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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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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Japan: Car rental vs public transport

I'm planning a trip through Japan at the moment and stumbling over the question of transport. I read that I (from Germany) need a translation of my driver's license (which should not be a problem), ...
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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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906 views

Taking photos in Japan

I plan on taking photos of everywhere I go in Japan and am wondering if there are certain places, e.g. airports or possibly temples, where photos are not to be taken. A link to online resources would ...
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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 ...
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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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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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Hokkaido night trains after Shinkansen introduction

In march 2016 the Shinkansen will link Honshu to Shin-Hakodate. According to JP Rail's website the Hokutosei is already discontinued and Japan Guide says the overnight Cassiopeia and Hamanasu services ...
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191 views

What can I do to make sure I don't get sick eating fish in Japan (as a 11-year vegan)?

I'm planning to visit Japan next month and am a bit concerned about eating. I've been a vegan for 11 years and I'm going to try my best to avoid meat, fish, eggs and dairy while I'm there, but because ...
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729 views

Can we find some statistics for crime in Japan with tourist / foreign victims?

I've now been to Japan I think seven times in the past fifteen years, for durations between 24 hours and three months. I had always found Japan matches or exceeds reports of being perhaps the safest ...
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263 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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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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417 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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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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240 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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Where can I leave 15kg luggage in Osaka for 5 days?

I'm planning to travel to Osaka soon and will be bringing a wheeled bag with a weight of 15kg. However, in the duration of my trip, I was planning to go to Tokyo as well, but I'd prefer to do that ...
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173 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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Japan: Hamanasu night express train service status

I'm a little confused with this. I know it will be discontinued in 2016 after Shinkansen arrives to Hokkaido but I'm not sure if it's running now or not, and if so, how reliably it's running. JR ...
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641 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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388 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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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.
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First Class Japan Rail Pass on Trains Without First Class

Can I use a first class Japan Rail pass to board trains that don't have a first class carriage?
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618 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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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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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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73 views

Is advanced booking required for ferries from South Korea to Japan

We already have a question about ferries from South Korea to Japan, but my question is can I just show up at the port and buy a ticket for the same-day ferry or do I have to book it in advanced? I ...
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3k views

How to choose a foreigner-friendly bar in Shinjuku Golden Gai

I see from other sites that some of the bars in Shinjuku Golden Gai only welcome local Japanese, so how do I know if they don't welcome foreigners? Should I pick those bar with cover chanrge to play ...
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540 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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746 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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320 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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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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301 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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What is the most common transmission type for rental cars in Japan?

What's the prevalent type of gear transmission on rental cars in Japan (Hokkaido specifically), manual or automatic ? If it's manual, are there restrictions ? Assuming I have an International Driving ...
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278 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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Can you buy a 3-day metro pass (for tourists) in Tokyo center?

I know it's possible to buy a 3-day metro pass at Tokyo airport but I missed that opportunity. Is it possible to still buy it in the center, preferably in the Asakusa area?
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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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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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562 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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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 ...
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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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313 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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2k 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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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 ...
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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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224 views

How to find public trashcans in Japan?

A recent, now deleted question asked why there was so few public trashcans in Japan. It was probably deleted due to a not-so-nice comment opining that it was not a travel question, but I'd hazard a ...
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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 ...