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Cheapest way to convert Japanese Yen to US Dollars?

Someone is going to be sending me money - they live in Japan. What is the cheapest way to send the money? The amount is going to be somewhere between $1500-6000, probably closer to the 1500. I have an account with xetrade and they have worked well in the past for UK/US money transfers but I notice that Japanese residents cannot sign up on that site. Where can I get the best rate possible? I also have a forex account with my broker but 'hedging' is probably too complicated for this transfer unless someone here thinks differently. I will also be visiting this person in December so there is the possibility they could give me some cash and I could convert once I reach the US again, although I'm sure there are limits on the amounts of money I can take overseas.
posted by locussst on Oct 8, 2013 - 5 answers

Fun, flat gifts!

What fun goodies can I put in a flat rate envelope headed for Japan? I'm sending my friend a care package and I want to cram it with as much happiness as possible. [more inside]
posted by chatongriffes on Oct 1, 2013 - 21 answers

Should I go on this trip?

Should I go to Tokyo next week? If I should... where in/around Tokyo? [more inside]
posted by aielen on Sep 18, 2013 - 16 answers

Expatriating to Asia with a work from home job: how do I get a visa?

I have two fantastic work from home jobs that involve frequent international travel. Both of my employers are U.S. companies and I am a U.S. citizen. I want to continue working, but relocate my base to Asia for a year or two. I'd prefer to live in: Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Japan or Bangkok, but am open to other options. I do not want to get a local job, but to keep my current gigs. So, the question is: how can I get permission to stay without a local job? I have plenty of money coming in, but I won't be able to rent an apartment on a tourist visa. What are my visa/immigration options? Any advice for the above listed destinations or other fine cities in Asia, would be much appreciated. I have more than a decade of long-term travel experience in Asia and speak Japanese and basic Vietnamese, FWIW.
posted by dead_ on Sep 11, 2013 - 12 answers

Sakurajima...is she going to blow?

Asking for a friend - a colleague of mine is planning a trip to southern Japan in October and wants info about risks of Sakurajima erupting... [more inside]
posted by sconbie on Sep 9, 2013 - 3 answers

I love Japanese movies - but how???

How can we, in Australia, get access to Japanese films (with English subtitles)? Is there a Japanese movie place in Sydney? We're happy to pay, stream, download, and maybe even buy... but I'm not finding much. Any hints? Help! and Thank you! [more inside]
posted by jrobin276 on Sep 7, 2013 - 7 answers

Best way to get my girlfriend a Foreign Visa K2 etc?

Me an my girlfriend are planning to get married next year. Right now she is living in Japan. She mentioned to me that a K1 visa is what she will need to stay in the United States once we get married. Does anyone know of any caveats to this visa? Would it be best to hire a lawyer to help us make sure the process goes smoothly? Also, are there any other options for visas that she could potentially get? My idea is to propose to her when she visits me on a 3 month visitor's visa and then get married within that 3 months. Any relevant experiences are welcome. Thanks for you help.
posted by locussst on Aug 21, 2013 - 14 answers

Horror manga

Give me your recommendations for your favorite horror manga.
posted by Bunny Ultramod on Aug 18, 2013 - 12 answers

The relative safety of large buildings during massive earthquakes

How many people during the Tohoku 3/11 earthquake actually died from the earthquake itself, and not the tsunami? Also subtract elderly heart attacks, people being fatally crushed under bookshelves/the like, and the collapse of rickety old traditional houses that would have been knocked out during a smaller quake too. [more inside]
posted by GoingToShopping on Aug 7, 2013 - 4 answers

Where can I find reactions to the original Godzilla?

How did audiences in Japan 9 years out of WW2 react to the extensive use of war-imagery in the original 1954 Godzilla? [more inside]
posted by Ndwright on Jul 21, 2013 - 2 answers

Once upon a time there was a cat...

Help me find the link to a short fantasy story that was posted here about a japanese cat who goes on a great adventure. [more inside]
posted by TorontoSandy on Jul 18, 2013 - 5 answers

I needs to travel home on the cheap! (From Tokyo to Ohio)

I am going to be moving back home from Japan (Narita or Haneda) to Ohio (Cleveland-Hopkins) in about 3 weeks to a month. I have not purchased a plane ticket yet, and have no clue where to start. I am considering doing a bit of traveling in between, but don't have too much money to spend so I would like to iron out the details of my return plans first. Help me, Metafilter! [more inside]
posted by Kamelot123 on Jul 18, 2013 - 4 answers

Cheap way to stay in Tokyo for a few months? (internship)

I just got news that I got an internship at an architectural office (altough I just graduated as a a graphic designer) in Tokyo, which is crazy exciting. However, they can't offer any compensation (small studio) so unless I find another job next to this, I need some really cheap solutions. I just sent an email to the studio, asking them for assistance, but figured meta could help. My plan is to stay for 2-3 months. I saved up some money from side jobs, and don't mind spending it on this experience, but the less it makes a dent the better. My only idea so far was to work as some kind of au pair (I speak English, German, Dutch and Croatian fluently, I'm good with kids, but I am a guy, which I guess is not too popular a gender for babysitting), in exchange for a room. Any ideas? Also, some place where I could look for a small job on the side (preferably something where I could use my design skills, but don't mind a day job)? Also, how much can I expect to spend monthly if I'm, technically, still on a student budget? Thank a lot!
posted by ahtlast93 on Jul 11, 2013 - 8 answers

What interesting unique items should I buy in Japan?

I'm travelling to Japan for the first time. I'll be there for about a week, and want to buy some interesting, unique, useful items. What can I buy in Japan that I can't get anywhere else, or that is better than what I can get elsewhere? I'm a utilitarian minimalist who doesn't like owning stuff for the sake of stuff. I like things that are useful, well-designed, beautiful and high-quality. I also like small things. What should I buy in Japan, and what kind of stores should I be looking for? [more inside]
posted by Susan PG on Jul 5, 2013 - 32 answers

A Scandinavian Wedding?

What time of year and what location is feasible for having a wedding in Northern Europe, given that we aren't averse to snow and want to have a small ceremony? [more inside]
posted by GoingToShopping on Jul 1, 2013 - 12 answers

Help with sourcing from Japan?

On my last trip to Japan I totally feel in love with Japanese stationary - I would love to find an individual or a kind of "sourcing agency" in Japan to help me deal with local suppliers and start importing some of the cool stuff to Europe. [more inside]
posted by lenehan on Jul 1, 2013 - 15 answers

How did the Japanese public come to admire U.S. culture, post WWII?

Japan and the Japanese public are often portrayed as being admirers of the culture of the United States. But within living memory the two countries were involved in a brutal war, which culminated in conventional and nuclear bombings targeting Japan's citizenry and devastating their country. In Japan's case, how did a societal contempt sufficient to wage and sustain total war turn, in such a short time, into a societal affinity sufficient for some to embrace many parts of the culture of the nation that had dealt them destruction on such a massive scale? [more inside]
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj on Jul 1, 2013 - 14 answers

Itazura na Kiss, Zainichi Koreans, and Japan

How is the character of Kinnosuke Ikezawa from "Itazura na Kiss" viewed in Japan? [more inside]
posted by slowlikemolasses on Jun 30, 2013 - 0 answers

Visiting Japan -- September or October weather?

I'd like to visit Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, somewhere between Sept-Oct. Ideally, I'd like to go when the weather is ~70F (~20C), and not raining cats and dogs. [more inside]
posted by Xere on Jun 29, 2013 - 10 answers

Plan B/In the Meantime career advice

I wasn't selected for military officer training school. Help me design my Plan B/In the Meantime career while I apply again. [more inside]
posted by mannermode on Jun 16, 2013 - 9 answers

Where can I buy Japanese Rice?

Someone who lived in Japan told me that rice grown in Japan is amazing. I would love to buy real Japanese grown rice, but all I can find is California grown Japanese style rice. [more inside]
posted by gregr on May 23, 2013 - 15 answers

Japan aficionados: help me plan my trip!

I would like to see Tokyo, Kyoto, Miyajima, Hiroshima and Naoshima in the space of 10 days. What should I see? Is this possible? and if not, all advice welcome! Details after the jump. [more inside]
posted by idlethink on May 22, 2013 - 18 answers

Travelfilter: How to get the cheapest flight from Vancouver - Tokyo?

I've wanted to go to Tokyo all my life, and have a few weeks off soon. I've been looking for flights and the cheapest I can find are $1450 all in... but I suspect if I the trip was broken up a bit by not flying there directly, it'd be a lot cheaper. Are there any resources you know of to help with this/have you done this before/do you know a good route that would shave off the $$$? Time isn't overly important as I have three weeks between jobs for exploring. But I don't want to be paying this off till next year. Help!
posted by abbagoochie on May 22, 2013 - 5 answers

After the Quake

Does Murakami's collection *After the Quake* mention the Great Kantō earthquake or include anything about tensions between ethnic Koreans and the Japanese?
posted by slowlikemolasses on May 15, 2013 - 2 answers

Mystery ultraviolent manga from/before late '80s

Hoping to ID an incredibly violent manga that I read a few pages of, back around '88 give or take a couple of years. I've had some images seared in my then-impressionable brain. Lots of blood and gore but not explosively cartoonish like, say, Hokuto no Ken / Fist of North Star. More cruel than anything. Set in modern times. The main character was some sort of vagabond/wanderer/assassin, and was drawn in a Golgo 13 style, with longish hair and maybe a leather jacket. Episodic stories as far as I can tell of him going around fighting baddies. [more inside]
posted by shortfuse on Apr 25, 2013 - 1 answer

I give up. What is the name of this Japanese movie?

I once watched a Japanese movie on a flight but can't for the life of me remember its name. It is about a mysterious Chinese investor trying a hostile takeover of a large Japanese car maker. A retired legend of the Japanese car industry is brought back from retirement to try and save the company from being sold to the Chinese dude.
posted by dcrocha on Apr 15, 2013 - 4 answers

Wounded teddy bears?

Sorry for an otaku question, but what's the deal with bandaged teddy bears? [more inside]
posted by Chocolate Pickle on Apr 13, 2013 - 4 answers

Other games using Karuta Cards?

When I lived in Japan I spent new years with a family and we played a card game using Karuta cards. It wasn't a variation of Karuta... it had something to do with the portraits of the people on the cards? Like, whether they were princesses, ladies or lords. Sort of like Old Maid maybe? Does anyone know what this was?
posted by Caravantea on Apr 10, 2013 - 4 answers

Will Chinese Manufacturing Quality Improve?

Will the phrase "Made in China" eventually overcome its stigma as "Made in Japan" once did? [more inside]
posted by Quisp Lover on Apr 7, 2013 - 30 answers

What must I see in Japan?

I'm probably going to Japan at the end of July for roughly one week. What MUST I see or do in that one week? [more inside]
posted by Gorilla456 on Apr 5, 2013 - 14 answers

Insurance options for the recently unemployed in Tokyo?

I'm an American living in working in Tokyo, but am planning on moving to the states in a few months. I will leave my current job in a month that is providing insurance and take a month or two off to get my affairs in order. What are my options for insurance after I resign? [more inside]
posted by princeoftheair on Mar 24, 2013 - 6 answers

Help me identify this music video

I'm thinking of a music video by a Japanese rock band that starts with a long tracking shot of a huge guitar effects pedal chain. I know it is an amazing song but I can't for the life of me recall the name.
posted by mhjb on Mar 24, 2013 - 4 answers

Is this itinerary for a trip to Japan reasonable?

I am traveling to Tokyo next week and have not been there before. Is this itinerary reasonable? [more inside]
posted by Heliochrome85 on Mar 15, 2013 - 23 answers

Postcard to Japan

I want to send a postcard from France to this restaurant in Japan where my friend is a cook. There appears to be an address on the front page of the website, but I'll be damned if I can make out what it says, much less recreate it on a postcard in a way that the French post can parse. I'm sure I could ask him myself, but I would prefer to surprise him. Can anyone help me with this?
posted by Evstar on Mar 11, 2013 - 9 answers

Pinched nerve, Tokyo: physical therapist or Alexander technique teacher?

I'm asking this for a friend, A. A has a pinched nerve in the neck that isn't getting any better. He has bad posture and sits in a cubicle all day. He would like to see a physical therapist for this, but has also heard good things about the Alexander technique for correcting posture. Which would you recommend? [more inside]
posted by Kamelot123 on Feb 26, 2013 - 8 answers

Japanese Cooking?

I am in Japan. I can not read or speak Japanese. I am a beginner cook. I have a limited budget; I can experiment but my first attempts better be stupid proof & edible. I am also a goat in that I am willing to eat just about anything (squishy squid, large amounts of raw egg, & crayfish that stare back seem to be at or near my limit; however, I love raw fish of many types & I often eat mystery meat on the streets of Asia). Help me master a few Japanese recipes? [more inside]
posted by DisreputableDog on Feb 23, 2013 - 20 answers

Advice for a (probably) pinched nerve? Good physiotherapist? (Tokyo)

I've had a tingling/burning sensation in my left shoulder/hand for about a week. A doc that I saw in Tokyo thinks I have a pinched nerve and told to come back in a week, but was rather vague about what to do in the meantime. I have no health insurance so I would prefer to not go back, but I just noticed the tingling starting up in my right hand as well. [more inside]
posted by Thanquol180 on Feb 22, 2013 - 7 answers

The Japanese Flag of *The Mysterious Island*

Which Japanese flag is described in the first chapter of part three of Jules Verne's *The Mysterious Island*? [more inside]
posted by slowlikemolasses on Feb 19, 2013 - 7 answers

To rescind or not to rescind...

I’ve agreed to a job offer that I would now like to turn down. How do I best handle this situation? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 17, 2013 - 8 answers

Best travel SIM in Japan (speech + data)

I'm searching for the best SIM card for a one month stay in Japan. I've already found e-connect (1 GB/30 days, only data @ 4100 Yen), but I would prefer an option including SMS/speech.
posted by mathiu on Feb 12, 2013 - 2 answers

Origin of Hotta-San hunting knife at Best Made?

I've been looking at this knife at Best Made for a while, and I can't seem to find its provenance. Many other products at Best Made are rebranded or what have you versions from known suppliers, but I cannot for the life of me find a knife that resembles the Hotta-san — after looking at hundreds online. Everything I find refers back to Best Made's info. Can anyone unravel this mystery? [more inside]
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Feb 8, 2013 - 8 answers

Help me travel to Japan!

My sibling, mother, and I want to go to Japan (Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, and Kyoto) in late July. I am getting overwhelmed by trying to book tickets. Help! [more inside]
posted by Bebo on Feb 6, 2013 - 21 answers

What's a trustworthy online store where I can import goods from Japan?

I live in Europe and I would like to import some Japanese products as a Birthday gift for someone. What I'm looking for is traditional food/spices and things like pillows or bedding (two very different categories). What is a trustworthy online store I can use? [more inside]
posted by Lazer on Feb 4, 2013 - 4 answers

Salted rice

Is it common to add salt when cooking plain boiled or steamed rice? Specifically, is this widely done in India, China or Japan?
posted by dontjumplarry on Feb 4, 2013 - 23 answers

What is the title of this old Japanese Superman record?

I collect Superman memorabilia and recently bought a Japanese Superman children's story record, but I can't actually read Japanese beyond vague recognition of the characters that make up the name Superman. What is the title of this record?
posted by MegoSteve on Feb 2, 2013 - 4 answers

Samurai and contemporary Japanese social perceptions of disability

Asking for a friend: "I'm researching for my current WIP, and I'm stuck. I need to build a comprehensive picture of the social perceptions of disability in Japan, both currently and within Samurai culture. Help, anyone?"
posted by daisyk on Jan 30, 2013 - 10 answers

Sonic sculpture (ice, pebbles on bamboo and metal) Any other examples?

The ice melts, releasing the pebbles onto the sculpture. YOUTUBE Anyone know more about this genre of what I call sonic sculpture? [more inside]
posted by surplus on Jan 29, 2013 - 10 answers

Significance of Pearl Harbor in U.S. entry to WWII

What if Japan had not attacked Pearl Harbor? [more inside]
posted by mousepad on Jan 25, 2013 - 19 answers

Nonde nonde nonde!

Help me show my drink/party-loving friend who is visiting Tokyo a memorable time! [more inside]
posted by Kamelot123 on Jan 20, 2013 - 6 answers

Source, translation of inscription, artist, and other works

Can my Japanese-reading MeFite base shed some light on this delightful image? [more inside]
posted by mwhybark on Jan 19, 2013 - 12 answers

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