Welcome to the Travel Forums

Why join TravelBlog?

  • Membership is Free and Easy
  • Your travel questions answered in minutes!
  • Become part of the friendliest online travel community.
Join Now! Join TravelBlog* today and meet thousands of friendly travelers. Don't wait! Join today and make your adventures even more enjoyable.

* Blogging is not required to participate in the forums

Ideas on Travel to Japan

There are lots of posts on Australia and southeast Asia, nothing on Japan. Why?
17 years ago, August 28th 2005 No: 1 Msg: #2566  
N Posts: 11
What are your ideas and opinions on travel to Japan? We were surprised that we saw few Europeans/non-Asians in the country and that most of the non-Asians we met were from France. Why aren't more people visiting Japan? Reply to this

17 years ago, September 22nd 2005 No: 2 Msg: #2688  
B Posts: 553
Probably because it's an expensive country to visit. You can do it on the cheap, but on the cheap compared to other countries throughout SE Asia, not really.

I thought I'd made some posts long ago about Japan, but you can read my blogs from Japan to get more info. Also, if you look at all the blogs from Japan, there have been quite a few, but not everyone participates in the message forums. You could probably gain some good info from others blogs. Just a thought. Reply to this

17 years ago, December 3rd 2005 No: 3 Msg: #3321  
My husband and I lived in Japan for a couple years and traveled all about. It wasn't cheap though! We worked in Japan at the time though and could get by very easily. My husband speaks Japanese fluently and everywhere we went people loved talking to this big white American in Japanese. Truly the Japanese are the kindest people and the country is very diverse. We found that while traveling it was convenient to stay in 'love hotels'. This was doubly true in South Korea btw. Our friends who were lesbians also stayed in these love hotels easily so its entirely possible for two friends to stay there together without much grief. I would be more than happy to answer any specific questions about traveling there and offer some suggestions depending on the region you visit. One idea might be to try and volunteer while you are there. It is something we are going to do in the future. The biggest plus to this is that volunteering is not a norm in their culture and thus they treat volunteers with very high regard (ie, great way to make Japanese friends and learn about the culture).
Best of Luck! Reply to this

17 years ago, February 4th 2006 No: 4 Msg: #3944  
Japan is a very expensive country to visit and really has nothing worth seeing. Mt. fuji is nothing compared to nearly any real mountain in the Cascades, The Rockies, Alps, Andes, Himalayas. Any temple Japan has is easily excelled by a thousand in any of the other Asian countries. Why bother to go to a country whose only offering is that it is the only country to experience nuclear warfare firsthand. Save your money, go to Thailand, Cambodia, or even Korea where not much is cheap except clothes. Reply to this

17 years ago, February 8th 2006 No: 5 Msg: #3990  
B Posts: 460
That last post seems to be a very narrow-minded (and incorrect) one ...

I think Japan doesn't receive many Western tourists because of its distance from Europe/America, its reputation for being expensive, and the perception that not knowing Japanese will be a major hurdle. It can't be denied that it's not prime backpacker territory, but it's still possible to find reasonably priced accommodation - last time I visited Tokyo, I paid the same as I had for a perfectly acceptable hotel in San Francisco (about 60 bucks). Though many Japanese people outside of the big cities will speak little English, it's not a major problem as most Japanese will bend over backwards to assist you, even with no common language.

I would argue that Tokyo (an astounding, unique city), Kyoto (temples), Nikko (temples), and Hiroshima (you know ...) are must-sees on a par with anything else in Asia. Reply to this

17 years ago, March 1st 2006 No: 6 Msg: #4230  
I've been living in Japan for just over a month and it is wonderful. Yep, it's expensive, but being a student I have found ways of travelling cheaply. Those love hotels or youth hostels are cheap and camping would be woth looking into during the warmer months. I have not been to any other countries in asia, so i can't compare, but Japan is definately worth it! I'm here to study Japanese, but I've found that even if I ask a question in Japanese, be it on a train or at a market, people try to answer in english. I think the most difficult thing is being practically illiterate, but the language problem isn't bad. Note: I am based in a small town and I can get by easily on the small amount of phrase-bookesque Japanese I have learnt. Reply to this

17 years ago, March 1st 2006 No: 7 Msg: #4231  
Well Jabe, narrow-minded is one way of expressing one's inexperience. I have traveled in 83 countries over a period of the last 50 years. How much experience do you have? I have lived in China, Japan, Korea, and speak the languages. And you? I have worked in 7 European countries and two South American countries. And you? I speak from a resevoire of cultural experience. Incorrect? Where is the error? I can WALK to the top of the tallest mountain. Have you seen the Temples or Mosques in Uzbekistan or Myanmar? The flimsy buildings Japan has as temples are jokes in comparison. I have been in Japan several times on business. I have been there once for pleasure. It offers nothing that cannot be easily excelled anywhere else in Asia, and it is considerably more expensive. Oh, I am fluent in Japanese, so there was no misunderstanding the hidden insults that are offered through their use of the familiar endings that I heard applied consistently to any foreigner. You argue, but how many have you been to?
Reply to this

17 years ago, March 2nd 2006 No: 8 Msg: #4249  
B Posts: 460
If travelling to 83 countries in 50 years has given you all this "experience", then how can you say about Japan "Why bother to go to a country whose only offering is that it is the only country to experience nuclear warfare firsthand."? Anyone who has never left their front room, but has either an encyclopedia or access to the Internet, could tell you about contributions to the human race that have come from Japan.

Mt Fuji has never been advertised as any sort of climbing challenge, so trying to compare it with mountains in, e.g., the Himalayas, is not really a valid comparison.

Though obviously whether or not somewhere in the world is worth seeing is very subjective, UNESCO seems to think that Japan has 13 places worth giving World Heritage status to, whereas Uzbekistan has 4 and Myanmar 0. That's an objective opinion compared with anything you or I can give.

I'm not sure what you mean by "flimsy" - in a country as earthquake-prone as Japan, I'd say that anything that's stayed around for several hundred years deserves a better adjective.

If Japan is the only one of the 83 countries you've been to where you've been insulted, then you've led a charmed life. But if someone doesn't speak Japanese, like most foreign visitors to Japan, and all they experience is the helpfulness of the local people, then why would they care? Xenophobic behaviour comes in many forms, and I think I'd rather be referred to using informal language than be refused service, spat at, physically attacked, etc. Reply to this

17 years ago, March 3rd 2006 No: 9 Msg: #4255  
N Posts: 11
When people come back from places where I've had a wonderful time and describe the local people as rude or mean, I often have to wonder about the attitude they brought to their trip and the way they treated the strangers they encountered. There are clearly stereotypes about people from everywhere and if you behave like the stereotypical person from your nation, people will treat you that way. After the post, we spent four weeks in Japan and found people were extraordinarily helpful. When a young man carried my aging husband's suitcase up a flight of stairs in the subway and then returned to carry mine up, that was not a sign of rudeness or contempt. A five year old boy and his father stopped to talk with us and gave us a small origami hat; participants in a festival parade in Kumamoto waved and smiled at us (big tall red-headed Americans) and posed for pictures. In a restaurant in Kyoto, my husband commented that something on another table looked very good and the people at the table asked for a plate and sent a sample to us. We visited Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Beppu, Amanohashidate, Tswano, Nara, Hakone and the western side of Shikoku. Repeatedly, we were helped by strangers, greeted with kindness and made to feel like honored guests. But I do think people reacted to us that way because we were sincerely interested in Japan, its history and its people. I choose to travel to places where I can learn about other cultures and meet new people; for that to happen, I have to be friendly, outgoing and not judgmental. I look forward to returning to Japan because there is still much to see and some wonderful places we would enjoy visiting again; but primarily it is because the people were wonderful to us. Reply to this

17 years ago, March 3rd 2006 No: 10 Msg: #4256  
for jade Apparently you have read something that I haven't. Beyond your lack of grammar, your reasoning is somewhat askew. How can I say that it is only a bother to go to Japan? Very simply. There is nother, absolutely nothing there that is worth looking at from my point of view. Now, tell me precisely what it is that Japan has contributed to the human race? Hmm. The slaughter of 300,000 people in Nanking. The slaughter of 430,000 in southern China. The theft of corporate secrets from the U.S. and subsequent sale to the U.S.S.R. The violation of contracts between Boeing, Texas Instruments, and every single company that Japan has dealt with. That, jade, is verifiable. In 1980, Japan sold secrets concerning the technology of the U.S. submarine screws to the soviets. They sold blueprints of the F-15 to the soviets. they sold fast process reactor technology to North Korea, then turned around and cried about it to the world. Trustworthy? Honorable? You toured Japan and thought it was nice. Hooray for you. Subjective. UNESCO is one of the most politically biased organizations on earth. I can only think of one that is more influenced by bribery and politics and that is the Pullitzer prize awards. Tell waht is so lovely about a temple made of wood that is restore with new logs every year. Last for several hundred years. You jest. The spot has been there that long, but as an original building there is not one piece of wood that has not been replaced several times. Now consider the Minaret in Khiva. It has been there several hundred years without anything but an occasional wash to remove the dust. You and eurfirst trip view it from the point of a tourist. I had to work with those people. I went into the relationship expecting honesty, courtesy, and respect. I believed that as long as I was honest, that would be returned. I knew the culture, the language, and what was expected of me. As a tourist, or even as a teacher who might be working there, you will never know the inner workings of the japanese business world. I do. I have no use for the country, the triteness of their tourist attractions, nor for the surface politeness of the people.
Yes I have been insulted, imprisoned, detained, shot, stabbed, spat upon, and in many other ways, in many other countries, been mistreated simply because I am white or american. ONLY in japan, however, have I been lied to and cheated while being told that the contracts were exactly as promised. Only in Japan have I been subjected to the demeaning mannerisms that they believe we are not aware of.

You are entitled to your opinion from your politically correct, lofty viewpoint. I will not deny you that. I am biased, but only because I have reason for it. You go ahead and dance through the flowers believing that the world is just one big happy wonderful place that only needs understanding. enjoy. I will go about my business with caution, and I will also look for the weeds in the flower garden. You did not say just how vast your travel experience is, nor whether it was only as a tourist, or if you had worked in foreign countries. I grow weary of your ilk, so say what you will. I will not look at this forum again, and have only done so this time because I felt your immature judgement needed a reply that might help you grow into a thinking adult since it is obvious you have not yet reached that point. Reply to this

17 years ago, March 3rd 2006 No: 11 Msg: #4257  
B Posts: 553
It appears that you are basing your views of Japan upon your business experiences. Since this is a site focused on travel, and blogging, telling someone it is not worth a visit is for a week or two seems a little crazy to me.

To anyone reading this thread and wondering WTF? I'd say read through Hindu's blogs for his feelings on all the places he's visited, then view others opinions in their blogs. There are plenty to choose from on this site, form your own opinion, and enjoy. Reply to this

17 years ago, March 3rd 2006 No: 12 Msg: #4273  
B Posts: 460
hindu - actually I lived and worked in Japan back in the '90s and early 00's, though even if I hadn't my view on what Japan has contributed to the human race would be no different. I agree with Savage - this thread has wandered off topic, but at least now people have some background as to why you are dismissing Japan as a holiday destination, and hence can treat your initial post with that in mind.

If you want to continue this discussion in a more appropriate forum, then please feel free to PM me. Reply to this

17 years ago, May 5th 2006 No: 13 Msg: #5518  
N Posts: 15
hmm...i've been to japan 3 times for holiday...and i am still loving it. perhaps to get a better understanding of Japan and what it offers, you can try www.kidslovejapan.com. Reply to this

16 years ago, June 26th 2006 No: 14 Msg: #6371  
Hindu has real problems. Consider what he says and compare with what ALL others on this site have posted. I once had a terrible experience in Amsterdam with a hideous witch of a woman. Ruined my whole experience there and I could have transposed that experience to saying all Dutch were like her. Fortunately, years
later, I had a Dutch girlfriend.

Moral: Don't let one or more bad experiences ruin your idea of a country.

One also has to look deeply within themselves and they may want to change some things. Short story, a man came to Japan and asked how people were here. He was asked how were people where he came from. He
said they were narrow minded, deceitful, insulting, demeaning. He was told that people are the same here. Later, another man came by and asked how people were in Japan. He was asked how were people where he came from. He said they are extremely courteous, friendly, honest and a joy to be with. He was told they are the same here.
Reply to this

16 years ago, June 27th 2006 No: 15 Msg: #6385  
Though I haven't been to Japan, I've got a lot of friends there. They travelled there for education or work. It is very expensive in Japan, and the people is cautious to everything. If go to Japan, you may learn some Japanese like: ありがとう(thanks, pronounce "Aligado"), すみません(sorry pronounce "sumimasay") and どうか(please pronounce "dozo"). Reply to this

16 years ago, June 28th 2006 No: 16 Msg: #6392  
If can be very expensive to eat Western food and stay in Western type hotels.
Several people have made suggestions on less expensive places to stay. You
can eat delicious "bento" type food sold at train stations and department stores
or eat where locals do, like noodle places, etc. You can see what they sell by
looking at displays and just point to what you want. There is no "l" sound in
Japanese. Thank you is pronounced a-Ri-ga-to. Don't miss visiting Kyoto of
all the places to see and Tokyo can be interesting, too.

As far as being cautious, it may apply to the older generation who had a strong
group orientation. There was a saying, "The nail that sticks up will get hammered
down." Someone else might say you are not being cautious but impetuous.
Reply to this

16 years ago, July 5th 2006 No: 17 Msg: #6516  
Sumimasen doesn't mean sorry, it means excuse me. Gomen nasai is what you say for sorry, and dozo is sort of a slang for go ahead or please, but if you are asking someone to do something for you and you mean to add please to the end like you would in English then you say Kudasai. The r in arigato is pronounced with a bit of roll like in spanish only not as pronounced.

I have lived in Japan for many years and I would totally disagree with Hindu on its worth as a travel destination. I found it to be a great culture to see and experience and definitely worth visiting. The people are very gracious and friendly, and there are lots of cool temples and cities to see all over the country. It is a bit more expensive than most backpackers are experiencing in SE Asia but you have to understand that Japan's cost of living is much higher and it is also a 1st world country so it will be different from visiting a less developed country where the Euro or the US dollar go farther.

Regardless of any of our opinions, each traveler has to make their own decisions on what kind of impression they take from a country they visit. Each place has its pros and cons and each persons experience is going to be different. Hope you give Japan a chance and have fun traveling wherever you end up going. Reply to this

Tot: 0.078s; Tpl: 0.008s; cc: 4; qc: 42; dbt: 0.0436s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.1mb