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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 2005, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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Japan!

First off, I have to say that Ive never been to Japan, but it remains a dream to visit their one day...anyone else interested in the place, visited Japan, or are indeed Japanese themselves?

I am totally fascinated by the place, its people, eveything really...it has so much to appeal...the amazing neon filled cities like something out of Bladerunner, the ancient shrines and temples, its videogames culture which rules the world, good old Nintendo, great new cinema like Ringu, Dark Water, Spirited Away, Battle Royale...to British eyes it seems a different planet, but a wonderful one!

Not mention mention Japanese women...

At Christmas I picked up a beginners Japanese language book (Japanese for Dummies!) so now I understand a few words, enough I hope to get by if I fulfill my dream of visiting Japan...

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 2005, 11:35 AM
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I'm not sure whether a "Japanese for Dummies!" will be enough to get you by, since the language is pretty convoluted Trust me, I tried to learn it for about three years, and I still haven't gotten anywhere near good enough to get by even one day in the country

Anyway, I'm also interested in Japan as well! The only other person who I knew (at least before I bumped into this thread) was interested as well was Greeout - he's an expert on Japanese pop culture

I like the neon cities, but only at night. It looks kinda 80-ish in the morning, not nearly modern-looking as NYC, but Japan's been splurging madly on updating their buildings, especially since the economy's finally recovering. Roppongi and Shiodome have a lot of notable places. Same with Ginza and Shinjuku.

Funny though...I always got the impression that the British (in general) preferred to concentrate more on America and Germany. That's the vibe I get from a British mate of mine.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 2005, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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America is very popular with many Brits, and Ive enjoyed my visits there, Germany though? Ive not head that before!

Ive added one or two other books after working my way through JFD...but the words and phrases I know are very narrow, and limited...

For example, my book tells me how to a say "I can/can't speak Japanese" but doesn't tell me how to say "I only speak a little Japanese"

Don't suppose you could help with that?

Ive never had that much talent for languages, but I am pleased that Ive picked up a few words...

Have you been to Japan often then? Beyond Tokyo, what are the other must see places? My guidebook recommends the likes of Nikko and of course Mt Fuji...

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 2005, 12:00 PM
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My youngest brother has been living in Tokyo for 8 years now. I've visited him once. It's a strange country, I'm not sure I could live there. Tokyo's completely different from the rest of Japan though. Unbelievable, the modern buildings you see in Tokyo. According to my brother, the average year of construction of the buildings in Tokyo is 1996!!! I loved Tokyo, but I'm not so sure what to make of the rest of Japan. The temples are beautiful of course, but once you've seen a few, you've seen them all. Each city has some amazing buildings, a few lovely parks, but the houses didn't appeal to me at all. I loved the traditional houses but very few people live in such houses. The majority lives in small, cheaply built houses (because of the earthquakes), all the wiring is on the outside which makes the streets look very crowded. The houses are all packed one next to the other so a lot of the windows face walls that are only a metre away (hence those Japanese blinds).
What I did love were the Onsens! If you ever go to Japan, visiting an Onsen is a must! There are some truly spectacular ones, beautiful resorts hidden in the mountains. And then the bathroom in the resort we went to, oh my! I had such fun. Japanese bathrooms are the best, if I ever build my own house, I want a Japanese bathroom. They make a seperation between a wet and a dry zone. The wet zone is usually like a huge shower with a bath in it. There's a mirror in there, a stool, etc. So basically you can take a bath and let the water flow over the edge, men shave in the shower, no need to worry about getting anything dirty as everything there can be rinsed. For women, with the stool there, shaving legs is a whole lot easier too.
In this particular resort, the wet area in the ensuite bathroom had a huge bath surrounded by large windows. There was a bench with water flowing over it, then this shower. It was amazing and huge!

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 2005, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Ba
For example, my book tells me how to a say "I can/can't speak Japanese" but doesn't tell me how to say "I only speak a little Japanese"

Don't suppose you could help with that?
I don't remember much of the Japanese I learnt before, but one of the phrases I remember which's similar to that is "ie, mada mada desu" - which is the reply you use when a Japanese person tells you that your Japanese is good ("nihongo ga ojyoozu desu ne"). Humble-ness is everything in Japanese

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Ba
America is very popular with many Brits, and Ive enjoyed my visits there, Germany though? Ive not head that before!
My bad, I should've been more specific I meant German cars and pop culture were what the British seemed to be strongly fixated on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Ba
Have you been to Japan often then? Beyond Tokyo, what are the other must see places? My guidebook recommends the likes of Nikko and of course Mt Fuji...
I'm afraid I can't help you much there. Osaka and Tokyo are the only places I've been to before. And maybe Kyoto as well, since I was there for a few hours and I did get to see the Golden Pavilion. Sorry
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 2005, 12:24 PM
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 2005, 02:14 PM
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I'm more interested in the history of Japan, everything to do with samurai, shogun, the swords, ninja's, the way of live. Very interesting. Also Japanese movies are interesting, all kinds of genres actually, but ofcourse more the ones about the history of the country.
And the woman ofcourse!

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 2005, 02:19 PM
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i love japan!!!

i miss it so much, particularly kyoto, and nara.

if you want to learn japanese the BEST book is "japanese for busy people"
along with the work book and video. its not cheap, but if you want to actually learn thats the only series i would recommended.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 2005, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies... Domo Arigato!

Musashino, yes, the books speak a lot about how whenever one is complimneted you should always deny it! Im fascinated by all the strange rules of converstation in Japan.

As far as travelling further in Japan goes, Id love to use the bullet train, trains are the only form of transport I really enjoy, and the bullet train looks amazing.

Gentenaire, the worry about Onsen for me, is the public display of bare flesh that might be involed in the process! Its not the sort of thing that comes naturally to most Brits. Heck, even when I go swimming I keep a T-shirt on!

Brits + bare flesh = bad idea

Karaoke appeals to me more...I wouldn't dream of doing it in England, but in Japan no one knows me! If the songs they sing are in English I would have a nautral advantage! In theory...

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 2005, 04:09 PM
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Chris, don't worry about the nakedness. In the resort itself you walk around dressed in those Japanese kimono thingies and the moment you have to take it off, you simply go in the water right away.

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 2005, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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So no T-shirt for me then?

Japan isn't ready for such a sight...they don't see such things except in a sumo arena...

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 2005, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carot
manga
I this is why my brother loves Japan.

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 2005, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Ba
For example, my book tells me how to a say "I can/can't speak Japanese" but doesn't tell me how to say "I only speak a little Japanese"

Don't suppose you could help with that?
try something like "nihongo ga chotto [chotto chotto chotto - repeat as necessary] wakarimasu"

chotto = a little

as in chotto matte kudasai - one moment please

that's probably all wrong, haha
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 2005, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Erm, Ok Domo.

More things to love about Japan...

Gameshows like Takeshi's Castle...where would we be without the joys of a sadistic Japanese gameshow?? Nowhere! I love Takeshi's Castle...people falling over into water is funny!

Harajuku Girls, be they Gwen Stefani's dance troupe, or the the real thing in Toyko, these 'cosplay' girls are weird and wonderful! Like Japan itself. See also Fook Mi and Fook Yu from Austin Powers!

Stefani plus those wonderful Harajuku girls...



Add to that...

Sadako, the scariest horror character ever...Shenmue and Final Fantasy 7 the greatest videogames ever...the entire amzing pop culture...Ai Sugiyama the best partner Julie Halard ever had...all those wonderful state of the art gadgets to play with...yes I love Japan!

For those who have been, is vegetarian food readily available?

Dewa Mata!

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Last edited by Chris Ba; Oct 6th, 2005 at 10:00 PM.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 2005, 12:09 PM
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How could I miss this thread. I've been saving for the past couple of months to visit Japan next year. It's my dream country...I don't know why. I'm totally fascinated by the people, the culture, the tradition....god I've got to get there. If i didn't have to go to NYC and spend Christmas with my moron dad, I would have dared to go there instead. I've been picking up a few words and phrases online, but I really need to lean more. I'm even thinking of changing my name legally to Shuji Shuriken. I'm enthralled.

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