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Traveling to Japan

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Fukuoka info please? [22 Mar 2010|09:36pm]

hello i may be on a short trip to Fukuoka in two months, i was wondering is there a particularly good place to shop that is not touristy? i want to see a lot of local features, not big name brands i can see in duty free. thanks you.
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Exchange student [10 Jul 2009|06:22pm]

[ mood | confused ]

Ok , i need seriously help XD
I decided with my parents that im alloud to do an exhange-year in Japan only 1 problem we have no idea how to do that ive anyone could help me i would be very pleased >_<"

already thanx

X. Azumi

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flight from Tokyo to Kiev [07 Jan 2009|12:06pm]
Does anybody know if the non-stop flight from Tokyo to Kiev (Ukraine)
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Yadoya Guesthouse [21 Oct 2008|10:44pm]

Hi all! My friend and I are going to Tokyo this December and we've already booked to stay at the Yadoya guesthouse (ikkobranch). I've pretty much gone through every page in google but there hasn't been any helpful reviews on this place(except that it smells?). So..

if you've stayed at this place or heard ANYTHING (good/bad) please comment! I'm really curious about lockers, security, area of the neighborhood, being kidnapped in the middle of the night and etc.

Thanks in advance =)
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Going to University [24 Aug 2008|06:06pm]

[ mood | worried ]

As a high school student, I went to Japan for one year as an exchange student, and learned pretty good Japanese (well..not really, but..haha).
Currently, I'm a student at a junior college with every intention of transferring to a four-year university.

Anyway, I would really love to go back to Japan as a college student for one year, but for whatever reason, I can't seem to find any information on how I'd do this. Should I apply to a Japanese college directly?

I'm most interested in going to the Osaka or Kyoto area, but I can deal with pretty much going anywhere.

I don't know if this helps at all, but as a college student, these are some of my majors of interest in order:
graphic design
visual communications
Asian studies
international affairs

If a study-abroad program won't work out, I am also interested in temporarily teaching English abroad.

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Tokyo: Guesthouse/apartment help needed [30 Jul 2008|09:48pm]

[ mood | busy ]

Tokyo: Guesthouse/apartment help neededCollapse )

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[13 Aug 2007|02:40pm]

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24 hours in Tokyo [02 Jul 2007|08:52pm]


For a trip to Asia, we scheduled a 24 hours stay in Tokyo on August 13th (2007). Since it's a (very) short stay, I pondered about what we could do.

Transportation is also a mystery to us. I read about the Tokyo Free Kippu on Wikipedia, that costs 1000 yen. It is worth it? And does the distance we have to travel from one station to another add up to the 1000 yen? How about taxi fares?

We will be staying at Nikko Hotel near Narita Airport.

We are fans of shopping, anime and mangas, so I thought of going to malls, stores like Mandarake, and hunt for artbooks and collectibles. Places we thought about are Shibuya, Akihabara and maybe Nagano. But if we want to fulfill our needs in allowed time, I doubt we could go to all those places, since it takes about an hour and a half (more?) to get to Shibuya, and half an hour (or more?) to go from one place to another. And how do we get to those places from the hotel? Train, metro, bus? Any advice?

Suggestions of other activities accepted and recommendations of restaurants/snack places much appreciated too!

Many thanks in advance!
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[25 Apr 2007|05:50pm]


I am interested in going on student exchange to Waseda University or Keio University in Tokyo Japan for a year. But my parents would only let me if they knew like, how much it would be in total.

So, I was wondering if anyone would be able to tell me relative costs of:

ACCOMODATION: will it be cheaper to apply for a host family or to live in the dormitory

FOOD: how much would I estimate my spending per day



And if there is anything that I'll need to know?

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Voltage question [22 Mar 2007|12:13am]

Konnichiwa !
I'm sorry if the subject's been brought up before. I'm leaving for Japan in a couple of days, and I would like to know if a hair dryer that normally runs on 120 volts will work on a Japanese 100 volt appliance. I really don't want to spend hours drying my hair everyday... >_<
Should I wait and buy a hair-dryer there ?
Many thanks in advance for your help !
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Minshuku or ryokan or hostel [30 Jan 2007|04:45pm]

[ mood | wondering ]

Hello there!
My husband and I and our best friend will be travelling to Japan from April 5-19, and this has been my first trip back in 10 years.
O(n oth previous trips I had stayed with friends.)

I've never stayed in either minshuku, ryokan or hostels, and was wondering what the going rate is approximately. We don't care about sleeping all in the same room, but wonder if hostels split you up by gender like they do here in North America? Also, we're no kids (in the mid 30's range agewise)..and we tend to keep late hours. Do the hostels lock the doors at 11pm?
Also, where would anyone reccomend for Tokyo/ Kyoto/Nara/ and possibly Hiroshima and Sapporo when it comes to Minshuku or ryokan or hostel? We are looking at spending approximately $80 a night approximately at the most. Names and URL's would be greatly appreciated.

Your help would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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Mobile phone renting ? [03 Jan 2007|11:20am]

Mina-san, konnichiwa !

I'll be staying a month in Japan next April and I was thinking about renting a mobile phone for 30 days, since my own probably won't work over there.

For those of you who've done this before, do you know some mobile phone companies that propose that kind of service ? Which one would you recommend ? I heard of a company named GoMobile.  Has anyone had any experience with that company before ?

Thanks in advance for your help !

(x-posted to several communities)
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[21 Sep 2006|04:24pm]

(As of two minutes ago)I am going to Singapore. I have a two hour *sob* layover in Tokyo Airport. I have a few questions.

1) Are there any stores I like Have to go too? If it's like the US airports that are huge they have some cool stores.

2) At the airport could I find Jrock magazines? (at the moment they don't even have to have Dir en grey in them I just want to buy loads of them!)

Thanks so much for your help!
12 comments|post comment

looking at going to JP next summer but wish to save money while there! [17 Jul 2006|04:13pm]

Hello there my name is Sarah, I am a 22 year old college student from the midwest (Missouri). And I have always wanted to travel to Japan for the longest time, and now that I have decided that I want to become an english teacher in Japan and eventually move there. I know that I have a really good excuse to go and travel there.
But the thing is I only want to go for about a week and I don't want to spend a huge amount of money going so I was wondering if I could get some advise from people that have already been there. If I could I would like to visit Tokyo and Osaka but I am thinking of staying in a Japanese inn since that would be farr cheaper then staying in the city at a western style hotel. I want to do a lot of things but I figure I can wait on a few because I actually have some friends that live in Japan and I am working with a good girl friend of mine in the states to see if I can stay for a few months with some of her friends maybe in 2008 and then after that I am hoping that I can get my bachlor's degree and I can find an english teaching program that will have me living in a small apartment after that.
But like I said if you guys have any money saving advise that would be amazingly helpful. And if you have any suggestions of anywhere what so ever to go and visit please tell me. This will be my first visit to Japan and I need all the advist I can get thanks.
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[05 May 2006|04:38pm]

Has any member of this community ever gone on a decent tour? I'm especially considering one to visit Mt. Fuji. Though I'm prone to creating my own itinerary for Japan trips, I know the advantages of organized sightseeing are in those little deals included that the individual misses out on. Sunrise Tours offers a load of packages that include shinkansen and bus transport, but after spending $406 on a 14-day JR Pass, those are services I can do without.

Experiences you've had, or pointers toward any guide or cultural services would be appreciated.
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nihon: Yamanote Service Temporarily Halted [24 Apr 2006|10:29am]

This is mostly a heads-up for genwaku_maniac, since I know you're going fairly soon.  No doubt it'll all be sorted once you get there.
Yamanote Line trains in chaos after construction work warps tracks

Thousands of train passengers in Tokyo were forced to walk over tracks to a station after becoming stranded when a driver reported unusual sounds and officials decided to halt all trains on the Yamanote Line to carry out inspections.

Railway officials said the driver of a train traveling between Takadanobaba and Shinokubo stations on the Shonan Shinjuku Line phoned the Tokyo general direction center at about 10:30 a.m. on Monday, saying an unusual sound had been detected while the train was running.

When East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) officials inspected the track, they found that parts of the rails had changed shape. Pressure appeared to have been applied to the tracks while construction work commissioned by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government on a road underneath the tracks was being carried out by JR East, causing the tracks to rise.

JR subsequently halted all trains on the neighboring Yamanote Line.

Work on the tracks continued on Monday afternoon, and JR East plans to resume the operations of the Yamanote Line at about 4 p.m.

The area where the problem was reported was about 600 meters south of Takadanobaba Station. A train on the Yamanote Line that was traveling nearby was halted, leaving about two thousands of passengers stranded inside. About one hour later, passengers were let out of the train onto the tracks, and railway workers led them on foot to Takadanobaba Station.

The Shonan Shinjuku Line train continued on to Ikebukuro Station at a reduced speed. (Mainichi)
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Travel between Tokyo and Osaka [19 Apr 2006|12:49am]

[ mood | rushed ]

Wanting to get from Tokyo to Osaka, or vice versa? There are many ways.

You can take a nightbus, there's Shinkansen, there's planes, and then local trains.

Nightbus is REALLY cheap. Nightbus between Tokyo & Osaka ranges from around ¥10,000 to ¥16,000 for a return ticket. The difference in price reflects the quality of the bus; the cheapest don't have toilets and are cramped. The more expensive buses are pretty nice, with reclining seats, slippers, etc. If you value your comfort at all, go with the more expensive one.

Shinkansen, unless you get a railpass through jtbusa is VERY expensive. However without a railpass, it can cost 16000yen upwards easily. Railpasses are only available for foreigners, and cost 300 for 7 days and I believe 500 for 14 days, and are good on all JR lines and shinkansen depending which type of pass you get. They are NOT good for subways though.

Shinkansen between Osaka and Tokyo is around ¥29,000 for a return ticket and takes about 3 hours. It costs slightly more to get a reserved seat, which I recommend if you are traveling with friends and want to sit together, or if you're as picky as I am about getting a window seat. ^-^

Local trains are very confusing, and it can take you 12 hours plus but I have crazy friends who've done it depending how far you go. We're considering taking the trains from Nagoya to Osaka for a day or two, because it's close and would cost us MAYBE 2000yen extra. But going from Osaka to Tokyo would take a long, long time, you'd have to transfer alot and it'd be crazily monotonous.

Planes are always an option and I'm not sure on price but I've talked to many japanese residents who fly. Sato flew from Ume to Tokyo and she said it cost her about 160, so average a flight from VA to FL, probably it's the same.

You can also fly, and this can be a good option if you are booking your trip way in advance and can get a good deal. Keep in mind though that this will not save you time over the Shinkansen because you have to take trains from the airport into both cities.

Shinkansen is really the most convenient way to get between the big cities of Japan, but bewarned - certain JR passes only cover certain regions, and sometimes it's hard to find a seat on a non-reserved car. I'd still recommend the Shinkansen over everything, though, if only for the experience of riding a Japanese bullet train. XD It's just cool!!

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Theme Restaurants [19 Apr 2006|12:40am]

[ mood | hungry ]

Most people are familiar with the concept of theme restaurants. In the US we have Planet Hollywood, Hard Rock Cafe, and similar places.

But the Japanese have taken the idea of a theme restaurant and made it into an art form.

A quick google search gives hundreds of hits on Japanese theme restaurants. Unfortunately, many of the reviews listed are old and links no longer work, but with a little hunting, one can find such gems as:

Vampire Cafe - As you might imagine, the theme of this restaurant is vampires. The flooring is designed to look like red blood cells. Red drinks (which could be anything from wine to fruit juices) are served in lavish goblets, just as manga artists would have us believe Dracula dines on blood. Coffins and crosses abound, and some of the tables are even designed to look like sacrificial altars! Certain entrees are served in tiny, coffin shaped dishes, and red is a theme throughout everything. Best part? Yep, they do birthday parties!

Next we have the ever popular Alcratraz ER - An unlikely combination of a jail and hospital theme, Alcatraz ER is unique, even among theme restaurants. Drinks are served in giant plastic syringes and test tubes, and food is designed to look deliberately grotesque. Certain items shown on the site are even censored because they've been made to look like choice parts of the male anatomy. Diners are locked up in "jail cells" for the duration of their dinners and, as I understand it, there is the occasional "jailbreak" and waitresses and waiters run amok. Not for the faint of heart, Alcatraz ER can be a fun, if occasionally unnerving night out.

If you want something a little more soothing, Cube Hatago is the place for you. Designed to look like a traditional ryokan, Hatago's decor and menu choices change with the seasons. Right now, of course, everything is related to springtime and the cherry blossoms. The photos of Hatago on the website are truly beautiful, and it would be worth going just to enjoy the atmosphere. But look out! Hatago's not cheap! A night there may cost you as much as $80, so save your pennies!

Of course, we can't forget the dozens upon dozens of maid cafes! Exactly as they sound, maid cafes are simply restaurants where all the waitresses are dressed up like maids. Some have specific themes, such as maids from a particular anime or game, and some will change the uniform according to upcoming holidays (Christmas maids, Valentine's maids, etc) One of the more famous cafes is Amusement Cafe, which even includes a "cast list" for your information. Mostly frequented by otaku, maid cafes can be a fun diversion from the norm.

Keep in mind that many themed restaurants will require reservations to eat dinner or ever just have drinks, so it's best to call ahead (if you speak Japanese) or write them an email (in simple English, of course!) to get more information about that. Ninja, for example, accepts reservations in English, with certain limitations. (Ninja also includes their menu in English on the website, and it's worth checking out!) And a point of interest to those of us stuck in the US, Ninja also has a restaurant in New York! Interested? Take a look at Ninja New York!

For more information on other themed restaurants, check out Metropolis blog. The writer has addresses and phone numbers to quite a few other places that are definitely worth checking out. Enjoy, read up, and have some good food!

Below is a linklist to various theme restaurant websites:

Ninja New York (Review only)
Mia Cafe
Amusement Cafe
Cube Hatago
Vampire Cafe
Alcratraz ER

If you have any theme restaurants you know of that you would like me to add to the linklist, please let me know!

And if you've been to any of the mentioned restaurants, please feel free to leave a review of it!

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Welcome~~ ようこそ!! [19 Apr 2006|12:11am]

[ mood | chipper ]

Hello everyone, and welcome to japan_travel! This community is designed to aid those who will be traveling to Japan within the year by answering questions, giving travel tips and advice, and even giving up the secret locations of some of the best places to get your noodle on in the land of the rising sun. Before posting, please review the rules and information in the community user info.

Traveling to Japan has been gaining in popularity over the past few decades, and it's a trend that is showing no signs of slowing down. genwaku_maniac and myself hope this community will help our fellow travelers in their adventures, making any trip to Japan as enjoyable and painless as possible.

We look forward to everyone's participation! Pack an extra suitcase and let's go!

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