jump to navigation

Dragon Quest Day – Dragon Quest Island June 29, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Dragon Quest Day, Japan Travel Tips, Uncategorized.
add a comment

Hope you’ve been enjoying Dragon Quest Day here on the site. Up until this point we’ve been looking at this franchise from a historical perspective, a fan’s perspective, and a technical perspective. Now, we’re going to be bringing Dragon Quest into the real world.

Right now, as I type this, Japan has opened its own Dragon Quest Island. In it, guests can enter the world of Dragon Quest and participate in a whole bunch of fun activities in the real world. The environment, the characters, and the enemies have been meticulously replicated from their 3D counterparts, and now we can explore it on our own.

YouTuber Kelsea Dyer was able to check out Dragon Quest Island and recorded some of her experience in glorious 4K for all of us to see. If you aren’t familiar with her work, she visits limited time pop-up cafes and other uniquely Japanese experiences. Her channel is a great reference for all the cool stuff Japan has done over the years. She isn’t able to show the entire experience, just some of what the environment looks like and some of the quest she went on. Still, this video could bring some long-time fans to tears.

A few years ago, my fiancée and I got to play the game Magiquest at Great Wolf Lodge, and this looks like what you would get if you took the technology from that game and cranked it up a million times.

Dragon Quest Island is located at Nijigen no Mori on Awaji Island. You can visit their official website here. Sadly I couldn’t find an English language option for the site. Fortunately, Kelsey revealed there is an English language option for the experience.

Hope you’ve enjoyed Dragon Quest Day here at GameXcess.net! I’m going to be honest with you all, I intended to feature this in a future Japan Travel Tips article, but when I discovered just how awesome the Dragon Quest franchise is, I felt this one exhibition merited a whole day to this video. Stay tuned as we could do this again some other time, and I’m sure more Dragon Quest news could be on the horizon.

Japan Travel Tips – Japan’s Museums June 8, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Japan Travel Tips, Uncategorized.
add a comment

It’s Tuesday, it’s time for a new look at Japan Travel Tips. In this series, which has been going strong for several weeks now, we highlight some of our favorite independent videos from across the internet dedicated to helping out people interested in visiting Japan some day. Today, we’ll be highlighting some of the coolest, unusual and most important museums Japan has to offer.

First off, and following up from last week’s travel tips, let’s talk about Cup Noodles. Not just a food for hungry gamers who can’t cook, Nissin’s Cup Noodles has always been a staple of Japan’s grocery stores. It is a quick and easy way to eat while on the go, and you can find it for sale pretty much everywhere. Well, if you are a fan of it and want to see more, DancingBacons made a trip to the source of Cup Noodles, and got to make their own! Check it out:

Cup Noodles Factory is located at 2 Chome-3-4 Shinko, Naka Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa 231-0001, Japan. Check out their website.

Next up, we are looking more artistically. Undoubtably the work of Studio Ghibli and their Master Director Hayao Miyazaki has had a profound effect on animation today. He is responsible for such films as The Cat Returns, The Wind Rises, Spirited Away, and My Neighbor Totoro. Now, following what I think is at least his third retirement, a Studio Ghibli museum has been opened featuring his artwork and giving exclusive access to the last short film the master director has worked on. There have been a few videos made over the years about the museum, but we decided to highlight one of the first, produced by the YouTube Channel Always, Ros.

The Ghibli Museum is located at 1 Chome-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-0013, Japan. You can also check out their official website. If you happen to be a subscriber to HBO MAX, you’ll be able to watch most of the movies from Studio Ghibli, as well as some documentaries. I honestly recommend checking out the documentary Never-Ending Man.

This next one…we will need to be in the right mindset for. In fact, I wouldn’t blame you if you skipped it entirely. A year ago, a YouTube reviewer who calls himself Bennett The Sage did a review of one of the most heartbreaking anime of all time, Barefoot Gen. Created by a man who survived the atomic bomb attack on Japan, the anime focused on how life went on after such an event.

Following his review, Sage mentioned his visit to the Hiroshima Peace Museum, which was built to honor those who were lost in the event, and to remind the world of what had happened. I can’t think of a better video to highlight it.

The Hiroshima Museum is located at 1-2 Nakajima-chō, Naka-ku, Hiroshima, Japan. Barefoot Gen is currently available on the RetroCrush service.

This article ended on a difficult note, but still an important one that we felt needed to be addressed. We’re taking a break for next week, but we will be back after that with a new article. Stay safe out there. If you feel we haven’t highlighted a museum you feel we should, comment below with one and we may feature it in a future article!

Japan Travel Tips – Ramen June 1, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Japan Travel Tips, Uncategorized.
add a comment

It’s Tuesday, and that means a new list of Japan Travel Tips, where I share with you some of the best independently produced travelogs about the country. We have already shared with you tips on how and what to eat while in the nation, but we intentionally left out one of the most recognizable foods in Japan, Ramen. Grab a bib and get ready to slurp!

Every region in Japan will have its own take on the popular food. First off, I’m going to highlight the work of Abroad in Japan, who produced this incredible video on the city known as Japan’s Ramen Capital, Fukuoka! Not only does he take a look at the food, but also some of the coolest sights to see in the city. Fukuoka is known for its creamy Pork bone broth, which is a staple of their noodle soup. Honestly, my words cannot do it justice, you’ll have to see it for yourself.

If you like different ingredients in your Ramen, don’t worry there are different options all over the country. Next up I have to highlight the work of Only in Japan. Seriously, this guy’s channel has been an invaluable reference for this series. Only in Japan has taken a closer look at some of the kind of Ramen you’d find in back alleys and side streets. Here’s a look at a place famous for their Ramen Alley, Sapporo.

Not enough Only in Japan for you guys? If that hasn’t made your stomach growl, in this next video he takes a look at the Ramen in Kyoto.

If you want to see more, he’s also taken closer looks at the Ramen in Hokkaido and Fukuoka.

I’m sure you’re wondering, “What if I want something SPICY, can I get that in Japan?” Yes, you totally can! I want to highlight the work of Mark Weins, who has a love for traveling for food and all things spicy. Watch his expression trying out Devil Level Ramen while at an outdoor market.

Finally I wanted to share some real fire with you all. Apparently, the Devil Level is not the hottest Ramen you can get in Japan, there is a Ramen shop that will actually use real fire. The YouTube channel Twosome Travellers actually got to try it. I’m not kidding, you have to see it to believe it.

Things to Know:

  • Ramen is popular and Ramen Shops can be small. Expect a line, especially during lunch hour. Also a good idea to pay and leave as soon as you finish your bowl.
  • Menus will likely be in Japanese. If you don’t speak the language you can either point at a picture of what you want or use a translator app on your smartphone.
  • Always try the broth first with the provided spoon.
  • Slurping is allowed and encouraged especially if it is good.
  • Super Spicy Ramen could cost extra.
  • Do not ask for your Ramen to go.
  • Dispose of your leftovers in the designated bins.

That about wraps up our tour of some of the best Ramen options from all over Japan. Next week, we’re going to take a pause with our discussion of food and instead talk about some of the most unique museums you could visit in Japan.

Japan Travel Tips – Staying at a Japanese Hot Springs Resort May 25, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Japan Travel Tips, Uncategorized.
add a comment

Welcome back to our look at Japan Travel Tips, where we share the research we’ve done for those interested in traveling abroad! Over the past few weeks we’ve shared great tips for food, transportation, shopping and entertainment, but we’ve barely scratched the surface for everything Japan has to offer! In fact, the purpose of this week’s article is to expand upon something we touched upon in one of the first articles in this series, a type of hotel accommodations in Japan that is truly Japanese, the Ryokan.

You’ve had a long and difficult year. You deserve a weekend with your family at a beautiful natural hot spring hotel. There, you can relax in the hot bath and all your meals are prepared. That’s the Japanese mentality behind staying at an Onsen, or Ryokan. Typically, a Ryokan is a destination resort. They are built in beautiful mountainous areas with natural geothermal activity. The natural heat from the earth can be used to warm the hotel’s bath water, and provide a perfect place for groups to stay.

If you’d like to know more about the ins and outs of a Ryokan, its history, and how it works from the perspective of a guest, I’ll let Life Where I’m From take it from here.

So what goes into the food? One of the big reveals about a Ryokan that made my father interested in traveling was learning that the food served was all locally obtained and prepared. Typically, Ryokans are located near major harbors which can provide a constant supply of fresh fish, but even if you aren’t a fan of fish they will still find ways to accommodate you. Here’s a video specifically dedicated to the food courtesy of Only in Japan.

So, what if you aren’t traveling with a full family and are just traveling with a significant other? A Ryoken can accommodate you both. Here’s what the experience was like for a married couple who run the channel Flying the Nest.

Hope you enjoyed this look at the Ryokan. Stay tuned for next week, because we are FINALLY going to be talking about Ramen!

Japan Travel Tips – Real Life Shenmue May 18, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Japan Travel Tips, Uncategorized.
add a comment

It’s Tuesday, welcome back to a new Japan Travel Tips! For the past few weeks we’ve gotten into some of the biggest sights in Japan for gamers to see, and today that will continue! This is, after all, a gaming site. Let me take you back to the year 2000.

In 2000, SEGA released one of the most fondly-remembered cult classic games on the Dreamcast, Shenmue. The game was unlike any other release of its time, as while its story was a simple one, it presented the player an environment they could fully explore with a full day and night cycle. Today, that kind of concept is considered common but for its time it was revolutionary.

Most people recognize the original Shenmue as a work of fiction, meant to take place in the mid-1980s. However, few may recognize that while the game’s story is fiction, the game’s environment is not. The first game takes place in a real street in Japan, Dobuita, and recreated as it appeared in the 1980s. It is located in Yokosuka City in Kanagwawa Prefecture. Even in the year 2021 the street still has its earlier charm. It served as a shopping location for American Navy sailors, and claims to be the original source of the famous sukajan jacket. To Shenmue fans, traveling to Dobuita Street is a rite of passage just as fans of the Beatles are drawn to cross the famous Abby Road. Today, we’re going to be taking a closer look at several videos about gamers who took that very rite.

Here’s a great introduction video produced by RadioSEGA!

A plus to making this particular article is that since the release of Shenmue I&II HD, SEGA has produced several english-language documentaries about the area and its inspiration behind the game. Next up, I’m going to highlight an official video SEGA produced around the game of Shenmue 1&2 HD’s release on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Hosted by Shenmue superfan Adam Koralik, this video shows the real-world Dobuita Street.

Next up, I want to highlight one of the most sincere videos I’ve ever watched on the internet. The late Roger Swan was a pioneer of YouTube, and as far as I can tell was one of the very first people I could find on the internet who visited Dobuita Street to document it and compare it to the game. Here is his video about his experience visiting in 2010.

Rest In Peace, Mr Swan.

Next, you’ll be happy to know that the street is absolutely beautiful in the winter time. While it may only snow in the game when your Dreamcast clock is set to December 25th, here’s a great video from Phantom River Stone about what it looks like when it snows in the real world.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this nostalgic look into the past, and were excited to see how the real world can inspire games. Next week, we’re going to take a step backwards and expand further on something we touched on a few weeks earlier. When discussing places to stay during our Hotel article, we mentioned the uniquely Japanese Ryokan, or hot springs resort. Next week, we are going to take a MUCH closer look at them!

Shenmue is out now for the Sega Dreamcast. Shenmue I&II HD is out now for PC, Xbox One and PS4.

Japan Travel Tips – Real-Life Pokemon Centers May 11, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Japan Travel Tips, Uncategorized.
add a comment

Tuesday’s here, and that means it’s time once again to share with you some more of our Japan Travel Tips, where we highlight some of the best independently produced travelogs from across the country. This is of course a gaming-focused website, but I felt that as a foreign tourist interested in visiting Japan for its glorious gaming history, it was important to share what I learned about traveling in the country before visiting the gaming sights for myself. Well, today we will be talking about gaming in a pretty big way.

Pokémon is the number one consumer property in the world, beating out Star Wars, Hello Kitty, and LEGO. The main brand of First-Party Pokémon goods is called the Pokémon Center, named after an essential location from the games where players can rest, heal their team and buy supplies. In Japan, Pokémon Center stores are all over the country. Pokémon Centers, for those of you who may be unfamiliar with them, are dedicated retail stores owned by The Pokémon Company for selling Pokémon merchandise of all kinds. In Japan they’re absolutely thriving, with locations all over the country, each with its own unique style and (in some cases) its own exclusive merchandise.

Pokémon Centers exist in most of Japan’s major cities including Osaka, Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima. A few years ago, YouTuber The Bell Tree took it upon themselves to visit them all. His method of traveling across Japan visiting Center to Center felt like a documentation of a real-life Pokémon Journey. Here’s what he found.

Since that video was produced, a new Pokémon Center opened in Tokyo, and has been dubbed Tokyo DX. I want to highlight the adorable Meivu for producing one of the best videos on YouTube that highlights the store.

For those of you wondering about that little café you saw connected to the Pokémon Center Tokyo DX, YouTuber Princess Peachie did this adorable video of her first trip to the Pokémon Café in Tokyo. Let’s take a closer look at her experience.

If these videos haven’t been enough information for you Pokémon Trainers, here’s some extra travel tips:

  • You don’t need to save this trip for last. Pokémon Centers exist in every major city of Japan, so if you happen to be near one while in a city you’re visiting, you’re going to want to check it out.
  • Each Pokémon Center could have its own exclusive merchandise only sold in that ONE store. If you are planning on traveling throughout the country it’s always a good idea to stop at the different Centers in each city to find something new.
  • Unless there’s a game or game console being sold that you can’t get in the US, don’t buy it. Nintendo still region locks their games, and you would need a Japanese Nintendo Switch to play any Switch games you purchased in Japan, and a Japanese 3DS to play any 3DS games purchased in Japan.
  • Plushies have no region lock, buy all the plush you want (or can comfortably travel with).
  • It isn’t a bad idea to get pictures of some of the museum-quality displays in some of the larger Centers.
  • If you intend to eat or drink at a Pokémon Café, you MUST make a reservation. Otherwise the Café may not be able to accommodate you. However, traveling by yourself might make getting a reservation easier.
  • Pokémon Café also has exclusive merchandise that you can’t get in the Pokémon Center only available to patrons of the Café.

It’s also a good idea to keep tabs on any promotions the Pokémon Centers are doing. Some of them can be hard to find out in advance, especially if you don’t speak Japanese. Here’s a video about one such event, and what one person went through just to get…a free sticker. Nick Robinson, who has visited Japan for some of the most awesome reasons ever, tells the story of a time he went to Japan…for a sticker.

Before we wrap this up, I wanted to highlight one last perk about choosing to stay at a hotel near a Pokémon Center. Dorky Ever After had the chance to stay at a Pokémon-themed hotel room in Tokyo, not far from the Tokyo DX store. No idea if the room is still being offered, but here’s a look at it!

Previously, we’ve shared our thoughts on some great sights to take in while in Japan. Next time, we’re going to be highlighting a region of Japan certain fans of a very specific SEGA game will be familiar with. Stay tuned for that!

Japan Travel Tips – Unique Japanese Dining May 4, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Japan Travel Tips, Uncategorized.
add a comment

It’s Tuesday, welcome back to another list of Japan Travel Tips, where I share with all of you some of the best independently produced travelogs on the internet. If you’ve stayed with us so far, we’ve already given you tips and advice for how to feed yourself in Japan. Today, we’re going to highlight some of the coolest eating experiences throughout the country.

First off, let’s talk about Sushi. Sushi is without a doubt my favorite food, and in Japan you can find it EVERYWHERE in nearly any type of setting, from sit down to drive-thru. For this article, we’re going to highlight one of the more unique methods, the conveyor belt restaurant. I first saw this kind of place to eat in the game Catherine, where the characters would occasionally have conversations at a conveyor belt place called Kappa Heaven, and I had wanted to eat at one ever since.

When dining there, food will pass by on different colored plates. The color of the plate represents the price of the food on the plate. All you have to do is grab what you want and return the plate when done. If you want something specific to eat that’s on the menu (but isn’t showing up on the belt) you can either ask your waiter or (if applicable) order it via an interactive touch menu.

So how does this system work when in action? First off, we’re going to highlight the work of Life Where I’m From, which took his children to a Conveyor Belt Sushi restaurant to see how they liked it.

If you’d like a closer look at the experience I’ve got a different video to show you. The adorable YouTube hosts known as the Crane Couple take a break from their capsule toy search to dine at a conveyor belt sushi restaurant.

If a conveyor belt isn’t your idea of getting sushi, did you know you can also get it from a drive thru? Here’s Only in Japan to show us how it’s done.

My father has always been a proponent of outdoor markets. In Japan, my father would be in absolute heaven. Mark Weins, visited a outdoor market in Tokyo and did a full tour of the food options. If this video doesn’t make you hungry, I don’t think anything will.

Next I want to highlight something an otaku friend of mine got me interested in, a food that translates out to a Japanese pancake. However, depending on your region, your food could be prepared a little differently. Let’s go back with Only in Japan and take a closer look at the difference.

My first ever experience eating traditional Japanese food was at a traditional Hot Pot in downtown Los Angeles. At a Hot Pot, the food is boiled at your table to your taste, and can be used in a soup. In Japan, that method of cooking is a way of life for many restaurants. Here’s Strictly Dumpling looking at both Hot Pot options at one of Japan’s best restaurants.

Is there anything we missed? Oh yeah, Ramen. Given the ENORMOUS amount of content I found on Ramen, as well as the wide amount of Ramen you can get, we decided to dedicate an entire future article just to noodles. Stay tuned, that’ll be coming at a later time!

Next up, we’re going to be highlighting something in Japan that long-time Nintendo fans would recognize. We’re going to feature the incredible unique shopping experience that is Japan’s real-life Pokémon Centers. This is, of course, a gaming site after all.

Japan Travel Tips – Traveling to Akihabara, Japan’s City for Gamers April 27, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Japan Travel Tips, Uncategorized.
add a comment

Welcome back to another Tuesday for Japan Travel Tips. If you’re unfamiliar with this series, we share with you some of the best independently produced documentaries designed to help international tourists who wish to visit Japan. After surviving 2020, you can be sure I REALLY want to travel, and why not travel to a country that is the birthplace of some of my favorite games of all time? Today, that’s exactly what we will be talking about.

As a fan of Japan’s gaming industry, I have my own personal opinions on what makes up their best titles, characters, and companies. Sharing that information with you is not the point of this article. Instead, I’m going to spread the word on what’s kinds of retail experiences are available in this area, and share what you can do while visiting Akihabara. Unlike the US, who had a market crash in the early 80s, Japan’s gaming industry never really crashed and because of that still offers a wide range of games, from modern to classic titles.

First thing you’re going to want to do when visiting Akihabara is check out the stores. Before we take a closer look at the city, here’s an important how-to video made by Paulo from Tokyo. He gives a full layout of the city and points out the best stores for all the different things you might want to shop for.

If you want to see Paulo’s “When it Rains” video he mentioned in the tips video you can watch it here.

Now that we have the groundwork out of the way, pet’s take a walk through the electric city shall we? I’ll let YouTube Channel Strange Parts and John from Only in Japan take it from here.

Now, let’s be honest, everyone is going to have their own ideas about how to best tackle the city. Next up I want to highlight Abroad in Japan and let him share his best tips. He highlights some of the best stores in the city and gives his best advice on where you can get the best of whatever you’re looking for.

Keep in mind a few things if you plan on buying goods from Japan and bringing them back to a country like the US:

  • Save major shopping as one of the last stops on your trip, that way you can use it to spend the last of your travel money, and reduce the time you’ll spend carrying around everything you buy. Also, if you’re staying at something like a capsule hotel, you might be limited in how much luggage you can leave at the hotel.
  • Bring multiple methods of payment, but most vendors will take cash.
  • Go in there with at least an idea about things you want. Do you want a collectible? Know what series you should look out for. If you want a console or a game you can’t get elsewhere, look up box art online to help you identify it.
  • The US and Japan use the same standard definition broadcast method, NTSC. That means game consoles purchased in Japan will work on TVs in the US. Power standards between the US are slightly different (Japan uses 100v while the US uses 120v) so make sure whatever consoles you buy can function on either power. Typically this information will be written on the back of the console/player or on the console’s included power brick. If the device is not compatible with 120v and you want to use it anyway, you may need to buy a power “step down” converter after you return home.
  • While the broadcast standard between the US and Japan are identical, all professionally published DVDs will have a region lock, arbitrarily preventing them from being played in another region’s DVD player. The US uses DVD region 1 and Japan uses DVD region 2. (ED NOTE: More on this later)
  • Game Boy, Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS games will play on any region’s handhelds and any region’s handhelds can play any region’s games without the need of an adapter. So, for example, if you buy a Game Boy in Japan it will play American games and Japan’s games will play on a US bought Game Boy. Battery types between the US and Japan are the same. That said:
  • DO NOT try to trade Pokémon between two different region’s Pokémon games, you could break something.
  • The DSi can play DS games from any region, but DSi specific games (retail and digital) are region locked.
  • For later handheld consoles like the PSP or 3DS, you will need to buy a Japanese PSP or 3DS if you intend to play Japanese games on those platforms.
  • If you intend to play Japanese games for platforms like PS1 or PS2 you will likely also need to buy a Japanese console to play it on. We recommend picking up a slim PS2 from Japan since it will play all Japanese region PS1 and PS2 games, as well as region 2 DVDs.
  • Laserdisc is NOT region locked and you can play Japanese laserdiscs on American laserdisc players.
  • CDs also play just fine in any region’s CD player, but be aware the price of a CD in Japan is 2-3 times as expensive as it used to be in the US.
  • If you’re buying a statue or some other kind of collectible you intend to bring home with you, make sure it’s packaged well so it won’t be damaged during your trip home.
  • Japan’s game consoles will work on televisions in the US (provided they are compatible with US power requirements), but they will not work on televisions from Europe.

Now that that’s all out of the way, let’s take a closer look at the shops in the area, shall we?

Since you’ll likely be spending the whole day in this area, you’re likely going to need some food while you shop. Food in Japan is incredible and Akihabara has plenty of restaurants as well as other places to get food. Abroad in Japan’s video above did include a brief look at a great ramen place to eat. If you’d like a closer look at it, here’s his video on the shop.

I’ve also heard good things about a famous burger shop in the area. Here’s a look at the famous Quad Burger you can find at Henry’s Burger. The tourists refer to it as a Japanese Big Mac, but with burger patties of the highest quality.

Hope you enjoyed this look at a gamer’s paradise. If that burger made you hungry, stay tuned for next week, as we’ll be taking a closer look at more traditional food you’ll find in Japan!

Japan Travel Tips – Things To See April 20, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Japan Travel Tips, Uncategorized.
add a comment

Welcome back to another Tuesday for Japan Travel Tips. If you’re unfamiliar with this series, we share with you some of the best independently produced documentaries designed to help international tourists who wish to visit Japan. After surviving 2020, you can be sure I REALLY want to travel, and why not travel to a country that is the birthplace of some of my favorite games of all time?

If you’ve been following this show so far, you’ve already learned how to get around Japan, how to get a place to stay, and how to feed yourself without looking odd. Today, we’re going to give some tips about places to go and sights to see while in Japan ranging from its natural beautiful environment to its unique landmarks. Japan also features two MAJOR theme parks, Universal Studios Japan and the Tokyo Disneyland Resort and we are going to talk about THEM too. The country is ENORMOUS with TONS of things to do, so we’re going to hold off talking about larger sites, and focus on some of the coolest things that can be done while visiting Japan. Just be aware these tips were produced before world events shut down most travel, but we believe it is always useful to see what is out there.

First up, I want to talk about the video that inspired this whole editorial series. For those of you who might be visiting Tokyo, you might be curious about the best things you can do in the site. So first up, we’re going to highlight the famous YouTube Channel Abroad in Japan. In this video, he gives his tips on some of the best places to take a date in Tokyo. I know some of you may travel alone or with platonic friends, but after watching it I can imagine it would be useful for everyone interested in seeing Tokyo’s coolest sights and sounds.

Tokyo isn’t the only major city in Japan, there’s also cities like Osaka, which has a reputation for being a beautiful place to get incredible food. For this video I’m going to highlight the YouTube Channel TokiYuYu, where they show their list of things to do in Osaka and give their best tips for staying in the area.

Since we’re still on the subject of Osaka, one of the biggest tourist sites in the city is Universal Studios Japan. It’s a great park that still offers some of the most beloved classic rides you can’t find at the Universal Parks located in the US. Check out this great look at the park courtesy of Flying the Nest!

Oh and did you know Universal Studios Japan has recently opened a certain LAND…based on a certain…SUPER…game property? The very first Super Nintendo World successfully opened earlier this year at USJ, and it includes two unique rides, a beautiful environment that looks like it was taken right from the games, a restaurant, and a ton of interaction. TDR Explorer did this FANTASTIC look at Super Nintendo World!

If you happen to be a fan of a certain mouse and let’s be honest who isn’t, you probably want to check out the Tokyo Disneyland Resort. While it is smaller than Florida’s Walt Disney World, they have generally been declared some of the finest parks in the entire Disney empire. The rides are great, the parks are beautiful and the food is actually affordable. Paolo from Tokyo shared his best tips and hacks for visiting Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySEA.

If you plan to stay within the Tokyo Disneyland Resort at one of their hotels, the famous YouTube Channel ReviewTyme, who has made a name for themselves making videos reviews of the biggest theme parks on the planet, did this great video on the Tokyo Disneyland Resort.

What about more natural attractions for people who would like a physical challenge? Would you climb a mountain for a bowl of noodle soup? The adorable AkiDearest is back to do exactly that. She had heard of a famous noodle chef who had his shop located at the end of a mountain hike trail. Could this anime fan make it? Watch and see.

One of the most iconic natural landmarks of Japan is Mount Fuji. Believed to be the home of a supervillain’s volcano lair (Ed Note: citation needed) the mountain is absolutely breathtaking. Hikers from all walks of life have the chance to climb the mountain and take in a view of one of the most breathtaking sunsets on Earth! Here’s YouTuber Sharlmeleon, with her alternate account Sharla in Japan, who made an incredible video about the climb. I’m not much of a hiker, but after watching this video I want to witness it for myself.

Hope you’re liking the series so far. Just be aware we are merely scratching the surface of all the things you can actually do in Japan with these videos. Our intention is to focus on more in depth sites with dedicated articles at a later time. Next week, we’ll be highlighting the Mecca of Otaku. Stay tuned!

Japan Travel Tips – How To Eat April 13, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Japan Travel Tips, Uncategorized.
add a comment

It’s Tuesday, that means it’s time for a new set of Japan Travel Tips. If you’re unfamiliar with this series, we share with you some of the best independently produced documentaries designed to help international tourists who wish to visit Japan. After surviving 2020, you can be sure I REALLY want to travel, and why not travel to a country that is the birthplace of some of my favorite games of all time?

In previous parts, we’ve helped you land, arrange a hotel, and find your way around the country. Now, we are going to help you eat. The most important thing you should know about food is that in Japan, it’s all around you. At the very least, you can trust the food you find at a local convenience store. However, even I admit that there is far too much to go over when it comes to Japan’s food culture, and because of that I’m only going to be able to talk about the most basic concepts in this part. I promise we will be going more in depth at a later part.

Going out to eat is quite an experience in Japan. Before we get started with what is out there, let’s brush up on table manners. Here’s Paulo from Tokyo to explain some rules for eating at Japanese restaurants.

Now that you’ve brushed up on some dos and don’ts for how to eat in Japan, you’re going to want to know how to place an order if there’s a language barrier between you and your server. Thankfully, Life Where I’m From did a great video where he answered the question, “Can you feed yourself in Japan if you can’t speak the language?” It shows a lot of spots you can get food from, and offers tips on how to place an order. Enjoy.

Now that you have a general idea about how to go about getting food, even if you speak little Japanese, let’s talk about how to get some food in you quickly! Sometimes the fastest and easiest way to get something to eat, especially if you’re on the go, is from a vending machine. There are vending machines for literally EVERYTHING in Japan, and it is very possible to get some food or drinks while on the go. Here’s the Only in Japan channel which should explain vending machines better than I could.

People on a budget who have the ability to cook food at home with them will be happy to know convenience stores like 7-11 are located all over Japan, and their quality is pretty good. If you’d like to know more, Strictly Dumpling did a taste test of some of the food you can find at Lawson and 7-11 stores.

So what can we ascertain from these videos?

  • Keep cash (local currency) on you since many places won’t accept credit/debit
  • It’s probably a good idea to practice with using chopsticks
  • Don’t eat while on the go, sit somewhere to eat whatever you got
  • If you can’t say the word of what you want to eat, pointing to a picture of it works fine
  • Pay at the register and leave money on the register tray, do not hand money directly to the cashier
  • No tipping
  • If eating in a cafeteria type setting, return your plates and trays to where you got them from and dispose of all trash in designated areas.
  • Keep a reusable napkin on yourself
  • IC cards can be used for vending machines but it isn’t guaranteed every machine will accept IC cards. You may need to use coins and bills to pay for vending

We intend to focus on a more in-depth discussion of food at a later time. Those of you hoping we would talk about sushi or ramen should stay tuned for a later article where we talk about them further! Depending on the hotel you’re staying at, certain meals during the day could be prepared for you (and in the event that happens please don’t forget to notify the hotel of any food allergies you have in advance). In the event you have a complete menu of pre-arranged meals set up with your hotel, you will be just fine.

Hope you’re all enjoying the series so far. Japan is vast with not just a wide range of culinary options but with countless entertainment opportunities. Next time we’ll be scratching the surface on some of the best places to visit throughout the country!