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Topic: Japan Discussion

Posts 761 to 780 of 848

RR529

WingedSnagret wrote:

At some point I like to have a vacation in Japan. A friend of mine has been to Tokyo once and said it was awesome.

Heck, if Nintendo still had those Love Hotels I would have my honeymoon in one.

Yeah, I don't think I'll ever move to Japan, but I'd love to visit, even if it was for a week or something.

There's so much for you to do, too. If I had the chance to visit Tokyo, the top things on my list would be to go see a Tokyo Giants baseball game, visit Akihabara (for my love of gaming & anime), sightsee at places like Tokyo Skytree & the main shrine where it was believed Ameteratsu is enshrined, check out at least one gaming arcade in the city, and of course dig into the side alleys to find a good mom & pop restaurant or two.

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DoodleDudeShow

I went back in 2007.

I have to say it is by far the most amazing country I have ever been to..

The people are so kind, the technology is amazing and the food is great..

Oh Japan how I miss thee...

Check out the latest thrilling Nintendo Let's Play and become a friend of the show. Can't wait to see ya!!

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RR529

Ugh, I got caught up in a game and missed last night's episode of BEGIN Japanology...

Blog: https://rrblogweb.wordpress.com/

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Fikachu

Pardon me for the double post

Looks like my plan to move to Japan backfired

[url=http://www.mybannermaker.com][/url]

RR529

Fikachu wrote:

Pardon me for the double post

Looks like my plan to move to Japan backfired

May I inquire as to what went wrong?

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Fikachu

RR529 wrote:

Fikachu wrote:

Pardon me for the double post

Looks like my plan to move to Japan backfired

May I inquire as to what went wrong?

I consulted with my dad and I told him even though I wanted to move to Japan, I instead chose to settle down in Egypt after finishing college

[url=http://www.mybannermaker.com][/url]

RR529

Journeys in Japan was on tonight!

This week's host was Charles Glover (an American actor who has appeared in a number of period samurai dramas), and they went to the city of Kawagoe. It's an old castle town just north of Tokyo, and was once the northern defense point of Edo (Tokyo's old name). It was founded some 550 years ago, and the powerful merchant trade they had with Edo allowed them influence over rice pricing in both the old capital & Osaka.

The Shingashi River was the most important trade route between the two cities, and during Kawagoe's peak period aroind a century ago, up to 100 boats a day would gather at it's shores. Kawagoe would ship down rice & lumber, while Edo would send seafood & the latest culture back. An old wholesaler building from the time has been converted into a museum.

It has kept much of it's old time charm, with up to 6 million tourists (both foreign & domestic) visiting each year. The merchants grew so powerful here, that many of the old shops still tower over main street, and can be visited by guests. They used a sturdy construction that was designed to contain fires (in fact, many have scars of fires past). The Kojo Theatre Group puts on old time theatre entertainnent, that lets their audience travel back in time (one of their more popular shows, features period firefighting stories).

The host also came across a street dubbed Candy Alley. There are over 20 family run shops here that make traditional hand made sweets. The host was allowed to watch one such shop make it's sweets (the family has run this shop for over 100 years).

The host also visited the Yamaya restaurant. It's an extravagant high class establishment, that a wealthy merchant built on his private villa a century ago. Merchants used to hold parties here, with expensive food & geishas.

What the citizens are most proud of however, is the annual Kawagoe Festival, which is held during the third week of October. It was initially started to raise spirits after a devastating fire centuries ago, but has risen to being an important cultural festival. Over 15 elaborate floats move through the city streets during the event, each one weighing over 4 tons & being worth around $1,000,000! A repesentation of the "goddess" of wealth & revelry sits atop the eldest float on parade.

Other things important to the festival are the Tenko no Mai dance (a dance said to bring a good harvest, performed by someone dressed up as a Tenko, a magical creature from Japanese mythology), and traditional paper lanterns, which are made here in Kawagoe, by a shop called Ichirikisai. The eleventh generation owner is passing on his craft to his son (they say it would be humiliating to have a lantern last less than 10 years, and were happy to have a recent customer request them to repair a 65 year old lantern).

The city is about a 30 minute train ride from Tokyo, with some other attractions being Kawagoe Castle, an old clock tower, and a folk crafts shop that sells masks commonly worn during the Kawagoe Festival.

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Romeo

i have to say.. japan is one of the very few countries which truly intrigues me...
next year i'll try to go there for a few weeks/months, i don't know when exactly yet though

could imagine living there later on... japanese is also the only language im truly interested in learning
there are many things i've always liked about japan, but one of the main things would be the girls/women of course =)

Edited on by Romeo

Romeo

RR529

Tokyo Eye was on tonight! This week they showcased Jimbocho, a neighborhood famous for it's bookstores.

There are over 200 bookstores in the neihborhood, 80% of which deal in used books. During nice days, bins full of books will line the street outside of shops, and there are literally walls of books (left completely unattended, due to the low crime rate). It's said that there are over 10 million books in the area!

The host first stopped off at one of the neiborhood's oldest shops, which is known for it's extensive collection of classic Noh theatre scripts. In fact, they sell pocket sized scripts for merely ¥200. They also sell vintage Noh props.

The host then went to the Book & Neighborhood Information Center. Here, tourists can find bookstores they'll be interested in. Just give them your general interests, and they'll give you recommended stops.

Through this method, the host came by a shop that specializes in both vintage Japanese & western books. Of most interest, were the small paper books that were given to the nation's earliest western visitors. They told classic Japanese fairy tails, and were often translated to English, French, Spanish, & German. The shop sells them today for ¥38,000. They also sell issues of a satirical magazine published by British entrepreneurs from the 1860's to 1880's, called The Japan Punch (it dealt with Japan's modernizing culture). They sell those for a whopping ¥120,000 each!

They also have a shop that deals in magazines from the 50's, 60's, & 70's. Their stock mostly consists of fashion magazines, comes from all across the globe, and including Japanese publications, features popular western titles such as Esquire, Seventeen, Vouge, Newsweek, & Playboy.

They also have a bookstore specializing in Italian books, although they have also expanded to feature Portuguese & Spanish publications as well. Some of their most popular items are Italian translations of manga like Astro Boy, Detective Conan, Lupin III, Doraemon, One Piece, & Naruto.

A popular stop for tourists is the Sakura Hotel. This establishment has a multilingual staff, and book lovers from across the globe come to stay here (during filming, they had quests from United States, Britain, France, Mexico, South Korea, Canada, Spain, Germany, and China, as pointed out by the flags they had displayed behind the receptionist desk). Rooms cost around ¥4,000-¥6,000, and they have a café that stays open 24 hours a day, so you can read books comfortably. They also have a food menu that features cuisine from around the world, with their most popular item currently being Canadian Style Pancakes (topped with butter, smothered in maple syrup, and sprinkled with bacon bits).

It's not just books you can find in Jimbocho, however. The area also has around a dozen shops dealing in Ukiyo-e paintings. One such shop has a couple of vintage prints from a famous artist, that go for an astounding ¥1,300,000 & ¥3,800,000 respectively. They have a price range for everyone, though, with replicas of certain pieces going for around ¥5,000.

They also stopped by Fuji Records, a shop that deals in vinyl records. They have a collection of over 100,000, featuring records from overseas as well as Japanese recordings. They have a record player that lets you sample your purchases.

There's another shop that deals in traditional Japanese nicknacks, but is most known for their traditional Japanese instruments, such as the Shamisen. There's a studio next door where visitors can get Shamisen lessons, with the first being free.

Finally, they stopped off at the Rakugo Café. During the day it's an unassuming café for book lovers, but at night, traditional Rakugo performances are held. Rakugo is a form of traditional storytelling, where the storyteller will play all the parts. It costs around ¥2,000 to attend a show, and they usually last around 2 hours. Most shows are held in Japanese, but they hold special events where you can experience the stories in English & French.

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Magikarp3

RR529 wrote:

[strong]There are over 200 bookstores in the neihborhood, 80% of which deal in used books. During nice days, bins full of books will line the street outside of shops, and there are literally walls of books (left completely unattended, due to the low crime rate).

I think I just found my new home

I'm not even that much of a reader, I just really enjoy looking through used book stores and seeing what stuff I can find. It's a shame you don't really get many of these in the west, and all of the good ones have closed down

http://backloggery.com/oiiopo

always thought I'd change to Gyarados after I turned 20 but hey, this is more fitting I guess. (also somebody registered under the original Magikarp name and I can't get back to it anymore orz)

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RR529

BEGIN Japanology was on tonight! It was a repeat (the episode where they discussed the role of Used Books in Japanese society).

Jollykarp wrote:

RR529 wrote:

[strong]There are over 200 bookstores in the neihborhood, 80% of which deal in used books. During nice days, bins full of books will line the street outside of shops, and there are literally walls of books (left completely unattended, due to the low crime rate).

I think I just found my new home

I'm not even that much of a reader, I just really enjoy looking through used book stores and seeing what stuff I can find. It's a shame you don't really get many of these in the west, and all of the good ones have closed down

Yeah, from what they've shown, Jimbocho has a really unique vibe, and I'd probably browse around if I ever get to go to Tokyo.

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cherrysunburst

I'm going to Tokyo in a few months with my family. I'm always nervous visiting a country with a different language, especially if most of them don't speak English well ^^;

former usernames because i'm fickle: sushifreAk, Cyb3Rnite, Justice, AnActualDash, cath3Rine, rayneee
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i like girls.

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RR529

Journeys in Japan was on tonight! This week they went to the city of Odate in Akita prefecture, to check out the famed Akita Cedar. The host this week was John Neptune, an American who has been living in Japan for nearly 40 years, and is a professional Shakuhachi player.

Firstly, the host went into the valley next to the Yoneshiro river, to get a close up look at the cedars themselves. In order for a cedar to be designated as an official Akita Cedar, it needs to have grown in the wild (as opposed to farmed), and be at least 150 years old. The average Akita Cedar here is about 50 meters tall, but the oldest specimen here (at 300 years old) is 58 meters tall (as tall as a 20 story building).

The city of Odate was prosperous for it's timber output in years past, with the Yoneshiro river being the means of transporting the timber (until 50 years ago, the logs would be tied together into rafts, and sent downstream). The demand for Akita Cedar has waned in modern times, so this is naught but a memory of the past. However, a retired citizen of the area wants to preserve the area's legacy, so his hobby is making canoes from Akita Cedar, and during weekends, he takes children & tourists out on the river, to indulge in nature & learn the area's history.

In the city proper, many small local shops sell edible plants that have been farmed or picked in the area (beans, mushrooms, etc). The host visited one local shop that makes Koji, steamed rice that is imbued with a certain mold. It is used to both pickle vegetables & as an ingredient in soy sauce. It is cultured in trays made from Akita Cedar (which happens to be perfect for temperature regulation) in temperatures of 40ºC. The trays have been passed down for 100 years. John was then invited to join the shop owner's family for dinner (where many of the local dishes incorporate Koji).

Lastly, he visited a crafts shop in the city, that is keeping traditional woodworking technique alive. They have a special method of bending the cedar wood without breaking it (thin strips of the wood are soaked in 80ºC water to soften it up), creating some unique hand made merchandise (the techniques passed down are 400 years old). There most popular items are their bento lunchboxes.

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RR529

Tokyo Eye was on tonight! Tonight they had a "Souvenir Special", for those looking to bring back gifts to their friends & family.

Firstly they went to the city's central hub, Tokyo Station! There are many souvenir shops here, with most of them dealing in snacks. One of their most popular items is Brick Bread (¥250), which is bread filled with custard & bean paste, and designed to look like one of the building's bricks ("Tokyo Station" is printed on it as well). There are also character specific shops here, such as a Hello Kitty shop that sells a similar snack for ¥735 (though in the shape of the titular feline). Japan's top potato chip maker has a shop here as well, and for ¥280, you can get a cup of chips fresh out of the fryer.

Next they went to a new shopping complex that has opened up in Asakusa. It has many Japanese style nicknacks that tourists love (such as chopsticks, tea cups, & the like). There's also a shop here called Shinobi-Ya, which as you can guess, is ninja themed. You can buy ninja inspired clothing, as well as umbrellas that are disguised as swords. There is also a Sumo themed shop, where you can get figurines of your favorite wrestlers, and Sumo wrestler shaped chocolate.

They then went to the city's largest antique shop, Antique Mall Ginza. You see, Kimonos are on a lot of tourists' wish lists, but between ¥200,000-¥500,000, they are often too expensive. Here, you can get a nice Kimono (with Obi) for a mere ¥2,000.

One of Tokyo's oldest stops for tourists Oriental Bazaar, is still here & doing quite well. One of their more popular items are "Bonsai Kits", which allow you to grow a simple bonsai for a mere ¥950.

In Shinjuku, there is a unique shop called Daiso popular amongst tourists. All items here cost only ¥100 each! They have items such a calendars, clocks, watches, & the like. Here are their top three selling items. #3 Folding Fans (great as both a decoration or for use), #2 Socks (they have hundreds of different varieties), #1 Erasers (Japan is famous for their intricate erasers that are molded expertly to look like food).

For the technologically inclined, Yodobashi Camera is a must. All of Japan's most modern electronics can be found here, and their staff is quite used to dealing with foreigners. There most popular items are rice cookers. They also have cordless vacuums, which run on a rechargeable battery, and allow for greater mobility (you can also take out the battery, that has a USB port, that way you can use it to charge your phone).

A couple of other shops they brushed by were Tokyu Hands, which is the place to go for Japan's latest stationary (such as erasable markers) & model kits (Japanese castles are a popular item here), and Animate, a must stop for anime fans (they have a very extensive cosplay selection).

Lastly they stopped by Mitsyuyoshi Makeup Laboratory. Here you can learn to apply Kabuki style makeup formations (a skill which you can take home). Lessons cost ¥2,000, and you must get a reservation in advance.

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RR529

Been awhile since I updated this. Tokyo Eye was on last night! They showcased various company museums throughout the city, many of which are free attractions (or have a very low fee).

They first went to a museum set up by a large pharmaceutical company in the city, where you can learn about their various products. they have a large interactive display that shows how various types of medicine process through the body. this is free.

They then went to a paper museum, that showcases the history of papermaking in Japan. Using a cardboard recycling technique, guests can make their own paper. This is free.

They then visited the Yebisu Beer Factory museum. It showcases the history of the brand (it was made under the guidance of master German brewing companies). Free for a tour, ¥500 for a tour & glass of the beverage.

They then went to the Tokyo Printing Museum, which is set up by a large printing company. They actually showcase the history of printing throughout the world, with a large array of exhibits (such as a couple of pages from the first Gutenburg Bible that was printed with moveable type, and one of the first documents ordered by the Shogunate to be printed by moveable type). They also have modern exhibits, such as the world's smallest micro book, which was made with their state of the art printing technology. Guests can have a chance to try out old style printing techniques (on a first come basis). Admission is ¥300.

They then went to a tire museum, set up by a tire company. They have interactive exhibits showing advancements in tire technology (such as tires that can keep their shape for a long time after being punctured), and exhibits that explain the different types of tires. It is free.

They then went to a museum set up by a large tech company, that makes components for rockets, ships, & planes. You are first greeted by a robot. They have many scaled versions of their various ship & plane models on display, as well as the first rocket engine developed by a Japanese company. They also have an interactive plane flight simulator, where you sit inside the cockpit & try flying & landing a plane (including hazards such as rainy & nighttime conditions). You can also sit at a computer & design your own ship and/or plane. Can't remember admission for this one (might be free).

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RR529

BEGIN Japanology was on last night! This week's theme was conveyor belt sushi!

Traditional sushi bars are generally more expensive than conveyor belt sushi restaurants, and thus are out of the price range for most families. Conveyor belt syshi joints arised to make the delicacy available to everyone.

They went to a medium sized restaurant that seats about 70. They have seats along the prep area for single diners & couples, and booths for parties of 3 or more. You don't order your food here, instead the chefs make a wide array of sushi and send it along the conveyor belt system which carries it around all the tables. Simply grab what looks good as it goes by, and at the end of your meal, they'll tally up your bill based upon how many plates you have (some restaurants have color coded plates which are worth different amounts, while others have a constant price across every plate). These types of restaurants are also starting to serve non-sushi items as well, to make sure every member of the family has something they want to eat. You also get as much free green tea as you like (there is a container of green tea powder at every table. Just put it in your cup & mix it with piping hot water).

Fish used to be pickled in rice, and that was said to be the forerunner to today's sushi. The first pressed sushi came about in the 16th century, and modern hand rolled sushi was introduced in the 19th century. At that time it was served in Edo (old Tokyo) at booths at inexpensive prices for all the merchants & the like going through (kind of like the traditional fast food). However, as time went on & sushi restaurants went to indoor establishments, it became a delicacy for the well off. In 1947 a young entrepreneur wanted to bring sushi back to the masses, so he opened up an old style booth. Soon afterwards he went to a beer bottling plant and was mesmerized by the conveyor belt system (he figured that if he had something like that running around his bar, he could serve 3X as many customers. He opened up his first conveyor belt sushi shop in the late 50's & it was a hit. There was a trade show in Osaka in 1970 where he showed it off, and it was such a success that similar shops started popping up all across Japan. This caused other problems though, as there weren't enough sushi chefs to staff all of these restaurants. In 1990, the first sushi making robot was developed, and it could make 1,200 rolls an hour, alleviating the issue.

They then went to a tech show where new sushi making devices were being shown off. Current sushi making robots can make 3,600 rolls an hour (about one every second).

They then went to a location of a larger chain, which can seat 197 people! Due to the longer amount of time the sushi has to travel here, the plates have covers over them that keep everything fresh as it goes along. There are computer chips on every cover, and this allows the restaurant to know exactly when a plate is taken from the belt, and thus who to charge without tallying up plates in the end (since they know how many plates are taken off when it happens). Because of this, there is a slot at every table here, that you put your plates in when you're done (it is a lower conveyor system that takes all plates directly to the dishwashing area). There are also touch panels at every table that let you order directly if you don't see what you want going by (there is an upper conveyor system that the kitchen uses to send orders quickly to their destination).

They then went to a really state of the art establishment. Here you are given a number as you walk in, and you simply find the seat with that number. You order on a touch screen and you get your meal sent to you really fast on the high tech conveyor system.

Tuna used to be the top sushi topping, but nowadays Salmon has topped it. Salmon used to not ever be used as a sushi topping as the wild salmon around Japan had too many parasites. However, they now ship farmed parasite-free salmon in from Norway. In 1980, it was a conveyor belt sushi shop that first served it, and it now is a standard across all types of sushi shops (they were also the first to serve sardines as a topping).

There is also an initiative to get people who don't like seafood in to the shops, so one conveyor sushi shop has invested in making citrus flavored fish. It was a huge success, so now they're trying to develop strawberry flavored fish.

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RR529

I was watching this thing earlier about the role cats have played in Japanese art throughout the years.

Anyhow, a photographer who takes pictures of cats has set up a website called NekoFont, which will turn anything you type into letters made out of cats.

It's a pretty funny site to mess around on for a bit.

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RR529

Tokyo Eye was on last night! This week they talked about all the places you should check out at the end of the year.

First they talked about the Hagoita Market. Hagoita are paddles that were traditionally used by woman in a badminton-like game during new year parties, and people nowadays often buy them for good luck. The Hagoita Market is opened from December 17-19 every year, and their elaborate designs are often based upon famous Kabuki actors (although modern day celebrities may be used as well).

Then they said to check out the Bound Jizo Ceremony. At one temple, people tie rope around a Buddhist Jizo statue as part of a prayer ritual. At 11 P.M. on December 31, a ceremony is held where they untie all the rope that has been placed upon the statue for the year, and then people line up to be the first to tie a prayer rope around the statue in the new year.

Then they talked about the Sumida Aquarium, which gets into the Christmas spirit. The aquarium mostly focuses on sea life from around the Tokyo area, although they have other species as well. The place is decorated with images of Santa penguins, and they have penguin feeding shows at night during December. Up through Christmas, kids can make their very own sea life inspired Christmas ornaments. Admission is ¥800 for adults, ¥500 for high schoolers, & free for anyone younger.

They then highlighted Yomiuri Land. At daytime this is just another inconspicuous amusement park with roller coasters, ferris wheels, & the like, but during winter nights, the place lights up with over 8 million lights! Also, during December, they play Christmas music & the staff all wear Santa outfits. Admission is ¥2,000 for adults, ¥1,500 for middle & high schoolers, and ¥1,000 for children.

They then talked about the "End of the Year" feasts co-workers generally get together for (the more senior the worker, the more prime seating they get, with the boss getting the best seat at the table & arriving last). They first showcased a Sengoku era themed restaurant, that serves everything on Samurai themed plating, and then they showcased Zauo, a restaurant with a fresh pool of fish that guests can try to catch for their meal (it costs nothing extra, and you actually get a discount if you catch your own fish).

Finally, they talked about a night club called Sound Museum Vision, if you want to party late into the night. They have three different dance floors, so you can find a style of music you want to dance to. During December, they serve red & green colored "Christmas Liquors". On December 21st, women get in free, and on December 25th (Christmas) any woman wearing a Santa outfit gets in for just ¥1,000.

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Socar

My dad usually gets to go to Japan. Which reminds me, do you guys know anywhere in Japan where food is pure vegetarian?

I do want to go to Japan myself. I did visit China once but it wasn't much and I only had to go to the bridge just to see Kailash. I really want to see Nintendo and all there even my dad recorded footage of how gaming is over there and according to him, Sega is well known there.

my 3ds friend code is 1461-7634-1658

creativity is the insane possibility.

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kepsux

My wife and I live in Japan and have for almost three years. We make videos about it sometimes, some of you might think they are interesting. I'm not really into anime or anything though. Search our channel for "Japan" and it should give you a list of stuff, sort by most watched and you'll get stuff other people liked.

https://www.youtube.com/user/kepsux

Or just check out our website: kydeanderic.com

Oh, here's a video about video games in Japan I made a couple of years ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1I1Vl_rRK4

kepsux

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