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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Japan's crumbling temples and shrines — How can I find them?

I will be staying in Japan for a few weeks late this summer, and would like to find a bunch of back-woods, off-the-beaten-path temples and shrines, especially if they are dilapidated and not "new" ...
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Should you use English or (possibly broken) Japanese in Japan?

So I'm going to Japan next month with friends, and I'm the only one speaking reasonably good Japanese. However, I am really nervous about how to approach people when, say, buying train tickets and ...
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How, specifically, can I travel between Taiwan and Okinawa by sea?

This is a followup to a previous question of mine where we established that it is possible to travel between the Philippines, Taiwan, and Japan. So now that we know that it's possible, and because ...
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820 views

Where can I find Japanese Lacquerware in Tokyo?

I've been racking my brains on this for quite a while now and would like to buy some traditional styled Japanese Lacquerware or shikki (漆器) in Tokyo. I've tried places like Asakusa and some online ...
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401 views

Car rental in Japan

Is it possible to rent a car in Japan with a Swedish drivers license? What is the traffic like? I figure that there is not much use in driving in the Tokyo or Osaka areas. What are the options for ...
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819 views

Exchanging business cards in Japan

In Hong Kong (and I believe other parts of China as well), one offers his business card by holding it with both hands with the text unobscured and oriented so that the other person can read it. After ...
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Eating fish eye in Japan

Where can I eat fish eye in Japan? Ideally, they'd be pickled and come with rice, like I've heard it was during WW2, but I'm not sure whether it's available like that nowadays. Is it generally ...
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433 views

Snorkeling in southern Japan?

Are there any good snorkeling sites around Kyushu in southern Japan? Is it warm enough to do this in April? (Context: newbie snorkelers... one or two days. Preferably not an island outside of Kyushu.) ...
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586 views

Is there any way to get a ride on the new Japanese Maglev train in Yamanashi?

I know it is an experimental test track but was wondering if anyone knew how one might be able to ride the Yamanashi maglev train on one of its test runs?
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890 views

Travel to Okinawa from mainland Japan

We are visiting Japan in April and I am thinking about a couple of days of sun, bathing and snorkelling in Okinawa. What are the travel options for this? Flying from Tokyo is probably one. Are there ...
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497 views

Are there any ferry companies operating between Russian East ports and Japan?

I'm interested in visiting the Japan after some Russian Far East trip. I'm searching for the sea ways to the Japan. Can you help me with that? Update: I'm searching some extremal variants not from ...
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145 views

Can I learn ski jumping in Japan?

Since visiting Calgary Olympic Park and seeing their exhibit on ski jumping within the ski jumping tower, I've wanted to have a go at the sport, and Japan is the closest country to me (along with ...
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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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489 views

Camping near a beach, not far from Tokyo

I am looking for a place to camp (tent, coming by bicycle or train), at walking distance from a beach, and not far from Tokyo. Any recommendation? I have found a few lists of camping addresses, but ...
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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 ...
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Can I use a power adapter designed for USA in Japan?

I'm about to travel to Japan (from UK) and can't seem to buy a mains adapter that specifically says it can be used in Japan. However, the internet (e.g. Wikipedia) tells me that Japanese power sockets ...
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How much should I fear golden week in Japan?

I am planning a vacation to Japan, and currently have two possible plans. In plan A I leave well before Golden week (on 4/24). In plan B I leave during the first weekend of golden week (4/28, on ...
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223 views

Finding sleepover spots in internet cafes in Japan?

The last time I was in Tokyo without a place to sleep, an incredibly helpful japanese couple guided me to an internet cafe that offered single rooms with a bed-couch for a far cheaper price than any ...
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337 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 ...
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564 views

Safety [petty crimes, mostly] in Japan

I'm fully aware of the fact that Japan is considered a quite safe country in regards of petty crimes. However, I recently stumbled upon alerts about the Roppongi area where [quoting from wikitravel] ...
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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 ...
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1k 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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757 views

Are there public bath etiquette to be aware of in Japan for foreign women? [duplicate]

I'm in Japan now and it is simply awesome. I'm thinking of visiting a public bath. Is it separate for the two genders? Can I go in with a swim suit (after my mandatory shower, of course) or do I have ...
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Can you still buy used panties in vending machines as a souvenir from Japan?

In 1999 I came across a vending machine of used panties while hiking through Japan. Apparently it was made illegal in 1993, but still in 1999 they seem to be wide spread. Is this still the case, or ...
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How can I find out what type of train is used for a Shinkansen service?

One of my kids' favorite destinations near Tokyo is the Railway Museum, which as a bonus can be visited by taking the Shinkansen bullet train two stops from Tokyo to Omiya. This particular section of ...
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Jogging in Tokyo and Osaka

I'm not a huge fan of jogging on crowded sidewalks even in the US, and I expect many sidewalks in Tokyo and Osaka will only be more crowded. What locations in these cities would you recommend for ...
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Are American Express credit cards widely accepted in Japan, specifically, Osaka?

I'm planning how I'll be bringing my money in my future Japan trip, and I was wondering if I could use a mix of cash and credit cards. Sadly, as of the moment, I only have an Amex credit card. Also, ...
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Cheap way to get around Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka - alternatives to the JR Pass?

Me and my friends are going to Japan 2 weeks from now. We'll stay for 4 days in Tokyo, overnight in Hakone, 3 days in Kyoto (with a side visit to Nara) and 2 days in Osaka (Summer Sonic!!). So my ...
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213 views

Can I converse with Japanese travellers on the Shinkansen or is it rude?

I'm planning to travel from Osaka to Tokyo and back, and since the ride will be long, I think it's the perfect time to make friends. However, I'm unsure how the Japanese see this kind of behaviour - ...
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Zen meditation in Kyoto, Japan

A while ago I've read that in the Engaku-ji or in the Kencho-ji in Kamakura everyone is welcome to try zazen (seated zen meditation) and that the zazen session is really noob-friendly. Since I'm a ...
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144 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 ...
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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 ...
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Does female sword fighting as entertainment still exist in Japan?

The "Lonely Planet Tokyo" iPhone app describes female sword fighting as a bygone form of male entertainment: Surprisingly, striptease almost failed to catch on due to the popularity of a rival ...
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How reliable are portable WiFi hotspots in Japan?

Instead of getting a prepaid SIM chip, I'm thinking of renting a mobile wifi hotspot. I've found these two so far. Two questions: Are these reliable? I will be mostly in the big cities. If I'm not ...
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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 ...
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443 views

Where to buy zafu (can be secondhand) in Tokyo or Kyoto

Tomorrow I will be travelling to Tokyo, and later to Kyoto. I am interested in buying a new or secondhand zafu, which is a special cushion for zazen meditation. I already asked a similar question ...
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Avoiding human trafficking when getting a massage in Japan

I'm currently unable to distinguish between Japanese, Korean and Chinese ethnicities. How do I avoid exploiting victims of human trafficking while having a massage in Japan? Is human trafficking more ...
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352 views

Mastercard in Japan - pay with signature

I'm in Japan and I have a Mastercard, but I forgot my PIN. Do you know if it is possible to swipe and pay?
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217 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 ...
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220 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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Is there luggage storage at train stations in Japan?

We will travel around Japan by train and will make a few shorter stops with only a nights stay so it would be handy to be able to drop the bags at the station while doing some sightseeing before ...
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336 views

Attend Sumo match in Nagoya

I'm planning to buy tickets for a sumo match in Nagoya in July. As A tall European guy who never visited a sumo match before I'm struggling to decide which tickets to buy. To really experience sumo ...
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Subway, train or both when travelling around Tokyo

We will spend a week in Tokyo in april and I am now looking into the best way to get around the city. The subway seems to go everywhere but there are also normal trains connecting most places. How ...
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Can I find suitable (and affordable) accommodation in Japan with children?

Some years ago I backpacked through Japan. It is still one of the highlights of my traveling career. We are now considering going to Japan with (small) children. Based on my earlier trip I consider ...
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211 views

Amusement parks in the Tokyo area

What big popular amusement parks are there in the Tokyo area? I am looking for anything with fun rides, a bit of history if possible and nice surroundings. If the locality is close to other ...
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2answers
238 views

How can I travel to Japan from mainland Asia by ship?

I'm planning my trans-mongolian/siberian trip and I'll end up in Beijing. I want to know if it's possible to reach Japan without flying (ideally Tokyo).
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How does one respectfully greet someone in Japan?

Every country has different cultural greetings. I was wondering if handshaking is ok in Japan? Or do they have their own cultural greeting. I'm not talking about greeting in their language but more ...
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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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Are there other country-based theme parks in Japan besides “Huis ten Bosch”?

During my visit to Japan, I was surprised to find Huis ten Bosch, while on my way to Nagasaki. It is a park where major and historic buildings from the Netherlands are remodelled on a same-size base. ...
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Going to gyms in Japan

I'm planning a trip to Japan and was wanting to do a Gold's Gym there and am curious how it'd compare to a gym in the USA. So with gyms in the USA I'll often go there with a drawstring backpack with ...