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Laminar
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Feb 8, 2011, 11:36 PM
 
I'm going to be spending a few weeks there starting later this month, and it sounds like the work schedule may be giving me some good amounts of downtime.

I'm assuming the best way to get cash changed is just by using an ATM like I did in Singapore, no?

Anything specific to see, do, avoid?
     
SpaceMonkey
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Feb 8, 2011, 11:37 PM
 
Watch out for robots.

"One ticket to Washington, please. I have a date with destiny."
     
Laminar  (op)
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Feb 8, 2011, 11:48 PM
 


Noted.
     
imitchellg5
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Feb 8, 2011, 11:50 PM
 
Go see the fish market!
     
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Feb 9, 2011, 12:24 AM
 
Buy underwear from a vending machine!
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imitchellg5
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Feb 9, 2011, 12:39 AM
 
Buy a fake iPod nano?
     
Laminar  (op)
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Feb 9, 2011, 12:45 AM
 
NOT HONG KONG. allcaps
     
besson3c
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Feb 9, 2011, 01:41 AM
 
Will you have time to get out to the country?
( Last edited by besson3c; Feb 9, 2011 at 02:08 AM. )
     
brassplayersrock²
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Feb 9, 2011, 02:14 AM
 
Go to the Tokyo Tower. Also, don't be afraid to try the paddle food places. 95% of the ones that I went to were very good in service and food. Also, the McDonald's quality there is AMAZING, pricier (so is everything there though) but amazing.

Have fun in Tokyo, I loved my 4 months there.
     
reader50
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Feb 9, 2011, 11:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by brassplayersrock² View Post
Also, don't be afraid to try the paddle food places.
"paddle food places"? I thought that was only in England.
     
brassplayersrock²
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Feb 9, 2011, 05:24 PM
 
Nope, you tell the cooks in front of you what you want; they make it in front of you, and hand it to you with big paddles. Very fun if you get a paddle guy that knows how to do little tricks while food is on the paddle.
     
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Feb 9, 2011, 07:34 PM
 
City Hall (observation deck), Harajuku St, Shinjuku station at rush hour

If you have enough time to take day or overnight trips out of Tokyo, the JR Rail pass ($350ish/week) for foreigners is a good deal for riding the Shinkansen (plus trains around Tokyo, but not subway). Must be purchased outside the country.
     
Laminar  (op)
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Feb 9, 2011, 08:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Will you have time to get out to the country?
The latest email changed things - it sounds like I'll be traveling about 120 minutes from Narita to wherever I'm going. Not 100% on the details yet.
     
11011001
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Feb 9, 2011, 08:40 PM
 
Go for some good Ramen. Also, check out the Ghibli Museum.
     
olePigeon
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Feb 9, 2011, 09:45 PM
 
Check your toilets for cameras.
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Feb 10, 2011, 01:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
Check your toilets for cameras.
As well as "special features"
     
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Feb 10, 2011, 02:04 AM
 
I'm surprised Besson hasn't suggested yet to have sex with a robot. Very disappointing.

-t
     
Laminar  (op)
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Feb 15, 2011, 02:30 PM
 
     
The Final Dakar
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Feb 15, 2011, 02:31 PM
 
I won't believe until you go see a tentacle show.
     
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Feb 15, 2011, 09:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
"paddle food places"? I thought that was only in England.
England says: "WTF are you on about?"
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
That's where there's thunder... and the wind shouts back.
     
11011001
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Feb 16, 2011, 07:37 AM
 
^ it looks yummy
     
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Feb 16, 2011, 11:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
Go see the fish market!
I can only second this; I was there twice on our Japan-trip in '09, it's a fantastic place! You get to walk alongside the people working there, it was really good. You have to get there early (we were there around 5:30) to catch the whole thing, and before they are done cutting the tuna up in pieces...!

A picture from Tsukiji on Flickr, by me.

Have fun!
     
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Feb 16, 2011, 02:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
I'm surprised Besson hasn't suggested yet to have sex with a robot. Very disappointing.

-t
The candy canes are occupying all his attention. He only resorts to robots when he gets bored.
     
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Feb 16, 2011, 04:49 PM
 
Hi Laminar - here's a few tips.

Go to Shibuya (take the Gold Ginza line to Shibuya). Go to the Starbucks: スターバックスコーヒーSHIBUYA店 (filmed in countless movies)
You can spend time watching people from here - this place overlooks one of the busiest intersections in the world.

While in Shibuya, check out Shibuya 109 (you can see it from the aforementioned Starbucks, there's a big 109 on top of a tall tubular building) - this place is a mecca for Japanese fashion, weirdness, and hot girls. You can get food on the top floor. No picture taking allowed.

Asakusa - take the Gold Ginza line in the opposite direction to Asakusa - visit the Sensoji Temple. You can walk, eat, drink, and buy souvenirs here too. It's a beautiful place - old school and new, plus a few orange trees.

Speaking of Ginza - it's worth checking out the expensive stores in Ginza +fancy babes, and good coffee at Illys. This place makes NYC's 5th Avenue look like a slum. Visit Mitsukoshi Department Stores (since 1673) to see a variety of everything. They have an umbrella department, fer crying out loud.

Tokyo Tower is worth a visit - the views are spectacular. When it's clear, you can see Mount Fuji.

If you have more time, check out Fujisankei TV Broadcast center. The train stops right in front (you get to go over Tokyo Bay, quite beautiful). The tour is self guided, and somewhat goofy, but you'll have fun. Part of the tour is a visit to the giant titanium sphere where the morning show is broadcast from.

Avoid Roppongi. Stay away. This is where foreigners go when they feel depressed and get all homesick. Mostly drunken Aussies acting stupid. Which is fun, on second thought. No, stay away, this place is not Japan. Avoid the bar Gas Panic in particular, you'll get drunk. GASPANIC

have fun

btw, I haven't seen panty vending machines in years, they've been outlawed some time ago. Beer vending machines are quickly vanishing as well, and cigarette vending machine have been banned too. You can, however, buy beer and cigs in drug stores, convenient shops, etc - and it's dirt cheap.
( Last edited by osiris; Feb 16, 2011 at 05:10 PM. )
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Laminar  (op)
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Feb 16, 2011, 06:50 PM
 
Really? I've seen tons of the cig vending machines around still. Still waking up way too early in the morning (I've been up since 3AM, just about ready to have breakfast now).
     
Laminar  (op)
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Feb 16, 2011, 07:28 PM
 
Hotel Lobby:

     
Shaddim
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Feb 16, 2011, 08:43 PM
 
Caffeine, beer and cigs. All you need.

Edit: Oh, and I have a pair of knickers that I bought from a vending machine in Tokyo. The plastic package is still sealed and everything.
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osiris
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Feb 16, 2011, 09:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Really? I've seen tons of the cig vending machines around still. Still waking up way too early in the morning (I've been up since 3AM, just about ready to have breakfast now).
I meant to add that's is hard to find on the street.

I hope you're trying the natto with rice for breakfast! And grab some Boss coffee from the machines, they're really good. Have fun!
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driven
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Feb 16, 2011, 09:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by osiris View Post
btw, I haven't seen panty vending machines in years, they've been outlawed some time ago.
First: Can't see a reason to buying tighty whities from a vending machine.

BUT: (and I'm almost afraid to ask this ..) what was the reasoning for making such a thing illegal?
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osiris
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Feb 16, 2011, 10:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by driven View Post
First: Can't see a reason to buying tighty whities from a vending machine.
Cigs are about same prices everywhere, the government limits what can be charged, so it's about the same in stores or in the hotel lobby or in a bar. Maybe it's just a novelty to buy them from a machine.

Originally Posted by driven View Post
BUT: (and I'm almost afraid to ask this ..) what was the reasoning for making such a thing illegal?
To protect the kids. Too many underage smokers in Japan.

But to buy on the streets you now need "taspo" - an ID card system to buy adult stuff (to protect the kids). So as a foreigner it's nearly impossible to buy on the street.
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driven
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Feb 16, 2011, 10:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by osiris View Post
Cigs are about same prices everywhere, the government limits what can be charged, so it's about the same in stores or in the hotel lobby or in a bar. Maybe it's just a novelty to buy them from a machine.



To protect the kids. Too many underage smokers in Japan.

But to buy on the streets you now need "taspo" - an ID card system to buy adult stuff (to protect the kids). So as a foreigner it's nearly impossible to buy on the street.
I sort meant why make buying underware from a machine illegal. Kids have underware too.
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osiris
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Feb 16, 2011, 10:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by driven View Post
I sort meant why make buying underware from a machine illegal. Kids have underware too.
Ah, my bad. I had a few beers tonight.....

But I guess the reason is that selling used school girl panties kind of crosses the line into perversion. Perhaps you didn't know they were used? Some hotels do sell underwear, along with shaving kits, deodorant, etc. in machines, just not the used panties.
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Shaddim
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Feb 16, 2011, 10:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by driven View Post
I sort meant why make buying underware from a machine illegal. Kids have underware too.
They weren't underwear to be worn, usually. It's a fetish thing. Business guy buys ladies' skivvies from machine, takes them to his room, etc.. You get the idea. The ones I bought claimed to have been previously worn, and it was just so insane I had to get them. Left them sealed though, like I said before. No telling what's growing on them.
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osiris
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Feb 16, 2011, 10:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
They weren't underwear to be worn, usually. It's a fetish thing. Business guy buys ladies' skivvies from machine, takes them to his room, etc.. You get the idea. The ones I bought claimed to have been previously worn, and it was just so insane I had to get them. Left them sealed though, like I said before. No telling what's growing on them.
LOL only in Japan.
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Laminar  (op)
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Feb 16, 2011, 11:08 PM
 
I'm told the breakfast my hotel serves is Chinese. I don't speak Japanese, no one at the restaurant speaks English, so I eat what's there. I recognize sausage and potatoes (both served cold) and there's something that tastes like potato salad, but the rest is a mystery.

I do appreciate the vending machine-style restaurants, though last night I managed to order two large bowls of noodles.
     
driven
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Feb 17, 2011, 01:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
They weren't underwear to be worn, usually. It's a fetish thing. Business guy buys ladies' skivvies from machine, takes them to his room, etc.. You get the idea. The ones I bought claimed to have been previously worn, and it was just so insane I had to get them. Left them sealed though, like I said before. No telling what's growing on them.
I knew I would regret asking that question. Just ewww .... I mean, seriously !?!? That's a fetish? OMFG!
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Shaddim
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Feb 17, 2011, 01:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by driven View Post
I knew I would regret asking that question. Just ewww .... I mean, seriously !?!? That's a fetish? OMFG!


No, those aren't cigs. It seems they're priced according to style and... umm... aroma.
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driven
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Feb 17, 2011, 01:24 AM
 
OK. Stop now. I've had enough. Crying uncle.

Move along. Tell the OP about more interesting places to visit.
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Oisín
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Feb 17, 2011, 05:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
I'm told the breakfast my hotel serves is Chinese. I don't speak Japanese, no one at the restaurant speaks English, so I eat what's there. I recognize sausage and potatoes (both served cold) and there's something that tastes like potato salad, but the rest is a mystery.

I do appreciate the vending machine-style restaurants, though last night I managed to order two large bowls of noodles.
If you’re seeing sausages, potatoes, and potato salad, that’s definitely not Chinese breakfast.
     
Laminar  (op)
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Feb 17, 2011, 07:19 AM
 
It's served buffet style, so I'm wondering if that's what they were referring to. There are lots of other choices, but I don't know how to describe any of them, other than "strange."
     
Andy8
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Feb 17, 2011, 08:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by Oisín View Post
If you’re seeing sausages, potatoes, and potato salad, that’s definitely not Chinese breakfast.
Exactly.
     
Laminar  (op)
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Feb 17, 2011, 07:36 PM
 
Breakfast:

     
Oisín
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Feb 19, 2011, 07:42 AM
 
The things you’d describe as ‘strange’ are probably more likely to be part of the Chinese breakfast.

There’s nothing in that picture there that looks like it comes from a Chinese breakfast buffet, though, except possible that stuff that looks like noodles (is it?). The sausages and potatoes are Western breakfast stuff, and the chicken (?) just seems a bit odd, unless it’s a Japanese thing.
     
Laminar  (op)
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Feb 19, 2011, 11:41 AM
 


     
Oisín
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Feb 19, 2011, 12:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
For those that actually speak (well, read) Japanese: that little yellow banner on the left … does it seriously say “half a forehead”?!

(Or does 半额 mean something like “half price” or something like that in Japanese, perhaps?)
     
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Feb 19, 2011, 01:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by Oisín View Post
… and the chicken (?) just seems a bit odd, unless it’s a Japanese thing.
I doubt it, I've never seen it at least.
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lurkalot
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Feb 21, 2011, 07:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by Oisín View Post
For those that actually speak (well, read) Japanese: that little yellow banner on the left … does it seriously say “half a forehead”?!

(Or does 半额 mean something like “half price” or something like that in Japanese, perhaps?)
[Yes, it could literally be read like that: 額 (ひたい / hi ta i / forehead]

It says 半額 (はんがく/ ha n ga ku / Half Price).
( Last edited by lurkalot; Feb 22, 2011 at 03:35 AM. Reason: My original answer was incomplete: added [Yes, it could literally be read like that: 額 (ひたい / hi ta i / forehead])
     
Oisín
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Feb 23, 2011, 08:47 AM
 
Damn. Would have been so much cooler (and somehow, so much Japaneser) to have a place where you could buy half foreheads.
     
turtle777
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Feb 23, 2011, 09:27 AM
 
AND at half price. What a bargain.

-t
     
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Feb 23, 2011, 12:11 PM
 
No Godzilla pics?
     
   
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