Things TO Do In Japan

Topic started by Superevil225 on Feb. 28, 2010. Last post by sickVisionz 2 years, 9 months ago.
Post by Superevil225 (6,742 posts) See mini bio Level 17
Here's a thread where if you've been to Japan and did cool things, or know cool things you must do in Japan, post them here! 

My list:
1) Go to Hiroshima
2) Visit a ninja school
3) See the Golden Palace
4) Eat some food
5) Buy random paraphernalia from vending machines
6) Listen to the radio
7) Watch TV
8) Stay in a traditional hotel
9) Go to the hot springs
10) Ride the Bullet Train

Post by Addfwyn (408 posts) See mini bio Level 16
I've lived there off and on for three years, and will be there for another 2, and there's a few things I can say I miss/people have to do, that may not always occur to people til they get there.
 
1) Eat Ramen.  It is delicious delicious stuff, there's a reason it is everywhere in Japan.  Just look for the sign that says ラーメン。
2) Eat Japanese Curry.  See above. カーレ is what you are looking for here.
3) Go through Shinjuku station at rush hour.  Just try it once, you have never seen a crowd til then. 
4) Go to a Ryokan (traditional Japanese hotel).  As you listed, they are quite nice, this combos very nicely with number 5. 
5) Go to an onsen.  I actually don't like them that much, they are too hot for me.  Still an experience. 
6) Go to izakaya.  They are like a pub/restaurant/bar hybrid.  You go there and you eat and drink.  Lots of them have nomihodai.  Many many restaurants in Tokyo are izakaya, and they even have some really cool themed ones like Lock-Up.
7) If you like to drink, nomihodai is the way to go.  Means all you can drink, is usually 2,000-3,000 yen for 2 hours all you can drink.   
8) Imperial Gardens really are quite impressive, go if you get the chance. 
9) Go to Kyoto, but NOT during Golden Week.  It is so crowded you'll never get the chance to do anything. 
10 Ride the shinkansen (bullet train).  You'll wonder why we don't have them in the US. 
11) Go outside your comfort zone, this applies to all foreign travel.  Learn some japanese, meet natives outside the people you are travelling with.  People in Japan are pretty friendly to us gaijin, especially if you make an effort at speaking Japanese.  Don't be afraid to, they'll be impressed if you even speak a little. 
12) Konbini (Convenience stores) are your friend.  They are almost all open 24 hours a day and have a great range of pre-prepared and snack foods.  You can seriously live out of these places.  7/11 is worth a special note, as they have international ATMs.  They are EVERYWHERE.   
13) If you are here, you are probably interested in anime/manga stuff.  Go to Akihabara (Akiba) but prepared to be overwhelmed.  It's not called electric town for no reason.  You'll see lots of foreigners here, don't worry. 
14) If you feel so inclined, Maid Kisa aren't that bad, kinda expensive but fun to try once.  It's almost nauseatingly cute though.  I think it almost gave me a cavity. 
15) If you feel so inclined and have a bit to spend, you could try kyabakura (host/hostess clubs).  They are a very uniquely Japanese experience, but be prepared to spend a lot of money on alcohol here.  
16) Chu-hai is both the most wonderful and most dangerous thing ever.  It's a type of flavoured japanese alcoholic beverage they sell in convenience stores.  It's cheap, it's decently strong, and it is delicious.  A deadly combination. 
17) Umeshu is the best thing ever invented.  
18) Purikura really are a lot of fun.  Make sure you go with girls though, it's kinda weird to just have guys go. 

 Things to avoid:   
1) Stay away from Kabuki-cho at night unless you are actively looking for the services there.  You'll get propositioned a lot, especially as a foreigner. 
2) Most cheese is very expensive in Japan, and of a very low quality.  Pizza is okay, but most other cheese products are a bit sketchy.   
3) You get what you pay for, those 100 yen bottles of whiskey are worth exactly 100 yen, and will give you a hangover to match. 
4) Don't be frivolous with coins.  As an American, you'll have a very low value of coins, but both 100 yen ($1) and 500 yen ($5) are coins in Japan.  You can spend a lot of money and have it not seem like much. 
5) If you are a guy, be careful about going into purikura without a girl with you, a lot of them don't let guys go in by themselves. 
6) Don't get on the women only train at rush hour, I had friends do that by accident.  You'll get the dirtiest looks in your life. 
7) Your umbrella WILL get stolen, live with it. 
 
That's all I can think of right now, I may add some more later ^^
Post by Kelleth (7,798 posts) See mini bio Level 20
Moderator
1) Buy Otaku stuff.
2) Buy Games.
3) Send those stuff to your home via mail.
4) Go see the city taking pictures of places that you as an otaku find important.
5) Eat at ramen shops and restaurants. (granted this can be done between points 1-4)
6) Check out girls. (can also be done between points 1-4)
7) Visit friends or family of your friends that live in said city. 
8) Visit the Japanese SPa`s
9) Hang out at the bar according to the rules of Japanese night live (follow the white people)
And lots more :)
@Addfwyn said:
" Your umbrella WILL get stolen, live with it.  That's all I can think of right now, I may add some more later ^^ "
So similar to Amsterdam but instead of Bicycles its umbrella`s?
Post by Whiskeyjack (111 posts) See mini bio Level 19
Re:  Addfwyn's Avoid #1 - I think walking through Kabukicho in the middle of daylight with plenty of normal folks around was the one time I didn't feel entirely safe when I was in Japan.
 
  • Thank whatever gods you believe in that Japanese women like short skirts, and take in the lovely scenery.
  • The Yamanote Line. Love it.
  • Go in the spring time and take a bajillion photos of the cherry blossoms. Everyone else is doing it.
  • Watch in awe as the usually reserved Japanese let loose with gigantic alcohol-fueled picnics well into the night under the cherry blossoms. Tokyo's Ueno park and Kyoto's Maruyama park are both filled to the brim during sakura season.
  • Try to see some matsuri (festivals). The really big ones are in the guidebooks but there are heaps of other smaller ones. Those ones require knowing what to look for or just dumb luck. I stumbled across a Yosakoi festival celebrating the sakura  in Kyoto one weekend and spent most of the rest of the afternoon watching. Another weekend I found myself in Narita for a taiko drum festival. Both were awesome.
  • Ride the Shinkansen (bullet train). It's like a freakin' airplane.. but on the ground.
  • Learn to love Japanese beer. It's everywhere.
  • Experience the electric neon of Shibuya at night. Is it even possible to go to Tokyo and NOT see Shibuya Crossing? (at least if it's your first time)
  • Go to Roppongi Hills. Go to the 52nd floor of the Mori Tower and experience the Tokyo City View. Preferably at night. Bring a camera.
  • Marvel how everyone tells you that Kyoto is really flat but you spend all your time climbing stairs. Most of the interesting temples and gardens are at the edge of the mountains that make up three of the borders of the city.
  • Stroll through Japanese walking gardens.
  • Jingū-bashi. Sunday afternoon. Be there.
  • Spend a few hours walking (mostly uphill) through thousands of vermillion torii in Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto.
  • Visit Akihabara and wonder just how the Japanese otaku are able to afford paying for anime DVDs.
Post by rein (5,465 posts) See mini bio Level 15
@Addfwyn: I have always been under the impression that The Japanese tend to dislike foreigners. Have you ever been hassled about it in your time living there?
Post by Black_Rose (1,204 posts) See mini bio Level 11
Go to Harajuku Street, you can buy some crazy stuff and meet even crazier (but nice) people there. 
Post by Addfwyn (408 posts) See mini bio Level 16
@rein: I wouldn't say everyone here hates foreigners, but yes I most certainly have been hassled to varying degrees.  I've been spat on, glared at, yelled at (in Japanese and in English) just for my very presence.  I never felt unsafe though, just a bit offended and disappointed.
 
I've also had total strangers being very helpful, people honestly curious about american culture/politics, elderly folks happily smiling and waving at me and asking what I like most about Japan.  So it goes both ways really. 
 
But yes, you'll find racist folks here that hate all foreigners.  Sometimes they have good reason to, as a lot of tourists here do a lot of stupid shit that gives the rest of us a bad name.
Post by John_Martone (2,992 posts) See mini bio Level 10
@Superevil225 said:
2) Visit a ninja school
whaa?
 
@Addfwyn:
One day I'll catch you not being very informative or helpful... Today is not that day
 
@Kelleth:
Given how much more expensive DVD's and Video games can cost over there (and considering how I could get them here) I figured that would be right off the list.
Post by Kelleth (7,798 posts) See mini bio Level 20
Moderator
@John_Martone: True but i`m talking about DVD you can`t get here :)
Post by Whiskeyjack (111 posts) See mini bio Level 19
@John_Martone said:

" @Superevil225 said:

2) Visit a ninja school
whaa?
 
If he told you, he'd have to kill you.
 
With DVDs you have to deal with the Region encoding.. at least with Blu-Rays Japan and North America are in the same zone.. not that their stuff has English subtitles generally.. I was really tempted to pick up the blu-ray version of Summer Wars. It looked so damned pretty. I'm hoping it's a big enough hit to get Funi or another company's attention.
Post by Chengy (1,711 posts) See mini bio Level 17
hmm
 
1. Visit a hot spring :D
2. Eat proper Ramen
3. go to a maid / cosplay cafe
4. buy some goods
5. find a harem
6. Get punched and sent flying two miles
7. have a nosebleed where about two litres of blood will be lost over something perverted.
 
I think ive been watching too much anime :o
Post by Addfwyn (408 posts) See mini bio Level 16
@Chengy: Number two is worth repeating.  You could eat different ramen every day here from a different shop and probably never run out of places to go to. 
 
I ESPECIALLY recommend Hope in front of Otsuka station (on the Yamanote line).  They only have one ramen on the menu, and you can get it with or without garlic.  Get the kind with garlic, it's pure garlicky rameny bliss.  I go out of my way to go to that ramen shop.
Post by cfatalis (19,150 posts) See mini bio Level 15
@Addfwyn: ah i remember that one from my second visit
 
japan is a nice country
 
things i would do again if i visit there again ( notable for being inevitable)
1.Buy crazy stuff (say..... one of those candy dolls)
2. see the vending machines(again)
3. Splurge on akihibara (splurge i say)
4. get one of those electronics you cant get in america/other place or really expensive internationally
5. get my game card updated (i wonder if it's still valid.....)
6. get drunk(again)
Post by universe_chic (1 posts) See mini bio Level 4
@Addfwyn: thnx for the great advice!... i'd love any more tips... i'm going next yr... still undecided when to go (season wise)... i read the end of january is pretty good (cheap airline/hotel prices... however i wonder about the weather... it's probably cold...brr*)
Post by Addfwyn (408 posts) See mini bio Level 16
@universe_chic: Depends on where you're going in Japan, if you're going to Tokyo, I recommend spring or autumn.  End of Jan/Beginning of Feb is the coldest time of year in Tokyo, but it doesn't get TOO cold.  Rarely drops below 0 C, so usually we don't get snow here.   
 
Avoid Tokyo like the plague in the summer, it's incredibly hot and extremely humid.  Tokyo summers are pretty brutal, and it's been getting worse cause the taller buildings block the wind from the coast that used to cool things off a bit.
Post by yzami17 (3 posts) See mini bio Level 8
what will i do when i go to japan???
 1.) eat Japanese Foods.
2.) buy my favorite anime manga books.
3.) take a tour with my auntie.
4.) buy Japan's best art materials.
 5.) take a swim at a beach.

-^_^-
Post by AURON570 (573 posts) See mini bio Level 15

I don't see "go to arcades" anywhere. Which has been my main reason for years for wanting to go to Japan. Every other reason came after that, going to hotsprings, eating sushi and ramen, going to traditional shrines and festivals etc.

Post by Addfwyn (408 posts) See mini bio Level 16

@AURON570: It's not something I do very often, but arcades are around. They are largely dominated by floors and floors of UFO Catcher machines, along with some fighting games, rhythm stuff, and insane mech-style cockpit things. Also a smatter of card-based games. I'm not too big on any of those, so arcades haven't had quite the appeal to me as just gaming at home does. Also, most arcades are EXTREMELY smoky, which as an ex-smoker kinda bothers me.

Post by Kuma_From_Argentina (7,007 posts) See mini bio Level 14
  1. Visit Akihabara
  2. Eat everything I can
  3. Visit Buddhist Temples
  4. Take the Shonen Jump Tour and the Toei Animation Tour
  5. Visit Roppongi
  6. Tour Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka
  7. Visit a onsen
  8. Eat some more
  9. Visit a Shrines
  10. Meditate under a Waterfall
  11. Visit Ainu, Jomon and other indigenous Villages
  12. Take the Shinkansen
  13. Enter a street/bar Brawl
  14. Try to challenge a Dojo
  15. Go to a Maid Cafe
  16. Got to a Hostess Bar
  17. Visit a high school and walk in the rooftop
  18. Challenge random people into sport matches
  19. Buy a canned coffee or other canned beverage from a vending machine
  20. Lose and search something on a city river
  21. Push people into the train
  22. Buy Otaku goodies
  23. Stay on a traditional hotel or Buddhist Temple
  24. Visit a popular beach
  25. Visit Mount Fuji
  26. Eat from a street car (Fried eel, Takoyaki or Ramen)
  27. Go to a Summer festival
  28. Go to a Supermarket on discount day and take as much as I can
  29. Visit Honnoji
  30. Visit Sekigahara
  31. Visit a traditional Village
  32. Visit Ghibli Museum
  33. Extend a carpet on the floor and starting praying in the direction of Dynamic Planning
  34. Visit Mangaka's graves
  35. Visit Ghibli landmarks (Places that inspired movie landscapes)
  36. Cosplay in a Japanese covnention with my Nappa Cosplay or my Totoro Cosply
  37. Assist to Comicket
  38. Beat up street punks
  39. Shout " A comerla" in a crowded place
  40. Visit a bamboo forest
  41. Visit natural reserves
  42. Meet Yakuza members
  43. Eat even more (Takoyaki mostly)
  44. Visit a traditional teahouse
  45. Visit a Sumo house
  46. Use a public bathouse
  47. Do something ridiculous in broad daylight
  48. Play a soccer and laugh at their inablity to do so (Sorry, I know I sound like a bastard but they cant make soccer anime and suck at it in real life)
  49. Play Rugby with a team there
  50. Marvel upon being 25 cms taller than the average in Tokyo
  51. Visit anime character graves (Raoh and Souther)
  52. Visit Satoshi Kon grave
  53. Listen to an enka recital
  54. Watch TV
  55. Sleep in a pill hotel
  56. Dance in a festival
  57. Listen to the radio
Post by AURON570 (573 posts) See mini bio Level 15

@Addfwyn: Ahh that's right, I remember reading that some japanese adults like smoking while playing at arcade. That sucks.

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