Traveling to Japan
January 24, 2012 4:16pm CST
Hi! I'm going to Japan this September. Does anybody here have been to Japan? What are some tips that I should know before going there? Arigatou gozaimasu! I'm going to Tokyo.
24 Jan 12
Wow! Japan is a good place to go paopaolar! I want to go to Japan too but I have to save for that. I haven't been to Japan yet but I have studied a little of their language, Nihongo. So, if you can speak their language, my advice would be to use the polite Nihongo instead of the "conversational" one if you will be speaking to someone you have met for the first time. It will also be nice to tell a person you will meet, "hajimemashite, dozou yoroshiku onegaishimasu" which basically means, I am glad to meet you. Have fun in Japan!
• United Kingdom
25 Jan 12
I suggest you choose a flight and then have a seven day rail pass so you can explore some of Japan. I think that food is expensive so perhaps you could take some snacks with you on your trip. You should book accommodation in advance to find some affordable places to stay. Good luck planning your trip to Japan.
24 Jan 12
I've been to Japan twice during the winter months and I like it. But since I'm from a tropical country, it's a bit uncomfortable for me walking the streets. Anyway, I think Japan is very nice during autumn. As for advices and reminders, here's a few. First of all, if your native tongue is English, you should know that very few Japanese speak English. But some of the younger generation should be able to speak a little bit. If you like to stay out late at night, the Tokyo subway is only up to 12am or 1am. It will be very expensive going home by taxicab. (And if you see a well-dressed person lying on the subway floor, he's probably just drunk and passed out.) You will hear "Irashaimase!" often. It usually means welcome. Have a nice trip.
2 Mar 12
I'm an exchange student in Kyoto right now, but I've been to Tokyo several times. How long will you be there? Tokyo and the area around it is pretty big as you know, so there's a whole lot to explore. I'd recommend the following in Tokyo: - Asakusa. I'd do that in the first days after you've come to Tokyo, because there's tons of tourists and you'll get super-annoyed if you go there after already being in Japan for a week or two ;) Since there are so many tourists, Asakusa is pretty tourist friendly and most people will talk to you in (broken) English. - Odaiba. If you take the Yurikamome train to get there, the ride itself is already exciting. The beach is nice to walk there, and there's some nice stuff that looks pretty cool on photos. There's also copy of the Statue of Liberty which is worth to see (and worth a lol ;) ) - Ueno. Ueno has two attractions that are worth a visit: the Ueno Park and the Ueno Zoo. September is still pretty hot in Japan, so the Park is great for a walk. There's also a museum (National Museum of Nature and Science) at the end of the park. I went there 2 years ago and it was pretty entertaining. - Akihabara. The Geek's world. Definitely worth seeing, even if you're neither interested in buying all kinds of electronics or anime/manga merchandising. I especially recommend going there in the morning shortly before 10:00am, because most stores open at 10 and how they do it is worth seeing already ;) There's also lots of duty free shops there. - Ikebukuro. Ikebukuro is a nice area for shopping. There's the Sunshine City, a gigantic mall that really is as big as a city and even has street names. It's also connected to the Sunshine 60 building, which, as the name suggests, goes up to the 60th floor from where you have a great view. - Harajuku. Good for shopping and for eating the famous Harajuku crepe, though often very packed. Close to Harajuku is also the Meiji Jingu shrine, which is the No.1 shrine to go to for New Year's and also worth a look. - Shibuya. Is also great for shopping. The famous Hachiko-statue is located here. - Shinjuku. Great for shopping and also for going out in the evening. - Korakuen (Koishikawa Korakuen Garden). One of the prettiest gardens I've ever seen. Close to the subway station of the same name is also the Tokyo Dome and the city hall of Bunkyo-ku. From the latter you can also have a great view over the city, for free afaik. - If you're into geeky stuff and subculture, you should also get off at Nakano station and go into the shopping street right across the station. There's two malls in there and the second one of them hosts the main quarters of Mandarake. They have EVERYTHING: manga, anime, figures (even of totally old series from the 60s), books, cosplay, merchandising... everything. Aside from Tokyo, you should go to: - Yokohama. Right next to Tokyo and a really nice city. - Kamakura. Not too far away from Tokyo as well. Very traditional. - Kyoto. Often rumored to be the "true Japan" ;) There's tons of temples and shrines all over the place. - Nara. Has a lot of temples and shrines, too. - Osaka. Really nice city. - Kobe. Taste the Kobe beef ;) - Sapporo. Especially if you're also staying during Winter, you should go there. Sapporo hosts a snow festival every year in February and it's really really great. Since you're also studying Japanese, an advice: Please don't be discouraged when you speak to people in Japanese and they answer in English. It happens a lot, even to people who are completely fluent in Japanese and sadly also to people who know Japanese a lot better than English. A lot of Japanese people seem to have some kind of switch in their heads that tells them "foreigner = English". Some also want to test their own English abilities. Just keep on talking to them in Japanese if you can.
29 Jan 12
I've only been there once. Luckily I was travelling with a friend most of the time, and he had studied there for 6 months some years before. This meant we knew what we were eating most of the time. Sometimes it was more an educated guess than actual translating, then I always let him try it first :-) We were there on two conferences, so not a lot of travelling around, but it was really nice. Avoid the tourist traps if possible, didn't find it expensieve but then my friend knew how to find the places the locals ate instead of the real tourist places.