Sex workers in Osaka. 5,6 years ago, a friend took me thru a small, singular neighborhood in Osaka, Japan. Rumored to be controlled by Yakuza, it was an area for sex. The ground floor of the buildings were open to the street, and the 'girl' was sitting, almost enthroned, on a chair or platform surrounded by flowers and cushions. I guess the protocol was to 'shop' the street, and enter the one that appealed to you. We did not tarry, despite my fascination, because my Japanese friend was female, w/ her hair tucked up, and she felt a need to keep moving. She had explained that the city wanted to raze the area as some kind of urban renewal. I wanted to get some Japanese friends to talk to some locals, and find a way to document this unique place, but that never happened. Does anyone know of this? And what eventually happened?
Help! I'm going to Japan (well, hopefully). What do I need to know? [more inside]
Where, around Tokyo, can I have my blood tested for specific genetic mutations? Specifically, protrombin 20210 and factor V (5) Leiden. [more inside]
Traveling to Japan on my own for 2.5 weeks. Help me avoid the part where I start talking to myself. [more inside]
How can I best get cell data while in Japan? I've got a GSM Galaxy Nexus that I'd like to use while I'm in Japan. Is it possible to purchase a pre-paid SIM? If so, where would these be sold? I'll be in Nagoya, if that helps.
Is it in poor taste or offensive to pass around this photo in a class presentation? [more inside]
Osaka-filter Massage/Spa Package-filter. I like to buy a lady friend a good women oriented massage package she could use to relax massively while in Osaka. Any tips on how to find massage/spa resorts that offer this sort of deal? One difficulty I prefer to arrange/reserve/buy it while overseas. [more inside]
What is this candy from a Vietnamese restaurant? [more inside]
I am uk citizen, my partner is Japanese and here in the uk on a working holiday visa which expires mid March. She is pregnant and will give birth in September, ideally in japan, and at the end of 2012 or the start of 2013 we’d like to return to the uk. [more inside]
I really want to share this video I saw a while ago with a friend, for injoke purposes. But I dunno how to find it! Help! I believe it to be either Korean or Japanese pop music. I have little to no memory of the actual song, just the video. 3, maybe 4 East-Asian ladies. Strolling along a sidewalk, holding shopping bags, walking past upscale store windows. The sidewalk moves underneath them, kind of like an omnidirectional conveyor belt. I can remember no other details, really. Other than it was filmed in a studio (obviously), yet gives the impression of being filmed outside via lighting, and there were a lot of pastel shades going on. Oh, and the women are wearing heels. [more inside]
Contemporary art and performing arts in Japan? I will be living in Tokyo for about 4 months soon. I plan on checking out the arts and performing arts (theater, dance) contemporary/emerging/experimental/however-you-want-to-call-it scene. Any recommendations? [more inside]
JapanFilter: Where should we go in in Japan on our honeymoon? [more inside]
What are good history books covering Japanese militarism in the first half of the 20th century? [more inside]
I am a printmaker, but I have also been trained in bookbinding and papermaking, including some Japanese papermaking. We are going to Japan in late March/early April, and I would love to visit a printmaking/papermaking studio. [more inside]
In watching Azumanga Daioh (anime) and in comments here and around the web, there seems to be a trope or expectation or whatever you would call it that Japanese people are actually afraid of foreigners. Is that accurate? If so, why is that?
I want to take a ferry from Shimonoseki, Japan to Busan, South Korea, and then later from Busan to Fukuoka—but how do I book tickets? [more inside]
Early international marriages between Japanese men and Western women in post-Meiji 1800s... where could I read about them? [more inside]
Does anyone know where to buy Cheds or Cheez-Its in Japan? Mail order is best but anything helps. I've had precious little luck finding anything on the domestic market good enough to qualify as a replacement.
SAVE MY HONEYMOON HIVEMIND! Is there a definitive (non-biased) answer on whether Japan is safe for travel? [more inside]
What is the best online store in Japan? Amazon or Rakuten or others? [more inside]
I'm taking a class this year studying the history of samurai and was wondering why I didn't know of a Korean equivalent. I know we Koreans love martial arts and fighting just like the Japanese, judging by the dozens of sageuks produced every year. [more inside]
Last December I was in Japan and I enjoyed the 7-Eleven soup they had. Pretty much all the 7-11's had the same soup, in a stand usually by the cash register, they would have other stuff you could add to the soup; fish balls, meat on sicks, noodles, ect... The soup would be already hot and you served yourself. My questions is what is that called? And where could I get something like it in Vancouver, BC?
I am in Naoshima, Japan. Getting here was a lovely surprise as this particular destination was not planned. Tomorrow we are supposed to leave for Kyoto, but we could gladly change our plans for some other less touristy or more intereting areas. Do you have any recommendations to do in South Japan?
JRail accessible waterfalls between Osaka and Hiroshima. [more inside]
My friend brought me this terra cotta rattle/ball back from Japan. What is it? Japanese instructions included! [more inside]
Can I take my cat in a cat carrier on the subway/train in Japan? [more inside]
My sister was in a really bad car accident, and has been in rehab for months and months. Now she's getting a new car! I want to buy her traffic safety O-mamori (protective lucky charm). Is there any particular shrine famed for this particular O-mamori?
I have ringworm. I am in Japan. I want to avoid seeing a doctor, if possible. What medicine should I buy and how can I prevent this from happening again? [more inside]
Can any of our Japan-based MeFites recommend an immigration lawyer in the Kansai area? [more inside]
I'm going to be getting a tattoo or two within the next few months. However, I'm also going to Japan at some point next year to live there for 2+ years. What all should I know? [more inside]
Help me remember an early internet crazy that lived in NYC, had a Japanese daughter, and was fascinated by the game GO. [more inside]
Am I the only one having trouble with iOS 5 location-based reminders being really, really inconsistent? (I live in rural Japan, for what it's worth, and have my home address stored in Japanese in my "my information" contact entry) And what, if anything, can I do to make it work more consistently at a bare minimum?
I will be in Japan and Korea for a business trip soon. I'd like to stay connected to the Internet, so what is the cheapest/easiest way to do so? [more inside]
My wife and I are living in Manila and would like to get away for the long weekend in Late November/Early October. I was thinking of going to Japan but after watching a tv show on Taiwan, it looks amazing. I'm sure Asia has more to offer, so please help us pick a destination! [more inside]
Can you explain the stock "lantern-jawed transvestite" character in mainstream Japanese animation? [more inside]
What do the Japanese find "wacky" or bizarre about American/Western culture? Not looking for negative stereotypes, more "WTF??" moments of hilarious cultural untranslatablility. [more inside]
I lived in Tokyo for a while. I miss it. Please help me find films / TV / music videos shot in Tokyo so that I can indulge my nostalgia. [more inside]
I want these ice cube makers, but I don't speak Japanese and I live in the US. Anyone know of a US source? If not, how much are they actually? Can anyone tell if either of these companies will ship to the US?
Having moved recently to Japan, I'm looking for an internet provider. Basically, I have my own router (that I bought in Japan about 10 years ago), which I can configure by myself. I am looking for a cheap plan, preferably without a commitment.
I'm moving to Japan no matter what, but should I tell my current employer sooner rather than later that I have decided to do this? [more inside]
In Osaka – Japanese language courses or schools? [more inside]
I am a professional translator, Japanese to English. I work almost entirely in comics and novels, at home, alone. My Japanese language skills are atrophying, and I don't know what to do about it. [more inside]
I want to buy my wife this "Mamachari" bike for her birthday. But they are only available in Japan (I'm in the US.) Any suggestions on how I'd purchase and ship one at the lowest price possible?
Which bank is the most recommended for foreigners in Japan? I am interested in information about issuing a credit card for foreigners, interest on savings, international money transfer rates, and other commission rates. I'm considering using one of the web-only banks (新生、楽天、セブン、etc). Is there any risk involved (e.g., if they go bankrupt)?
What are some interesting things to do in Tokyo and Kyoto for 8 days? [more inside]
What are these strangely shaped table linens inherited from my Japanese Step-Grandmother? [more inside]
What to do during a January honeymoon in Japan? [more inside]
I'd like to subscribe to a wi-fi provider in Japan that I'll be able to use with my laptop or phone. I'd like something that is a monthly fee. I'll be there as a legal resident, not a tourist. [more inside]
Where should an American expat go to meet people in Japan? [more inside]
My boyfriend is coming to visit me in Japan. Yay! Help me help him not die of isolation, culture shock and boredom. [more inside]