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The next time I go to Australia (trip #3! :D ), I was thinking of going via Tokyo for a change having already been to Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok. I was quite looking forward to it when a friend of mine who has been said Tokyo's awful... He said its bewildering, no-one speaks English, its impossible to find you way around and its way too hectic.

I was planning a 2-night stopover, and being in January I presume it would be pretty cold.

So, as someone who has never been to Japan and doesn't speak Japanese, do you think tried and tested (and very much enjoyed) stopovers like Hong Kong, Singapore or Bangkok would be better?

Can anyone else share their Tokyo experiences? (And I don't want residents telling me how great it is, I want tourists' opinions).
 

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Lord of Legoland
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I was there for two weeks in June 2005 and I absolutely love it!

It's ultra modern, but still full of tradition - people are extremely polite and helpfull, but very few speaks english well enough for extended convasation ( or maybe they are just shy :dunno: ).

The streets are super clean and everything is well kept and effecient, especially the trains ( Tube you gonna love the Shinkansen! ).

For me as a tourist I especially enjoyed the vending mashines everywhere ( even in residential buildings and parks ) with all sorts of ice cold drinks and the ton of AM-PM and 7-Eleven mini mart's almost everywhere - featuring all sorts of Japanese delicacies to go ( along with all the other things you would expect )is also very convienient.

As for sights, it's packed! Most of them are ofcause urban ( Tokyo Tower, Shopping Street in Ginza, Odaiba and so on... ) but there's also tons of parks and shrines, and small boat trips on the rivers running trough the city and the habour.
And the park at the Emperial Palace is awesome ( or atleast it is in the summer :) )

For me it's the greatest country on the planet, and the greatest city, so I can only highly recomend it!

In fact I can't wait to go there again!


I'm sure SSC is flooded with pictures of Tokyo, but here's a link to my Webshots gallery from Japan anyway :) http://community.webshots.com/album/403553528riaIhu
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's what I thought... Trouble is after what my friend said the Other half is now dead against the idea of going :(
 

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Tokyo is quite an amazing city to explore. It's huge, yet it has a lot of intimate small alleys and incredible street scenes (those pedestrian crossings). English is going to be a major problem, but that doesn't mean you'll have a bad time. I had a great time in Tokyo. Subway maps are bilingual, and Japanese people are very courteous. Menus often are displayed outside with life-size models of the food so in the worst case just point.
 

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persian said:
I lived there for a year. It is very good for living but as you said very few of them speak proper English. So I would think Thailand would be a better place to go as a tourist
Thats actually whats put me off visiting Japan in general in the past, it just seems like somewhere that you'd really get the most out of by living there.
 

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¡Viva el metro!
DavoR
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Tubeman said:
The next time I go to Australia (trip #3! :D ), I was thinking of going via Tokyo for a change having already been to Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok. I was quite looking forward to it when a friend of mine who has been said Tokyo's awful... He said its bewildering, no-one speaks English, its impossible to find you way around and its way too hectic.

I was planning a 2-night stopover, and being in January I presume it would be pretty cold.

So, as someone who has never been to Japan and doesn't speak Japanese, do you think tried and tested (and very much enjoyed) stopovers like Hong Kong, Singapore or Bangkok would be better?

Can anyone else share their Tokyo experiences? (And I don't want residents telling me how great it is, I want tourists' opinions).
I did it in 2001:
From Barcelona to Tokyo, 7 days in Tokyo and Kyoto, and then from Tokyo to Sydney.
;)
Tokyo is a great city in every sense!:yes:Many people speak English, mainly young people. I remember one day, a Japanese man approach to me and he told me: "May I speak English with you? I can show you this part of the city"; it was very nice of him, and I learnt a lot of things.
:eek:kay:
I recommend you to go via Tokyo and visit Kyoto too, it is so beautiful...
:drool::drool:
 

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I've been there in 1998, although back then I wasn't big on traveling. But it was fun nonetheless, the advantage I had was that I was with family members so they showed me the out of the way places in the small streets. Totally one of the best places i've ever been in so far and worth it IMO!

I don't think the language will be much of a problem because the sings in most areas are accompanied with English or Roman script transliterations; also, the young people are more interested in Western culture so they will most likely speak better English. :D
 

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I spent 2 weeks in Tokyo in 1998 and enjoyed it immensely. Once you accept the fact that the only cheap things in Tokyo are the subway and noodle shops you can stop worrying and enjoy it.

There are not many English speakers in Tokyo but that does not mean you can't find your way around. The subway stations in inner Tokyo have their names clearly posted in English so I was never confused about where I was. When business took me to the Wakabayashi neighborhood in outer Tokyo the English names were gone from the subway. I had to improvise by counting the subway stations from my last known stop.

Once I was looking for a Shinto temple in Akasaka and asked a policeman about it. We did not speak each others language but managed to communicate at a level sufficient for me to find it.

If you have time visit the electronics bazaar in Akihabara. You can find some very obscure and interesting gadgets. Some of them carry an international warranty so you can get them repaired in your country.

If you are uncertain about food it is customary to point at a picture that looks edible so don't worry about reading menus. Many restuarants have photographic menus for foreigners.
 

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i visit japan mostly tokyo every summer n i dun speak japanese and i have to say it has always been by far my favourite travelling destination ( though hong kong is still my top1), i live in the UK myself, and going over there is such a wonderful life experience, u feel like uve upgraded urself with all the ultra modern shops and technology, yet u feel so peaceful with all the temples and parkland, people r super nice, shopping n food is amazing, i think ur fd is juz extremely unlucky and missed out alot! Though it could be a bit of a cultural shock at first, it is nevertheless an easy-to-approach society and most people are guaranteed to love it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the comments guys, keep 'em coming!

I need to do some serious work on the Other half still!
 

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Boil My Eggs said:
too many neds in Tokyo.
i believe u mean nerds?

lol i believe u havent been to tokyo have u, and ur a very typical stereotyping person, i dun blame u, maybe that's the culture u brought up in. poor u
 
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