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  #1  
Old 12th January 2017, 05:47 PM
Zippo Zippo is offline
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Default Japan - all the information!

Booked a ticket to Japan in September (rest of the bookings to come, made this one first to secure a sale).

Because I am lazy, and do not want to do my own searching, who can link me to all the good places to a) get toys and b) what to see and do while in Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima, Kyoto

Your help is appreciated ..
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Old 12th January 2017, 06:01 PM
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http://www.otca.com.au/boards/showth...t=11556&page=7

Here's some info .
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Old 12th January 2017, 06:38 PM
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DELTAprime DELTAprime is offline
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I'm interested in making a trip to Japan in the future. I wouldn't be going so much for toys because I don't normally buy older toys anymore and just focus on TT's current releases so what is some great stuff to see other than Akihabara, Denden town and the Bullet Train?
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Old 13th January 2017, 11:29 AM
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Tetsuwan Convoy Tetsuwan Convoy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DELTAprime View Post
Akihabara, Denden town and the Bullet Train?
There's oh, I don't know, all the hundred plus year old shrines, Hiroshima Atomic Bomb dome. That's all I will list for now, because I'm assuming your post is a joke
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Old 13th January 2017, 06:17 PM
Zippo Zippo is offline
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Thanks for the link to HD's thread. It will be a good start

Keen for any other information anyone can share - though I do have 8 months of planning/waiting to go
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Old 13th January 2017, 06:40 PM
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DELTAprime DELTAprime is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tetsuwan Convoy View Post
There's oh, I don't know, all the hundred plus year old shrines, Hiroshima Atomic Bomb dome. That's all I will list for now, because I'm assuming your post is a joke
No not a joke. I wouldn't go near a shrine just like I wouldn't go near a church. I just googled the Atomic Bomb Dome, crumbling ruins are not what I think of when I think of Japan. Surely there are places to go that are more... modern?
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Old 14th January 2017, 11:26 PM
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GoktimusPrime GoktimusPrime is offline
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Crumbling ruins was a reality for Japan during and shortly after WWII. The entire country was essentially levelled by Allied bombing, and conventional firebombing caused more death and destruction than the atomic bombings. People see Japan as this thriving modern country now, but when you speak to people who grew up in post-war Japan, even people of our parents' generation... they remember when Japan was a ruined craphole. I once spoke to a friend's mother who recently visited a third world country. I asked her what it was like and she said that it reminded her of Japan during her childhood. So yeah, post-war Japan was literally like a messed up third world country. Sorry if this doesn't match your personal vision of what Japan is, but this is the reality that people had to actually live through.

You better stay away from the Touhoku region if you don't want to look at currently devastated parts of Japan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DELTAprime View Post
I'm interested in making a trip to Japan in the future. I wouldn't be going so much for toys because I don't normally buy older toys anymore and just focus on TT's current releases so what is some great stuff to see other than Akihabara, Denden town and the Bullet Train?
Dude, Japan is usually GREAT for shopping for current TakaraTOMY releases! And if you're lucky, you can get them at cheaper prices than you would find online, especially if you shop in a place that exempts tax when you show a foreign passport and/or if you go with a local friend who has a discount card and you stack that discount! Or you go to Hero Gangu and haggle with the manager and continue that discount stack!
Quote:
Originally Posted by DELTAprime View Post
No not a joke. I wouldn't go near a shrine just like I wouldn't go near a church. I just googled the Atomic Bomb Dome, crumbling ruins are not what I think of when I think of Japan. Surely there are places to go that are more... modern?
* Tokyo Disneyland
* Osaka Kaiyukan (it has captive whale sharks!)
* Tokyo Tower
* Kyoto Movie Theatre Theme Park
* Akihabara Gundam Café
* Universal Studios
* Hakone (Mt Fuji, Lake Ashi etc.)
* Arashiyama, Kyoto - has the Monkey Mountain and Sagano Bamboo Forest
* Nijo Castle in Kyoto and Imperial Palace in Tokyo
* Osaka Castle
* Studio Ghibli Museum, Tokyo

I would also recommend visiting at least 3 temples for reasons that have nothing to do with religion:
+ Kinkakuji
+ Todaiji
+ Kiyomizudera
First of all, the architecture on these structures is amazing. Kinkakuji is a temple plated in gold and Todaiji is the largest ancient wooden structure in the world. Kiyomizudera is worth visiting purely for the magnificent view that you get of Kyoto from that position. Plus you'll lose 5kg walking up there.

Although I find my most memorable experiences are necessarily places that I've visited, but the people that I've met. Nothing beats socially interacting with locals - either meeting up with friends when I'm there, or even striking up conversations with complete strangers. It's interesting seeing what kind of things you end up doing that you didn't necessarily plan, like...

Volunteering as a staff member at a festival


Getting into a verbal stoush with a publicly ranting racist


Making friends with a random lady and her family and then meeting up with them again in a completely different Prefecture!


etc. etc. etc. And I understand that the language barrier thing can be an issue - most people in Japan don't speak English. But part of the fun in going there is immersing yourself in the language and culture and just having a go! I could barely speak any Japanese when I first went there (I thought I could, but soon discovered to my horror that I couldn't ). And during our 10 day school trip, I also saw a lot of my students quickly improving in their communication ability by throwing themselves into the deep end. Some didn't improve as much as others because they were too hesitant and reserved, but like many things in life, you only get what you put in and fortune favours the bold. One of my Year 9 students surprisingly picked up a lot of Japanese just be eavesdropping on other people's conversations. After about a week of doing this he insisted on following me when I went to book bullet train tickets instead of waiting with the group. He stood next to me as I communicated with the the rail staff member and was repeating words and picking up what they meant!
e.g.
Staff> 「禁煙車または喫煙車どちらがよろしいですか。」
Me> 「禁煙車お願いします。」
Student> "Yeah, good. We should get a non-smoking carriage."
We haven't learnt anything like that in the school course curriculum! He just picked it up by osmosis through eavesdropping and deducing the meaning, well... basically by code-breaking. It's little wonder that multilingual people are traditionally sought after as code-breakers (Alan Turing was unusual as a monolingual code-breaker, although his code-breaker was based on mathematics - at least, he was portrayed that way in The Imitation Game which admittedly isn't completely historically accurate).
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Old 15th January 2017, 07:28 PM
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Tokyo is an awesome place to visit. There is truly so much to see and it is such a quirky city. Here are a few of the things I can think of.

If you like seafood then you will also find it a dream in terms of food if you are open minded enough to try the wonderful array of Japanese cuisine.

Tsukiji Fish Market is a must visit. Not only for the insanity of the actual market side of things but also for the amazing little local store and stalls serving up a variety of food. We always go there for breakfast/brunch and have sushi/sashimi (actually omakase - which is where the chef serves you what he wants to create) at the more local places. This area has stores catering to tourists and the food there is also great but hidden at the back of the markets are the more local restaurants and wow they are AMAZING.
Last trip we also went to a tempura place run by an old husband and wife. Local businessmen were lined up for it along with us (meanwhile next door was one of the major tourist sushi restaurants with a huge queue of tourists thinking we were silly for lining up in the wrong queue). I have to tell ya - BEST tempura I have ever had and stupidly cheap and worth the 1/2 hour wait. We could see why the businessmen took the time out of their day for it.

Tokyo Tower is ok - I like it as the view in nice, the queue isn't normally as bad as sky tree, although obviously it is a more dated period of Japan.

Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu) is ok to visit and interesting if you want to see a modern traditional Japanese wedding but I wouldn't rate it as the best shrine I've seen in Japan and it is a production line for tourists (but free unless you want to buy offerings). On a Pokemon Go aside: It was a geodude nest when we went in November and I ended up going from 1 to enough to evolve the geodude into a golem in the 2 hours we were there.

Sensoji Temple is more impressive in Asakusa. The area also has some quite nice street food and good tempura restaurants.

Tokyo Imperial palace is interesting if you want to see some nice gardens/architecture; also interesting if you like the history of Japan/samurai/ninja.

Akihabara is a must visit destination just to walk the streets and absorb the atmosphere... and the toy shops are awesome. The Gundam cafe there is pretty cool too but not as good as the one on the waterfront with the giant Gundam (although rumour has it the life sized gundam is being torn down in March/April this year).

In that waterside Gundam area - is it Shiodome? Odaiba? there are also other attractions such as a tv studio and the Toyota showcase city (or something to that effect) where if you get there early enough you can sign up to take one of the latest model cars on a test drive... no racing cars unfortunately but when we were there they had all the latest model vehicles and some of their performance racing vehicles in a showroom to sit in/look at. There is also an area where kids can learn to drive special smaller vehicles and earn a drivers license for those with sprogs in tow. My kids LOVED it but obviously won't be interesting to you if you're traveling alone.

Ikibukuro has a pretty good toys'r'us and pokemon store. Also found a good teppen-yaki in this area. This area is full of shopping malls and department stores.
Shinjuku is also department store central and great to stroll at night for the lights and colour. Some pretty good food here too, often hidden on a higher floor of one of the department stores. There are also some themed restaurants here - robots, ninja, etc that are pretty funny.
Shibuya is also full of department stores and colour but also has the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world which is fun to walk across. And as a pokemon go aside also had an area where there are several pokestops so close together it is non stop pokemon.

Make sure to figure out the trains and have a network map with you. Don't use taxis as taxis cost a FORTUNE. The trains are efficient although you may have to change rail companies (ie exit one station and walk into one owned by a different company) to get from place to place (but if you have a seica card it works on all stations regardless of the company). The trains can be a bit daunting initially as they're more complex than the Hong Kong or Singapore networks but once you do your research they can take you almost everywhere you want to go.

If you are flying into Narita and need to figure out how to get to Tokyo the Narita Express (semi-bullet train) has a special deal for tourists (must pre-buy and show passport) if you buy a return ticket that works out around 4000 yen return and the trip is only around 45 minutes depending on which stop you get off at (was vaild as of November 2016 and as far as I could see ongoing).
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  #9  
Old 16th January 2017, 06:26 PM
Zippo Zippo is offline
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^ Brilliant, thanks for the information

Keep it coming!!
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  #10  
Old 23rd January 2017, 04:52 PM
Zippo Zippo is offline
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Hotels all booked, Kyoto was getting more and more expensive as the days went on and I decided to make sure I didn't have to worry about anything so I took the plunge.

8 months to plot and plan

Read today that the giant Gundam figure will be removed early March
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