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Japan? Japan!

Discussion in 'Holidays & Travel' started by chainbolt, May 29, 2012.

  1. hlokk

    hlokk Member

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    Surely you could put your name in Katakana though. Not too hard to translate. Though the travel agent idea sounds good (seeing as the rest of the page may be a little difficult to be sure on)
     
  2. OP
    OP
    chainbolt

    chainbolt Member

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    True, but impossible for somebody to navigate through a site in Japanese and use the Japanese IME to input the name in katakana, when you have never done this before. He better calls the agency.
     
  3. psychobunny

    psychobunny Member

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    So there are a few places, mainly parks and such that are a bit out of town and too far to walk. are busses everywhere and anywhere or is a taxi a better bet?
     
  4. Taceo Corpus

    Taceo Corpus Member

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    Trains and subways. :thumbup: What city/town are we talking about?
     
  5. PostModern

    PostModern Angry Brewer

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    Hi Chainbolt. Thinking of a short trip to Osaka in November. What weather can I expect? If it's freezing, I might delay until Spring.
     
  6. a777

    a777 Member

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    November is one of my favourite times in Kyoto (/Osaka) especially late November due to the Autumn colours:-
    http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2014.html
    http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3953.html
    http://www.japan-guide.com/blog/koyo11/
    http://www.japan-guide.com/blog/koyo10/
    http://www.japan-guide.com/blog/koyo12/ (Currently being updated)

    Overall weather in Japan
    http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2273.html

    Spring is nice too in early April for the Cherry Blossoms (Sakura) but I actually think the Autumn colours are nicer.

    Kyoto is an easy day trip (15-30 minutes one way on the trains) from Osaka.

    Feel free to ask if you want any suggestions on itinerary or places to see etc.

    :)
     
  7. OP
    OP
    chainbolt

    chainbolt Member

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    Basically good weather! Starting in November and often until February we get dry and cold continental air from China, that means normally blue skies and pleasant temps between 15C to 10C in Kansai, almost no rain.

    Everything here: www.japan-guide.com :D
     
  8. PostModern

    PostModern Angry Brewer

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    Thanks for that. Very handy. 10-17°C sounds like my kind of weather!

    I'm taking my 13 year old son (gift for becoming a teenager). I went three years ago with my eldest son, so I already know the "lay of the land" in Osaka, but we went in March. It was pretty hot that time. 28 every day and 100% humidity.

    So apart from the Aquarium, the big ferris wheels, the castle and Den Den town, what sights would you recommend? Last time we also took a day trip to Kyoto just to ride the shinkansen (and to see the old town in Kyoto of course).
     
  9. OP
    OP
    chainbolt

    chainbolt Member

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    If you are in the vicinity, don't forget to visit Nara.
     
  10. psychobunny

    psychobunny Member

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    I mean places with no train access basically
     
  11. Veefy

    Veefy Member

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    Usually there are regional buses if you are going to local towns without rail networks (off the beaten path a bit).

    I only used taxis a couple of time in cities and that was really late at night to actually get to subway stations before the last service left.
    I probably should have used them a bit more as I probably wasted a lot of time walking between sites when I couldn't work out which bus to catch.
     
  12. a777

    a777 Member

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    Any specific places? Some will have bus access, some may not.

    Non-touristy local buses can be a little complex as they have no English at all, so a bit of advanced knowledge and knowing the exact stop to hop off at (and the one before) can help a lot. Also you should understand how most of them work, ie. usually you take a small ticket when you hop on and then how much you pay is determined when you hop off.

    In general a taxi from the nearest station can be an option but depending on how far out you are you may not get taxis sitting on the rank, also getting back from somewhere may be complex if you are not near a busy road/taxi rank so you should keep local taxi phone numbers on hand, although asking for one without Japanese may be difficult. Also, if you have the address written in Japanese characters plus a phone number (if applicable) this can often make the journey quicker and easier. In general a Japanese address written in English is not sufficient and most people's pronunciation of Japanese is bad at best.

    Alternatively, rent a car with an English GPS. ;)

    I have used buses in a few rural areas including travelling for 30 minutes outside Otaru (Hokkaido) to a small fishing village, and on Shikoku, and also on Shodoshima Island (in the Seto Inland Sea), and also on Ikuchijima Island (Seto Inland Sea also). I have enough Japanese to get by and use them but might have been more difficult to attempt without knowing any Japanese. Thinking about it we also caught one at Kurihama (ala Top Gear) to get to Tokyo Wan Ferry and that was actually probably more difficult than some of the rural ones due to the number and variety of buses at Kurihama! :p
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
  13. OP
    OP
    chainbolt

    chainbolt Member

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    Yep, Japan is taxi country. :leet:
     
  14. ewok85

    ewok85 Member

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    Typical Chainy :lol:

    You're making the rest of us look bad!
     
  15. psychobunny

    psychobunny Member

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    i dont think i'd be alowed to drive given the language differences and laws and street signs

    i'll go through it tonight, it was stuff like some of the temples and park areas we were concerned about
     
  16. ewok85

    ewok85 Member

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    Australia is one of the countries that has an agreement with Japan to allow driver license transfers - you can drive around if you are feeling brave enough, all you need is an international drivers permit.

    It is basically the same as Australia - we drive on the left. The only difficult thing is reading road signs, but with a good car navigation system you can get around fairly well.
     
  17. a777

    a777 Member

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    Allowed by your girlfriend you mean? :p Or do you mean legally? All you need is an international driver's permit (get one from your NRMA/RACQ/Whatever)
    http://www.racq.com.au/travel/driving_overseas/international_licences

    Cool, just post the specifics and it will be easier to advise.
     
  18. Taceo Corpus

    Taceo Corpus Member

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    I went to a couple of obscure places with no train access, so if you can tell me where then I might be able to give you some more specific advice. I also know quite a large number of Japanese people from all over the country, so I can ask them if you end up visiting one of their hometowns.
     
  19. OP
    OP
    chainbolt

    chainbolt Member

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    Hopefully the people you know, are not so obscure. :leet:
     
  20. Diode

    Diode Member

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    I'm just sorting out my Day 1 activities.

    I arrive at Narita around 6:10am

    Getting to the hotel I would say would take me 2 hours once I clear customs. It should be quicker but remember I'm not Japanese and I'm sure I'll make some mistakes. Since I'm staying a little out west (Amista Hotel) I thought maybe these 3 things would be good and easy to hit up on Day1, they were suggested in Time magazine article...

    Meiji Shrine
    Yoyogi Park
    Shinjuku Gyoen

    All of it is a 28 minute train ride away.

    Basically it's all in the same area, I can start off with those 3 things and if I'm tired or getting and overwhelmed it's easy to go back to the Hotel. If I want to power on to something else then I can.

    If someone thinks there is something else I should check out close by then let me know.
     

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