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Vacation in Japan?
S7YX 
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24 / M / The Netherlands
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Posted 7/29/12

GodWhomIsMike wrote:


S7YX wrote:


jazzy663 wrote:

-Instantly jealous-

But if anything, try and immerse yourself in Japan's culture. It's not like everyone things. Japan is a country like any other - they have culture, customs, and an economy. Especially the food. Eat the food. That's my advice to you :)


Haha i go to a sushi restaurant every month But i know there is much more than just sushi and i won't skip a thing xD i will skip fugu tough.


Ehhhh, you will go broke really quick if you plan on living on just sushi.

A lot of places serve omurice, Okonomiyaki, yakisoba, curry, hamburg, tempura, spaghetti dishes, ramen, soba, udon, etc....


For sushi, this place was super reasonable, and a ton of fun too. It's in Kyoto. I will need to ask my friend what the name of the place was, because I do not remember.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO2vGaUn3Nw


Haha that looks awesome
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32 / M
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Posted 7/29/12
How far can you get in Japan as a tourist, who doesn't speak much japanese? Also, what are the best months to visit Japan? Which cities?

Thanks!

Me and friend planning to go there next year, but if we can't get far without knowledge of good japanese language, need to start to study it more haha.
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36 / M / Staten Island, NY...
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Posted 7/29/12
You should really consider both Tokyo and Kyoto if you are going for 10 days.

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36 / M / Staten Island, NY...
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Posted 7/29/12

Janne24 wrote:

How far can you get in Japan as a tourist, who doesn't speak much japanese? Also, what are the best months to visit Japan? Which cities?

Thanks!

Me and friend planning to go there next year, but if we can't get far without knowledge of good japanese language, need to start to study it more haha.


I got by fine, but it was a challenge, and people were not too willing to remember whatever English they knew. You will be doing a lot of pointing to things you want, and not much communicating.

I really want to take some Japanese classes in the Fall, but first priority is finding a local college first that is looking for a Computer Science Adjunct to teach an evening course. I need the extra income.
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31 / M
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Posted 7/29/12

Janne24 wrote:

How far can you get in Japan as a tourist, who doesn't speak much japanese? Also, what are the best months to visit Japan? Which cities?

Thanks!

Me and friend planning to go there next year, but if we can't get far without knowledge of good japanese language, need to start to study it more haha.


In Tokyo it wasn't too hard to find English speakers but I think it is a good idea to get a basic grasp of the language, if only some of the more usable words like kusdesai (please give to me) doko (where) ikura (how much). A phrasebook might help.
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36 / M / Staten Island, NY...
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Posted 7/29/12

Kuro_Kiri wrote:


Janne24 wrote:

How far can you get in Japan as a tourist, who doesn't speak much japanese? Also, what are the best months to visit Japan? Which cities?

Thanks!

Me and friend planning to go there next year, but if we can't get far without knowledge of good japanese language, need to start to study it more haha.


In Tokyo it wasn't too hard to find English speakers but I think it is a good idea to get a basic grasp of the language, if only some of the more usable words like kusdesai (please give to me) doko (where) ikura (how much). A phrasebook might help.


I did it like a viking... no phrasebook and almost no ability to communicate..... I strongly recommend not doing that.
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31 / M
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Posted 7/29/12
This is why restaurants have pictures on the menu. Just point and eat.

But if you try to speak, even if it's not that good, they'll appreciate it.
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46 / M / Bay Area, CA, USA
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Posted 7/29/12
This is frankly hard to answer in a way that would fit every person asking. I'd agree, though, that one could get by in Japan without knowing any Japanese. I did in 1994 and 2007. That first time was with a standard bus tour group. There's no shame in joining a regular tour group, particularly if that's your prefered travel style. They can be economical choices, and do a fair bit of the homework for you in arranging the itinerary. They typically come with a guide too who can speak the local language. However, you'll generally hit just the major tourist spots, and sacrifice much in the way of flexibility and perhaps seeing the things YOU really want to see. The more esoteric or specialized your interest (e.g. anime), the less satisfied you may be with these tour groups, I'd venture to guess. (However, there are anime-dedicated group tours available.)

I went to Japan the second time independently, wandering on my own, though I used a travel agency to arrange trains, hotels, and such. It helps if you're an adaptable personality-- i.e. you can put up with the inevitable inconveniences and frank frustrations of foreign travel and having things turn out not as you expected, but rather roll with it and even enjoy it or learn from it. As GodWhomIsMike mentioned, it can be a bit isolating, though, if you're not able to communicate much with those around you. I enjoy solo travel, and so didn't mind at all. Independent travel can be as cheap or as extravagant as you can bear to stand, and allows a lot of flexibility (e.g. spend all 10 days in Akihabara if that's what you want), but you'll have to do a lot of the preparation work yourself in order to get the most enjoyment out of your trip. I'd say the rewards are worh the effort, nonetheless, and this is my preferred travel style whenever possible.

Best choice, though, if you've the resources and time, is to learn whatever you can of the language before you go. In 2010 for my 3rd Japan trip, I had maybe 15 chapters of an introductory text of Japanese under my belt (as well as knowledge of Chinese, enabling reading of a fair bit of the kanji). That's not much, but still, it was way better than nothing. Sure, I wasn't making friends and engaging in any deep conversations, but simply being able to communicate at a basic level with the locals made the trip so much more enjoyable! It also makes ones surroundings much less impenetrable, and you won't be wandering around with your head in the clouds, everything "lost in translation."

As for where and when, that's really up to you and your interests. I'd suggest borrowing a tour book (e.g. Lonely Planet, Fodor's, or whatever) from the library, the most recent Japan volume you can find, and researching it. That suggestion probably reveals my age all too well!-- there are probably online resources that are similarly useful too!
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31 / M
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Posted 7/29/12
I traveled alone but I really prefer it. People slow me down. Also I went with a lot more than a basic knowledge of the language even though I did bring a dictionary just in case. I had no difficulty at all.

Going again with that "knowing what I know now" frame of mind I'm not bothering to reserve hotels again, I stayed at ryokan the whole time, same chain, and they have hundreds of locations. If the odd chance is there isn't a room in the hotel you're in they'll drive you to their next closest location. But that's something you'd have to know to ask for, and none of their staff spoke English. But for the first time traveler who doesn't have a whole lot of time to learn the language completely then I'd say there are massively important phrases that should at least be memorized. Nothing difficult, just necessaries like "where's the bathroom".
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32 / M
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Posted 7/30/12

GodWhomIsMike wrote:


Janne24 wrote:

How far can you get in Japan as a tourist, who doesn't speak much japanese? Also, what are the best months to visit Japan? Which cities?

Thanks!

Me and friend planning to go there next year, but if we can't get far without knowledge of good japanese language, need to start to study it more haha.


I got by fine, but it was a challenge, and people were not too willing to remember whatever English they knew. You will be doing a lot of pointing to things you want, and not much communicating.

I really want to take some Japanese classes in the Fall, but first priority is finding a local college first that is looking for a Computer Science Adjunct to teach an evening course. I need the extra income.





Kuro_Kiri wrote:


Janne24 wrote:

How far can you get in Japan as a tourist, who doesn't speak much japanese? Also, what are the best months to visit Japan? Which cities?

Thanks!

Me and friend planning to go there next year, but if we can't get far without knowledge of good japanese language, need to start to study it more haha.


In Tokyo it wasn't too hard to find English speakers but I think it is a good idea to get a basic grasp of the language, if only some of the more usable words like kusdesai (please give to me) doko (where) ikura (how much). A phrasebook might help.


Ok, thanks for the advices Kuro and Mike!
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31 / M
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Posted 7/30/12
Doo itashimashite.

You're welcome.
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22 / F / Washington
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Posted 7/30/12
Have fun O:
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21 / M / USA
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Posted 8/9/12
AWWW I want to go! But I really want to learn Japanese first. (^^)
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