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Has anyone been to Japan? Tips?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by AussieSharon, May 19, 2009.

  1. AussieSharon

    AussieSharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 18, 2007
    Virginia
    My 14 year old son is traveling to Japan in July as a Student Ambassador. He will spend 2 weeks there. They will be doing a lot of traveling and he also has a 3 day homestay.

    Has anyone been to Japan and is there any advice/tips you can offer? We were told ATM's are hard to come by, and many places do not accept Visa cards. It was suggested the kids carry enough cash (Yen) to last them for 2 weeks.
     
  2. Bluemoon420

    Bluemoon420 The Rooster Queen

    I've been to Japan. It was not my favorite Country [​IMG] There were ATM's there, but hard to find them. Yes, he should carry Yen. I would also have him stash away some traveller checks for an emergency.
    The only reason it wasn't my favorite country was because I have blonde hair, and being female it kind of wasn't fun for me. I had strangers touching my hair constantly. It was kind of creepy. That being said...aside from the personal space issues...Most were very friendly, and we did have a great time snowboarding.
    The only other thing I can think of is if he visits a place to eat where it looks questionable...order noodles, Veggies or rice. I became an instant vegetarian in a couple places.

    I lived in Korea for a little bit, and liked Korea better. I did become a vegetarian there however.

    All in all, He should have a wonderful experience, and he probably won't forget it. I still keep in touch with friends from there.


    Bluemoon
     
  3. 60ACRES

    60ACRES Stepped in what??

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    Long, OK
    Dont drink the water.




    ...wait where are you going?
     
  4. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    Hopefully the Student Ambassador program is training these kids in the do's and don'ts of travel and especially Japanese culture. I know you are paying them enough. If they are not conducting a training program that specifically addresses the Japanese culture, then they are not taking "student ambassadors". I've travelled all over the world and there is no place like Japan where customs and manners matter more. Get a book and read up. What would be considered perfectly normal U.S. teen behavior would be considered the utmost in rudeness and insulting to the Japanese - especially from a guest in their home for 3 days.
     
  5. AussieSharon

    AussieSharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 18, 2007
    Virginia
    Ruth the Ambassador program has been teaching the kids about Japanese culture. My son has to go to monthly meetings where they have been spending a lot of time learning these things before they travel. He actually has pages and pages of "do's and don'ts"

    The culture is so very different to here in the States! [​IMG]
     
  6. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    I have been several times and absolutely love the country. ATMs are hard to find but I just went to the bank and converted cash whenever I needed it or used my credit card with little trouble. I used both MC and Visa.

    Food he is used to will be harder to find but there are plenty of "cooked" dishes. Just remind him of this important fact...sushi is cooked (usually steamed but it is cooked) Sashimi is raw fish.

    Enjoy it!
     
  7. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    Quote:So true, so I'm glad they are teaching them. I'm "assuming" they are also teaching them some basic Japanese words - like "please and thank you" which are always nice to use eventhough they speak English as a second language.

    Other than that, he should just relax and have a good time.
     
  8. Hippie Chickie

    Hippie Chickie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I lived there from the time I was ten till I was sixteen. My dad was in the Navy. I loved it. If he is going to the Tokyo area I can help on places to visit. Keep in mind I moved back stateside in '95. Gosh, was it that long ago? There is a wonderful amusement park called Toshimayen. It is a great water park, the Disneyland-esque section is not that great. If he can he should eat at a traditional sushi type place. There is a bar with a conveyer belt on it that the dishes go around on. The more elaborate the plate the more expensive the dish. Tell him to stay away from things he can eat here. How often will he get to go to Japan after all. I am assuming he'll be there over the summer. If so that is when all of the towns have their Bon-o-dori festivals. He should go. It's like a big street fair with traditional dancers. It is very fun. Japan is quite humid in the summer. I hope he knows that. Climb mt. Fuji, at least part way, visit a shinto shrine, don't eat and walk at the same time, it's considered rude. Most subway signs are also in english. Make sure he memorizes the phrase " where's the bathroom". I would stay away from the squid, it's just to chewey. Tempura is awesome and he should get some gyoza to eat. Umm... can you tell one of the things that I miss the most about Japan? Have him take pictures of the vending machines. You can buy hot coffee in the can, cold soda, eggs, pantyhose, cigarettes, kids trading cards, comic books, "adult movies" and "adult magazines" and alcohol in them. Just walking down the street. It's crazy. People smoke everywhere, it sucks. If he has asthma make sure he takes his meds with him. The polution is bad! Most of all relax and have fun. Don't worry about him too much over there. Tokyo is one of the safest cities in the world. I spent most summers roaming around it and the neighboring cities with my friends, also teenagers. The worst that happened was taking the wrong subway home and ending up another hour from home before we got going back the right way. Hope this helped.

    Francisca
     
  9. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    I travel all over the world and I tell my family that I don't need to learn to say "where's the bathroom" in any language because everyone understands the universal "pee pee dance" and will point you in the right direction. [​IMG]
     
  10. SophieLain127

    SophieLain127 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I traveled there when I was in high school. The weather can get hot and balmy so dress in layers. At night it can get chilly because of the sea of japan. Yen is better to carry then a credit card. I suggest travelers checks because they can be exchanged in the hotel. If he has a cell phone you might want to call your provider to make sure it will work over there. If it doesn't then he will need to purchase a phone card which will make calls cheaper. They can usually be purchased next the pay phone in the hotel lobby or the gift shop. Kids are in school most of the day there so at night the town comes alive with lots of teens being teens. It is very clean over there so if he buys a pop at a vending machine he will need to stand there and drink it then throw the bottle away. There will be lots of new cuisine to eat however they still have a Wendy's in the teen district, A Denny's, Mcdonalds, and subway. They mainly drink coke however some places you can find pepsi. Everything is to the left so when getting on or off the subway go to the left not the right like here in the states. Most electronics are not compatible once you get back to the states so if he buys anything it will only make a nice remembrance. Alot of kids will speak very choppy english but most adults will not. So most of all be patient and have fun.
     

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