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!
Any favorite places you all have to get away to during the stinking hot summer months? I would love a long weekend away somewhere (ideally cooler!) We did Hakodate/Aomori one summer and really enjoyed it. Would love to hear your suggestions.
on Jun 12
I heard or read somewhere that pouring hot water into cold water was not a good thing to do. (I like my water luke warm sometimes) Something to do with religion or dead association with dead people (and Japan does not like that) Have you heard of this? Any sources I could see so I don’t mess up in a critical moment?
on Jun 9
There's a middle-aged guy, living in one of the apartments in the building across the street from me, who hangs out his futon between 7 - 8 am and then bangs the sh@*t out of them with one of those stupid plastic slapping devices. Honestly, I want to take it from him and slap him with it instead. Of course, I'll end up doing nothing of the sort, but I find this futon-slapping at that time so annoying and noisy and am astonished that he continues to do it despite his noise echoing down the whole street and him being the only person on the street to do so (at least at that sort of time). If he was in my building I might stick a note through his door or something, but I'm not sure about the protocol of doing that when the culprit is in a different building. I'm also wondering if the 7 - 8 am slot for futon-slapping is a perfectly acceptable one and actually it's me that needs the attitude adjustment. Thoughts?
on May 25
I am planning on moving to Japan at the beginning of September as I got a job offer from a university, however, the pay is rather small and I have a husband coming with me there, so we kind of need to find a job for him as well. He has a bachelor's degree in English Philology, and he already speaks the language like a native, and I was wondering what could be the options in a place like Miyazaki for him. As I understood, English teaching jobs are popular for foreigners with a similar educational background as him, is there anything any of you could recommend to us?
on May 9
I've been in Japan for some years now so the international protocol regarding talking on the phone while on the loo (in a public toilet) is not so familiar to me. However, here in Japan I find that men do it quite a bit and it always surprises me. OK, so the dexterity is impressive (especially in the case of No. 1s) given the potential for an embarrassing mess, but when I see it, I always wonder if the person on the other end is aware of what's going on, and how they would feel about it. Especially if they are a member of the opposite sex. I'm yet to do it myself (I'm rarely keen to speak to anyone on the phone, let alone while I'm doing my ablutions) but I'm wondering if it's the norm over here, or, indeed, anywhere else in the world. Thoughts?
on Apr 12
Of course, this is just for fun, but I was wondering what everyone here to pick as the name of a new era in Japan. So, what would it be? 2 kanji, 2 syllables. :)
on Apr 1
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
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
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