Going Overseas

Discussion in 'Films, TV, Music, Books, Etc.' started by Gunner37, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. Gunner37

    Gunner37 Rookie

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    So me and a few friends are starting to plan a trip to Japan within the next 2 years was wondering if you guys had ideas or previous experience with what to do and not to do. We want to do this trip since we have all just graduated college with degrees in engineering and we always talked about it and now we can afford it haha. So if you guys have any tips for me it would be much appreciated!
     
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  2. StudioTan

    StudioTan Regular

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    Good luck and have fun, man. I would love to visit Japan. I'm sure you've done this already, but I would just look up some basic etiquette: daily commuting, greeting, dining, etc.

    Also, brush up on that bow:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUubgv3_ps0
     
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  3. De-Ting

    De-Ting Rookie

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    I wouldn't order fugu if you go to any fancy restaurants.

    Oh, and If you are handed something offered with two hands, grab it with both hands yourself and look the other person in the eye while doing a small bow.
     
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  4. StudioTan

    StudioTan Regular

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    Ting knows his bow rules.
     
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  5. StudioTan

    StudioTan Regular

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    Ting knows his bow rules.
     
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  6. UghRochester

    UghRochester https://www.twitch.tv/ughrochester

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    Bow lower than the person.
     
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  7. Longo_2_guns

    Longo_2_guns Forum Moderator
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    Fuck Japan. Go to China instead.
     
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  8. Master_Craig

    Master_Craig Forum Moderator
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    I've been to Japan! :) Allow me to help you. Prepare yourself, this will be a long post.

    I went to Japan last year with a group of friends, we were there for just over three weeks. We traveled south to north, starting in Osaka before going to Naara, Kyoto, Tokyo and Niseko.

    I'll do two separate posts. My first post will be about courtesies, tips and such:

    - De-Ting is absolutely right. When someone hands something to you, try to remember to accept it with both of your hands and offer a bow. Do the same when you hand something to someone, even if it's money. The deeper the bow, the deeper the respect. You don't have to go crazy and put your head in between your knees, but offer a nice, hands by your side bow, especially to the elderly. The way I honestly bow to people there is how I bow to people in judo training/competition... it's the same since well, it's Japanese too. People don't often shake hands in Japan.

    - Don't tip. In Japan, tipping is actually seen as offensive and rude.

    - Try to say "thank you" in Japanese when receiving goods/services from Japanese folk. You can say it either as "Arigatou" (Ari - Gah - Toe, which is "Thank you"). There's also "Arigatou Gozaimasu" (Ari - Gah - Toe, Gah-Zye-Ah-Mas) which is a more polite, formal way of saying "Thank you very much". You don't have to do this, but they honestly do appreciate it.

    - Please understand that not a lot of people speak English there. I was told "Everyone speaks English in Japan" but this is not true. Many Japanese people only have very basic English if any at all, but many are not fluent. If you are trying to speak to someone in English, speak slowly and try to use basic, non-complex words. It might be handy to buy a small Japanese language handbook before you travel there, so you can study and learn a few basic words, sentences and such.

    - If you use a taxi, do not open the door, hell don't even touch it. The taxi driver will either open the door for you by hand, or the door will open automatically. If the door opens automatically, opening it manually can actually cause damage to it. Trying to open it yourself by hand is seen as rude/offensive. Let the taxi driver open the door for you, when they pick you up and when they drop you off.

    - GPS is your friend. Use it. Japan has a lot of free Wi-Fi you can connect to.

    - Look into getting a "JR Rail Pass", that'll be so handy and will actually save you a lot of money because chances are, you'll probably be using trains a lot. Study the maps and find out what train(s) you'll need to take to get you to where you want to go.

    - Speaking of trains, just like Western culture, if you're on a seat on the train and someone needs the seat a bit more than you (e.g. pregnant woman, elderly person, person with injury/disability), please give up your seat for them. Sometimes they may not take it, but at least you've offered.

    - Some hotels are ridiculously small and may not be designed with westerners in mind. Let me put it to you this way... I'm 6'3 and in one hotel when I sat on the toilet - my knees were touching the bath room door. Some hotels are bigger and more "normal", though.

    - Some train carriages are for women only. They'll generally say so in English, with female-symbol and might be pink. Don't get on these trains. Don't be "that guy".

    - If you eat with chopsticks, don't rub them together. People in Western culture break their chop sticks apart and then rub them together for some reason... well, don't do that in Japan. :p

    - Many restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs allow patrons to smoke inside. If you don't smoke, ask to go to a "no smoking" table at a restaurant/cafe.

    - If you happen to visit Naara (which I do recommend, it's such a beautiful place and the temples are amazing), there are a lot of deer there. Sometimes the deer can be annoying as they want food, but please do not push, hit or even tap the deer... that's considered a great offence and you can get fined for it by police.

    - ATMs suck over there. A lot of them will not be able to read western cards over there. However, I found 7 Eleven's that would have ATMs that actually worked for my Visa debit card. Some ATMs have English options, however some do not. You may want to speak to your bank before you travel, so you can find out the best option for you and your money while you're over there.

    - If you choose to drive over there, just remember that you'll be driving on the left lane, with oncoming traffic on the right lane. A lot of people honestly drive very aggressively there in busier places like Kyoto, you you'll also need to be aggressive, and careful.

    - If you go to Japan in the winter, I suggest wearing very good, warm clothing. Layer up if you need to. I come from a very humid, tropical place and I'm a huge pansy in the cold, so when I was in Japan I often wore long sleeved thermals (top and bottoms), jeans, a long sleeved shirt, gloves, a scarf and an insulated coat. If you end up travelling to Niseko in the winter, you will need snow gear. You can hire snow gear from various shops in Niseko, but I'd suggest making the arrangements before you arrive so it's easier.

    I'll write another post shortly detailing some of the stuff we did, where we went etc. :) Hope this stuff helps!
     
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  9. Gunner37

    Gunner37 Rookie

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    Thanks Craig and Ting, I have done a lot of research but still did not know about some of this stuff so thanks very much ill rely some of this to my buddies.
     
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  10. Master_Craig

    Master_Craig Forum Moderator
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    My next post... stuff to do!

    Our first stop was Osaka, which we were there for five days.

    - There's a massive aquarium in Osaka which is worth checking out. I forget what it's called but it's a big rectangular building, where you basically start from the top and work your way down.

    - Nearby said aquarium is also a huge Ferris wheel, which gives you an amazing view of Osaka.

    - Universal Studios Japan is in Osaka and that's a lot of fun. If you go there, you'll only need a day, won't need much more than that. Can get very busy there!

    - There's a lot of markets around that serve amazing food. One of the stalls got me addicted to their fried chicken. Beautiful stuff.

    Next stop was Naara, which we were only there for an afternoon, passing through while traveling to Kyoto:

    - Naara is a beautiful place known for its temples and deer parks. There's also a massive temple there that's known as one of the few temples in Japan that has zero Chinese influence in its architecture and its made entirely from wood. This particular temple also houses the world's largest statues of Buddha.

    Next up was Kyoto, Japan's former capital city. We were only here for a few days:

    - Kyoto has some pretty cool stuff. There's the golden temple, there's the shogun temple and then there is also the imperial palace. You can catch all these places through organised guided tours on bus, they're really cool.

    - There's the Kyoto tower which is pretty cool. Very high up and gives you an excellent view of Kyoto.

    - You can catch the bullet train, one of the world's fastest trains to Tokyo.

    We were in Tokyo for a while, about five days:

    - Tokyo Tower is awesome, gives a great view of Tokyo.

    - Even better, check out the recently build Tokyo Sky Tree, one of the world's tallest buildings and will give you an amazing view of Tokyo. Be prepared for long lines, a lot of people come to this.

    - The Studio Ghibli museum is awesome if you're into Studio Ghibli films.

    - You need to check out Akihabara, aka "Electric Town" which is essentially nerd town. Heaps of stuff to do with video games, arcades, collectables and all sorts of cool stuff to do with anime and video games. A very busy place.

    - If you're looking for a fantastic dining experience in terms of entertainment and food, you need to Google "Ninja Dinner", an amazing restaurant in Japan which needs to be booked months in advanced. You'll be lead into the cave-environment restaurant by a ninja, greeted by other ninjas, and you'll have a wicked seven course meal that's just awesome. Best sushi ever.

    We also went to Tokyo Disney for about five days. That was awesome:

    - There's two parks. Disney Land and Disney Sea. Disney Land is more "traditional" and is very similar to the one in California, America. Disney Sea however is in my opinion more fun, with more rides and such. There's also a few hotels nearby which in all honesty, I do recommend staying in, they're great, plus you get cool perks for staying there.

    - There's also a nearby "Down Town Disney" kinda thing which isn't in the parks, but it has loads of places to shop and eat.

    Finally, we traveled up far north through Hokkaido, to a small town called Niseko which is apparently the second most popular skiing spot in the world:

    - If you go to Niseko in the winter, you'll have heaps of opportunities for stuff like skiing, snow boarding etc. You can even hire out gear, get lessons and such. I'd recommend booking it all online.

    - If you go to Niseko during the summer, there's excellent opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, camping, canoeing, fishing etc.

    That's it! Hope this helps. If you have any questions or you want me to go into more detail, please let me know. :)
     
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  11. Longo_2_guns

    Longo_2_guns Forum Moderator
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    I was going to do a write up, but I think Craig hit all the main points.

    Especially the Rail Pass. You can get those at any airport and they are so useful it's insane. Expensive, but everything in Japan is.

    I also recommend Hong Kong.
     
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  12. CaptainBarner

    CaptainBarner Rookie

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    I'm planning to visit Thailand at the end of April. Who want to go with me? Let's take a chat :)
     
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