THESE FORUMS NOW CLOSED (read only)

  • 14 Apr 2024, 11:18
  • Welcome, Guest
Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Two Weeks in Japan  (Read 2450 times)

GarandMarine

  • Awakened
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10,307
  • Kawaii in the streets, Senpai in the sheets
Two Weeks in Japan
« on: 28 Mar 2013, 04:22 »

So I'm going to Japan this May to visit my brother, he's been stationed at NAF Atsugi for about half a year now and is looking forward to seeing some family and taking his first chunk of leave in a while. The first week is what we have in writing from his command for leave, and we have it pretty planned out. (I have a 14 day JR rail pass lined up for myself) and it was originally just going to be that week, but my mother wisely pointed out that if I'm going for a week and spending the money on the plane ticket. I might as well go for two weeks and really stretch my legs out. My brother and I have Tokyo fairly well covered (the weekend I get there there's even a big shrine festival!) and we're going to run out on a day trip to Hiroshima. I know we have some smarty types around, hopefully with some first hand knowledge/experience so my question is, where to next? I like the sound of a hot springs, and I hear Japanese beaches are quite pleasant as well. In general I tend to try to get the actual culture and skip tourist traps if at all humanly possible.

It's worth noting that I speak practically no Japanese. (I can apologize, say hello and ask where the head is and that's about it) my brother had informed me that he'll be providing me with all the stuff the Navy hands out to make sailors and Marines slightly less offensive gaijin then normal. So hopefully that'll help me avoid getting marked for death because I offended someone in the street some how. *kidding*
Logged
I built the walls that make my life a prison, I built them all and cannot be forgiven... ...Sold my soul to carry your vendetta, So let me go before you can regret it, You've made your choice and now it's come to this, But that's price you pay when you're a monster with no name.

Boiled Dove

  • Bizarre cantaloupe phobia
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 229
  • Personal Text
Re: Two Weeks in Japan
« Reply #1 on: 28 Mar 2013, 06:31 »

That sounds like a blast. My eldest daughter has been studying Japanese for 5 years and will continue when she goes to college this fall. She really wants to make the trip as well. I'm thinking she will actually move once she is out of school.

I have no experience to offer just wanted to say that it sounds like a great trip.
Logged
Signature

Redball

  • Born in a Nalgene bottle
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3,244
  • What's disease? Where?
Re: Two Weeks in Japan
« Reply #2 on: 28 Mar 2013, 09:11 »

My first wife and I spent 4 days in Kyoto in 1968, choosing Kyoto for the temples. When we took a temple tour, we took the Japanese language bus because it was cheaper, and we had a guidebook in English to tell us what we were seeing. We also stayed in a Japanese-languge-only ryokan, again because it was cheaper. But coming out of Peace Corps service in India, we figured we could deal with the language problems. We mostly did, as I recall.
Logged

mtmerrick

  • William Gibson's Babydaddy
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2,373
Re: Two Weeks in Japan
« Reply #3 on: 30 Mar 2013, 10:16 »

I've never been (tho I quite want to) but I will share a tip a friend of mine who spent a few years out there told me.

Learn the language. If that's not something you can do,  for whatever reason, learn to use Google translate. A lot.  Japan is not nearly as English-language-friendly as you would think.
Logged

Akima

  • WoW gold miner on break
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6,523
  • ** 妇女能顶半边天 **
Re: Two Weeks in Japan
« Reply #4 on: 10 Apr 2013, 03:58 »

Japan is not nearly as English-language-friendly as you would think.
I'm slightly mind-blown that anyone would be surprised that Japanese people mostly speak Japanese, or would expect them to be "English-language friendly".
Logged
"I would rather have questions that can't be answered, than answers that can't be questioned." Richard Feynman

Valdís

  • Duck attack survivor
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1,769
  • Huggable Huldra
Re: Two Weeks in Japan
« Reply #5 on: 10 Apr 2013, 04:31 »

or would expect them to be "English-language friendly".

Un homme qui parle trois langues est trilingue. Un homme qui parle deux langues est bilingue. Un homme qui ne parle qu'une langue est anglais.

(French joke. Though I think "ne parle pas" would be snarkier.)

It isn't expected of English-speakers, but they expect it of others. Such as most Europeans (at least in countries close to them) now knowing how to speak it. I mean, even whilst down in Greece there were people around that could speak pretty decent Swedish due to tourism in the area.
« Last Edit: 10 Apr 2013, 04:52 by Valdís »
Logged
Now the sayings of the High One are uttered in the hall
for the weal of men, for the woe of Jötuns,
Hail, thou who hast spoken! Hail, thou that knowest!
Hail, ye that have hearkened! Use, thou who hast learned!

GarandMarine

  • Awakened
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10,307
  • Kawaii in the streets, Senpai in the sheets
Re: Two Weeks in Japan
« Reply #6 on: 10 Apr 2013, 07:24 »

In high traffic multilanguage areas world wide it's not uncommon to meet people who speak 5+ languages.

Any way, I don't expect Japan to be English friendly, there's some districts that are pretty safe bets, and there's a decent amount of written English around in the big cities (global tourism's big, and printing twice, once in Japanese, one in English is a cost effective way to cover a wide base). I'm studying Japanese pretty hard when I'm not working on school and my brother's Japanese is getting pretty decent. From what my expat friends say if you can get the subject, verb, and a "please" or "excuse me" out you can get just about anything or go any where without trouble.

I have my official itinerary if any one's curious, complete with some of my travel notes XD

May 18 - 22nd Tokyo
May 23 - O'dark Hundred departure for Hiroshima and Miyajima,spend the night in Hiroshima, tube hotel?
May 24: Early departure for Osaka, Osaka castle, wander Osaka, evening departure for Kyoto
Evening May 24 - May 26 Kyoto, stay in Ryokan, evening departure for Hakone mountain region around Lake Ashino. It can easily be reached from Tokyo on the Odakyu line for Onsen episode.*/**
26-28 May Onsen, late morning return to Tokyo on the 28th
28th - June 1st Tokyo
June 2nd - Evening departure back to the states, big lunch to celebrate the end of trip?
                                                     

*VITAL: Ensure that the Ryokan, and the Onsen accept guests with some tattoos. Do this prior to making reservations.
**Stuff to do on the Onsen day: There is a castle at Odawara near Hakone, and boat trips and mountain walking and cable cars, etc. Several nice museums including a museum of toys and an outdoor sculpture museum
Logged
I built the walls that make my life a prison, I built them all and cannot be forgiven... ...Sold my soul to carry your vendetta, So let me go before you can regret it, You've made your choice and now it's come to this, But that's price you pay when you're a monster with no name.

Carl-E

  • Awakened
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10,346
  • The distilled essence of Mr. James Beam himself.
Re: Two Weeks in Japan
« Reply #7 on: 10 Apr 2013, 15:07 »

While I understand issues with tattoos in public, it amazes me that a hotel / tourist area would not accept a guest who has tattoos.  They're there to take your money (for services, of course), they can judge you in the privacy of their own home. 
Logged
When people try to speak a gut reaction, they end up talking out their ass.

de_la_Nae

  • Methuselah's mentor
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5,161
  • but will you understand
Re: Two Weeks in Japan
« Reply #8 on: 10 Apr 2013, 15:18 »

Last I knew Korean-descended Japanese citizens don't get full rights. Judging is a hobby worldwide.

Speaking of, don't forget that there'll probably be folks (just like we've got here in the U.S.) who'd think you're bloody stupid/awful no matter how well you knew the language.

Might make sure there will be emergency medical accommodation available and known in the areas you hit up. Last I knew a lot of hospitals out that way pretty much close after office hours. Someone else could tell you better though, I've never been.

GarandMarine

  • Awakened
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10,307
  • Kawaii in the streets, Senpai in the sheets
Re: Two Weeks in Japan
« Reply #9 on: 10 Apr 2013, 20:27 »

Carl, I think you're underestimating the sheer amount of baggage and stigma that come with tattoos in Japanese culture. Like I said it's usually a sign that you're a member of a gang at one level or another, and given the Yakuza's reputation for playing hard ball... it's easy to see how years of oppression and fear become a severe "Oh hell no" like that. As I mentioned in the tattoo thread, in some of the beach areas like Kobe you can actually be arrested for public displays of tattoos, so I could go to the beach, but if I took my shirt off I'd be wearing matching bracelets most ricky tick.

Yeah Japanese hospitals are weird, thankfully in a serious emergency as an absolute worst case I suppose my brother can try to take me to the Naval Hospital. My brother's also setting me up with a pay as you go cell phone and he's going to have emergency contacts set up for me, Base Police (his base that is) the U.S. consulate, general Japanese emergency numbers, etc.

As to the language, yeah, I'm not out to convince those people of anything, but I do want to force them to amend "stupid foreigner" to "polite stupid foreigner"

Logged
I built the walls that make my life a prison, I built them all and cannot be forgiven... ...Sold my soul to carry your vendetta, So let me go before you can regret it, You've made your choice and now it's come to this, But that's price you pay when you're a monster with no name.

Akima

  • WoW gold miner on break
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6,523
  • ** 妇女能顶半边天 **
Re: Two Weeks in Japan
« Reply #10 on: 11 Apr 2013, 00:11 »

While I understand issues with tattoos in public, it amazes me that a hotel / tourist area would not accept a guest who has tattoos.
It is common for places of business to decide that they don't want some people's custom. There are still plenty of "No shoes, no shirt, no service." signs around, for example. If somebody made a scene trying to order a steak in a vegetarian restaurant, the management might well ask him to leave, regardless of the size of his wallet.
Logged
"I would rather have questions that can't be answered, than answers that can't be questioned." Richard Feynman

Carl-E

  • Awakened
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10,346
  • The distilled essence of Mr. James Beam himself.
Re: Two Weeks in Japan
« Reply #11 on: 11 Apr 2013, 00:36 »

I understand that,  I suppose I had gotten it in my head that GM's tattoos would be covered in normal dress, and that they'd only be a problem at the beach, without a shirt. 

In a case like that, where the tattoos wouldn't even be visible, there's hardly any reason to be discriminated against. 



Except the usual, of course...   :roll: :-P
Logged
When people try to speak a gut reaction, they end up talking out their ass.

Loki

  • comeback tour!
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5,532
  • The mischief that dwells within
Re: Two Weeks in Japan
« Reply #12 on: 11 Apr 2013, 02:20 »

Except the usual, of course...   :roll: :-P

I assume you mean existing?
Logged
The future is a weird place and you never know where it will take you.
the careful illusion of shit-togetherness

Carl-E

  • Awakened
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10,346
  • The distilled essence of Mr. James Beam himself.
Re: Two Weeks in Japan
« Reply #13 on: 11 Apr 2013, 05:45 »

Basically.  Some people don't need any reason...
Logged
When people try to speak a gut reaction, they end up talking out their ass.

GarandMarine

  • Awakened
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10,307
  • Kawaii in the streets, Senpai in the sheets
Re: Two Weeks in Japan
« Reply #14 on: 11 Apr 2013, 08:17 »

My tattoos are covered in regular dress. None of my classmates know. Then again none of my classmates are aware then except for the last two weeks while my eyes have been recovering that I have had a full size handgun on my person from the day we met till my surgery, so they're not the most observant bunch.

The key with stuff like Ryokan and Onsen is that bathing and using the hot springs are generally traditional, and thus public. So it shifts to a similar issue like the beach from the non-issue of a restaurant or bar.

Side note: Maid cafes are just weird as hell to me for some reason...
Logged
I built the walls that make my life a prison, I built them all and cannot be forgiven... ...Sold my soul to carry your vendetta, So let me go before you can regret it, You've made your choice and now it's come to this, But that's price you pay when you're a monster with no name.
Pages: [1]   Go Up