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MMM (Offline)
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03-16-2009, 01:36 AM

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Originally Posted by yz81 View Post
I'm just going by what i've been told by friends and read online. I took 2 semesters of japanese, so I know at least some. About the being white thing I'm getting from my asian friends. They say if I go pretty much anywhere in asia, I'll be treated like a minor celebrity. Maybe they're just saying it to play with me though.
It's 2009. Unless you are a minor celebrity you are not going to be treated like a minor celebrity in Japan unless you 1) go to small towns or 2) go back in time about 25 years.

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Originally Posted by yz81 View Post
I'll be going there with about 2500-3000$ total, I'm just hoping it lasts me a good 2 months, 3 if possible.

Arent there under the table temp jobs people can get? Technically not legal, but there's gotta be something I can get. I honestly think I'll be pretty bored there for 2 months if I'm not at least doing a part time job. Sight seeing is nice and all, but I can't do that for 2 months straight!
I have like "life ADD" and if I'm not working or taking a class, I get bored very quickly.
$1600 for a place to stay in Tokyo for a month is as good as you are going to get.

Why not take $3000 and go for a month if you have "life ADD". Japan is in a recession. Jobs are at a premium. Housewives are picking up part-time works when the kids are at school. Students are also scooping up more jobs. And FOBs who don't speak fluent Japanese and are going to disappear in a matter of weeks are not attractive candidates for work. Impossible? No. Likely? No.

Last edited by MMM : 03-16-2009 at 01:41 AM.
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yz81 (Offline)
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03-16-2009, 01:40 AM

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Originally Posted by samurai007 View Post
You might want to consider visiting some other part of Japan besides Tokyo. Outside of Tokyo a) things are a lot cheaper, b) you can experience more traditional Japanese life and scenery, c) you can be stared at and ohhed and ahhed over more. Tokyo is ok, but I much preferred the Japanese countryside and other cities and towns. A big city is much like any other big city... lots of high rises, bustling people, expensive, noisy, crowded... give me rural Japan over that any day. And you can get by for a lot less money and stay longer if you leave Tokyo.
well, I AM a cityboy, but I think I'll take your suggestion about going to a less expensive city. What do you think are the top 5 or 6 major cities besides tokyo?
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yz81 (Offline)
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03-16-2009, 01:43 AM

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Originally Posted by MMM View Post
It's 2009. Unless you are a minor celebrity you are not going to be treated like a minor celebrity in Japan unless you 1) go to small towns or 2) go back in time about 25 years.
It might just be where my friends are from. The ones who told me that I'd be a "minor celebrity" were from china, vietnam, cambodia, thailand and phillipines. Maybe it's just where they came from. I really need to get some japanese friends haha. Boston doesn't seem to have lot for some reason. It's all chinese/vietnamese here.
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03-16-2009, 01:45 AM

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Originally Posted by yz81 View Post
I forgot to ask, but is one of the other major cities a lot cheaper than tokyo? Maybe I should mainly stay in another city and just visit tokyo.
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Originally Posted by yz81 View Post
well, I AM a cityboy, but I think I'll take your suggestion about going to a less expensive city. What do you think are the top 5 or 6 major cities besides tokyo?
With your budget, I am not sure how much mass travel you are going to do. Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto, Nara, Nagoya, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Sapporo, Fukuoaka are all less expensive cities to stay in. But a round trip ticket to Tokyo from Osaka is over $400.00, so there is almost 1/6 of your budget right there.

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Originally Posted by yz81 View Post
It might just be where my friends are from. The ones who told me that I'd be a "minor celebrity" were from china, vietnam, cambodia, thailand and phillipines. Maybe it's just where they came from. I really need to get some japanese friends haha. Boston doesn't seem to have lot for some reason. It's all chinese/vietnamese here.
Mexico and the US border each other, but couldn't be more different. Life in Cambodia and The Phillipines is very different from Japan, especially Tokyo.
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03-16-2009, 01:47 AM

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Originally Posted by yz81 View Post
It might just be where my friends are from. The ones who told me that I'd be a "minor celebrity" were from china, vietnam, cambodia, thailand and phillipines. Maybe it's just where they came from. I really need to get some japanese friends haha. Boston doesn't seem to have lot for some reason. It's all chinese/vietnamese here.
NY and LA has lots of Japanese people.
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03-16-2009, 01:53 AM

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Originally Posted by MMM View Post
With your budget, I am not sure how much mass travel you are going to do. Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto, Nara, Nagoya, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Sapporo, Fukuoaka are all less expensive cities to stay in. But a round trip ticket to Tokyo from Osaka is over $400.00, so there is almost 1/6 of your budget right there.
I'd like to just pick 1 city and stay in that city I think. 400$ for train or plane?
Which of those cities have large airports? I can try to just get a direct flight from boston, or just have a stopover in tokyo.
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03-16-2009, 02:24 AM

Osaka has an international airport, and is central to the Kansai region.

Or if you waited and went in July, you could get an 18 kippu and travel by train for very cheap... Tokyo to Osaka for about $25, for instance, by taking local trains.


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03-16-2009, 02:37 AM

In my experience there are 3 basic things that affect how you are treated by locals.
1) How long you are going to be in the area.
2) How much Japanese you speak and your willingness to use even your most basic Japanese.
3) What type of Job you have while you are there or if you are just a tourist

You are going to be a tourist, it is unescapable. Unless you go there for work you will be treated as a tourist, unless you lie about it.

You are right to think that is a different experience between living and "touristing" in Japan. I was in Hiroshima for 6 months working for my US company. I have since returned to Japan a few times and it is a very different experience during the day. The nightlife however is pretty much the same as long as you establish yourself as someone who will be in the area for awhile or have connections to locals. But being a tourist you will be treated a little differently, people will be friendly but they won't neccesarily build a friendship because they know you are going to leave soon.

Real dating is going to be a problem because you are there short term. Oftentimes the first two questions I got asked by women were "How old are you?" and "How long are in in Japan for?" Most are generally interested in a relationship but if you are only going to be there for a month they aren't going to put themselves in a position to get hurt. As far as whether they are interested in you because you are white, you won't know anymore than they will know you aren't with them because they are Japanese.

Going out can be as cheap or expensive as you want to make it. I had nights where I spent 15,000yen and there was also a week where I went out and got drunk every night and only spent 20,000yen for the whole week. 4,000 to 7,500yen covered most nights out.

I don't know why people are saying it doesn't get hot in Japan during the summer. Granted, the humidity is killer at nearly 100% from July through September but it also reaches 100 farenheit semi-regularly and it doesn't really cool off during the night.
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03-19-2009, 09:26 AM

thx polar and mmm.


if you read my guide. you'll realize 3k wont get you far.


look around 1500/mo if your staying in one of the apartments i recommended maybe cheaper in a hostel or shared apartment.

im going in june for about a month.

1500 for ticket. round trip
1200 apartment for a month

bam already that like your entire budget give or take a few hundred.

you'll barley last 1 month let alone 2 or 3.

with out a proper work visa, you will not get a job.


unless you got some really nice connections. or find some under the table job with some one you know.

save some more money up, enjoy a month.

rather then trying to skimp by for 3 months living like a bum.


vietnam is cheaper and is nice.

not as exciting or as fun. most things close at 12, and it being a communist country. there are a lot of things you need to know b4 you go around the city.

Also as a tourist there, you better be careful and know where NOT to go.

to put it bluntly, you step in the wrong area, they will rob you.

stay in the touristy areas, and you'll be fine.

Like MMM said, you can stay outside Tokyo, in cheaper cities.

but you'll have to spend a lot of money getting around, and also trains close at a certain time. so dont expect to enjoy much Tokyo night life.

read the guide over carefully. check your budgeting


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Polar (Offline)
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03-19-2009, 01:22 PM

yz81: Don't get us wrong, we aren't telling you not to go.

We want you to go and enjoy yourself. We're just trying to get all the surprises out of the way so your armed with what to expect and can just kick back and enjoy yourself.

Look at my post asking for advice and see how my iternary changed which it did.

As an example as convient as I find where I'm staying in Shinkuju spitting distance from the station. After the first week I would have been comfortable to have stayed a little farther out for cheaper.

I'll make those adjustments for when I visit next year.

Japan isn't going anywhere and you aren't going to miss any once in a lifetime events.

MMM words "Who wants to see Japan as a poor person" resonated with me and I took them to heart. It's important to have bases covered the first time you make a trip like this especialy in a place like Japan. You want a wide safety net for the first time then you can get creative once your familar.

Last edited by Polar : 03-19-2009 at 01:27 PM.
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