An island nation in East Asia known for many aspects of its unique culture and having one of the world's largest cities, Tokyo as its capital.

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Authentic Ainu in Hokkaido

During my next trip to Japan I may end up in Hokkaido. I've read something about this mysterious indigenous group called Ainu/Aynu/Aino/Ezo, but I must admit my understanding of the whole thing is ...
3
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1answer
93 views

Where can I have a genuine Ainu cultural experience in Hokkaido? (or Tokyo!) [duplicate]

I've asked similar questions in the past about how to immerse in or at least experience in an authentic way, the indigenous cultures of the Australian aborigines and the New Zealand Maoris. I've now ...
7
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3answers
171 views

What is the proper etiquette at Japanese onsen?

Japan is a volcanically active country which means it has a plethora of onsen (hot springs) all around the country. Visiting these onsen is supposed to be a popular vacation destination for the ...
8
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1answer
9k views

Tax refund at Narita airport in Japan

I'm an Italian tourist, and I bought things here in Japan. Is it possible to have a tax refund at the airport? In particular I am interested in Narita airport. In case it is possible to specify, what ...
6
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1answer
86 views

Where to find out more about “ライダーハウス” / “riders' houses” in Japan?

I just learned of a very interesting kind of minimal budget accommodation in Japan principally for people on bicycle and perhaps motorbike tours called "ライダーハウス" - "riders' houses". There is an ...
2
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2answers
84 views

How can I meet traveling companions in Tokyo's Narita airport?

My travelling companion and I are flying into Tokyo's Narita airport on separate flights (from two different airlines) that arrive ~50 minutes apart. We will not have cell phone access and presumably ...
2
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1answer
116 views

What options exist to get to Aogashima, Japan from Tokyo?

My understanding from Wikitravel is that you can get a helicopter or ferry from Hachijojima. However, it's unclear what time this ferry is, or whether you'll have downtown after the morning arrival ...
8
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1answer
179 views

More creative snow festivals than Sapporo snow festival

The Sapporo snow festival was pretty good. There was lots of delicious food stalls, information booths, and I even signed a petition calling for the return of Japan's "northern territories" (the ...
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2answers
105 views

What's the easiest way to get to Sapporo, Japan from Misawa, Japan?

I will be in Misawa, Japan for a month, and I'd like to visit Sapporo while I'm in Northern Japan. Google maps provides two solutions for travel but I thought it might be worth it to ask others more ...
2
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1answer
73 views

Ryokans in Kyoto which are culturally interesting but not terribly expensive?

What are some ryokans in Kyoto for someone interested in a unique cultural experience but not worried about staying in a posh/fancy place? I'm travelling to Kyoto soon, and I would like to stay in ...
13
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2answers
549 views

Where to eat Suzumebachi (Giant Sparrow Bee) in Japan?

Today I've read a lot about the craziest insect in Japan, the Suzumebachi. It's a kind of giant bee and, apparently, it's the most dangerous animal in Japan: Being stung is extremely painful and ...
2
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1answer
89 views

Etiquette in Japanese Ryokan vs. Capsule Hotel

What are the etiquette which are required in a Ryokan in comparison to a Capsule Hotel? Are there any things which I must take care of in a Ryokan and not in a Capsule Hotel or vice versa.
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2answers
79 views

Booking a JR Shinkansen train ticket in Seoul

I want to book a Kyoto-Tokyo Shinkansen ticket for a trip in 10 days, because Shinkansen will be very crowded and probably impossible to board without a reservation. How can I book it from Seoul? ...
4
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2answers
110 views

Do you have to book the JR Rail pass outside of Japan?

I've been told by a colleague that you can only buy a Japanese Rail Pass outside of the coutry as a tourist. Is this accurate, or is it possible to purchase say, a 2-3 week one in Tokyo?
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1answer
65 views

Roads in Japan during Golden Week

We are going to Japan during Golden Week. We were planning to buy a Bus Pass and travel by night. Our first destination is Tokyo (arriving by plane) we will take the bus from Tokyo to Osaka hopefully. ...
8
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2answers
1k views

What are the typical meals in Japan?

I'm going to Tokyo for tourism and I'm wondering what are the typical meals that one tourist may get during breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also, what are their costs? Notice that I'm a tourist staying ...
14
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2answers
415 views

What precautions should I take on a Japan travel with a person who have allergy to shrimp?

Me and my wife are planning to travel to Japan next september 2014. Unfortunatelly my wife have a big problem with shrimp, she have a huge allergy to it(even the food fried on the same oil that was ...
5
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1answer
113 views

Can visitors enter the inner caldera of the double volcano island Aogashima, Japan?

Aogashima is one of the Izu island of Japan that isn't very famous for some reason, but definitely should be. The whole island is basically a volcano rising steeply up out of the sea. Within the ...
7
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2answers
230 views

Cheapest way to travel from Osaka Kansai airport to Kyoto and back?

I will be travelling to Kyoto for one week and would like to know the cheapest method of travelling from Osaka Kansai to Kyoto and back. I have looked into the JR east pass which costs ¥2060 for one ...
26
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3answers
1k views

OK we're all nerds here, so really, how on earth should I use a Japanese toilet?

OK so for anyone who's traveled to Japan you know what I'm talking about. They're devices that are a textbook example of excessive featuritis. But I want to use something other than the flush knob ...
5
votes
2answers
609 views

Visiting Japan as US permanent resident

A friend of mine is planning a trip to Japan on short notice. He is not a US Citizen, but a permanent resident. Is there a Visa on Arrival or an easy way to get a visa that applies specifically to US ...
6
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1answer
586 views

Good manners in Temple

I'm going to Japan next week and I booked a night in a temple. I would like know some of best manners. I think a temple is a quiet place, look like a church. I believe not make noise is one ...
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1answer
73 views

Does the JR East pass cover my route?

I will be staying in Tokyo for about 12/13 days or so in May and need to work out which pass, between the full JR pass and the JR East pass is better for me. My full day trips outside of Tokyo are as ...
6
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1answer
165 views

Is it considered “cheap” to not eat dinner at your ryokan?

I'm booking accommodation near Izu Inatori for the dontsuku matsuri (don't google it at work!) and I'm considering whether to book dinner at my ryokan. I suspect that I'd rather be able to eat out so ...
7
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2answers
148 views

Staying on the Nakahechi route without walking

The Nakahechi route is part of the Kumano Kodo walking trail network in Honshu, Japan. I am taken with the idea of staying on this route in particular but do not want to do more than moderate ...
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4answers
309 views

Are inexpensive ryokans inauthentic?

A lot of people I talk to, including Japanese and non-Japanese, claim that ryokans are expensive. Once, when I discussed this further and said that some places that I've been to describe themselves ...
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4answers
5k views

Is it culturally acceptable for an American to visit the memorials in Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

The title says it all. Is it culturally acceptable (to the Japanese) for an American to visit the memorials to the victims of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki? I realize that a Japanese ...
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1answer
95 views

Double-entry visa procedure for transit in Japan

On my trip to Canada which lasts approximately 3 months, I will need to change airport twice in Tokyo (Japan) once for the departure flight and once for the return flight. Because I will be changing ...
15
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2answers
950 views

Is there any region, island, mountain, or village in Japan known for hot spicy local cuisine?

Within the next few days I'm going to start a trip from the very south of Kyushu to the very North of Hokkaido. I'm a bit of a foodie and I'm a huge fan of hot spicy food of all kinds, be it black ...
2
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1answer
60 views

Daisetsuzan Grand Traverse in Hokkaido [closed]

I have some doubts about the Traverse way: If I go at the end of April, what type of boots do I need? Is it snowy? How is the ground? How many km in 1 hour could you do if you walk fast? Do you know ...
4
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1answer
512 views

Daisetsuzan (Hokkaido, Japan) Grand Traverse, how hard?

I'm planning a trip to Japan and I'd like to spend one week immerse in Japanese nature. I've read something about the "Daisetsuzan Grand Traverse", which is a 5 days and 55km trekking on a route that ...
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2answers
158 views

Using Wifi in Japan [closed]

I'm traveling to Japan in June and just wanted to ask whether I should bring my iPhone/iPad to access wifi. I remember from several years ago that it was quite hard to use unless I went to a ...
4
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1answer
154 views

US infant traveling to Japan: Passport requirements

I am a US citizen and my wife is a Japanese citizen. We live in the US. We have a 7-month-old daughter with dual nationality, and she has a US passport. Question: Does my daughter need a Japanese ...
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1answer
64 views

Optimal currency for cash passport in Taiwan

I'll be going to Taiwan, and using a MasterCard Pre-paid currency card ("Cash Passport(tm)"). I currently have a wallet of Japanese Yen, but no other currency. They don't offer a wallet for New ...
7
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1answer
83 views

Cheapest accommodation in Motobu, Okinawa?

I'm interested in finding the absolute cheapest place to sleep overnight in Motobu, Okinawa. There doesn't seem to be any hostels on the usual websites but I've noticed that there seems to be a kind ...
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3answers
1k views

Is overnight stay at Narita Airport permitted?

I will arrive at Haneda Airport at 19:00PM and depart from Narita Airport at 17:25PM the day after. Can I stay the night at Narita Airport without any problem with the airport officers? The time spent ...
16
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1answer
2k views

Is it possible for tourists to enter/attend Japanese Game Shows?

A group of us are looking at a trip to Japan later this year. Joking lead to wondering about visiting a game show, watching one, and then the hypothetical 'can you even go enter one?' question. So - ...
8
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1answer
112 views

Can a foreign tourist attend Okinawan language class in Naha?

I arrived in Naha, Okinawa yesterday and took an interest in the local language as usual since languages are one of my hobbies. Okinawan is a dying language separate from Japanese that is not ...
22
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4answers
3k views

How do you know if a Japanese person means no when they say yes?

I have come across a few situations when a Japanese person will extend themselves beyond what they probably should to help people. I am often worried when asking them to do something that they will ...
4
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2answers
129 views

Foreigners attending events on US bases in Okinawa

I found out that there are some kinds of events held on land that is part of US bases here in Okinawa that are attended by the general public, Japanese and American. The particular event I noticed ...
5
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2answers
133 views

Using a quad-band phone in Japan?

I've got a Nexus 4, but was told that despite it being quad-band, it won't work in Japan. Do they have a different network there? I've answered a question before on getting up and running in Japan ...
9
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2answers
139 views

Universities open to public in South Korea and Japan?

In California and most other states in the USA, at public universities (and sometimes private universities), it is possible for anyone who is not affiliated with the institution to walk into a ...
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2answers
104 views

Ideas for a 5 to 7 day hike in Japan [closed]

In august I will be going to japan. After visiting a friend, I want to go on a trekking for 5 to 7 days. Ideally I would go to Hokkaido for that, because then I can leave my stuff that I do not need ...
4
votes
1answer
166 views

Advice on how to attend the auction at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo

I'm very aware of this question about the Tsukiji fish market but I'd really like to be there in time for the auction so that I can take pictures of it. Since the first train is at 5am and I don't ...
5
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1answer
60 views

Is there an awamori distillery/factory/etc in Okinawa that does tours or allows visitors, with tasting/samples?

Here in Okinawa there is a local spirit called 泡盛 awamori. It is completely distinct from sake (and from shochu). It's only made on the islands of Okinawa, and there are very many kinds for sale. So ...
9
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1answer
292 views

Is free camping permitted in Japan?

I'm planning to go to Japan this summer, and after visiting a relative, I'm planning to go on a hike for 5 to 7 days. I was wondering if camping out in the wild is permitted anywhere in japan, like ...
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2answers
99 views

Is there any kind of car museum anywhere in Okinawa?

After watching too many editions of Jay Leno's Garage on YouTube in the last few days, culminating in one about a '70s Japanese car, I started to wonder ... Is there any car museum or collection of ...
6
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1answer
101 views

Proof of residence for Japan Airpass

To use an ANA Star Alliance Airpass, I need to provide proof that I reside outside of Japan. What would constitute acceptable proof? Context: I'm an American living and working in the UK, and I'm ...
9
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2answers
277 views

Options for sending a message while on a Shinkansen

I need to send a message, preferably while I'm on a Shinkansen, to tell someone which Shinkansen I'm on. I tried to find out how I could do this and ended up with ridiculously expensive options like ...
8
votes
2answers
113 views

Best time to see cherry blossoms in Japan?

Where are the cherry trees blooming in Japan? My problem is that I cannot find out when the cherry trees are blooming in Japan. I have searched the internet and cannot find when the cherry trees are ...