Anyone ever visit Japan?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Sylent, Dec 21, 2017.

  1. Sylent

    Sylent Making Cybertron great again

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    If so, do you have any recommendations on travel groups, what to do and what to see?

    I was thinking of booking a vacation to Japan as a Christmas gift for my wife, but I've never been there. I do want to see the Cherry Blossom festival (which will probably wreak havoc on my allergies), but not sure about anything else beside Ultraman World. Any suggestions?
     
  2. prfctcellrulz

    prfctcellrulz Pokémon Trainer/WWE Champion

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    No but it’s on my bucket list.
     
  3. Janitor

    Janitor Well-Known Member

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    Japan is awesome, so much to see/do/EAT!!
    -go see Mount Fuji in person, you won't regret it
    -hot springs, in the buff
    -if during the time of their big tournaments: go watch Sumo wrestling
    -IMO the best ramen in the world, Ichiran: 天然とんこつラーメン 一蘭 They're a chain but be prepared to wait
    -sushi train (sushi via a conveyer belt)

    IIRC cherry blossom season is in spring (April-ish) so be aware of that: 2018 Japan Cherry Blossom Forecast

    TBH toy shopping, at least from a Transformer POV, I found disappointing (Hong Kong is where it's at for TFs!)
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
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  4. Raiju

    Raiju Stormborn Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Lots to see and do here! When do you plan on visiting? A lot of events (like matsuri festivals) are very seasonal and happen only during certain times of the year. Sakura cherry blossom season happens in late March / early April, for example. Narrowing down to a more specific time frame would help a lot when it comes to planning.

    If allergies are a problem for you (like they are for me), I highly recommend getting on an allergy shot regimen by seeing an allergy specialist. They'll pinpoint exactly what you're allergic to and give you booster shots for your immune system against those triggers.

    I've been on a regimen for over two years now and it's worked wonders for me, especially in Japan where they even have a word for their terrible allergy season, which is "kafunsho" (Japanese cedar/cypress tree pollen is the main culprit). Without the regimen, I'd be in utter misery in Japan.
     
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  5. prfctcellrulz

    prfctcellrulz Pokémon Trainer/WWE Champion

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    Also, if you can, hit up every Pokémon store in the city and surrounding areas.
     
  6. Raiju

    Raiju Stormborn Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Also, what are your areas of interest as far as Japan goes? Traditional Japanese culture, or the more techy/nerdy side of Japan, or something else?

    If you're a foodie, then Japan is heaven. Lots of delicious cuisine and top notch restaurants. If you're into art or culture, there are plenty types of museums and historical sites across the country too (especially in cities like Kyoto).

    I agree with another poster that Japan will probably disappoint if you're looking for Transformers. The brand has a presence, sure, but it's a very small footprint at brick-and-mortar stores compared to mega media and toy giants like Gundam. Mandarake will probably be your best bet for aftermarket and harder to find TFs.

    My wife and I actually visited that big Pokémon Center Mega Tokyo store. Was impressive, and we're not even the biggest Pokémon fans (I liked the original cartoon and games back in the day, and she played a lot of Pokémon Go).
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
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  7. JohnRedcorn

    JohnRedcorn Well-Known Member

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    Just on business to Kobe. I guess I am in the minority but never was fascinated with Japan. It is important to learn Japanese as most don't speak English. If you like cats there is a cat island.
     
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  8. Raiju

    Raiju Stormborn Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Lots of onsen spa resorts around Mt Fuji (there's also Fuji-Q Amusement Park). There's Tokyo Disneyland, of course. The Sky Tree or Tokyo Tower are nice if you're into heights and romantic views. The Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum is neat if you're a ramen lover (with lots of styles of ramen across the country to test your taste buds - we were only able to try four types before our stomachs cried uncle from so much food :lol ).

    For more historical sites, lots of old castles to choose from. The famous underwater torii gates at Itsukushima Shrine is a must see, as are the red torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is a very sobering experience marking the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima during WWII.

    If you're in Okinawa, there's Peace Prayer Park (in between the beautiful beaches and snorkeling in the crystal clear water you can do on the island - I really liked it during the 4 years I was there). Lessee, there's the new giant Unicorn Gundam statue (and gift shop) located at Diver City Mall in Odaiba if Gundams are your thing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
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  9. Sylent

    Sylent Making Cybertron great again

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    Although I was thinking of this as a Christmas present, we would probably go in April during our anniversary, so that would be perfect timing for the Cherry Blossom festival.

    When I take trips, I like to see landmarks, spectacular sights, history and culture, and Japan is rich with all of that, so I was thinking about booking a group tour with a guide so everything is done for you. We did that when we took a trip earlier this year to London, Paris and Rome. I don't want to take the chance of trying to navigate around by myself, especially since I don't speak the language. Thing is, those tours are crazy expensive and most start at $3G's which doesn't include the cost of the flight!

    I'm not a foodie (and I hate sushi), but my wife is. I'm really simple when it comes to food and as long as there's no lactose, I'm golden.

    I'm not at all thinking about toy hunting in Japan, although, I do want to see Ultraman world and would love to see that giant Gundam statue.
     
  10. Raiju

    Raiju Stormborn Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Those guided tours are pretty good if you want to take all the legwork out of planning every last detail of your trip, especially if you don't speak the language. My parents went on one of those for their trip to Japan. My wife and I definitely prefer to plan out our own trips and travel off the beaten path (it helps that she can speak Japanese); it saves on money but it is more time-consuming as you have to plan everything yourself (but getting lost in Japan is half the fun, we think).

    If the sakura cherry blossoms are your main draw, then definitely take Janitor's advice and use the site he linked 2018 Japan Cherry Blossom Forecast (hopefully you at least have Zyrtec and/or Flonase on hand for your allergies :D ). Meguro River Walk in Tokyo is a nice spot.

    FB_IMG_1491298382675.jpg FB_IMG_1491441009175.jpg FB_IMG_1491298511355.jpg

    For landmarks around the Tokyo area, I recommend Kaminarimon Dori leading into Sensoji Temple, Asakusa. It can get pretty crowded on weekends, so be forewarned.

    15380862_10154891859680929_5708400672715300754_n.jpg 15541683_10154893150180929_1431797159762840939_n.jpg 15541595_10154893153010929_2101960605820612394_n.jpg 15492458_10154893151535929_4700711480510388069_n.jpg

    Shibuya Crossing is also another crowded landmark, with the statue of Hachikō - Wikipedia being a popular spot for tourists to congregate. Yoyogi Park and Ueno Park are pretty nice places to visit if you're into nature. For Tokyo's old temple district, I'd hit up Jindaiji for sure:

    FB_IMG_1501547954020.jpg FB_IMG_1501547940716.jpg FB_IMG_1501547870196.jpg

    Lots of other places too numerous to mention. The Emperor's Palace is one of them, but they only open the palace grounds on his birthday (only in December) and you can't even get into the castle building itself, sadly. But for the Unicorn Gundam in Odaiba, here's an article on it: Gundam's 20-meter replacement statue unveiled in Odaiba | The Japan Times (We saw the old Gundam statue last year but haven't seen the new Unicorn Gundam yet.)

    Hope this helps!
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2017
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  11. Gaastra

    Gaastra Well-Known Member

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    If you like anime go here!



     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2017
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  12. hynds

    hynds Owner of NameCab.com

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    Not yet, but Japan is on my desirable place list need to visit before I die :cool: 
     
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  13. Purple Heart

    Purple Heart Pure Passion

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    Weeb heaven. One day, one day.
     
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  14. Raiju

    Raiju Stormborn Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Those Animate chains are OK but maybe it's because my wife trolled me big time by taking me to the Ikkebukuro district where their Animate and other otaku stores are geared toward girls and women rather than guys. :lol 

    Nakano-Broadway's Mandarake complex is great for aftermarket toys and anime/manga.
     
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  15. Gaastra

    Gaastra Well-Known Member

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    There are just as many guys shopping there in those videos as girls so it's fine.
     
  16. Janitor

    Janitor Well-Known Member

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    Other recommendations (for Tokyo, mostly):

    Golden Gai: a neighbourhood of ~200 dinky bars (we're talking tiny, most which can fit about 4 to 12 people max) many with their own theme, there's truly nothing like it. My wife and I aren't horror movie fans at all but the horror-themed bar we hung out was awesome! Owner was super nice (free popcorn!) and just so chill and great to chat with, hung out there for quite a while. Be aware some bars charge cover.
    Shinjuku Golden Gai - Wikipedia

    Harajuku: a very colourful district, probably the first image that pops into one's mind with thinking about Japan's fashion and costume culture.

    Take the bullet train if you can, doesn't matter where.

    I second the notion of joining a tour, esp for something like Mt. Fuji.
    For hotel, try staying at a central location/near a major train station. In Tokyo we stayed in Shinjuku, close to the action and not too far of a subway ride from the other major stops.
     
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  17. Sylent

    Sylent Making Cybertron great again

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    Yeah, flights are an entirely new issue. The flight alone costs more than anything else, and if you want a non-stop, be prepared to bend over. From CA, it's about a 12-hour flight, but anything that's decently priced has 2 or more stops, thus making it at least 20-hour flight, probably longer.
     
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  18. jackisking

    jackisking Yeah, the MP line is soooo dead

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    Yeah my friend took me there last time I was there. I was there thinking some of those women in there were not necessarily in there for cosplay, they were getting stuff for work;) 
     
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  19. Scowly Prowl

    Scowly Prowl Still calculating variables...

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    I would recommend flying into Osaka, then taking the train to Kyoto, then onward to Tokyo. A side trip to Nara was fascinating.
     
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  20. rattrap007

    rattrap007 one with the Force TFW2005 Supporter

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    I fear Godzilla attacks so no..

    Just kidding. No, but would be interested in going. Lots of beautiful places to see. Lots of good food. Before i go, i'd want to learn lots do's and don'ts so i am a good tourist.
     
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