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Post Reply Visiting Japan in April, advice or recommendations???
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26 / M / San Diego, CA
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Posted 2/18/16 , edited 2/18/16
Posting in General Discussion because Advise and info is pretty dead.

Anyways my buddy and I are going to be in Tokyo in April from the 10th to the 20th and would like some input or suggestions of what to checkout while we're there that we might have missed or is in the general area of the places we plan on visiting. Or as long as it's in Tokyo we don't mind traveling around the city to check out cool stuff. Mind you we'll be staying at a hostel and be ballin on a budget .

We're staying in the Sumida District and these are the places we're already going to be checking out:
Yoshiwara Shrine
A Soapland (already set aside $500 each)
A strip club/s
Edo-Tokyo museum
Kaminnarimo
Tokyo National museum
Ueno Park
Senjoji shrine
Imperial palace (already made reservations)
Gundam museum
Sengoku temple
Shinjuku
Meiji temple
Harajuku
Ghibli museum (already made reservations)
Akihabara
Maybe Mt Fuji depending on the shinkansen prices

Any suggestions or advice are welcomed, I'd rather have way to many things to check out than not enough of them haha. Thanks.
Posted 2/18/16
Just one, Don't ever come back..Stay there you lucky fool!
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Posted 2/18/16
Look into getting a month pass for the train.
The bullet train goes real slow near a city.
Think about buying a rice cooker to save on eating out.
Talk very softly.
Watch out for women only trains.
Try to find a sekirei.
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Posted 2/18/16

j226109 wrote:

Posting in General Discussion because Advise and info is pretty dead.


Moved to Advice, Info, Recommendations because that's where it belongs.

Also, it's really not that dead here--most people asking, get answers. Plus there's an advantage in being not quite so crazy busy as GD, because threads remain visible longer on page 1 of the forum
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Posted 2/24/16 , edited 2/24/16
If you folks have got the time, I'd recommend heading out to Yokohama (ferris wheel, Chinatown, different ambience in general) or Kamakura (and Enoshima, while you're there). They're west of Tokyo and an hour-long train ride away.

There are other ways to get to Mt Fuji if you don't mind traveling at a more leisurely pace. Japan Guide has tips on how to do so. For example, traveling by bus from Shinjuku Station costs 2050 yen per person, one way, and takes about 2.5 hours to get to Fujisan Station or Fuji Q Highland. From Tokyo Station the ticket price would be 1750 yen.

The area around the Ghibli Museum (Mitaka, but also Kichijouji, they're fairly close together) is worth checking out. Lots of small cafés and shops to explore. The Ghibli Museum shuttle takes you to Mitaka Station only, though, not to Kichijouji, where the fun actually happens. :)

Just a tip for traveling around Tokyo. If you don't have one already, I strongly suggest getting an IC card. You can buy a Suica or Pasmo at any station, really, charge it, and then use it to access subway and train stations (in lieu of buying tickets every time), pay at convenience stores and other shops and restaurants that accept IC. Note that the upper limit is only 20,000 yen, however.

On weekday mornings up until about 9-10am, major stations in Tokyo are crowded because people are heading to work and school. You might know this as the infamous rush hour (I personally call it hell). If you plan to go sightseeing in places like Shinjuku, Shibuya, I suggest holding off until mid-morning or getting there early (before 8am should be OK still).

Have fun!

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Posted 2/26/16
Get some BOSS Coffee Café au lait, your mouth will love you forever.
Vending machines selections: blue = cold | red = hot
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Posted 3/4/16
I posted this for someone else but here is a repost of it for you. Just my more common sense recommendations from my own trip last year.

I went and backpacked for two weeks, hit Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, and Hakone. I'd like to make a few recommendations just to help you get the fullest experience. I won't make recommendations on where to go, you can buy books for that (and I recommend several very very good ones below), but rather I make recommendations based on my experience traveling there.

1) Don't be afraid to get lost. Everyone is very nice and helpful and most of them English. Oh, and all the train stations flash everything in Japanese and English, so don't worry about traveling. Just wait a minute and the information will swap over. Go out, wander around, and get lost! Enjoy it!

2) Eat at the small places you see on the street and hole in the wall places you find. Don't go to the chains and stay away from the hotel restaurants. Even if they don't speak English or you don't speak Japanese you can find a lot of pictures, just pick something and point to it. They'll understand. If you're really concerned you can ask you hotel for a map with places that have either English speaking staff or English menu's.

3) I HIGHLY recommend asking for a map from your hotel, it will be much more helpful than you realize.

4) The train system is awesome! Use it and don't be afraid to go everywhere! Each station is basically a small city within itself surrounded it's own unique personality.

5) Locate the nearest Starbucks and set up a Starbucks account to get free wifi. Your hotel likely has it but I wish I had set up a starbucks account beforehand. You buy a drink and get free wifi that way, it's a good deal.

6) Get a journal and every few days write down your experience and how you're feeling. Seems silly I know but you'll be so happy to have this later on. I did it on a whim (never written in a journal before) but it was such a great experience!

7) Get a window seat on the bullet train, its worth it if you get a clear day and get a picture of Mt. Fuji.

8) Take pictures everywhere and of everything. Bring a huge SD card and just snap as many as you can. Then go back to the same places and wander without the camera so you get to take in the entire experience.

9) I'd like to recommend a few books I read before going that were a HUGE help to me. They not only recommend places to go, how to get there, but also speak to the customs and ease of getting around. They are also geared toward geeks so they recommend a lot of geek locations like the Gundam Cafe, Animal Cafe, Pop groups, etc. They are quick reads, fun, and make great guides:

http://www.amazon.com/Geek-Japan-Discovering-Manga-Ceremony/dp/4805311290/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1457101909&sr=8-1&keywords=Geek+in+Japan

http://www.amazon.com/Cool-Japan-Guide-Manga-Lucky/dp/4805312793/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1457101909&sr=8-4&keywords=Geek+in+Japan

http://www.amazon.com/Tokyo-Foot-Travels-Colorful-Neighborhoods/dp/4805311371/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1457101909&sr=8-5&keywords=Geek+in+Japan

10) Pack sunscreen. You'll be walking a lot and in the sun, so be sure to prepare for that.

11) Start walking NOW! Go out in the evenings and walk 2 or 3 miles a night (if you're not used to it). I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend this. You'll be walking every day constantly. I had a jawbone UP3 with me and I measured around 10-13 miles a day in walking. I recommend doing some prep for this because you'll be exhausted every day if you don't.

12) Get a good backpack. Something very sturdy. Your backpack will be your best friend and be certain is water resistant. I suggest checking out REI for one. They have a good selection designed for trips such as yours, that's also where I went for mine.

Hmmmmm, I think that's my top recommendations. You can find guides for the shrines and temples everywhere but for the niche places you should just wander. Like I said at the start, don't be afraid to get lost and walk around. I got lost a lot and there was always someone nice to offer directions or guide me. Make sure to have a map at all times, especially one from your hotel. If I think of anything else I'll let you know :)

Lastly: HAVE FUN!!!!!
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Posted 5/7/16 , edited 5/8/16
Just got back about two weeks ago and had a blast. Besides the 12-13 hour flight everything was awesome; everything from being lost, amazed, awed, tired and drunk. Ended up visiting a lot of shrines, temples, museums, bars and stores in Akihabara. Along with some strip clubs and a Soapland . We mostly stuck to touristy things during the day and bars and such at night. The plan was to rent a car for two or three days and get to Mt Fuji. Unfortunately the plan fell through when they asked for an International license even though the online reservation didn't mention the need of one. So we just went back to the Soapland for round 2 . We ended up staying in a hostel that was 5 minutes or so from Asakusa station and about 2 miles from Akihabara and across the bridge from Asukasa shrine. We managed to get there in time to still see the cherry blossoms which were awesome and beautiful. I loved the cleanliness and how green the city looked. I loved how there would be old style houses, parks, shrines, and temples in between buildings. Ended up taking 800+ pics but I haven't uploaded them all yet lol. One thing I was not at all ready for was the insane amount of advertising that included some type of anime character or cartoon drawing on buildings, subways, and safety signs, I was taken a back at how no one else seemed to care about all the anime plastered everywhere. Managed to check out everything on my list including eating at a maid cafe, wanted to check out a cuddle cafe or cat cafe but my buddy was not having any of that haha. Anyways I had an awesome time and am actually already planning a second trip for the same time next year but this time with an international license .
Link to Imgur album: http://imgur.com/a/6tsaz (there's a couple pics of what I talk about in the section bellow NSFW??)

Ok now to get into some of the naughty / dumb stuff we did.....

Bars and Strip Clubs:
Bars were pretty cool, especially the ones in Shinjuku Golden Gai which are just a bunch of small bars crammed into two alleways most with like 10 seats max. Never really stayed at a single one for more than two drinks or so. The nights we didn't visit the bars we played a game we made up where we would ride the subway to a random place about 2 or three miles away from the hostel and walk back drinking at every 7-11 on the way to the hostel. The first time we drank too much starting from a Don Qijote in Asakusa and tried to make our way to a Sega club in Akihabara, ended up walking straight past it and had to make a U turn after walking half a mile past it and then proceeded to play drunken UFO Catcher games and street fighter, must have spent like $80 before leaving without anything lol. A couple of times I thought the cops were gonna give us crap for drinking and walking through the city but they were actually really cool about it kinda like we were invisible.

We only visited a strip club once (I've never been to one, not even here in the U.S.) so it was my first time and it wasn't anything like what I expected. Basically you pay an entrance fee and there's no lap dances and no throwing money at strippers :/ Instead you watch as the girls tell a story in three separate dances while getting naked. At the end you can pay like $5 to take a Polaroid picture of them.

Porno Shop:
So we were walking around in Akihabara looking for a game store and we managed to find one that was above a a porno shop so we said why not??? Place was huge, we where the only foreigners there and after walking down the Isles full of DVD's, and anime butts we found something I wasn't expecting to actually see...........and yet there they where. Used panties and school uniforms sealed in bags with pictures of the girls who wore them. Ended up picking up a tenga egg or something like it cause it would've been weird to walk out without buying anything.

Soapland:
A little backstory for anyone interested haha. So back in High School I came across an JAV where the dude picks up the girl and she sits on his shoulders and then lifts her up completely off the floor and since that day I've been going to the gym and working out for the last couple of years to try it out myself. I know you might think it's a dumb reason but it's what gives me a reason to keep hitting the gym.

So there's a section in Yoshiwara that's just all Soaplands, ended up doing some research and found a foreigner friendly one. Ended up getting that nuru massage which is just a girl sliding all over you on an inflatable mat and lets just say I got to lift....only things I wont ever forget was when she said macho as she was washing me down and touching all over my upper body and Sugoi when i got to lift. Told my buddies and now they all call me Macho Sugoi lol. Couldn't rent a car and had extra spending money so we ended up going back a second time at my buddies request who we now call long time or good amaount .
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Posted 5/9/16


Thanks for the update and link to your pictures. They were awesome! Looks like it rain a few days while you were there. Hopefully there were good days too. I have a couple of questions, I hope you don't mind answering.

The picture that you took that seems to be looking down to a park, was that taken from the tower?

It was interesting to read that at the porn shop, they sold used panties. In one of your pictures you show the panties with the back side of the girl that wore the panties. I am wondering if the pictured girl really did wear them or someone else? Very interesting.

The Soaplands section, were they just catered to men or were there services for women as well? Like you see in anime with host sites for women with attractive young men? The impression I get is no but I might be wrong.

Did you feel safe walking at night? And when you were lost, were the people friendly to provide assistance?

Is Mount Fuji only accessible via vehicle or could you not have used public transportation to get there? Like taking the train than a bus?

Thanks for sharing your adventure!
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Posted 5/10/16

macht_gut wrote:



Thanks for the update and link to your pictures. They were awesome! Looks like it rain a few days while you were there. Hopefully there were good days too. I have a couple of questions, I hope you don't mind answering.

The picture that you took that seems to be looking down to a park, was that taken from the tower?

It was interesting to read that at the porn shop, they sold used panties. In one of your pictures you show the panties with the back side of the girl that wore the panties. I am wondering if the pictured girl really did wear them or someone else? Very interesting.

The Soaplands section, were they just catered to men or were there services for women as well? Like you see in anime with host sites for women with attractive young men? The impression I get is no but I might be wrong.

Did you feel safe walking at night? And when you were lost, were the people friendly to provide assistance?

Is Mount Fuji only accessible via vehicle or could you not have used public transportation to get there? Like taking the train than a bus?

Thanks for sharing your adventure!


The pictures looking down where taken from the Tokyo Metropolitan building which was free to access unlike tokyo tower where they where charging the equivalent of like $65 USD to access the very top. On a clear day you can see Mnt Fujii from the metropolitan building, unfortunately it was kinda overcast that day so we couldn't see it.

The used panties in the porn shop I'm not sure if they were actually used or not by the girls in the pics. We actually almost bought a pair as a joke gift for one of our buddies but in the end neither of us wanted to have to explain it to customs lol.

I believe the Soaplands in that area are catered to men only, I didn't ask if they accepted women or many questions because the people there didn't speak much English. The one thing I do remember is when the old guy came to get me from the waiting room all he said to me in broken English was "ok it's fun time, go play" as he shoved me down the hall towards a beautiful woman lol. I actually had an interesting 20 minute conversation with the girl in mostly broken English, hand signs and the very little Japanese I know. Whole thing wasn't awkward at all surprisingly . The one pic where you can see two pairs of knees as we wait in a room with tea and a hot Towles was actually taken in the Soaplands waiting room. At first we weren't sure if they'd let us in to begin because not only where we foreigners but also not white, where both Mexican and live in Socal and work outside so we're not really dark but still have a noticeable tan. I'd go into more detail but I'm not sure if I'd get banned haha. This is where we actually went... http://www.dream7000.com/sp/trendy/

Tokyo is the safest I've ever felt in a city. So walking around late at night I felt super safe. Then again where two pretty big guys but I'd feel you'd be perfectly fine if you were a woman and by yourself. I actually carried all my money in my wallet at all times ($1800) and never felt like something bad could've happened besides maybe loosing my wallet.

Mount Fuji is only accessible via vehicle and bullet train I believe. The cost of the Shinkansen tickets where more than it would have cost us to rent a car for two days. We also wanted to get a car to go and try and visit the Japanese homies who drive around In low riders in Yokohama and listen to Mexican music. Really wanted to have a Corona with some of those guys. https://youtu.be/Ju4mz_Lr-wo



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Posted 5/10/16 , edited 5/10/16

j226109 wrote:

Mount Fuji is only accessible via vehicle and bullet train I believe. The cost of the Shinkansen tickets where more than it would have cost us to rent a car for two days.


Good thing you didn't try the Shinkansen; the closest station is 45km (1hr 15min car drive) from the mountain. The local trains would have gotten you closer but you would have had to change lines a few times from Tokyo.
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Posted 5/10/16

MidoriNoTora wrote:


j226109 wrote:

Mount Fuji is only accessible via vehicle and bullet train I believe. The cost of the Shinkansen tickets where more than it would have cost us to rent a car for two days.


Good thing you didn't try the Shinkansen; the closest station is 45km (1hr 15min car drive) from the mountain. The local trains would have gotten you closer but you would have had to change lines a few times from Tokyo.


Huh I was sure there was a bullet train than dropped you off at a station near the base of the mountain. I used Google maps to travel around while I was there and couldn't find a route to mt Fujii that involved regular trains just buses. Also getting a Passmo and loading it up with money saved me from a lot of headaches when using the local train system.
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Posted 5/10/16

j226109 wrote:



Huh I was sure there was a bullet train than dropped you off at a station near the base of the mountain. I used Google maps to travel around while I was there and couldn't find a route to mt Fujii that involved regular trains just buses. Also getting a Passmo and loading it up with money saved me from a lot of headaches when using the local train system.


Well you can do the following Google map searches for the nearest shinkansen stations, but they will come up with a similar answer to the one I gave.

Odawara station to Mount Fuji
Atami station to Mount Fuji
Mishima station to Mount Fuji
Shin-Fuji station to Mount Fuji

If you are planning to go again (and don't get your international driving licence) you may want to consider the travel options listed under http://wikitravel.org/en/Mount_Fuji#Get_in
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Posted 5/10/16
I want to drive for sure next time so I'm definitely getting my international license. After six days of traveling by train and walking, driving was one of the things I missed the most. The other being the big diversity in people that is the US.
Posted 5/10/16
Remember to take off your shoes when going indoors (when appropriate).
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