Visiting Japan Page 3

  • twelveways 21 Mar 2015 08:43:32 7,131 posts
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    Chinese museums are the worst, the first few 3000 year old vases you see are quite cool, the next eight thousand kind of all fade into one though.
  • Mola_Ram 21 Mar 2015 08:49:40 20,395 posts
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    Phattso wrote:
    Mola_Ram wrote:
    FWB wrote:
    Once you've seen one temple, you've seen them all.
    I disagree, but know a few people who think that. I've seen dozens, and have never once gotten tired of them.
    I'm a fan, but if I see too many in one trip it gets a little samey. Same as driving through "big country" in the US or somewhere. After five hours driving through mountains it's like: "oh, another unimaginably beautiful vista. YAWN!"

    Ridiculous, but that's what happens to me after a while. I get blind to the wonder of it through over-exposure. :)
    Well, I guess I did space out my visits though the couple of years I was there. Maybe I would have gotten burned out otherwise.

    Still disagree with "seen one, seen 'em all" though.
  • Phattso 21 Mar 2015 09:31:29 24,738 posts
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    I'd disagree also. After rinsing temples across China, Taiwan, HK, Japan and Cambodia though I must say I don't go out of my way so much any more. ;)
  • FWB 21 Mar 2015 09:32:30 55,969 posts
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    Maybe it's cos I lived there and had them constantly thrust upon me. :)
  • ilmaestro 21 Mar 2015 19:35:49 32,929 posts
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    twelveways wrote:
    Chinese museums are the worst
    I like this as the box quote on a Chinese Prisons game, proving that someone ranks something below them.
  • RyanDS 2 Apr 2015 13:02:11 12,768 posts
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    One week to go! Golly that has come around fast.

    Picked up my Yen yesterday and 2000 turns out to be a 2 inch wad... Not quite sure how to carry it really. Annoying that every hotel I have booked outside of Tokyo says "Cash only." Considering Japan is famous for its technology I am amazed at how often people keep telling me outside of Tokyo I must expect a cash only economy really.
  • Armoured_Bear 2 Apr 2015 13:06:59 26,859 posts
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    I'm thoroughly jealous, I'd loove to go to Japan for 3 weeksthis year but I'll have to go to India instead...
  • Trafford 2 Apr 2015 13:10:05 8,361 posts
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    Yeah. I was there this week last year, you'll have an awesome time.
    Probably go back next year
  • Mola_Ram 2 Apr 2015 13:10:08 20,395 posts
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    It's still an archaic society in many ways when it comes to technology. I remember going to the bank to open an account, and it wouldn't go through until the form was literally passed to the bank manager to put his personal stamp on it. And going to my local train station in the country to buy a ticket, with the guy counting out my change on a Chinese abacus. That was pretty neat.
  • anephric 2 Apr 2015 13:42:37 3,258 posts
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    The personal stamp is a tradition thing though; when my dad did business with Sony, the first 'gift' they gave him was a stamp with his name on it, as signatures aren't taken seriously.

    He wasn't impressed, he was expecting a TV or PlayStation or something.
  • Mola_Ram 2 Apr 2015 13:47:00 20,395 posts
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    I'm sure it is a tradition. Doesn't stop it from being old-fashioned.

    I'm just saying that they're not high-tech in all walks of life. Far from it.
  • RyanDS 12 Apr 2015 12:53:14 12,768 posts
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    Well after 20 hours of travelling we arrived yesterday evening, after finding the hotel it was pretty much straight to bed and today was our first full day in Japan. Well should have been full day, but my alarm at 8am, I hit snooze and it was 11... so today we just wondered around Shinjuku in Tokyo. Japan is... much less weird than I was expecting, but amazing.

    General things I noticed today:

    Shinjuku at least is vertical. Every building has a small entrance with a small sign per floor that is mostly text. Which makes it extremely difficult to actually know what most shops etc actually are.

    Taxis are 1970s cars with the wing mirrors on the front of the bonnet... very cool and retro.

    People are amazingly friendly. We asked someone random (who spoke no english) directions, he beckons us to follow, walks nearly a mile to show us where the hotel was, then walks back the way we came... I felt really bad as I assumed he was heading the same way. This sort of helpfullnes and politeness is everywhere.

    The face masks freak me out, I keep seeing them and thinking I am in a post apocolyptic radiation zone or something.

    The face masks come in styles, I saw goths wearing custom fit black ones, one even looked leather.

    Instead of menus (or as well as menus) most places have plastic food replicas outside of everything they serve.

    Having sushi lunch in Japan with 7 types of fish plus miso soup and 3 bowls of stuff I don't know on the side tastes incredible, and costs less than buying 2 salmon nigiri in the UK. (5 for more than I could eat here)

    Supper was at Yoshinoya, basically the Japanese equivalent of MacDonalds. However unlike MacDonalds they serve real food, fast, cheap, tasty and decent portions. Delicious. Big bowl of thin beef and veg, bowl of rice, raw egg, pickles etc.

    Shops are loud!

    I came across the Taito? Arcade... cue a very pissed off wife as I had to spend an hour in there. Forgot how good the experience was having the modern equivalent of games like Afterburner and... what was that game in the red car which moved? Outrun? Anyway, sitting in a booth with screens all around, two joysticks and some mech game was great, as was some dual wielding pistol game which combined with magnets and had joysticks on.

    It is cheap... way cheaper than the reputation. We budgeted 15000 per day. Today for 3 meals (and we went to places we like the look of rather than cheap looking) plus entry to an amazing park in central Tokyo, plus a few beers, including a very overpriced Guiness for the lols* only cost us around 7 or 8,000.

    Oh, I also learned my wife travels 10,000 miles, to an amazing vibrant foreign land, full of mystery and experiences to try, and whereas I am ordering random bottles from vending machines for breakfast just to see what they are, she searches for the nearest Starbucks. Makes me want to cry.
  • Trafford 12 Apr 2015 13:02:29 8,361 posts
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    I lived in Boss coffee from vending machines over there. Nectar.
  • ProfessorLesser 12 Apr 2015 21:21:39 19,692 posts
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    RyanDS wrote:
    People are amazingly friendly. We asked someone random (who spoke no english) directions, he beckons us to follow, walks nearly a mile to show us where the hotel was, then walks back the way we came... I felt really bad as I assumed he was heading the same way. This sort of helpfullnes and politeness is everywhere.
    Wait until you start to see the cracks through the smile - Japan gets a whole lot more uncomfortable when you notice the deep-seated cavern of silent begrudgingness under every seemingly heartfelt act and gesture. It never goes away, and once you notice it, the experience tarnishes a bit - not enough to ruin a holiday, but enough to remind you why you couldn't live there. Japan is for Japanese.
  • FWB 12 Apr 2015 21:23:54 55,969 posts
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    Fantastic place to visit. Great place to live for a bit. Suicidal to settle down.
  • IMO 12 Apr 2015 23:09:13 6,981 posts
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    FWB wrote:
    Fantastic place to visit. Great place to live for a bit. Suicidal to settle down.
    This should be on signs at Narita airport.

    Edited by IMO at 23:09:20 12-04-2015
  • RyanDS 13 Apr 2015 01:56:36 12,768 posts
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    ProfessorLesser wrote:

    Wait until you start to see the cracks through the smile - Japan gets a whole lot more uncomfortable when you notice the deep-seated cavern of silent begrudgingness underevery seemingly heartfelt act and gesture. It never goes away, and once you notice it, the experience tarnishes a bit - not enough to ruin a holiday, but enough to remind you why you couldn't live there. Japan is for Japanese.
    One thing I did notice is that Japan is pretty much a ukippers wet dream. I knew it was a homogenous population but the scale really struck me. Yesterday in busy tourist areas I saw maybe twenty whites top. And not a single Indian or black person. This is I think the 22nd capital city I have visited and never seen such a low immigrant population. (although I freely admit here that my inner bias may be showing and I am missing the huge amounts of Asian immigrants.)
  • DrStrangelove 13 Apr 2015 02:27:14 14,247 posts
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    RyanDS wrote:

    The face masks freak me out, I keep seeing them and thinking I am in a post apocolyptic radiation zone or something.
    You are, it's called Japan. The only post-nuclear war society yet.
  • DrStrangelove 13 Apr 2015 02:27:56 14,247 posts
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    ProfessorLesser wrote:

    Wait until you start to see the cracks through the smile - Japan gets a whole lot more uncomfortable when you notice the deep-seated cavern of silent begrudgingness under every seemingly heartfelt act and gesture. It never goes away, and once you notice it, the experience tarnishes a bit - not enough to ruin a holiday, but enough to remind you why you couldn't live there. Japan is for Japanese.
    Sounds like protestants
  • oldskooldeano 13 Apr 2015 02:50:40 2,948 posts
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    Trafford wrote:
    I lived in Boss coffee from vending machines over there. Nectar.
    One of these before I got on the train in the morning sorted me out!

  • Not-a-reviewer 13 Apr 2015 07:35:30 5,746 posts
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    It did surprise me in Tokyo how often it's cash only and how little English they speak, they're excellent at understanding pointing though.
  • RyanDS 13 Apr 2015 10:34:24 12,768 posts
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    DrStrangelove wrote:
    RyanDS wrote:

    The face masks freak me out, I keep seeing them and thinking I am in a post apocolyptic radiation zone or something.
    You are, it's called Japan. The only post-nuclear war society yet.
    Best post I have read in years!

    Anyway has anyone got any recommendations for a rainy day in Tokyo? Pissing it down today and we are fed up of trekking in the rain. Did shibuya, shinjuka,meiji shrine and surrounding area today which was lovely but very cold and wet. Supposed to be doing nikko tomorrow but with the forecast am looking to rearrange.
  • RyanDS 13 Apr 2015 10:36:25 12,768 posts
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    reviewer wrote:
    It did surprise me in Tokyo how often it's cash only and how little English they speak, they're excellent at understanding pointing though.
    It is weird. English is everywhere but always very poor and mixed in randomly with kanji. I do like the fact most bigger shops give foreigners a discount of five to ten percent though.
  • Trafford 13 Apr 2015 10:38:37 8,361 posts
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    Buy an umbrella?
    When I visited Hiroshima it was pisssing it down in a biblical way. I swear I was the only person in town without a brolly.
  • CrispyXUKTurbo 13 Apr 2015 10:42:28 1,922 posts
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    Get pissed up in Shinjuku high-street? Plenty of arcades and bars around there.
  • Not-a-reviewer 13 Apr 2015 11:10:09 5,746 posts
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    There isn't much to do indoors other than museums. Get an umbrella.
  • mrharvest 13 Apr 2015 11:34:43 5,591 posts
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    Take the train out to an onsen. Gonna be nice and quiet.
  • ryohazuki1983 13 Apr 2015 13:41:02 853 posts
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    Try going to Sega Joypolis - http://tokyo-joypolis.com/language/english/

    We went there and it was great, checkout the site :)
  • convz 13 Apr 2015 14:13:27 1,125 posts
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    FWB wrote:
    Fantastic place to visit. Great place to live for a bit. Suicidal to settle down.
    Why's that?

    Also, some very interesting posts in this thread - we're hoping to go there next year so it's been very useful, thanks all, and hope you have a great time Ryan!
  • RyanDS 14 Apr 2015 13:30:56 12,768 posts
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    ryohazuki1983 wrote:
    Try going to Sega Joypolis - http://tokyo-joypolis.com/language/english/

    We went there and it was great, checkout the site :)
    Torn between this and Nikko for tomorrow.

    Further thoughts:

    Kamakura is amazing. Even in the rain it is a lovely walk, and going inside the giant buddha is the closest I will ever get to being inside the collossus of Rhodes. For an hour travel free with a JR pass I would call this essential.

    Had a traditional english supper in Ye Olde English Pub of Olives, Quails Eggs, Buffalo Wings and Shrimp Basket. They have really nailed the English Cuisine here. Finding "EuropeTown" makes me feel sympathy for all the Chinese who have had to put up with Chinatown in the UK all these years!

    Finally, I am amazed at how discrete the Japanese are. After years of manga and BBC articles I was expecting some sort of multi coloured sci-fi populace, but everyone is actually quite smart and in three days I have only actually seen 3 punk type people. Very few piercings so far and dyed hair is almost unknown.

    Finally, where are the old and the infirm? Coming from the UK where every second person is in a wheelchair or a scooter, I am yet to see a single person not fully capable. Hell, in Kamakura I had 90 year old people pushing me out of the way to run up the steps! I would like to think that this is because Japan is amazingly healthy, but I suspect, like my trips to Romania, the reason you don't see the disables is that the country is not disabled friendly and so they stay at home? (I only notice this as my mom is in a wheelchair, so I tend to pay attention to the access of places)
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