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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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
7k 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 ...
17
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2answers
847 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?
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2answers
94 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 ...
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5answers
1k 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?
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3answers
2k 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 ...
6
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1answer
405 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
2k 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 ...
4
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2answers
534 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, ...
10
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1answer
375 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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6answers
5k 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 ...
32
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5answers
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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 ...
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4answers
5k 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 ...
17
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10answers
2k 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 ...
15
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3answers
2k 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 ...
9
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2answers
4k 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 ...
7
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2answers
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 ...
5
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2answers
166 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
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1answer
141 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
1k 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 ...
5
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2answers
280 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
91 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
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1answer
381 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 ...
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0answers
51 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, ...
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4answers
3k 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 ...
11
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4answers
707 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. ...
10
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1answer
703 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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4answers
311 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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1answer
457 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
199 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 ...
9
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1answer
298 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 ...
9
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1answer
5k 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
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2answers
1k 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 ...
7
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1answer
138 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
174 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 ...
7
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2answers
224 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. ...
7
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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 ...
5
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2answers
123 views

Ferry from Motobu, Okinawa to Kagoshima, Kyushu?

I know there is a ferry from Naha, Okinawa to Kagoshima, Kyushu. I know it takes on the order of a whole day or longer and that its price is approximately equivalent to $150. I am also aware that ...
4
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1answer
515 views

Daisetsuzan (Hokkaido, Japan) Grand Traverse, how hard?

I'm planning a trip to Japan and I'd like to spend one week immerse in Japanese nature. I've read something about the "Daisetsuzan Grand Traverse", which is a 5 days and 55km trekking on a route that ...
4
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1answer
384 views

Good mountains to camp on in Japan

I'm planning a trip to Japan next year. It will be my first time there. While there, I'll probably spend a few days hitting up the major tourist attractions, but I'd also like to spend some time ...
3
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4answers
859 views

Carrying large amounts of cash in Japan

Is it, generally speaking, safe to carry large amounts of cash (US$4000) in Japan?
13
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3answers
268 views

Is tourism beneficial to the economies of places affected by natural disasters?

Is tourism to regions that were hit several months ago by natural disasters (for example, the north-eastern part of Honshu, Japan) good for the local economy, and for the people of that area? Just to ...
12
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2answers
616 views

How to avoid having my drink spiked in a bar

How do I avoid being the victim of drink spiking in a bar? (As in spiking to steal money or commit credit card fraud, not for sexual assualt) Presumably I should avoid places promoted by touts from ...
12
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2answers
5k 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 ...
10
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2answers
730 views

In Japan, what is a “Philippine pub”?

In Japan, what is a "Philippine pub" (フィリピンパブ)? I tried googling for "Philippine pub Japan", but didn't have much luck. The Japanese edition of Wikipedia has a description, but Google Translate ...
10
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1answer
133 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 ...
8
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1answer
314 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] ...
7
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1answer
84 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 ...
6
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1answer
199 views

Documentation for one parent traveling with infant, Australia to Japan

My wife may soon have to travel from Australia to Japan solo with our child, probably on Qantas or JAL. She has a Japanese passport in her own last name, our son has an Australian one with mine. ...
6
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2answers
787 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 ...