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日本に行くつもりです!
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25 / M / Around.
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Posted 5/22/11
I'm going to Japan from July 14-August 15. I'm going to traveling between Tokyo and Osaka. Right now, here's my rough よてい。

July 15- Akihabara? Ueno Zoo?
July 16-17, Nano Mugen
July 18- explore Yokohama
-Taya Caves 9am-430pm
-Landmark Plaza
-Baikotei, 78 years ago it opened. Real Japanese food!
-Nissan Engine Museum (10AM-4PM)--- maybe a another Nissan museum.
-Miyoshi Engeiyo 1-4 pm. 6-9 pm.
  -Stardust!
July 20-21 Tokyo- Nissan Gallery in Ginza (10AM-8PM). Sony Ginza building. Continue July 15
July 22-23- Daikoku Futo Parking Area (PA) is an extremely popular meetup place for car nuts on the freeway between Tokyo and Yokohama about 40minutes drive from the heart of Tokyo.
July 24-26- Explore Fuji. Climb a trail. Go to おんせん。
-Sunnide Resort (Ryokan)-- check price and if can walk to mountain. Available pick up service from station.
July 27-28- Climb the other mts. trails. (Negoya maybe?)
July 29-31- Suzuka!!! The town and the TRACK! Evidently there’s beach front
August 2-August 6- Do the Shikoku pilgrimage
August 7-9- Kyoto
-Shopping
-Japanese Tea Ceremony
-Ippodo Tea Company
-Philoshpoher’s Parth
-Ginkaku-ji-->Nanzen-ji along the canal
-Funaoka Onsen
-Kyoto Imperial Palace Park
-Fushimi Inari Shrine
August 10-11- Kobe
August 12-13/14- Osaka
-Umeda Sky Building (10am- 10:30am)
-Tsutenkaku Tower (10am- 8pm)
-Osaka Castle Park
-Osaka Castle Museum
-Hep Five Ferris Wheel
-Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine
-Nagai Park? Soccer and Basketball anyone?
-The Loft? Very Interesting store. (11am - 8pm) X-Large clothing?
-Cinquecento
-Blue Note--- reservation required, sounds expensive. Club Quattro as alternative?

The reason for my posting is I want to know if anyone has a) done the Shikoku pilgrimage by walking it and liked it? b)Any suggestion for Ryokan's and any really good to do? I'm crashing at a friend and her family in Osaka so things based in the Kansai would be cool, but you can see everywhere I am traveling!

ありがとう、
パテル。ミトゥル
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23 / F / Under your skin.
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Posted 5/22/11
I have nothing to contribute but can you take me with you?
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26 / F / a place that the...
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Posted 5/23/11
whoa ..that great
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30 / M / Japan
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Posted 6/5/11 , edited 6/5/11
You might want to include where you plan on staying in your itinerary. Depending on that, certain places like akiba can be round-about trips every now and then, instead of an actual "stop" on your list. Truth be told, akiba is best appreciated through a span of visits instead of a single, "all-out" run. I usually go there in the afternoons after morning tours and whatnot, for example.

Also, you mentioned a couple of stops that are in Kyoto. I'm assuming you'll be shuffling within the Kansai region. Spend more time in Kyoto than Osaka, because Osaka can be similar to Tokyo, and you might just get tired of the city hustle-bustle quickly. Don't forget to stop by Kiyomizu temple (if you didn't mention it), and walk down the heritage row of old houses down to the Gion district - my favorite walk of them all. Plus, if you're going there around spring, check out the philosopher's walk at the foot of Kinkakuji. Awesome walk, albeit 3km by foot.

Oh... and I wouldn't bother looking at Ryoanji, unless you really want to see it (I mean... it's just a bunch of rocks and sand). Going around the temples might end up becoming redundant, so of all the temples, the ones you might want to REALLY go to include Toji, Kinkakuji (GOLD, not silver... the silver temple is GINkakuji, and they're in totally opposite directions), Kiyomizu Temple, Heian Temple, and Nanzenji just to name a few. Plan ahead which groups of temples you want to go to, because some of them can be in completely opposite directions, making them unrealistic to visit in a single day.

And I can't believe you didn't mention Osaka Aquarium. It's a great stop, and there's the maritime museum and IMAX (world's largest... worth a throw if you want to watch something there) in the COSMOSQUARE area. The ferris wheel there also gives you a great view of the Kansai area, and you can even trace the Wangan all the way to Kobe from the view. Nice, really.

As far as ryokans are concerned, you'll have to book about a month in advance. Price wise, they're also retardedly expensive (compared to traveller inns, but I'm a cheapskate) but they usually include breakfast and dinner, so I guess it's worth it. From what I recall, I was offered a group price of 12,000Yen a night... PER HEAD. Ridiculous, I tell you. Still, I'm sure if you google around, you might find some listed with contact info and whatnot. Give them a call and you should be able to negotiate rates.


Well, as you can see, I'm biased to the Kansai area. As far as Tokyo goes, all I can say is explore the Tokyo Bay area. Odaiba is a great place to go shopping, but it's kinda starts to feel like Harajuku after a while. Of all the temples there, the MUST GO TO would probably have to be Asakusa Temple. You've probably seen this one in tons of different anime, so it'll be a pretty familiar site. Tokyo tower is also a nice place to go, but you really can't appreciate it unless you go to the second tier, which costs an additional 1200 Yen if I recall correctly.



Anyway, hope you enjoy your trip to Japan. Brush up on your Japanese when you go to Tokyo, because the Kansai-ites tend to have better English than them Tokyo-ites. Waka~hen.



EDIT: I noticed you're going to visit the Nissan gallery. Car fan? You might want to check out Toyota's "mini-showroom" at Ikebukuro. In fact, Ikebukuro is a nice place to visit if you like Hello Kitty and arcades. Although the larger car manufacturer showrooms can be found at Shionome along the Tokyo bay area. I haven't seen those showrooms yet, but the "mini-showroom" of Toyota in Ikebukuro is actually quite big. All their current models are up for display there, so it's a nice place to visit.
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Posted 6/5/11
if you're suitcase seems a bit heavy, don't worry. it's just me
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25 / M / land of the risin...
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Posted 6/8/11
attend the Summersonic 2011 in osaka its august 13/14 http://www.summersonic.com/2011/ I`ll be goin on 14 might wanna hang out? and see some japanese bands and international bands
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31 / F / Kumamoto, Japan
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Posted 6/10/11
Hm, I liked Osaka more than Tokyo, but my trip was so long ago I don't remember my exact itinerary. I went to Kaiyukan Aquarium in Osaka and Universal Studios Japan (because where I lived in the USA was quite the distance from USJ and I was already in Osaka... So I went).

Currently I live in Kyushu and the people around here tell me that the ryokan up near Kyoto on Honshu can't hold a candle to the awesomeness of natural onsen and ryokan here in Kyushu. lol


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14bxoduOcO0
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30 / M / Japan
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Posted 6/11/11

Kerensa wrote:

Currently I live in Kyushu and the people around here tell me that the ryokan up near Kyoto on Honshu can't hold a candle to the awesomeness of natural onsen and ryokan here in Kyushu. lol



Not unless it's an onsen facing lake Biwa.
Posted 6/13/11
Just stay in Osaka because they talk funny.
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25 / M / Around.
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Posted 6/17/11
Thank you so much everyone!
I am stamping out details as I am writing this. I have decided not to go to ryokan because of the cost and I am on a tight budget on this one month tour of Japan.

July 15-21 Downtown Yokohama and near the bay
July 22-25 Tokyo near Ginza and Akiharabara, and will try to shoot to get to Tokyo Bay
July 26-29 Mt. Fuji attempting to Climb it !
July 30-31- Suzuka Circuit and Suzuka National Park
August 1-5 Kyoto
August 6 Osaka
August 6-9 Kobe
August 9-14- Shikoku Pilgrimage

I just have three questions for all of you:
The family I am staying with doesn't know me and I don't know them. A friend here in the States is said it was alright to stay at her family and her in Kobe. I know most of the etiquette but I don't know if I should expect, that is terrible phrasing, more be granted the opportunity to eat there (breakfast, lunch, dinner) or should I just go get something my self? I just know her and the phrasing of our situation is I'm just staying there to ease the cost, at least that's how she phrased it but we are planning to hang out most of the time I am there. Here's the kicker to, I like her. I'm planning on telling her in Japan and I am going to see how it goes. In the Japanese culture, if the person who you told you like doesn't like you back, is it weird and I should not expect to stay there anymore if she does not return the favor? I guess really it is up to the person, but I'm not really Japanese culturally aware.

On a lighter note, Yokohama or Osaka? I'm playing with the idea of cutting a day in Yokohama and adding it to Osaka? According to けれんさーさん it seems to be, but my listening comprehension is bad as it is. I don't think I could handle the Japanese dialect there.

And to edsamac, I am starting to brush up. I only have two semesters (6 credits per semester, which is HUGE on our campus and people are shocked when they here the load) under my belt, but UW-Madison has the #2 Japanese program in the US. We finished Genki 1 and 2 in a semester respectively and program is intense (Currenly know around 300 kanji). This trip is really happening to see if Japan is really the place I have built up in my mind after reading some many articles, watching anime, and all the car DVD and races and if Japanese Professional Communication will truly be my minor.
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30 / M / Japan
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Posted 6/18/11
300 kanji is already a good start to get a headway of where you want to go - that is as far as reading is concerned. As far as speaking is concerned, you'll be surprised that the Kansai dialect isn't really a dialect per se - more like a transformation of copulas and other fine details. Most Osakans will understand you, regardless if you're used to the typical Japanese you learn in textbooks. In addition, they're much more friendly in Osaka (imo, at least).

I agree to giving a day to Osaka. There really is quite a lot to explore there, but if you REALLY want to explore kansai, give some days to Kyoto, Wakayama (if you're going there) and Nara (a bit far off, but a really nice place to go... but you better have your Japanese brushed up before going there. 0% english).

As far as your predicament with the girl goes, it depends on the person. I don't think it's a cultural thing if things go weird after a girl turns the guy down and whatnot. It's also a question of whether or not YOU can keep the relationship steady even after possibly getting turned down. What I CAN tell you about family customs is that they're quite open to visitors. Just be sure you observe proper etiquette (like knowing how to remove your shoes before entering, how to fix your bed, how to refer to people in the house, etc.), and if you can, find the time to bond with them. Offering to cook dinner, or even asking them to teach you how to cook is a good start, because most Japanese I've been with tend to be utilitarian to a certain extent (don't quote me on this), so they find it cool if you show some initiative and actually show some interest in helping around the house. In addition, you learn how to cook their food, so that's a double whammie for you. Lastly, you'll be surprised how curious they can get with the English language. Don't offer to teach them unless they ask you - and if they do, don't hesitate to teach them. It makes for a good conversation.


On a last note, I'm glad to see that you used Genki. It's a much more casual module compared to Minna no Nihongo, the latter coming off as a very corporate structured learning module for people getting into business. Everything you need to know to get around understanding basic Japanese is in Genki I and II, but if you want more casual and colloquial grammatical lessons, you may want to check out Tae Kim's Learning Japanese for iPod. He gives good supplement lessons that help you learn a lot of things you don't read in the books, and it's a great way to brush up on learning the casual aspects of the language. Good read on the flight going to Japan, too.
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31 / F / Kumamoto, Japan
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Posted 6/18/11

Skater_Alchemist wrote:

Thank you so much everyone!
I am stamping out details as I am writing this. I have decided not to go to ryokan because of the cost and I am on a tight budget on this one month tour of Japan.

July 15-21 Downtown Yokohama and near the bay
July 22-25 Tokyo near Ginza and Akiharabara, and will try to shoot to get to Tokyo Bay
July 26-29 Mt. Fuji attempting to Climb it !
July 30-31- Suzuka Circuit and Suzuka National Park
August 1-5 Kyoto
August 6 Osaka
August 6-9 Kobe
August 9-14- Shikoku Pilgrimage

I just have three questions for all of you:
The family I am staying with doesn't know me and I don't know them. A friend here in the States is said it was alright to stay at her family and her in Kobe. I know most of the etiquette but I don't know if I should expect, that is terrible phrasing, more be granted the opportunity to eat there (breakfast, lunch, dinner) or should I just go get something my self? I just know her and the phrasing of our situation is I'm just staying there to ease the cost, at least that's how she phrased it but we are planning to hang out most of the time I am there. Here's the kicker to, I like her. I'm planning on telling her in Japan and I am going to see how it goes. In the Japanese culture, if the person who you told you like doesn't like you back, is it weird and I should not expect to stay there anymore if she does not return the favor? I guess really it is up to the person, but I'm not really Japanese culturally aware.

On a lighter note, Yokohama or Osaka? I'm playing with the idea of cutting a day in Yokohama and adding it to Osaka? According to けれんさーさん it seems to be, but my listening comprehension is bad as it is. I don't think I could handle the Japanese dialect there.

And to edsamac, I am starting to brush up. I only have two semesters (6 credits per semester, which is HUGE on our campus and people are shocked when they here the load) under my belt, but UW-Madison has the #2 Japanese program in the US. We finished Genki 1 and 2 in a semester respectively and program is intense (Currenly know around 300 kanji). This trip is really happening to see if Japan is really the place I have built up in my mind after reading some many articles, watching anime, and all the car DVD and races and if Japanese Professional Communication will truly be my minor.


If it's in Japanese, my name is カレンサ It took me a moment to realize that you were talking about me haha.

Confessions can be touchy in Japan. They can be turned around in such a way that the guy or girl rejecting you will just simply put you in friend status or they will no longer have any contact with you--I believe that's how it can go. I'm not sure I would tell her while you're in Japan or after you return.

I would definitely bring her family some sort of gift(s) from the states to show your appreciation and perhaps bring them back an omiyage from every trip you return from as thanks. If you are unsure if you are eating with them, start planning to fend for yourself. If you end up eating with them then you have some bonus cash or what have you that you didn't have previously.

As far as the dialect is concerned, you don't need to worry much about Osaka-ben. The people there, at least for me, dropped their dialect a tad for me. I love Osaka so I am very partial to the area, but it is a city--a large city. One of the things I have fallen in love with when it comes to Japan is the scenery. But it's also important to get a feel of their modern life mixed with their rich history (temples, etc).

I think that your schedule is good. Do you think that a little less than a week is alright for the full shikoku pilgrimage? I hear it can take a week or more... and make sure you have the funds for that. The ryokan and hotels along the way can be spendy, even if you are making the pilgrimage... you also need the special attire which can also be spendy.

One thing to keep in mind with your Japanese is that using it is very different from how the textbooks made it out to be. Some of the words learned in those books are not what they normally use in Japan. Metaphors and other words and terms. Sometimes I still say things that sound more English in Japanese.

http://www.amazon.com/Common-Japanese-Collocations-Learners-Frequent/dp/4770031238

This is a really good book to have if you're serious about Japanese, imo.

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Posted 6/18/11
Thank you to the both of you, it has been very help!

I made a note of the book and the app. The book seems very interesting and I may purchase that as I go on with Japanese.

About the girl, I guess I really should think about it. I don't think she will be person who will be awkward about it. As well, I feel she is more mature than me. (She's 4 years older than me). We speak in casual form when we talk and we hung out a lot in the three weeks we had at the end of the school year and felt she may like me but well.... time and a lot of thinking we determine that. If I'm willing to go for it.

You guys have been great help! I think I will for sure make I go to Nara and Osaka but only a day each. I think I will base my self in Kyoto for that and just ride the rails to get there. I don't know where to really cut down time. lol. I know it may be time consuming but many hostels have 15:00 check in and 10:00 check out, so I don't want to carry my heavy luggage with me.

Side note, you guys going to Nano Mugen?
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30 / M / Japan
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Posted 6/19/11

Skater_Alchemist wrote:
You guys have been great help! I think I will for sure make I go to Nara and Osaka but only a day each. I think I will base my self in Kyoto for that and just ride the rails to get there. I don't know where to really cut down time. lol. I know it may be time consuming but many hostels have 15:00 check in and 10:00 check out, so I don't want to carry my heavy luggage with me.


A little tip, even though the check-out times are at 10:00AM, you can actually have the concierge hold on to your baggage for you up until you're ready to leave. I've done this several times when I wanted to do some last minute shopping/sight-seeing in Kyoto before leaving for the airport. They're usually more than happy to hold on to it for you until the specified time, so check out in the morning - do whatever it is you want to/need to do - come back in the afternoon and pick up your luggage and be on your way.
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Posted 6/19/11
Really?! I will for sure do that! One last quick question, and it may be a stupid one but I have to ask, on the trains and buses in Japan (when I am moving city to city allow me to have one big bag and have a place to store it too? As it looks like right now, I'm going to have one big bag (it's pretty big) and my back pack. If it's smarter, I can allow just bring two smaller bags or something like that.
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