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Going to Japan - sightseeing ideas? Food?

Old 02-07-19, 03:31 PM
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Re: Going to Japan - sightseeing ideas? Food?

Kanamara Matsuri. Take lots of pics and post here please. Thanks.
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Old 02-07-19, 03:32 PM
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Re: Going to Japan - sightseeing ideas? Food?

Originally Posted by cultshock View Post
I agree with you regarding the buses, the train/subway system is very easy to use, but I'm still scared about getting on the wrong bus if I go that route.

Oh, and I only have one thing to say about McDonald's in Japan: deep fried apple pies, just like they used to have over here.
I've been to Japan a few times, but I don't dare taking the bus unless I am with a local.

If I have a craving for burgers in Japan, I would go to MOS Burgers, a local version of McDonald's, but IMO a lot more interesting. Try their rice burgers.
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Old 02-07-19, 04:02 PM
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Re: Going to Japan - sightseeing ideas? Food?

Originally Posted by Why So Blu? View Post
Here's some advice from Marty Friedman from Megadeth. He lives in Japan and is also fluent in Japanese.
Haha, yeah, I remember seeing him do a guitar clinic and realized he was playing a metal-ed up version of a Puffy (AmiYumi) song, the bubbly J-pop duo.

If you're picky about food, be careful if you order a "Taco". Might not get what you think...
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Old 02-07-19, 04:37 PM
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Re: Going to Japan - sightseeing ideas? Food?

Tsukemen ("Dipping Noodles") and Karaage (Fried Chicken Bites) are two of my favorite things there. The first is basically reverse ramen, where you dip the noods into a thick broth of amazing flavor. The Karaage is just damn delicious chicken nuggets. Gyudon is a rice bowl with slow stewed beef and onions which is also delicious. Katsu is just pork or chicken deep fried in panko crust with an optional japanese bbq sauce.

Check out Denny's while you're there, it's interesting how different it is from ours

And yeah, Tako means Octopus in Japan. Takoyaki is a flour ball with minced Octopus.

Taiyaki, on the other hand, is a fish shaped snack made of waffle batter and generally stuffed with something sweet (like Chocolate, Red Bean or Nutella). I call them Waffle Donuts, but really they're just stuffed waffles.

There are a lot of Izakaya places which are restaurants/pubs with a lot of small things for cheap (chicken skewers for instance), some have drinking deals where you get bottomless alcohol for a finite period of time as well.

If you're in Tokyo, don't buy the meal at the Robot Restaurant, but go to the robot show at the Robot Restaurant

Last edited by RichC2; 02-07-19 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 02-07-19, 06:08 PM
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Re: Going to Japan - sightseeing ideas? Food?

Originally Posted by Psi View Post

If I have a craving for burgers in Japan, I would go to MOS Burgers, a local version of McDonald's, but IMO a lot more interesting. Try their rice burgers.
Oh yeah, MOS Burger is great, I love their ebi burger (fried shrimp patty on a bun). Their rice burgers are good too.
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Old 02-07-19, 06:14 PM
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Re: Going to Japan - sightseeing ideas? Food?

Originally Posted by RichC2 View Post
There are a lot of Izakaya places which are restaurants/pubs with a lot of small things for cheap (chicken skewers for instance), some have drinking deals where you get bottomless alcohol for a finite period of time as well.

If you're in Tokyo, don't buy the meal at the Robot Restaurant, but go to the robot show at the Robot Restaurant
Yep, if you want to find some cheap food and beer, hit up an izakaya at happy hour.

I haven't been to the Robot Restaurant, but a friend of mine went there and said it was wild.

You make a lot of good food suggestions for folks that think Japanese food is only seafood and rice, and are worried about not finding anything that they would like to eat. If you are vegan/vegetarian though, it could be tricky. My friend's wife is vegan, and she lived in Japan for awhile for work, and it was really hard for her to find a place that served stuff she could eat, especially sauces and broths, where it was hard for her to get a definitive answer if they are vegan friendly. Almost no one in Japan ever asks that, so it's a hard question to answer for many restaurants. She finally found a good Indian/Nepalese restaurant in Akihabara that was good for her (I went there with them one time, it had great food).
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Old 02-07-19, 09:21 PM
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Re: Going to Japan - sightseeing ideas? Food?

Make sure you buy some dirty panties from a vending machine!



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Old 02-07-19, 10:02 PM
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Re: Going to Japan - sightseeing ideas? Food?

If you like sushi, make sure you go to Tsukiji fish market. Lots of great little places to eat.

As others have said, the subway is very easy to get around. You don't need a map, just use an app on your phone and punch in where you want to go.

Not everyone speaks English but many people do. There was a couple times where I must have appeared noticeably lost and people would ask me if I needed help finding something. I think they like to practice and kinda show off. Overall I found the people there to be extremely kind.
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Old 02-07-19, 10:25 PM
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Re: Going to Japan - sightseeing ideas? Food?

Originally Posted by Greg MacGuffin View Post
If you like sushi, make sure you go to Tsukiji fish market. Lots of great little places to eat.
https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/t...osu/index.html

It closed last October and moved to a new location.

I was last in Japan 5 years ago and kind of regret not going. But, waking up at 1 or 2am while on vacation didn't appeal to me at all.

We don't even know if Deb is going to make her way to Tokyo. Sounds like she's going to be in the Osaka area for the most part unless she has plans to travel to some outside cities near there.
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Old 02-08-19, 12:13 AM
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Re: Going to Japan - sightseeing ideas? Food?

Sorry I disappear during the day and spend time here at night

POKEMON CENTER!!! OMG I forgot that Japan is Pokemon central. I'm a HUGE fan. Have to go to the Pokemon Center and at least one Pokemon cafe and at least one cat cafe.

Making it through the replied but that caught my eye
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Old 02-08-19, 12:29 AM
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Re: Going to Japan - sightseeing ideas? Food?

Originally Posted by DJariya View Post
It closed last October and moved to a new location.
The old Tsukiji fish market had a fish auction section and a restaurant section. Only the auction part has moved, but the restaurant part remained and is just as active as before. Obviously you will no longer be able to watch the auction operation at Tsukiji, but it was difficult to see anyway because they limited the number of spectators and it started very early in the morning.
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Old 02-08-19, 12:52 AM
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Re: Going to Japan - sightseeing ideas? Food?

Originally Posted by GMan2819 View Post
Kanamara Matsuri. Take lots of pics and post here please. Thanks.
ARRGH this didn't have a NSFW tag

Found out we're going to Nara. I will ask about the other places. I'm going through this thread and making two lists, foods and places.

Fish and chocolate.... just, no.

Once I find out the places we're going to I'll be posting here. Found out we're going to Nara because there was an article about mean deers attacking people there.

If I wasn't Hispanic-American I'd want to be Japanese. Since I was little. But mostly because I like video games and most video games originate in Japan It's been a bucket list item my whole life. What's awesome is that it's just the 2 grand for the plane tickets total cost plus transportation and sightseeing/shopping. I don't know how much eating out we're going to be doing, we'll probably be eating home cooked food a lot so we'll be stocking up at the market.

Last edited by GatorDeb; 02-08-19 at 01:06 AM.
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Old 02-08-19, 04:32 AM
  #38  
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Re: Going to Japan - sightseeing ideas? Food?

Kyoto and Nara confirmed. If I ask for Tokyo it will happen (and I think I will). And I was wrong we'll be eating out at all different places for the experience.
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Old 02-08-19, 09:11 AM
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Re: Going to Japan - sightseeing ideas? Food?

I had to check out the deers at Nara. Wow! that a lot of deers over there, probably more than the bunnies at Bunny Island. Thought it cool those deers were bowing their head when the visitors were doing it.

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Old 02-08-19, 11:09 AM
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Re: Going to Japan - sightseeing ideas? Food?

I went to a Sega store in Japan, in the mens room they have a urinal that has a video screen above it that says "free play" I pressed play and there was an anime girl on the screen that looked like a reporter. Based on the accuracy and strength of your peeing, a wind would blow on the screen and blow her dress up .. so down a few beers and try to get the high score.

Again, in Tokyo (only place I have been there), the Pokemon center was cool, I am not a huge fan, but I thought it was neat.

Generally enjoy all the variety of toilets ... skip the "squat holes" if possible

I wore a really bright orange windbreaker, talk about sticking out like a sore thumb (add to it I am pretty tall) ... I found most people dressed in tan, navy blue, or black.

It is an odd but cool place, bring lot's of change for the vending machines (drinks .. plus of course underwear)
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Old 02-08-19, 01:26 PM
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Re: Going to Japan - sightseeing ideas? Food?

If you're in (or near) the Kyoto train station and fancy some sushi, this place is cheap and my family thought it was great ...

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaura...ure_Kinki.html
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Old 02-09-19, 10:10 AM
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Re: Going to Japan - sightseeing ideas? Food?

I'm so happy for you--that sounds like a wonderful trip. Any recommendations I'd have would be wayyy out of date, but I was a foreign exchange student for a year in Japan and loved it. Have a great time!
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Old 02-09-19, 12:07 PM
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Re: Going to Japan - sightseeing ideas? Food?

You have to go to this place in Aomori Perfecture:

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Old 02-10-19, 11:53 PM
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Re: Going to Japan - sightseeing ideas? Food?

Originally Posted by GatorDeb View Post
Kyoto and Nara confirmed.
There are lots of temples to visit in Kyoto, but even all these years later, Fushimi Inari Taisha is the most memorable for me.
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Old 02-11-19, 12:26 AM
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Re: Going to Japan - sightseeing ideas? Food?

So no to Tokyo. It'd be about $550 for three of us to go, and we'd have an 11 month old in tow for a long train trip. Probably not a good idea. And we'd be paying a quarter of the plane tickets for all three to go to Tokyo for a few hours.

So the hubs has already seen the Osaka castle and we're going to see another castle instead. Push to see the Osaka one? He mention how only the first floor is original and the rest is a repro.
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Old 02-11-19, 02:52 AM
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Re: Going to Japan - sightseeing ideas? Food?

If you are going to Kyoto anyway, I suggest Nijo Castle in Kyoto. While you are there, also visit Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion, a must-see by itself) and Ryoan-ji (traditional Japanese rock garden), both of which are near the castle. To go to Kyoto, catch the Shinkansen bullet train from Shin-Osaka train station in Osaka, so you can experience the shinkansen and see Kyoto train station, which is an architectural beauty.

Osaka Castle is a defense fortress so it is surrounded by moats (no crocodiles) while Nijo Castle is a residence castle and is mostly on flat land. If you really want to see impressive castles, take the Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka south to Himeji to see the castle there. It's older and authentic, and I think even grander than Osaka Castle. From Osaka to Himeji is about 30 minutes by Shinkansen. If you plan to take the Shinkansen a lot, again I recommend getting a Japan Rail Pass so you don't have to deal with per-trip tickets.
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Old 02-11-19, 03:25 AM
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Re: Going to Japan - sightseeing ideas? Food?

I'll ask which is the castle we're slated to see, they told me but I don't remember the name. May be the one you recommended
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Old 02-11-19, 03:57 AM
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Re: Going to Japan - sightseeing ideas? Food?

Originally Posted by GatorDeb View Post
Going to Japan in April for 2 weeks. Never been. Will be landing in Osaka. What are some must-do's? We're not doing Universal Studios.

How's the food over there? Are there calories in the packages? Is it mostly weird food? Hubs has visited and thinks I'll starve for 2 weeks (I AM a picky eater).

He also says no one speaks English. I visited Israel and everyone was like oh everyone speaks English. NO ONE spoke English (or Spanish).

Wanted to visit my whole life, I'm psyched! We'll be staying with relatives who've lived there for three years and speak fluent Japanese and are working but will have time to sightsee with us and drive us around in their car.

We'll have a then-11 month old with us. We'll be taking formula so her food is no issue.

I'm the type of person who just starts walking around and eventually find my way back. Hubs not so much But he needs downtime now and then and I don't so he may stay "home" with the kid while I head out sometimes.
I stayed in Osaka for a week on my first trip to Japan. It's a short subway ride away from Kyoto, which has a lot of great stuff to see. I recommend the Toei Kyoto Studio Park, where you can walk around a Japanese samurai era village backlot that's used for filming movies and TV shows and visit various galleries devoted to anime and various superhero shows. It's one of the best things I did there.

I found that more customer service people spoke English in Osaka and Kyoto than they did in Tokyo.

There are convenience stores everywhere, esp. 7/11, and they offer all kinds of good dishes. I used to get good dinners there and I would microwave them back at the hotel. The store will microwave them if you need it. Also, there are lots of familiar food franchises there. I didn't eat at a lot of restaurants myself because the menus weren't in English and I didn't know what I'd be ordering.

One word of warning: Osaka Station is huge. I got lost there. I was only blocks from my hotel, yet I couldn't find a way out that would take me up the main street back to my hotel. It took me 30 minutes to find my way out.
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Old 02-11-19, 04:51 AM
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Re: Going to Japan - sightseeing ideas? Food?

We're lucky in that part of each day we'll have two fluent Japanese speakers with us who live there. We'll be staying at their house. Although they'll be working during the day so if we want to do extra sightseeing we'll be on our own.

Any tips on travelling with an infant? Got the great tip that airlines will check anything baby-related for free so we can have her carseat and playpen for her to sleep in and we can gate-check the stroller. Thinking about baggies with a note saying sorry in advance with candy and earplugs to distribute among the plane.

Although I want to know how her "free" plane ticket was $130 .... (lap-carry).
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Old 02-11-19, 07:04 AM
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Re: Going to Japan - sightseeing ideas? Food?

Don't know if your'e a Disney/Theme Park fan and you said you aren't going to Tokyo but I've heard SO many good things about Tokyo Disney Sea a lot of people have said it's the best theme park in the world.
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