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Post Reply Ask Me Anything About Living in Japan
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24 / M / New York
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Posted 4/5/14

KurisuSensei wrote:

As long as you don't eat out, it's not hard. But go to any restaurant and they'll tell you "Oh, it's vegetarian!" What they mean is that fish isn't meat, neither is soup made from pork bones. It's slowly getting better, but a lot of people just don't 'get' it.
Yep, and unless you have friends that are vegan or vegetarian you'll have a problem.

Vokisa 
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Posted 4/6/14
1. How much money would you recommend budgeting for a trip to Japan for a month?

2. So, being a cute American girl, I'm a bit worried about visiting Japan by myself. I get creeped on enough in the states, and I have no idea if it would be better or worse in Japan. It would be awesome if I could go by myself, though, because ensuring that I have a friend with me at all times would be a pain... But if it's gonna be risky to like, wander Tokyo or Akihabara by myself, then I'd rather someone be with me. So I guess, the question would be, what should an attractive young woman expect while in Japan?
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24 / M / New York
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Posted 4/9/14

Vokisa wrote:

1. How much money would you recommend budgeting for a trip to Japan for a month?

2. So, being a cute American girl, I'm a bit worried about visiting Japan by myself. I get creeped on enough in the states, and I have no idea if it would be better or worse in Japan. It would be awesome if I could go by myself, though, because ensuring that I have a friend with me at all times would be a pain... But if it's gonna be risky to like, wander Tokyo or Akihabara by myself, then I'd rather someone be with me. So I guess, the question would be, what should an attractive young woman expect while in Japan?


1. It depends on were your staying, how much you party, and how much you eat. You can stay at a hostel for about 3500 yen a night which comes out to around a little over 1000 US for 30 days. If your a real trooper you can stay at internet cafes for about 1250 yen a night which comes out around 370 American a month. I've done the later option and it ruled.

Myself personally can live off a 1000 yen a day for food and cigarettes so 300 US a month basically.

So for me to live in Tokyo for a month would cost me right around 670 bucks and that is living rough. Now for me to have a great time and do everything I want it would take me probably about 3000 US.

2. You'll be fine Japanese dude are super shy. I don't know a single American who has had a problem in Japan that didn't deserve it.
Vokisa 
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22 / F / USA
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Posted 4/10/14

Thank you! <3
CaelK 
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Posted 4/10/14 , edited 4/10/14
More of a vacation question, but I'll chime in too. I'll do this the easy way for me.

The wallet - http://d.hatena.ne.jp/caelk/20121215/1355561533
Fourth full paragraph, under the picture of the stone marker and bike.

Getting money from ATMs - http://d.hatena.ne.jp/caelk/20121209/1355012118
Third full paragraph from bottom. Same post has JR Passes and phone rental (starting from under the picture of the car).

Suica cards - http://d.hatena.ne.jp/caelk/20120804/1344068524
Third paragraph.

For an easy listing, my comfortable budget is this. Please note - I overshoot some of these estimates on purpose.
Lodging - 4500 yen per night (if you're doing hotels), unless it's a ryokan (expensive, some don't do credit cards)
Food/Refreshment - 2500 yen per day (two meals and snacks)
Transportation - Mostly solved with a JR Rail Pass (Google it). If you can't use it... worst case scenario, around 1600 yen for a metro one day pass (local travel only). Google for prices otherwise.
Laundry - 500 yen per week (and you'll have to hang dry clothes), plus the cost of travel detergent
Phone rental - $100 for two weeks (definite overestimation, but better safe)
Admission fees - Google the attraction, but I can't see paying more than 1000 yen for most places.

Add plane tickets, shopping spree money, and equipment you have to buy before you go (if needed).

Personal quickies:
From memory, round trip to Narita was $1700 last time I went.
Jeans do not dry well in hotel dryers and shirts don't do so hot either. I recommend hang drying.
I don't do hostels since I don't like sharing rooms with strangers.
Some hotels have curfews. Might be a good idea to ask.
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24 / M / New York
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Posted 4/10/14 , edited 4/10/14

CaelK wrote:

More of a vacation question, but I'll chime in too. I'll do this the easy way for me.

http://d.hatena.ne.jp/caelk/20121215/1355561533 - Fourth full paragraph, under the picture of the stone marker and bike.

For an easy listing, my comfortable budget is this. Please note - I overshoot some of these estimates on purpose.
Lodging - 4500 yen per night (if you're doing hotels), unless it's a ryokan (expensive, some don't do credit cards)
Food/Refreshment - 2500 yen per day (two meals and snacks)
Transportation - Mostly solved with a JR Rail Pass (Google it). If you can't use it... worst case scenario, around 1600 yen for a metro one day pass (local travel only). Google for prices otherwise.
Laundry - 500 yen per week (and you'll have to hang dry clothes), plus the cost of travel detergent
Phone rental - $100 for two weeks (definite overestimation, but better safe)
Admission fees - Google the attraction, but I can't see paying more than 1000 yen for most places.

Add plane tickets, shopping spree money, and equipment you have to buy before you go (if needed).

Personal quickies:
From memory, round trip to Narita was $1700 last time I went.
Jeans do not dry well in hotel dryers and shirts don't do so hot either. I recommend hang drying.
I don't do hostels since I don't like sharing rooms with strangers.
Some hotels have curfews. Might be a good idea to ask.

Your estimates are right on for a normal person for sure.

Ahh plane tickets for Japan! forgot about that. Best way to get them Pick an off month to travel, that is a month most likely in the fall before any of the major holidays or spring after or before any Japanese holidays. As for day always leave on a Wednesday, and book at least 3 months in advance. I found round trip tickets today for 1050 doing this. Planning a month trip is smart to for instance, if you want to be in Japan for new years fly out two weeks before it'll be cheaper than flying out the week of new years.
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30 / M / Sydney, Australia
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Posted 4/11/14
I've never met a person who deserved sexual harassment.

This is a tough question to answer. On the one hand, Japan is one of the safest places in the world. On the other hand, women get sexually harassed like crazy in Japan and nobody seems to want to do anything about it. The idea that you'll be fine because every single one of the 40 million+ adult men in Japan are shy is fantasy. People can be assholes. That's the same no matter where you go.

Take the usual precautions you would anywhere to keep yourself safe and you should be fine. Japan has comparatively little violent crime, but as I said, sexual harassment is far too common.

Budget-wise, the posts above are pretty much right. It all depends on what you want to do. You can do it on the cheap or you can spend a lot of money. There are things like couch surfing communities that might help if you don't mind staying on the floor at university students' apartments. Backpacker hostels in Japan are surprisingly not disgusting (but they are still hostels). A Suica or Pasmo card is essential and if you are going to be doing interstate travel, get a JR pass. They are expensive, but if you plan on doing a lot of shinkansen travel, they'll save you money.

Also: don't go to Japan for new years. It's a family holiday, not a party holiday. Everything is closed and everyone eats soba with their family.
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Posted 4/11/14
I'm planning to go to Japan when I'm 19, and though I researched places to stay and eat and ect, I'd find it more comforting if you gave me some information! How would you plan a first time trip to Japan?
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24 / M / New York
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Posted 4/11/14

Also: don't go to Japan for new years. It's a family holiday, not a party holiday. Everything is closed and everyone eats soba with their family.
I disagree Rappongi, Shibuya, and Shinjuku are awesome on new years.
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30 / M / Sydney, Australia
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Posted 4/14/14
Standing around in the street with a bunch of other foreigners watching a replica of the Eiffel Tower isn't my idea of a good New Year. Your mileage may vary. Most things are closed everywhere else, even in Shibuya and Shinjuku. The stuff that is open is almost all overpriced, hokey stuff for tourists who didn't know that New Year is a religious holiday.

I had much better times with friends at a house party in the country.




I'm planning to go to Japan when I'm 19, and though I researched places to stay and eat and ect, I'd find it more comforting if you gave me some information! How would you plan a first time trip to Japan?


That depends on what you want to do and see. Are you into the outdoors? Video games? Old culture? New culture? History? Museums? Tea? Weird food? Festivals? Art? Sport?
There are 180 million people in Japan spread over a relatively small area. There's just SO much to do, see, and experience.
CaelK 
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Posted 4/14/14 , edited 4/14/14
Yeah, it's kinda hard to suggest places without knowing what you're interested in, but at least I can give planning tips.

If it's your first time in Japan, I'd recommend going with just a friend or two if you can, unless you're really comfortable in foreign countries by yourself. When you get to five or more though, conflicting interests start to pop up, and you'll tend to travel slower. Renting phones for everyone makes everything a lot easier, and gives everyone freedom to wander as they please.

Choose your travel friends a little wiser than you choose friends normally though. Different people handle travel different ways.

If you stay for more than a week, it'd be good to plan which days you'll do laundry, since that will usually wipe out some part of the day (you can buy travel detergent before you go). Some goes for shopping sprees - I usually like to dedicate an entire day or two to throwing my wallet at geek city, Japan (read: Akihabara).

Getting money from your bank in Japan... the short version: post offices for international debit cards, Seven-Eleven when they're closed for credit card cash advances (pay those as soon as you get back home). You can look at my previous post if you want.

The other big thing you need to learn to do is use the public transportation system, but you can just Google for how to use trains in Japan, and how to use buses in Japan. If you're around Tokyo, Suica cards can make this pretty touch-and-go painless, though. My previous post has stuff on that.

If you're not comfortable travelling in a foreign country, I'd say keep to the beaten path and stay around urban areas for the most part. You can make an exception of course, you'll learn something along the way, but don't keep being daring if you never know what you're doing. 'Least that's not something I would do, personally.

Of course, the most painless way to do it is to sign up with a tour group, but you'll only get what they give you (and it'll cost more).


KurisuSensei wrote:
Standing around in the street with a bunch of other foreigners watching a replica of the Eiffel Tower isn't my idea of a good New Year.


Well, there's always winter Comiket. ^_^;
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30 / M / Sydney, Australia
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Posted 4/20/14
Travelling on trains and buses is a lot easier if you use www.hyperdia.com

It's a fantastic website that saved my life daily when I first moved to the outer edge of Tokyo.
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