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4 day Long weekend in Asia - where to go?

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]
posted by Admira on Oct 13, 2011 - 4 answers

Her long black beard is her pride and joy.

Can you explain the stock "lantern-jawed transvestite" character in mainstream Japanese animation? [more inside]
posted by Nomyte on Oct 12, 2011 - 7 answers

Lost in Translation

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]
posted by evilcupcakes on Oct 11, 2011 - 39 answers

Please help me return to Tokyo without leaving my armchair!

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]
posted by ManyLeggedCreature on Oct 8, 2011 - 14 answers

Must have penguin ice cubes!

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?
posted by answergrape on Oct 4, 2011 - 7 answers

Recommendation for an ISP in Japan

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.
posted by ovesh on Sep 27, 2011 - 3 answers

Should I stay (quiet), or should I go (and blow it all)?

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]
posted by anonymous on Sep 26, 2011 - 6 answers

Learning Japanese in Osaka?

In Osaka – Japanese language courses or schools? [more inside]
posted by krilli on Sep 18, 2011 - 1 answer

How can I maintain and improve my Japanese translation skills?

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]
posted by anonymous on Sep 15, 2011 - 25 answers

Need advice on how to buy and ship a Japan-only bicycle to the US.

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?
posted by soulbarn on Sep 14, 2011 - 7 answers

Reccomended banks for foreigners in Japan

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)?
posted by ovesh on Sep 13, 2011 - 7 answers

What are some interesting things to do in Tokyo and Kyoto for 8 days?

What are some interesting things to do in Tokyo and Kyoto for 8 days? [more inside]
posted by Average Mario on Sep 13, 2011 - 17 answers

What are these linens used for?

What are these strangely shaped table linens inherited from my Japanese Step-Grandmother? [more inside]
posted by shmurley on Sep 12, 2011 - 21 answers

Snow Mecha and Other Winter Japanese Activities

What to do during a January honeymoon in Japan? [more inside]
posted by spamguy on Sep 7, 2011 - 9 answers

Wi-fi subscription in Japan

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]
posted by reductiondesign on Sep 6, 2011 - 5 answers

Finding friends in Japan

Where should an American expat go to meet people in Japan? [more inside]
posted by 7life on Aug 10, 2011 - 10 answers

The care and feeding of boyfriends (in rural Japan)

My boyfriend is coming to visit me in Japan. Yay! Help me help him not die of isolation, culture shock and boredom. [more inside]
posted by sunset in snow country on Aug 8, 2011 - 11 answers

Painting Recognition Request

My brother has asked me -('cause I is a genius with this new Net thing) to identify a painting he came across in France, and additionally to translate the Japanese hieroglyphics contained within said pic. Tin-Eye was no help as it only linked to 4 expired Ebay-France pages. [more inside]
posted by Wrick on Aug 6, 2011 - 16 answers

Looking for some shows in Tokyo

Looking to find some punk-ish (or anything, really) shows in Tokyo over the next two days. Where have all of the find-shows-by-mapping sites gone? [more inside]
posted by soma lkzx on Aug 5, 2011 - 5 answers

Identify Japanese woodblock print of kabuki actor, possibly by Kunichika, possibly set on Tokaido Road

Need help identifying this Japanese woodblock print of a kabuki actor. I think the artist is Kunichika, and the print is set somewhere on the Tôkaidô Road. At the top of the page is a large box of Japanese text -- I'm hoping someone can read this, or otherwise identify any hints about the location, actor and character. (Two more translatable things inside) [more inside]
posted by LobsterMitten on Jul 30, 2011 - 15 answers

How Safe Is It To Travel To Tokyo?

My family lives in Tokyo, and I grew up there, but I now go to school in the states. My parents want me to come out to visit next month, but I'm a bit concerned about the radiation. They assure me that any increase in the levels is negligible, but I realize that there are many different types of radiation, and food grown in the Fukushima area is still being served in Tokyo. I just really don't want to be a victim of hindsight, and it seems for every reputable article I can find that indicates the levels are safe, I can find another that begs me to reconsider the first. I don't know what to do. I don't want to be paranoid, but I also don't want the whole family to be at risk if there is an overlooked issue.
posted by howgenerica on Jul 26, 2011 - 22 answers

Undergraduate research grants for Japanese travel and research?

My sister is looking for undergraduate research funding to support some field work in Japan for her BA thesis project. She's especially interested in questions about gender and sexuality. Any advice on grant-giving organizations she might look into? [more inside]
posted by bubukaba on Jul 22, 2011 - 4 answers

iPhone in Japan?

I'll be studying abroad in Japan for a year, and I'd like to use my (unlocked) iPhone as my cell phone while I'm there. This presents two problems. What do I do with my current plan and phone number, and what plan do I get once I'm in Japan? [more inside]
posted by reductiondesign on Jul 21, 2011 - 3 answers

What is this mystery item from postwar Japan?

This is an item from my Grandparent's house that has been stored since the 1940s. All I know about it is that it was with other items which my Grandfather brought back with him from postwar Japan. An aunt of mine claims it's something that goes on your head, but I can't tell if it's even possible to take off the wooden stand. It is intricately detailed. It also has a small wooden case with a clear front, but the case is not especially detailed. What is this item? Does it have value? (view larger, largest)
posted by artlung on Jul 18, 2011 - 8 answers

Welcome to Japan

What should I expect once I arrive in Tokyo? And what shouldn't I miss while I'm in the Kyoto area next weekend? [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on Jul 17, 2011 - 12 answers

Where can I see robots in Osaka or Kyoto?

I just saw this video about karakuri (Japanese clockwork automatons) and was amazed. The guy is located in Osaka, but there is no information about where he works or whether his studio is open to the public. Coincidentally I will be in Osaka next week. Where can I see some karakuri? Does anyone know of any exhibitions of them, or anywhere else I could see them? [more inside]
posted by lollusc on Jul 16, 2011 - 9 answers

Me Talk Pretty (Japanese) Someday

Can you give me strategy and tactics for maximizing my spoken Japanese interactions, towards the goal of language ability, while in Japan? Those of you who have reached exceptional/native-level fluency speaking, can you give me some tips, and share your experiences of the things that helped the most along the way, in terms of speaking ability? [more inside]
posted by dubitable on Jul 15, 2011 - 12 answers

Japan: Looking for advice on logistics for a paranoid traveller

I will be in Tokyo for 5 days next week. Since I will be arriving at Haneda airport close to 23h00, I will need to make a call to my airport hotel to collect me at the airport. How does one actually make a phone call in Japan? I know this sounds silly but not knowing how to read all those japanese characters is making me anxious. The hotel is situated in the Haneda area and the phone number starts with 03. I searched flickr for some pictures of payphones and this one indicates that it accepts coins and phonecards. I am now worried that due to the lateness of my arrival; no shops selling phonecards will be open. Any advice ?
posted by lahersedor on Jul 10, 2011 - 18 answers

Inkan/hanko shop recommendations

I'm looking to purchase a new inkan -- where do you recommend I do so? [more inside]
posted by armage on Jun 20, 2011 - 1 answer

Where can I buy a t-shirt bra in Japan?

Where can I go to buy a T-shirt bra in Tokyo, preferably in Shibuya or Shinjuku? [more inside]
posted by xmts on Jun 17, 2011 - 3 answers

Japan: Easiest way to get from Narita airport to Tokyo Station?

Japan: Easiest way to get from Narita airport to Tokyo Station? Or, do I have my train details straight? [more inside]
posted by belau on Jun 17, 2011 - 12 answers

If I like Japanese beer, what other beer will I like?

I like Japanese beer. What other beer commonly found in American bars will I also like? [more inside]
posted by olinerd on Jun 16, 2011 - 27 answers

Where in Osaka can I print a poster?

I'm in Osaka, Japan, at a conference at the Rihga Royal NCB. I need to print off a poster this afternoon. Is there a Kinko's-like print shop nearby I could use?
posted by olinerd on Jun 5, 2011 - 5 answers

Japanese Girl Gangs in a Music Video

Music Video ID. A year ago I saw a youtube video from Japan. Two girls, rock-ish, rap-ish? They were each leading a gang, one dressed like circa-Thriller MJ, the other gang dressed like a metal punks. I think they had a dance battle on a pier. [more inside]
posted by special agent conrad uno on May 31, 2011 - 2 answers

Blues in Japan?

Why are the blues (the music genre) so popular in Japan? [more inside]
posted by andrewpcone on May 29, 2011 - 9 answers

How do I use mixi?

How do I use mixi? [more inside]
posted by reductiondesign on May 29, 2011 - 1 answer

Japanese Craigslist?

What is the equivalent to Craigslist in Japan, perhaps the Osaka area specifically? [more inside]
posted by krilli on May 27, 2011 - 9 answers

What is the law in Japan regarding seating a child at the front and a child at the rear of the bicycle?

What is the law in Japan regarding seating a child at the front and a child at the rear of the bicycle? [more inside]
posted by ovesh on May 25, 2011 - 14 answers

Where to next...

Good trip ideas for a 30-something guy traveling solo for 1-2 weeks in Sept, prefer somewhere where it's easy to meet other people [more inside]
posted by photo guy on May 19, 2011 - 6 answers

What's a good history of gagaku and/or the sho?

What should I read for a solid but concise history of gagaku and/or the sho? I am also interested in court rituals in Japan generally. I read somewhere they served a significant legitimizing-of-the-court function in Japan ca. 700 or 800, and would like to confirm, deny, and learn more about this idea.
posted by andrewpcone on May 18, 2011 - 3 answers

a meltdown about a meltdown

Asking from a position of almost complete ignorance, and to reassure anxious family members: Would today's news of the full meltdown at Fukushima cause you to cancel a planned trip to Kyoto this July? Can you give me some hard data about the radiation danger of a week in Kyoto versus (say) the radiation danger of a trans-Pacific flight?
posted by gerryblog on May 12, 2011 - 14 answers

What trick is this?

At 2:02 in this video the guys on the left are holding paper coffee cups. What is the guy on the far left doing? [more inside]
posted by Evilspork on May 10, 2011 - 7 answers

Used Clothing in Kyoto

Where can I find places in Kyoto to shop for used/vintage clothing? In Tokyo, I love going to Harajuku and wandering around their used/vintage clothing shops with random old items, like Kinji for really cheap and unique clothing. Is there a similar like place in Kyoto? I've spent 3 days in Kyoto in the past and all I recall for shopping were department stores and other Big Generic Imposing Chain Shops that you can find anywhere else in the world. [more inside]
posted by peachtree on May 10, 2011 - 7 answers

Is "What's your favorite lunch menu?" appropriate question for ESL textbook?

ELT-filter: I'm arguing that "What's your favorite lunch menu?" is Japanese-English phrasing that shouldn't be included in an English textbook. [more inside]
posted by planetkyoto on May 9, 2011 - 37 answers

Help me find a dirty movie.

Help me find a dirty movie. (NSFW) [more inside]
posted by djstig on May 2, 2011 - 1 answer

help me spend my aussie dollars...

What are some online shopping sites that ship direct to Australia. I'm wanting to take advantage of the stronger Australian dollar. [more inside]
posted by MT on May 1, 2011 - 10 answers

Shinjuku vs Shibuya

I will be in Tokyo for a few days next month and need to decide where I am staying - Shibuya or Shinjuku? [more inside]
posted by Julnyes on Apr 28, 2011 - 10 answers

JET vs AmeriCorps

JET (teaching English in Japan) vs AmeriCorps (cool community stuff in my city). Or, how do you decide between two paths that seem comparably engaging/difficult/unknown? [more inside]
posted by elephantsvanish on Apr 21, 2011 - 17 answers

I need to understand more about cultural differences in doing business with Japan

I need to understand the Japanese cultural importance of "saving face" with respect to business, and how I can make myself less frustrated with an ongoing business negotiation I'm involved in. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 20, 2011 - 10 answers

Pythagoras Switch available to purchase?

Is the adorable Japanese children's TV show Pythagoras Switch, (aka Pitagora Suicchi) available as a dvd or download in the US? [more inside]
posted by apparently on Apr 18, 2011 - 2 answers

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