I'm going to Japan tomorrow!

Discussion in 'Community' started by tpjunkie, Aug 22, 2004.

  1. tpjunkie macrumors 65816

    tpjunkie

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    #1
    Tomorrow morning I'm flying out to japan for my fall term abroad. I'm going to be at Kansai Gadai university, although I will be staying with a host family not more than 1 hour away from the campus (I don't get to find out who they are until next week! It's tough to get them gifts when you don't know if there will be children etc) Anyway, I was just posting to see if anyone had suggestions for sightseeing, nightlife, etc. :cool:
     
  2. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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  3. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #3
    I've never been to Japan but I'd love to go.

    Here's a site I've been keeping among my bookmarks:

    Japanese customs & traditions: avoid embarrassing yourself

    It includes comments about gifts.

    I've been told (no experience with this myself), that if you bring business cards with your name and contact information, tour group guides or other people you meet love to get them from Americans. Maybe you can print them yourself before you go. Add a logo or icon and they are sure to be collector's items!
     
  4. tpjunkie thread starter macrumors 65816

    tpjunkie

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    #4
    well, I'll be staying in the vicinity of Osaka, and I won't find out more until I meet my host family next week.I actually traveled to japan for a couple of weeks when i was in high school, and they gave us business cards then, and the japanese loved to exchange them, so I have about 50 of them now that I can't even read!

    I know there are some members here from japan....come out come out wherever you are!

    back to packing!
     
  5. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #5
    I also heard that American chocolate bars are pretty popular as gifts, especially if you take the time to giftwrap them. It's easy to throw a few in the suitcase and make more friends that way.

    We have a number of forums members from Japan, and I hope they will post with some tips for you.

    Will you still be on MacRumors from Osaka? If not, have a great time and we'll miss you. If you can, tell us about the family you end up staying with and make sure to convert them to Macintosh fans if they aren't already!
     
  6. bigsteve3 macrumors member

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    IL
    #6
    I also would love to visit Japan. I set out to learn Japanese, but I only learned a tiny bit. Do you know any Japanese for your visit? I spent my time learning katakana, which is useful for foreigners.

    My former roommate is teaching English in Japan outside Tokyo currently; I would love to visit him sometime.

    I hope you enjoy your visit. It is always interesting to learn different customs and procedures.

    -S
     
  7. JesseJames macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Domo ari gato mister roboto.

    Be sure to check out the public baths and kinky sex shows.
     
  8. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #8
    Grrrr...why should you be so lucky? :D I should go there instead.

    If you scan and post the business cards, we should be able to read them. I'm slow at times, but I get there eventually.

    Do you know how to write your name in katakana so it's easier for Japanese to pronounce it?

    You could take some good quality beef jerky as it's been a nice small gift. If you're being hosted by the family for a whole school year, you should try to take something somewhat expensive for the whole family. (Chocolate bars and beef jerky don't count as expensive.) A handcrafted quilt or similar item would be looked upon as a wonderful gift, especially, if you can tell them something of the history of such things and the method of making it.
     
  9. tpjunkie thread starter macrumors 65816

    tpjunkie

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    #9
    I'll certainly try! Last time I went, there were not nearly as many people with internet access as there are now, plus I was on shikoku, so hopefully I'll actually be in the city, with internet access.

    I do know a few words and phrases, but I'll be taking spoken japanese while I'm there, so hopefully I should be able to do some basic communication in japanese.

    I actually have a fan that my host father wrote my name out in katakana on, I should try to memorize how to write my name!
     
  10. LifeIsCheap macrumors regular

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    May 3, 2004
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    Sydney, Oz.
    #10
    I was over in Japan recently! I went to my sister's wedding in the UK and stopped off in Kyoto (near Osaka) for five nights or so on the way back. It's a bit rough but check out my journal that I kept. I will show you a few things in that area that you may like to check out.

    It's an amazing place. You'll love it!
     
  11. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #11
    Hey, When you're in Osaka, take the bullet train to Kobe, (a short trip) and sample some Kobe Beef. It will be forever the standard you judge beef by.
     
  12. Fukui macrumors 68000

    Fukui

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    #12
    Thats because they wash and feed them with beer!
     
  13. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #13
    They don't wash them with beer, do they? That would be a waste. :D I've heard that they massage them, too.

    I had my share of Kobe beef but my favourite was the lunch at the train station.

    tpjunkie:

    You could put the katakana into your computer and print it out, so you'll have it nice and pretty. Hopefully, you haven't removed Japanese support from your system.

    I was going to suggest going to Kobe and climbing Mt. Rokko. After that, you can go have your Kobe beef. ;)

    I traveled from Kobe to Kyoto for a day trip and also to Himeji. Both are significant areas for history. Himeji, as far as I know, has the only castle which uses original construction techniques, rather than concrete. Osaka castle is also available but is built with concrete. Kyoto has more temples than probably any other city and is quite lovely.
     
  14. macsrus macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Be sure and go see the shrine to the penis.....
    Its the most hillarious thing I ever saw there.
     
  15. tpjunkie thread starter macrumors 65816

    tpjunkie

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    #15
    Thanks everyone who's made suggestions, I'm going to check them all out.

    bousozoku- That's a great idea to type it out in katakana on the computer! Also, when I was last in Japan, I visited the castle at Uwa Jima, and I believe that was constructed nearly entirely wood. It was however, much much smaller than the castle at osaka.
     
  16. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #16
    That castle is probably like the one in Iwakuni, where I was born--tiny and hidden. Himeji castle is so amazing, even down to the rain gutters. Now, if I could just find all of my negatives. I have a particularly interesting photo of the castle from the shinkansen where it seems to be atop a high rise building in Himeji.

    You should look into buying an electronic Kanji dictionary with the extra words module, if you can afford it. If you looking into them, find one with testing capabilities. You'll find it extremely useful.
     
  17. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    #17
    ahhh... I'm jealous. I'm afraid I have to wait a few years before I can start traveling the world.

    Enjoy your trip and bring back all kinds of photos to share!
     
  18. tpjunkie thread starter macrumors 65816

    tpjunkie

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    #18
    It turns out I have my name written a couple of different ways. I found a program from the closing ceremony of the rotary program from the last time I was there, and my name looks like this:

    ?????? ??????

    (I think, anyway, it was a small font and I think those are the characters listed next to my name)

    But on the fan from my host father, there are three kanji instead. I have no idea what they mean. (that host father ran a large buddhist shrine)

    *fingers crossed that the katakana I put in above comes through when i post*

    EDIT looks like it didn't...?????? ??????

    At least i've got it saved in a text file.
     
  19. irmongoose macrumors 68030

    irmongoose

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    #19
  20. Coolvirus007 macrumors regular

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    #20
    What!? You have got to be kidding me.
     
  21. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #21
    haha, someone Japanese definitely finds that gift a bit dodgey. May be safer not to bring a wrapped Twix. Its like on Seinfeld when George tells Jerry that oranges are a great gift, and when they give them to the Japanese businessman, he's like "WTF?" :p

    Anyway, you're lucky to be going to Japan, but why did you get a host family that's 1 hour away from Uni campus? Sounds like a horrible commute. Hope you have an iPod. :)

    And good luck on your trip. Studying in another country is fun. I'm in Australia right now, and its quite amazing. Japan will be even more amazing and different.
     
  22. 5300cs macrumors 68000

    5300cs

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    #22
    1 hour is not that bad over here, trust me. I've had 2 hours one way to get to work before :mad: Bring an iBook :)

    And I hate to rain on the parade, but when I choose gifts for the Japanese, I tend to choose things they can recycle easily, because my 4 years experience has taught me they will :rolleyes: With your host family though, I wouldn't worry about that problem.

    And if you go to Kobe, take JR; it's cheaper and slower so you'll see more along the way :D

    Edit: Oh yeah, experience has also showed me that the Japanese lock down their WiFi more than in the U.S. I have had a hell of a time trying to get on other people's networks.
     
  23. iAlan macrumors 65816

    iAlan

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    #23
    You will have a great time....

    I am living in Tokyo, but get to Osaka at least twice a month on business. One thing I like is the food in Osaka. Takoyaki (octopus balls, and no I do not mean testices!) and okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake with seafood or pork) are staple Kansai fare, and yummy too. You can't go wrong with yakisoba either. I also love onigiri (rice balls) with nato (fermented soy beans) but nato is an acquired taste, so go easy at first when (if?) you try it. Sea chicken onigiri are also good. You can work out what sea chicken is on your own!

    As for the sights, you can't pass up the oppertunity to visit Himeji Castle (about 75 minutes by train from Osaka if memory serves me right). Of all the castles I have visited in Japan (about 12 all up) Himeji-jo is the best. In the other direction from Osaka is Kyoto. A definate must. I have been there 5 times, once in all seasons, twice in Spring, and have plans to go back. It is such a beautiful and tradititional city except the ugly JR Kyoto Station building which breaches all building codes in Kyoto (height, size, materials, etc). Kyoto has so much to see, but I would strongly recommend Kinkakuji (Golden Temple, it is covereed in gold leaf) and Kiyamizudera up on the mountain around sunset what a great view and worth the small climb/walk to geet there.

    If you do plan to go to a few temples and shrines while you travel, I would recommend getting a shuincho, a 'stamp' book to get the handwritten caligraphy from each shrine (it costs between 300-500 yen to get a 'stamp' but the money is for the upkeep of the temple/shrine). You should get a book from the first place you visit and get the 'stamps' at each other place. Trust me, the cost of these at each location is worth it as you will have an irreplacable momento. Each 'stamp' is different because thay are hand written with a large caligraphy brush, and no two will be written the same (the little smudge at the end of a brush stroke is worth it!). I have 134 'stamps' with several from the same shrines in Kamakura and Kyoto when I take friends and family on visits. Attached is a 'stamp' from Bishamonten in Kamakura I scanned to give you an idea of what one looks like. The black inl is the caligraphy, the red a hanko from the shrine. It reads with the date I visited and the shrines name, so each shrine has a different set of characters and different hankyo.
     
  24. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #24
    Up yours! :D

    ...and vice versa.

    There is a definite rivalry if you will between Kanto (Tokyo) and Kansai (Osaka) areas.

    Here's my 2 cents. Many have mentioned cool places to visit in the Kansai area. In this case, I will leave that area to the Kansai MR members to discuss.

    If you have time, definitely visit the Kanto area. There is lot's to see and do. Of course visit the Ginza (Apple Store & Sony Building to name a couple). See Akihabara. So much to see there including the Laox store with 7 stories of Mac stuff. Of course, just up the road see the quarter million dollar stereo systems.

    Then there is Tokyo Tower (Best to visit in December-January timeframe for the view).

    Build up an appetite at the Tokyo fish market (tsukiji):
    http://www.tsukiji-market.or.jp/tukiji_e.htm

    Check out history at Yasukuni Shrine:
    http://www.yasukuni.or.jp/english/

    The Beatty and Kaiten are neat. Lot's of good historical WWII info.

    While you are up this way, check out Odawara Castle. Reconstructed, but definitely cool.

    And if you have time, check out Niko during the fall. It is breathtaking.

    Also, climb Mt. Fuji (July-August) if you have time and get your sunrise stick.

    I could go on and on, but don't want to make this too long. Hope this helps!

    Have a great time in Japan.

    Gobatane! :D

    Sushi
     
  25. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Dec 25, 2003
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    #25
    man, you are so lucky to have been there twice (well after this trip).

    Need a bag boy, footman, or anything like that?

    My dream trip is the Pacific Rim when I win the lotto. I would start in LA, to SF, to Alaska, on over to Korea, to China, to Japan, to Thailand, to Australia and New Zealand, to Hawaii, and then back home.
     

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