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Planning vacation in Japan - seeking advice

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by TintinATL, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. hws

    hws Senior member

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    Apparently, you have to go experience a pink bar and soapland.


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
     
  2. Alter

    Alter Senior member

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    Dec 29, 2004
    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.
     
  3. Ace Rimmer

    Ace Rimmer Senior member

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    Location:
    Philadelphia PA
    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.
     
  4. tropics

    tropics Senior member

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    - 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 [​IMG]
     
  5. Snidely Whiplash

    Snidely Whiplash Senior member

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    Location:
    Tokyo
    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
     
  6. Tokyo Slim

    Tokyo Slim Senior member

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    Where Eagles Dare!
    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.
     
  7. Snidely Whiplash

    Snidely Whiplash Senior member

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    Tokyo
    [​IMG]

    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 [​IMG]

    OTOH, I AM a lawyer[​IMG]
     
  8. arced

    arced Senior member

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    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.
     
  9. Tokyo Slim

    Tokyo Slim Senior member

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    Where Eagles Dare!
    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
     
  10. Ace Rimmer

    Ace Rimmer Senior member

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    ^^ 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.
     
  11. arced

    arced Senior member

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    Thanks for the tips. I'll be there for two month (enjoying that Tokyo summer...) and I'll be with my wife, so we'll need a couple cell phones to coordinate our activities. We'll have a steady address (not moving from hotel to hotel), so that should simplify things a bit. I did find a site that offers rental phones for $2/day plus 70yen per minute (www.myjapanphone.com/). Is that a decent deal, or is it a lot cheaper on the ground? Thanks for any advice.
     
  12. JTK

    JTK Senior member

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  13. hws

    hws Senior member

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    ^^ 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.
    Japan is WCDMA!
     
  14. Tokyo Slim

    Tokyo Slim Senior member

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    Location:
    Where Eagles Dare!
    Thanks for the tips. I'll be there for two month (enjoying that Tokyo summer...) and I'll be with my wife, so we'll need a couple cell phones to coordinate our activities. We'll have a steady address (not moving from hotel to hotel), so that should simplify things a bit. I did find a site that offers rental phones for $2/day plus 70yen per minute (www.myjapanphone.com/). Is that a decent deal, or is it a lot cheaper on the ground? Thanks for any advice.

    Still think it might be much cheaper to get pre-paid, but it will also be more hassle.
     
  15. ratboycom

    ratboycom Senior member

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    Location:
    Nagoya, Japan
    Still think it might be much cheaper to get pre-paid, but it will also be more hassle.

    Way cheaper for Prepaid. Those phones run about 10,000 en.

    Also as I mentioned to M@T, if you dont get the train pass, opt for one of these if the promo is still running.
    Suica N'EX Its a Suica card with 2000JPY credit for using around town and a one way on the Narita Express into town.
     
  16. edinatlanta

    edinatlanta Senior member

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    Thinking early march/late feb of 2012. May get to go this summer for work.

    Looking for suggestions, have a general, rough outline.

    At least one day spent at the Omiya bonsai village. One other day dedicated to bonsai. Two days for Tokyo, want to do hot springs, maybe ski. Want to spend probably a week in Japan. Those are my only real parameters.

    Really want to experience Japan's weirdness. Fugu will be consumed, somehow, somewhere.

    Want most of my money to be spent on food, not lodging. Maybe get some denim, hell if I know.


    ..
     

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