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.
I recently visited Tokyo. While I was there, I found myself in the Kabuki-cho region near Shinjuku. I hadn't checked the state department advisories before I left, but if I had I would have found there have been warnings about this going back years. I was drugged by a tout, who then led me around town in a dissociative state all night, and in the morning I found that my credit card had charges going up to the limit, all in $1k or $2k increments. I called my card company and told them the transactions were fraudulent, and also told the embassy and the Shinjuku police. Is there anything more I should do? I'd also like to reconstruct the night - can I get detailed records from my credit card company? [more inside]
I'm getting assigned to work at the parent company near Tokyo for a year. Yay!!! They won't be providing a mobile phone. Boo!! What's the best way to have a smartphone in Japan for the year? [more inside]
I have a simple question that I'm unable to answer with English google-fu: How does one buy a Nintendo Rosalina amiibo figurine in Japan? They're outrageously priced in the US and I'd like to beg a friend currently living in Japan to pick one up for me. But how/where? Is it readily available as an online order with domestic shipping?
OverwhelmedByJapan-filter: I have at least a (solo) week in Japan en route to Indonesia, and despite referencing DVD's, youtube videos, guidebooks & internet, I'm still grossly lacking in confidence as to how I'm going to; use public transport, find my hotel, communicate with hotel staff, order food, and find a public restroom when required. To where do I turn? Is there possibly a service by which I can rent an English speaking guide (not like tourist, but more cultural) for an afternoon? Am I blowing this out of proportion? [more inside]
How do you say "Blood and Sand" in Japanese? [more inside]
I would like to send a colleague a housewarming gift. Tomoya has recently moved from Japan to the UK with his wife and two babies, and they are finding the change challenging as none of them lived in the UK before. They have moved out of temporary apartments into a house, and I would like to send flowers as a welcoming gift. Is this an appropriate gift and should I avoid any particular colours/flowers? [more inside]
Clothes, toys, whatever. Not interested in American or European designer goods, I can get that stuff anywhere and I'm not really looking for $100 onesies.
This summer I would like to do something interesting. I would like to go to a place in Japan or China or somewhere in the East to meditate and perhaps live a bit like how a monk lives. Zen fascinates me. And I think might be more inclined towards the Rinzai school but since I am a novice I prefer not to make sharp judgments about things I do not know. [more inside]
I'm on a business trip in Tokyo for the rest of this week. I'm looking for suggestions on things to do after work hours (i.e., most of the usual sightseeing is out), probably alone. [more inside]
I'm taking a trip to Japan next month. Should I go cash only? If so, what are logistics of this? [more inside]
Later this year I'm getting transferred to the parent company's operation near Tokyo for 1 to 2 years. As someone who loves to cook, are there any non-perishables I should be considering shipping over? (oils, spices etc?) [more inside]
My family of three (including a two year old) are headed to Japan for 8 days beginning April 8. We've spent enough time in Tokyo and Kyoto in the past that we sort of want to do something different this time. Any thoughts? Please see the inside for our current thinking. [more inside]
While I was living in Japan I used to catch bits of shows late at night after getting home. One I saw about 15 minutes of was really intriguing and I haven't been able to identify it. [more inside]
Where can I learn more about Japan's heightened interest, starting in the late 70's, towards cultures they deemed to be exotic, especially in (but not limited to) music? [more inside]
I'm going to Japan with my pescetarian friend in late March/early April. I eat almost anything. She doesn't eat meat and shellfish, but she's fine with cooked fish and dashi. Her stomach is not a fan of raw fish. Help us figure out what she can eat while we're there, please! Specifics (and more questions) are inside. [more inside]
Calling all art history sleuths and Japanese signature decipherers! I was raised with my mom telling me this antique Japanese Moriage Satsuma vase was the most expensive thing in the house. She brought it home from Japan in 1957. Now I'm curious if my mom was right or wrong... (Of course I want my mom to be right, but... she wasn't always.) I see a lot of satsuma stuff online, and the values are so varied from $80 to thousands that I don't know if this piece is actually special. [more inside]
We want to take our 3 month old to Japan. Should we go ASAP or wait for better weather? [more inside]
A friend of mine is having to be in the hospital for the next ten days or so. I've promised him I'll make him dinner when he's out, and his request is for Japanese comfort food. I've done some googling and ramen and/or miso soup was already going to be on the menu, but I'm really interested in vetted/actually-from-Japan recipes and I don't have enough knowledge of Japanese cuisine to evaluate them. [more inside]
Recently I found a good deal on a direct drive DJ turntable which was manufactured for the japanese market. I know japanese consumer electronics run on 100V while US runs on 120V. I have heard conflicting things on whether this would be an issue. It seems like the turntable would likely run but I have heard some reports that this difference in voltage might eventually damage it. Is a power adaptor a permanent solution to this problem? Is a power adaptor even necessary?
Could a kind Japanese speaker please translate these characters? Years ago at a street market in Nara I bought these two simple pieces of wood, which were both hand-painted with kanji and a picture of a cat. I just loved the cheeky face of the cat but I've always wondered what the characters say. [more inside]
Please recommend (English language) books set in Japan, of the magical reality genre. I'm looking for well-written prose (or great translations thereof), quirky characters (with exaggerated traits), a touch of the supranatural (other worldliness), and ideally, a bit of humor in the mix. I love most of Rushdie's work and García Márquez', and thoroughly enjoyed Okri's famished road. What might I like?
I'll be going to Japan for 3 weeks over the Christmas/New Years holidays. What are some things to see/do/eat/buy that are expensive but worth it? These need to be things I can do in either day trips or 2-day trips from Osaka. Bonus points for things that are kid-friendly. [more inside]
We're visiting family in Japan next month and will have a week in Kyoto. We've got historical/cultural/tourist sites figured out, but would like recommendations for food. [more inside]
Hi, I am moving to Japan soon and I can't seem to find a definitive answer on whether or not my various electronics will work in Japan. I was hoping to move my tv, speakers, consoles, and AVR but most of them are rated at 110-120V and Tokyo is rated at 100V. I have read articles saying it is fine and other saying the opposite. Can anyone point me to some credible source to help answer this question? Are there other things I need to look into besides voltage? My understanding of electricity is abysmal.
Mefites in Japan: What's the way out of this payment... difficulty? [more inside]
I'll be in Japan for 8 days, starting 10/25. Help me fill those days with awesomeness! [more inside]
I was hoping to find something like this but less expensive and maybe more authentic (?) to Japanese culture, somewhere online. [more inside]
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]
What are some good English-language walking/biking (i.e. not bus) tour operators in in Tokyo and Kyoto? [more inside]
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]
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]
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.)
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]
What are some good hostels in Tokyo and Kyoto for a solo traveler? [more inside]
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!
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?
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?
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]
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]
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]
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]
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?
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]
Entering the country without an onward ticket, wanting to be flexible. [more inside]
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]
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]