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Japan UnderGround >> Just got tickets to Tokyo


3/23/05 12:15 PM
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MontyChristo
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Edited: 23-Mar-05
Member Since: 03/13/2002
Posts: 56
 
Ok, So I just bought tickets from IACE. $581 each from LAX to Tokyo. I am going with one of my buddys. The purpose of going is basically sight seeing, looking at all the cool stuff(Anime, video games, pachinko, I am sure they have good Japanese food there) going to clubs/bars at night and maybe training BJJ for a day if possible. We will be there for 7 days. Do you guys recommend just touring tokyo, or getting a rail pass and going to several cities for a day each, like going to Osaka and Kyoto? Please let me know your recommendations. Thanks
3/23/05 6:09 PM
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JDee
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Edited: 23-Mar-05
Member Since: 06/13/2002
Posts: 988
Depends...how much money ya got? Travelling to Kyoto and Osaka from Tokyo is gonna cost ya. The rail pass is not cheap. You'll get ya monies worth of the rail pass if ya go to Kyoto but not if ya stay just in Tokyo. DON'T get the rail pass if ya just plan to stay in Tokyo! 7 days? You won't even scratch the surface of Tokyo in that time. Personally I'd say just stay the week in Tokyo and day trip to some of the great spots around the city. A day trip to Yokohama is cheap and heaps of fun. I know heaps of cool places in Tokyo I could give ya directions to as well. Check out http://superfuture.com/city/city/city.cfm?city=1 for some cool spots. Includes maps. When are you going? - Juggs
3/23/05 7:20 PM
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MontyChristo
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Edited: 23-Mar-05
Member Since: 03/13/2002
Posts: 57
I am going at the end of May. That seems like a good time from what I have read. That gives me 2 months to plan everything. I would like to get as much out of the trip as possible. Going to Osaka would only be a good idea if there weren't things in Tokyo that would keep us busy. I would like to at least take a small trip to the country side and see "The Last Samurai" like scenery (LOL!) Any Ideas? Do they have busses to the top of Mt. Fuji? or do you have to walk at some point no matter what? Thanks again.
3/23/05 8:53 PM
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SILK
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Edited: 23-Mar-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 5368
Hey Monty Welcome to Tokyo when you get here:-) About Mt Fuji - there is a bus some way up, but to get to the top you gotta walk. Most peeps start going to the top from about 4am so they can see the sunrise by the time they get to the top. Some places that might interest you for various reasons: Akihabara - called "Electric Town". If you like gizmo's, gadgets and all electronic stuff, this is the place to go. Also has duty free shops. Harajuku - punk/goth/freak town. Always an interesting hood to visit. If you thought Japanese are weird, wait till you get here. Sundays seem best. Yoyogi Park. Especially on a sunday. They often have some music bands perform in the park, as well as street entertainers and funny dressed people. There is also a samurai sword museum in Yoyogi (havent been there meself YET, will go soon) Roppongi. Some tourist giudes describe Roppongi as a place of no morals and debauchery. So its the first place you should go to to get drunk and pick up chicks. Shibuya and Shinjuku (Just 2 stations away from each other). Amazing night life, amazing night lights (Think Blade Runner). The main crossing at Shibuya is also something you gotta exprience. Further out: Kamakura. Renowned for its temples and shrines. At one stage used to be the capital of Japan. Rent a bike at the station and cycle to the various temples. In the evening go of to Enoshima and go up the mountain to watch the sun set over Mt Fuji. Kamakura is at least a day trip. Asakusa. Famous for its temple (Senso-ji Temple). Also check out the 'giant turd' that apparently won some architectural price. Ceasars gym (Shootboxing) is also in Asakusa Yokohama. A city on its own. vibrant and lively. MUCH more beautiful than Tokyo. You gotta go to Chinatown if you're here. In the evening check out the lights by the theme park. Disneyland and Disney Sea. If you're into this kinda thing, go for it. Disney Sea is more adultish. I know many Japanese that go at least once a year EVERY year. O-Daiba. Lots of stuff to do here: Theme park, shops, interesting buildings, Joypolis (3d gaming and stuff). Its a small island right next to Tokyo. Most people take the monorail to get there. But you can also walk across the 'famous' Rainbow Bridge to get there (You'll notice that in Japan everything is "famous". No, not popular or well known amongst the locals, but FAMOUS). If you're into Sumo, go to Ryogoku district. The National Sumo Stadium is there, with the Edo-Tokyo museum next to it. Ueno. Has the Ueno park, which has some interesting temples, shrines and statues. Always some entertaining going on there. Also has several museums which always have interesting displays if you feel like some culture. Ginza - famous up market shopping district. Luis Vitton, Gucci, Armani, ...its all here Tokyo Tower - you cant come to Tokyo and NOT see the famous Tokyo TOwer (Looks exactly like the Eiffel Tower) Depending on what you're into, I'd suggest a trip down the Sumida River. You get on the ferry at Asakusa and goes past Tsukiji Fish Market. Especially recommended in the evenings when the lights start coming on. Gives you a different perspective of Tokyo. Tsukiji Fish Market. Any sushi or fish you eat in Tokyo likely was bought here. It's just one of those things ya gotta experience and see for yourself! Bitch is that you gotta do it early (I'm talking like 5am) cause thats when most the auctioning by over 10 000 food sellers takes place. Tokyo Dome - Where the biggest sports competitions take place, as well as some music shows. Next to Tokyo Dome is Korakuen Hall where most of the MMA shows get held. There will be some show, be it boxing/kickboxing/mma/pro wrestling on almsot everyday of the week, especially weekends. As for trianing, depends what you're into. Most foreigners end up training at Paraestra for some reason. Food: DO NOT EAT AT McDonalds or some other typically American food chain!! You dindt come half way across the globe to eat the same shit you can have back home. So even though you dont speak the lingo, go into the small side street restaurants. Put on a smile and use a phrase book. They should take to you kindly and give you good treatment. I hope you like seafood in its different shapes and sizes though. Try Gyoza, Ramen, Soba, Yakitori, Yakiniku (Me fav - Korean style BBQ - they bring you small strips of raw meat and you gotta bbq it yourself). Try Izakayas (Japanese way of socialising - eat, drink and be very merry) Pachinko - no need to look for it. practically EVERY goddamn staion will have pachinko parlours, especially more out towards the burps. Although other Forum members are more knowledgable on this place then me, I'll try to help ya if I can. And as Juggs has said, if you're only here for a week, might as well just do Tokyo and do it half way properly. If you want to include Osaka and Kyoto you'll end up going lots and seeing little (Think of trying to see New York, Washington and Miami within 7 days while still travelling between cities...)
3/24/05 12:11 AM
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hamu86
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Edited: 24-Mar-05
Member Since: 08/17/2004
Posts: 33
Mt. Fuji climbing season starts in July. It's possible to do it in May, but it will be difficult with all the toilets, snack shops, and rest areas closed. Buses only go as high as station #5, while the summit is above station #10. I don't know of anyone who has started from #5 at 4 AM (let alone at midnight) and still made it to the summit by sunrise, which is between 5:20 and 5:30 AM during climbing season. From what I recall, the distance from #5 to the summit is about 3-1/2 miles and the altitude difference is about 5000 feet. The average climb during the peak season is probably 6 hours or so. It's a real mountain and one needs decent gear to climb it and to keep from freezing. It's quite unlike the small cardboard cutout that was used in "Kill Bill."
3/24/05 5:44 AM
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JDee
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Edited: 24-Mar-05
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"it's quite unlike the small cardboard cutout that was used in "Kill Bill." That's frickin' funny but soo true. I basically highly recommend just doing Tokyo. I've been twice to Japan and spent around a total of 3 weeks in Tokyo and only scratched the surface. I have a friend who lives smack bang in the middle of it all (2 stops from Shibuya) and she's still scratching the surface after living there for a year. SILK's has some great points. He is wise,....like an old master wise ;P Hey SILK,..what's up? check ya e-mail bud. - Juggs
3/24/05 12:29 PM
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MontyChristo
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Edited: 24-Mar-05
Member Since: 03/13/2002
Posts: 58
WOW! Thanks a lot for all the info SILK. What type of Rail/subway pass should I get if I am generally going to stay in Tokyo? Do you know the best place to get the Rail Pass? From various descriptions, it seems like Mt Fuji is not always visible. Is this true? I definitely want to get a good view of Mt. Fuji, even if it means taking a day trip. Where are all of the cool toy/manga shops? I am a huge "Fist of the North Star" and Robotech fan. I saw a picture of Josh Barnett standing next to a Kenshiro statue on one of these threads. Do you know where that was? What other Samurai museums/places do you recommend visiting? Do they have Ninja museums/places? That would be so totally sweet. Thanks for all your help
3/24/05 5:17 PM
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phisone
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Edited: 24-Mar-05
Member Since: 06/14/2003
Posts: 25
I was there in January and I bought a rail pass. After looking over the costs involved with taking the train, it is way not worth it if you are not going to travel outside of Tokyo. If you plan on going somewhere far, Osaka, Nagano, Kyoto, etc... then you will get your money's worth. Other than that, just stick to buying regular train fare. There is a 7 story toy store right outside of Ueno station. It is across the street from the starbucks. Hope that is help.
3/24/05 5:41 PM
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MontyChristo
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Edited: 24-Mar-05
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Posts: 59
7 story toy store? I am not sure that will be big enough. They have starbucks in Japan? Are they on every corner like in New York?
3/24/05 8:49 PM
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JDee
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Edited: 24-Mar-05 09:08 PM
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I think if you love Manga stuff, do check out Mandarake in Shibuya. It's a fackin' must!! Here's a map,...look middle, left and click on the green ? button next to the Mandarake. http://superfuture.com/city/area/area.cfm?area=4&city=1 Also,..here's there website : http://www.mandarake.co.jp Also there's actually a mini-mall type place at Nakano just outside the station called Nakano Broadway. This place is like 4 stories of Manga and stuff and is just full of little stores with amazing stuff. I spent around 4 hours in there!! This place is a gold mine. DO check this mall out. Take the north exit of JR Nakano station, and you'll find there a long arcade street/mall (straight in front of you across the bus section). At the end of the street/mall, you'll see a strange building. It looks like a pile of all kinds of stores made into one building. This is "Nakano Broadway. "They have starbucks in Japan? Are they on every corner like in New York?".....I'd guess that Tokyo rivals any place for the most amount of coffee stores in a square block.....and that's a good thing cause I love coffee. - Juggs
3/30/05 12:15 PM
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MontyChristo
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Edited: 30-Mar-05
Member Since: 03/13/2002
Posts: 60
Is there anything interesting to see at Takada Dojo, or is there just a store with a bunch of overpriced items?
3/30/05 9:08 PM
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hamu86
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Edited: 30-Mar-05
Member Since: 08/17/2004
Posts: 36
Visitors can train there for around 3000 yen. I think Sakuraba oversees a sparring class on Sunday, but it's probably open to advanced persons only. Nothing to buy there that you can't get at other shops or at a Pride event.
3/31/05 11:37 AM
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MontyChristo
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Edited: 31-Mar-05
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Posts: 61
Are visitors allowed to watch the training?
3/31/05 8:49 PM
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hamu86
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Edited: 31-Mar-05
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Just watching is probably free of charge, but one should call ahead first.
4/11/05 3:26 AM
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MontyChristo
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Edited: 11-Apr-05
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Posts: 62
Since Roppongi seems to be a place where I will want to be several times over the course of the trip, what areas would be good(fairly inexpensive/convinient) to stay at? I was looking into staying somewhere near the tokyo tower. (Not too close, but not too far)
4/18/05 7:32 PM
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SendaiMMA
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Edited: 18-Apr-05
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4/18/05 7:35 PM
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SendaiMMA
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Edited: 18-Apr-05
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If you want to see Fuji you can take a day trip to Hakone by bus and go on ropeways etc....and cross the lake on a fake pirate ship and get fuji views. Or go to fuji-ku highlands amuesment park which is at the base of Fuji-sama. If you want last samurai feeling and you end up wit hthe rail pass a trip to Sendai to the onsens in the mountains is great on the same day you can tour matsushima bay in a small wooden fishing boat and see the much sought after minature pines hanging from the sides of cliffs..you can get a similar experience in isu which is closer to tokyo and also has onsens.
4/20/05 1:53 AM
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MontyChristo
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Edited: 20-Apr-05
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Posts: 63
If I am going to just be in tokyo the whole time, do I just buy a 1 day subway pass each day that I am going to go out? Is there a special pass that I need to get?
4/20/05 5:42 AM
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JDee
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Edited: 20-Apr-05
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Just buy a $ amount ticket and use till you have to re-new one. DON'T buy the Rail Pass they'll try and sell you at the travel agent. You won't get ya value just being in Tokyo. - Juggs
4/25/05 6:58 AM
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gakami
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Edited: 25-Apr-05
Member Since: 04/07/2003
Posts: 14127
holy shit .. good info on this thread, particularly from SILK ttt for my own reference later
4/25/05 12:42 PM
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MontyChristo
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Edited: 25-Apr-05
Member Since: 03/13/2002
Posts: 68
"is hot with the Eastern European entertainment worker" What does this mean exactly? I have heard something about european chicks that have settled there but I don't know the full story or the dynamics of it. Are those chicks down to party, or are they just white geishas?
4/26/05 4:11 AM
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SILK
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Edited: 26-Apr-05
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Posts: 5736
GreatCornholio - seems like you know the ways of the lower roads. For us trying to stay on the 'higher road', please please PLEASE could you recommend us a list with directions of some places full of decadence and debauchery that we can avoid ;-) Thanks in advance
4/26/05 11:29 AM
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MontyChristo
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Edited: 26-Apr-05
Member Since: 03/13/2002
Posts: 71
Are there places to find the 4D's in shinjuku or shibuya that you know of, or is roppongi the place for gaijins?
4/28/05 6:17 PM
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MontyChristo
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Edited: 28-Apr-05
Member Since: 03/13/2002
Posts: 78
"best 4am protein kick in the city" Excuse me, I'm not Japanese. I'm from out of town. What is a protein kick? What makes a god/bad protein kick? TIA
4/28/05 9:43 PM
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SILK
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Edited: 28-Apr-05
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Posts: 5749
LOL. Hey, those kebabs ARE tasty!!! Goes down great after a night of drinking while waiting for the first train. I heard about unmentionable places called Gas panic. There are 2 of them, one in the main road and one off the main road. The crowd there is apparently younger than the 911 crowd. Can you share you insights on these places, and any others? Just so we can know the evil to avoid

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