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Japan Travel |OT| We have to go back

Oct 26, 2017
2,315
Huh? SIM card stopped working, but it should be well inside 30 days. I have wifi and I have the things I need available offline so it's not a disaster, but quite annoying.
 

MetatronM

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,723
Oh hey, I should probably check in on this thread, huh?

I'm heading back to Japan later this week for the first time in 15 years. I kinda randomly decided to do it about a month or two ago on a whim, so I'm kind of winging it (to a point). Since I've spent a lot of time in the Tokyo area in the past, I figure I don't need to devote my whole time there to that, so I'm going to use some of the 9 or so days to check out some places I haven't been before. So far I'm planning on taking a ride out to Osaka for a day or two, and I'm considering taking a day trip to Hakone as well, though I know they got hit the hardest in the typhoon recently. I was thinking about going to Nikko, but it seems like the autumn colors have already mostly come and gone there, so I'm probably going to pass on that. Other than that, I don't really have a set agenda.
 
May 31, 2018
83
I'm still heading to Tokyo for NYE. What is the best practice for exchanging my USD money for Yen. I'm currently living in DC.

How far in advance should I exchange my money?
Exchange the money in the US or Japan?
How much should I exchange if my spending budget is $2000?
What's the best way to store and spend the cash/coins while I'm in Japan?

Any additional recommendations/suggestions is helpful.
 

Mairu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
60
SF Bay Area
I'm still heading to Tokyo for NYE. What is the best practice for exchanging my USD money for Yen. I'm currently living in DC.

How far in advance should I exchange my money?
Exchange the money in the US or Japan?
How much should I exchange if my spending budget is $2000?
What's the best way to store and spend the cash/coins while I'm in Japan?

Any additional recommendations/suggestions is helpful.
Assuming you have a good bank/credit union that doesn't charge you for international withdrawals, you can always just use an ATM at 7-11 when you're there to get cash. I don't ever exchange money before arriving. I personally try to pay with card where I can (for rewards with a no-international fee card) and withdraw increments of ÂĄ30,000 as needed.
 
Oct 25, 2017
720
Any recommendations for places to get "old" game OSTs? I'm looking for some FFXI arrangement and these seem to be more elusive than some other stuff I thought were difficult to find.
 

ss1

Member
Oct 27, 2017
274
I quite liked Yokohama. Decided to go there on a whim as it was one of the places that I missed on my 2015 tour from Tokyo to Fukuoka (via Nikko, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Himeji, and Shikoku). I loved how relaxed laid back it is. I can definitely see myself bringing my young son here next time.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,315
On the train home now after being in transit for almost 48 hours (stayed the night at my cousin's). I can't wait to be home and start unpacking all the stuff as well as my impressions.

I did find both Labrys and Zelda 3 eventually, both in Mandarake stores in Nakano. Zelda was a bit expensive though at 7500 yen, not worth it to just have the box on a shelf.
 

ss1

Member
Oct 27, 2017
274
Ok I’m back home in Germany. Still working out the time zone difference. However, whilst I may never live in Japan, I always find it a place that I always enjoy to visit and will want to go back again in the future.
 

mantis

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,098
Ok I’m back home in Germany. Still working out the time zone difference. However, whilst I may never live in Japan, I always find it a place that I always enjoy to visit and will want to go back again in the future.

Feeling the same way. Don't think I would want to live there.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,315
Living there, nope. It's exhausting. I'm a country guy at heart, and my favourite place in the world is the cottage in the middle of nowhere, where you can listen to complete and utter silence. Then again Akihabara is probably my second favourite place in the world - but only in small doses. Three days every three years seems plenty.
 
Oct 25, 2017
720
Living there, nope. It's exhausting. I'm a country guy at heart, and my favourite place in the world is the cottage in the middle of nowhere, where you can listen to complete and utter silence. Then again Akihabara is probably my second favourite place in the world - but only in small doses. Three days every three years seems plenty.
I don't know... I know about the work culture in major companies and urban centers and that has always been a reason I refrained from trying to apply for a job and moving here. But every time I venture into the suburbs, and you don't really have to go that far, life just seems so different and more calm. Sometimes I think I really wouldn't mind living in a small town in the suburbs in a Kyo-machiya. Maybe if I ever win the lottery lol
 

MisterB_66

Member
Oct 27, 2017
527

Anyone who is staying in Tokyo and wants to see a match, I went here in May and highly recommend it, especially if they get promoted to J1. The 15ish minute walk from Omiya station is gorgeous.
 

Laevateinn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
930
Chicago
I don't know... I know about the work culture in major companies and urban centers and that has always been a reason I refrained from trying to apply for a job and moving here. But every time I venture into the suburbs, and you don't really have to go that far, life just seems so different and more calm. Sometimes I think I really wouldn't mind living in a small town in the suburbs in a Kyo-machiya. Maybe if I ever win the lottery lol
I got a job offer once from a company in Tokyo and it paid 1/3 what I make now but promised a lot more work.
 

Darth Pinche

Member
Oct 27, 2017
926
I don't know... I know about the work culture in major companies and urban centers and that has always been a reason I refrained from trying to apply for a job and moving here. But every time I venture into the suburbs, and you don't really have to go that far, life just seems so different and more calm. Sometimes I think I really wouldn't mind living in a small town in the suburbs in a Kyo-machiya. Maybe if I ever win the lottery lol
My wife and I think about moving to Japan all the time. When we visited, we stayed at Air BnB's in suburban areas in Tokyo and Kyoto and it was so chill and peaceful, yet still just 20 min from city centers bus train.

As to the question about food costs, overall we found it very affordable, much less than we were expecting.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,315
Question: What the pricing like with Japanese food?
About the same as in Sweden, but admittedly we have high prices.

A vending machine drink costs 100-160 yen. Fast food like karaage or ramen or gyudon normally around 800-1000. Probably no upper limit to fancy food.

If you buy in supermarkets, probably way less. But there's so much good stuff in conbinis and restaurants.
 

Cloud-Hidden

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,120
We'll probably do fancy a bit but yeah everyday meals.
Like NYC Ramen is around $13 USD for cheap I seen Japan price for Ramen is around $10.
TBH I found eating in Japan -- even eating relatively well -- was much more affordable than I thought it would be. Definitely have a fancy meal or two and be prepared to pay 1500-2500 per person depending on where you go, but I bet you'll end up paying about 800-1400 yen per meal.

Don't neglect the convenience stores for lunch or a quick and easy dinner. The food is actually really great, portions are perfect, and prices are cheeeaapp.
 

Fuchs

Member
Oct 25, 2017
792
Is there a good Import board games store in and around Tokyo?

A friend of mine is celebrating her birthday pretty soon and I was thinking about getting her Card Against Humanity. Couldn’t find it anywhere.
 

mantis

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,098
Yellow Submarine in Akihabara may have that. Or just try Amazon.co.jp if that is an option.
 

ryan299

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,216
When i was there I had the garlic pepper burger and mcdonalds (yeah I know lame) but it was good. Anybody know of a recipe for sauce similar to that?
 

AllenShrz

Member
Nov 6, 2017
174
Anyone been to Tottori? Im trying to visit all the prefectures and of Tottori nothing looks interesting.

Any suggestions beside the sand dunes?
 

Nassudan

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,931
Got back from my two week visit last night. Holy shit what an amazing time that was! Hopefully doing it again next year.
 

Mechaplum

Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,145
Going back home-ish for three weeks end of the month. Have to stay at a rental due to renovations but it’s in Sugamo, one of my fav places. Also can’t wait to go romping about Nagano in the snow.
 

earthxsucks

Member
Oct 27, 2017
528
au
i'm staying near nihombashi station and need to leave for haneda at about 6pm for my flight back to australia on thursday. noting i have a big suitcase with me and it will be rush hour, what is the best option of the below?

1. take yamanote from JR tokyo to hamamatsucho, then take the monorail to haneda; or
2. take taxi from hotel to hamamatsucho, then take monorail to haneda; or
3. take limousine bus (i think there is one near JR tokyo).

i'm only reluctant about the trains because i've never taken a suitcase on during rush hour before.
 

Argyle

Member
Oct 25, 2017
342
i'm staying near nihombashi station and need to leave for haneda at about 6pm for my flight back to australia on thursday. noting i have a big suitcase with me and it will be rush hour, what is the best option of the below?

1. take yamanote from JR tokyo to hamamatsucho, then take the monorail to haneda; or
2. take taxi from hotel to hamamatsucho, then take monorail to haneda; or
3. take limousine bus (i think there is one near JR tokyo).

i'm only reluctant about the trains because i've never taken a suitcase on during rush hour before.
I don't know how bad it is to take a suitcase during rush hour, but the limousine bus can be a good option if you're worried about it. Since you're probably having to check out of wherever you are staying earlier that day you could go early and take your suitcase on the train/subway to where the bus departs outside of rush hour and stash it in a coin locker or at a luggage storage counter.
 

earthxsucks

Member
Oct 27, 2017
528
au
I don't know how bad it is to take a suitcase during rush hour, but the limousine bus can be a good option if you're worried about it. Since you're probably having to check out of wherever you are staying earlier that day you could go early and take your suitcase on the train/subway to where the bus departs outside of rush hour and stash it in a coin locker or at a luggage storage counter.
i gotta check out at 10am, but yeah, the hotel will let me keep the suitcase here until later in the day.
 

Laevateinn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
930
Chicago
Just a few more days before I leave.

Edit: My WiFi thing just arrived. It'll be nice not having to stop somewhere to get it in the airport this time.
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,387

Parts of the Yamanote and Keihin-Tohoku lines, major transportation arteries in Tokyo that carry millions of passengers every day, will be partially out of service for most of Saturday due to construction at Shinagawa Station and preparations leading up to the opening of Takanawa Gateway Station next spring.

East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) is suggesting that passengers use non-JR lines from the first train until about 4 p.m. on Saturday. Different sections of both lines will be suspended for most of the day.

Service on the [Yamanote] line between Osaki and Tokyo stations, and between Tokyo and Ueno, will be suspended until 4 p.m. and then resumed in stages, returning to normal operations within two hours.

During the suspension, trains will be running on the operational part of the loop from Osaki, stopping at stations such as Shinjuku, Ikebukuro and Tabata, before arriving at Ueno and turning around to run the other way.

Trains on the Keihin-Tohoku Line will be suspended between Shinagawa and Tamachi, and rapid services will not be available.

A higher number of trains than usual will be running on the Ueno-Tokyo, Saikyo and Rinkai lines on Saturday.
More info here:
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,387

A popular tourist site on Mt. Hakone was reopened Friday, ending a six-month period in which it was shut down due to a heightened volcanic alert level in the hot-spring resort area near Tokyo, local authorities said.

The Owakudani valley district, famous for its sulfur vents and geothermal hot springs, had been closed to visitors since the Japan Meteorological Agency raised the alert level for Mt. Hakone to 2 on a 5-point scale on May 19, warning people not to approach the crater.

The Owakudani site is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. but some walking routes remain closed due to the possible danger of volcanic gas releases.

From Friday, Hakone Ropeway passengers were permitted to alight at Owakudani Station. The ropeway resumed operating in late October, but the station was only used for transfers and visitors were not allowed outside.

Souvenir shops and restaurants also reopened in the area famous for eggs boiled and blackened in the natural sulfur-rich hot-spring water. Local legend says that anyone who eats the eggs will extend their life by seven years.
Of course, the Hakone Tozan Line between Hakone-Yumoto and Gora is still closed though.
 

earthxsucks

Member
Oct 27, 2017
528
au
just returned from my fourth tokyo trip. stayed at the hotel ryumeikan due to the shitty exchange rate, but i was pleasantly surprised at how much i enjoyed it. it's in a relatively 'quiet' area by tokyo standards in nihombashi, although you are literally 30 seconds walk away from a station and about 15mins walk away from ginza.

although this was my fourth visit, it was my first a) flying in/out of haneda and b) flying with ANA. haneda is great and reminds me of a slightly smaller HK. ANA on the way over was borderline flawless, but there were a few minor issues coming back. i got the impression their (economy) cabins have sliiiiightly more legroom than qantas, JAL, etc. am i crazy? i'm 6'1 so any extra room is always welcome.

tokyo was surprisingly very warm for november: one of my friends over there told me to bring jackets, sweaters, scarves etc, but most of the time i was wearing a tee. i was there in november 2008 (!!!) and it was freezing.

nine days went by way too fast as usual.