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Discussion in 'Japanese Culture' started by 5kyMarshall, Oct 17, 2016.
Sure thing Iki! and I would love to see you turn those pictures intoa cool art.
Hi there, actually @mugiwara88 I would like to.
Im gonna fly from Paris to Tokyo the next 17th May, and we'd like to stay at least 2 month (maybe 3, as you can stay 3 month without visa).
We are planning to stay 2 or 3 weeks around Tokyo (so we try to find a cheap place and book it right now) and afterthat do some volunters (helpx for those who know) in the family more in the countryside. Of course we'd like to see as much places/things as possible, so if you (and the community) would like to share tips, like place to see, best way to travel (JR pass is expensive.. we're thinking about hitchhike after Tokyo), food to taste/avoid etc etc I'll appreciate that !
Please share pics of your amaizing trip to there with us.
Hej! Niiiceeee You will have an awesome time there.
In Tokyo there is a lot to see and I guess it's easy to check for the 'normal' sightseeing spots. What I recommend you do is that when you want to eat something, you go away from the tourist places into some small streets and search for those 'mini' restaurants. Those use to have only 4-10 seats inside, so not much space, but these are the places where the Japanese people go for example during lunchbreak. They're way cheaper as well and the food is so good.
I paid fpr JR and the other trains because it's much more convenient to do so. I don't know the prices but I guess it's worth buying. Don't know if hitchhiking works so well there, especially if you are two.
I can highly recommend (in case you travel from Tokyo to Yokohama), that you take a detour to Kamakura. It was so nice there.
In Yokohama I was at the Cupnoodle museum were you can actually prepare your own noodles and get them packed.
Back when I was there the Tokyo tower had a one year One Piece exhibition ('OnePiece Tower'), so you could look up if there might be somewhere else an One Piece Exhibition, since it's so popular there.
Then I visited FujiTV where OnePiece get's broadcasted. They even have a restaurant 'The Baratie'
I would also take the Shinkansen to Osaka. There in the Universal studios they have the Attack on titan titans (15m high). If you think about renting a car or anything around Osaka you should try visiting the Uta (i thing it was called like that) region near Nara, which is in forest and mountains. Most beautiful place I have been. And Kyoto of course.
Sorry for replying so late but my internet was not working today and I had this written already earlier today. But if you have more questions I'm happy to help
Ha and I forgot.
I was also in Hiroshima, which was nice and from there it's not far to Miyajima. Highly recommended.
Must visit -Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine in Kyoto together with Arashiyama, the bambus forest. And around Tokyo I took a day tour to mount Fuji and a Hakone five lakes tour, which was really really nice. The Hakone national park is beautiful.
Do you know anything about what Air BnB places are like there? Me and the wife are looking at eventually taking a trip there but we are trying to make sure we have everything set first.
Mhm, not really. I was planning on doing couch surfing there first, but then got I hooked up living with a Japanese family for two weeks instead. However, I got the general impression of really really trustworthy people. But I don't know if it is common for Japanese to do AirBnB. I can only say that there are a lot of foreigners that I could think would either do Air BnB or couch surfing. You could also consider couch surfing (at least for a couple of nights) because than you get in contact with people actually living there that can give awesome inside tips.
@Ghent , I had a short story about my trip to Japan that I posted here. It took me a while to find it but here is the link if you want to look at it:
Thank you very much for your advices. I also read your thread about your trip in Japan and it's full of good informations that we'll use for sure.
I did book a cheap airbnb (@Zeek) for the first week in Tokyo, the host seems to be really nice as she will wait for us at the nearest station to his place. We also had some good conversations with him but I'll let you know how is it. (there is many hosts in Tokyo)
And after that, we'll try for the first time to couch surfing. I don't really know right now if it's possible to stay more than 1 day in the host's house but we'll try (we don't really want to explore Tokyo with our big backpack aha so a place to leave them would be necessary).
About the hitchhike, I use to travel through New Zealand with a friend only by this way, and it really works, I'm with my girlfriend now so I guess a couple is more "safe" to pick up than only 1 or 2 mens. I suppose ^^
And for the OP's things, obviously I'd like to see them, like the One Piece tower or have lunch or dinner in the Baratie !! I didnt even know this place so thanks a lot for this !!
Actually I'm a bit curious about what you choose for the accomodation there, as it's really expensive (I'm not worried about the food, we saw in many books, videos on youtube etc that it's way cheaper when you go out and find local place just like you said), feel free to answer me in pm if you like, but in what kind of accomodation did you stay when you wasn't in the japenese family's house ? airbnb, couchsurfing, volunters, hostel, ryokan ? (We'd like to try this last one)
And also, I was wondering where exactly (if you remember) was you on the pictures from Osaka (after shooping, there is some with a wonderful temple and awesome landscapes) please ?
For the JR pass, we'll figure it out in Tokyo if we really need it, because we saw that a 3 days subway pass (or something like that) is really cheap like 11/12euros. We'll ask our first host about that but for our budget JR pass is too expensive (we'll fly to Australia after Japan so need to save as money as we can).
@Storm chaser ~
Yes I will !
About the matter of staying. I only planned to do couchsurfing, however, I had a Japanese contact/friend whom I didn't know so good but was the daughter of the family I stayed with. She was living in Tokyo and actually handed me a key for her apartment so I lived there. And instead of letting me couch surf she organized the stay with her family. Also when I said I would also go to Hiroshima one weekend the family took a day off and went together with me. There we stayed at a hotel and when I was in Yokohama I also booked a hotel. So in the end I didn't have to couch surf. When I was at Hakone national park and mount Fuji, I saw a lot of advertisement for Ryokan. I think there are a lot around the Hakone five lakes antional park with a beautiful view to the Fujisan. So check this region out for those hotels specifically.
As for the pictures after the Osaka shopping trip: First is from the Todaiji temple (they have a lot of deer around the temple that you can feed), the second and third is from the Naritasan temple in Narita/Tokyo and the last three is the golden pavillon is the Kinkaku-ji temple 'close' to Kyoto.
(Btw, One Piece Tower was a oe year event in Tokyo tower which is, as far as I know, not installed any longer.)
If you are in Tokyo you should pay a short visit to Takeshita-dori, which is THE famous shopping street in the city. And close by is a really nice park (Yoyogi park).
And again some things I remember just now xDD:
In Tokyo go see: Harajuku, Odaiba, Shibuya, Asakusa, Ikebukuru, Imperial palace. (One tipp, if you want to visit the Ghibli museum.. there is a long waiting list for it, so sign up way in advance.)
I'll post my experience when I return from my trip next month.
Also IMO would be better to go with a group of friends.
I would be concerned about not trying to be a total fanboy while I'm there of the culture as a whole.
As I promise here is some news about my Japan trip, and it may interest you for your next trip !
So we arrived in Tokyo May 17th, and spent 2 weeks in this huge city. Actually I think 2 weeks it is a bit too much. We did everything we wanted in 9/10 days. We experimented many local things, typical restaurants, public bath onsen (naked aha a bit weird at first but to be honest I like it), japanese dinner with our hosts, a local famous festival (Sanja Matsuri) which takes place once a year. There are so many differences between european culture, manners and theirs. No one is talking in the train/subway/bus, all the streets are very clean, there are also tons of temples & shrines, the way to go in, to pray and the differences between them (buddhism & shinto) are also very interesting but hard to understand. There is a place in Tokyo named Akihabara, which is like the electronic suburb of the city, with many game's buildings and of course plenty of One Piece's characters. I did not buy one, but one of my host gave me Jinbei's figurine as a gift.
Talking about hosts, we booked 2 airbnb in Tokyo, first one with a japanese woman who was lovely, she cooked traditionnal dinner for us 3/4 times a week, always advicing us about things to do/to see around her area, we slept on tradtionnal bed (futon) and it was a wonderfull stay and it was not so expensive. I would recommand her with one of you guys are planning to stay a couple of days in Tokyo (I can give you details and contact in private message if you like). And the second week we stayed in a room without shower (but really cheap, around 55 euros per week per person) that's why we tried public bath by the way !
Then, we got picked up on the road from Tokyo to Gotenba (Fuji-san area), where we stayed in a couchsurfing and where we got lucky because we saw the Fuji-san clear. After that, we reach Kyoto and we are leaving this wonderfull city today. Kyoto is for now our favorite place, very traditionnal, not that hue, many things to do and see around, and unlike Tokyo, you can visiting Kyoto with bicycle, which is the best way in my mind. During our 10 days in Kyoto, we stayed in an airbnb, sort of backpacker.
We were supposed to leave yesterday but, I don't know if you guys saw it, an earthquake striked Osaka yersterday, a big one, magnitude 6,1, we felt it in Kyoto in the morning (5,3 magnitude in Kyoto) and it was very scary. Thankfully Kyoto is OK, but unfortunetely there are losses in Osaka. So train traffic stopped, all the trains have been cancelled but we will take a bus from Kyoto to Miyoshi (Shikoku Island) in a few hours.
After Shikoku, we are planning to go in Hiroshima, then Kagoshima and Yakushima. After that we'll leave Japan, and fly from Tokyo to Cairns (Australia) for a working holliday visa !
I'll keep this thread updated, and if you have any questions, requests, advices, feel free to contact me, there or in private message (even price, budget etc),
@Ghent Omg that sounds so awsome. The shrines look beautiful in pics and I imagine they are as much when you see them.
Do you speak japanese? When going outside Tokyo to smaller citys they might not speak so much english.
I read about the earthquacke, that is scary. Im glad you guys are okay. Have a happy and safe trip!
Thanks for updating this.
Just realised I haven't answer and it's almost a year already, time flies by so fast, I'am about to leave Australia and go through Philippines on my way back home.
So we don't speak Japanese, we did learned a few words (when you're asking your way in the subway for exemple, and casual words) but you're right, it was a bit difficult to be understood. Even in Tokyo and Kyoto actually, we had a lot of trouble trying to explain things to the guys on the subways. But well, it's the same in France..
Here is the update about Japan :
So we had our best experience in the country in Shikoku actually, where we stayed a week. We went in a small town called Miyoshi, and stayed in a couchsurfing at an english teacher place. The guy was awesome. The second night he drove us to his karate class with a karate master (I'am in martial arts back home so you could imagine how I felt when I met him), and it was one of the best experience in my whole life. We had a lot of conversations, about France, sports, martial arts, Japan etc Moto sensei was really curious and after the lesson he invited us to the restaurant where we spent a really good time. The third night, our host invited his friends to play a Dongeon and Dragons game, it was the first time I've seen that and I found it very intersting. The fourth day, we went in the Iya Valley, a big forest with tiny roads, wonderful landscapes and many vine and wood bridges (one of them is called the Kazurabashi bridge). And we managed to get there thanks to a very nice japanese lady, who picked us up for the day and drove us where we wanted because she had the day off and she like meeting and talking with new people !
Afterthat, we moved to Matsuyama and had a break to the oldest onsen (hot pool) in Japan, where Miyazaki got inspired for one of his movies unless I mistaken. We headed to Kagoshima after that, still by bus coz hitchhike did not worked well. And we had to stay a bit longer than expected because of a typhoon close to us. We couldn't took a boat to Yakushima unfortunetely but we met a lot of people and had great fun in Kagoshima and in Japan overall !!
Super thanks to the creator of this thread.
I am going to visit Japan someday for sure.
Will start reading the tips shared by everyone
- If you take a seat on public transportation, you own it, you don't have to give it to elderly/pregnant,... like its common in Europe.
- Don't tip,... you can, but in most cases they'll return you your tip. They believe their services are paid by their employers.
- As said before me get cash at airport BUT ALSO, get a lot of it paying with credit card in Japan is VERY UNCOMMON
- A lot of travels you'll do is with public transportation: train/bus. Buy card for it on airport and fill it up quite a bit, go to Information and take free train panflets which have major train stops written down in English. It also provides some extra useful info.
- Don't eat & walk... its not considered polite...think same goes for smoking.
- Remember to keep trash,...idk,... juice bottle or mars wrapping on you till you get home, In Japan they do have bins but they aren't common like in Europe and rest of the world.
- Being a foreigner and knowing a few or some Japanese will get you a long way,...Japanese believe if foreigners speak their tongue, they must be smart, plus they also believe this brings good luck for people to whom foreigners speak.
- VERY IMPORTANT when you eat out. DONT stick chop sticks into your food. Japanese do that at the funeral. Also, don't point with your chopsticks