Going to japan for two weeks

mamori

-sama
Sempai
I'll be going to japan for two weeks this summer (7/7-7/21), with some of my fellow japanese language students and japanese sensei. we'll be spending most of our time in nara, Akita, and toyko. however, in tokyo in particular we'll be having about 3-4 days where we'll mostly have time to go out on our own. somy question to you is this;

"what should I do/where should i go while im there?"

obviously, this is tokyo so i couls spend the whole year there and not have done everything i'd want, which is why im asking you where you've had teh best experience or had friends/reletives who have.

we'll only have out rail passes to ourselves for one day however (7/18), so while we could make it to osaka, that would be something like a 6 hour round trip, and not leave a lot of time there (so possibility, but not really at the top of the list). we how however just a short ways off from yokohama (san diego's sister city), so i was thinking of going there.

anyway, your suggestions will be most helpful
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nijlandp

-sama
Sempai
Try going to Nikko if you want to see a bit of culture and nature (try taking the JTB bustour to nikko. only 2 hours with lunch etc.). In Tokyo itself you may want to go to Tokyo tower, suzenji garden (to witness a teaceremony) and visit the imperial palaces eastern garden (remember to bring your passport otherwise you're not allowed to enter). Of course you musn't forget visiting Akihabara
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.
Also Yoyogi parc (in the weekends), Meiji shrine, Takashita street and Ueno parc are worth visiting.
Use the rail pass to visit mount Fuji (or take the bus tour from Tokyo if you want to save it) or go through the Kiso valley on the way to Osaka.
Hope you have some ideas now
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franzoir

-the smooth, the suave, and the shrewd
Sempai
Me and friends were talking about going Mount fuji to look at some shrines etc but i hear travel is expensive so if you live in britain get a travel pass that can be used in japan, i recommend you do this since your travelling outside of tokyo as well.

Hope you enjoy trip, im going Japan on the 19th of June.
 

darkdog

-dredg
Retired
personally, i didn't find akihabara half as interesting as i thought it would be... there's a part of oosaka which is a lot nicer (i.e., has more "interesting" stores, maid cafés everywhere, and looks much more otaku-ish than akihabara)..

personally, i enjoyed tokyo tower, asakusa (there's a really nice temple there), shibuya (go there on a weekend if you want to feel how crowded tokyo is
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) and shinjuku the most. There's some pictures in here if you want to check it out (the captions are in portuguese though!)...

if you manage to go to nikko, i recommend that as well (even though it's not tokyo, it seems to be easy enough to get there.. there were some direct trains from tokyo back in early march).
 

mamori

-sama
Sempai
thanks for the suggestions guys, keep 'em coming
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snorky2k

-san
Kouhai
Would you mind reporting back some interesting points? For instance, my mother-in-law noted some unusual toilets there. Has the economy picked up there? Is the lack of children getting to be noticiable? I heard the birth ratio is falling to the point where many schools are closing. How easy is it for tourists to get around? Did you notice anything at the end that you would have spent more time on if you knew earlier?
 

EricAnimeFreak

-chan
Kouhai
If it were me, i don't care for sight-seeing. i woudl find the comi-ket market and spend my time buying stuff...... lol
 

nijlandp

-sama
Sempai
QUOTE (snorky2k @ Jun 08 2008, 03:15 AM)Would you mind reporting back some interesting points? For instance, my mother-in-law noted some unusual toilets there. Has the economy picked up there? Is the lack of children getting to be noticiable? I heard the birth ratio is falling to the point where many schools are closing. How easy is it for tourists to get around? Did you notice anything at the end that you would have spent more time on if you knew earlier?
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Okay, toilets. Indeed they have different styles of toilets. The japanese version (which is a toilet in which you have to crouch on your ankles) and western styles in many forms (heated toiletseat, automatic washing etc.). Try the most modern type to get many surprises (like finding out what certain buttons do
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).
The economy wasn't great the last time i have been there and i don't think it improved.
About the birth ratio i don't know.
And the last question: what do you mean exactly? I certainly would have spent more time trying to find out more about the way the structure in which the Japanese think about culture and religion. I noticed that they don't seem to make a difference between them (something like the Louvre in Paris (culture) and the Notre-Dame (religion)). It looks completely intwined. I would try to find out how they can distinguish a certain border between them.
And if you can try visiting a japanese family. It may surprise you to see how they react to foreigners visiting their home (don't forget to give a little gift of your homecountry. They really like that).
 

mamori

-sama
Sempai
i'll do me best ^^
 

snorky2k

-san
Kouhai
QUOTE (nijlandp @ Jun 08 2008, 12:06 AM)
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And the last question: what do you mean exactly? I certainly would have spent more time trying to find out more about the way the structure in which the Japanese think about culture and religion. I noticed that they don't seem to make a difference between them (something like the Louvre in Paris (culture) and the Notre-Dame (religion)). It looks completely intwined. I would try to find out how they can distinguish a certain border between them.

Thanks for the toilet update. I remembered that there was a western toilet fad after my m-i-l visited where many people were purchasing $10,000 dollar enhanced toilet versions of simple western $250 toilets. Also, I see many western style toilets in animes.

Whenever I go on vacation, I seem to discover something on the last day that I would like to have done every day or would have made some tough part of the daily trip so much easier that would lead to a tip for anyone else going there in the future.

I also am confused about the religion part. It really seems like christianity is heavily seaping in there with many girls in anime wearing crosses. Has Japan that heavily converted to christianity? I recently attended a multi-day buddest funeral where the simililarity to a japanese funeral was mentioned. That left me even more confused and fatter as that funeral was seven days of buffet eating.

When I first started working for a Japanese company, I mistakenly praised someone for some interesting office tool. To an american it is a compliment but I was told that to a Japanese that it is a rude demand for tool to be gifted.

It has been thirteen years since I have worked for a japanese company. Think how different american kids are from what they were thirteen years ago. I am sure that many many new fun quirks have appeared since then.

Also, when you are there, is the creaping in of english phrases as common in real life as it is in the animes?
 

nijlandp

-sama
Sempai
The japanese aren't christian. I once asked about it when i was visiting a japanese family. They put it this way: they are born as a shintoist and and when they die they are buddhistic. During life they change from the first one to the second one. When they marry they sometimes chose the christian version of marrying. This is because it is better to take no risk in upsetting one religion. A bit of strange way but somehow most japanese follow that rule. i asked the same question to some other japanese people and they all agreed to this saying.
About the tool: it seems that they don't like being praised about something individually. It is better to say that it was a teameffort that some individual. It seems to have to do with the way the kids are raised. Individualisme isn't important but the group as a whole. That way they can live and work on such a small area because everyone has to give up some dreams (like living in a house with a great garden because there just isn't enough building space in the whole of japan for everyone). The same is for public transport. People from outside of Japan don't like being crammed into a metrocar, but they do it every day without complaining.
English phrases? you mean engrish
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. It really is funny to see how they make really strange combinations of words. No, it hasn't creaped in. Some youths can speak a bit english but most can't.
 

snorky2k

-san
Kouhai
QUOTE (nijlandp @ Jun 08 2008, 11:43 AM) The japanese aren't christian.
Thanks. I was starting to think that we must have drastically converted them. I've noticed some people from India with a similar stance attending a different church every weekend to cover all the bases.
 

mamori

-sama
Sempai
in truth, japan as a whole is quiet frankly athiest, they have no real religious beliefs as a nation. they have shinto wedding and buddhist funerals, but that's more a part of their culture than having any real religious purpose, it's ust teh culturally acceptable way to behave.

so as for the apparent increase in "christianity," it's nothing relligious, it's more just for show, or a fad if you will. japanese women don't want western style weddings based on their spiritual beliefs, they want it because it's "in style," (besides, they will often also have a small shinto wedding just for family and VERY close friends before hand as well).
 

haseeb

-chan
Kouhai
I have never been there but they going to the rural areas and maybe checking out some temples or go hiking some where.
 

nijlandp

-sama
Sempai
QUOTE (mamori @ Jun 08 2008, 10:18 PM)in truth, japan as a whole is quiet frankly athiest, they have no real religious beliefs as a nation. they have shinto wedding and buddhist funerals, but that's more a part of their culture than having any real religious purpose, it's ust teh culturally acceptable way to behave.

so as for the apparent increase in "christianity," it's nothing relligious, it's more just for show, or a fad if you will. japanese women don't want western style weddings based on their spiritual beliefs, they want it because it's "in style," (besides, they will often also have a small shinto wedding just for family and VERY close friends before hand as well).

It is true what you say. A lot of Japanese aren't very religious: it is more like getting married in church in the western world. It is expected to go to a shrine or temple so they do so (and like one Japanese man once said to me: it is better to worship and not be sure that a god exists then not to worship and getting a god angry.). In the cities people are more atheist but if you go to the smaller communities the worshipping is still pretty strong.
 

khael

/人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\ being M
Sempai
Wow good luck and safe trip. Nice learning experience you have there. Don't forget the essential maid outfits.
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cohpro

-chan
Kouhai
My friend who goes Japan frequently says "Get all the figurines you can get!!!" cause its really cheap there.
 

mamori

-sama
Sempai
well, leave in a few hours, wish me luck
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Kit-Tsukasa

-desu
Retired
QUOTE (mamori @ Jul 06 2008, 10:18 PM) well, leave in a few hours, wish me luck
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I hoped you watched Geass R2 13 before you left. People over there will probably still be going crazy over what happened in the episode
 
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