Japlanning - I'm going to Japan

#1 Edited by Fattony12000 (7098 posts) -
十六条旭日旗 (Naval Ensign of Japan)

So, next year I am going to Japan for a bit. I've been wanting to go for around two decades now, so it's a pretty big deal inside mine own head as to what I'll see and hear and taste and feel and experience over there. My compatriot and I have been in the advanced stages of planning this excursion for several months now, and we are nearing our deadline for locking in who and what and where we should see. However, I got to thinking to myself, as I am want to do, why not leverage the notional powers of this harmonious digital webiscape and get your suggestions and comments on the matter at hand. What say you? Will you stand up and be counted by listing awesome places for me to see, and dope experiences for me to be enthralled by?

Now, we each have our lists of places we want to visit already, but I'm not going to tell you what they are because I don't want to influence any of your information. Other than to say that we will be spending time in and around both Tokyo and Kyoto, and will each have a Japan Rail Pass.

I'm looking for things to avoid, resources to help learn the language and customs, places that I absolutely have to see. As I've said, we're already pretty far down this path, but you duders seems like a cool bunch who might know about some sick hipster Nippon-koku shit.

ありがとう。 (Thank you.)

追伸 (PS)

Oh, and I will be photographing and filming the whole trip. Screw @jeff for being too lame to Raid, I'll get this shit done...English style. So also let me know about which terrible Japanese pantie games you want to see awkwardly bought from dingy-ass back alley shops in Japan.

Additional

I'm aware of @charlesalanratliff and @eqaddictedfool's forum posts on their experiences in Japan.

Suggestions...from YOU!

  • Akihabara for ero visual novels, back allys for drugs and uncensored porn - @librorumprohibitorum
  • Nagoya for eating all the food, Doutonbori and the aquarium in Osaka, the Eigamura in Kyoto for Z-targeting - @audiobusting
#2 Posted by LibrorumProhibitorum (340 posts) -

Actually if you go to Akihabara those ero visual novels will be up in your face and advertised anywhere you look. That part of Japan is pretty open about its interests. If you go into a back ally in Japan you're probably looking for drugs.

(or uncensored porn)

#3 Edited by audioBusting (1481 posts) -

Going to Nagoya to eat all the food is fun. It's kinda interesting to visit Osaka as well, since it's a bit different when compared to the other cities. Visiting Doutonbori at night would be enough, I think. The aquarium in Osaka is pretty neat too, if you like looking at fish. They're quite convenient to get to with JR Passes.

The Eigamura (Studio Park) in Kyoto is nice and easy to get to from the station. Apparently that's where Ocarina of Time designers got the inspiration for Z-targeting (by seeing a ninja show).

#4 Edited by Darji (5294 posts) -

@librorumprohibitorum said:

Actually if you go to Akihabara those ero visual novels will be up in your face and advertised anywhere you look. That part of Japan is pretty open about its interests. If you go into a back ally in Japan you're probably looking for drugs.

(or uncensored porn)

Yeah this is probably the biggest culture shock for people when they see all these porn and idol stuff even from 6 year old in bikinis so openly advertised. Japan is pretty liberal about tall this "porn" stuff. Also don't forget to visit a maid cafe. The service there is excellent^^

Edit: And fuck Z targeting. That is where his idea came from? No wonder it was so bad^^

#5 Edited by dekkadekkadekka (730 posts) -

I'm going to Tokyo in October (nowhere else though, I want to build confidence before going around the country) and so far I've only planned major things, like Akihabara (in general,) Joypolis on Odaiba, the Ghibli Studio (got my ticket!) the Tokyo Skytree, a day trip to Kamakura and a couple other things. Other than that I'm just planning to go to a place, pick a direction and walk. Just see what I see.

#6 Posted by Fattony12000 (7098 posts) -

Actually if you go to Akihabara those ero visual novels will be up in your face and advertised anywhere you look. That part of Japan is pretty open about its interests. If you go into a back ally in Japan you're probably looking for drugs.

(or uncensored porn)

What about pantie drugs?

Going to Nagoya to eat all the food is fun. It's kinda interesting to visit Osaka as well, since it's a bit different when compared to the other cities. Visiting Doutonbori at night would be enough, I think. The aquarium in Osaka is pretty neat too, if you like looking at fish. They're quite convenient to get to with JR Passes.

The Eigamura (Studio Park) in Kyoto is nice and easy to get to from the station. Apparently that's where Ocarina of Time designers got the inspiration for Z-targeting (by seeing a ninja show).

An evening in Osaka, and om noms in Nagoya sounds good, thanks for the suggestions! We'll be sure to check in on the Eigamura too.

@darji said:

@librorumprohibitorum said:

Actually if you go to Akihabara those ero visual novels will be up in your face and advertised anywhere you look. That part of Japan is pretty open about its interests. If you go into a back ally in Japan you're probably looking for drugs.

(or uncensored porn)

Yeah this is probably the biggest culture shock for people when they see all these porn and idol stuff even from 6 year old in bikinis so openly advertised. Japan is pretty liberal about tall this "porn" stuff. Also don't forget to visit a maid cafe. The service there is excellent^^

Edit: And fuck Z targeting. That is where his idea came from? No wonder it was so bad^^

I live for excellent service, do you have an actual suggested...place of service to...suggest? Suggestively.

I'm going to Tokyo in October (nowhere else though, I want to build confidence before going around the country) and so far I've only planned major things, like Akihabara (in general,) Joypolis on Odaiba, the Ghibli Studio (got my ticket!) the Tokyo Skytree, a day trip to Kamakura and a couple other things. Other than that I'm just planning to go to a place, pick a direction and walk. Just see what I see.

Some of those things are things we've looked at already, and some of those things are things that we haven't looked at yet. But will now do so! Thanks!

#7 Posted by ThePhantomnaut (6191 posts) -

Since you are going to Tokyo and if you wanna play some arcade games, here is a game center guide. Shinjuku and Akihabara are popular zones which have solid centers from Taito and Sega; you might probably see Daigo Umehara along the way ha. Independent arcades like Takadanobaba Mikado and Nishinippori Game Versus are good too.

#8 Edited by psylah (2162 posts) -

I hear there are bars that are specifically for Japanese folk looking to pick up foreigners, if you're looking for company.

#9 Posted by dekkadekkadekka (730 posts) -

@psylah: I know this is Fattony's thread, but do tell me more.

#10 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11498 posts) -

Drink some CC Lemon and Melon soda. That's basically all I remember about Japan when I lived there 15 years ago.

#11 Posted by falserelic (5334 posts) -

Have fun duder..

#12 Edited by Aetheldod (3514 posts) -

I would go to see a Kabuki play .... altho i tink it is kind of expensive >_<

#13 Posted by Hunter5024 (5555 posts) -

Portmanteau approved.

#14 Posted by TruthTellah (8576 posts) -

@fattony12000: Nice! I hope you have a great time!

All I can think of at the moment is, as far as etiquette goes, you may not want to associate yourself with that flag. The rising sun flag is offensive to some people, as it represents the military and Imperial Japan. It's popular amongst neo-conservative Japanese but looked down on by many younger, more liberal Japanese. This is the national flag and better for any reference to modern Japan:

http://www.flags.net/images/largeflags/JAPA0001.GIF

#15 Posted by Fattony12000 (7098 posts) -

Since you are going to Tokyo and if you wanna play some arcade games, here is a game center guide. Shinjuku and Akihabara are popular zones which have solid centers from Taito and Sega; you might probably see Daigo Umehara along the way ha. Independent arcades like Takadanobaba Mikado and Nishinippori Game Versus are good too.

Thanks for the guide, and we'll be sure to check out those independent arcades, too. I'll try to remember to bring my shit PlayStation fightstick from 1997 along for a showdown.

@psylah said:

I hear there are bars that are specifically for Japanese folk looking to pick up foreigners, if you're looking for company.

I'll have some company already thanks! But you know the old saying, Three's Company.

#16 Edited by Synthballs (2193 posts) -

I went in March for my honeymoon and have one piece of advice...

You can skip the SquareEnix store.

#17 Edited by Darji (5294 posts) -

@fattony12000: Depends what you want since they have different themes like a bit more classic, moe and so on. But the Cure Maid Café is really good. But don't forget that you can not film or take pictures of the maids unless you pay for it^^

Here you can take a small peak at the environment which looks quite nice.

At the end you also see the butler's Cafe if you want to have butlers instead of maids^^

#18 Posted by TooSweet (378 posts) -

My favorite drink from the vending machine was Golden Pine (pineapple). I forgot what brand puts it out. But it was my morning ritual to drink one while visiting Tokyo. Kamakura was great. Visited the great Buddha there and it's a nice walk along the beach as well. Oddly enough I spent one full day at Akihabara and that was it. From morning 'til night. Didn't feel the need to go back until it was nearly time to go and I wanted to see if there is anything I wanted to bring back. I bought one video game. Really wish I bought some JoJo's Bizarre Adventure statues. =(

Me and the some friends that I went to Tokyo with are planning a trip to Osaka next year. It has access to other cities from there by train. I Wanted to visit it last year but Tokyo had so much to see and do that we never made it. I would recommend studying the Tokyo train maps and learning where you have to go. Signs are in English but knowing your stations goes a long way. If you got the time hit a movie theater if a good anime/movie is out (if you are into that). I got to catch the second Berserk movie which was very good. It also took me a bit to adjust that people walk on the left not the right.

#19 Edited by Fattony12000 (7098 posts) -

@psylah: I know this is Fattony's thread, but do tell me more.

Yes, yes I would

Drink some CC Lemon and Melon soda. That's basically all I remember about Japan when I lived there 15 years ago.

Dive Cick

Have fun duder..

That's the plan! But there's no need to sound so melancholic with the ellipses at the end of your post! Everything will be fine! Believe in yourself! Trust your heart!

I would go to see a Kabuki play .... altho i tink it is kind of expensive >_<

Oh, that's a great idea, hadn't thought of that yet, thanks! In terms of prices, a quick check has led me to finding these prices for the Kabuki-za theatere in Tokyo, from this website:

Cheapest seats = ¥3,000 JPY / £19.66 GBP/ $30.65 USD

Although box seats go for ¥17,000 JPY!

#20 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

Kabuki could be really really boring and strange if you do not understand one thing. Even if you have learned Japanese in the West it is totally different. Also its more for older folks but if you want to see it as a experience go for it I guess^^

#21 Posted by Fattony12000 (7098 posts) -

Portmanteau approved.

Ahpproved.

http://www.giantbomb.com/videos/giant-bomb-talk-radio-080312/2300-6412/

@fattony12000: Nice! I hope you have a great time!

All I can think of at the moment is, as far as etiquette goes, you may not want to associate yourself with that flag. The rising sun flag is offensive to some people, as it represents the military and Imperial Japan. It's popular amongst neo-conservative Japanese but looked down on by many younger, more liberal Japanese. This is the national flag and better for any reference to modern Japan:

I'm fully aware of the context, history and use of that flag, I just chose it in this instance because it's a sick piece of graphic design. One of the many aspects that I've loved about Japan over my many years of enjoying their visual artistry.

I went in March for my honeymoon and have one piece of advice...

You can skip the SquareEnix store.

Will do!

#22 Edited by Fattony12000 (7098 posts) -
@darji said:

@fattony12000: Depends what you want since they have different themes like a bit more classic, moe and so on. But the Cure Maid Café is really good. But don't forget that you can not film or take pictures of the maids unless you pay for it^^

Here you can take a small peak at the environment which looks quite nice.

At the end you also see the butler's Cafe if you want to have butlers instead of maids^^

Hmm. I was totally joking before.

But that butler cafe does actually look pretty fun!

YES! MY PRINCESS!

#23 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

@fattony12000: I've not been to Japan yet, but all I can tell you is that when I do go, I'm going to do nothing but eat food and practice Aikido all day long. So there you go, go and try to find some kind of martial arts demonstrations or competitions. Aikido, kendo, kenjustu, kyudo, or iaido would be very cool to see.

#24 Edited by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

Son, you had best spend $50+ USD on capsule machines and document the process for us filthy, non-going-to-Japan people.

One might also attempt to enter the Meat Dimension.

#25 Posted by Tireyo (6409 posts) -

So, how long are you going to stay?

@mcghee said:

@fattony12000: I've not been to Japan yet, but all I can tell you is that when I do go, I'm going to do nothing but eat food and practice Aikido all day long. So there you go, go and try to find some kind of martial arts demonstrations or competitions. Aikido, kendo, kenjustu, kyudo, or iaido would be very cool to see.

I may starve there, but boy it would be great to go to those martial arts competitions! =-D

#26 Posted by Fattony12000 (7098 posts) -
@mcghee said:

@fattony12000: I've not been to Japan yet, but all I can tell you is that when I do go, I'm going to do nothing but eat food and practice Aikido all day long. So there you go, go and try to find some kind of martial arts demonstrations or competitions. Aikido, kendo, kenjustu, kyudo, or iaido would be very cool to see.

Wow, thanks for jumping into this thread after I berated readers of that other thread to jump in here to comment on this thread. Your courage and depth of compassion knows no bounds. Oh yeah, thanks for saying some stuff too I guess.

I hadn't even thought of checking out some sick kicks done by sick peeps, but that is now on the list fo sure! I will try not to horribly offend anyone whilst they are doing their demos, or I may never make it back alive.

Son, you had best spend $50+ USD on capsule machines and document the process for us filthy, non-going-to-Japan people.

One might also attempt to enter the Meat Dimension.

Can and will.

I'm going to learn how to ask people how I might enter the Meat Dimension in Japanese, and then the film the resulting hilarity! #YouTube #LAD #tvjokes #internetjokes #pleasecommentlikeandsubscribe #epicmadbantzfromtopLADs #deathtotheinfidels

#27 Posted by audioBusting (1481 posts) -

I'm going to learn how to ask people how I might enter the Meat Dimension in Japanese, and then the film the resulting hilarity! #YouTube #LAD #tvjokes #internetjokes #pleasecommentlikeandsubscribe #epicmadbantzfromtopLADs #deathtotheinfidels

Expect something like this.

#28 Posted by alwaysbebombing (1539 posts) -

I just want to go and look at Japanese people.

#30 Posted by Seppli (10251 posts) -

I'd go and research gaijin friendly soapload experiences. That shit seems like wacky and unique entertainment - memorable.

Hot Springs/Bath Houses and food places/food specialities is what I'd research. I'd also get out of Tokyo pretty quickly, it's much less expensive and crowded in the countryside, and nature should be spectacular too. Do some train traveling and hiking. If you are a dog person, figure out how where to buy and how to export a Japanese dogbreed, pretty much all of them are the shit! I'd get a Hokkaido Ken personally.

Enjoy yourself.

#32 Posted by alwaysbebombing (1539 posts) -

I have an actual question. Is it cool to be gay in Japan?

#34 Edited by FraggingRights (82 posts) -

@dekkadekkadekka: I'm doing the exact same thing! Going in late October. Also planning a few days in Kyoto too. Getting my Ghibli tickets soon. Also, if you haven't you may want to look into the rail passes. It's potentially a MUCH better deal than paying for individual fares. Also, what kind of places are you staying in? My wife and I decided to avoid hostels for privacy and have found a bunch of cheap well rated private apartments that you can rent out.

#35 Posted by FraggingRights (82 posts) -

@fattony12000: I literally just posed this in the comment above to another user. What is your lodging situation like? My wife and I are going in late October and decided to try to avoid the public nature of hostels and the higher prices of hotels. We ended up opting for apartment vacation rentals. Most of them were really inexpensive and well rated on websites like tripadvisor.com.

I've never stayed in anything but hotels so the concept is a little weird. The biggest selling point to me was that a few of these places not only offered bicycles to get around town, but more importantly mobile hotspots. So i'll be able to use my phone to surf the web/get directions/get translations when I need to.

Also, depending on when you're going if you see and slightly chubby, bearded white dude say please hello. I may even be wearing my Giant Bomb Throwback tee. Or plaid. I own a lot of plaid.

#36 Edited by Unilad (556 posts) -

Shibuya is great, Shinjiku is awesome. Akihabara is a must see although it is overpriced. Yoyogi park is awesome when you want to chill. Pack a picnic and booze. Be sure to pack extra as from my experience you meet cool people and share drinks.

I live in Hong Kong and it is nothing compared to Tokyo. The people, women and culture is superb.


Have an awesome time man.

#37 Posted by Kaibar (82 posts) -

I have an actual question. Is it cool to be gay in Japan?

Does this answer your question? It probably doesn't.

I think Japan is pretty liberal when it comes to sexual orientation, in that people don't really care what you do in your own home. But there's also no same-sex marriage, and some people frown upon openly gay couples who don't live a gender-normative lifestyle. So I guess it's similar to most states in the U.S.

#38 Edited by alwaysbebombing (1539 posts) -

@kaibar said:

@alwaysbebombing said:

I have an actual question. Is it cool to be gay in Japan?

Does this answer your question? It probably doesn't.

I think Japan is pretty liberal when it comes to sexual orientation, in that people don't really care what you do in your own home. But there's also no same-sex marriage, and some people frown upon openly gay couples who don't live a gender-normative lifestyle. So I guess it's similar to most states in the U.S.

It may not answer my question, but it sure answers a lot more about Japan. I really hope a crazy game show comes up to me when I am taking a trip there.

#39 Edited by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -
#40 Posted by Brenderous (1098 posts) -

Back when I went (2003), I went electronic shopping in downtown Osaka which was pretty awesome. Got myself a Japanese GBA and Fire Emblem.

It's probably all porn shops now?

#41 Edited by FraggingRights (82 posts) -

@ravenlight: On it! However, the lack of facial hair-especially of the lumberjack variety- in Asian cultures would seemingly disallow for the lumberjack aesthetic. If you just want to know if they exist occupationally though... We'll see about that.

#42 Edited by Fattony12000 (7098 posts) -
@fattony12000 said:

I'm going to learn how to ask people how I might enter the Meat Dimension in Japanese, and then the film the resulting hilarity! #YouTube #LAD #tvjokes #internetjokes #pleasecommentlikeandsubscribe #epicmadbantzfromtopLADs #deathtotheinfidels

Expect something like this.

Deya.

I just want to go and look at Japanese people.

I'll be doing plenty of that through my night vision goggles.

@seppli said:

I'd go and research gaijin friendly soapload experiences. That shit seems like wacky and unique entertainment - memorable.

Hot Springs/Bath Houses and food places/food specialities is what I'd research. I'd also get out of Tokyo pretty quickly, it's much less expensive and crowded in the countryside, and nature should be spectacular too. Do some train traveling and hiking. If you are a dog person, figure out how where to buy and how to export a Japanese dogbreed, pretty much all of them are the shit! I'd get a Hokkaido Ken personally.

Enjoy yourself.

Yeeeah, we're gonna be mostly hitting up the cities of Tokyo and Kyoto deep 'n' dirty style, because there is just so much to see and do in those two places that that's where we're gonna be primarily seeking and snooping around. Not a lot of out and about countryside stuff on this trip, although we will be hitting up some baths and spas in the Mount Fuji area, and spending a day in the National Park there. We'll also be spending a day in Miyajima (where the Itsukushima Shrine is located). We're also gonna have a lickle bike tour whilst in Kyoto.

Japanese dogs are sick, but we're not looking to pick up any wildlife this time around, I'm afraid!

I have an actual question. Is it cool to be gay in Japan?

Yes and no.

#nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

@fattony12000: I literally just posed this in the comment above to another user. What is your lodging situation like? My wife and I are going in late October and decided to try to avoid the public nature of hostels and the higher prices of hotels. We ended up opting for apartment vacation rentals. Most of them were really inexpensive and well rated on websites like tripadvisor.com.

I've never stayed in anything but hotels so the concept is a little weird. The biggest selling point to me was that a few of these places not only offered bicycles to get around town, but more importantly mobile hotspots. So i'll be able to use my phone to surf the web/get directions/get translations when I need to.

Also, depending on when you're going if you see and slightly chubby, bearded white dude say please hello. I may even be wearing my Giant Bomb Throwback tee. Or plaid. I own a lot of plaid.

We're gonna mostly be in four and five star hotels, and high quality, well-reviewed ryokan. And yeah, we're gonna be making use of bicycles where possible. I do think we'll miss you though as October isn't going to be when we plan to make our trip, best of luck to you anyhows!

#43 Posted by Missacre (566 posts) -

This has got to be one of the most racist threads I've been in.

#44 Posted by dekkadekkadekka (730 posts) -

@fraggingrights: I'm staying in a hotel in Ueno, nearish to the Keisei-Ueno train station. Probably the best connection to Narita airport; 40 minutes or so?

#45 Posted by Fattony12000 (7098 posts) -

@unilad said:

Shibuya is great, Shinjiku is awesome. Akihabara is a must see although it is overpriced. Yoyogi park is awesome when you want to chill. Pack a picnic and booze. Be sure to pack extra as from my experience you meet cool people and share drinks.

I live in Hong Kong and it is nothing compared to Tokyo. The people, women and culture is superb.

Have an awesome time man.

Are women not a type of people? Or do they got those sick Mobile Armored Riot Police bodies over there?

I'll rock it totally 素晴らしい over there, for sure. Thanks!

#46 Posted by Bam_Boozilled (150 posts) -

One might also attempt to enter the Meat Dimension.

That gave me a very good laugh.

#47 Posted by TheKramer89 (422 posts) -

@fattony12000: I'm just here to say i approve of the pun in your title. Carry on...

#48 Posted by Fattony12000 (7098 posts) -

Less than 30 days to go!

/人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\

@brenderous We'll be hitting up Osaka for a spot of shopping, as well as to pay a visit to Universal Studios who will have a Monster Hunter 4 thang going on at the time!

@fraggingrights I will endeavour to seek out any lumberjack-looking people on my travels and get them to make the Giant Bomb Gang Sign. Also, how was yours and @dekkadekkadekka's trip to Japan?

@missacre Thanks!

@thekramer89 ありがとう!

#49 Edited by Fattony12000 (7098 posts) -

Since there isn't a new thread for this sad day, and as someone who will be visiting the country in a few short weeks, I humbly submit the following words...

Today marks the three year anniversary of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami

"The 9.0 magnitude (MW) undersea megathrust earthquake occurred on 11 March 2011 at 14:46 JST (05:46 UTC) in the north-western Pacific Ocean at a relatively shallow depth of 32 km (19.9 mi), with its epicenter approximately 72 km (45 mi) east of the Oshika Peninsula of Tōhoku, Japan, lasting approximately six minutes. Sendai was the nearest major city to the earthquake, 130 km (81 mi) from the epicenter; the earthquake occurred 373 km (232 mi) from Tokyo."

"On 10 February 2014, a Japanese National Police Agency report confirmed 15,884 deaths, 6,148 injured and 2,633 people missing across twenty prefectures, as well as 127,290 buildings totally collapsed, with a further 272,788 buildings 'half collapsed', and another 747,989 buildings partially damaged."

"The tsunami caused nuclear accidents, primarily the level 7 meltdowns at three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex, and the associated evacuation zones affecting hundreds of thousands of residents. Residents within a 20 km (12 mi) radius of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and a 10 km (6.2 mi) radius of the Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant were evacuated. In addition, the U.S. recommended that its citizens evacuate up to 80 km (50 mi) of the plant."

"The World Bank's estimated economic cost was US$235 billion, making it the costliest natural disaster in world history."

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_T%C5%8Dhoku_earthquake_and_tsunami

ご愁傷様でございました/でした (goshuushou-sama de gozaimashita) (my sincerest condolences)

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