Post Reply Trip to japan
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24 / M / san diego, ca
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Posted 9/11/16
Hey guys, first time posting here so this is new to me and weird but I am making plans to go visit Tokyo Japan next year in August or December. I'm not sure how long I am going to stay there but I'm thinking about 5-7 days but the main questions I have is What place is fun in Japan and is there any pc programs that teach Japanese language that is easy to learn. Any advice or tips about Japan i should know? Thanks in advance.
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Posted 9/11/16

Aiden666chris69 wrote:

Hey guys, first time posting here so this is new to me and weird but I am making plans to go visit Tokyo Japan next year in August or December. I'm not sure how long I am going to stay there but I'm thinking about 5-7 days but the main questions I have is What place is fun in Japan and is there any pc programs that teach Japanese language that is easy to learn. Any advice or tips about Japan i should know? Thanks in advance.


Hi and welcome! I've moved this over to the Advice, Info, Recommendations forum. I don't have any suggestions, but I hope you have a great time (and I'm sure others will show up with suggestions soon.)
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37 / M / SW Ontario, Canada
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Posted 9/11/16
There have been a few other threads like this floating around so be sure to check those out as well.

Hmm.. 5-7 days is a fairly short trip so you're going to have to be very careful with your time and should plan as much as possible in advance since you won't really have much "free time" so to speak. My suggestion for that amount of time would be just to largely limit yourself to Tokyo but still plan a day trip or two outside of the city. Kamakura and Nikko are the obvious choices but look into Kawagoe or Hakone as well. You can do a day trip to Kyoto as well but if you do it's going to such a short rushed trip that it won't really be worth it.

As for what places are fun, that really depends on what you're going for and what you want to see. Japan has pretty much every base covered. I personally like to mix it up and do a bit of everything but if you want to just laser focus on, say, anime and game related stuff only then you can certainly do that too.

Learning Japanese is going to take work, a lot of it. There really is no shortcut to it and there are a bunch of different sources to learn from. That said, if you're just looking to learn so you can get by on your trip next year then you really don't have to worry. Especially if you're just staying largely in Tokyo, you don't really need to learn much at all. Learn the basics (please, thank you, where is X, etc.) and learn the respected mannerisms and you'll be golden. If you really do want to learn learn with more of a long term time frame, I would suggest looking for both a technical learning system but also some way to actually use the language on a regular basis with someone that can make sure you're not just becoming textbook fluent.

Basic tips:
- Take Cash. Japan is still largely a cash based society so it's best to expect to have to pay for everything that way. It's also easiest to exchange your money before you go, and any bank should be able to do this for you at little more than the straight exchange rate.

- Get a Suica Card. It's your basic reloadable plastic card. You can buy it at any subway or train station and you can use it for more than just subway/train fares including at some vending machines or even convenience stores. It's not necessary by any means but you're going to be using public transit a lot in Tokyo and a Suica just makes it so much smoother and easier.

- Don't get a JR Rail Pass. Not sure if this is still a common thing, but many people seem to think that they need a JR Rail Pass just because they're going to Japan. Not only can it be a hassle to get one, but they're also fairly expensive. Unless you're looking to take essentially more than 2 long distance train rides during your trip, it's probably not worth it.

- Love the Convenience Store. I'm not sure what it's like where you are, but where I'm from convenience stores are a rip off and a waste unless you absolutely need something at 3am when everything else is closed. Convenience stores in Japan, however, are literally everywhere and are actually cheap convenient places to get a whole bunch of things, from food to drinks to liquor to some random thing you didn't even know you needed.

- Plan ahead. If you're going in August or December (especially August) things are going to be very busy. This is the time that sees not only a lot of tourists but also a lot of locals on vacation. Book your hotel and anything else you can do in advance (including day trips or tours) as soon as you possibly can. Expect there to be tons of people everywhere you want to go so always aim to be somewhere either as soon as it opens or shortly before it closes. Know where you want to go and familiarize yourself with how to get there before you even touch down in Japan. August is VERY hot and humid in Japan so expect that and pack appropriately (for example, take a couple of extra shirts instead of a coat).

That's about all that pops into my head right at the moment, but feel free to ask more and I'll edit this if I think of anything else.
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