Doctor Q in Japan

Doctor Q

Administrator
Original poster
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
37,918
4,161
Los Angeles
I hope MacRumors can manage without my bad jokes for a few weeks starting next month because...

I'm going to Japan!

Sorry for the large letters, but Mrs. Q and I are very excited about our upcoming trip. We have dreamed of going to Japan for years and at last we are going, from mid-October to early-November.

Why Japan? Because we've always liked Japanese food, Japanese festivals, Japanese technology, Japanese gardens, and Japanese design aesthetics. We even drive Japanese cars. We are looking forward to immersing ourselves in a culture that's ancient and modern at the same time, seeing the sights (city and country, famous and less well-known), making new friends, and learning about a country where history is counted in thousands of years instead of hundreds. And seeing an Apple Store or two if we get homesick.

We'll be traveling around quite a bit. The 13 cities we will visit: Hakone, Hiroshima, Iga Ueno, Kanazawa, Kurama, Kurashiki, Kyoto, Miyajima, Nara, Okayama, Osaka, Takayama, and of course Tokyo.

We have lots of details to plan, which we work on each evening. We have our reservations and JR Rail Passes, and I'm practicing reading a train schedule I got from a returning tourist, so perhaps we won't get totally lost.

I'd be glad to hear travel tips and other advice from those of you who live in or have traveled in Japan. You could say I have a "yen" for information. :)
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,238
4
that is awesome Doctor Q! i hope you enjoy your trip and find time to update us on things every now and then. sounds very exciting and fun, i hope i get a chance to visit at some point. wish i could offer more in the way of info and suggestions though i am sure you know the usual tourist stuff.... :)
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
24,415
124
Location Location Location
Doctor Q said:
I hope MacRumors can manage without my bad jokes for a few weeks starting next month...
Don't worry, I'm still here to make bad jokes.

I'd be glad to hear travel tips and other advice from those of you who live in or have traveled in Japan. You could say I have a "yen" for information.
Wow, that was bad.

I'm actually very jealous. I have always wanted to go to Japan. I might go in January, which would be very very cool. Not sure though. It'll depend on the amount of ¥¥¥ I have in the bank.

It seems that your itinerary is a bit too full. You're only going for 2-3 weeks, and you're going to 13 cities? You won't have enough time to take it all in. I'd go to 4-5 cities, max. I'd actually go to 3 big cities and take day tours or something.
 

makisushi

macrumors 6502
Jul 15, 2004
301
0
Northern VA
Hey Doc,
I myself am a Japanese American, but I have lived in Tokyo and Hiroshima.

Let me know if you have any questions nandemo, itsudemo.
 

devilot

Moderator emeritus
May 1, 2005
15,588
1
Woo hoo! That sounds like so much fun! It's about time you get away from this group for a bit... ;) We'll be waiting for pictures and fun stories.
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
Doctor Q said:
Why Japan? Because we've always liked Japanese food, Japanese festivals, Japanese technology, Japanese gardens, and Japanese design aesthetics.
I'd go for the Japanese girls. I hear they are timid but can get pretty excited if prodded in the right places. :eek:

edit: I should clarify. When you poke their bellies, they spit out pachinko chips. :D
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,776
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Dr. Q, I must admit I am jealous. :eek: But also super excited for you. I hope you have a great vacation. :) And when you come back, please bring us 3.14159265 pictures of your vacation so that we can share your joy. :D
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,568
0
I wish Doctor & Mrs. Q all the best, the trip sounds awesome. A month should really give you plenty of time to see all the sights. I like Japanese food also, very healthy. That's why it was treat to have had a Japanese student stay with us. He taught my wife to cook a lot of delicious dishes
The thing about the trip that I would dread would be the plane ride
 

Doctor Q

Administrator
Original poster
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
37,918
4,161
Los Angeles
Thanks for the good wishes everyone. I have two specific questions to ask.

1. If I get carried away taking photos, even though I have enough RAM to take almost a hundred a day, where might I find a store that will transfer them from a Compact Flash card to a CD for a small fee? Will Apple Stores do that? Where else?

2. What should I do to save money when phoning home now and then to say hi to the folks back home in California and ask them how many earthquakes we missed? Should I buy a pre-paid calling card here before I leave? Should I buy a phone card when I arrive? Are their other choices, e.g., plans or services to sign up for? Is there an independent website that evaluates and rates choices and brands?

Note that I won't be using iChat AV or VOIP because we aren't taking any electronics other than the camera and my electric razor. No PDA, no iBook or PowerBook, not even an iPod nano. We are intentionally packing very light to make it easiest to travel. It will feel a little odd to be offline most of the time (except when I sneak online from a computer in a hotel lobby or Apple Store), but that's part of what makes it a vacation, and I don't want to spend my time talking to my MR friends when I could be out there seeing the sights!

Abstract said:
Don't worry, I'm still here to make bad jokes.
Now I'm worried.

Abstract said:
I'm actually very jealous. I have always wanted to go to Japan. I might go in January, which would be very very cool. Not sure though. It'll depend on the amount of ¥¥¥ I have in the bank.
iGary said:
Man, the airfare is cheap these days, but lodging will KILL you there.
Yes, we've noticed the prices. That's why we saved up for this trip for five years, forgoing other expensive trips, eating dog food for dinner, and rolling drunks for spare cash. We won't stay in the fanciest hotels (I hope I don't hit both elbows at once on opposite walls of our hotel rooms), and our Rail Passes will help with transportation, so we hope our budget will hold up.

abstract said:
It seems that your itinerary is a bit too full. You're only going for 2-3 weeks, and you're going to 13 cities? You won't have enough time to take it all in. I'd go to 4-5 cities, max. I'd actually go to 3 big cities and take day tours or something.
I appreciate your advice. We knew it was impossible to see half of what we wanted to see (which might have been 20 cities), so we planned a few days each in the big cities and side trips to some of the others. If it was possible (see $ issue above), I'd stay for twice as long! Instead, all we can do is promise ourselves that this is our first trip to Japan.

Lacero said:
I'd go for the Japanese girls. I hear they are timid but can get pretty excited if prodded in the right places. I should clarify. When you poke their bellies, they spit out pachinko chips.
I own a Pachinko machine and all the kids in the family head straight for it when they visit. It's very noisy, so I can't imagine how loud it must be in a room full of them.

Which brings up another question. Where will we be likely to find Pachinko being played? Everywhere there's nightlife? Or do we need to look for them in specific areas of specific cities, such as Shibuya in Tokyo?

mkrishnan said:
When you come back, please bring us 3.14159265 pictures of your vacation so that we can share your joy. :D
It might be more like 6.023x10^23.
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,568
0
I will be looking forward to the pictures. Imagine that they will be awesome. ;)

Wow going cold turkey on the internet connection. Will the razor and camera be enough. Of course you can get your fix at the local Apple Store.
I would high recommend weaning yourself gradually from the internet, it will prevent a headache.
 

stonyc

macrumors 65816
Feb 15, 2005
1,259
1
Michigan
Doctor Q said:
I hope MacRumors can manage without my bad jokes for a few weeks starting next month because...

I'm going to Japan!

Sorry for the large letters, but Mrs. Q and I are very excited about our upcoming trip. We have dreamed of going to Japan for years and at last we are going, from mid-October to early-November.

Why Japan? Because we've always liked Japanese food, Japanese festivals, Japanese technology, Japanese gardens, and Japanese design aesthetics. We even drive Japanese cars. We are looking forward to immersing ourselves in a culture that's ancient and modern at the same time, seeing the sights (city and country, famous and less well-known), making new friends, and learning about a country where history is counted in thousands of years instead of hundreds. And seeing an Apple Store or two if we get homesick.

We'll be traveling around quite a bit. The 13 cities we will visit: Hakone, Hiroshima, Iga Ueno, Kanazawa, Kurama, Kurashiki, Kyoto, Miyajima, Nara, Okayama, Osaka, Takayama, and of course Tokyo.

We have lots of details to plan, which we work on each evening. We have our reservations and JR Rail Passes, and I'm practicing reading a train schedule I got from a returning tourist, so perhaps we won't get totally lost.

I'd be glad to hear travel tips and other advice from those of you who live in or have traveled in Japan. You could say I have a "yen" for information. :)
Soooooo jealous! My wife just started her residency so we won't have an opening in her schedule to go on any signifcant trip for oh... the next 3-4 years. :(

At least my buddy is getting married next year and wants to have his bachelor party in Amsterdam.. permission has been obtained from the Missus, so now I just need to hear on what date the debauchery.. er, celebrations.. begin.

Take lots of pics, and have fun. :)
 

yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
16,032
1
Portland, OR
Awesome Doc!!!

A word to the wise though.. look out for giant robots and cuddly egg-shaped animals.

Have a great (safe) trip!
 

zelmo

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2004
5,490
1
Mac since 7.5
Doc, that is just too cool. I would love to go to Japan. Any chance of sneaking me in your baggage? I'll carry your abacus for you. :p If I were going to Japan, I'd probably want to spend my time in Akihabara (sp?), glorious citadel of cheesy electronics and video games.

Seriously, I hope both time and budget permit you to make the most of your visit. Don't get discouraged if your schedule gets whacked and you can't quite get to everything you have planned. Like you said, this is your first trip.
 

makisushi

macrumors 6502
Jul 15, 2004
301
0
Northern VA
Doctor Q said:
Which brings up another question. Where will we be likely to find Pachinko being played? Everywhere there's nightlife? Or do we need to look for them in specific areas of specific cities, such as Shibuya in Tokyo?
Where can't you find em?!? HAHA
Yes, you are right. wherever there is nightlife, they will be there. You can't miss them. They are bold and bright...just like a casino...hmm....
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,776
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Doctor Q said:
It might be more like 6.023x10^23.
Well, as long as you use a low-atomic-weight film, the weight should not adversely impact your luggage. :D

Ano... gaikokuryokou ni omedetou gozaimasu ne! Sore wa totemo tanoshii, asobi na koto to nozomimasu. :)
 

skubish

macrumors 68030
Feb 2, 2005
2,663
0
Ann Arbor, Michigan
You'll have a great time.
I visit Japan for work at least once per year.
Don't forget to hit the Apple store in Tokyo (Ginza area).

Pack light. Travelling to all the cities will be a pain if you have to lug a bunch of suitcases around.
 

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