Visiting Japan

152 posts in this topic

Posh window shopping: Ginza

Temple of shopping: Mitsukoshi / Tokyu Hands at Shinjuku Station.

Fabulous Free View: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, near Shinjuku station.

Vibrant, trendy, trashy, somewhat "local" area for shopping and nights out, NE of Shinjuku Station.

Japanese teenage Y00t shopping area´, 2 stops south of Shinjuku on the ring S Bahn, Yoyogawa (sp) and nearby park with teenage copycat bands.

 

Look out for restaurants with a ticket system so no ordering hassles or numbered menus.

The orange faced chain of restaurants (Yoshigawa?) is a fave of mine but also look for little ramen stalls that appear on the pavements at night.

 

24 hour convenience stores sell sarnies on wite bread if you get stuck.

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Nah all that fish in wee portions will mean I look better on the beach on Rarotonga, eh? ;) Cheers love!

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Keep your eyes peeled for 100 Yen shops = 1 Euro shops.

Loadsa kitsch tat for the discerning customer! B)

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Japanese teenage Y00t shopping area´, 2 stops south of Shinjuku on the ring S Bahn, Yoyogawa (sp) and nearby park with teenage copycat bands.

You probably mean Yoyogi, which is 1 stop south of Shinjuku. The park is Yoyogi Koen.

 

One stop further is Harajuku, where all the cosplay freaks hang out.

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I did indeed Mr Spudbury. :)

I didn't have my S-bahn anorak hat on to remember the names of the stations Yoyogi and Harajuku.

You can walk between the two quite easily in 10 minuts or so.

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The main shopping street in Harajuku which I think you're talking about is called Takeshita Dori. Lots of gothic lolita/cosplay shops mixed in with 'rap'-style clothing shops.

 

I can't recommend a cheap hotel for Tokyo, as I stayed in Sheraton Miyako in Minato-ku (near Meguro)!

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Shinjuku station is massive.

Aye, if you are a sad anorak it's like running wild in the Beate Uhse Megastore of railway stations.

 

204_1.jpg

 

One of my favourite places to hang out in Tokyo. :ph34r:

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As the tour is only 3 hours, i reckon you can do it yourself.

 

Tokyo is pretty easy to get around, good transport system.

 

The majority of what you want to see is within the Yamanote circular line.

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I disagree - Tokyo is pretty hard to get around unless you have a Japanese person with you, or someone who can read either Japanese or Chinese, or you happen to be at stations which romaji translations, or you have a translated underground map with you into romaji. Many many times there was no English translation of the names. As you say you're only there for a couple of days, let someone else take care of that stress for you!

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my mate lived out at a Tokyo station where subway names were japanese only so i had to remember things like the colour, some of the characters ...and some of the 'landmarks' at the stop ..i got quite into after a while :blink:

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All inner Tokyo S-bahn and U Bahns are signposted in Roman letters as well as are the majority of signs on streets and in shops etc.

The problem is that in many cases although everyone learns English at school in Japan they are not so keen or able to speak it in all cases.

I personally wouldn't get a guide, except possibly to go round one of the temples. Akahashi ??? (sorry, memory isn't working today)

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Is that a fact, MT? Because that certainly wasn't my experience, however maybe I roamed further than what's classed as 'inner Tokyo stations'. As will Katrina most likely, if she looks at touristy sites. I think it's called something like Asakusa? Unless you know a lot of the culture, it's worth being told about Japanese customs and traditions when visiting temples etc, as it's so different.

 

Edit: it's worth a trip out to Ueno too to go to the Tokyo Edo Museum (and I'm not normally one for museums!).

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Maybe becasue I speak the odd word of Japanese, learned some of the Kanji and am an intrepid traveller but I survived within the Yamamote Line OK.

That's the S-bahn Circle Line (Green colour) BTW.

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The problem is that in many cases although everyone learns English at school in Japan they are not so keen or able to speak it in all cases.

Actually experienced a couple of Japanese people coming up to me and asking if they could practice their english ...I found it most entertaining ...can't remember the last time I had a quality text book conversation in the street ...and they were delighted when they found out I was a native-english speaker. I will always remember one old dude coming up to me at a temple somewhere in Tokyo, lighlty prodding me in the upper chest and in his best english accent saying 'Excuse me sir, can I speak english with you ?' Also, getting out of the bullet train in Hiroshima this dude started slapping me on the back and having a fit ...saying 'too big' repeatedly ..i was stooping to get out of the carriage which he thought was the most entertaining thing in the world ever ...also, a couple of chicks coming up to me in soapland asking me if i was in the military ...but ...ahem ...there you would expect to be approached :ph34r:

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I think it's called something like Asakusa?

Yep, Asakusa. That's where the Senso Ji temple is that I mentioned above.

 

Regards station names: on the Yamanote line most (if not all) of the stations have their names in Romaji aswell as Kanji and Hiragana. The trains have screens that show info in English, and the station announcements are also done in English.

 

Other lines also had station names in Romaji, but didn't have the screens or the announcements in English.

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All stations are signposted in Romaji now, in the early 90's it was different.

 

If you are not going for high brow culture then, Harajuku, Shibuya,Shinjuku and Akihabara (for electonics).

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