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Good Natured Advice Thread (improving a business wardrobe)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Claghorn, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. Petepan

    Petepan Senior member

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    Nightmare might be overstating it. Most of the time would be spent on transport in transit, lugging bags, waiting, etc rather than spending time in a particular location to really wind down and relax. One would have a frantic time, ticking off stuff from checklists, rushing meals (some superb restaurants and eateries in Japan), wishing for more time at a particular location, packing and unpacking, etc, which fits into my idea of a nightmare vacation. 2 days in Tokyo is really short, even just for general sightseeing, let alone shopping. Tokyo is huge- Shinjuku, Tokyo, Shibuya, Ueno, Aoyama, fish markets, temples, Harajuku, electronics district- all of these locations by themselves alonewill take half a day to one day. 2 days in Osaka might be okay, but just Shinsaibashi/Namba alone can take the whole day. Kyoto in 2 days in probably a waste of time.

    Just like shoecare in general, less is more.
     
    3 people like this.
  2. venividivicibj

    venividivicibj Senior member

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    Edited
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016
  3. jcmeyer

    jcmeyer Senior member

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    I hear you; will try to strike a good balance.
     
  4. Petepan

    Petepan Senior member

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    In any case, have an awesome time!
     
  5. mimo

    mimo Senior member

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    I've never been to Japan, but I do have one general piece of travel advice: don't try to do everything. Especially in the Instragram age, we have this great pressure to tick all the boxes and show that we've been everywhere and done all the things that are supposed to be done in a given country. But if you do that, you'll experience nothing. "You must go here" and "you haven't been to X unless you've done this" are always exaggerations. There's only so much you can do, so relax and make your own memories.

    Plan your itinerary by what you have to do, for work, or whatever it is that you're primarily going for. And do try to hard to fill the gaps: pick a couple of things you really want to do, like commission a pair of bespoke shoes or eat a live sea creature. Then in between, walk. It's the best way to experience any city. Look at where the main tourist attractions are, turn in the opposite direction and walk. Eat where you find somewhere, go into a bar where nobody speaks your language, get lost, find your way back.

    I've always found that one absorbs a lot more of the essence of a place by walking and eating and just being among its people in the ordinary places they go, and smelling its municipal armpits, so to speak. Taking selfies in front of neon signs is an empty vanity. Just go, leave all your travel books and camera equipment, backpack, rape alarm and money belt in the hotel. Put your ATM card and a few bucks in your pocket, a cellphone for the camera maybe, and just be. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
    4 people like this.
  6. venividivicibj

    venividivicibj Senior member

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    Yup, you should never go to the white house, see the eiffel tower, or any tourist attraction. The opposite direction is much better. C'mon. Sure, landmarks and tourist attractions might not get the 'true essence' of a place, but they're famous and popular for a reason. Just because people like going there is a dumb reason to automatically discount them.
     
    3 people like this.
  7. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Senior member

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    I can see both sides. I always try to get a taste of what the locals do and see, but if you go to Paris without seeing Notre Dame at least once then you are a sucker. BTW, @jcmeyer , Japan is awesome. Have fun!
     
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  8. mimo

    mimo Senior member

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    I'm not saying discount them, I'm saying prioritise them. Pick the ones you really want to do. If you've only got time to do one thing in Washington, is a selfie outside the White House that thing? I would say there's probably something more interesting, but it's about personal interests. After all, if there's one thing in Washington which you've already seen a thousand times before going there, it's that. I've never been, but I might rather spend the time in some museum, or calling Noodles for coffee and an argument. In NY, is a boat trip to the Statue of Liberty a good use of time? Maybe, it could be. And I love boat trips. But for the same time, it might be more fun and more enlightening to go to a lunchtime jazz gig, or arrange a visit to a prominent SF vendor, or just go shopping.

    Each to his own; just don't feel pressured to tick off all the attractions and make sure you've time to wander off doing nothing in particular. It will probably be more memorable. That's what I mean.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
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  9. jcmeyer

    jcmeyer Senior member

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    Thanks CM, and everyone else. I'm actually not one to typically plan much in the way of an itinerary when I travel, beyond where I'll be sleeping, but for this one I'm doing a bit more research because I feel like a fish out of water, culturally-speaking. Especially if I end up going alone. That said, going alone means I'd have even less of a schedule to keep. But trust in the fact that I will be doing a lot of random wandering around, stuffing my face, drinking whiskey, buying too much, and generally taking it in.

    Oh and I'll probably take a selfie or two.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. sugarbutch

    sugarbutch Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Having taken both approaches to, say, NYC, I think you should strike a balance. Using mimo's example of the Statue of Liberty, I went for the first time in 2014 with my boys. It always seemed like a big hassle to devote most of a day to it, so I'd always skipped it. It was amazing, and no picture or video could convey its essence. Same with Ellis Island. The Empire State Building, however, was neat but not essential.

    I trust that jcm will find his level and have a wonderful trip.
     
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  11. ericgereghty

    ericgereghty Senior member

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    I hate crowds, and generally dislike people, so I'm all in on the "avoid landmarks" sentiment.
     
  12. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Senior member

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    I'm the same way when I travel alone. My wife is an obsessive planner, however. I heard her talking to herself before we went out one day saying "Is there anything else we could possibly need?" Anything else we could POSSIBLY need... And she meant it, too. If it's just me I'll stumble out of my hotel and walk until I see something interesting.
     
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  13. Academic2

    Academic2 Senior member

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    People should travel in whatever way gives them the most pleasure. Me, when I’m travelling for pleasure, I like to travel alone with as little a pre-planned itinerary as possible. I also like returning to places I’ve been before and settling in for a while, living as much like a native as possible. Other people like to be on the move, collecting sites the way some of us collect ties. Whatever makes you happy, do more of that.

    Regarding the Statue of Liberty, I can say that I was born and spent most of my life until my early twenties within one hour of NYC but never visited it until years later when I was probably in my thirties and someone I knew in the film business rented a deck on one of the Circle Line cruise ships for his wedding reception. At night, viewed right up close from the water with floodlights lighting it from the base, craning your neck to look up at it in all its immensity, it’s awesome in the original sense of the term.

    I suppose while travelling it’s worth considering living like a native for a bit, and when staying at home it’s worth looking at it from time to time through the eyes of a visitor.

    Have a good trip.

    Cheers,

    Ac
     
    3 people like this.
  14. Petepan

    Petepan Senior member

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    For what it is worth, English proficiency in Japan is frustratingly poor. And the Japanese language is difficult to learn. Add the cultural differences, and sometimes just ordering a cup of coffee will be a big hassle. Charming at first, but starts to grate towards the end of a long and hectic trip. On top of that, the lack of actual space- just look at the size of the seats in any coffee joint or bar or even bus stops!

    We have a slight advantage because we can identify and memorise Chinese characters for street names, stations, buildings, in order to orientate ourselves. Otherwise it would be...ummm....nightmarish.

    But dont let us put you off. Japan is a beautiful place. It is much more technologically advanced than I had expected. For example, in the streets of Shinjuku, they have parking sensors with some sort of vehicle identification, so that one cannot just drive out of the carspace and then reverse back into the same carspace again to reactivate the timer. Japanese art is exquisite, from simple things like wall murals, pottery, embroidery, architecture, to their artisanal rice wines. Tokyo is clean as a whistle, as in rubbish free. In the Narita airport carpark, I saw not a single piece of detritus, no Coke cans, no cigarette stubs, no confectionary wrappings, nada, nothing- just pristine.

    All the above is just a shorthand way to say that there is much to like and explore in Tokyo alone than many visitors would expect.

    Look forward to the selfies...and possible new Ring Jackets....perhaps some Japanese bespoke shoes...and don't forget Japanese denim!
     
    1 person likes this.
  15. The Ernesto

    The Ernesto Senior member

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    Often the best type of holidays.
     
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  16. mimo

    mimo Senior member

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    What an excellent discussion this has become.

    I went to the ESB once. A friend of mine was working on the 73rd floor and I hadn't seen him for ages, so took the chance to catch up during a brief visit. I couldn't be bothered to go to the top, and I wanted a coffee. So we went to the shitty Starbucks in the basement. Therefore, I have visited the bottom of the Empire State Building. Not excellent, but true. :)
     
    3 people like this.
  17. Isolation

    Isolation Senior member

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    I've been to NY twice. Never even considered the statue thing.
     
  18. SuitedDx

    SuitedDx Senior member

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    I echo the sentiment of the ESB. I went once when I visited NYC and now that I live here, haven't been back inside. I agree the Statue/Ellis Island is worth the trip, especially if you have interests in history or various cultures.

    Been to Japan once and it also amazed me how clean it was when I was there. At the hotel, staff with white gloves were using tongs to pick up dirt off the floor. Unfortunately I was with family on a tour so I couldn't really check out the clothing wares but hopefully next time I will.

    I've never been to London and my wife agreed I could camp out at Savile, Jermyn, and even take a trip to Northampton. :slayer:
     
  19. sugarbutch

    sugarbutch Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I went to the Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum in the ESB when I was a kid. At least, my recollection is that it was in the ESB...
     
  20. The Ernesto

    The Ernesto Senior member

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    Agree about the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Enjoyed both as a tourist many years ago.

    Also enjoyed going up the Empire State, but not something you would need to do twice that's for sure.
     

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