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bored in Tokyo

bored in Tokyo

Old Aug 18, 13, 10:41 am
  #1  
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Unhappy bored in Tokyo

Okay,

You might wonder hows that possible. I have been in Tokyo for one week now, other one to go. I came here with a friend but apparently he only wants to go somewhere between 1pm and 5pm or so (waking up around noon). After that he comes back to the hotel room and wants to rest all evening (and night). I dont want to stay in the hotel room all evening since I got this far so basically I have been walking outside by myself for a week in a row now in the evenings and its getting boring.

Its interesting for a while but I feel quite lonely here as I cannot even understand what the people are talking about

I dont know the japanese language at all, have tried talking with the locals but apparently they dont want to speak in english if they are not close to fluent.

I have visited a lot of tourist attractions daytime with my friend so thats not necessary for the evenings.
Just wondering for some tips. My location is in the Shiganawa area if that matters.

Just to clear something out, im male and not interesting in shopping / drinking / going to strip bars etc. that cuts quite a bunch things off. maybe I could ride the subway / JR to new random locations and just walk there if its a new area.

And yea, I have tried to get my friend more active but so far no good results.
I would like to be more happy here but this is a little frustrating situation at the moment, hope you could help me out
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Old Aug 18, 13, 11:20 am
  #2  
 
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Get a subway map and Pass and travel out of the core downtown area. Tokyo is not one big city but rather a conglomeration of many smaller cities, many of which have their own character and personality. You are unlikely to find those by just randomly walking or riding around. Did you not think to bring a guide book or other information for a two week stay?? If not, look on-line for help. Japan Guide - http://www.japan-guide.com/ - is one, there are many others. Just get out of Shinagawa, which is a pretty boring part of Tokyo.

It is possible your friend is still suffering from jet-lag. If not handled at once, it can hang on for a week or more. That would explain the late mornings and early evenings. He needs to get up in the morning - even if it is hard - and get out in the sunlight.

Why did you guys even come to Japan? It sounds like you had no plan. With two weeks, you could have gotten out of Tokyo and seen large sections of the rest of the country. With a week left, you can still get out of the city and see Kanagawa, Nikko, Matsumoto (in the mountains,) the coastal areas and much more. You need to get out and enjoy your visit - with your friend or without.
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Old Aug 18, 13, 11:32 am
  #3  
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Yeah the thing is that my friend had plans, I really didnt Guess nobody to blame but myself..

Anyway, Im familiar with japan-guide.com, we have visited many good tourist places mentioned there! evenings are the "problem" as many places are not that facinating when its dark.

I have been quite many areas but nighttime they all look and feel kinda the "same". at least for the shops etc. Hard to explain, maybe trying a totally new area could be it. Just gotta look for something interesting, im just fed up walking within shopping districts for hours as im not interested to buy anything really.

Japans got a magnificent nature but the sun sets too early
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Old Aug 18, 13, 11:40 am
  #4  
 
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Hire a private tour guide for a four-hour or so walking tour that's customized to your interests. The hotel should be able to recommend a few tour guides and it's a great way to get to know a city.

A few places you should go regardless include the fish market, the Tokyo Tower (the orange Eiffel Tower looking structure), and Akihabara (Electric City).

Also see What’s Doing In Tokyo for a few more suggestions.
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Old Aug 18, 13, 1:12 pm
  #5  
 
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My sugestions and you can do all or some. I will try to put them in order of importance. This applies to you and your friend.

1) Call home, talk to a family member. Hearing a familiar voice does wonders.

2) Remember why you went to Japan in the first place. Look on line and ask hotel staff for things to do, areas to check out. Even if you aren't into shopping or bars, there are tons of things to do. There are arcades, amusment parks and tons of things just to look at. I recomend Odaiba.

3) Keep you friend busy, plan something that will last later in the day and/or start earlier. Get up early, open the curtains, make noise and wake your friend up. If you have to, DRAG your friend out.

4) If all else fails, just go at it alone. Don't waste the trip, find something to do(there's ton of things), you traveled that far, do something.
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Old Aug 18, 13, 1:59 pm
  #6  
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Try Yokohama for a day. It's roughly a 90 minute train ride to central station. It's a non obvious place to look, but let me link you to the Sheraton Yokohama thread. It's right by the train station, so the description of where to go sightseeing is relevant for you coming in by train.

Kamakura:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/starw...ml#post3434883
and
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/3435829-post13.html
and
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/6000323-post42.html

Sankeien Garden
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/6001681-post44.html

I gave directions to the sushi restaurant with sushi on the moving belt in the top floor of the department store at the train station. You take what you want off the belt, no local language needed.

Also look at the wiki for this year's Japan Do:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/commu...31-2013-a.html

I highly recommend the Sumida River Water Bus and Hamarikyu Gardens
combo. Go to the gardens, then take the boat down the river. When you get off the boat, there are signs to a big temple.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/20295366-post509.html

I hope you find some things that you enjoy doing and get your trip back on track.
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Old Aug 18, 13, 2:51 pm
  #7  
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Yokohama is more like 30 minutes from Tokyo station, not 90. I don't think Yokohama is that exciting, but there is a very tall building you can go up or a very large ferris wheel you can ride.

It's around 90 minutes to Kamakura. You can also reach Nikko in a bit more time. Both are suitable for day trips. You can even do a very long day trip to cover most of the Hakone area.

Even if you aren't into drinking, for evening entertainment, it would be enjoyable to go to a place with no door charge and live music, such as "What the Dickens" in Ebisu. Yes, you buy one drink, but you can milk it and it doesn't even have to be alcoholic.
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Old Aug 18, 13, 2:55 pm
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Maybe you should be on your own rather than with your friend during the second half of your trip. Decide what you want to do. Do you like museums? Do you like cultural things; art, play, music, etc.? Do you like outdoor; ocean, mountain, or may be stroll at park? Do you want to do a day trip or stay in Tokyo? Do you like food? Nothing wrong with going for meal by yourself.

Once you come up with those basic answers, then ask people at hotel for recommendation. Hope you will enjoy rest of your stay at Tokyo. There are a lot to do and see around Tokyo.
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Old Aug 18, 13, 3:03 pm
  #9  
 
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as I have not been there I wont try and suggest what to see or do

but please listen to others on here and make the most of the time you have left
try to encourage your friend to get out and about more but if you cant then go it alone

I agree your friend may be suffering longer lasting jet lag and his body has got into the wrong routine

you have travelled a long way MAKE THE MOST OF IT
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Old Aug 18, 13, 3:14 pm
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If your friend can't get his act together I really think you need to strike out alone. And unlike other posters, I don't think you should expend too much effort trying to motivate your buddy. Unless he has some special needs that you haven't mentioned, I think you should plan a full day of activities with an early start and if he's not ready to come along, don't worry yourself about it. (As Gen. Patton said: "Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way").

This is a reasonable list of cheap or free stuff to do in and around Tokyo. The other posters have mentioned some threads on Flyertalk with good ideas. I like the idea of getting into the country for the day, but YMMV:
http://tokyocheapo.com/living/101-fr...o-do-in-tokyo/

For lunch and dinner, try to find cheap and ramshackle "mom and pop" places. Sit at the counter. Carry a book or magazine to read if you like. If you're lucky you may find someone talks to you. If not, you can watch your meal being prepared and read a bit.

As for evening activities - It's tough when you don't know people, but there are some informal meetups that you can go to. Go with low expectations and have the courage to introduce yourself to strangers:
http://www.meetup.com/find/?categori...3&sort=default

With any luck, your buddy will realize that he's missing out and join you.
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Old Aug 18, 13, 3:48 pm
  #11  
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Hi bored in Tokyo - First things first. Unless you and your friend are on the older side (like 60-70+) - or he is sick - what you're describing sounds more like fatigue than jet lag to me (jet leg is more or less spending a normal number of hours awake - but at the wrong local times). And - since it's August - and the heat in Tokyo has apparently been brutal - is it possible that the heat is the cause of your friend's fatigue?

Might not be - but that's my guess (especially since he has mostly been outside during the worst heat of the day in the afternoon). I live in Florida - and - even after 40+ years here - the August heat gets to me too.

The way I cope with heat when I travel is to get up really early - and get outside while it's still reasonably cool out (like maybe 75-80 ). Get inside about noon for lunch. Then perhaps do some indoors things in the afternoon - under A/C. In your friend's case - perhaps that would be a nap. Then go outside again for the evening when the sun goes down. This is how families survive Disney in Orlando in August - and it is probably a good game plan in Tokyo.

It should be about 5:45 am in Tokyo now. Current temp is about 80! Why don't you wake up your friend at 7:30-8:00 am - and try what I suggested. FWIW - if your friend is suffering from heat fatigue - he is probably dehydrated a lot by now. My favorite "cure" for that is V-8 juice (which has lots of sodium). Don't know if it's available in Japan. But - if you can't find it - find something similar (in a place like a department store food basement). If your friend is suffering from dehydration - a lot of fluids - especially those with sodium - should perk him up. If your hotel doesn't have V-8 juice - see what kind of Bloody Mary mix it might have (a lot of those are heavy in sodium too). Your friend needs to rehydrate this morning before he leaves the hotel.

BTW - if you can't get your friend up and about - how old are you - and what kind of budget are you traveling on? That might help with any travel recommendations I might have to offer. Robyn

Last edited by robyng; Aug 18, 13 at 5:29 pm
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Old Aug 18, 13, 4:07 pm
  #12  
 
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Wow - it sounds like you're having a "Lost in Translation" moment (from the movie), where you're in the world's biggest metro area yet feel strangely alone and disconnected from people. Tokyo can do that to people in its own unique way.

Others have made some great suggestions already. Let me add some:

- Yokohama, specifically Chinatown. Yokohama has a somewhat different vibe than Tokyo, and Chinatown has a totally different vibe. If nothing else, go down there for lunch or dinner one day, and spend an hour or two wandering around.

- Mori Museum in Roppongi Hills. It's one of my favorite museums. It has no permanent collections, but displays one major and one minor exhibit at any given time.

- Edo Tokyo Museum. See the history of the city of Tokyo over hundreds of years.

(also, I should say that I find "art museums" in general to be among the most boring things in the world, but I would make the two above recommendations even to those people that generally don't like museums)

You said that you're not interested in drinking. I'm not sure if that means you don't want to go out and get hammered, or if you don't drink alcohol at all. Even if it's the latter, don't rule out going to a bar or nightclub. You can have a fine time just having a drink or two without overdoing it, or even just a soft drink if you really don't drink at all. Here are some ideas:

- Go to the bar at the top of the Park Hyatt in Shinjuku. If you're going to have a Lost in Translation experience in Tokyo, you might as well do it where the movie was filmed . Don't just stop at the upper lobby bar - continue thought the hotel up to the New York restaurant. Go before the Y2000 cover charge kicks in, which was 8pm the last time I was there, and it will only cost you one drink to have the experience.

- Go to a "live house" as someone else suggested. Kento's is a chain with 4 locations that has cover bands often playing oldie American songs, like from the 50's and 60's. It's interesting to see the Japanese audiences get really involved in it.

- Because you mentioned difficulty in speaking with locals even after trying, try going to a bar or club that's known for having a lot of foreign clientele. And these are not all dives in Roppongi. I might recommend Hobgoblin in Shibuya. It sometimes has live music and sometimes not. But all of the staff will speak English, and there will be a lot of foreigners there. Plus, many of the Japanese customers will be able to speak English. You'd probably have better luck striking up a conversation there sitting at the bar than many other places in town.
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Old Aug 18, 13, 4:22 pm
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by robyng View Post

It should be about 5:45 am in Tokyo now. Current temp is about 80! Why don't you wake up your friend at 7:30-8:00 am - and try what I suggested. FWIW - if your friend is suffering from heat fatigue - he is probably dehydrated a lot by now. My favorite "cure" for that is V-8 juice (which has lots of sodium). Don't know if it's available in Japan. But - if you can't find it - find something similar (in a place like a department store food basement). If your friend is suffering from dehydration - a lot of fluids - especially those with sodium - should perk him up. If your hotel doesn't have V-8 juice - see what kind of Bloody Mary mix it might have (a lot of those are heavy in sodium too).
I've never seen V8 juice in Japan (that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist, only that it's not conspicuous), but the Japanese go-to hot weather beverages are the canned soft drink called Pocari Sweat (like a slightly salty lemonade, available in convenience stores and vending machines all over) and mugicha (iced barley tea). Also look for shaved ice, which stores advertise with a blue and white banner with a big red kanji splashed across it. It comes in all sorts of flavors, but I like mizore (mee-zo-reh), which is a diluted sweet syrup.

At this time of year, there's always a shrine or temple festival going on somewhere. Check the local English-language publications for listings, which always give you the nearest train or subway station. The festivals tend to go on into the night, so a workable pattern in the summer heat might be to concentrate on museums and shopping (i.e. air conditioned places) and boat rides (the one from Hama Rikyu to Asakusa is a popular one) during the day and attend festivals and other performances in the evenings.

Take a day trip to Nikko, which will get you into the countryside and the mountains, or to Kamakura, leaving early in the morning, so you can be on an air-conditioned train when the heat of the day hits. If you can afford it (about US$80 each way), a day trip to Nagano on the Shinkansen makes for a pleasant excursion. The street leading from the station to the main temple is very attractive, the temple is interesting, and the elevation is high enough to have some effect on the heat.

But first it sounds as if you need to go to an English-language bookstore (the Kinokuniya south of Shinjuku Station has a whole floor devoted to English books) and buy a guidebook to Tokyo and a street atlas. You can spend one evening reading those and the next week exploring on your own.

By the way, your friend's behavior sounds like the way I was when I had mononucleosis as a college student. If your friend is not physically ill in some way, then he may be struggling with depression or substance abuse. In any case, wanting to be awake for only six hours a day is NOT jet lag, which consists of being awake and sleepy for the normal amount of time but only at the "wrong" hours of the day.
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Old Aug 18, 13, 5:12 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Steve M View Post
- Mori Museum in Roppongi Hills. It's one of my favorite museums. It has no permanent collections, but displays one major and one minor exhibit at any given time...
Just FWIW since you mentioned it. The Mori Museum is closed when it doesn't have an exhibition. Best I can figure out from its website - that will be from about 9/1-9/21 next month (current exhibition looks really good to me - wish it wasn't closing on 9/1). Robyn
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Old Aug 18, 13, 5:14 pm
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a few random ideas
Odaiba - near Shinagawa. Lots of museums, malls, some nice nature walks too
Tokyo Disney Land/Sea
There is a huge aquarium near Shinagawa
go to Ueno and walk near the train tracks - Ameyoko
Yokohama for the amusement park, mall
Kamakura for history
Enoshima - little island, 1 hr from Shinagawa
imperial palace
kabuki
asakusa
go to minowa and take a train trip on the toden (trolley)
harajuku
shibuya
go to Ginza and walk around
akihabara
asakusa
daishimae near nishiarai
....Japan, like a lot of places, is rough without friends. hope you enjoy yourself.
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