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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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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4answers
2k 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.
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2answers
3k 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 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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1answer
106 views

Where in Kyoto can I visit a traditional wood workshop?

I'm taking my dad (an avid hobby wood worker) for a few days to Japan, specifically the Tokyo and Kyoto region. Would anyone have some recommendations or know of a traditional Japanese wood workshop ...
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2answers
659 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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2answers
252 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
936 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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75 views

Where are the melody roads located in Gunma prefecture?

I've heard many times that in Gunma prefecture, roads that play music when you drive over them can be found. However, I've not been able to find a clear location for these roads. Supposedly, there is ...
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1answer
85 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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4answers
5k 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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1answer
887 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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2answers
225 views

Can a US citizen work remotely for a US company while in Japan for sightseeing?

Assume a US citizen works for a US company remotely and that this person has a passport, but no visa. Let's say they want to go spend some time in Japan for leisure/tourism/sightseeing - no more than ...
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1answer
112 views

Can I take pickled plums (umeboshi) through USA customs?

I am living in Japan and my host mother is offering to give me her homemade umeboshi or pickled plums and I was wondering if USA customs would allow them through. The plums do have a seed in the ...
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1answer
247 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 ...
8
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1answer
405 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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2answers
414 views

Cheapest place to buy a JR Pass

I realize that the cost of the pass itself is fixed, in yen. However, I see that travel agents often add extra costs, in the form of "delivery fees" and "processing fees" etc ($15 for delivering a ...
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4answers
233 views

Japan public transport directions

Google Maps seems not complete enough for finding transit directions in Japan. Any better or official website or app for this?
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3answers
248 views

Is researching dating tips for a specific country worthwhile, useless or counterproductive?

I'm planning on visiting Japan for two weeks. While dating isn't the purpose of my trip, I hope to socialize a bit with people my age, including some après-ski, and wouldn't mind if it resulted in ...
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3answers
610 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
325 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
931 views

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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2answers
290 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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2answers
4k views

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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2answers
360 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 day-...
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297 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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2answers
1k 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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2answers
681 views

South Korea vs. Japan. Which gets cold earlier in autumn?

I will finally arrive on the Chinese east tomorrow, over three month behind my original schedule. My plan was to take a ferry to South Korea spend a month there and then take a ferry to Japan to ...
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4answers
7k 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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1answer
327 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 third-...
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2answers
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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1answer
273 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 ...
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108 views

What discount options are available for domestic air travel in Japan?

In order to visit some faraway places like Okinawa or (northern) Hokkaido, but also because the Shinkansen can be very expensive (especially without a rail pass), one sometimes needs or wants to book ...
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1answer
479 views

Is it generally true that Japanese people are more reluctant to help Asian compared to Western foreigners? [closed]

I had the feeling while travelling in Japan that Japanese people in general (apart from those working at shops or public transport or accommodations) seem to show a little bit more reservation and ...
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3answers
4k views

Discounts for Universal Studios Japan when it's your birthday?

I've heard this from my Japanese friend but I can't find any announcement or official ad regarding this discount. Can anyone confirm if this is true or not?
7
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1answer
238 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
272 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
411 views

Is there a 3G Sim Card that is usable in both Japan and China?

I will be going to Japan and China next month. As I don't want to activate the data roaming on my carrier due to the high charge, I am looking to buy local Sim Card with 3G data plan that is cheap and ...
7
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1answer
982 views

Forgot to submit consumption tax (GST) declaration form upon exiting Tokyo

I travelled to Japan last year and bought some stuff from shops in Tokyo which were subject to return of consumption tax (GST). However, I forgot to submit those consumption tax receipts (which the ...
7
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1answer
198 views

Where to get data-only SIM in Japan

I have an unlocked North American (Canada) iPhone 5s, where can I buy a data only SIM card in Japan ? I'm not interested in renting nor in a voice plan, I'll be staying for 4 weeks. I'll be landing ...
7
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1answer
244 views

Japanese ryokan with a baby of 20 month

I am travelling with a baby of 20 months. Is there a specific etiquette to respect when staying at a Japanese traditional ryokan?
7
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1answer
180 views

Resource for local cuisines and specialties across Japan

I'm wondering if there's some website that's like a "Foodie's Guide to Japan", or maybe a "Foodie Wiki" covering the whole world including Japan, etc. I know there are lots of special local dishes ...
7
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1answer
2k views

Zazen meditation and stay in Tokyo Japan (shukubo)

I have seen similar question here: Zen meditation in Kyoto, Japan so I decided to ask for almost the same, but in Tokyo. What temples can be recommended for temple lodging (shukubo) perhaps for 2 - ...
7
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1answer
491 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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2answers
215 views

Is a passport required for transit through Narita, Japan (NRT)?

I am a Vietnamese Refugee and do not carry a Vietnamese passport. I do however carry a Vietnamese Certificate of Visa Exemption (permission to enter Vietnam) and a greencard(to re-enter USA). I have ...
6
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5answers
671 views

Will I have difficulty booking seats on a JR train from Tokyo to Kyoto during Obon?

My husband and I will be in Japan (for the first time) arriving August 10 and staying through the 18th. We will spend the first 3 days in Tokyo and then will take the train to Kyoto on the 13th. I ...
6
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3answers
509 views

Stay in Osaka, Kyoto or both [closed]

I am planning to stay around Osaka, Kyoto for 4 nights. Is it a good idea to stay 2 nights in each place or I should pick one as a base and move back and forth? I bought the Japan Rail Pass, so moving ...
6
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2answers
722 views

Hiroshima Trams and ferry line

Do tram lines and JR Ferry line in Hiroshima accept Suica cards for payment like it is used in JR trains, subways and local buses in Tokyo?
6
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2answers
363 views

What's the easiest way to get to Sapporo, Japan from Misawa, Japan?

I will be in Misawa, Japan for a month, and I'd like to visit Sapporo while I'm in Northern Japan. Google maps provides two solutions for travel but I thought it might be worth it to ask others more ...
6
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2answers
12k views

Visiting Japan as US permanent resident

A friend of mine is planning a trip to Japan on short notice. He is not a US Citizen, but a permanent resident. Is there a Visa on Arrival or an easy way to get a visa that applies specifically to US ...