>Places to shop Shibuya. they have a bunch of department stores, including 109. You'll need to be able to fit into Japanese size medium clothes, because everything is Free Size.
Harajuku. You dont have to stay just on the street, there are other shops around the street as well. It's crowded, but they have more than just lolita stuff. I found a super cute mori style store close to the beginning of the street. Remember that there are stores upstairs as well.
Akihabara. Weeb stuff mostly. Great cosplay stores, thigh high sock store, Assist wig, and contact places.
More often than not, when you try on clothing you are to remove your shoes before stepping into the fitting room. Sometimes you will also receive a small mesh-like bagтАУ this is for you to place over you head to prevent hair oils getting on the clothing.
In Tokyo, most shop staff won't care if you don't speak much Japanese. If you put forth an effort, and apologise a lot, they'll work with you via pantomime and really basic phrases.
Key phrases to remember: >Sumimasen "Excuse me"/"I'm sorry" >Ikura desu ka?/Kore wa ikura desu ka? "How much is this?" >_______ o kudasai (ie: aiborii o kudasai, kohi o kudasai) "Please give me _____"/"I would like ____" >Onegaishimasu "Please!" (in response to someone offering you something) >Dozo "Please!" (when offering someone something ie: offering someone your train on the seat) >Wakarimasen (usually followed or lead by "sumimasen", and a slight bow often helps show you're trying to not be a dick) "I don't understand!" >Purezento desu!/Omiyage desu "It's a gift!/souvenir!" (they will usually wrap it nicely if you tell them this, so that you can give it to the recipient ready-wrapped; some stores may charge for this, but Baby and AP both wrapped small gifts for me without charge)
If they have a sign for tax reimbursement (most shops do), you can present your passport and they'll attach a little card inside.
This guide is pretty basic, but useful: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2450_how.html
>>8610320 Oh, one other thing. If you don't speak much Japanese, when you ask for a price, it's really common for them to whip out a calculator and put the price plus tax in for you to read from that instead.
Atelier Pierrot's shop in Osaka had a huge, floral one that seemed to be purely to show customers their totals before putting it into the register.
>>8610480 Unless you're one of those back packing rough and wild independent kind of person, I advise against going to Japan by yourself without a company or school or other such institution to receive you.
This is because you'll be dealing a lot with problems you totally didn't prepare for (e.g. you get food poisoning, you got off at the wrong station at the wrong time, etc). And unless you enjoy making hard decisions under possibly stressful situations, I'd go with someone else (especially if you're a grill)
>>8611133 I seriously doubt you're going to get food poisoning in Japan unless you're an idiot and eat an old tuna onigiri or something. I lived there for two years and ate everything from "chicken sashimi" to intestines with no problem. I do agree that it's much easier to go with someone, though, especially if you're not used to traveling alone, being in big cities, get lonely easily, etc. My personal favorite places for shopping in Tokyo are probably Shimokitazawa (a lot of smaller shops with indie brands and secondhand) and Ikebukuro (everything from weeb shit to a recently moved CC). Harajuku is also obviously a must-see, but Takeshita is always so crowded and busy that it really stresses me out. Cat Street and the surrounding areas aren't as bad. My one piece of advice: bring a handtowel with you. Most places have neither paper towels nor air dryers, and having wet hands is a personal pet peeve. There have been several of these threads in the past couple of months, so definitely check the archive, as well.
>>8611166 Yeah, the shared houses things are a blast. When I went to Tokyo, I stayed at the sakura inn and spent the next day traveling around with a band of English Pakistani brothers and two Thai mtfs (who spoke Chinese). As long as you're a "yes and" kind of person (as oppose to a "no thx" type) you'll have a blast adventuring with random people.
The language barrier is actually surprisingly not a problem. Unless you're trying to explain rocket science, we actually communicate a lot of our intentions through just expressions, empathy, and pantomime.
>>8611359 I have a friend I want to go with really bad but her job sucks and I don't think she'll have enough money to go as soon as I want to go which is kinda lame. My boyfriend would be going too but I know he wont want to spend whole days shopping with me which is why I invited my other friend.
>>8611212 Download Google Maps and Translate onto your phone, and purchase either pocket wifi or sim card with data plan to help you navigate the city. Plan ahead and study basic/common Japanese phrases to help you get by.
>>8611367 Plan days where you guys do separate things during the day/afternoon and meetup again at night for dinner. There are tons of stuff you could do together as a couple like visiting the Ghibli museum, and other stuff you can do alone/separately like checking out various markets.
>>8610980 You have to fill out a form everytime you buy them. I'm not sure if you can easily get prescription ones but I would suggest don Quixote because mist of the time they have the form With an English translation. If you plan to buy them else where and don't know kanji you may want to take a photo of the sample in shinjuku and Akiba donki
>>8611706 If you can't Wifi on the go use hte wifi at your hotel to favorite places on google maps and the stars should stay on the map offline and you can use the GPS to see where you are compared to hotel and points of interest. Also for train direction look them up then take a screenshot or at the very least write down the name of the train, platform and station.
IF YOU PLAN ON GOING TO THE GHIBLI MUSEUM YOU NEED TO RESERVE TICKETS. The guy at the door looked so flustered every time gaijin approached because I'm sure there's a ton of people who don't know this then throw a bitchfit when they couldn't get in.
Most important customs to remember: >Take off shoes when you're supposed to, >Wash and rinse yourself before going in a soak tub >Don't blow your nose in public >When at a cashier put your money on the little tray or with both hands if that's not there. >Give your train seat up for old people and pregnant women >Don't eat while walking
I wasn't sure if drinking from a vending machine drink on the streets was a no-no but I decided not to care since I was doing a ton of walking.
Get cash from the ATMs at 7 Eleven. They have a good exchange rate. Call your bank ahead of time so they know you'll be overseas if you plan to do this. Even if you do all your money exchanges in your home country do it anyway for emergency expenses. Don't feel weird about carrying a lot of cash the crime rate is super low.
Also be prepared to say sumimasen A LOT
To get a great otaku/NEET experience for cheap stay a few nights at an internet/manga cafe. Check ahead of time for online coupons for those and pretty much any attraction.
another thing for non-japanese speakers, if you're in tokyo, most shop workers are more or less used to english speakers. When you want to try something on, walk up to a shop worker say "try on?" and act like you're putting on shorts (like, make a round motion with your hands as if you're pulling up shorts that are around your thighs).
Every where I went, a shop worker would do that to me to ask if I wanted to try on what I was holding. So if they come up to your while you're holding something and make a scooping motion, that's what they're asking you.
Some of them will make you a room, (like, take what you're holding to hold a room for you), but this didnt happen as often
I have a japanese phrase book (and a little memory from taking Japanese in college) and I barely had to look at it, though it was helpful. You'll find most people are really willing to help you out in tokyo.
where do you guys buy pocket wifis btw? like, is there a place at the airport or do you have to go to a cell place? is it hard to explain if you don't speak much japanese?
>>8610429 >>8611106 >>8611755 I'm back in Tokyo today, a meet up would be awesome! I'll be staying in Shinjuku for another week yet, send me an email or message. I'm planning on shopping quite a bit, but haven't planned which days yet.
>>8611846 Last time I went I rented one from Global Advanced Comm. You just put in your arrival airport and pick it up from the post office in the airport. They give you an extra envelope and you just drop that in a postbox before you leave the country. There were also obvious places in the airport to rent phones and pocket wifis from.
Go to the back streets of shibuya and harajuku to find real goods, la foret is also a must. one of the biggest words i can recommend learning if you know like no japanese is "douko" meaning where. it literally saved me in japan
I'm going to be in tokyo during Halloween, does anyone recommend any events I should check out? I heard there are a couple cosplay events during the daytime as well and I was interested in trying to go to one of those. I was looking at MAGFESTA in nakano, has anyone been to that?
>>8613785 Ice cream is fine to eat while walking, but it's really the only thing. To be honest, I don't know if you'd be able to eat one of those crepes while walking down there anyhow. They're messy, and the street is a clusterfuck.
>phrases Shikaku shitsu was doko desu ka? Where is the changing room? (I actually used this, it can be difficult to tell sometimes.)
>tips I didn't realize it at first, but you're expected to put away items you try on, there's no separate rack for staff to put them away.
Sometimes you can get away with pronouncing something in japangrish, lots of cosmetics for example, eyelash curler -> ai-la-shi ka-la
Be prepared to get stared CONSTANTLY at or told kawaii for trying to speak. Sneaky staring too! When you get there, you'll feel it right away, a silent heavy air of social expectation. Speak quietly on the train, try not to laugh too loud.
>places to shop Oh my fucking god, drug stores, drug stores and all of their cosmetic shit, and all the skincare shit, you're going to be there for hours anon, prepare yourself, it's a candy store.
If you like thrift/vintage or the cult party stuff you have to check out kouenji, it has an insane amount of amazing shops, I liked it more than harajuku, but I like chill places.
Also for all the fashion magazines you have to check out kinokuniya in shibuya, it was such a dream.
If you'd like to see a slice of old Tokyo, which is rare these days as it was all wood back then and earthquakes, fires and whatnot, I recommend strolling around golden gai in shibuya at night, it's amazing.
If you feel like getting out of downtown for a bit I recommend the open air architectural museum, it was the place Miyazaki went to for inspiration on spirited away, it's unbelievable. There was a ghibli background art exhibit when I was there.
Check out niwa no you onsen, prepare to spend a whole day there. Or at least visit a sento, I still use biore body soap cause the smell takes me back.
Airbnb an apartment and find one that offers mobile wifi.
See if there are any festivals or fashion swap meets going on.
Check out one of those solo no eye contact ramen ships, it's a trip, a good insight into the culture.
>>8613577 The night walking around shibuya (crossing). Shibuya is where all the Tokyo costume photos are taken. If Youve seen the blogs, videos and ect. I'd say you have to go hard though in costume. You'll feel so out of place.
I'd be careful because trains are packed and occasionally they may shut lines down for a bit. ((At least for New Years they have to because it gets too crowded. ))
>>8614056 Does that onsen/public bath alllow tattoos? You should warn them if so or if not. If you have time and tattoos that can be covered wearing a sleeved swim top/swim shorts id check out the "(Hakone Kowakien Yunessun"they get featured in those Japan article sites for stuff like ramen bath, milk tea Bath ect. They have a permenent sake, wine, coffee matcha and coal bath. It's great for those who want onsen but have small hideable tattoos, don't feel okay with being naked or wan to enjoy with your opposite gender friends. Hakone is beautiful and gives you a wonderful feeling.
I don't remember the name but if someone is interested I can find it. It's a 5 minute walk from minami tama station (maybe 30 mins or so away from shinjuku) it's a public bath (6-800 yen)with 8 or so different baths at different temperatures and additives as well as two different kinds of saunas per gender.....which unofficially allows tattoos. It also has a restaurant, massage and barber. I didn't try the food. I saw Japanese ladies wearing two bandages to cover her upper breast tattoo or upper arm a few times. A friend had three tattoos with bandages falling off and no one seemed to mind. Locals may stare or switch baths when you get in but they often leave completely if they see the Japanese lady with her tattoos covered.
I personally wouldn't shave your nether region the few weeks leading up to your trip if you can handle because people will stare especially if you're Asian.
SKIP THE ONE IN ASAKUSA near the theme park. It's incredibly run down (tiles missing from floor and ceiling, broken windows, only lighting from windows) with a squatting toilet that was pretty much broken when i was there and it's 1000+ yen. It's a warm tub that has a concrete wall that divides you from the men's side. It "allowed tattoos" likely only because no one goes there.
>>8614056 It's "Shichaku" not "shikaku," anon. Honestly, I think it would be better if only the anons who actually kind of knew Japanese posted phrases and stuff, because there is a lot of misinformation in this thread.
>>8614056 To ask to try something on: Shichaku shitemo ii desu ka?
>but you're expected to put away items you try on You're supposed to give them back to the staff
>slice of old Tokyo Idk why you recommend Shibuya unless it's for the tiny strip of bars under the tracks by Hachiko exit. Golden Gai is in Shinjuku. If you want to see "old Tokyo" go north to the outer ku like Arakawa, Kita, or Adachi
>vintage Decent selection but ridic overpriced. $80 for a peignoir with stains and holes?
>>8614229 Back streets of Harajuku ie Cat Street are where people who dress up solely for magazine photos gather. There usually aren't many around unless there's something scheduled. Yes a lot of "street snaps" are staged.
>>8614246 If you're going around the Hakone area be sure to buy the Hakone Free Pass (can buy at Odakyu Travel center in Shinjuku station by West exit). Transport around Hakone is mainly by bus and it's really expensive. With the pass you can ride bus, train, cable cars, the lake boat for no extra charge other than what you paid for the pass. Even with just 1 day's travel you save money.
>>8611958 It's true. A few other items that are considered faux pas include: - women showing cleavage, though short skirts and legs are fine. - PDA (Public Displays of Affection). It was incredibly rare for me to see couples holding hands, let alone kissing in public.
>>8613472 If you have a map or address, it's better to point and ask "sumimasen kore wa doko desu ka?" (translation: excuse me, where is this?)
If people are interested, I can write up a little guide with useful phrases for various situations. I just got back from a year in Tokyo, and my Japanese is pretty solid (have no problems with daily life, can handle complex convos, just passed N2). Shopping and seeing the city were two of my favorite things to do in Tokyo, so I've been to most of the major areas as well. Also, if I were to do this, I would do romaji, kana, and regular Japanese for those people who know at least some of the language.
Geez this thread is so uptight, cut people some slack will you? This is not a lonely planet guide this is some image board with people referencing information off the top of their heads from their experience, mistakes will be made, op should be double checking this shit regardless.
I couldn't stand the amount of smoking in restaurants, especially when it makes your clothes sink, some places' idea of separation between smoking and non was being one table away. I always pictured Japan being more health conscious too, but in some ways it feels like they're stuck in the 1940's. I wish I could have enjoyed izakayas more but even with some places having vents this kinda killed it for me.
>>8614744 Drinks are okay. Just be aware that a lot of shops will have signs/ask you not to bring drinks or food inside. If they have a lid that can be closed tight, or tucked into a bag, that's okay too.
>>8614744 Bottled/canned ones are fine. You won't see many people walking around drinking from a paper/foam cup (like with a straw), though. Those things are still meant to be "enjoyed" while sitting or whatever. For example, when you get take-away at Starbucks, they put your cup in a little holder in a bag. McDonald's also puts your drink in a bag, lol.
>>8614823 I usually took the side streets as well if I knew exactly where I wanted to go (like CC or LizLisa), but many times I wanted to go to several stores or just look around. The Mexican/burrito joint on one of the back/side streets is pretty dope.
Can you guys recommend any lesser-known shops in Takeshita street to check out?
>>8614416 Yes please! I'll be going on my first trip in a few months and I'm super excited but I also feel a little overwhelmed because I don't know Japanese that well, although I can read hiragana and katakana.
>>8615169 Agreed. Vintage/secondhand shopping in Japan is occasionally really cool (dondondown has some good deals sometimes), but for the most part it is the same shit you'd find for cheap in America going for 3-5x the price. I cannot begin to describe the amount of hideous 80s shit that was going for like 3-8k. Honestly, with all of the "select vintage" shops in Tokyo, you could probably make bank bringing cheap shitty clothing from the US to pawn off on them.
>>8614763 We can thank the high-pressure, high-stress culture for all the smoking. Coupled with the intense salaryman drinking culture I don't know how they pull off their crazy life expectancy. I guess the non-American diet?
>>8615445 Honestly, I have no idea either. A friend of mine has been living there for almost two decades now, and he's considering his options for getting out, because it's really taking a toll on him, and he's not even 40.
>>8615383 old nike, adidas, looney toons, anything anyone would wear on full house, fresh prince ect. im not sure their policy on buying shoes but they sell some crusty converse and nikes just because theyre vintage. Stores like kinji jp have a buy list.
>>8614383 for arizona and californians who wear flip flops most of the year, you will get stared at if you wear them unless youre on the train near the beach. Though if youre walking around a lot as visitor youll probably wear shoes so this may not be an issue.
if you go clubbing and wear a skirt, japanese guys might flip up your skirt and do annoying things if youre dancing/drunk. Also clubbing in ropunggi is like clubbing in america but prepared for creepy guys and guys who expect you to fuck in the bathroom just because "drunk foreigners do that all the time". Also there is smoking in all bars and clubs so prepared to reek of smoke. plan to wash clothes while there or get a separate bag for clothes swamped in smoke.
>>8614916 gokuri always spilt in my bag, so always check that drinks that seal actually do seal. for some reason the cap had little holes in it when it was opened.
>>8614364 was this a wrong tag? i was talking about halloween. i always see the post shibuya halloween costume blogs and photo galleries on facebook and i know theyre all shibuya.
>>8618351 I'm not into the fashion so I don't have a reason to go. I can visit on your behalf if there's a specific item you're looking for? Let me know within the next 2 days since I'll be leaving the area to go to Tokyo then.
>>8618351 They were closed when I tried to go earlier this year. I was so sad, because it took me ages to find. I lost signal in my mobile and my map fucked up, and then I just stumbled upon it. But no one was there.
>>8620697 They don't always have everything in stock. When I was there they only had certain colors of shoes in stock and only had a few sizes. It's nice if you're questioning the quality of things but usually it's better to buy online... Or impulse buy there if you're a size M. They also know like no English what so ever. So if you're buying shoes please know how to say the number in Japanese. I had to help so many foreigners when waiting in line because neither could cross number. Also you're not allowed to try on the shoes..... (But sometimes you can sneak if the display in your size is out)
Does anyone have any ideas on where to buy Japanese plus-sized fashion? Not just cosplay or lolita, but that would be a plus too. I'm M/L in American sizes but XXL/XXXL in tiny Japanese sizes (mostly because boobs). I live in northern Saitama so I don't know anything about shopping in Tokyo.
>>8620713 >>8620967 Thanks guys! I mostly wanted shoes so it sounds like I should just order online. I'm a size S/22.5 though so it shouldn't be too hard to find my shoe size in Japan (I think?). It seems like a lot of Liz Lisa shoes don't always come in S though so I'm not sure what's common over there
Forgive me for the ultimate shitty weeb question, but it is odd for people to cosplay/wear wigs in public? My friends and I are going later this year and want to just take the wigs of our favourite characters and maybe do a little casual shoot in a Karaoke bar or out in Shibuya, I know we'll be looked at because we are westerners anyway but would this be totally fucking weird?
>>8626570 Of course it would be weird. If you expect people not to stare, interact with you, or take pictures, then don't do it. Nobody is going to shout at and make fun of you, if that's what you're worried about.
The wig part alone isn't bound to get you that much attention, though.
Either way, just do it. It's better to feel awkward doing something than to regret not trying it at all.
You may be better off looking into cosplay studios like Haco Stadium. That way you can get your shoot in full costume, and you aren't stuck trying to do it while not bothering the locals while simultaneously not minding that said locals are blocking your background.
If you decide to do it in the streets anyway, it's probably best to schedule it for summer 6am, the shops won't be open yet, so you will be less likely to bother people, and they will be less likely to clutter up your photos.
>>8626727 Different anon also living in Tokyo and agreed. It's basic cosplay manners here not to cosplay outside events/studios. They probably won't say anything to you because *scary foreigners* but japanese cosplayers will facepalm intensely and secretly hate you.
>>8626604 The whole thing that amazes me is the after-work party culture. You see it in Japanese media, but the actual impact of that lifestyle doesn't hit you until you hear about it first hand. His office is mostly young people (25-35), but even the senior staff members who are in their 50s+ will go out drinking and shit after a 14 hour day in the office, if they've made deadline.
His stories about flu season are epic, too. They have a nurse in-building (which is apparently common?), and during flu season, she'll just hook sick people up to IV bags so they can keep working, despite having fevers and the glassy-eyed stare of death. He had appendicitis once, and called the office, said "I've called an ambulance and can't come in". They asked him if it had ruptured and, when he said "I don't think so", asked if he could swing by the office before the hospital to sign off on a project so they could have his underlings work on it for him. I thought he was joking on that one, but his roommate confirmed it (he had to actually carry him down the building to the ambulance, because their stretcher wouldn't fit into the elevator).
>>8626963 there's a changing station in harajuku so most Lolita's change on location too but I have seen Lolita's take the train and have seen them in stations. I've never seen any cosplay In transit in the year I lived in Tokyo. I've only seen them in arcades and purikura places.
>>8610480 Tokyo's metro is the only thing you'll need to use if you're staying there. It's pretty easy to navigate and the stations names have romanized version on the bottom. The ticket machines also have an option to use in english.
Depends what airport you arrive to, but when I got to Narita Airport the staff was really helpful to help me get to the airport train and from there I got to a station closest to my hotel (I was in Shinjuku). You can also take a taxi but they are expensive.
Kyoto was way harder than Tokyo (all in kanji, less tourist-friendly), and Hiroshima was smaller and easier. I don't know for other places.
>>8627475 Adding to this, you can get either a suica (touch card for rail use) or the foreigner's JR pass for transit. The JR pass has an unlimited amount of usage, but a high price tag (I think 30,000yen), so we went with the suica instead of trying to muddle through tickets.
It lets you add money to the card before you leave the station, so if you get to your destination and you're short on the fare, there's less stress than with the older style tickets.
>>8611212 When I went I was translating for my whole family whist speaking very little japanese ( I actually learnt a lot just by listening and talking to people there). It's not too hard, and if you understand basic stuff (how to order food, manners and directions) you'll be fine. You also don't really need to read kanji, it's just a bonus.
They also have lots of guidebooks and magazines for tourists and Tokyo's interface is foreigner-friendly. I am map-illiterate so remembering "sumimasen, michi o kite mo ii desuka?" (excuse me, could you give me directions?) is very useful. Make sure you don't have a hard accent, though.
>>8627482 >>8627522 The JR pass is worth it if you end up using the bullet train enough within the specified time period. You can buy one, two, and three week passes. Easiest way to tell is to use Hyperdia, and add up all your individual trip costs. The rail pass needs to be purchased and sent to you in your home country.
The Tokyo metro does not use the JR pass, but the Yamanote train line does. I'd recommend picking up a Suica or Passmo anyways. You can just put some cash on it, so you don't need to purchase local metro tickets everytime. Suica/Passmo is also accepted at lots of vending machines and some stores. Depends on the card.
In addition to this, there are ATMs that have closing hours. Please double-check the ones that are around where you are staying. It would be helpful to at least know the kanji for the days of the week so that you can determine what hours affect what days, and it can also be useful for checking when shops are open too. Most time is told in military hours (13:00 for 1 PM, etc).
If you're from the States and you're planning to stay for an extended period of time, you may want to look into opening an account with Citibank. There is Citibank in Japan, but no Bank of America (which is what I use) and the Citibanks all have English support. There is a branch in Shinjuku.
I have a few food recommendations:
~Ichiran Ramen. Has many locations in Tokyo and beyond. You put money into a ticket machine and give the ticket to the staff. The Shinjuku location I visited has English menus. It tends to get very busy around dining hours.
~Chelsea Market. It's in Akihabara next to the big Yodobashi store. I studied for a year in Tokyo and missed the restaurant-style burgers of the US--this one was the best I found and is reasonably priced (800-1000Y if I recall). GREAT milkshakes.
~Cozy Corner. It's headquartered in Ginza, but I used the mini shop that was in Shinjuku Station. Really good sweets, especially the roll cake.
~Katsu Curry. There are many curry shops in Tokyo. I recall seeing one near one of the entrances in Akihabara. It's like a tempura-fried piece of chicken on top of curry and rice.
~Kobeya Restaurant. There's one where I used to live in Seijogakuenmae (Odakyu line, a few stops after Shimokitazawa coming from Shinjuku). They have "pan hodai" which is all you can eat fresh baked bread and it is the best thing ever.
The "b" hotels are a great option as far as hotels are concerned. Reasonably priced and quite nice. I stayed at the "b"akasaka.
~Tokyuu Hands has a massive department store in Shinjuku. They have just about everything from a luggage/travel section to stationary (which I highly suggest picking up some pens/pencils/erasers/notebooks because they are so nice).
~Daiso is a Japanese 100Y store that has some really great, useful items for the price and they tend to be better quality than the dollar stores in the USA. There are some Daiso locations in the US but the one near me (TX) is not as large as some of the locations in Japan (Harajuku has a BIG one).
~Book-Off is like a Half Price Books. This is ESPECIALLY great if you are studying the language because you can pick up manga, novels, magazines, etc in Japanese for as low as 100Y. There are many locations both in and outside of Tokyo. They also sell used video games.
~If you're into collecting figures, video games, anime merch, Akihabara is the place to go...BUT before you pay full-price at somewhere like Tora no Ana, check out some of the resale stores (they have merchandise displayed in glass boxes). This is especially nice if you are hunting for something that is a blind-box figure because they will be unboxed already.
~Kiddyland in Harajuku is a toystore with themed floors (Snoopy, Ghibli, Moomin, etc). Really cute.
My favorite places to karaoke were Karaoke Kan (pic related) and Joysound.
Also, Ueno Zoo is a must-see because it's a VERY cheap entry fee (500Y when I went) and is a massive zoo, all things considered.
>>8609661 Shimokitazawa, Koenji, Jiyuugaoka if you're into cheap second hand. Also before going to Akihabara, try Nakano broadway and Ikebukuro if you're a weeb.
And I can't believe Ueno Zoo got mentioned as a good zoo. The animals there look miserable. Try real better zoos or better yet, try the ones that are parks or farms, so you can actually get to touch and feed the animals instead like in Ueno that you only get to see how damn skinny and miserable they look on their cages from far away
>>8627818 Instead of Daiso, try better 100yen stores or better yet 300 yen stores for better designed items. 3 coins or seria specifically. Or if you reaaaally want to go to Daiso it's better to try and go to a non-tokyo one since the tokyo ones have mostly just items aimed to the chinese, very different/ugly in comparison to the ones daisos in smaller towns have.
>>8614383 Also >Do not talk on public transit... whisper as quietly as possible >Go to the side if on an escalator with no intention of walking through. There is a clear "passing lane." >Money exchange is usually easy and convenient... enjoy easily going broke.
>>8627909 Yeah, Daiso in Harajuku was actually a huge disappointment.
I think Kichijoji is so worth a visit. It's got decent shopping, a very nice area in general (lots of random performances, cute cafes, nice bars, etc.), the largest Uniqlo in Tokyo (supposedly), and Inokashira Koen is so beautiful.
>>8626497 Sometimes stores are like that, but not usually. In high school I had a part time job in a clothing store and they briefly banned food and drinks. Pretty much every customer I told threw a shit fit.
Anyone have fun stories of running into Japanese fashion or cosplay gatherings? Went to the Shinto temple in Shinjuku on a Sunday so it was full of lolitas. Not my thing so I took a few creepster photos and passed by. When I stayed at a hostel in Asakusa, a bunch of cosplayers gathered at the Buddhist temple there to goof off and take photos. I found some D. Gray-man cosplayers and very awkwardly told them in Japanese that I had cosplayed Rabi and the girls squee'd and we awkwardly smiled and bowed at each other before I ran off.
>>8626786 Because there a fuckton of events every week in different places such as theme parks, hotels, natural parks etc. so that they can enjoy outdoor photography in places they prepare with changerooms.
>>8627818 throwing in my old experience circa 2007, so things may be a little different.
shopping -mandarake. i spent more money there than anywhere else. they have pre-owned doujin, manga, figures, dvds, basically anything. i found some rare shit there that i've never seen elsewhere except on ebay for lots of $. there's a bunch of stores, nakano is the biggest i think. i went to the shibuya store, which is in like the 4th subbasement of a building, so it was really cool shopping there. kind of like treasure hunting.
- johnny's (JE) shop. the line for the shop starts outside in the little park across the street catty corner from the harajuku exit that's by omotesando. you have to get a little ticket from a person there and stand in line. your ticket will allow you and 1 other person in at the noted time. when you get in the shop you get a form and write down/check off the numbers of the photos/goods you want, then take it to the cashier and they get together all the things for you. the store is tiny as hell, so be prepared to be squished with other fangirls.
food -i don't think i can find it again, but in the ueno shopping district under the train tracks there is an AMAZEBALLS udon shop that has been around forever, and is famous for their noodles. there's a granite plaque on the building that has a year on it....that's the only distinguishing marker. fod was amazing and cheap.
-family mart/7-11 for breakfast....i usually just grabbed a couple buns and a drink, and ate in a park.
stuff to do -museums in ueno koen. i went to the big historical museum in the park, which was like 4 buildings and cheap. they have a student discount, so bring your ID.
- ginza sony building. if you need a break and you're in ginza (i went to the takarazuka theatre), you can go to the sony building and go upstairs to check out all their new gadgets and sitdown in the theatre, which is always showing something (when i was there it was a docu on jerusalem in english).
>>8627485 suica (and pasmo which is what I have) also worked in Hiroshima for transport and conbini.
If you're in Kyoto, do get the bus day pass for 500 yen. The buses are incredibly easy to navigate and more comprehensive than the subway IMO.
When eating out, if there's a register then just pick up your receipt and go to the register to pay. If there's no register then saying gochisoosama desu doubles as a way to complement the meal and indicate you are done eating and ready to pay. The towel is to be used to wipe your hands before eating (only your hands).
If you use coin lockers at stations to store your luggage, make sure the one you're using is not located in a transfer hall (such as between shinkansen and local lines) or else you will have a fun time trying to get back in to retrieve your luggage... >speaketh from experience
if you're from the US and plan to be in Japan for awhile, T-Mobile offers free int'l data and sms (be sure to turn on roaming on your phone) with all their plans, and no contract so you can back out when your trip is over.
prior to your trip learn to read katakana at the very least as there are many loanwords from English.
One of the best places to go shopping is Saitama. You can get the same stuff as in tokyo, but usually for less and sometimes even for HALF of the original price. I can recommend kawagoe to everyone who stays around tokyo.
>>8629778 I don't believe so (unless Acosta is multiple times a year?). It was back around Golden Week. They were signing up in a little hall next to Animate before going off to change, but the streets were absolutely packed with cosplayers and photographers going from group to group. I hadn't expected it at all, so it was kind of neat.
>>8627948 One other thing I think people should be wary of is Nigerian Touts you often see in the streets of Roppongi and Shinjuku. They basically hang around outside bars and clubs and are quite aggressive in getting foreigners/tourists inside, so that they can later drug and/or scam you. Though this is more geared towards nightlife, I thought I should mention it for newbies visiting Japan for the first time.
>>8627539 >the rail pass needs to be purchased and sent to you in your home country. Purchased outside of Japan, yes. It's not mailed to you, though - you get sent a voucher that you need to take to a JR desk (you can find them at both Narita and Haneda, and of course at many JR stations as well) and have it exchanged with the actual pass. Be sure you know beforehand what date you will start using it, since you have to fill that in on the spot so they can print it on your pass.
>>8611811 >IF YOU PLAN ON GOING TO THE GHIBLI MUSEUM YOU NEED TO RESERVE TICKETS. THIS. You can reserve as early as 3 months early and I highly suggest you do it as early as possible. I have 3 weeks in Tokyo and only about 5 of those dates had tickets available for me to choose from. Again, you're sent a voucher which you take to the museum to exchange for an actual ticket.
BTW if you're getting a JR pass and Gibli tickets, the travel agency you do it through in the US is the same so get both at the same time so you don't have to pay for shipping twice.
I've not been able to find a JR Pass for a month's duration. When I called japan-rail-pass.com, they said I'd need to buy a 3 week pass AND 1 week pass. Where do people usually buy rail passes and is there anywhere I might be able to find a one month pass?
Also, those who are even the least bit interested in Doraemon, the Fujiko F Fujio museum is AMAZING. I'm not sure if they do overseas ordering like Ghibli tickets, but you must reserve them in advance like Ghibli and can do so at convenience stores in Japan.
>>8633518 You got lucky, then, because I just got back from living in Japan for about 8 months, and 2 of the 3 times I went to buy tickets (twice on the first day they started selling them), many of the dates were sold out. I still wasn't able to get tickets with my friends because there weren't enough tickets for all four of us on the day that I went.
>>8633750 There isn't a 1-month pass. It's a 7 days or 21 days. Just buy the pass from the JR site.
I knew this thread would descend into weeaboos fighting over who's Japanese is better when you all come off as pathetic know it alls with zero life experience beyond 'muh internet education and animu'.
If a foreigner went to an event like Comiket, do you think some people would refuse to sell them their doujinshi? I've heard that they're distrusted since foreigners are considered the most likely to scan and put it up on the internet.
>>8641126 It probably depends what you look like. If you're cosplaying, in Lolita, trying to be kawaii or sperging on your OTP they probably wouldn't bother thinking anything. But if you're just a male casually browsing they may give some trouble.
>>8641126 >>8642882 We had zero issues buying doujin as a tall white lady and tall white chubby dude that speak almost no Japanese. We each split up and bought stuff individually, got stuff from big and less popular circles and had no problems. I cosplayed one day, but on the other two we were both dressed like normal.
I don't recommend wearing anything nice, especially in summer. I was moist with other people's sweat, it was the most crowded space I've ever been in.
>>8614246 Also in Hakone area, I forgot where exactly but there are some onsen places that are geared more for family/couples that don't care so much and mostly have private rooms (you get in and flip the sign at the door that it's being occupied) which is a good option for those who are heavily tattooed or get awkward out from the naked thing in front of strangers).
If you're not asian they usually don't make much fuss about it and brush it off on "foreigners don't know" and often remove themselves rather than confront the situation. I've seen people get up and leave at the immediate sight of a Caucasian person get into the onsen (hey it's like getting a private onsen sweet).
>>8614229 You might have to confirm with a local about any of the the street parties in Shibuya. Some New Years ago they placed security/officers around trying to disperse the partying before it really got started.
>>8632937 I had rather the opposite at Shinjuku, they stayed the fuck away from me.
I just came back from a month in Japan. Spent the last week in Tokyo and indulged in some shopping. Here are my footnotes.
>Closet Child Only went to Harajuku and Shinjuku. The lady in Harajuku gothic floor was a complete bitch, by the way. Had a more positive experience in Shinjuku.
>Mandrake I visited both Nakano and Shibuya stores. The entrance to the Shibuya one is super weird. It's three or four floors down and the hallway has a cavernous roof covered in flashing lights. The selection and prices are unbeatable for doujin, illustration books, figures, anything!
>Evangelion Store In the Parco Annex (Maybe called something else? It's a smaller Parco behind Parco) of Ikebukuro. I came up on the store by accident and fuuuuuck yes. It is kind of expensive.
>One Piece "Mugiwara Store" in Shibuya Parco The most insane collection of One Piece memorabilia. Plus some originals by Oda hanging on the wall. I'm not sure how long this is open until.
>Shibuya Parco There's a display for Little Witch Academia (6th Floor? Same as Mugiwara shop). And Village Vanguard is also selling artwork from LWA and Trigger. That Village has an awesome selection from older/more varied animes. A lot of other anime goods stores don't carry things that are not popular as of late.
>Super Lovers So I really dig super lovers and the Fukuoka store had closed recently. The last store is now in Laforet in Harajuku. Though I found a great selection at Shinjuku Closet Child. I really hope Super Lovers doesn't die out.
Nakano Broadway and Akiba are great for aimless browsing anime goods. There's a really fantastic store for underground, gore, zine-type comics in Nakano Broadway though I juuuust lost the business card damnit. Anyway, if you're into Maruo Suehiro or Kago Shintaro or anything of that nature seek the shop out.
>>8644682 If you're good at them and good at picking out "ready" machines, you can win pretty easily. If you're like me and suck, you can easily throw away like 2-3k even on a good machine. I gave up on them after my second trip to a gamecen.
>>8644696 Not necessarily true. Non popular arcades (ie not akiba or any major area main street arcades) can be fairly easy to win if you know what you are doing. Friends have won figures for 1k that cost 5-6k in stores. Some arcade workers even help you and make things really easy to win after you spend like 600 yen. A friend once got loud (japanese loud not gaijin loud) because she was throwing away money on some little figure and the guy ended up giving us all (4 of us) little figures. Usually taito arcades in like tama center (puroland) where there isnt much of a crowd besides local kids usually are willing to make it really easy especially if you ask for help or are semi vocal to yourself about your losing. such as fake crying as you feed the machine money because you cant stop... not like screaming and hitting the machine.
Ive also had friends win a one piece figure for 100 yen from pretty much pure luck and skill. They were arcade addicts though so they kinda knew what theyre doing.
Watch videos how to do it before going, watch people there and pay attention how the machines move. In akiba a friend won three prizes just because the worker over stuffed the machine so the hand brushed three items knocking them all down. Of couse they werent the newest hasune miku winter plush or anything they were just semi popular anime merch
>>8644682 >>8644692 Was there this May. When in Akiba, if you play at a machine, move the object a a bit, then walk away from the machine...the attendant comes by once you leave the machine to re-configure the prize. So if you want that item, but want to try again later and let off steam outside, don't do it. You will probably come back to the same machine and your process will be undone. I guess it's to rake in more $.
>>8644682 It depends on the machine. They can set the claw to different strengths. And a lot of machines now use the stupid 1-armed claw with the prize stuck on a sticky ball so you have to slowly wiggle it off. Best strategy is to look sad and ask the attendant for help always.
I think about it everyday from my trip last summer, the best sweets. Honestly though, most of the bakeries I went to had great cakes. Good patisseries are so hard to find in the United States. Fujiya Cake is also another pretty good chain.
Something I wasn't expecting were sales people in shops to be so helpful, my initial thought was I would generally be ignored with them assuming I didn't speak any Japanese (which would have been fine). So many went out of their way to talk with me about the clothes, and even attempt some English, it was great. The girls at the Baby store in Laforet were awesome, while the AP girls seemed pretty indifferent to everyone who came in.
>>8645933 I had the same experience. The shop girls at Liz Lisa were adorable, and right out of the catalogue beautiful. They were super bubbly and helped me out both at 104 and harajuku. It makes me fuzzy inside. The baby shop girl helped me and recommended me dresses, and recognized that I was wearing baby. While AP greeted me nicely, but not much else.
>>8644682 I approach them thusly: the odds go up on getting the item until about 6-7 goes, in terms of machine calibration, toy position and value. >>8644925 Listen to this guy. I got good by watching my friends who were already good.
In closing, you've got to know when to hold em know when to fold em and know when to walk away, even if alpacasso is looking at you with the cutest little face ever.
I don't know if anyone has mentioned it yet, but /always/ ask staff before you try something on in brand stores, not sure if it's the same rules for other clothing stores but probably. They judge the absolute shit out of you if you go straight into the changing room without saying anything.
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