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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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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156 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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No-pictures buildings in Japan (shooting from street forbidden by law)

I often take pictures of buildings. Usually without knowing what the building is. QUESTION: Are there buildings in Japan that it is forbidden by law to take pictures of? If yes, which ones? Bonus ...
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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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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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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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May I swim in a direction parallel to the width of a swimming pool in Japan?

I am talking about a rectangular swimming pool. In my country, we are allowed to swim in a direction parallel to the width of the pool when there are too many customers come. It is usually done ...
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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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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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Tour to Fukushima closed area?

There are several travel agent in Ukraine which organise Chernobyl tour and visited the Closed Area. Is there any travel agents in Japan organising similar trips to Fukushima Closed Area?
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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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392 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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254 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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876 views

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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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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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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366 views

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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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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On which trains in Japan is reservation mandatory?

The vast majority of Japanese trains have so-called non-reserved (or unreserved) seats (自由席, literally "free seats"), which do not allow reservation and are available on a first-come, first-served ...
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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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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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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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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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Stopovers on Shinkansen services?

I'm planning a Hakodate-Tokyo journey this summer after the Hokkaido Shinkansen opens, but it's a four-hour journey even on the fastest service and I'd like to take a break, stretch my legs and eat ...
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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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651 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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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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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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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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When are stopovers permitted on Japan Railways (JR) trains?

Regarding this question: in general, what are the rules governing stopovers for JR trains if one does not use a rail pass? A stopover means you have a ticket from stations A to B (say, Tokyo to ...
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653 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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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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Leaving belongings in a capsule hotel

I am considering staying at Hotel Asakusa & Capsule for a few days. I know I have to leave the hotel during the day for cleaning, I don't mind this as I will be going around town anyways. ...
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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 ...