Going to Japan – recommend me some stuff

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Postby wottagunn on Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:47 am

5 days in and absolutely loving Japan. The people are very friendly and haven't really found it difficult at all to get around/order food etc. The food is amazing obviously.
Loving bidets. They should be used all over the world.

In Kyoto currently. Beautiful city
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Postby Weaksauce on Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:57 pm

If you're still in Kyoto, try making a trip out to the bamboo forest in Arashiyama. There's a bike rental shop across the street from Arashiyama station before crossing the two bridges into the town, rent some bikes and ride on the street to avoid the crowds. Plenty of little food places all over. Also do Nishiki market which opens 9am - afternoon or so. I actually enjoyed Nishiki more than Tsukiji. I'd suggest going at 10am or so, 9am some of the shops haven't opened yet.

Also, head over to Osaka if you have the JR pass or if it's cheap since it's only 15 minutes away or so I think. Night-time at Dotonbori is usually pretty fun and Osaka is known for its takoyaki and okonomiyaki (I think).

In Tokyo, some places you might like are:
Tokyo Skytree - big ass tower, great view of sunset, and if you wait an hour or two after sunset the whole city lights up. Might need tickets in advance, forgot.
Tsukiji - actual fish market isn't really open or friendly for random people, usually only the outer market is for outsiders, so it's probably best to book a tour. I did one through Airbnb and it came with a ton of sushi he prepares at the end of the tour from what he bought that day, but that specific one didn't do the auction. Also at the outer market is the OG Yoshinoya where all the buff workers go to chow down.
Ghibli Museum - Ghibli stuff if that's your thing. Also the cel repros they have up right as of a few days ago were Mononoke, Ponyo, Kiki, and some others I forgot. Gotta book in advance, or try doing it at a kiosk at any Lawson.
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum - Van Gogh exhibition right now, big ones I remember off the top of my head are a self-portrait and bedroom I think? Plenty of good stuff though if you're a fan, but there isn't a ton and there's a lot of non-Goghs sprinkled in.
Shibuya - nighttime, especially on a weekend it's nightlife for the cool young people.
Harajuku - nighttime, I think the main street is lit right now. Also packed with young people at night on a weekend, but it's fancy
Ginza - department stores everywhere. In general, department stores have food on the B1, B2 floors that's bomb. While Ginza is known for a high concentration of them, department stores are in other big neighborhoods too.
7-11 - They have the best tuna mayo onigiri out of all the convenience stores imo haha. Also their 7-11 atms and post office atms are international friendly for atm withdrawals, useful if you have a Capital One 360 or Charles Schwab checking for 0 fees
DisneySea - Haven't been yet myself, but I hear it's good if that's your thing

Plenty of other places I haven't mentioned or forgot, dunno what you're up for and kinda just shotgunned it. I personally hop all over Tokyo for food, but I won't suggest anything as I dunno what you prefer.
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Postby wottagunn on Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:19 pm

so im back home now :(
Japan was fantastic! So much to see and do, but the best thing about the trip was definitely the people. So friendly and polite. they apologise for not speaking english!

Every time we had a big night on the turps, we would end up drinking with Japanese people. Our first night in Sendai ended with us doing karaoke with 3 50-something year old business guys.
The friendly nature rubs off on tourists too. Drinking in Golden Gai in Shinjuku, we would often wind up hanging out with people from europe, america, canada, asia etc. It's just awesome.

So we went to Sendai mainly to catch up with a mate who teaches english over there. Not very tourist-y there, but it was cool.
Next was Kyoto. Beautiful place. Very traditional, with a lot of shrines/temples etc to see. We visited a number of them in our time there and just generally explored the city.
Finally we spent about 12 days in Tokyo. So much fudge to do. Some highlights would be the Mario Kart tour through the city. Driving amidst the traffic was pretty fun.
I played a round of golf at night which was a bit of a dream of mine. Ate whale meat (pretty good), had cows tongue (good also), visited every "district" (stayed in Shinjuku, but visted Shibuya, Tsukiji, Harajuku, Akhihabara etc), went to Disney Sea (it sucked), went to the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku which was fantastic, did a Mount Fuji tour, and ate a restaurant where you catch your fish in a river which they then cook for you.

If you are considering visiting Japan, just do it. I highly recommend it. The people are just great and you can get by only knowing a few words in Japanese.
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Postby zefarrett on Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:11 am

Japan is a dream trip of mine. Did you play any pachinko?!?!
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Postby DoubleDown on Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:59 am

How was the Fugu?
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Postby SPAC04 on Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:44 pm

BigJ wrote:Check out the Tsukiji fish market - try make it out at the crack of dawn to see the Tuna auctions.


went on a business trip with my Father in 2000 and attended one of those auctions at like 5 in the morning during a tour of the fish market, it was very memorable. We visited Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Fukuoka, Nara and some smaller villages.While Japan as a whole is incredible, Tokyo is tremendous both culturally and aesthetically. If i were to search my mind for the most beautiful moment I'd ever personally experienced.
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(*not my photo*) this is the scene that comes to mind, in person it was breathtaking to see an actual Castle built in the 1450's (complete with Nightingale sounding floor boards to alert the literal Ninjas that hid in the catwalks- juxtaposed with a skyline that looks more advanced than any city in the West, all whilst light pink flower pedals gently, silently molt off the trees. Much Respect Wottagun, glad hear trip was safe and enjoyable. Also you are right about the air of etiquette that seems to permeate the Japanese society, not that those attitudes are absent Stateside, but the Japanese undoubtedly hold consideration and respect to a higher standard (at least it seem dat way 17 years ago). Japan is really the only place that I have traveled to that I feel the need to return to in order to experience the city from an adult's prospective (again i was 12 years old back when i went).

If Phish did another run over there i would have a flight booked in a split sec
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