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Suggestions for Japan?

Arrange meetups and get togethers with other Happier Abroad members in your area, or coming to your area.

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Suggestions for Japan?

Post by zboy1 » September 27th, 2015, 10:25 am

I'll be visiting Japan with my sister sometime in the middle of November. Anyone want to meet up? Also, what cities should we visit during the 1.5 weeks we'll be there? Tokyo is a given, but what about other cities? And what is there to do in Tokyo? Thanks...

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Re: Suggestions for Japan?

Post by Yohan » September 27th, 2015, 10:58 am

November might be a rather cool and rainy season already - do not expect good weather. I will be busy beginning of November due to a large group of business related visitors, but I will be available from 10th November on I think. No problem, I can meet you anywhere you like within Tokyo, as I have my motorcycle and I am quickly around to any place in this large city.

Other cities? 10 days only for Metropolitan Tokyo might be not even enough to go around to every place you want to go. There are 80 km city area. Most visitors in a hurry look a little around in the Tokyo area itself, anywhere between Ginza, Ariake, Akihabara, Asakusa, Shinjuku, Harajuku, Shibuya etc.
All places can be easy accessed by subway or trains within Metropolitan Tokyo. No need for taxi.

Many visitors go to see places like Yokohama, port and Motomachi area with the large China town - some visit as next destination Kamakura/Enoshima, or visit Jogashima fishing port - this all can be easily done by local trains without wasting money for booking expensive sightseeing tours with guide.

There are also express trains for Nikko temple and lake many times a day. For people into hiking in forest up to 2000m and not interested to see any other foreigner, take the train to Ome/bus to Okutama drinking water reservoir (still within Tokyo area).

There is a frequent bus connection to Choshi, fishery port and park with light-house in Chiba, if interested. Or visiting the garden in Mito. etc.

I do not recommend to visit Fuji area, the Mount Fuji is really nothing but a vulcano, a dusty place, and way up already closed in November, but what about Odawara/Hakone? That's much better, with the lake and moving around using the cable cars.

For more time and longer distances people continue to Kyoto mostly, but be aware except night highway bus, transportation within Japan is not cheap.

Ise shrine might be a good place to visit while in or near Nagoya.

Rail-Pass might be useful if you really want to move around in Japan. Other popular cities are Fukuoka, opposite to South Korea, very nice location, Nagasaki because of its Christian population and history.

While in Japan, refrain from any form of tipping, (restaurants, hotels, taxi etc.) as it might be misunderstood. This custom does not exist. You pay what is written on the receipt which will always be given to you and you will receive the change up to the 1 yen coin as a matter of course.

Come back with any question please.
Last edited by Yohan on September 27th, 2015, 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Suggestions for Japan?

Post by The_Adventurer » September 27th, 2015, 10:59 am

Last time I was there I went to Kyoto and Nara and saw lots of ancient temples. There was this one temple with huge deer walking around and they are not afraid of people. They will come right up to you can check your pockets.

I may be in Japan around that time, but will be in Kobe for business and likely have no free time for fun stuff.
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Re: Suggestions for Japan?

Post by zboy1 » September 29th, 2015, 6:18 pm

Thanks Yohan for your wonderful suggestions. I will go to Japan in the middle of November, so I hope we can meet. I like meeting with HA's overseas. I've had nothing but positive experiences meeting people on this forum.

Also, Adventurer, I hope I can meet up with you, too. Me and my sis are still deciding which cities besides Tokyo we should visit, so I'll keep everyone informed regardless.

Btw, I have Wechat but I know it's only popular in China. Is there an app I should download in order to communicate with people here? Also, my phone only works in China. What do I need to do to get my phone to work in Japan? Thanks.

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Re: Suggestions for Japan?

Post by Yohan » September 29th, 2015, 6:27 pm

https://www.narita-airport.jp/en/guide/ ... vc_19.html
Maybe this webpage is useful for some information about mobile phones from abroad.

As far as I see with some of our overseas visitors from Europe, some work, some do not, in case of roaming it can be very expensive.
Japanese face a similar problem while travelling overseas.

Our 2 mobile phones for me and wife are working in Thailand and Philippines, but fees are very expensive.

In Philippines I have free internet in the hotel, as I have my computer with me.
in Thailand I visit an internet shop for a few hours if necessary.

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Re: Suggestions for Japan?

Post by xiongmao » September 29th, 2015, 10:25 pm

Before you go watch Lost in Translation and look forward to your own Suntory time.

Tokyo can be warm in November - I went in December and it was warm (well for a Brit anyway).

Kamakura's worth a visit, watch Elfen Lied and you'll recognise this beautiful little seaside town. I can recommend going inside the Big Buddha.

Beyond that Tokyo is, er, vast and you won't run out of stuff to see. Yokohama is also worth a side trip for the big skyscraper you can go up.

Also the skyscraper in Roppongi sometimes lets you go on the roof if the weather is good. Time it for sunset for amazing photos.

Akihabara is good if you have a fetish for young girls dressed as maids also also love otaku goods and geek culture in general.

The Beckoning Cat shrine is amazing - Gotoku-ji I think it's called. Its in the suburbs. Visit it if you want great wealth.

Nikko is OK - best thing for me were the schoolgirls getting their group photo taken which was just like the cover of the Battle Royale DVD.

Shinjuku is good at night but take a local guide if you want to go in er, weird places. Akiba also has weird places and if you look around you can find used schoolgirl panties for sale, videos of crabs battling snakes, Pokky and anything else you might need for your vacation in the city.

Last time I went to Japan I got a Japan Rail Pass. I felt like a god at the ticket barriers being allowed on any train. On the downside the rest of Japan is a bit boring. I did like the ride to Nagano though - the Japanese had blasted a high speed rail line right through the mountains and it was impressive.

If you get time you can also do some disaster tourism and visit the tsunami hit cities (or what's left of them). But other than that, if you stay in Tokyo the whole time you won't be disappointed. More than anything I just liked hanging around Shinjuku station and watching the millions of rush hour commuters milling around.

Well post photos once you go, I'd love to go back some time.
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