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Old 15th December 2012, 6:48 PM   #751
Bold Eagle
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Currently in Takamatsu at the future inlaws and getting married next Sat 22/12/12.

Absolutely loving it here but haven`t had much time for sight seeing yet with wedding preparations etc. I did get to see Takamatsu Castle yesterday and really enjoyed it. Will be visiting it`s museum soon and visiting local islands.

I only speak a little Japanese but find it very easy to get around and communicate and I have fun making gestures to get my message across (they laugh and enjoy it as well).

As indicated above look for the restaurants were heaps of people are and look at the menu, most have lot`s of pics of the meals.

I am the only Gajin I have seen yet in this small city and enjoy the looks and curiosity I get from some.

It is great riding a push bike around Takamatsu as the cars really pay attention and I don`t feel threatened at all (unlike Brisbane).
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Old 15th December 2012, 7:12 PM   #752
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Currently in Takamatsu at the future inlaws and getting married next Sat 22/12/12.
Congrats and good luck!

Takamatsu is a really nice place. Ritsurin Koen is a nice garden too. We also took the high speed ferry across to Shodoshima although that was during the autumn colours so that we could take the cable car up Kankakei Gorge which was really nice.

Have you explored Shikoku before? Are you having a honeymoon somewhere?
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Old 15th December 2012, 8:35 PM   #753
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About a month to go... getting kinda nervous

Would you guys recommend researching some food locations before hand? Or just go there and eat everywhere?

These are all the locations I'm planning on going:
Osaka
Kyoto
Hiroshima
Shibu Onsen
Shiga Kogen
Akihabara
Nikko
Odaiba
Shibuya/Harajuku
Ghibli/Ginza
Shinjuku
Taito
Central Tokyo

Edit: Also, how early should I exchange cash to yen? I went to UAE Exchange on the weekend and they mentioned it would take about ~4 days to get the cash in, I was thinking about exchanging about 2 weeks in advance but I'm not sure if it'll be cutting it a bit close.
In Nikko, there's one kind of main street. Up nearish to the bridge (you'll know what I mean once you've been there for an hour ) you'll find this place. The food was awesome, so was the little old lady who runs the place. Additionally, the walls and ceiling were covered with business cards, foreign bank notes, whatever with little notes written all over them, really cool to read.

Additionally, I really, really suggest you go for a walk to this shrine here. It's the place with the buddhist temple marker that should be at the bottom of your screen on that map. There's a road leading up the hill, basically no signs to it at all. Temple was completely deserted (except for one little old lady wandering around) and you can keep climbing higher and higher. Well worth it, at the top you get some amazing views over the city and over a cemetery (plus arches and shrines and things. Really cool).

Ginza I actually really enjoyed just grabbing food from the mall/food court thing underneath the Matsuya shopping centre and taking it back to the hotel. Whole lots of fresh foods, baked goods, etc. Most of the restaurants I tried I didn't really enjoy all the much, I did find a small pub but I forgot smoking is common in Japan and I got a little smoked out. Basically there is food everywhere though, just try to ignore the people trying to coax you into restaurants.

Plus, eat doughnuts. Plenty of websites around about the good ones.

For lunch, Starbucks in Ginza had pretty much the best sandwiches I've ever eaten, I was eating them for breakfast every day

Cash took me less than a week to get, just paid for it online (I was in Canada, picked it up from CBA in Australia travelling through) and they hold it for a few days for you. You can even specify the day you want it, pretty easy to manage.
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Old 15th December 2012, 11:36 PM   #754
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Congrats and good luck!

Takamatsu is a really nice place. Ritsurin Koen is a nice garden too. We also took the high speed ferry across to Shodoshima although that was during the autumn colours so that we could take the cable car up Kankakei Gorge which was really nice.

Have you explored Shikoku before? Are you having a honeymoon somewhere?
Will go to the garden as soon as possible although it is winter it will still be interesting.

I just asked the missus about Kankakei Gorge and want to see the monkeys so we will head there as well. In a way the honeymoon will be just the trips around Shikoku and we will see what pans out.
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Old 15th December 2012, 11:55 PM   #755
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I just asked the missus about Kankakei Gorge and want to see the monkeys so we will head there as well. In a way the honeymoon will be just the trips around Shikoku and we will see what pans out.
Sounds really nice, we had a great time on Shikoku.

A friend stayed here in the winter with snow and said it was amazing too:-
http://www.iyaonsen.co.jp/english/index.html
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Old 16th December 2012, 6:09 PM   #756
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Questions out there to the snow/Niseko regulars.

1. Will I be all right walking around in my sneakers around Grand Hirafu? Or do I need snow boots or something similar?

2. Are there shops for second hand snowboards in Grand Hirafu? If not, are there many places where I can buy new snowboards there? It seems like renting over 9 days will cost as much as getting a brand new low/mid-end snowboard. Buying seems to be the way to go for a 9-day stay. Is my assumption correct?
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Old 16th December 2012, 6:44 PM   #757
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2. Are there shops for second hand snowboards in Grand Hirafu? If not, are there many places where I can buy new snowboards there? It seems like renting over 9 days will cost as much as getting a brand new low/mid-end snowboard. Buying seems to be the way to go for a 9-day stay. Is my assumption correct?
I can't compare but these should provide some useful information for you.

http://www.powderhounds.com/Japan/Ho.../Shopping.aspx
http://www.proski.com/
http://www.nisekoz.com/secrets.html
http://www.inski.com.au/
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Old 17th December 2012, 7:34 AM   #758
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Questions out there to the snow/Niseko regulars.

1. Will I be all right walking around in my sneakers around Grand Hirafu? Or do I need snow boots or something similar?

2. Are there shops for second hand snowboards in Grand Hirafu? If not, are there many places where I can buy new snowboards there? It seems like renting over 9 days will cost as much as getting a brand new low/mid-end snowboard. Buying seems to be the way to go for a 9-day stay. Is my assumption correct?

I believe that most stores sell these rubber grips you put on your shoes to give you more traction for around Y1000

leaving on the 21st, can't hold on much longer it's going to be epic with the snow they've had already


If your going through Tokyo might be best to get a board there

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As you might expect, buying ski gear in the resort is not going to yield the best bargains. Having said this, the prices in Niseko are not outrageously high in most shops and you can occasionally find a good bargain but it won’t be anything compared to what you would get in Kutchan or Tokyo.
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Old 17th December 2012, 11:30 PM   #759
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Thanks for the replies. I will be flying directly to Sapporo, so no snow shopping in Tokyo. I'll play it by ear for deciding whether to rent or buy. I'll do some research with the links (thanks a777).
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Old 18th December 2012, 12:47 AM   #760
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2. Are there shops for second hand snowboards in Grand Hirafu? If not, are there many places where I can buy new snowboards there? It seems like renting over 9 days will cost as much as getting a brand new low/mid-end snowboard. Buying seems to be the way to go for a 9-day stay. Is my assumption correct?
I picked up a 2nd hand Burton board with a nice airbrush job in the main town a few years back. It wasn't in the snow gear shops from memory, just a large misc/general store. Have a look around and try your luck.
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Old 18th December 2012, 7:38 AM   #761
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Currently in Takamatsu at the future inlaws and getting married next Sat 22/12/12.
Wow, Takamatsu is really something outside the regular tourist path. I made it once there for business, around 20 years ago, opened the local Volkswagen dealer "Fahren Takamatsu". What brought you there?
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Old 18th December 2012, 10:06 AM   #762
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Wow, Takamatsu is really something outside the regular tourist path. What brought you there?
His future wife!
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Old 18th December 2012, 10:30 AM   #763
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Wow, Takamatsu is really something outside the regular tourist path. I made it once there for business, around 20 years ago, opened the local Volkswagen dealer "Fahren Takamatsu". What brought you there?
That's right my in-laws live here and we have been together for the last 10years. I was quite happy as defacto but they really wanted the wedding pics, etc so they are paying for the wedding.

It is an incredibly bike friendly place (more so than other parts of Japan from what I read) and the cars are very aware of cyclist. Certainly a lot safer than riding the bike anywhere in Brisbane.

As far as being off the tourist trail that would explain why I have only seen one Gajin couple since being here for seven days (which I really like as I often go to restaurants and social outings where it is spot the Caucasian).

Today I am off to the Kagawa Museum and hope to see some local history.

Will try and post some pics and more of a travel log soon. The father in law has the most intricate and incredible shrine in his bedroom to his parents.
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Old 18th December 2012, 10:45 AM   #764
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It is an incredibly bike friendly place (more so than other parts of Japan from what I read) and the cars are very aware of cyclist. Certainly a lot safer than riding the bike anywhere in Brisbane.
If you like cycling we had an awesome time on the Shimanami Kaido:-
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3478.html

We split it in two and spent the night in Setoda on Ikuchijima Island but you could cycle it in one day if you wish. Might be a bit cold now, although we did it late November last year and it wasn't too bad. Might be something you could do on a future visit!

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Old 22nd December 2012, 8:58 AM   #765
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Default Mechanical Keyboards in Japan

Hey guys,

Currently in Osaka but going to Kyoto later today...with Tokyo following a few days after. Just wondering if it is worthwhile to purchase and if so...where to buy keyboards in Japan? I'm backpacking so I have not purchased anything thus far...I have about a few kilos to spare in my main pack.

Would love to try out those Happy Hacking keyboards I've always been checking out on eBay.
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