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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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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16k views

Layover at Narita, Japan. Do I need a transit visa?

I am travelling from Delhi to Chicago and have two stopovers in between, one at Narita, Japan, and the other at Dallas, US; so my trip looks like: DEL - NRT - DFW - ORD. I am an Indian citizen. I do ...
8
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2answers
192 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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2answers
768 views

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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1k views

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 ...
8
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101 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 ...
8
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74 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 ...
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1answer
300 views

Do any of the ferries between Korea and Japan charge per car and not per person in a car?

I've travelled on ferries between Korea and Japan probably more than anyone else using our site so far, but there's one thing I never thought about until now: Do any of the ferries commonly take ...
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1answer
4k views

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 ...
8
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1answer
89 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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4answers
2k views

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 ...
7
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3answers
122 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 ...
7
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2answers
178 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 ...
7
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2answers
133 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 ...
7
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1answer
142 views

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 ...
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201 views

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. ...
7
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1answer
193 views

Are most flights to Japan staffed by hosts with good Japanese?

Are most flights from Australia to Japan staffed by hosts with good Japanese language skills? I assume that Australian based airlines would, but I'm not sure about airlines that are based in ...
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2answers
845 views

Getting around on Kyushu (Fukuoka, Nagasaki and Beppu)

We are thinking about taking shinkansen to Fukuoka and then visit Nagasaki and Beppu (possibly some place in the mountains as well) and probably stay a night or two in both places. Then back to ...
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2answers
1k views

How to buy tickets for a sumo wrestling game?

We are curious about sumo wrestling and would like to visit a game while in Tokyo. According to Wikipedia the big tournament happens 6 times a year but not in April when we are visiting. So what other ...
7
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1answer
271 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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2answers
992 views

Can you receive mail at hotels weeks before you arrive?

Do hotels accept mail for guests that haven't arrived yet? Even weeks in advance? I am buying tickets for an event (see this question), but the vendor can only mail tickets to a Japanese address. I ...
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2answers
2k views

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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114 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 ...
7
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1answer
56 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 ...
7
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1answer
200 views

Is it possible to travel the route Kamchatka-Kurils-Hokkaido alone at the end of Sept-Oct?

I would like to travel, alone, Kamchatka-Kurils-Hokkaido at the end of Sept-Oct. I speak Russian and have done quite some extreme travels before. Most of the sites refer to the non-Hokkaido route: ...
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4answers
393 views

Airlines refusing check-in without return ticket

I recently heard that some airlines refuse to let you fly to Japan (from Europe), if you don't have a return ticket. Since it is possible to buy one-way tickets, I guess this is utter nonsense, but ...
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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 ...
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4answers
435 views

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 ...
6
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3answers
393 views

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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2answers
957 views

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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3answers
654 views

What are the cheapest ways to get from East Asia to Australia?

I have a return ticket that gets me from Turkey to Korea to Australia but it cannot be extended beyond the end of May. I'm thinking of forfeiting or refunding some leg(s) of my ticket but as my ...
6
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2answers
660 views

Can tourists meet onsen geisha nowadays?

Japan's most famous geisha are from Kyoto, Japan's former capital and still a major cultural capital of Japan. But I've also heard of onsen geisha, far away from the big cities, who are at the bottom ...
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5k views

Where can I find the official school holiday schedule for Japan?

I've been looking for some 20 minutes now and can't find any pertinent information. Where can I find the official school holiday calendar for Japan, 2013?
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181 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 ...
6
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2answers
812 views

How expensive is a vacation to Japan?

Since I am planning a vacation to Japan this fall, I'd like to have a rough overview about my expenses. I'm flying from Germany (probably Frankfurt) to Tokyo. I know that the flight alone will net me ...
6
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1answer
150 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 ...
6
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1answer
663 views

Safety and practicalities of eating dolphin meat in Taiji, Japan

At a recent Japan festival, amongst the various tourist brochures I got, one was for Wakayama prefecture, which included a page for Taiji. If I visited there, I'd have to decide whether or not to eat ...
6
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1answer
140 views

Japan Rail Passes, will I need one?

When I got to Japan, I am going to spend 8 days in Tokyo (doing central sight seeing), 5 days in Osaka (with 3 return train trips to Kyoto to see the area) and a day in Hiroshima then a train ride ...
6
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2answers
178 views

Unambiguous contact details for Japanese people

What are some good ways of getting unambiguous (yet not too intrusive) contact details for Japanese people you meet on your travels? Apparently, Japanese people don't have a middle name, and I've ...
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474 views

Sacred mountains in Japan?

I read about a sacred mountain in Japan that was not Fuji. You know - the kind with monasteries all around and nice hiking in the hills. So now I wonder if this is a common concept in Japan? And what ...
6
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1answer
62 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 ...
6
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1answer
76 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 ...
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2answers
329 views

Overcoming the language barrier while experiencing traditional Japanese culture

I'd like to see live performance of traditional Japanese culture. For example, watching noh theatre or bunraku, as opposed to merely seeing artworks or pottery. Unfortunately, my Japanese is fairly ...
6
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1answer
161 views

Documentation for one parent traveling with infant, Australia to Japan

My wife may soon have to travel from Australia to Japan solo with our child, probably on Qantas or JAL. She has a Japanese passport in her own last name, our son has an Australian one with mine. ...
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3answers
713 views

Is it possible to go from South Korea to Hong Kong by sea?

More specifically from Busan (but other sites also possible). My plan is to do Japan - South Korea - Hong Kong by sea.
6
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1answer
374 views

Internet access in Japan

What options are there in terms of prepaid Internet services? Are the charges reasonable? I will be there for no more than two weeks so prepaid seems to be the sensible option.
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1answer
2k views

Are there electrical plugs and/or wifi in Japanese shinkansen?

Do the Shinkansen trains have wifi? How about electrical plugs? If it depends on the train, these are the ones I'll be taking: Hikari 546 (Hiroshima->Shin-Kobe) Hikari 470 (Shin-Kobe->Tokyo) Max ...
6
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1answer
48 views

Where exactly is Yamada Castle in Okinawa?

I've already visited the one restored castle in Okinawa and Wikipedia tells me there are several other ruined castles here on the main island. But one castle is mentioned several times yet I cannot ...
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1answer
142 views

How can I find a good school to learn Japanese in Tokyo?

So I'm trying to live in Tokyo, and would like to learn japanese. I'm looking for an immersion school that will teach me Japanese starting from the basics to intermediate level (JPTL4-JPTL2). I used ...
6
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1answer
130 views

Should I make reservations at a bar in Japan?

In Chapter 93 (part 3 of "Class Reunion") of the manga, Bartender, a customer who walks into Eden Hall informs Sasakura that he doesn't have a reservation. IIRC, I've seen this happen before too. Is ...