Any Japan hands have any recommendations for a good prepaid SIM card? I'll be transiting through Narita and proceeding directly to Itami (Osaka Municipal Airport). If there is an affordable data plan that would be great although I will be purchasing mobile internet (LTE, Wimax or 4G) hotspot and it will be shared with members of my family. [more inside]
I'll be in Tokyo for a short visit next month and would really like to buy a couple temari, I've seen pictures online of really gorgeous ones, anyone have any idea where to find them in Tokyo?
Due to a SNAFU, I'm landing at Kansai Airport, but staying (very) near Osaka Airport. I arrive at 9PM on Friday, but my hotel doesn't allow check-in after midnight. I'm concerned about making it there on time. Online calculators show taxis costing around $200. Is there a better way for me to make the journey?
What should I buy while I'm in Japan that are not available in or better than the U.S.? [more inside]
Where did "S" as the grade above "A" come from as a phenomenon? I am 99% sure that it began with video games (though I've seen it used in show seating assignments in Japan), but where?
I am an American working in Tokyo and get paid in Yen. I have way too much Yen now, and I want to change to USD, especially because the rate is relatively good at the moment. I would like to hear any anecdotal evidence about the cheapest way to change JPY to USD. [more inside]
Japan travel question, with some specific wants. My 11-year-old niece loves Minecraft and YouTube, and has expressed interest in learning to code. What are some things that might interest her in Tokyo & Kyoto on a short trip? [more inside]
I'll be in Japan (arrive Tokyo) for 2 weeks in early-mid April. I'm really into: hot springs, local food and drink (esp fermented), hiking & mountaineering, live music, herbal medicine & botany, artisanal crafts. [more inside]
I bought printed hemmed fabric squares in Japan that I thought were furoshiki, the gift-wrapping fabrics. But they feel too stiff and seem too small for this purpose. What are they really? Tea towels, maybe? (Links to photos in the "more inside") [more inside]
I am in Tokyo for the next few days, and want to pick up some uniquely Japanese gifts for my boss & coworkers back in the US. Since they are generally hard to please (and they fancy themselves "connessieurs"), exotic/interesting booze tends to be the easiest thing for me to get for them when I need to get gifts for them. [more inside]
How many days should we spend in Tokyo vs Kyoto and where could we take a day trip to from either? [more inside]
I know MeFi includes several ex-pats living and working in Japan; I'd like to know what it's like dealing with the national/prefectural/city tax agencies as an employee of a foreign company. How big of a hassle is it these days, and how big is the combined bite? [more inside]
Mefites have been helpful in the past when I have planned previous trips to Japan, so hoping you can all help again. This time we are planning on going North, and I would love your advice and suggestions. We are a family of three - two parents and a 12 year old boy. [more inside]
I'm hunting for examples of stories about Westerners travelling to Japan that don't indulge in orientalist/exoticizing/racist tropes. [more inside]
My wife and I are planning a 5~6 week trip to Japan this spring. (post-grad-school, pre-starting-new-jobs) I am bilingual and speak to my 5-year-old daughter in Japanese daily, and she understands it at maybe a Japanese 3-year-old's level. We'll put her in a nursery school over there, and I'm looking for things I can do (both now and when we're there) to keep her from having (or reduce her inevitable) full-blown culture shock. [more inside]
We're going to Japan! My partner and I are taking a two-week-plus trip in late February centered on the Kyoto Marathon (Feb 21) and trying to fill out the remainder of our itinerary. We're getting into Narita airport (from the U.S. West Coast) at the head of Valentine's weekend and ...I don't want to go to Tokyo. But where should we go? [more inside]
I have a conference in Fukuoka Japan in June. I think that I want to take my 7 year old. [more inside]
At the end of this article, the guy mentions "You want to achieve the Japanese state of mushido". My google-fu (and various search engines' insistence on "Did you mean Bushido?") is weak. Anyone have any pointers to this elusive-in-more-ways-than-one Mushido?
Next summer, a friend of mine and I will be traveling in Japan. We would like to do a combination of cultural tourism and hiking, so our preference would be to choose bases from which it would be easy to do day hikes. Our preference is for longer and/or more strenuous day hikes. Where should we go? [more inside]
This Japanese trawler was photographed in the North Pacific, probably not too far from the southern end of the Kamchatka Peninsula, in late June 1957. Its name may have been something like Hokusen Maru. Its home port may have been Hakodate. I want to find anyone who was part of its crew when the photo was taken. [more inside]
If you wanted to have one really memorable meal in Tokyo and another one in Kyoto where would you go? [more inside]
So: my 2-month-old PS4 has broken down, with error CE-34878-0 across all applications. Sony US normally replaces machines that have this issue. My problem: I have a Japanese PS4, and Sony US refuses to service it. Sony Japan could probably help, but I don't speak Japanese (and I live in the US). What can I do? [more inside]
Every time I'm in Japan, there is a certain scent that I really love, but I can't figure out what it is and where to buy it. [more inside]
My 7th grader is fascinated with Japan and Japanese culture and has been asking for a long time if we can go to Japan. I've never traveled overseas and have no idea where to start. [more inside]
During my upcoming trip to Japan, I will be staying with my boyfriend's parents. Please help me get them a gift that says "thank you for taking the trouble of having me, and I'm the perfect daughter-in-law." [more inside]
Since Maximian is asking about Japan just down the page, and since we'll be traveling there with our (older) daughter at that same time, and since my question regards ryokan as well... Thought I'd better ask: How does one stretch out and nap in a ryokan (during the day)? Since the bedding is brought out in the evening, I'm wondering what to do if I want a brief respite or a horizontal read before the bedding is available.
Myself, my wife, and our 3-year-old daughter will be traveling in Japan in late October/early November, and we're interested in spending 2 nights in natural surroundings. The Mt Fuji area, specifically Hakone, is the leading candidate, but many of the ryokans are either booked or don't allow small children. Any advice on specific places to stay or alternative/similar destinations? [more inside]
I'm going to be spending a week in Tokyo Oct 23-30, and my plan is mainly to eat delicious food and wander around. I lived there for 2 years 1997-99 so I've pretty much seen all the major tourist stuff. Current locals, what are your favorite things to do or eat? [more inside]
My job prospects back home (in the US) are not looking good. I taught English in South Korea for three years, and now I'm thinking of heading back to somewhere in Asia to teach English again. This time, however, I'd like to do it for real by getting a CELTA and finding a "real job" as opposed to the dead-end hagwon stuff I did in Korea. How realistic is this plan? [more inside]
My Japanese-American friend who moved back to Japan about ten years ago has been harassing me ever since for certain American-style products. Does anyone know a Japanese source for properly cured pork? Nothing fancy, just standard smoked slices. Alternatively, does anyone have a way to get cheap legal American meat into Japanese hands without too much hassle? Since my friend is behaving a lot like a desperate junky, I will assume he is willing to pay a premium for this service.
Traveling to Japan for the first time in October! We (party of 2) have JR Passes, which apparently means we can board non-reserved shinkansen cars w/o any interaction with ticket booth staff. The question is, is this wise, or are we still likely to find ourselves standing or split up on some trains? [more inside]
I (an American) am trying to visit the Saiho-ji (Koke-dera) temple in Kyoto in November. It only accepts reservations by International Reply Coupon, which the USPS no longer sells as of 2013. What is the fastest and cheapest way for me to send a self-addressed stamped postcard or similar to Japan? Possible solutions, none of which are great: [more inside]
I have been offered the dream position for me - teaching English in Japan. It is with a good school, I have up to two years to take up the offer, and there is a visa attached which will also mean my son and husband can come as dependents. And if we went it would be for a number of years, at least. Only fly in the ointment is what is my husband going to do with himself? [more inside]
What is this? A friend of mine got this in Japan, from one of those machines where you put in a coin and crank the knob, and out pops a little prize. He and I can't read Japanese. [more inside]
At a restaurant called Toritama in Tokyo, I had the most amazing chicken soup ever. It was a really flavourful chicken broth, with shreds of very tender chicken - I would say poached, except that some of the bits had skin still attached and the skin was crisp as if it had been grilled. Also some well-cooked rice. The thing that I particularly remember is that the broth was so rich that it left your lips feeling sticky! It was called something like "Tokyo chicken soup". [more inside]
I'm having trouble finding the answer to a few specific questions about takkyubin services around Japan, re: transit time & how early your luggage needs dropping off. [more inside]
I have stumbled upon an awesome poster, but most info is in Japanese. I would like to know if anyone knows where I can but a printout or lithograph of this poster. The poster in question is this one. From what I have managed to deduce it is actually a modern painting (judging by this article), so I figured that maybe it is available somewhere, but does anyone know?
Can I view an English language version of Ant-Man at a theatre in Tokyo this week? Japanese subtitles not a problem of course.
Hoping you can help me finish out my Japan trip itinerary for late October/early November. I think I've got it all worked out, but need to wrap up with an awesome 2 nights... [more inside]
I am responsible for introducing (in English) a number of honoured guests from Japan at an event in Canada. I am looking for the appropriate English honorifics (His Excellency, Her Honour, etc) for some specific government officials, as well as some general honorifics. [more inside]
I am going to Japan soon, and will be there for a month. The answer is yen, obviously. But I have American and Australian dollars/bank accounts and can't figure out which one I should use. [more inside]
I can't decide between doing a day trip from Osaka to Himeji and doing a day trip from Tokyo to Hakone. Can you please help, given the following facts? [more inside]
For my 40th birthday coming up I've asked for a trip to Tokyo with the family for a week. We previously spent 3 days in Kyoto and loved it, staying at the Hotel Granvia. I'm planning the Tokyo trip and looking for options for accommodation and things to do/see with the kids. [more inside]
I'm travelling from the UK to Japan in November, and have just realised that the mains supply stuff we are taking with us (phone/tablet charger with USB cable, camera battery charger for a Canon dslR) will require voltage conversion, not just an adaptor plug. This confuses me a little bit. Are there any recommended converters I should be looking at that will easily pack into luggage, or should I be looking at getting a Japanese usb charger/camera battery charger off of eBay before we go? [more inside]
Going to Tokyo for 6 nights, for the first time in 15 years, in July. Would like to do a hotel tour of sorts. What's hot, quirky, or interesting in the Tokyo hotel scene now? [more inside]
I have the opportunity (but not the requirement) to go to Tokyo in July for work. Help me decide where to go and what to do! [more inside]
I'm folding a thousand origami cranes, and I'm starting to get curious about the patterns on the Japanese origami paper I'm using. I think I recognize a couple of them, but I'd like to know the significance of any you recognize: maybe they are traditional textile patterns or have other uses? Are they a certain flower, fruit, or season? Or maybe they are entirely made up for these packs of paper. [more inside]
After years of wanting to, I finally bought tickets to go to Japan this summer! (Eeeeeee!!!) I'll be flying into Tokyo and I'm already planning to get tickets for the Shinkansen to travel to Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima. Can you help me figure out great places to see, delicious things to eat, special keepsakes to bring home, and how to deal with logistics while I'm there? [more inside]
At the beginning of August work is sending me to Tokyo for a week, for the first time ever, so my wife is coming out and we're going to steal another week away from the family to have a break. What to do for that extra week when you've never visited Japan before? [more inside]
I live in Japan, and will soon be meeting up with some French friends who are visiting the region (we're not meeting in Japan). They are real foodies and I want to take them some food-related gifts, but they can't be too heavy/bulky/perishable/breakable - they'll need to get them home. Any suggestions? I am already planning to get them some good quality matcha as one of them bakes and has made some lovely matcha pastries before.