Going to Japan Page 3

  • Deleted user 3 September 2018 11:03:25
    Phattso wrote:
    Innit wrote:
    It's worth making the trek to Mitaka if you want to visit the Ghibli museum if you enjoy their films. Beautiful place and a feast for the eyes. There's a temple down the road on top of a hill where people go to receive blessings of good fortune.
    Nice idea, but tickets for the museum are usually sold out many weeks in advance aren't they? I tried my luck in one of the funky terminals in a convenience store, and got some of the last tickets available that week. This was a good four years back mind you.
    Good point. I phoned them up as soon as I arrived in Japan and booked it over the phone for the last day of my trip. During the summer they're usually fully booked up, as you say, but over the phone and ticket agents/booths tend to have a few spare.
  • DaM 3 Sep 2018 11:52:10 17,329 posts
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    Jealous of you Ror and others going to Japan! I must spend 5 minutes a day looking at pictures from our trip last year on our TV screensaver. I'm desperate to go again, but I think 2021 will be the earliest opportunity (we are doing the USA next year, and it's going to be mobbed in 2020 with the Olympics). I think the Olympics will really give it a boost tourism wise (as if it needs it), I think everyone going will rave about it.
  • Ror 3 Sep 2018 12:45:57 18,503 posts
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    Oh no, not jet lagged, just knackered from lack of sleep - didn't get a wink on the plane, so I've been up for... let's see... going on 30 hours now. I suffer from insomnia though, and sometimes have periods where I don't sleep for three days straight (those are fun!) so it's not a massive deal - I'm tired, but I can still function.

    By function I mean drink. Here's my first official picture!



    I got to the room about five-ish, checked in, then went for a short walk to the nearest shop. Shower and a reasonably early night tonight, I think, then tomorrow the real fun begins!

    Edited by Ror at 12:46:29 03-09-2018
  • Deleted user 3 September 2018 12:54:52
    @Ror if you're a spirits man I highly recommend you go find a little bar and ask for a Yamazaki vintage bourbon, an 18 year aged one preferably.
  • Graxlar_v3 3 Sep 2018 12:58:44 6,756 posts
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    That sounds expensive
  • uiruki 3 Sep 2018 13:28:26 4,818 posts
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    Heh, you got that sparkling sake. You used to be able to get a really good (non-sparkling!) one called Urakasumi in convenience stores but I've not been able to find it for a while. I'm sure you can still get it from Kakuyasu and other booze shops but maybe not in the small bottle size.
  • Ror 3 Sep 2018 13:50:12 18,503 posts
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    Yeah, I always pick up a bottle of that stuff at Japanese festivals and events, but it's always a small one that costs seven-odd quid. I saw that 750ml bottle and very nearly voiced the words 'mother of god' as a bright ray of light shone from the heavens.

    And thanks for the tip, Innit. I'll see what I can do. As for the Ghibli museum, that's on the itinerary for next year.

    So here's a question. I was thinking of jumping on the Yamanote to Shibuya tomorrow, then walking around to Harajuku, Yoyogi and Shinjuku. Is that a reasonable idea, or should I break that up over a couple of days?
  • uiruki 3 Sep 2018 14:00:40 4,818 posts
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    I do it in a day but I know where I'm going and not stopping in Shibuya or anything. See how you feel when walking, take time going through Harajuku (Sunday in Harajuku is when everyone's out!) and then enjoy Meiji Jingu, passing through to Yoyogi. Maybe try and cross through to Shinjuku but by then it might well be time to head back. Depending on whether you want to hit the skyscraper district and Kamuro... I mean Kabukicho you can spend a day in Shinjuku easily.

    When going between Shibuya and Harajuku, try and get to either The Roastery on Cat Street (really nice lattes and cronuts under the name "New York Ring") or Streamer Coffee (insane lattes - look up the Military Latte and maybe order it but it's not really for drinking!) If you're walking via Omotesando I really like the Local Coffee Stand on Aoyama-doori. That might be your best bet as the market's on at the weekend at UN University.

    edit: Meiji closes at sundown so make sure you have enough time to get through. Website says it's currently 5:20-5:20.

    edit 2: You know, I'm going to Copenhagen this weekend and you've got me really jonesing for my next Japan trip and that's not booked til late December!

    Edited by uiruki at 14:33:21 03-09-2018
  • Deleted user 3 September 2018 14:51:10
    On second thought... I've just seen the prices of Yamazaki 18. It never used to be that expensive! I've got two bottles, which I may have to sell now.

    Also, if you have access to a bank card while you're there keep in mind that cashpoints and banks close very early.

    Enjoy your holiday, Ror!
  • uiruki 3 Sep 2018 15:07:01 4,818 posts
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    I think it was on some world whiskey championship list so it sold out immediately and just shot up in price.

    No need to worry about banks and cashpoints anymore - 7-11 should take care of everything. I remember back during my uni days in 2002-3 having to carry my bank passbook to Shibuya and everyone queueing around the cash machine at 6pm or so on Saturday night as that's when the 'late closing' ones deactivated for the weekend! That wasn't with some regional bank either, that was Mizuho.
  • Deleted user 3 September 2018 15:12:07
    Oh really? It's been a while since I've been back. Good to know people don't have to experience those awful cashpoints rushes anymore.
  • uiruki 3 Sep 2018 15:25:20 4,818 posts
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    Yeah, Seven Bank started getting much better with foreign cards around 2010 and it's all acceptably working now.
  • Ror 4 Sep 2018 07:26:36 18,503 posts
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    Got out of the air bnb quite late today as I didn't manage to get much sleep last night. I'm just in Shibuya now, about to get some late lunch in one of the places in Hikarie.

    Here's a pic of the Scramble.

  • uiruki 4 Sep 2018 08:27:31 4,818 posts
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    @Ror In Hikarie try and get to the cafe out of the theatre on the 14th (?) floor - the highest you can normally get to. The view out of the window there's really good.
  • Ror 4 Sep 2018 09:42:12 18,503 posts
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    I had a look at that cafe - it was actually the reason I went to Hikarie - but it was really busy.

    EDIT I took this pic from that floor. Not the most inspiring composition ever, I'm afraid.



    Edited by Ror at 09:47:50 04-09-2018
  • uiruki 4 Sep 2018 09:56:15 4,818 posts
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    That construction seems to have moved more out of the back end of the train station since the end of last year! I don't know if you've seen the boards on it but it's quite an ambitious plan.
  • Ror 4 Sep 2018 10:09:16 18,503 posts
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    I haven't looked - I'll sneak a peek on the way back if I remember! Might be heading back sooner than planned to be honest as, once again, I'm absolutely shattered.
  • uiruki 4 Sep 2018 10:37:25 4,818 posts
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    Sounds like you need to head back and go somewhere for food/a beer or two in the evening to get your body clock back in the right place. If you've been moving all day that should be ideal.
  • Ror 4 Sep 2018 11:36:54 18,503 posts
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    I just haven't had more than a few minutes of sleep snatched here and there since Saturday night back home. Starting to wear me down a bit with the walking as well. I stopped for a coffee and feel a bit more alive now, so I'm still in Shibuya.

    I had a look in Mandarake and animate, and the latter taught me there is a whole other level of weeb than I had first thought.

    Edited by Ror at 11:38:33 04-09-2018
  • Ror 4 Sep 2018 11:44:19 18,503 posts
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    Oh, also, I stood just off the side of the pavement for a sec to check g maps and a tiny old lady came running at me arms waving and went, "NO! NO! PARKING! PARKING!"

    Also also, it is incredibly windy here today. Like, having to fight against it windy.
  • uiruki 4 Sep 2018 11:49:43 4,818 posts
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    Just wait until you get to Akihabara. And remember that Amazon Japan exists and you can get a month of Prime for 500 yen!

    edit - convenience store delivery works well if there's anything you want to pick up and don't want to wait indoors.

    The wind is because of the typhoon! I don't think that it's hitting Tokyo too hard and will be calm again by Thursday.

    Edited by uiruki at 11:51:15 04-09-2018
  • Load_2.0 4 Sep 2018 11:51:12 29,341 posts
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    Ror wrote:
    Also also, it is incredibly windy here today. Like, having to fight against it windy.
    Typhoon.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-45406857
  • Navi 4 Sep 2018 13:53:44 279 posts
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    Load_2.0 wrote:
    Ror wrote:
    Also also, it is incredibly windy here today. Like, having to fight against it windy.
    Typhoon.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-45406857
    Just saw this myself. Hopefully it won't hit Tokyo as bad as Osaka and Kyoto.

    Good job you aren't flying out soon, I've had flights cancelled by Typhoons before and it's a right hassle.
  • Ror 4 Sep 2018 14:57:57 18,503 posts
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    A month of prime is 500 yen!? I know what I'm doing when I get home. Going bankrupt is what.

    And yeah, I saw a typhoon warning for one of the other lines (Tokaido?) on my way in, so figured it was related. Pretty crazy - the wind would suddenly change direction and snap, and it felt a bit like being slapped in the face. Then it'd pick your legs up and move them when crossing a road :|

    I just got back to the room. Decided to go for a drink after Mandarake and animate, and ended up in a 'British Pub' :D was a touch odd, but at least they got the look stereotypically right.
  • Navi 4 Sep 2018 15:57:58 279 posts
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    Haha, British Pub is fun.

    You should try London Pub Railway Tavern in Ikebukuro station too (it's right inside the ticketed area when you get off the Yamanote line).

    It's nice to relaxing with a pint of Bass and cheese on toast (the cheese on toast is fantastic) while in a busy Japanese station.
  • Ror 4 Sep 2018 16:11:56 18,503 posts
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    I think the one I was in was called The Hub, or something. They had traditional British cuisine like 'honey and cheese snack'.

    I dunno either.

    They also had a mixed Guinness drink called the black and tan. Yeeeaaahhh. Definitely haven't thought that one through.

    I was originally looking for a bar called the Dubliner. but couldn't find it for the life of me. Turns out it was one floor up one the side of the street, but I'd had enough by then.
  • Vortex808 4 Sep 2018 16:53:08 13,186 posts
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    A black and tan is a drink though. Just be careful where you ask for one.
  • Ror 4 Sep 2018 17:21:35 18,503 posts
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    Hmm, fair enough. Never come across it before, and I'd certainly give it more than a side-eye if I did. Well I mean I gave it a side-eye here, but passed it off as a bit of cultural ignorance.
  • One_Vurfed_Gwrx 4 Sep 2018 18:15:21 3,493 posts
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    Ah ues, I vaguely rember 'The Hub's' and their 'British' menus ;)

    Weirdest thing British abrwise I foubd were the official Hobgoblin pubs. Not really my cup of tea beerwise (I prefer dark ales) but strange to see them, especially that they seem to be official. The Shibuya one is the easiest to find (they do sell other beers of course). I didn't expect the Wychwood brand to be known outside of the UK. To be honest some of my favourite bars living in Japan were some of the tiny hidden ones (at least the ones where you don't get the crossed arms as soon as you walk through the door). I remember a friendly little rock bar in Kabukicho that I went to the last time I was in Tokyo but forget its name. It was interesting seeing the barkers expecting me to ask about more dubious things not directions to a rock bar but I got there in the end with their help (the Japanese ones that is, and by speaking Japanese). Osaka is more my city though.
  • uiruki 4 Sep 2018 22:26:49 4,818 posts
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    The Hub is what introduced me to absinthe (Stairway to Heaven!) and Long Island Iced Teas.

    The Americans call it Black and Tan, which should tell you everything.

    My favourite chain in Shibuya is probably the big Shirokiya on Dogenzaka, the one with the "I Love New York" design on the wall as you go in. Spent a fair few nights there as a student.

    If it's something fancier in Shibuya, Belgo is a good start, Belgian based. Last time I went they still allowed smoking though. Most of the places I go to now kind of require a base level of Japanese I think as they're the smaller place where you talk with the people who work there but if you want to give it a go try Wailele (American/Hawaiian beer) or Taki (Japanese beer/sake, more Japanese food). I think I had a couple of good ones at The Aldgate with a friend who took me once.

    @One_Vurfed_Gwrx - By friendly rock bar in Kabukicho do you mean Mother? The one with the music menu. I still remember saying "fucking hell" a bit too loud when some Irish guys selected Def Leppard.
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