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Japan questions & answers thread

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Heinz, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    This is the thread for questions on skiing and travel in Japan.
    eg. where to ski, when to go, how to fly there, internal travel options, gateway cities, where to stay, eating out etc.

    It is not for plans, reports, general discussion etc. That is here : Japan 2010 - 2011 Trip Plans/Thoughts/Reviews Thread

    Nor is it for weather discussions. That is here. The Japanese season 2010-2011 weather

    But before posting a question here check here : Wikiski - Japan

    And if you have some useful info not already in the wikiski above feel free to add it in.
     
    #1 Heinz, Dec 23, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  2. inky

    inky Hard Yards

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    Not snow related but.....

    I'm looking to pick up some masks like Hannya or similar in Tokyo.

    Is there a particular area or shop that would be worth a look?
     
  3. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    I'd try at Asakusa, on and near Nakamise street.
     
    #3 Sandy, Dec 23, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  4. inky

    inky Hard Yards

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    Thanks very much Sandy.

    I had a look at some Taiko drums too but they might be a little large to take back with me. Still wouldn't mind checking some out though.
     
  5. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    [​IMG] Some of those Taiko drums are HUGE!

    You could also try starting here maybe? I know nothing about Noh though.
    http://www.tokyojapanguide.com/nohtheatre.php
     
    #5 Heinz, Dec 23, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  6. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not far from Nakamise Street is the Taiko Drum shop & Museum.
    Here:

    http://maps.google.com.au/maps?hl=en&biw...F-8&sa=N&tab=wl



    You could get a Shime Daiko drum which is much smaller. (about 40cm across)
    [​IMG]
     
    #6 Sandy, Dec 23, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  7. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    Check with Oz customs about getting it back into Australia before you buy it though. They're fussy about wood and leather.
     
  8. snowshredder

    snowshredder Hard Yards

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    Hi,

    does any one know if the ski outlet stores in Kanda would be open over new years? (only closed on new years day or for more days?)
    what about other shops and department stores (e.g. shibuja or harajuku?)
    cheers
     
  9. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    Just about every single shop will be shut on Sat 1st Jan. The cheap shop(London Sports outlet) in Kanda will be open on the 2nd and a lot of the other shops will be as well, but maybe not all. All shops should be open after that.

    A lot of sightseeing spots may be closed from mid this week until mid wee following New Year. (e.g. museums, gardens etc)
     
    #9 Sandy, Dec 26, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  10. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    There are a few possibilities.

    1. Stay overnight at a hotel near Narita. There are plenty of hotels in the vicinity of Narita airport that will have free shuttle service. Then return to the airport early in the next morning and catch the Limousine bus to Haneda. You should allow up to 2 hours for this with possible delays.

    2. Catch a limousine bus to a hotel in the Shinagawa area on arrival, then another one to Haneda in the morning or catch the monorail from Hammatsucho.

    3. Catch then Keisei line train to Ueno and a hotel there. You have a bit of time to check out the markets etc nearby, then catch a bus to the airport or train to Hammatsucho and monorail. Trains can be a bit trickier with luggage though.

    With your timings option 1 may be the easiest and it also roughly fits youir description. You may not want a bus trip after a flight, the hotels are close to the aiport and you have time to get to Haneda in the morning (probably want to leave hotel around 7am-8am).
     
    #10 Heinz, Dec 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  11. snow momma

    snow momma Hard Yards

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    We'd like to go out to Kanda to get some gear.
    We will have a JR east pass.
    Can anyone say what metro lines can be used on that pass in Tokyo, and which is the easiest station to go to? ....time will be of the essence. Thanks
     
  12. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    Have a look at this thread:

    https://www.ski.com.au/xf/posts/1139725

    It has transport info on the first map. With JR East pass, you will use the JR trains, so catch the JR Chuo Line (Rapid, Orange) from Tokyo station to JR Ochanomizu station, JR Chuo Line (Rapid, Orange) from Shinjuku station to JR Ochanomizu station, or the JR Sobu Line (yellow) from Akihabara Station to JR Ochanomizu station.

    NONE of the metro lines (Tokyo metro Subway lines) will work with a JR 4 day flexi pass, because they are not JR.
     
    #12 Sandy, Dec 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  13. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    #13 Heinz, Dec 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  14. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    The other thing to note is that there are more affordable options close to Narita. The hotels directly served by the Limousine bus or close to Haneda tend to be the major, more expensive ones.
     
  15. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    For those who know Myoko how accurate are the trail maps ? For example here's an Akakura Kanko map.

    http://myokokogen.net/myoko_ski_trail_maps/akakan_resort_trail_map_e.pdf

    Does the champion no.5 lift (top right side of map) and the champion no.2 lift(bottom right) still operate ?? Because I've seen some maps that don't show these lifts.
     
    #15 Born2ski, Dec 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  16. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    Roughly related to an earlier question, there are a couple of international Taiko courses in April in Fukui just north of Kyoto. Got this as an insert to my Songlines magazine.

    http://www.worldspirit.org.uk/ and click on Taiko drumming.

     
    #16 Heinz, Dec 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2013
  17. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    My wife has been doing Taiko for 10 years. There is a Taiko group in Melbourne where you can take lessons:

    http://www.wadaikorindo.com/

    There's also a number of Taiko groups in Tokyo where you can get lessons. My wife does her advanced lessons on a Sunday around Shibuya, but they run others as well. Often, you can get a free try out...
     
    #17 Sandy, Dec 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2013
  18. inky

    inky Hard Yards

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    Thanks for the Taiko info, I'll have a look at the museum for sure.
    Another quick one, probably been asked already but do we need to book the Nagano Shink in advance or just rock up and buy tickets?
     
  19. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    Unless it's a peak time, New Year, a holiday weekend or Chinese New Year, you can probably just walk up and buy them. I often get them the day before if it's convenient for me to do, but it's usually not necessary.

    If you roll up and all of the reserved seats are gone, then go for the non reserved, go form Tokyo station (not Ueno), and line up a bit earlier.
     
    #19 Sandy, Dec 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  20. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    Yep, normally not necessary but if you can it may be worth doing. eg. if you are coming directly from the airport and getting a ticket for the NEX and know what Shinkansen you are catching then you may as well. Likewise if you are staying in Tokyo / Ueno a day or so it is easy to drop into the ticket office. Also gives you the chance to check out the access prior to doing it and saves you the worry of doing it on the day when you have all your luggage with you.
     
  21. inky

    inky Hard Yards

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    Thanks very much....again. You guys are onto it.
     
  22. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    The maps are somewhat deceptive B2S as no two maps seem to match up. The lifts are still there. Champion No. 5 still runs to the best of my knowledge. In fact I think it was the only lift running on the opening weekend apart from the gondola. Lift 2 is there but doesn't always operate. How often it opens I'm not sure.

    One of my medium term plans is to do a proper trail /lift map using sat images (if I can find one clear enough).
     
    #22 M_G, Dec 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  23. Wardy

    Wardy One of Us

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    #23 Wardy, Dec 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  24. Wardy

    Wardy One of Us

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    Just booked Narita Hilton 2 rooms (5 people) $279 the lot inc breakfast - not bad... Fingers crossed it's still there when we arrive.
     
  25. Hermannator

    Hermannator One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    Hi experts,

    Currency Exchange: Who and/or where is the best (cheapest) place to do this (in Melbourne or Adelaide), e.g. buy 80,000 yen?

    I'm told buying online is the way to go to avoid extra fees etc and that there's a place on Collins st who have the best rates and no fees. So far my homework tells me (as at 27 Dec) that for JPY80,000 it'll cost me in $AUD:

    xe. com (can't actually buy this, reference 'bank' rate) 962.61
    bankwest via american express online 998.15
    travelex online 1007.81
    commonwealth online 1019.52

    any thoughts?
     
  26. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Whatever you do, just DON'T change it in Japan!!!!!

    If you do, it will cost you around $1100+ AUD!!!!!!!!
     
    #26 Sandy, Dec 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  27. ceecee

    ceecee First Runs

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    Is KVB Kunlun the Collins Street place you're referring to?

    Go there all the time, after being told by those in these forums that its got the best rate. No fees.

    Went last week (22/12) and got 90,000JPY at 81.97 (which cost 1.097.96AUD).

    So for your 80,000JPY it would have cost you 975.96AUD.
     
    #27 ceecee, Dec 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  28. Hermannator

    Hermannator One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    Sounds like it. can you just walk up and exchange cash on the spot?
     
    #28 Hermannator, Dec 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  29. skiflat

    skiflat Old n' Crusty

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    I would ring first.

    I rang up as last week out of interest, as I wanted about $5000 AUD converted to Euro and he said they don't carry that much and need 24 hours notice, the rate was good [​IMG]

    Ring them first i would say though.

    Also factor in time/effort/parking/transport to/from the city.. Is it really worth the effort for a $30 saving ?

    I have always used Travelex.com online in the past and picked up from the airport just after checking in [​IMG]
     
    #29 skiflat, Dec 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  30. Hermannator

    Hermannator One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    good advice. It could be too much trouble for the time i have
     
  31. Aletta

    Aletta First Runs

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    Hi, does anyone know where i can find more info on what food i can take to Japan (international flights) and what food can be in my luggage on domestic flights (does it need to be sealed, etc)? Have numerous food allergies and have to take food with me. All I've found out so far is no meat and fruit/vegies.
    Thanks
     
  32. benchives

    benchives Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    Another good experience with KVB Kunlun. I work a couple of buildings down in Sydney so it is mega easy. Definitely call before exchanging more than $2k aussie. And depending on who you get, they might want your passaporto/drivers licence.
     
  33. Mark102

    Mark102 A Local

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    Howdy

    If I want to ship something to Japan from a US online store can I just use the japanese address in English characters? I assume they will be able to work it out. Might be a stupid question...

    Thanks [​IMG]
     
    #33 Mark102, Dec 30, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  34. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    Yes!! Just make sure they have every bit of the address.
     
    #34 Sandy, Dec 30, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  35. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    Interesting question. Can't say i've ever actually posted anything to Japan. I have though used the luggage delivery services a few times and they always fill out the delivery docket with the Japanese address, so I've always recommended people have the address printed in japanese when they use this service. They would be able to work it out but this just saves time.

    You assume they would be able to work it out but it may possibly be worthwhile having it in both?
     
  36. Mark102

    Mark102 A Local

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    Thanks Sandy.

    Heinz, I have the address in Japanese characters but not sure (yet) if I can copy and paste it into the address line and don't really know where it all should go (i.e. what is the street/what is the suburb). So I reckon I'll probably go with English characters.
     
  37. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    They don't have street name & number in Japan, so you won't find "street" anyway!!! [​IMG] Just do it in English.
     
    #37 Sandy, Dec 30, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  38. Mark102

    Mark102 A Local

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    Went down to your favourite ski gear area today... I have too much gear so only bought a lens. The helmet I wanted didn't fit my fat head so that's why I've had to buy it online and send it to the Hakuba Powder Lodge. Haven't really thought about it so I hope it works out. Not too late to cancel so if there is going to be customs issues etc (cost $140) please let me know asap.... Whoops [​IMG]
     
    #38 Mark102, Dec 30, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  39. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    No problems there....

    Which lens, where and how much??
     
  40. Mark102

    Mark102 A Local

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    Cool! Sorry to get you excited, I meant goggle lens. I've decided it's too hard to decide on what zoom lens to get to replace my stolen one so I'm not getting one for the moment. Too many compromises... [​IMG]
     
    #40 Mark102, Dec 30, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  41. damian

    damian A Local

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    Japan is not strict like Australia, so expect the list of banned food products to be a lot shorter. As to where you might find that list, I do not know. Sorry.
     
    #41 damian, Dec 31, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  42. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    OK, general random Japan query (for the nerds perhaps?): what are your favourite or more useful Japan related app.

    I'm looking for good apps when I'm over there in Feb.

    I just downloaded Trippo TripMagix. You can speak or type in your word(s) in English. The app will translate into any one of a number of foreign languages (incl. Japanese), displays that translation on the screen OR speaks the translation in the chosen language. Sadly, not being a speaker of Japanese I can't vouch for the accuracy of the translation. The Greek translations, however, seemed pretty spot on. It doesn't swear though....so for some of us it might be a bit pointless [​IMG]

    Over to you.....
     
    #42 Tonester, Dec 31, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  43. Mark102

    Mark102 A Local

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    This is the address for the Hakuba Powder Lodge where I am staying:

    2595-1 Hokujo Hakuba Mura Kitazumi Gun Nagano Ken 399-9301 Japan

    Would I put it in the address lines as follows?

    Address: 2595-1 Hokujo Hakuba Mura Kitazumi Gun Nagano Ken
    Zip Code: 399-9301
    Country: Japan

    That leaves things like state, suburb etc empty. Not sure what to do....

    Thanks [​IMG]
     
    #43 Mark102, Dec 31, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  44. damian

    damian A Local

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    What you wrote looks fine to me. Though you could put Nagano-ken in the state field if you wanted.

    The most fool-proof way of knowing would be to ask the lodge for support in the matter.
     
  45. Mark102

    Mark102 A Local

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    Thanks Damian. [​IMG]

    I was in a mega rush (going through a forwarding agent and don't want it sent to my Australian address) so thought I'd get a very quick response on here. I'll confirm with Nick though.
     
    #45 Mark102, Dec 31, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  46. Mark102

    Mark102 A Local

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    I saw some sweeeeet kitchen knives today in Tokyo and I am wanting to take a couple home.

    If I declare it at customs will there be any issues?

    Ok, time to get off the computer and go out!!! [​IMG]
     
    #46 Mark102, Dec 31, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  47. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    My uneducated opinion (not that it helps) says I shouldn't think so, as long as you put them in check in luggage.
     
  48. Mark102

    Mark102 A Local

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    Yeah I'm not quite as stupid as the person I saw a few months ago who got caught with a full on dagger in his carry on luggage. Wtf? Oops
     
    #48 Mark102, Dec 31, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  49. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    [​IMG] even worse if they were going to the US, I can imagine they would have received the "full" body search.
     
    #49 smitty484, Dec 31, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  50. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Re: Japan questions & answers thread

    Kitchen knives will be fine in checked in....