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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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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419 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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138 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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154 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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470 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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Does Japan have pubs or bars?

In jmac's answer to "Where can I socialize with young Japanese people?", one suggestion given was bars: For night life, bars tend to be the best choice (over Izakaya or Night Clubs) because they ...
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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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319 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 ...
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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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303 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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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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511 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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666 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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490 views

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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5k views

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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6k 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 ...
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222 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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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 ...
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905 views

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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125 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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13k 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 ...
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3k 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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124 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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413 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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253 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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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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199 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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549 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 ...
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3k 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 ...
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278 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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1k 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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199 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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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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243 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. ...
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182 views

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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218 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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897 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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212 views

Do hotels in Japan always have manual baths in their rooms?

In Japan, most homes have automatic baths which set up the bath at a pre-set temperature and pre-set level. However twice I stayed at high priced hotels and the room bath was a manual bath like you ...
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290 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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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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Place to store luggage for the day in Tokyo?

I'm switching airports between Haneda and Narita over the course of 30 hours. As a result I have the day in Tokyo. I'm likely sleeping in the airport, so don't have a hotel in town to store my bags ...
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304 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 ...
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205 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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2k 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 ...
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2answers
580 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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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299 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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109 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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1answer
370 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: ...