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Old Jul 30, 04, 9:05 pm   #1
 
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Must DOs and BUYs in Japan/Tokyo

Hello,

I leave for Japan next week(first international trip but DEFINATELY not the last -- planning a trip to Paris in the coming months....) and was wondering what are the must do's, must see's and the must buy's. Also, the must eats? ANY suggestions at all would be greatful. Thank you everyone and hopefully this is in the right forum. Thank you!
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Old Jul 30, 04, 9:08 pm   #2
 
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Go to a hole in the wall conveyer-belt sushi restaraunt. 100 - 150 yen plates should be about right.

How long are you going to be in Tokyo for? My feeling is that the real heart of Japan lives in the smaller cities. If you have time, a ride on the bullet train to Kyoto would be an excellent use of your time. You can spend time visiting ancient temples and shrines.
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Old Jul 30, 04, 9:17 pm   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gt_croz
Go to a hole in the wall conveyer-belt sushi restaraunt. 100 - 150 yen plates should be about right.

How long are you going to be in Tokyo for? My feeling is that the real heart of Japan lives in the smaller cities. If you have time, a ride on the bullet train to Kyoto would be an excellent use of your time. You can spend time visiting ancient temples and shrines.
I'll be in Japan for a little over 2 weeks so I should have time to explore around....i've heard about those hole in the wall converyer-belt sushi restaraunts but notthing more then heard -- I definately will check it out!
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Old Jul 30, 04, 9:25 pm   #4
 
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I spend a lot of time in Tokyo (actually I'm there right now) and here's what I would do (not a complete list):

- Sushi (already mentioned about the conveyor belt restaraunts)
- Asakusa (Temple and shopping area--lots of "junk", but also lots of people)
- Roppongi (night life)
- Ginza (shopping, but don't buy anything--way, way too expensive!)
- Kyoto (take the bullet train and then take taxis to the shrines..there are literally thousands of them) at least a weekend trip from Tokyo
- Tokyo station at rush hour--just stand back and watch all the millions of people pass through--quite a site!
- Kamakura (Huge statue of Buddah and hundreds of temples. A good day trip from Tokyo)
- Tokyo tower


Before you go, go to the book store and get a book entitled "Tokyo city pack", can't remember who publishes it, but it's full of good info--including a subway map!

Good luck and enjoy!
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Old Jul 30, 04, 10:25 pm   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UScolorado1k
- Asakusa (Temple and shopping area--lots of "junk", but also lots of people)
- Roppongi (night life)
- Ginza (shopping, but don't buy anything--way, way too expensive!)
- Tokyo tower


Before you go, go to the book store and get a book entitled "Tokyo city pack", can't remember who publishes it, but it's full of good info--including a subway map!

Good luck and enjoy!
Asakusa -- what do you mean by a lot of junk? What are some things I should buy? I'm definately going to pick up some music, video games and related item...but i'd like to get some unique Japan identifying stuff.

Ginza Disttrict -- I've heard Japan is really expensive.

Tokyo Tower -- what exactly is this?

Now also, if i'm not mistaken the drinking age in Japan is 20, right? Do I need to bring ID and if so, will my passport suffice or should I bring my state's driver's license?

Also, what are good gifts to give to people in Japan?
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Old Jul 30, 04, 10:50 pm   #6
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My very favorite store in Japan is Tokyu Hands. My son and husband love it too. It's filled with so much cool stuff - the little Japanese woodworking tools, robotics kits (much cheaper there than in the US), cool cooking things such as edible 24 kt-gold stars to put on desserts and in drinks. The office supplies department is one of the best. I can easily spend hours there.
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Old Jul 30, 04, 11:03 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tokyotraveler
Asakusa -- what do you mean by a lot of junk? What are some things I should buy? I'm definately going to pick up some music, video games and related item...but i'd like to get some unique Japan identifying stuff.

Ginza Disttrict -- I've heard Japan is really expensive.

Tokyo Tower -- what exactly is this?

Now also, if i'm not mistaken the drinking age in Japan is 20, right? Do I need to bring ID and if so, will my passport suffice or should I bring my state's driver's license?

Also, what are good gifts to give to people in Japan?
Not sure what the drinking age is here. That hasn't been a problem for me for a long, long time

If you are looking for Electronics and games, check out Akihabara (also known as "electric town", they have blocks and blocks of nothing but electronic stores. Word of warning--be sure whatever you buy will work on the US equipment that you own!

Tokyo Tower is a tall tower in Tokyo that has an observation platform. You can get a good view of Tokyo from there.

As for Asakusa, it has all the typical kinds of Japanese stuff that you would be looking for. My advice though is to guy during the week. On the weekend, it gets very crowded and pretty crazy!

Where are you staying in Tokyo?

As for gifts, anything that is typical of where you are from and not very expensive (less than $10.00 US) is fine.
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Old Jul 30, 04, 11:39 pm   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UScolorado1k
If you are looking for Electronics and games, check out Akihabara (also known as "electric town", they have blocks and blocks of nothing but electronic stores. Word of warning--be sure whatever you buy will work on the US equipment that you own!

Where are you staying in Tokyo?

As for gifts, anything that is typical of where you are from and not very expensive (less than $10.00 US) is fine.
Don't worry about the electronics -- i've pretty much got that down but thanks for the warning and the heads up. I'm staying with a family about 30 miles west of Tokyo -- I have been invited but have never met them before so more reason for me to be nervous...

Gift's -- not a problem -- I'll run up to Saratoga Race Track tomorrow and then shoot up to Lake George so i've got that covered! Get some T-shirts and take a bunch of pictures to show them.

Tokyu Hands....where exactly is this store? By what letiole says, it sounds like an incredible store that i'd love to visit!!!

Someday in the future i'd LOVE to visit rural Japan as i've heard it's full of incredible beauty and i've seen plenty of pictures but i'm sure those photo's do no justice....
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Old Jul 31, 04, 9:57 am   #9
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Tokyu Hands....where exactly is this store? By what letiole says, it sounds like an incredible store that i'd love to visit!!!
There's one in Shinjuku in the same building as the Takashimaya department store.

I just found this which also has a link to a map with the location in Shinjuku. I just read his review and see there's another in Shibuya.

http://www.superfuture.com/city/revi...iew.cfm?ID=375
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Old Jul 31, 04, 11:12 am   #10
 
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I definately will check out Tokyu Hands, it sounds like an incredible store!
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Old Jul 31, 04, 1:18 pm   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tokyotraveler
I definately will check out Tokyu Hands, it sounds like an incredible store!
I absolutely agree. But any Japanese hardware store is also an incredible experience (and much cheaper for wood working tools, however they won't speak much english or be able to explain exactly what that strange tool is for). I like to get Japanese paint brushes, they are very good and the importer in the US has a 1000% mark up (based on the prices I see at Narita City).
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Old Jul 31, 04, 1:55 pm   #12
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If you're buying any type of electronics, besides making sure they work in the US, also check out prices of similar items in the US before you go over so you know if you're getting a good 'deal', especially since the Yen still kicks the $$ butt.

mjm lives in Tokyo, so you might want to drop him a PM. There's a musuem on top of the Maori Tower you can go to, as well as top of the tower itself for some fab views. It's in the Ropaangi Hills area (sp?), which has the Grand Hyatt, the tower, shops, concert area, residential, etc.

And of course the Fish Market is a definite MUST!!! Just know it's a very very early am. And of course the tradition is to have fresh sushi/beer right after at one of the nearby places.

Have a good time. Cheers.
Sharon
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Old Jul 31, 04, 2:14 pm   #13
 
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Originally Posted by SkiAdcock
...And of course the tradition is to have fresh sushi/beer right after at one of the nearby places.

Have a good time. Cheers.
Sharon
So maybe you can answer me what is the drinking age in Japan and will I need to bring ID such as a driver's license or my passport?

How's pizza out there? How about fast food, like McDonalds?
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Old Jul 31, 04, 2:17 pm   #14
 
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Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower is a red(!) copy of the Effiel Tower

If you are going partying(!), then you could always spend time in Roppongi...

Paddy Foley's is (AFAIK) still there... you could ask people there for ideas ;-)

I spent three years in Tokyo in the mid '90s. Loved the place.
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Old Jul 31, 04, 3:07 pm   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tokyotraveler
How's pizza out there? How about fast food, like McDonalds?
McDonalds is the pretty much the same here as it is in the US with a few different menu items. My personal opinion is to avoid it if at all possible, but of course I have that same opinion in the US! Last year a friend came over with her two children and they would only eat at McDonalds. That was the longest week of my life!

As for pizza, again pretty much the same here except for different toppings. My personal favorite: squid.
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