDM posts you had... :wink:

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