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漢和名手
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Posted 5/26/15
僕は日本の旅行が大好きだから、なるべくあそこで日本人と喋られるようになりたい。それで、旅行の経験がもっと豊かになると思っている。それに、勿論アニメと漫画は面白いね。僕は日本で住んでいるつもりはない。
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Posted 5/27/15

sushipath wrote:

僕は日本の旅行が大好きだから、なるべくあそこで日本人と喋られるようになりたい。それで、旅行の経験がもっと豊かになると思っている。それに、勿論アニメと漫画は面白いね。僕は日本で住んでいるつもりはない。


That is cool. I want to visit Japan this year hopefully. Hey, Sushi-san, I am assuming you have gone to Japan here; I had to use a translator to understand most of what you wrote. Lots of grammar that is new to me in there. Got sidetracked there, getting back on track, how much does it cost to go to Japan? Just for like a one week visit. I know it will go up or down depending on where you stay and what you do, but how much does it cost when you go? If you have never gone then...um..ya. Later.
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CaelK 
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Posted 5/27/15

Trinitywarrior wrote:

That is cool. I want to visit Japan this year hopefully. Hey, Sushi-san, I am assuming you have gone to Japan here; I had to use a translator to understand most of what you wrote. Lots of grammar that is new to me in there. Got sidetracked there, getting back on track, how much does it cost to go to Japan? Just for like a one week visit. I know it will go up or down depending on where you stay and what you do, but how much does it cost when you go? If you have never gone then...um..ya. Later.


I need to write a guide on this sometime, I answer this all the time.

http://www.crunchyroll.com/forumtopic-898003/recommend-itinerary-or-pointers-for-trip-to-japan#49824725
http://forum.project-imas.com/index.php/topic,2219.msg57711.html#msg57711
漢和名手
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Posted 5/27/15
It really does of course depend on what you want to do. I've been to Japan three times so far, each time for about 2 weeks. I like a nice hotel-- nothing like the Ritz or whatever-- but a nice comfortable and slightly fancy place-- a home base where I can really relax after roaming around all day. Maybe 3.5 to 4 stars out of 5 at least. A ryoukan is great too when it's available. Lodging is the single largest expense, and can be a few hundred dollars a night-- often includes a breakfast which can be all-you-can eat, and so I stock up. (A ryoukan typically has a nice Japanese style dinner too.) I usually eat somewhat light/inexpensive, but will occasionally splurge when the urge hits me (I'm on vacation after all) and I find something I really want to try. My last two trips altogether each cost about US$6000 to US$7000 for about two weeks (that's hotel, airfare, food, souvenirs, train tickets, entrance fees, taxes, etc... everything). If you're willing to put up with more Spartan conditions, you can do it for a lot less. For Japan, I use a custom travel agent (Asian Transpacific Tours) who'll actually help design a custom itinerary with you.

Incidentally, while Japan is certainly not cheap, it needn't be as ridiculously expensive as some stories make it out to be. Sure, you could buy a fancy melon for $50 or more, or blow hundreds or thousands of dollars at some fancy Ginza joint, but that's hardly expected or normal. A decent restaurant meal can be less than $10, and there's even no tipping in Japan, so when they say it's Y980, it really is Y980. The dollar also happens to be particularly strong against the yen, so now's not a bad time.
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Posted 5/28/15
Thank you Sushi-san! I was worried it would cost a arm and a leg and a kidney...and maybe a eye. So many people online are like "It is really expensive! You need tens of thousands of dollars!" I am truly grateful to you Sushi-san! Now the idea of going to Japan this year is totally possible. どうもありがとうございます。お蔭様でとてもうれしいよ。
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Posted 5/29/15
Hey there everyone.

I was wondering what do programs do you use to study Japanese? Do you go to classes, or do you studying online?
I study online on a site called JapanesePod101.com.
漢和名手
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Posted 5/29/15
I'm studying essentially on my own, but I frankly wouldn't recommend it unless you've no other option. For me, more important things like work and family life, especially with little kids, leave me little time to do too much else, especially learning another language, which is an inherently time/effort-consuming task. When I was single, I used a bunch of textbooks and handbooks (yes, old fashion ones printed on paper), as well as a conversation partner, who was a local university student. Nowadays, I don't really get to study much at all-- just trying to maintain what I have and not lose it all. I'd really recommend an actual class-- somewhere you can regularly interact with Japanese speaker(s) who can guide and correct you. By myself, I learn stuff, and think I know it, but I rarely have any opportunity to check what I think I know versus fluent standard Japanese, not having any Japanese teachers or people around me on any regular basis.

One of these days, when I retire and the kids are away on their own, I've kind of imagined myself taking various language courses at some local college, filling my head with whatever I can, and then travelling. Hopefully, my wife and I will still be healthy (and so I need to make sure I eat well and exercise now!). We'll see if anything like that ever happens.... (Cooking courses too!)
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CaelK 
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Posted 5/30/15 , edited 5/30/15
Mainly video games. Manga too. And anime, though I still watch with subtitles.

My speaking practice usually consists of me talking to myself, saying lines out loud, or thinking to myself in Japanese. It's worked decently enough, much to my surprise.
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Posted 5/31/15

CaelK wrote:

Mainly video games. Manga too. And anime, though I still watch with subtitles.

My speaking practice usually consists of me talking to myself, saying lines out loud, or thinking to myself in Japanese. It's worked decently enough, much to my surprise.


I know what you mean. It seems hard them after a while you are able to speak and think in Japanese with trying too hard. Good luck Sushi-san! I hope are able to travel when you are older.
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Posted 5/31/15 , edited 5/31/15
Man, I seriously have missed out on a lot during the past week! Thank you for sharing your travel experiences with us Sushi-san! If I may ask, what was the most interesting or unforgettable thing you have experienced/seen while traveling in Japan? I also hope that you can be able to do all those things in the future! What type of cooking classes would you like to take?

And to answer your question Taco-san: I have learned mostly all the informal Japanese I know from reading manga and I have picked up some random words here and there from both manga and anime! (Like seriously, when would I ever need to know how to say 蝉 = cicada. I learned this word from reading よつばと!) I'm joking here but the point is that you never know what new vocabulary you can pick up!

Also the book called Japanese the Manga Way: An Illustrated Guide to Grammar and Structure was essential for me because it provided the basics of formal and informal Japanese grammar!
漢和名手
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Posted 5/31/15
Hard to pick just one or identify one as "most" interesting. I really do like travelling in Japan and enjoy every moment. Some special moments that come to mind, though:
1. Spending a whole day at the 2007 Aki Basho for sumo, in A class box seats. I saw a woman, apparently an activist or something, go up to the doyo and attempt to climb up it. She was dog piled by judges, security, etc and ejected. Women are not allowed to touch the doyo (raised dirt platform on which the rikishi wrestle). Hakuho, the one Yokozuna present also lost his match, after which the audience started to fling seat cushions (zabuton) all over the place.
2. Staying in a traditional ryoukan. Now that's service! I felt like I had become a nobleman for a short while. It's something I'd recommend to any traveler to Japan to try at least once.
3. Attempting to summit Mt. Fuji from the Sengen Jinja at the base, not just from the 5th station like most do. It was a good part of 3 days to do it, and I didn't actually make it (heavy snow at 8th station), but it was worth the effort anyway.
4. @home Maid Cafe. Fun and games, just innocent good time. A uniquely Japanese experience in its own way.

As for cooking, potentially anything, so long as I can eat whatever we learn to make!
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Posted 6/1/15
That sounds awesome! I would love to stay at a ryoukan. I hate to ask this, but what were the low points? I only ask as I do not want to go there and expect everything to be completely and utterly amazing. I kind of feel like I romanticize Japan sometimes and I would honestly like to know some problems you faced, so I can prepare for them and not be caught off guard. Thanks for sharing with us, Sushi-san. Later.
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Posted 6/1/15

sushipath wrote:
2. Staying in a traditional ryoukan. Now that's service! I felt like I had become a nobleman for a short while. It's something I'd recommend to any traveler to Japan to try at least once.


And the hand picked vegetables from the mountains. I felt bad when I couldn't finish it, they put so much care into making it, but dang all that food.


sushipath wrote:
3. Attempting to summit Mt. Fuji from the Sengen Jinja at the base, not just from the 5th station like most do. It was a good part of 3 days to do it, and I didn't actually make it (heavy snow at 8th station), but it was worth the effort anyway.


Whoa, dude. That's pretty hardcore. Three days? I guess there's places to stay on the way before you hit fifth station. Here's hopin' you went back and summitted some time, though. There's some really great views on the top.

Which path does that take you on, though? Looks like the Fuji-Yoshida.


sushipath wrote:
4. @home Maid Cafe. Fun and games, just innocent good time. A uniquely Japanese experience in its own way.


Heh, heh... I find maid cafes best when someone else is ploppin' down the yen. ^_^;;
漢和名手
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Posted 6/1/15 , edited 6/1/15
Well, I really do like travelling in Japan, as I said-- and so for me, there haven't been too many real low points. That said, I think it is wise indeed not to romanticize Japan too much. Come as prepared as you can, and be flexible/adaptable (not everything turn out as you expect), and be wise (don't go looking for trouble-- otherwise don't be surprised when you find it). I've enjoyed pretty much every trip I've ever taken in recent memory. If I had to "warn" about anything in Japan (and none of these are really Japan-specific, nor really all that big a deal in my mind)...
1. Really not that many people at all speak English there. This is a no-brainer, of course, but if one is expecting to somehow communicate effortlessly in English anytime anywhere, one will be disappointed. Some of the specialized tourist staff (e.g. at some train stations, at tourist info booths, at some hotel front desks) do indeed speak English reasonably well, but many do not. Some hotel staff I encountered had this intro script down pat, and when telling you about the hotel and its amenities, it all sounds fairly polished. However, ask anything off-script, and suddenly it gets difficult. This is why I want to learn Japanese (and ideally as many other languages as possible) so that not everything while travelling need be lost in translation.
2. Some places don't allow photography (e.g. inside Studio Ghibli museum, during Kabuki performance).
3. Just like in the anime one sees, it really is hot and humid in the summer! (However, one can only attempt to summit Mt. Fuji during the summer-- otherwise it's too dangerous). I just wore light breathable material that washes and dries easily, took 2-3 showers a day if needed, and it worked out fine.

Oh, maybe two things that were slightly disappointing...
1. I stayed a few nights in Hakone, which is a nice resort area south of Tokyo. I didn't realize until I got there but my hotel, which was really nice and had great views of the lake, was also quite isolated. It was quite a bus trip to get there from anywhere else. There was a food court and small mall near by-- but it all closed at 4pm. Unless you somehow planned ahead, your only option for dinner was the hotel itself-- and I think that was by design. The cheapest meal was Y5000. One could actually walk a few miles to the next town if one wanted-- which was necessary to catch most of the buses anyway. If one skipped maid service for cleaning the room, one could also earn a credit of Y2000 each night skipped. I did this twice, and then splurged on the most expensive Y15000 meal (now Y11000), and enjoyed my stay anyway.
2. One day in Hakone, I decided I would attempt to travel to Shimoda and back. At Atami, I transferred trains, but misread Shimada (島田)for Shimoda (下田), and ended up going the wrong direction. By the time I got to Shimoda, I was only able to spend about an hour there before catching the train again to make sure I could get back to Hakone before the last bus (otherwise I'd be walking unlit forest roads for miles and miles). Much of the day was wasted getting lost, but still, I count it as an interesting experience.

Oh, and to reply to CaelK, yes that was the Fuji-Yoshida trail. One of these days, I do hope to attempt it again (maybe just from the 5th station next time), but I don't know when that'll be.
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Posted 6/2/15
Thank you for telling me Sushi-san.. Now I want to go ever more now!
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