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Tokyo! Ahhh So
14-04-2008, 09:03 AM
Post: #1
Tokyo! Ahhh So

Well afetr the delights of Qatar last year, and spending most of this year so far in lovely (I jest) Lichfield, I'm being sent to Tokyo for most of whats left of this year.

Head off on Sunday for a week, then back to London for a few weeks and then back out till October.

Anyone have any knowledge of the place?

The ironic thing about life is that no one gets out alive...Huh
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14-04-2008, 10:37 AM
Post: #2
Tokyo! Ahhh So
'fraid not slip - gotta be more exciting than Lichfield though!:nerd:

What will you be doing there?

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14-04-2008, 11:19 AM
Post: #3
Tokyo! Ahhh So
Wow Slipper, I'm envious. I reckon you'll love Tokyo!

I wouldn't say I have a great deal of knowledge of it, but I was there for 4 days with work a couple of years ago. Some places that I saw that are worth a visit are:

The imperial Palace. You can't actually get into the Palace, but you do get to see the Imperial Gardens which are gorgeous and the Yasakuni Shrine, which is the Japanese War Memorial.
Asakusa Kannon Shrine. There is a little market with stalls in the walkway up to it, which is a bit touristy but worth a stroll through.
Shinjuku. This is the main shopping district and it is what you expect to see in Tokyo. Huge buildings, lots of neon lights, and millions of people. It wasn't my favourite place in Tokyo, but it's a "must see".
Harajuku and the Meiji Shrine. Again, it's another shrine and they all merge into one after a while, but this one has a lovely walk through Yoyogi Park, and when I went there (on a Saturday), there was a Japanese Wedding wedding taking place which I managed to see some of. I was quite lucky to see that sight though.

That's all I managed in four days, but there are heaps of other things to see in and around Tokyo. I'd love to have seen to Sumo Stadium for example, and maybe gone to a Sumo match there, and I've heard the Tokyo Museum is worth a visit. There is also a man-made Island which is supposed to be good. Can't remember what it's called though, but I'm sure you can find it in a Google search.

In terms of advice, I can offer the following:

- Avoid using taxi's as the cost is astounding. Use the underground trains and buses instead. All good, all efficient and all reasonably priced. You can get a tube map in English from the front desk of most hotels.

- Most people in Tokyo don't speak good English. If you want directions etc. use hotel staff, or stop someone who looks like a student as most of them seem to have some sort of grasp of English.

- Etiquette is a minefield. If you are in a business environment, it would be wise to get yourself some information about the correct way to behave in certain situations. The Japanese will not necessarily expect you to be fluent in all their customs but they will appreciate any effort you make to be aware of them.

It's a fascinating place though and I'm pretty sure you will get a lot out of your time there. I'd love to go back and see more of the place.
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14-04-2008, 11:36 AM
Post: #4
Tokyo! Ahhh So
I've been to Tokyo a few times.

It's big, very big. High rise concrete for miles. I think it's probably the biggest conurbation I've ever seen.

As Figs mentioned, do not get a taxi from the airport, it will cost about $250 to the center of Tokyo. Get the Narita Express, it's much cheaper and much quicker.

The Japanese aren't terribly friendly in my experience, very much head down, get on with their own business.

Nightlife is very "interesting", although can get quite expensive.

If you like Japanese food, you'll love it.

"You can put lipstick on a pig...but it's still a pig!!!"
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14-04-2008, 12:28 PM
Post: #5
Tokyo! Ahhh So
Cheers for that. I'm actually working in Shinjuku but I'm not sure where my apartment will be yet - find all that stuff out next week.

As for etiquette, not too much of a problem as I worked for a Japanese company for about 20mths and lived in Honkers for a year (similar in professional and eating environs). Having done that and working for an major American company I know the work ethic. (although I may not have it!! LOL)

A young collegue/friend from Qatar is going out there with me so we should have some interesting nights out. I gather the Nekid Sushi is not all it's cracked up to be so to speak.

Not a great fan of Japanese food. All a bit fussy for me but I do like the soups & noodles etc. Anyway, I'm sure I'll get used to it.

As it's a business trip costs won't really be all that important. More a case of time/speed for this first trip.


I'll let you know more once I'm there/back


God I hate my job!

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14-04-2008, 01:18 PM
Post: #6
Tokyo! Ahhh So
Slipper Wrote:lived in Honkers for a year

One thing I would say is that Tokyo is very different to Hong Kong.

It's possible to get lost in Tokyo and not be able to find anyone who speaks English and not be able to make any sense of road signs and metro maps.

None of the taxi drivers speak English and if they dont like the look of you, they wont pick you up.

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14-04-2008, 05:32 PM
Post: #7
Tokyo! Ahhh So
Groucho Wrote:None of the taxi drivers speak English and if they dont like the look of you, they wont pick you up.

So if I like them can I pick them up?? :wink2:

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14-04-2008, 05:33 PM
Post: #8
Tokyo! Ahhh So
Groucho Wrote:One thing I would say is that Tokyo is very different to Hong Kong.

As a city maybe but elements of the Far Eastern cultural things exist (see contents of brackets...)


:ranting:

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14-04-2008, 05:37 PM
Post: #9
Tokyo! Ahhh So
Groucho Wrote:None of the taxi drivers speak English and if they dont like the look of you, they wont pick you up.

Ahhhh the voice of experience hey Groucho :devil: :wink_kiss

A friend of mine has just got back from Japan after working there as a tour guide for 2 years, I will be seeing him later in the week so will ask if he has anything he can add to what Figaro has said Slipper :thumbsup:

[FONT="Comic Sans MS"]Time is never wasted when you are wasted all the time :pimp:[/FONT]
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23-04-2008, 07:25 AM
Post: #10
Tokyo! Ahhh So
Well here for a few days now.

I've already moved into my apartment in Nishi-Shinjuku so just a 5min stroll to the office and 10mins to the neon chaos that is Shinjuku proper.

I've even got a hot water heater girl who talks to me when I have a shower.... I have no idea what she is saying but it's different and gives me a reason to get out of bed and into the shower!!!

I'm only here for the week as there is a holiday which shuts the place down next week. Also I'm needing to negotiate the return visit which will be for a few months as I could do with staying in the UK for a bit longer

The view from my balcony is pretty spectacular but I can't post pics here I don't think so sozz

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