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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11
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3answers
39k 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 ...
11
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3answers
12k views

Layover at Tokyo Narita airport: can I travel outside, and what kind of visa would I need?

I am traveling from Singapore to San Francisco and an airline which I am choosing has a layover of 7.5 hours at Tokyo Airport (NRT). I am wondering if I would be allowed to go out to experience the ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Where can I socialize with young Japanese people?

One of the things I like about travelling to Japan is that it's possible, if you know some Japanese, to travel to destinations where your fellow travellers are predominantly domestic travellers, ...
24
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3answers
1k views

Cell phones in Japan

What are the options for getting a smart phone up and running when travelling for a couple of weeks in Japan?
3
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2answers
430 views

Within 300 km radius of Tokyo - Where for nature, flora, and fauna?

This instantiates my broader question. Here, "near Tokyo" = within 300 km radius around Tokyo. I'm planning to visit Japan for 10 days and plan to apportion 5 days to Tokyo. For the remainder, I want ...
35
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5answers
2k views

Is it safe to travel in Japan considering the nuclear situation?

Are there any areas that should be avoided and are there any steps I should take to protect myself from radiation?
45
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4answers
9k views

I have a tattoo. Can I visit a public swimming pool in Japan?

A friend of mine is currently traveling in Japan. She has a small tattoo on her neck. Now she wanted to visit a public swimming pool but was denied entry. It was difficult to understand the reason ...
29
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3answers
3k views

OK we're all nerds here, so really, how on earth should I use a Japanese toilet?

OK so for anyone who's traveled to Japan you know what I'm talking about. They're devices that are a textbook example of excessive featuritis. But I want to use something other than the flush knob ...
7
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1answer
462 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.
21
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2answers
3k views

Is it possible to get from the Philippines to Taiwan to Japan (or the reverse) without flying?

It's not that I have a fear of flying but it seems the best way to see Island countries is by island hopping and these three countries are all relatively close to one another if you take into account ...
10
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1answer
563 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 ...
49
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6answers
13k views

Japanese etiquette: Most common (and offensive) mistakes?

I am aware that Japan has many unwritten rules of etiquette. What are some of the most common (and offensive) breaches of etiquette made by visitors? On the flip side, what behaviors show respect ...
47
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8answers
8k views

What is wrong with eating while walking in Japan? It doesn't seem to be an issue in other Asian countries

I have seen on many etiquette questions about Japan that this is a no no, but I can't seem to find what the reason for this is. I know that in countries like Taiwan or China it doesn't seem to be an ...
18
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3answers
4k views

How should I wash clothes in Japan?

I'm going backpacking for a month in Japan and I plan to pack lightly. So I have couple of questions about how I can wash my clothes in Japan. I expect laundromats to be quite common in big cities ...
14
votes
3answers
852 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 ...
14
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2answers
2k 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 ...
13
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4answers
480 views

Are inexpensive ryokans inauthentic?

A lot of people I talk to, including Japanese and non-Japanese, claim that ryokans are expensive. Once, when I discussed this further and said that some places that I've been to describe themselves ...
10
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3answers
8k views

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 ...
19
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10answers
3k views

Can I side-step discrimination against foreigners in Japan?

I've heard that there can be discrimination against foreigners, and even naturalized citizens born in other countries, in Japan, and that it happens in onsen, bars, and adult entertainment ...
13
votes
2answers
7k views

Travelling between Japan and South Korea

We are going to Japan for 3 weeks in the beginning of April and would like to spend a couple of days in Seoul. How do we get there? And how expensive is the ferry from southern japan to Busan in South ...
8
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2answers
2k 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 ...
5
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2answers
246 views

Authentic Ainu in Hokkaido

During my next trip to Japan I may end up in Hokkaido. I've read something about this mysterious indigenous group called Ainu/Aynu/Aino/Ezo, but I must admit my understanding of the whole thing is ...
4
votes
1answer
161 views

ROC to TYO - how can I reduce the cost of my flight?

I'm trying to find the cheapest flight I can from ROC, Rochester, New York, to one of the airports in Tokyo for a six week study abroad in Kobe. I'm wondering what the cheapest, OR easiest routes from ...
11
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1answer
2k views

Are there high crime areas in Japan that I should avoid?

According to the this link (in the "Crime" section), I should avoid the areas of "Roppongi, Shinjuku (especially the area of Kabuki-cho), Shibuya, and Ikebukuro" in Tokyo, due to them being high crime ...
6
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1answer
624 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
490 views

Ski rental for Mount Gassan

I'm visiting Japan in late May, early June, and I hope to go skiing. Mount Gassan (月山, literally "moon mountain") in Yamagata prefecture seems to be my best bet - it has a ski season of April to July, ...
4
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2answers
1k views

Bringing outdoor food to Japan

In august I will go to Japan to visit relatives and to make a trekking. In europe I usualy bring trekking meals with me, the kind of meals that you can easily prepare on a stove by just adding water. ...
4
votes
2answers
289 views

Booking a JR Shinkansen train ticket in Seoul

I want to book a Kyoto-Tokyo Shinkansen ticket for a trip in 10 days, because Shinkansen will be very crowded and probably impossible to board without a reservation. How can I book it from Seoul? ...
4
votes
1answer
466 views

Male nerd here, how on earth can I listen to an “otohime” / “sound princess”?

The other day, I read about "otohime", also known as "sound princess": Many Japanese women are embarrassed at the thought of being heard by others during urination (see paruresis). To cover the ...
1
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1answer
223 views

Sightseeing in Japan as an Indian Citizen holding a US F-1 visa

I currently have a US F-1 visa who needs to travel to India. I was hoping to take a layover in Japan. Will I require a transit visa to go sightseeing in Japan and how can I get one in the USA or can ...
0
votes
0answers
53 views

Where in Japan for nature, flora, and fauna? [duplicate]

I reference this Meta. I'm planning to visit Japan for 10 days and plan to apportion 5 days to Tokyo. For the remainder, I want to escape the megalopolis and implant myself into the (picturesque, ...
35
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4answers
5k views

How do you know if a Japanese person means no when they say yes?

I have come across a few situations when a Japanese person will extend themselves beyond what they probably should to help people. I am often worried when asking them to do something that they will ...
14
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4answers
866 views

Alternative to trains in Japan

So we all know about these pretty amazing trains they have in the "Land of the Rising Sun". They are always on time, clean, comfortable. But they are somewhat expensive for the average backpacker. ...
14
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3answers
6k views

Alternative to public hot water bath in Japan for a tattooed person

I'm going to Japan in a of couple months. I've got 80% of my back tattooed and I would really like to try the experience of a public bath in Japan. Many people have been telling me that it is not ...
10
votes
1answer
972 views

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 ...
11
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1answer
438 views

Car rental in Japan

Is it possible to rent a car in Japan with a Swedish drivers license? What is the traffic like? I figure that there is not much use in driving in the Tokyo or Osaka areas. What are the options for ...
10
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2answers
2k 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 ...
10
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1answer
869 views

Exchanging business cards in Japan

In Hong Kong (and I believe other parts of China as well), one offers his business card by holding it with both hands with the text unobscured and oriented so that the other person can read it. After ...
4
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1answer
257 views

Where can I find a local guide for Japan?

My friends and I are going to Japan in October. A coworker mentioned that there's a site where university students will gladly guide tourists in exchange for transportation/food costs and learning ...
14
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2answers
242 views

How can I discover what time of the year hotels will be cheapest for a given city, e.g. Tokyo?

I'm interested in visiting Tokyo in 2015, and am trying to figure out what time(s) of the year will likely be cheapest for hotel stays, since it is a notoriously expensive city. Short of using a hotel ...
14
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4answers
10k views

How accurate is Google Maps for travel times?

I have this route planned in Google Maps as a rough plot for travel times to 4 locations from Tokyo Tower, it's by no means finished. Now I am well aware that there are other factors such was road ...
10
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2answers
298 views

Can I converse with Japanese travellers on the Shinkansen or is it rude?

I'm planning to travel from Osaka to Tokyo and back, and since the ride will be long, I think it's the perfect time to make friends. However, I'm unsure how the Japanese see this kind of behaviour - ...
9
votes
1answer
344 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 ...
9
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2answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
14k views

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 ...
8
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1answer
791 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 ...
7
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1answer
164 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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2answers
268 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. ...
6
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1answer
272 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 ...