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Japan Travel Tips – Things To See April 20, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Japan Travel Tips, Uncategorized.
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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.
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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!

Japan Travel Tips – Japan’s Trains April 6, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Japan Travel Tips, Uncategorized.
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It’s Tuesday, and what better day to talk about international travel? 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 reading all our articles do far you’re briefed on customs, you’ve landed, and you’ve got a hotel to stay at. Now, you need to know how to get around the country. Good news, the best way to get around Japan is by train!

Japan’s trains are unrivaled in their speed, capacity, safety, and punctuality. It is a major point of pride of the modern nation. So how can someone who has no familiarity with Japan’s rail system navigate it? First up, you’re going to need to watch this complete how-to video courtesy of Japan-Guide.com.

So once you’re on a right train, how do you make the best of all the train’s amenities? Here’s YouTube Channel Paulo From Tokyo with his best tips for what to do when you’re on a Japanese train!

So what will you need if you plan to travel by train:

  • Prepaid IC Card
  • Smartphone with GPS application capable of navigating by train installed (Google Maps works fine)
  • Charger for smartphone
  • Food or money for food (on longer trips)

Japan’s trains can also be fun! Don’t believe me? Only In Japan did a feature video on a special limited-time train with a very specific theme. Here’s a look at the Pokémon Train:

Okay so you have a place to stay, some money, and a way to get around. How do you eat? Stay tuned next week everyone because we’re going to be talking about food and lots of it!

Japan Travel Tips – Japan’s Hotels March 30, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Japan Travel Tips, Uncategorized.
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It’s Tuesday, and that means it’s time for some of our 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 the last part, we talked about what you need to know once you arrive at an airport, today we will be talking about what your options are for a place to stay while in the country.

There are tons of different hotel options throughout the country. Some of those options may be familiar to international business travelers, some are uniquely Japanese. What do you say we break down all the hotel options available in the country? Let’s look at the work on the channel Life Where I’m From to break down all the different hotel options.

Business Hotels, AirBNB and Hostles should be familiar to most international travelers so we are going to skip talking about those right now. Instead we are going to be talking more about the more uniquely Japan hotel options.

First up, I wanted to talk about what could be the best option for couples who are traveling across the country, and would like a full bed with a unique experience, a Love Hotel. Here’s YouTube Channel Abroad in Japan, at a detailed look at just how unique a love hotel can get.

If you’re on a budget, traveling light, and are either by yourself or with just one other companion, a capsule hotel might be a better option for you. YouTube legend Only In Japan produced this fantastic documentary about the Capsule Hotel experience, what your sleeping options are, and what amenities you can expect at a capsule hotel.

Finally I would like to talk about the Ryokan. This hot spring resort is designed for families to share an all-inclusive getaway where they can rest, eat and enjoy themselves. Since there doesn’t seem to be any international hotel experience that even seems to come close to a place like this, we decided to highlight a video from Japan-Guide.com that we feel offers the most educational look.

So let’s break down the options for you and what are the pros and cons you should consider before choosing each one.

  • Capsule Hotel – Best idea if traveling alone, or with a companion of the same gender and planning to spend one to two days at most in one location.
  • Love Hotel – Best idea if you’re traveling with a significant other and no one else. It also is a good option for couples that plan to spend most of their time traveling and expect to stay in a different hotel every day. It is a cheaper option than a traditional hotel and you are guaranteed privacy.
  • Ryokan – Best experienced with a full family that isn’t planning to travel very far from their hotel. Expensive but all-inclusive with incredible amenities and food.

There are some other options out there that may be a bit more niche. YouTuber AkiDearest did this video about a Manga Hotel she stayed at which has to be seen to be believed.

Not enough information? Seriously there were dozens of great videos online to actually dedicate an entire article to each hotel. If the demand is there, we could decide to dedicate later article to go more into depth about showing specific hotel experiences across Japan.

Once you’ve got yourself a hotel you’re happy with you’re going to want to know how to get around Japan. Stay tuned for next Tuesday as we will be talking about the best way to get around the country, by train.

Japan Travel Tips – What to Know When You Land at the Airport March 23, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Japan Travel Tips, Uncategorized.
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Its Tuesday and that means we’re coming at you with some new Japan Travel Tips. If you’re unfamiliar with this series, we’re going 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? Well, you already know all the important things about the country before you land. Today, we’re going to tell you what should you know when your plane lands at the airport.

I want to highlight a video produced by japan-guide.com which I think is so well produced it should be put on international airplane in-flight entertainment just before landing. This is a list of tips which include a rundown of how things in Japan work, and how you can get around the country.

Before we start the next video here’s a list of things you should pack with you (other than weather appropriate clothing):

  • Personal Identification (your passport should suffice)
  • A cellular smart device with the ability to translate Japanese language and navigate via GPS (Google and Apple phones have integrated translator and maps apps. Probably a good idea to download the language to your device).
  • Traveler’s Checks or a Bank Card that can easily be converted to local currency
  • Reusable Napkin/handkerchief
  • A major credit card (for hotels and emergencies)

You can also pack a camera and a laptop computer if you’re like me and plan to document your trip as you are taking it.

So what do you do once you’ve landed, gotten your luggage, and cleared customs? Well, I’m going to highlight a great video from Life Where I’m From, which did a really detailed video about “Your First Hour in Japan” which should help a non-Japanese speaking tourist navigate their way from the airport to their hotel.

And here’s what you should obtain immediately once you land:

  • Local currency (exchange enough you think you’ll be able to eat with)
  • An IC Card or other train pass
  • A Cellular/WiFi hotspot for your smart device and computer or a local SIM card if you just have a smartphone.
  • Some food to go

Regardless of how long you plan to stay in Japan, you’re going to need a place to sleep, and Japan has plenty of Hotel options available which may not seem familiar to international travelers. Stay tuned for next Tuesday as we’ll be talking about Hotel accommodations next time!

Japan Travel Tips – What To Know Before You Leave March 16, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Japan Travel Tips, Uncategorized.
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As we promised, it’s time for us to kick off our new series Japan Travel Tips! In this series, we’re going 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?

Our intention with this series is for each one to tackle a specific theme, in as chronologically an order as we can get. Follow-up articles that can go deeper into a specific theme are certainly a possibility. For our first article we decided to share some of the first things anyone who wishes to travel will need to know.

You’ve booked a trip with a major airline to travel to Japan. Before you take the first step of your trip there are some things you’re going to want to know before you get on the plane. People who don’t live in Japan may not be aware of some of the nation’s customs or “quirks” if you will. So what should people know before they leave for Japan? Well, I’ve got two great videos to share with you today that answer exactly that. Sit down, relax, and get ready to watch.

First off, we’re going to highlight Greg Lam, host of the series Life Where I’m From. One of the first videos of his that I’ve ever watched was this one. to explain some of the most important things to know about the country in what he called “The Rules that Rule Japan”. Enjoy, it’s in glorious 4K.

If you’re wondering about how politeness and etiquette work in Japan, there’s another must watch video you need to be aware of. The series Abroad in Japan, hosted by Chris Broad, has a nearly encyclopedic knowledge of what NOT to do when you’re in Japan.

Let’s review. Here’s a rundown of things I think you should know before leaving for Japan.

  • Its a good idea to stay on the left when walking unless you see signs marked otherwise or crowds doing otherwise. Follow crowd traffic and you should be fine.
  • It is probably a good idea to practice using chopsticks since it is a common utensil for eating in Japan.
  • Don’t pass things with chopsticks.
  • Don’t eat, drink or smoke while walking.
  • Be respectful at shrines and temples.
  • Don’t tip.

So this was our very first article on our new series! What did you think of the videos? Post a comment below and tell us what you thought about it, or if there are any topics you think we should discuss in future videos. However next time we will be talking about traveling, and what you should know when you arrive at the airport.

Upcoming Site Feature – Japan Travel Tips March 15, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Japan Travel Tips, Site News.
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Due to the current world events, international travel has been a no-go. That said, when that restriction eventually gets lifted, I can think of a lot of places that I’m going to want to visit and one of them is Japan.

I’ve made it no secret on this website that I have a strong fondness for Japan. They’re a country rich with history and culture and the home of some of the best game development companies in the world including Nintendo, Sony and Square Enix. In my lifetime, Japan has always had the best technology, incredible food, and beautiful sights.

So can a friendly but non-native language speaking tourist such as myself fully enjoy Japan on their own or with another non-native speaking friend? Japan certainly has its own (for lack of a better word) quirks I certainly want to know about before I visit the nation. So, over the past year I’ve been compiling a list of some of the best independently produced documentary videos about the country. They are produced by a wide range of filmmakers and each give their own important device on traveling, eating and etiquette. I thought that now Universal Studios Japan is nearly ready to open their incredible Super Nintendo World, the time was right to share my research with tourists from all over the world will want to visit.

So, for the time being we will be creating a new topic on the site we will be referring to as our Japan Travel Tips. Each article will focus on tips for a specific topic and provide detailed videos that address the topic. We hope you all enjoy the new series, so stay tuned!