Babysteps into the land of Japan...
March 8, 2012 12:40 AM Subscribe
Travelfilter: Things to do in Japan that are good for someone who finds traveling stressful, and are welcoming to tourists and non-Japanese speakers.
posted by Arethusa to Travel & Transportation around Tokyo, Japan (14 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I live in Japan, which is pretty awesome! I am here with my spouse on a U.S. military base nearish to Tokyo. The problem is that the base is basically a little-America. Everyone speaks English, and it's very self-sustained, so you pretty much never have to leave. It doesn't look or feel like Japan at all. There are people who boast of never leaving the base the whole time they are stationed here! I don't want to be that person!
However, I have extreme social anxiety, and I feel like a huge boob for not knowing much Japanese. Pretty much not knowing any Japanese. But with being a grad student thing and having a job (both English-speaking) I haven't had much time to remedy that.
So I was hoping for suggestions in the Tokyo area for things to do or places to visit that would be very accessible and "safe" for someone who has social anxiety and doesn't speak much Japanese. Basically, a gentle starting point so that we can gradually start exploring this neat country. Just being in public here stresses me out, and I think I'd feel better if I knew I was in an area where tourists are expected, and possibly even welcomed. I do want to do less touristy things eventually, but I think even just doing touristy things would be a good first step. We do already go out to restaurants in the base area, though I am a vegetarian which somewhat complicates food-tourism.
We're going to be here for another few years so there's plenty of time. We can handle the trains alright, and my spouse doesn't have social anxiety, but he does get kind of stressed out when I start getting stressed out in a public area. He doesn't mind traveling but he's a real home-body so between the two of us we rarely leave the base.
The next two weeks or so are relatively free for us, so that is the time frame we're looking at in the near future, but we also have free days at other times throughout the year.
Thank you Metafilter!