How to prepare oneself for a trip to Japan ?

Discussion in 'The Chatterbox' started by SSLSTudio..., Feb 11, 2008.

  1. SSLSTudio...

    SSLSTudio... Forum Debugger

    Well thats the Question isnt it ?

    I have opened this Thread to see if the collective minds of TSD can come up with some life saving tips ?

    As it seems I will be on Holiday to Japan in october this year, for a week of practising Aikido 4-13th October after that I would like to travell thru the country a bit.

    Any tips at all I coudl post in this thread, sight seeing that are a must see, transportation tips, restaurant tips, hotel tips anything that you can come up with or have experienced yourself.

    Im planning on buying a few of these books and read as quickly as I can thru them to make sure I get the most out of my Trip be fully prepared Although I think the culture shock can one prepare against it ? I practised Aikido for a few years so some etiquette im used to already .


    Anyone who feels like comming along your welcome the more the merrier as they say .

    Im getting some tips from my Sensei aswell and I got a few from Bobby but you cant be prepared enough.
  2. Reformation Student

    Reformation Student New Member

    I went to Japan a few years back to train in iaido with my Shihan's instructor. We stayed in Tokyo for about 10 days and you take the train system just about everywhere. I'd suggest learning enough Japanese to ask for basic directions.

    Some of my thoughts are:

    1. Exchange your currency at a bank in Japan. Shihan's experience as always been that you get a better exchange rate and it seemed to be true.

    2. If you go to a sushi bar, watch the plate colors. Different colors are different prices and you can rack up a huge bill without realizing it.

    3. If you have time, get out of the confines of the city proper into more of the suburb areas. You'll find some nice parks.

    4. Although it was closed when I went (Monday), the main government building (I forget it's name) is very attractive. It's old Japanese as opposed to a modern looking building.

    I'll look tonight and see if I have any notes from my trip and, if so, I'll give you some more thoughts.

    Where is it that you're going to in Japan?
  3. SSLSTudio...

    SSLSTudio... Forum Debugger

    Excellent pointers more please :rolleyes:

    Although I wouldnt want to carry a 1000 Euro on me to exchange it to Yen there seems a bit risky although I know Japan is the nr1 Country with the least crime figure. I will get some handy wallet big enough to carry my passport and money around my neck ive seen a guy from Brasil use that when he was in Europe that was handy .

    Im flying to the Osaka airport the training will be in Tanabe.
  4. Reformation Student

    Reformation Student New Member

    OK, then I don't know what's around Osaka. That, I believe was too far south of Tokyo for me to get to with our training schedule.

    The culture shock isn't as great as you'd think it the larger cities. Those have blended with Western culture more or less. Everyone I met was super nice. I found that they will say they don't speak English and let you struggle in Japanese for a while (laughing at you on the inside I think ;) ) then they will come to your rescue and speak just enough English to help.
  5. SSLSTudio...

    SSLSTudio... Forum Debugger

    Oh dont look at where I land, any tips will be usefull I shall use the high speed bullet Train to go all over Japan . I found another guy tonight who also wants to stay a bit longer so I wont be alone for the first few days after the aikido seminar thats nice but im also comfortable with traveling by myself.
  6. sparky5693

    sparky5693 Administrator Staff Member

    Are you referring to the imperial palace?
  7. sparky5693

    sparky5693 Administrator Staff Member

    Those trains are awesome, and they NEVER leave late, keep that in mind when you head for one. Also consider buying a JR pass for the trains. They can only be purchased while outside of Japan, and a one way ride on the shinkansen is likely to cost as much as this entire pass. The JR pass gets you on all trains, buses, and boats owned by JR (almost all). Remember they'll have to mail the pass to you.
  8. Reformation Student

    Reformation Student New Member

    That's it! Thanks for the memory kick. And I stand corrected, I thought it was the seat of the Japanese government but now that you've corrected my memory, it isn't. It's the Emporer's residence. (I know it's Wikipedia but the pictures are what I wanted to reference and those seem good)

    Seems to me it was in/near the Tokyo financial district.

    My apologies for the incorrect reference. It was maybe 4 or 5 years ago that I went.
  9. Michael

    Michael Duke of Kent

    Rene, one of our members, TG_Charles, lives in Japan. If he doesn't happen to see this thread, you might want to ask him.
  10. SSLSTudio...

    SSLSTudio... Forum Debugger

    I already PM him 2 days ago no responds. I shall leave it at that.
  11. IsaacRN

    IsaacRN Active Member

    I would LOVE to go to Japan.....October ehhhh?
  12. mastermute

    mastermute FatBoy

    It's on my wish list too! I've been lobbying to my wife for it for years, maybe one day :D
  13. crackstar

    crackstar Israeli Ambassador to TSD

    I've only been to Japan on business, so I never had a chance to really enjoy the country. :(
  14. sparky5693

    sparky5693 Administrator Staff Member

    It's a wonderful place, filled with great people. Everything is so beautiful, and it seems everyone has a sense of what craftsmanship means.
  15. SSLSTudio...

    SSLSTudio... Forum Debugger

    Well your free to come along but the ticket is not cheap I can warn ahead but the country and the people themselves will make up for it.
    Thats why I started this thread early the earlier you book the cheaper the ticket you wouldnt want to book this 1 month before october.

    So yeah we could meet at some meeting point somewhere and take it from there. not sure if you are as flexible with your holiday days as I am ,basically the company doesnt care when ever I take those days so im pretty flexible.

    razorblades are on me if you come along. ;)
  16. crackstar

    crackstar Israeli Ambassador to TSD

    Boubi, I'd gladly go, if I just shake away, but I'd need at least 3 weeks. I also would want to take Corinne and Ilana with me.
  17. Reformation Student

    Reformation Student New Member


    I don't have any of my stuff left from my trip. Must have thrown them out when cleaning.

    Enjoy your time there!!
  18. SSLSTudio...

    SSLSTudio... Forum Debugger

    How did I miss your msg here !

    Are you serious Jeff ? would you be able to go ? we could meet up somewhere for sure if you are comming to Japan I will take up 3 weeks holiday and you can bring anyone who you want. you could also do for example 2 weeks with ya family and I meet you up for the last week that could easily fit my schedule.

    PM me...
  19. Bill

    Bill Man of Steel

    Here is my advice. Be able to figure out in your head all those yen conversions. I went there in '68 and didn't have a clue on how much I was spending until it was all over with. Crap... I spent $68 in Tokyo for what I was paying $5 for in Viet Nam... :D

    Kidding aside, I thought the Japanese people were the most polite people on the planet. Buy a Seiko watch while you are there.
  20. SSLSTudio...

    SSLSTudio... Forum Debugger

    Will do Bill and only $68 :sick007 ! I will spare you what Bobby paid for staying one night in a Hotel that is 2,500 years old !

    I have read up a bit more and it seems paying with creditcard is not such a good idea their you pay service fee's or so for it. also I read exchanging foreign currency is done better in Japan then outside Japan you get more bang for the buck.

    This is such a complex Country that I bought a book on Ettiquete what to do and NOT to do . and a book that has transated all the food from japanese to English providing both so I know what im eating. This is my most fun project till date I dont know if you were into knife making back then but you should have visited a Master Swordsmaker time after time science has tried to clone the swords they make by hand making by computer they cant do it somehow the soul of the swordsmaker gets mixed up with the metal its true Art I guess the same can be said when buying a Ellis original razor you get a bit of Bill :eek:

    about the Seiko watch cool seen them know them only problem I dont wear watches I go with the flow.. :eek: but knowing that the trains dont run late in Japan it might be a good idea to get one !

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