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.
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]