Help me not re-enact Top Gear in Japan
March 2, 2012 4:38 PM Subscribe
Help! I'm going to Japan (well, hopefully). What do I need to know?
posted by hoyland to Travel & Transportation around Nagoya, Japan (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Assuming the money works out, I'll be going to Nagoya this summer. I know next to nothing about Japan. Seriously, I watched Big Bird in Japan a bunch as a kid and that one Top Gear episode and that's about all I know.*
I know my initial question is hopelessly broad, but I feel very intimidated by the idea of this trip. My primary concerns are as follows:
-I don't speak a word of Japanese. It's been a long time since I've gone somewhere with absolutely zero knowledge of the language (and even then it was Italy, where I can guess at some things since it's a Romance language). Every time I think about this, I think about Richard Hammond and James May trying to change trains and getting lost. Assuming I'm a bit more competent than them, am I likely to have issues with basic navigation? How adrift should I be bracing myself to be? (Right now, I suspect I'm catastrophising.) Getting to Nagoya looks like it'll involve changing planes in Seoul, but I somehow don't doubt that I can get through an airport with no knowledge of Korean.
-I'm a vegetarian. I realise I'm probably going to get 'fished' inadvertently, but I'd rather be not eating around things that are obviously meat. What sort of things should I be looking to eat? Where might I find them?
What other stuff should I know? Past AskMe's have referred to things like buying doohickeys for wi-fi access. Should I be assuming that the university won't have wi-fi a visitor can access? (Whether I care, I don't know. I'm sure my parents can assume I'm not dead when they don't hear about a plane crash.) I don't have a smartphone, nor do I expect to need/want a SIM card for my phone.
*I'm being facetious, but it feels like that might as well be the sum total of my knowledge. Big Bird has taught me about display cases with plastic food. But they have those in Berkeley.