Japan Q&A

Questions about all things Japan answered by those in the know


What's your favorite Tokyo hanami spot?

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?

Just outside Tokyo

Where could I bring a group for an interesting tour of forest or gardens , cute town hope with onsen . Nature a bit

Kagoshima or Hakodate?

I'm thinking on going on a trip sometime in September. Which of the two do you think should I visit first, and why? Thanks!


Narita Airport To Shizuoka City

Are there any direct bus rides from Narita Airport to Shizuoka City, Shizuoka?

Narita Airport To Shizuoka City

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. :)

Bus commuter pass?

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?)


Kagoshima or Hakodate?

I'm thinking on going on a trip sometime in September. Which of the two do you think should I visit first, and why? Thanks!

Tips for a trip to Nagasaki/Fukuoka/Saga/Oita?

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!

Trip to Miyazaki this summer. Any recommendations?

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!

Nothing to see here. Check out the active questions below.

Japan Q&A

5 Answers

Economic relief from your municipality.

I received some small breaks on water/sewer bills and waste disposal. In my city, Noda. https://www.city-cost.com/blogs/TonetoEdo/zKPj4-living_noda_shi_chiba Have you gotten relief from your municipality? Do these relief measures make a difference for you?


22 hours ago

4 Answers

Protein Bars

What is your go-to protein bar (locally available) for preventing meltdowns when you're too busy for a proper meal? (A taste test will happen after more samples and data are collected.)


on Jul 2

28 Answers

Disney - would you go!? Anyone else surprised they're reopening?

I suppose it was only a matter of time. And with several other large amusement parks opening, including their rival USJ, it shouldn't have come as a surprise. But, it has! I am just curious: would you consider going to Disney while the Coronavirus is ongoing? I suppose because it is outdoors (and people will be "screaming in their heart" on the rollercoasters, lol) its probably safer than indoor locations, but... Source: https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2020/06/a2c99f0e3df5-breaking-news-tokyo-disney-parks-to-reopen-july-1-after-closure-for-coronavirus.html?phrase=Disney&words=Disney


on Jun 23

13 Answers

Abenomask. Do not tumble dry? Or do you?

Has everyone received their precious masks? Has anyone used a tumble dryer yet with the Abenomask? I'm curious about the results.


on Jun 4

6 Answers

Anyone had experience with signing up for Disney+?

Hello! I was wondering whether or not to sign up for Disney+ or not. I found the price but it said that there were additional costs. Does anyone know about them?


on May 12

13 Answers

Realistic Golden Week plans?

So, well, GW is just around the corner. What do you see yourself doing?


on Apr 30

5 Answers

Best way to print sewing patterns

The seven eleven's copy machine doesn't allow me to print without a border, so all sewing patterns come out skewed. I have tried several different ones, all supposed to be for a4 size paper, but the machine says it isn't the right fit therefore can't fit to page. Does anyone else know of a better place to print off pdf patterns? could i have a copy shop print them and deliver them?


on Apr 17

22 Answers

State of emergency in Japan, keeping your distance

How is everyone getting on with being in a "state of emergency," (if you're in those area's of Japan that apply, or not)? I ask because, well, it could be good to share any frustrations, difficulties and concerns. Also, I'm curious to know how people are going about cutting down their contact with people to the 70 - 80% that Abe has asked us to do. Obviously staying inside is one way, but how are you going out to get fresh air, exercise and all that -- while the streets of central Tokyo have looked pretty empty, here in the suburbs it appears to be business as usual. Also, when you do the supermarket run, what's your "hand-washing strategy?" I mean, do you wash immediately after getting home and then unpack the stuff that you bought, or do you unpack everything first and then wash? Honestly, I'm not quite sure what's best to do in this regard. Oh, and if anyone's got any good "self-restraint" movies or TV shows that they would recommend, that would be much appreciated. I'm on Netflix ... and currently recommend Tiger King. Absolute madness!


on Apr 13

12 Answers

Where can I find flour that is not white wheat flour?

This might be a bit of a cliche, but as a German I seriously miss baking bread. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find any flour that is not white wheat flour. Does anyone know where I might be able to get some other types of flour? I would even be happy with just whole wheat.


on Apr 7

2 Answers

Tax 4/16まで

I went to the tax office today. Last year and the year before I got back 20,000¥ even though we had a new baby. This year I was expecting more or less the same because we had another baby. But to my surprise I’m getting back 60,000¥. But what surprised me most, was the fact that they told me to come back next week with doctors’ receipt for the last 2 yr and the amount will be more!!!! Of course im excited for all ¥ennies I can get, but I want to know how do they calculate these stuff? Last year the guy told me I actually own them but after I emphasize that I had a new baby, he did some typing on the pc then said ‘oh sorry, you’ll get the same Like Last year’.


on Apr 3

22 Answers

Passing time wisely

I’m thinking with all this time on my hands, i think I should probably be learning something new. The only thing I can think about is buying a bike and riding off into the sunset. What are you doing to pass the time wisely? The Rosetta Stone I downloaded recently still hasn’t been opened. Oh, and they’re now offering 3 months free I think.


on Mar 31

8 Answers

Gaijin size bike

With the quarantine going on the cities, I’m thinking to heading to hills. I’m looking to buy (online) a cycle or mountain bike but they all look short in stature. What the average size we use in the west? I’m now thinking they probably have weight limits too. These are things that we never had to worried about. Any help would be appreciated.


on Mar 31

16 Answers

Working from home?

Unless the corona situation gets worse, I doubt that many workers in Japan will be asked if they would like to work from home. Is anyone working from home? Did you ask for permission? If yes, how? How is working from home different for you?


on Mar 25

9 Answers

Is Japan Going to get worse before it gets better?

Watching the news and seeing other countries basically shutting everything down makes me wonder if Japan will eventually have to do the same. I know the current numbers are not showing anything that series (if they are even accurate), but in where I live, I almost feel like no one is taking it seriously. What do you guys think?


on Mar 19

21 Answers

Is Abe preparing to declare an emergency? And what would that mean?

"Cabinet OKs bill to enable Abe to declare emergency amid virus spread" https://www.city-cost.com/blogs/KyodoNewsPlus/MnxPJ-news It could be passed by Friday. I know none of us have a crystal ball, but what do you think might happen? Is he clearing this bill because he's preparing to declare an emergency? And if so, what would that mean? Something similar to Italy or China?


on Mar 10

12 Answers

Share your good news from recently!

I think all of us are probably feeling a bit down/stressed/worried about the unknown that the current C word situation is bringing us! I am a firm believer in "if you can't see the joy, be the joy", so I want to hear all about the positive stuff in your life in the last few weeks! Doesn't matter how minor or trivial it seems...share away.


on Mar 9

4 Answers

How to Add a Japanese Bank Account to Paypal

I am trying to add my Japanese bank account to my paypal, but I can't figure out how. Any advice?


on Mar 4

8 Answers

Flowers to see in Tokai

With spring coming up, I am thinking about what flower gardens I want to go to this year. I wanted to know if you guys have any recommendations for some non typical flowers. I have already seen cherry blossoms, plum blossoms, and wisteria, so something other than that!


on Feb 28

27 Answers

Schools in Japan to close amidst coronavirus - who's affected?

With schools across Japan to close from Monday I was wondering if it might be good to start a Q&A thread about it. The closures are unlikely to affect me directly but people who work close me, being parents, will have to make adjustments and I'd be interested to hear if there are any ALTs out there and how this will play out for them. Rants, raves, concerns, stories, opinions ... maybe this could be a good place to air any concerns and share info.


on Feb 27

10 Answers

What would you have picked for the 2020 Olympics motto?

After the Olympics motto was announced this afternoon as "United by Emotion", I'm wondering if any of you have a catchier, more descriptive tag line you would have opted for. Throw them my way - what would you pick as the motto for Tokyo 2020?


on Feb 17