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17

When you meet them. You may well get "reverse omiyage" from your friend when you're leaving, though!


13

Credit cards are definitely NOT widely accepted in Japan. It was slightly better than I'd heard - I'd heard not at all, but I went last year (including Osaka). Essentially, it was easiest to take some cash (As much as you're willing to have on your person), and then go to either a post office or 7-Eleven shops - they have ATMs that allow you to use foreign ...


9

Qualifier: I live in Tokyo. All the large stores, especially the major electronics retailers and any international-level hotel, will accept most credit cards. American Express is certainly the least popular, if you can obtain a Visa you'd have very few problems. Smaller stores, almost all restaurants under $50/plate (and some that are over), and the ...


8

Yes, it is acceptable. However, it is etiquette that if the baby does start to make noise that you take it to the "deck" area beyond the doors (where the bathrooms, telephone, vending machines, etc.) are. This is the same protocol if you have to make or receive a telephone call, want to have a loud conversation with your seatmate, or do anything that might ...


7

I haven't found Japanese as chatty as Europeans or Americans, but there are some friendly people who would want to chat with a foreigner. You won't know until you try. Old ladies and people with families tend to be the most chattiest -- young women and businessmen tend to be the least. There's a stereotype (that I've found to be true) that folks from Osaka ...


6

While the English version of the USJ website doesn't note the special birthday pass, the Japanese language version of the site does: If the link disappears, the plan is called "バースデープラン" (Birthday Plan). Here are the search terms if you need to regoogle it: USJ 誕生日 or USJ バースデープラン You don't have to read Japanese to check out the page and see that you ...


6

I went to Japan on Feb. 2014, I am allergic to shellfish. I did a lot of research. First thing, it is illegal to bring an epi-pen to Japan and almost impossible to get a special permit to get them in the country. I got the printed card and also a pandora charm that said I was allergic to shellfish. I carried with me Benadryl everywhere. Server at restaurants ...


5

First of all, if you've been sold the entire itinerary as a single ticket, it's by definition a valid connection, and UA will put you on the next flight for free if you don't make it for a sensible reason (incoming flight delayed, etc). So don't worry too much. That said, it's going to be a bit tighter than I'd recommend. Four hours would be more than ...


4

According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Subway website, the only places that the 3-day pass ("Tokyo Subway 3-Day Ticket") is available in the Tokyo metropolitan area are Haneda and Narita airports and Bic Camera (Yurakucho, Shinjuku, Akasaka Mitsuke, Ikebukuro, Shibuya East, Shibuya Hachiko, Shinjuku East, Shinjuku West, and Sofmap Akihabara). If you buy it at ...


4

It is not rude as such, but unusual for strangers to talk on the shinkansen except to ask something specific like if it's okay to recline the seat (asked to the person sitting behind you.) Usually it's very quiet in there except for groups travelling together. I live and work in Tokyo and take the shinkansen to and from Osaka about once a month. I am a ...


4

Yes, it should be doable. If you don't want to navigate the web sites, then go to a larger JTB travel or "Green Window" (Midori no Madoguchi) at the larger train stations where they speak English and make your train+car reservations there. Getting a GPS with English is very, very difficult. I haven't found one and GPS units in Japan are built-in, so they ...


3

Your plan sounds otherwise OK, but you're going pretty early in the year: it's still going to be cold and wintery in Feb/March, with lows below freezing and occasional snow. I suspect the scenery would be better later in spring or in autumn. However, the roads should be open, so this isn't a blocker. Your IDP will be fine. For Japanese car rental ...


3

The easiest way is indeed to come to Japan with a SIM-free device and getting a data SIM. The best deal I found when visiting for 3 months back in March '14 was ordering an OCN SIM from Amazon JP (http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B00EQ12AYS - had same-day shipping option and an additional discount when I was there). I got mine shipped to my hotel. Once you get ...


3

Definitely arrive with a gift from your home country. Edibles and tea or coffee are common gifts and widely appreciated.


3

Looks like it was built in 1902 and is the original (generation 1 building). It's only open on the 12th and 13th of September every year - anniversary of his death.


2

Mark's answer is generally correct -- Japan is still a cash society and it is generally far more convenient (and reliable) to carry a wad of cash easily withdrawn from a 7-11 or Japan Post Office ATM -- yet credit card acceptance is far far better than the dire picture he paints. Places that almost universally (90%+) accept credit cards: Hotels Trains ...


2

Yes, some of the so-called "super sentos" do offer 24-hour accommodation and they can serve as impromptu cheap hotels. The super-sentos as well as net cafes are quickly being seen as alternatives to capsule hotels especially for women. The super-sentos will usually charge a surcharge for staying past 11pm or midnight and so the total fee will be between ...


1

No, you can't. You would have to go through Japanese immigration on the way in, they will say "where's your visa?". If you get a shore pass and skip out, they will notice your illegal entry on the way out. If you want to visit the relatives, go to the Consulate-General of Japan, 517 10 Ave SW and get a visitor visa. You will need to change your ticket ...


1

While the official site doesn't mention it (that I could find) and as @JoErNanO said, some sites show a sticker will get characters to wish you a happy birthday, I did find this reference on tripadvisor: small discount can be applied if someone in your party has a birthday in the month you visit, but you'll need to get a coupon in advance. So it ...



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