Questions about all things Japan answered by those in the know
I feel like I've hit up all the "standard" hanami spots: Yoyogi, Asukayama, Ueno, Yanaka... What's your favorite spot (preferably not on that list) and why?
Where could I bring a group for an interesting tour of forest or gardens , cute town hope with onsen . Nature a bit
Are there any direct bus rides from Narita Airport to Shizuoka City, Shizuoka?
Hi. I will be travelling to Japan this coming April 11. I would like to know the cheapest, economical ride direct going to Shizuoka City, Shizuoka from Narita Airport Terminal 2. This will be my first time in Japan. :)
I see people with a bus commuter pass and I'm wondering if there's any information online about this? (I can find a lot of information about the train tekken commuter passes.) I want to see the prices and if it's worth it for me to buy one. If it matters, I'm looking for Yokohama area ones... Keikyu bus or Kanachu bus. (or is there one for all companies?)
We're trying to head down to Kyushu for a little break later this year, and if you've been to any of the abovementioned prefectures before (or even live there!) I'd love to hear your suggestions for cool things to do and see - preferably the cool spots that guidebooks or online resources might not cover! Thanks in advance!
Heading to Miyazaki, Kyushu this summer (4 nights, staying in Aoshima). Any recommendations on places to eat would be much appreciated. Also, any sightseeing spots? The priority is surfing but we'll have a car and will still have time to travel around a bit. Cheers!
I'm pushing my mid 30's now, and I want to know about good places to find clothes here that fit that age bracket. I feel like there's a lot of stuff here suited to the 20-something crowd and a lot suited to people well older than me - but I seem to be missing the bracket that suits my age group! Any suggestions/recommendations for women's clothes stores that aren't going to make me look like a granny, but aren't going to make me look like a teenager?! Added point: I'm a mom of two kids so I need practicality, too!
on Mar 18
I am about to get a newer cell phone and sign up for a plan in Japan. This is actually my first time getting one in Japan. I was wondering what options are the best. I of course have heard of Softbank, AU, and Docomo, but I wanted to know what everyone recommends...
on Mar 12
I'm in a real rut with Japanese food and am craving more Western-inspired eats, but I'm wondering what your go-to Western meals are when you don't have an oven or all the ingredients you may need readily at hand. Any good meals on your meal rotation that don't cost a small fortune to prepare, and you can cook on a stovetop or using a slow cooker?
on Mar 10
In need of some inspiration or focus. I find that when I'm presented with a lot of choice I end up not really choosing anything, as is the current situation with my Japanese Netflix. So, if you've got any recommendations as to what's good (or not) on Netflix, I'd like to here them. To narrow it down a bit -- I'm after TV / docu series not movies, and this is purely for entertainment not for studying Japanese or self-help (although I'm probably in need of the latter!). Recently I've watched ... Peaky Blinders (so good, so grim) Narcos (original -- started on Narcos Mexico but couldn't get into it) The Vietnam War (amazing docu series, but very draining) Bodyguard (not Costner / Houston but a BBC drama - worth a look) Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Adam Samberg light fluff) Sunderland 'Til I Die (football doc - worth a look for fans of the game)
on Mar 1
I want to send a box of clothing (probably weighing about 10kg) to the USA. What's the cheapest way to do so? Speed doesn't matter to me... Just as long as it arrives safely. Please don't link me to the JP postage calculator (https://www.post.japanpost.jp/cgi-charge/index.php?lang=_en) I'd like a service you've personally used/can recommend. And I guess if you've used JP, just let me know if you recommend it! Thanks :)
on Feb 16
Did a bit of light research into flights during the long Golden Week this year. I knew things would be expensive but I was still surprised by the price of flights -- 400,000 yen + to go back to the UK, 200,000 yen + to Bali (if there are any direct flights left) -- basically I'm resigned to not leaving Japan. Just wondered what everyone else is doing, and if I might be able to steal some of your ideas? And open this up as a chance to air any long-Golden-Week-but-can't-afford-to-go-anywhere frustrations.
on Feb 1
Hi guys! Anyone here experienced their refrigerator stopped cooling? The top part isn’t cool but the freezer is working fine.. And how does their warranty work here? I don’t know how I’ll explain this to the customer service my Japanese language is just basic
on Jan 28
I'm looking to fill some free time with online teaching, either through Skype or the company's native platform. I don't want to do private lessons where I have to gather my own students; I want to work under a company. Do you guys have any recommendations for that? If you do, could you give me a bit more info about pay and your own experiences/what you've heard?
on Jan 21
Hi! Anyone knows a foreign currency company that accepts credit card on buying a currency? Another question is if someone here has a credit card issued by LIFE Card? I just want to know if they have and english support , I can't find it on there website. Thank you!
on Jan 13
Ok so I am SUPER late getting into pokemon go. However, I don't have anyone I know nearby who plays and I need to trade a pokemon to complete a field research task or whatever. How do I find people who play pokemon go near me without having to walk up to random people and be like ...be my friend? *desperation*
on Dec 13
I think I may have touched on this in one or two blog posts, and this is as much an airing of frustration as it is a question. For the last few years I've used but one Japan Post office, close to where I work. I'm a regular there when it comes to sending parcels home for birthdays, Christmas etc. In the early day, I would just be asked to fill out that little green slip about the contents of the parcel, and would also be asked if there was a letter inside. (To which I always replied "No," as it makes things more expensive.) The next stage was that staff would then started to look at what I had written on the form and if there was anything that might be construed as needing a battery, they would ask me to write "No battery" if one wasn't included. Are they ever? Fine. Then things moved onto asking me what was in the parcel before handing me the green slip, so I felt like I was having to announce to the office staff what a cheap skate I am when it comes to presents. And then we would do the green slip, and the "battery" questions. Now another layer has been added -- on top of the questions, the battery check and the green form -- I now get a separate form, a kind of tick-the-box checklist through which I declare that I'm not sending any cigarette lighters, matches, sprays etc lest I face prosecution. Then we get onto the questions, and all the rest of it. I'm just wondering if others are being taken through the same process when they send things overseas with JP, or is it just that particular branch ... or just me. It's kind of taking the fun out of trying to be a good uncle, brother, son, friend etc. Still, at least they've stopped asking me if there's a letter in the parcel.
on Dec 10
I will be visiting Japan early March and I want to arrange for the purchase of several pieces of furniture for my husband‘s new apartment. We are both well into our senior years and for health reasons can only see one another once a year. He needs a double bed, a small two-seater sofa or a recliner chair and a small kitchen table with two chairs. We cannot buy them right now but I do want to arrange to purchase and have them delivered before I arrive in Japan March 5. Bilingual. Any ideas?
on Dec 2
What's the best space efficient coffee grinder you've found locally? Do you take your beans to a shop and have them ground? Do you have a wee device you use at home? Friends gifted me a few bags, and I ordered coffee from Amazon Japan at a good price, but whole bean. Thanks for any replies.
on Nov 12
Been chewing away on plenty of Mentos in recents weeks (for reasons that are not important here) but I'm getting sick of just the cola, grape, and mint flavors. In years past I alway remembered there being a whole bunch of Mentos flavors available in Japan but now I can only find the three. If you've seen any other than those mentioned above, can you tell me where?
on Nov 7