Going to Tokyo Soon

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Steve Jobless, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. Steve Jobless macrumors 6502

    May 31, 2006
    like the title says, im going next week.

    has anyone been? can someone talk about the shopping (electronics etc.)there haha? sights to see and what not?

  2. Red Sox macrumors regular

    Jul 15, 2007
    I lived in Tokyo for 10 years, so here's what I recommend.

    Electronics: Go to Akihabara, also known as Electric Town. Most of the big stores there have "American" versions of stuff for tourists.

    The best place to hang out is Shibuya. You'll probably recognize the big intersection from movies like Lost in Translation. There's tons of stuff to do there. Just walk around.

    If you're young and into "hip" stuff you may like Harajuku.

    Definitely check out the big shrine at Akasuka. That'll give you a good day experiencing traditional Japanese stuff.

    Make sure you eat some good Ramen. Most people think of the crappy instant ramen you get for 49 cents at the supermarket when they hear of Ramen, but the real thing is totally different. Definitely in my top 5 favorite foods.

    have fun.
  3. Steve Jobless thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 31, 2006
    thanks, what can i expect in the way of stereos in terms of quality or price. which shops are best or they almost all equal?
  4. Red Sox macrumors regular

    Jul 15, 2007
    Well, consumer stereos are probably going to be just about the same in terms of quality. You'll find all the same brands there as you do here. And even the prices aren't that much different. In Akihabara, there are dozens and dozens of huge electronics stores side by side, so there's going to be some price competition, but I personally don't think it would be worth it if you have to lug a huge stereo around and bring it all the way back to america.
  5. hawaiian macrumors member


    Take the Ramen and Tsukemen for lunch. But for dinner, try to hit up some of the more famous Izakaya in the area that you're going to stay. There's a really good site on the web that has a pretty comprehensive reviews of restaurants and eating places in Tokyo. I think you can find it here.

    The site has recommendations for all kinds of food but I think your best bet is to find someone who knows the area and shows you around. There are so many places to eat that I don't think any site can handle them all but this is definitely a good place to start.

    As for places to see and shop, Red Sox said it well. If you're into doing day trips or even overnight or over 2 night stays and such, I would suggest checking out Yokohama, Kamakura, Nikko, and/or Hakkone. There are places outside of Tokyo. As for inside the city, I would like to add Ueno park, the Imperial palace, and anything else you find along the way.

    Hope this helps, let us know if you have any more questions.
  6. Eric Lewis macrumors 68020

    Eric Lewis

    Feb 4, 2007
    CANADA? eh?
    go to ginza to the 4 story apple shop!

    5th Floor : internet cafe...etc
    4th: theather
    3rd: stuff
    1: more apple stuff
  7. Red Sox macrumors regular

    Jul 15, 2007
    Oh yeah the apple store is cool. Also just down the street in Ginza is the Sony building with 8 stories of showrooms.
  8. Steve Jobless thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 31, 2006
    it seems kind of annyoing to have to stop at every floor. I work on the 10th(top) floor (I guess I should change my username then) and hate when I have to stop at any other floors. haha.

    thanks for the info!

    so theres no better brand/quality/selection between here and there in terms of electronics?
  9. Steve Jobless thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 31, 2006
    also will i have any issues communicating in english, or should i try to learn some japanese?
  10. hawaiian macrumors member


    If you're in Tokyo, I don't know that you'll have any trouble communicating. You can get around. Do you have someone to show you around? That might help a lot, especially if you can't read Japanese. I think a pretty good deal of reading comprehension is necessary to eat well, but not necessary to just get around.
  11. Mr. B macrumors regular

    Dec 25, 2005
    Awesome! I'm going to tokyo in two weeks for a semester!


    They do *NOT* speak english in Japan.

    Seriously, you will be able to find your way around just through sheer will power alone, and with some help from the occasional english speaking police man.

    The average person in Japan speaks absolutely no english, learn as much Japanese as Possible.

    The Japanese are very helpful, but don't expect them to understand you.

    oh! Also, don't ever take taxis. They are crazy overpriced and from my experience that are also usually driven by the more unpleasant tokyo denizens.
  12. mmulin macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2006
    1. in tokyo at least you will find a good deal of japanese who know some english, especially young people. the problem is mainly though that they are too embarressed to listen or speak. charming attitude and some leanred japanese helps a wonders though..

    2. totally BS! you get cab driver from all walks of life as in every city. some will be friendly and some crumpy. the prices are okay, i think. certainly not the cheapest but if you look how much distance they cover for your money, it is def below london or amsterdam prices (i.e. a run fro east to west will cost you about 80 bucks which is the same you might pay in amsterdam even though the city is about 10 fold smaller). then again, don't take a cab and enjoy nightlife until the subway starts again.. ;)
  13. Mr. B macrumors regular

    Dec 25, 2005
    Well, I'm just talking from my own past experience, so I'm sure that there will have been people who experienced things differently, but still...

    You know how they teach spanish in America? If someone who spoke spanish natively went up to a random american who had been taught some basic spanish in highschool, how helpful do you think they would be?

    Also the three times that I used cabs while I was there, one of the times we seemed to take every route but the direct one and it ended up costing around sixty bucks, the second time my cab driver actually *stopped* the cab at one point, got out, and began smoking a cigarette while talking with another cab driver *while the meter was still running*, and the third time the cab driver literally locked the doors and drove me to the hotel I asked him to go to, not know that it was literally twenty feet in front of me, and then charged me five bucks for the 2 minute ride.

    So, just personally, some bad experience with the cab drivers...
  14. Red Sox macrumors regular

    Jul 15, 2007
    That is absolutely incorrect. If you speak to them slowly, using simple words, they will understand, especially the younger people.

    Not only that, but all the street signs, maps, and train stations have English written underneath the Japanese. So its very easy to get around.

    I remember always seeing those stupid arrogant Americans that walk into a McDonals, saying really fast, "Get me a couple of them BigMacs and also some fries and ...." and when the cashier has trouble understanding, they yell, "Damnit Im in a McDonalds and you cant understand what im saying???" When he could have just slowly said "Two BigMacs and two French Fries Please."

    Just use common sense and youll get by.
  15. Kaiser Phoenix macrumors 6502

    May 12, 2005
    Hi Im Japanese (studying in the Uk) and maybe I can help out alittle.

    The truth is that many Japanese actually KNOW some basic english BUT are too shy to speak it. So they actually do understand you if you speak slowly but they may just try and avoid you!

    If you go to Akihabara, depending on what you are looking for, you will need to go to different stores. The best ALLROUND store is the MULTIMEDIA YODOBASHI CAMERA which is like a megamall only selling electronics. However the only way to make it worth while to buy it here is either

    1) Get the gold point card (10% point back system, i.e. you buy PS3 40,000Yen, you get 4000 yen to spend in store on anything). Sometimes they have promotions of 15% etc. Drawback is that you need a Japanese address...

    2) Tax refund can be done so take your passport! (But you cant get tax refund AND points).

    If you are looking for computer parts go to ARK computer and TWOTOP, they sell loads of computer parts at very good prices like Motherboards, Graphics etc. (In akihabara)

    If you like Japanese collectable figures, go to asobit city also in Akihabara and RadioKan for really rare ones.

    If you want to know where 'fashionable' people buy their clothes, it is in DAIKANYAMA which is 1 stop before Shibuya or URA-HARAJYUKU which has famous labels such as Porter, United Arrows etc.

    Omotesando is also amazing for shopping though very high-end. (E.g. Prada, Gucci etc)

    If you want cool places, go to ODAIBA preferably with a girl and preferrably at night hehe. Take her to the Bar-Bacoa restaurant, have a nice meal and take her to the cinema. Very beautiful scenery etc.

    Hope that helps!

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