Japan tourism advice?

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shiftless
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Japan tourism advice?

Postby shiftless » Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:59 pm

I have 4 days arriving and leaving from NRT Tokyo a little more than a month from now, possibly as the cherry blossoms peak. Having seen the rather decent advice on another Seoul thread, I thought I would try another location. Some of you inmates seem to have gotten around, and likely some were stationed there for a year or 2.

I have been to Okinawa, however that was almost 30 years ago, and my uncle herded us all into some rather isolated areas for jungle warfare training, with only 36 hours out of my annual 2 weeks training to explore off base. I mostly remember tons of small electronic shops, tools that ran on 100Vac and rather huge (wired, cellular was not a thing back then) desk phones that were like US desktop phones of the ere, but twice as tall. I never got to mainland Japan.

Arriving in the afternoon, and leaving at night 4 days later, we have enough time to get outside Tokyo.
Still like Charlie Chaplin's 1940 talkie "The Great Dictator"; had to abandon it as the inspiration for the theme of my Ural's paint scheme. People can't seem to tell satire from support. Too much public education.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Dictator

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Snakeoil
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Re: Japan tourism advice?

Postby Snakeoil » Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:03 pm

Don't eat the shrimp crackers. They taste like bait.
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Subsnowden
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Re: Japan tourism advice?

Postby Subsnowden » Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:19 pm

The train system is very confusing! Tipping is not customary there. The people there are wonderful, friendly people. When at a restaurant just order whatever looks interesting and hope it's good (it probably is). Beware of the candy and snacks unless you like weird stuff. Try habu sake!
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Re: Japan tourism advice?

Postby GHGoodwin » Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:46 pm

Great place to taste whiskey. They have several good distilleries.

If you get out of the local municipalities plan on having a bunch of yen on hand. lots of places don't do credit cards.

Been there as a tourist eight or nine times. Gotta love place where you can buy beer from a street vending machine 24/7.
Hal

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Re: Japan tourism advice?

Postby chocolatehauler » Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:27 pm

I would look for things like Sumo wrestling, gisha house restaurant, Japanese gardens, take A tour bus ride. Go to a Japanese movie. Museums. Check out a pachinko gallery. You can drink beer any time. Do things that can only be done or seen in Japan.
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Re: Japan tourism advice?

Postby Mothra35 » Fri Mar 11, 2016 9:44 am

Take lots of pictures and share :D

Some of us will probably never get the chance to venture out as some of you do. :cheers:
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Re: Japan tourism advice?

Postby BillyG » Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:43 pm

They kill for coffee. Take a suitcase of good lb. bags and you will be king.
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Re: Japan tourism advice?

Postby RichardM » Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:27 pm

The train system is confusing but it goes everywhere. I'd try to get out of Tokyo unless you like big cities.
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Re: Japan tourism advice?

Postby lsiemasko » Sat Mar 12, 2016 1:19 pm

sho chu - arigato arimass !
Larry S.

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Re: Japan tourism advice?

Postby Subsnowden » Sat Mar 12, 2016 1:22 pm

RichardM wrote:The train system is confusing but it goes everywhere. I'd try to get out of Tokyo unless you like big cities.


+1

Take the Ural and you will make tons of friends!
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Re: Japan tourism advice?

Postby LawtonLily » Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:20 pm

As for exploring restaurants, pay attention to your surroundings. There are still some places where gaijins are not welcome. Some of the smaller bars and restaurants in particular. A friend of mine in the JGSDF told me, if everyone looks up at you and no one is smiling, get out. As everywhere one would go, try to use the local language, they will laugh at you for messing it up but they will appreciate you for trying. Just don't be the typical American boor.
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Re: Japan tourism advice?

Postby Tomcatfixer » Sun Mar 13, 2016 7:23 am

I lived waaay up north in Misawa for three years. My ¥2? Just TASTE the habu sake; Ol' Subsnowden's setting you up for a helluva hangover! Isiemasko's right about the shochu, though. It's a refreshingly crisp alco-beverage. The first places at which I would stop if I was back there are Sukiya or Yoshinoya for a big ol' "beef bowl"! I think it's actually called "donburi", but I might be mistaken. Either way, it's a delicious meat, cheese, and rice concoction. Eating at a sushi joint that brings your order to you via miniature bullet train is neat, too. Oh! Go to a hardware or home improvement store, like Senwado, then marvel at the interesting and different items they have! Pachinko parlors have no American equivalent, but bring ear plugs because they're deafeningly loud. If there are any festivals being held in the area where you'll be, I recommend attending. You'll find many interesting foods on sticks. Also, I could communicate most effectively using only the phrases "Dai-jobu des-ka?" (Is it okay?) and "Dai-jobu des." (It's okay.)
I'm envious of your visit. Wish I was back there!
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Re: Japan tourism advice?

Postby lsiemasko » Sun Mar 13, 2016 8:57 am

ALSO - As tomcatfixer gave you a good feedback, please remember you are in THEIR backyard.

Respect is EVERYTHING to their culture - especially to elders. (most polite people I have met)

Read up on Japanese customs and expectations - google it.

Bowing is customary, not really expected from Americans, but you will make a very good impression if you adhere to their customs - degree of bend based on respect (age, job positions, etc. - do research beforehand)

They are an extremely organized society - I loved it !

FOLLOW THEIR RULES !

They are very punctual - if you have a set time to be there, make sure you are there (insulting to your host if you are not)

THEY LOVE TO PARTY ! Can drink you under the table every night and get right up at 4am ready to go to work.

Public transportation is very organized - remember to respect the elders !

Their society is based on conformance to basic behavioral rules, nothing really that we did not do when we were growing up in the 50's and were taught "respect". ( that was the norm then - sigh, not today)

Hook up with a local, they love to interact with Americans - gotta try the boiled quail eggs, seaweed salad (LOVED it) and you must try the seaweed chips (deep fried w/ salt).

And if you can, find a local restaurant that serves SHABU-SHABU. This is a full course meal spread over multiple servings. Warning - this consists of horsemeat that is very finely sliced, then boiled for a second in the juni pot on the table - FANTASTIC !

IF you are adventurous, you can eat things that most Americans here would run from, but it was a fantastic place to be there, would go back in a heartbeat.

Enjoy your trip !
Larry S.

03 Tourist for me and the wife
02 Bavarian Classic (Modified Tub) for Walter and Peyton,my mastiff monkeys!

03 Dyna Glide (Surface dust created by excessive use of the Ural)
03 Sportster 1200C - Wife's Ride (Unfortunately NO trunk for "stuff")

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Re: Japan tourism advice?

Postby shiftless » Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:42 pm

The monkey and have traveled extensively in New Zealand, South America, and parts of Europe, besides once taking a month to drive across the US. She is Russian, and had to travel to and from Russia to meet her. We have some idea how to not insult the locals and get those mobs with pitchforks riled up. She will ALWAYS find someone, no matter where, who speaks Russian and will provide some local advice. She also speaks some Spanish. Me, I am American, I speak English, but can actually do pretty well with gestures and pointing. I have confidence that we will just work it out, with or without the local language.

Our trips usually involve a lot of research into the destinations, so we can pick the places within a country to see, and often, specific excursions. This year our "real" plans were wrecked due to the uncertainty of a family health crisis that ended badly... We had to pick something and book it fast, and now need to make it worthwhile. We are "planners" thrown into a "wing it" situation. As I described the issue this morning to a co-worker, a good part of this vacation is at "a beach location" where the only plan is to (mime flopping back and opening a beer). This reduced the "planning" burden. For much of what we might have wanted to see, my vacation is at the wrong time of year. Combine much bureaucracy about selecting vacation times (so can't really change to keep up with severe illness/death and the paperwork that entails in monkey's family) with desire to still make this vacation worthwhile... So we take these suggestions and try to find something to make some happier memories.

We have 4 days at a hotel with good subway access and 10 minutes walk from the Tokyo Tower, so now i have to look up what that is.
Still like Charlie Chaplin's 1940 talkie "The Great Dictator"; had to abandon it as the inspiration for the theme of my Ural's paint scheme. People can't seem to tell satire from support. Too much public education.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Dictator

2011 Gear Up from V.T. CYCLES, Pwr Arc Ignition, sprayed USMC 383 Green w/blacked engine/exhaust

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Re: Japan tourism advice?

Postby daydream » Tue Mar 15, 2016 5:24 am

Unfortunately, four days is just not enough time. We lived in Misawa (Northern Honshu) for 2 years and still have no real understanding of Japanese culture. It's like an onion, you just keep pealing layers. That said, it's a great place, absorb as much as you can and enjoy. Don't be afraid to explore. It is an extremely safe place. I never felt threatened anywhere I went, at any time of the day. Any Russian speakers will be mostly in the northern part of Japan, too far to travel.

I wish I was traveling with you.
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