Author Topic: Honeymoon in Japan  (Read 5074 times)

Offline Marmite Loving Euniculus

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Re: Honeymoon in Japan
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2010, 10:28:29 PM »
Hope you're having a good trip!  :)

Offline Foodgeek

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Re: Honeymoon in Japan
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2010, 02:14:44 AM »
I currently live in Yokosuka just south of Tokyo. Are you looking for places to go or places to eat or all over everything? Hmm well I'll just go with everything for now :)

Just got back, and while I appreciated all of your recommendations for Tokyo, I didn't visit most of them, as I found Tokyo especially difficult to navigate. It is not a well-designed city, as many other cities in Japan are, so we stayed pretty close to our tour guide's suggestions there. We didn't visit the fish market in Tokyo, but we did see the one in Kyoto, so that turned out very well.

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I've found that not many Japanese people speak English.

This is true, but most of them are helpful enough that if you speak a little Japanese, smile and point, you can get what you want with little difficulty.

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One thing to note most Japanese restaurants has a buzzer at the table. A lot of times the waiters won't come by the table unless you push the button. If seems kind of alarming and rude to constantly buzz the waiter but really they're used to it and they are more than happy to help.

I found this to be true as well. It seems a rude way to call a waiter, but they seem to never tire of answering your calls and they are always polite, regardless of the fact that they do not ever get tipped. We tipped no one other than our tour guide in Japan and received excellent service everywhere. I feel this is ultimately evidence that tipping does not promote better service, but in the USA it is simply the custom that we follow. And the prices we paid for food and service at restaurants in Japan were definitely reasonable, especially when you figure in that we did not tip. Most lunches and dinners were around $30 for 2 people, with beer or sake, including tax and service charge, and many were less than that, though rarely was it more. And the yen was quite strong, despite recent attempts by the Japanese government to devalue it, so our meals were quite cheap indeed, but very, very tasty and hospitable in every way.

I'll have much more to say and many pictures to post soon.  :)
Food is my favorite.

Offline Foodgeek

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Re: Honeymoon in Japan
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2010, 02:42:44 AM »
If you want something cheap to eat just about any mall has a food court/grocery store in the basement. It seems wierd but it's like being in the jewerly/cosmetics section of a macy's except it's all food instead of jewerly and makeup. The counters and display cases have tons of delicious desserts and snacks. Not to mention they usually have bento boxes with cheap meals.

Basements of department stores are a must-see in Japan. There is so much food and so many interesting things to see that I wish I'd done this earlier, but I did manage to get to it on my last full day. The meals can be very cheap, though the cheapest meal I think we ate in Japan was a Bento in the basement of a building in Osaka for 300 yen which turned out to be a very satisfying snack on the way to the airport. I also got a lovely bottle of sake in Kyoto which we are saving for our anniversary dinner.  :)

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There are also the beef bowl places. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoshinoya Usually you'll see a wrap around counter with a bunch of stools. The outside is mostly orange with royal blue circle logo. The have them all over the place. The bowls of food look semi unappetizing but are very very good and cheap. The way it works is you walk in and there is a machine with mini pictures and buttons. You put your money in and select what you want. It spits out little tickets which you give to the person behind the counter and take a seat. Then they'll bring you your food, eat and then leave when your done. :)

I got this advice from other people who had visited Japan, but found that I didn't need it, as the cheap food options were very easy to find without it. I actually wanted to try it out, but there were just too many other things to eat and I couldn't fit it into my time budget.

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Taxi's are crazy crazy expensive. Take the trains, subways or buses. In tokyo, yokohama and such when you get in get yourself a Pasmo or Suica card. it's 1000 yen for the card itself I believe and then you put money on it. The turnstyles at all the trains/subways have a swipe sensor. It makes it 1000x times easier than trying to figure out how much you need for each stop and transfer. The machine automatically calculates it for you as you leave the station as you swipe out. For example Yokosuka to Shibuya is about 1470 yen I believe. But you have to transfer train lines in Shinagawa. So you'd first have to buy a ticket from Yokosuka to Shinagawa (980) then Shinagawa to Shibuya (590). Depending how how far you go and what points you change at the price changes. It's just easier to swipe the card and let it auto deduct the amount.

The taxis I took in Japan were not terribly expensive, with some having a fixed price of 640 yen to take me to the hotel (in Kyoto). Most rides were under 1000 yen or just about that much, but we were treated to a couple of rides that were more than that. We did use the subway and other train lines, but found it a teensy bit of work to navigate without knowing how to read Japanese. We had help one evening to buy our subway tickets to get to Ponto-cho in Kyoto, and other times people simply bought our tickets for us. I think it would have been hard to do all by ourselves, either way.

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okay back to sights and food. Meiji shrine in Tokyo is right by harajuku station. It's pretty nice albeit a bit touristy. That's how I feel generally about Tokyo is it's very typical big city. Real Japan is best seen a little bit away. Kamakura is definitely worth the trek if you have a day to spare. There is a massive bronze Buddha and Hachimangu Shrine is an amazing thing to see. Though if your going to Kyoto, I recommend just waiting till you get there before seeing shrines and temples.

We saw Meiji, Kamakura and some of the shrines in Kyoto - it would have taken a month to see all of the ones in Kyoto, at least. They were all worth seeing.  :)

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Oh and you must try a crepe when your in japan. I don't know why they love them so much but they have so many choices. It's a great dessert snack. The japanese do just about everything really well cause they have an incredible amount of attention to detail to everything they do.

That's one thing I did not do, but looking back, I'd bet it would be worth trying. It was all very much worth the trip.
Food is my favorite.

Offline Foodgeek

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Re: Honeymoon in Japan
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2010, 02:56:18 AM »
If you're at all squeamish about toilets make sure you go to places that have "western toilets".  T

Heh. I have some neat pictures of toilets in Japan. Japanese-style toilets didn't faze me at all, but they did send others into a tizzy, somewhat. I expected the bidets, and from my Karate training, I expected the more "modest" toilets, so I wasn't terribly surprised.

For those who aren't sure what I'm talking about, expect a wide range of comfort options when you visit a public restroom in Japan, with some offering the full spectrum from "hole in the floor" to "heated seat with shower, air-dry and powder-perfume your bottom," and others offering almost anything inbetween. Some public restrooms don't even have toilet paper or towels to dry your hands, but the latter was pretty rare, and it was fairly easy for me to stock my pockets with tissues from the hotel *just in case.*
Food is my favorite.

Offline Lorenzo

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Re: Honeymoon in Japan
« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2010, 06:46:11 AM »
The food!  The food!  Stop teasing us.  What did you EAT?

Welcome back.

Offline Foodgeek

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Re: Honeymoon in Japan
« Reply #20 on: October 01, 2010, 08:24:44 AM »
The food!  The food!  Stop teasing us.  What did you EAT?

Everything.  :D

Raw horsemeat. Chicken sashimi. Takoyaki and Japanese breakfasts and tempura and amazingly fresh tofu. . . It's almost easier to list what we didn't eat.

We will post a huge flickr set today, I think.
Food is my favorite.

Offline LizR

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Re: Honeymoon in Japan
« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2010, 10:35:18 AM »
The food!  The food!  Stop teasing us.  What did you EAT?

Everything.  :D

Raw horsemeat. Chicken sashimi. Takoyaki and Japanese breakfasts and tempura and amazingly fresh tofu. . . It's almost easier to list what we didn't eat.

We will post a huge flickr set today, I think.

Wow! Welcome back. Can't wait to see the pics.

Offline tansu

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Re: Honeymoon in Japan
« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2010, 03:14:35 PM »
me thinks: jetlag has consequences to travel.

Offline The_Scientist

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Re: Honeymoon in Japan
« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2010, 01:33:07 PM »
If you can't see the pictures in this, click here to see it in a web browser:
http://www.kodakgallery.com/gallery/sharing/shareRedirectSwitchBoard.jsp?token=446292798114%3A1286068758&sourceId=533754321803&cm_mmc=eMail-_-Share-_-Photos-_-Sharee

This link should take you to relevant food pictures.  Enjoy!
"Crayons taste like purple" - Tardy the Turtle

Offline terry

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Re: Honeymoon in Japan
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2010, 04:32:33 PM »
Raw horsemeat. Chicken sashimi.

Welcome back!

You are far braver than I am. I've never had either ba-sashi or tori-sashi. If I saw it on the menu, I probably wouldn't order it.
technical writer, webmaster and P/T chef at a restaurant OTP

Offline Foodgeek

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Re: Honeymoon in Japan
« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2010, 10:29:42 AM »
Raw horsemeat. Chicken sashimi.
Welcome back!

You are far braver than I am. I've never had either ba-sashi or tori-sashi. If I saw it on the menu, I probably wouldn't order it.

Heh, and here I was kicking myself that I didn't try the whale meat sashimi or the fugu that we saw for sale in the fish market. Aside from the fact that it was a little iffy to be buying those things on the street, I was already really full.

Maybe we should go back. . .
Food is my favorite.

Offline MadBob

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Re: Honeymoon in Japan
« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2010, 05:31:02 PM »
Raw horsemeat. Chicken sashimi.
Welcome back!

You are far braver than I am. I've never had either ba-sashi or tori-sashi. If I saw it on the menu, I probably wouldn't order it.

Heh, and here I was kicking myself that I didn't try the whale meat sashimi or the fugu that we saw for sale in the fish market. Aside from the fact that it was a little iffy to be buying those things on the street, I was already really full.

Maybe we should go back. . .

The Whale Meat Sashimi is most excellent! A must have on your next visit! And a shout out to the Kirin Beer Gardens in Hiroshima is also a worthy destination. Mix the light and dark Kirin, kinda like a Black and Tan and very potent!
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