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Cute Japanese gifts online

I was hoping to find something like this but less expensive and maybe more authentic (?) to Japanese culture, somewhere online. [more inside]
posted by elken on Oct 1, 2014 - 9 answers

Early morning outings in Central Tokyo?

Difficulty level: no giant tuna auctions. Help me make the most of my free weekday morning in Tokyo! I travel to Japan once or twice a year for work - yay! I never get any free time to do anything - boo! [more inside]
posted by chocotaco on Sep 26, 2014 - 4 answers

Good English Walking Tours in Japan

What are some good English-language walking/biking (i.e. not bus) tour operators in in Tokyo and Kyoto? [more inside]
posted by cosmic.osmo on Sep 25, 2014 - 8 answers

Modern Japanese design shops & studios

My wife and I are visiting Japan soon and would like to visit interesting shops or design studios that specialise in uncommon and/or beautiful products, specifically for homewares, textiles and children’s toys and decor. We’re interested in contemporary design and want to get a feel for the modern Japanese aesthetic. [more inside]
posted by timshel on Sep 9, 2014 - 11 answers

Travelling to Japan, in November

We (myself, husband and 10 year old son) are hopefully making a return trip to Japan in November. While we were planning on mainly visiting Shikoku and Kyushu, we are open to suggestions. MeFi has been awesome on the travel front before, so hoping you can help again. [more inside]
posted by Megami on Sep 5, 2014 - 15 answers

What is this savage and beautiful kitchen utensil?

My wife bought this at an estate sale here in Austin, from a box of kitchen utensils. If it's a kitchen utensil too, what is it used for? If not, what purpose could it serve but the violent ones that come to mind, perchance? And are there other tools made with this grace you could turn us on to? ("JAPAN" is stamped in the metal.)
posted by rleamon on Sep 3, 2014 - 5 answers

December-January in Japan

We're going to Japan! From December 25-January 15th, to be precise, and are overwhelmed with the possibilities! Where should we go? [more inside]
posted by telophase on Aug 26, 2014 - 12 answers

Hostels in Tokyo and Kyoto

What are some good hostels in Tokyo and Kyoto for a solo traveler? [more inside]
posted by cosmic.osmo on Aug 25, 2014 - 10 answers

Some Japanese figurines I know little about

I inherited these painted bamboo figurines (approx 2 1/2 ins tall) from my mother. We lived in Kobe up to 1936 when my family and I wisely returned to England. I discovered them in a cardboard box and I wonder whether any of you can give me information about them - maybe dinner table ornaments made for foreigners? Any answers gratefully received, as always!
posted by lungtaworld on Aug 24, 2014 - 7 answers

Help me find a strange outsider rock band

I've searched and searched to no avail, and I'm starting to think this whole thing was a fever dream. I could swear that I read an article a few years ago about a Japanese rock band which was formed by a few schoolgirls who had never actually heard rock music. Everything they knew came from reading about it in magazines. I believe this took place during the 1960's. Of course, I may have some or all of the details wrong. Can you restore my sanity?
posted by stephennelson on Aug 17, 2014 - 16 answers

How to buy these Japanese popup cards in the US?

Is there a way to order online these Porigami laser-cut popup cards of Tokyo sights and have sent to me here in the US?
posted by bluecore on Aug 14, 2014 - 2 answers

Goin' down to ol' Tokyo town

Going to Japan in October and the tickets I'm looking at offer me one of three US airports to transit through. Which to choose? [more inside]
posted by bulgroz on Aug 8, 2014 - 9 answers

Cheapest Flight from Canada to S-Korea

I am a student and I want to fly off for some time before the coming Fall semester. I was thinking going away for 2 weeks. Spending 1 week in Busan, S-Korea, then 1 week in Japan, for example Tokyo. I tried using flight search engines but the price is exorbitant for me. [more inside]
posted by iliketothinknu on Jul 25, 2014 - 7 answers

Hiroshima to Narita Terminal 1 on January 5, 2015

We (two non-Japanese speaking adults, perhaps with JR Passes) will be in Hiroshima on the morning of January 5. I fly out of Narita T1 at 14:00, she flies out of Narita T1 at 18:00. What is the best way to get there in time, given the fact that we will have bags and it's the end of a big holiday travel period there? [more inside]
posted by mdonley on Jul 16, 2014 - 7 answers

New Year's ryokan stay, Kanto

We'll be in Tokyo between December 27-January 2 at the tail end of our honeymoon, right in the middle of the New Year holidays. Help us add a ryokan stay and onsen relaxation to our itinerary! [more inside]
posted by harujion on Jul 5, 2014 - 6 answers

Will this LED rope light kit work in Tokyo, Japan?

This is the appliance in question. I'm aware that Tokyo's electrical system is 100 volts at 50 Hz, but I'm not sure how that applies to this rope light kit, which is rated for (according to the instructions) 120V, 60Hz, and 100 mA. Does the low current/wattage (12 watts) mean it will work anyway, due to some transformer inside, or is it just not going to be compatible?
posted by Maximian on Jul 2, 2014 - 3 answers

Going to Japan, but not for a while. What should we book?

Thanks to some ridiculous flight deals, a friend of mine and I are headed to Japan for two weeks. The catch/opportunity: the flight is next February. There's probably a bunch of really neat things to do in Japan that unfortunately have huge waiting lists or need to be planned well in advance, right? For once in my life, we are those people planning well in advance! So what neat things with long waiting lists should we sign up for now? [more inside]
posted by chrominance on Jul 1, 2014 - 11 answers

Suggestions for flexible Japan travel?

Entering the country without an onward ticket, wanting to be flexible. [more inside]
posted by wolfr on Jun 15, 2014 - 7 answers

Narita airport domestic-to-international question

I'm going to Fukuoka in September. On the way back to USA, I'm looking at just a little more than 1 hour to make a transfer from the domestic Jetstar flight (Fukuoka-Tokyo) to the international JAL flight (Tokyo-Boston). Is that enough time to make the switch? Uncertain what Narita's airport structure and procedure are. Hand-carry luggage only. The 2 bookings are separate. Thanks. [more inside]
posted by shortfuse on Jun 15, 2014 - 7 answers

Fancy Ryokan close(ish) to Narita Airport?

My good friend and I will be in Japan this August for two weeks! Most of the time we're staying at budget ryokan, but for our last night in the country we wanted to find someplace more special....and convenient to the airport. [more inside]
posted by Narrative Priorities on Jun 9, 2014 - 7 answers

A big trip to Australia and Japan. Recommendations wanted.

I am planning a big trip this summer to Japan and Australia, departing from Belgium. I have 2 months to travel and this is going to be a 'once in a lifetime' experience. When I get back I know it will be a long time until I can do a trip like that. [more inside]
posted by wolfr on Jun 8, 2014 - 12 answers

Oita! Oita! Oita! What to do/eat on a weekend trip to Oita?

I'm headed to Oita, Japan next weekend for a short trip. Any recommendations on which towns to visit, or suggestions for specific restaurants or non-onsen activities?
posted by spamandkimchi on May 30, 2014 - 2 answers

Looking for music video

Hi So once upon a time I saw a music video in which will.i.am and fergie apperead and will.i.am was driving through what I thought was Japan. Has anyone an idea which song this could be? Regards marius
posted by rndmusr on May 28, 2014 - 1 answer

Going to Tokyo, allergic to soy. Help me build a list of "safe" dishes!

I'm going to Tokyo in the fall. I'm allergic to soy. It is an allergy triggered by the soy protein, which means that tofu and edamame are not OK but soy sauce is because the protein is denatured. (This is common for people who are allergic to soy - I am no special snowflake.) The easy solution would seem to be to live on yakitori and yakiniku...but I'm also a vegetarian. Difficulty level = 11! [more inside]
posted by rednikki on May 25, 2014 - 16 answers

Movie & Black & White & Japanese & Modern?

I recently saw Rashōmon, and was wondering if the hive-mind had suggestions for more (live-action, not anime) Japanese movies that are black and white, but set in more modern-ish times? [more inside]
posted by slater on May 20, 2014 - 17 answers

Memory foam mattress in Japan?

So Tuft & Needle and the like are pretty cool and exciting, except I live in Japan. What options, if any, do I have for a Double-size good memory foam mattress in Japan? Like, not just a topper.
posted by DoctorFedora on May 18, 2014 - 5 answers

Does anyone have any information on the Obon Matsuri in Takayama, Japan?

Hello all, I'm looking at being in Takayama for Obon Festival this year, but I can't find any information on the dates they celebrate it or what exactly they do for it. I've searched in both English and Japanese, but my Japanese-language search skills are terrible. Any information you all could provide would be extremely helpful! Thank you. :) Best, Joe
posted by Televangelist on May 15, 2014 - 3 answers

Best August Obon festivals in Japan?

The Obon festival occurs in both July and August in Japan, with different regions choosing different dates. I'll be in Tokyo in August, but Tokyo celebrates in July... does anyone have any recommendations for where I should travel in Japan for the days of the Obon festival that would be celebrating in August? :) Can bullet train anywhere. Bonus points for great scenery and extensive Obon celebrations.
posted by Televangelist on Apr 28, 2014 - 9 answers

What are the AirBnB alternatives outside the United States

I'm looking for AirBnBs for international travel, probably especially for Asia particularly Japan, and for the Scandinavian countries. I'm mostly interested in services for medium-term durations -- say, two to six weeks. Sites offering unusual housing (e.g. converted barns, lighthouses, treehouses) would be interesting to me, as would heritage sites and retreat-like spaces such as temples and monasteries that offer accommodation for nonreligious people. I'm interested in both urban and rural destinations. [more inside]
posted by Susan PG on Apr 27, 2014 - 7 answers

What should we do/eat/see in Kyoto? And should we visit Okishima?

It's been a couple years since this last question, so I figured it was worth a renewal. My two travel partners and I will be arriving in Kyoto this afternoon and I wanted to ping the hive mind for suggestions. [more inside]
posted by Cogito on Apr 26, 2014 - 16 answers

Documentary comparing Allied Occupations of Germany and Japan after WWII

Does anyone know of a documentary film that compares the Allied occupations (and "rehabilitation") of Germany and Japan after World War II? Bonus if it's about 50 minutes in length. [more inside]
posted by dhens on Apr 15, 2014 - 1 answer

Help Finding Cute Japanese Bowls

I purchased these porcelain bowls from TJ Maxx yesterday to use as feeding dishes for my cats. There were only two bowls at the store. They had a "Blue Moon Japan" sticker affixed and are stamped with the same name on the bottom. I would love to buy more in the same or similar color/pattern. My Google-fu isn’t strong this morning. I’ve only found tea sets from the same manufacturer. I would be thrilled to find the manufacturer’s website if only to find out what the pattern names are called.
posted by turniphead on Apr 11, 2014 - 3 answers

What should we do during our trip to Japan?

We're going to Japan! What should we do? What are some useful iPhone apps? How do we get Internet access? [more inside]
posted by Cogito on Apr 10, 2014 - 17 answers

What was this Japanese comic about cigarettes?

LongShotFilter: I'm looking for a Japanese comic/illustration I saw online about 10-12 years ago. It was about two packs of cigarettes in love. (...I think.) [more inside]
posted by Metroid Baby on Apr 9, 2014 - 0 answers

What is the term for this jacket?

I'm wondering what the proper term for this jacket is. I am told it is Japanese. It is made of heavy cotton and is hand stitched. [more inside]
posted by fozzie_bear on Apr 4, 2014 - 4 answers

Tokyo to Nagoya for a sumo match

I'll be in Tokyo with my family in July, and I would love to check out a sumo wrestling match. I found that there will be a tournament happening in Nagoya while we are there. It looks like the Shinkansen train can make the trip in ~100min. Is this a feasible day trip for 3 ppl (2 adults + 1 6y/o)? Any insight appreciated
posted by askmehow on Mar 25, 2014 - 8 answers

What is a good airfare from Denver to Japan?

We're planning an October trip to Japan, and having never been to that part of the world, I find I have no idea what a good fare is. I'd like to purchase well in advance and I'm finding fares in the $1300-1500 range for our time period. Is that a good fare?
posted by ecorrocio on Mar 17, 2014 - 8 answers

How do I help someone Overseas build credit in the US?

How do I build someone's credit while they are overseas and not a US citizen? I am getting married to someone who is Japanese (in about 5 months) and lives in Japan right now. Because I know we will one day want to buy a house, I want to start building her credit as soon as possible because I know that it is easier to get a loan with two people signing instead of one. [more inside]
posted by locussst on Mar 4, 2014 - 10 answers

Two weeks in Japan - with a 6 year old

We're flying in and out of Narita at the end of March - and that's pretty much all we have planned at the moment. [more inside]
posted by NoRelationToLea on Feb 26, 2014 - 9 answers

Japanese Twitter, 分んない

I have a four letter twitter username. Several times a week, different Japanese twitter users will send me more than 100 mentions, usually gibberish or numbers. I think it's a sort of game or trolling, but I want to understand why. [more inside]
posted by clearlydemon on Feb 17, 2014 - 6 answers

How do all the cool kids draw?

I am looking for some high quality Japanese Brush Pens since you can draw so many wonderful things with them- I know about the "Kuretake 50 Million Years" but I find it hard to find other really good Brush Pens in the 30-100$ range. Availability only in Japan is fine. [more inside]
posted by mathiu on Feb 8, 2014 - 4 answers

How does one start a restaurant in the US with a foreigner?

Long story short: I have a friend here in Japan who runs a ramen shop. His lifelong dream is to move to America and open a ramen shop there, and my wife and I are hoping to help him do this a few years down the road (my wife would basically run the business end of things and perhaps own it on paper, and he'd be in charge of the kitchen end of things). [more inside]
posted by DoctorFedora on Jan 29, 2014 - 13 answers

Where can I find this brand of buckwheat tea?

Where can I find this brand of buckwheat tea? I tried Googling the phone number without any luck. All the text is in Japanese, I think, so I can't dig any deeper than that.
posted by archagon on Jan 19, 2014 - 8 answers

Cherry blossoms in Japan

Looking for advice and tips before planning a holiday to Japan to view the cherry blossoms this spring. [more inside]
posted by Gomez_in_the_South on Jan 7, 2014 - 13 answers

I would like to learn more about Japanese mythology

What are some good English-language resources to learn about Japanese mythology? Book recommendations are welcome, too. My interest is mostly to gain some background knowledge that would help me understand better Japanese novels or manga, in the way that knowing Greek or Norse mythology is helpful when reading Western literature.
posted by needled on Dec 29, 2013 - 5 answers

富士山に登りたい

I’m a healthy but sedentary person. One of my greatest wishes is to climb Mt. Fuji. If I have 5 years to get ready, what should I do to prepare physically? [more inside]
posted by clearlydemon on Dec 16, 2013 - 15 answers

How expensive is Tokyo, REALLY?

What's a reasonable cost of living wage increase when being transferred from Toronto to Tokyo? [more inside]
posted by 256 on Dec 14, 2013 - 13 answers

Teach me how to cook congee.

I've searched previous instances of congee showing up in comments on the Green, but very few actual recipes. None of the recipes I've found online even agree on the rice-to-water ratio or cooking time. Recipes from any nation, savory or sweet and any serving tips or suggestions most welcome!
posted by digitalprimate on Nov 21, 2013 - 8 answers

Dummies Guide to Politics In Japan....

So, I have a sudden burning desire to learn as much as I can about Japanese politics pronto. Please hope me. [more inside]
posted by ultrabuff on Nov 8, 2013 - 4 answers

Help me be Smartphone enabled for 7 day Japan trip (iPhone, data, apps)

I'm traveling to Japan for a week for InterBee - which also include two days on my own. I land at the airport...and then have to get to my hotel (different ones during the trip). My guess is that I will be doing loads of train travel. Loads of questions [more inside]
posted by filmgeek on Nov 7, 2013 - 13 answers

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