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Japan Travel |OT| We have to go back

Oct 25, 2017
730
Momiji are late AF this year and it's definitely warmer.

Anyway, none of the usual places in Fukuoka, Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya have the Final Fantasy XI arrangements albums I've been looking for. This is a bit eye opening on the difference between what is actually rare and what is just more expensive.
 

ThatCrazyGuy

Member
Nov 27, 2017
1,151
In Tokyo area right now. It’s been really mild (relative to season). Just walking around in short sleeve shirts, day and night. Wasting space even carrying around a hoodie in the bag. I see people with long coats or puffer jackets. I’m like , waaat, lol. I guess people just want to dress like it’s cold.

Seen a few people in shorts/tees while walking around. These guys know what’s up. Gonna be up in Hokkaido soon, I want to feel that cold, then back down to southern Japan. Looking at the forecasts, upper 60s during most of the days. Wish there was more daylight though, heh.
 

earthxsucks

Member
Oct 27, 2017
531
au
In Tokyo area right now. It’s been really mild (relative to season). Just walking around in short sleeve shirts, day and night. Wasting space even carrying around a hoodie in the bag. I see people with long coats or puffer jackets. I’m like , waaat, lol. I guess people just want to dress like it’s cold.
yeah, the amount of down jackets and scarves surprised me too - especially considering how hot the subway can get. i wore a light jacket one evening and the rest of the time was wearing short sleeves day and night.
 

Nassudan

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,937
I was walking around in shorts in Kyoto earlier this month while other people were in full winter gear :p
Yeah that’s what got me when i was there earlier this month as well. Warm enough where i was getting hot after a while while the locals were all dressed like it was actually Fall.
Nighttime on the other hand? Yeah okay, it was chilly.
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,414
By the end of this week I'll be flying to Japan!
So I'm bring with me a pill box that'll have 2 pain killers (advil pm and non-brand ibuprofen) multi-vitamin and D vitamin. Will Japan TSA take them or will they be ok with it?
 

Subpar Scrub

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,083
If you find a pharmacy over there, I found that walking into one and saying you want headache pills worked for getting general paracetamol or ibuprofen. They walked me over to a pharmacist who confirmed what I wanted (I think... I just looked confused and he pointed to his head, made a pained expression and I nodded lol) and then they sold it to me. Was reasonably priced iirc.

Not sure why, but I just had a morning where I was dizzy from extreme temple pain the second I woke up, but luckily by lunch it subsided and went away. Thinking that you’re getting sick when on holiday, even with insurance, is kinda terrifying.
 
Oct 25, 2017
730
Finally got back from Japan. Just landed and already missing it lol
I got this trend going where the next trip keeps being better than the last. Hopefully it stays true next time as well.
 
This will be my last question before I leave on Sat.
What are some good places in Tokyo or Kyoto for duffel bags or carry-on size luggage at decent prices and quality (To survive the airport check-in)?
Planning on using it for my clothing so I can fill my carry-on with the stuff I get during my trip.
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,414

The number of foreign visitors to Japan marked the largest percentage drop in more than seven years in October with a 5.5 percent on-year fall, as a devastating typhoon and a continued plunge in South Korean tourists more than offset the effect of the Rugby World Cup, government data showed Wednesday.

The number of overseas visitors came to 2,496,600 in the month, down from 2,640,610 in October last year, the Japan Tourism Agency said.

The 5.5 percent decline was the biggest since February 2012 when the figure sagged 19.6 percent, a setback to the government’s efforts to boost the number of annual inbound visitors to 40 million by next year when the country hosts the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

In October, the number of South Korean visitors plunged 65.5 percent to 197,300 following a 58.1 percent drop in September and 48.0 percent tumble in August amid frayed ties between Tokyo and Seoul.

Typhoon Hagibis, which made landfall on Oct. 12, also helped reduce the number of foreign visitors, the agency said. The storm devastated wide areas in the country with record-breaking torrential rains and killed more than 90 people.

Overall overseas tourist numbers failed to grow, even as visitors from countries that competed in the rugby tournament, which ran from Sept. 20 to Nov. 2, rose by 81,000 from the same period a year earlier.
 

TheAggroCraig

Member
Nov 6, 2017
908
Give us some details, I'll be there next month
The trip was meant to be my big weeb adventure to get all the shit out of my system I've wanted to for years. See the Gundam, go to Akihabara, Ghibli museum, do some of the themed restaurants, etc. Seeing the Gundam was surreal for me, it's something I've wanted to do for 10 years, so I went to see it the first day I was there and again the last day, I friggin loved it.

Themed cafes are super tacky. Presentation is great but the food itself is ehh at best for too much money. The only cafe I'd say was good that I went to was the Ghibli one, the food was good and the dessert was awesome.

My favorite places to go were Shinjuku (I wish I spent more time here, it was very lifely at night) and Shibuya. I did not spend enough time at either, but I know where to put more focus when I go back some day.

Having cash on you at all times can't be said enough, I ran dry pretty early on and missed out on some stuff because I didn't get more right away, and it made me miss out on a few things.

Also, the best restaurant I had was a Tonkatsu bowl in Shibuya at a little hole in the wall, it was outstanding.

Best vacation I've taken hands down, next trip I'm definitely doing more sight seeing though and less time in stores buying crap I don't need.
 
May 31, 2018
89
The trip was meant to be my big weeb adventure to get all the shit out of my system I've wanted to for years. See the Gundam, go to Akihabara, Ghibli museum, do some of the themed restaurants, etc. Seeing the Gundam was surreal for me, it's something I've wanted to do for 10 years, so I went to see it the first day I was there and again the last day, I friggin loved it.

Themed cafes are super tacky. Presentation is great but the food itself is ehh at best for too much money. The only cafe I'd say was good that I went to was the Ghibli one, the food was good and the dessert was awesome.

My favorite places to go were Shinjuku (I wish I spent more time here, it was very lifely at night) and Shibuya. I did not spend enough time at either, but I know where to put more focus when I go back some day.

Having cash on you at all times can't be said enough, I ran dry pretty early on and missed out on some stuff because I didn't get more right away, and it made me miss out on a few things.

Also, the best restaurant I had was a Tonkatsu bowl in Shibuya at a little hole in the wall, it was outstanding.

Best vacation I've taken hands down, next trip I'm definitely doing more sight seeing though and less time in stores buying crap I don't need.
All great things to hear.

I'll be staying in Shinjuku during my stay. Any recommendations for me to stop by for lunch?
Also, any bars I should checkout(whiskey, sake or regular)? What time should I head to the bars? Any Happy Hours or a time when the work crowd leaves the office for a drink before heading home?
 

Xavillin

Member
Oct 25, 2017
896
I’ll be going to Yamaguchi tomorrow, and it will be my first time doing a domestic flight. Is it like in America where you can only have a small amount of liqui (ie shampoo, toothpaste, etc)? I’ll only be staying the weekend, so I’ll be using a duffel bag rather than a luggage.
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,414
Is it like in America where you can only have a small amount of liqui (ie shampoo, toothpaste, etc)?
No:

The restriction is not applicable to domestic flights in Japan, but is applicable to flights operated in Japan as an international flight. It is also applicable at the security check for transit passengers transferring to an international flight after arrival in Japan, where you will be asked to relinquish alcohol, etc. purchased at overseas duty free shops or in the cabin.
Check the info about the other restricted items in the link though, cause paint, bleach, poison and oil lighter fluid ain't allowed, even if it's liquid. :P
 
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May 25, 2018
5,230
Is the subtitle for this OT "we have to go back" referencing the fact that everyone who travels to Japan always wants to go back?

I miss Japan so much. I went back in June and I still think about it every week.
 

Xavillin

Member
Oct 25, 2017
896
Dang. I only have the giant ziploc bags. Gonna go see if 7 has the smaller bags tomorrow. I’ll be flying with ANA, but I’m guessing the rules will be similar?
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,336
So I didn't really give a debriefing and my overall thoughts, so for the record:
* Osaka was... fine. Dotonbori was a fun place with some good food, the aquarium was fairly cool but not an amazing experience compared to something like the one in Ikebukuro. I liked having music halls available nearby even though we only went to one.
* Kyoto was nice but we only had time (and stamina) to do Sanjuusangendou and the Imperial Palace. The former is amazing still (went there in 2001). We shouldn't have walked all the way from east Kyoto through Gion up to Karasuma, we were fairly tired by the end.
* Kobe was great for the Nunobiki Herb Garden ropeway. Didn't see the garden itself as we walked down past the dam, which was great but quite a hike. Kobe beef was very overrated, although I think we eventually stumbled into a touristy one after my carefully selected place turned out to be closed.
* Himeji was cool, but should have been a day trip. We had poor weather as well.
* Hiroshima was awesome! Best food:
https://goo.gl/maps/PUhUxckDUR4SQywf8 (hole in the wall lunch place, the chashu ramen there was sublime)
https://goo.gl/maps/vfik9u6MgGnrcbky6 (couldn't find a direct link, but the gyoza place on top of this Coco introduced me to the world of gyoza)
The memorial park was... powerful. Extremely tough to stay around. We also went to the ground zero place. Our hotel was right near this. There was a ton of great shopping to be done in the shopping streets near this location. Then we went to Miyajima, and OH MY GOD so lovely! However, right now they're restoring the torii so it's all covered up which was a major disappointment. Still, the island was amazing. I can recommend the folk museum as a way to experience an old, grand villa. We only saw a little of Momijidani but it was lovely even before the fall colours really started showing. Also, go there early as hell. On a Sunday afternoon it was packed, but when we arrived in the morning it was really pleasant.
* With "only" eight days in Tokyo we focused on a couple of areas. Akihabara is Akihabara, you know all about the Mandarakes and Super Potatoes and Traders. But let me recommend a few spots:
- There are at least two Retro Game Camps, one on the main floor and one basement, off the main street on the west side. The basement one had some good games at really decent prices.
- https://goo.gl/maps/tLDKMk2JXiHVwnK96 - BEEP @ Akihabara, a really cramped basement shop with SUPER obscure stuff, like MSX, 32X, arcade boards and other. Go here to find those things the others are too mainstream to care about.
- I can't really find the place on Streetview, but on the west side of the main street, fairly far to the north, there's a small shop that has a ton of cool merch like SNK and Sakura Wars and Mega Man stuff.
- https://goo.gl/maps/W5gLXu4M9F87a9U78 - Visited before, but Friends is great for rare stuff. I found the Dracula Battle Perfect Selection albums there.
We stayed in Ueno, a bit north of the station. It was a fine location with conbinis fairly near. Ueno Park was pleasant, but I found it weird that the ponds were mostly overgrown. I made a trek up to Nezu Shrine which was not really worth it. We also went shopping for kitchenware at Kappabashi, I got some cool christmas gifts. Ameyoko was a bit cool but too crowded.
We went to Kawasaki to see the Warehouse arcade before it closed. It was really cool to see the place but also to play some authentic Street Fighter 1, as well as MvC2 and VF5:FS.
Finally, we did two days in Odaiba. Tokyo Motor Show was interesting even for someone without a car interest. We then had the Chrono Cross concert and arrived early to go to the TeamLab place in Toyosu, but chickened out when it turned out there are places where you have to wade around in water. I think I need to eventually see the place, but as an event in itself.

As usual, I trawled through probably a hundred shops for a few specific things. It was fun, but ultimately a bit of a waste of time. The hard ones to find were:
- Figma Labrys, only eventually found her at Mandarake Special 2 (I think) in Nakano Broadway.
- Bring Arts 2B, they had a stack at Super Potato in Akiba, when strangely all other places were sold out.
- Zelda 3, I saw one in Osaka but figured I could pick it up later. Nope. It was completely erased from Akiba. I saw one in Nakano but it was too expensive.
- The Dracula Battle albums as mentioned, I looked around everywhere for them in 2016 too.
- Genso Suikoden for Saturn, this game just doesn't exist anymore. It was a very late release and probably fairly rare to begin with.

* This time around I really enjoyed the conbini experience. Top 3 things to try:
- the fried chicken, especially Lawson's L Chiki but Seven Eleven and Family Mart were also fine
- onigiri, especially the beef and spicy ones
- weird katsu sandwich variations

Anyone who considers visiting places outside of Tokyo should add Hiroshima to their schedule. It might have been because we had great weather, but it felt like a really cool and friendly place.

When I go back (because of course), I think maybe a couple of days in Hiroshima, then flying up to Sendai or Sapporo, and then exploring the north a bit before returning to Tokyo. I don't really feel a need to revisit the other places now.
 

TheAggroCraig

Member
Nov 6, 2017
908
Please stop telling people about BEEP. I’ve claimed it. It’s mine.
I actually forgot to go here, whoops. I think my best luck for games was at various Book Offs, Mandarake (for some stuff) and Surugaya was pretty good too. Every other store was just outrageously priced in Akihabara which I expected, but damn. Next trip will involve some stuff not in Tokyo proper for sure.

I also now have this permanently etched into my mind