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Planning vacation in Japan - seeking advice - Page 2

post #16 of 36
china isnt worth stopping for
post #17 of 36
I've been to Japan for vacation twice in the last 2 years, both times in November. For me, the Fall is the best time to see Japan. I prefer cooler weather, especially when I plan on doing a lot of walking. You can see a lot in 10 days, or even 7. Tokyo and Kyoto are must see places. While I certainly don't rough it when I travel, I do like to try and conserve my $ as much as possible. I know some great hotels and places to eat that won't break your bank! Feel free to PM if you have any questions about hotels, places to see, rail passes, etc.
post #18 of 36
Apparently, you have to go experience a pink bar and soapland.


post #19 of 36
I loved Japan during the 2 weeks that I spent there in November, 2001, but as everyone has said, it's busy.

More than anything else: buy a Japan rail pass. It will save you a ton of money and allow you to see a lot.

My favorite city was Kobe, because it seemed the most hip. There were lots of neat little shops and restaurants tucked into a district under railroad tracks.
post #20 of 36
Bullet train and subway very good, for language Engrisch is normal, you can to drink Pocari Sweat and whiskey Japanese, take extra money for prostitute and sex club!
post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toiletduck View Post
Apparently, you have to go experience a pink bar and soapland.




post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by allreds View Post
My favorite city was Kobe, because it seemed the most hip. There were lots of neat little shops and restaurants tucked into a district under railroad tracks.

Agreed. I live in Kobe. Not too many foreign tourists seem to come here as there isn't much by way of touristy stuff compared to Kyoto or Osaka but Himeji Castle, to the West of Kobe, is really impressive.
post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian SD View Post
The one thing I highly recommend is checking out some of the smaller sushi bars right outside the fish market in Tsukiji, though I heard that these days foreigners are frequently getting refused service.

Yeah, what gives with that? I was there in late 2008 and they were still letting us furriners into the fish auction and the sushi places but then I heard they cut off access.

Was it because some of the tourists were wandering into restricted areas? I was at the fish auction at 5 AM (jet lag) and some lady went into the area that was clearly marked off limits.

It's a shame if they are refusing service at the sushi bars as that was a really neat experience. I went to one where the food went around the bar on a motorized belt and you paid per dish (via RFID implanted in each dish). Very neat stuff.
post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by TintinATL View Post
- is it realistic to put together one's own trip (which I like the idea of), or is it smarter to get a travel agent to put together a package where all the thinking/work has been done?
do it. get a rail pass. very simple. osaka and kyoto well worth the trip. only thing i would recommend is booking hotels in advance. i've travelled all over the world and generally play it by ear, booking as i go so i'm not tied down. a couple of places i tried to book at short notice in japan actually laughed at such a preposterous idea
post #25 of 36
Hi TinTinATL,

Japan is awesome and I am sure you will have a great time when you visit. I learned to speak and read Japanese and have lived here for over ten years.

I can save you a bundle on accommodations if you're willing to share an apartment with a fellow SF-er - I've got a good-sized three-bedroom apartment in the BEST location in Tokyo - Omotesando, which is a major attraction in itself. The apartment is very nicely furnished and is within walking distance of kid-fashion capital Harajuku and nightlife central Nishi-Azabu and Roppongi. The apartment is also a 5-minute walk to Omotesando station which (via the Ginza line) connects directly by subway to the Shibuya, Ginza, Asakusa and Ueno stations, among others.

I charge for a week what you would pay for a day or two at a decent hotel. PM me if you're interested.

Best,
Robert
post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snidely Whiplash View Post
Hi TinTinATL, Japan is awesome and I am sure you will have a great time when you visit. I learned to speak and read Japanese and have lived here for over ten years. I can save you a bundle on accommodations if you're willing to share an apartment with a fellow SF-er - I've got a good-sized three-bedroom apartment in the BEST location in Tokyo - Omotesando, which is a major attraction in itself. The apartment is very nicely furnished and is within walking distance of kid-fashion capital Harajuku and nightlife central Nishi-Azabu and Roppongi. The apartment is also a 5-minute walk to Omotesando station which (via the Ginza line) connects directly by subway to the Shibuya, Ginza, Asakusa and Ueno stations, among others. I charge for a week what you would pay for a day or two at a decent hotel. PM me if you're interested. Best, Robert
As long as this is not a kidnap/rape/murder attempt this seems like a good option. Great location. I mean, dude, your name is Snidely Whiplash. People have to be wary. Especially Canadians.
post #27 of 36


Hey, I considered Dudley Do-Right, but Snidely's get-up was irresistible. And I have nothing against Canadians - some of my nicest victims have been canucks

OTOH, I AM a lawyer
post #28 of 36
Not to threadjack, but does anyone have any recommendations for getting a temporary cellphone in Japan? I'll be visiting for a couple months. so it'd be pretty handy. I notice that there's some companies that operate in the US (providing cell phone for within Japan), but I assume that there are cheaper options there. FWIW, I'm proficient in Japanese.
post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by arced View Post
Not to threadjack, but does anyone have any recommendations for getting a temporary cellphone in Japan? I'll be visiting for a couple months. so it'd be pretty handy. I notice that there's some companies that operate in the US (providing cell phone for within Japan), but I assume that there are cheaper options there. FWIW, I'm proficient in Japanese.
Probably the EASIEST thing to do is rent a phone at Narita when you get there. If you are there for a "few months" though, it is going to be pretty damn expensive. The rental is usually around $10 a day, and outgoing calls are around a dollar a minute. Usually have to put down a pretty hefty deposit too. Probably be cheaper to purchase a pre-paid phone at Softbank in Roppongi or Shibuya (Those are the only two I know for sure that will sell to foreigners. You will need a passport and the address of where you are staying. This might be something you want to read. http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2223.html
post #30 of 36
^^ I've done the rental thing at Narita and it works well. I think Japan uses only CDMA (not the same type as CDMA in the US). As such, my unlocked GSM quad band phone (which usually works worldwide) will not work in Japan. So whenever I go to Japan, I rent.
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