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yz81 (Offline)
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Several questions since I'm going to Tokyo in May/June - 03-15-2009, 11:55 PM

I've been wanting to go to Japan for a LONG time now. I was planning to finish my bachelors quickly and then go, but life happened and it's taking a lot longer than I expected. Well, I got an extra 3000$ recently and decided to go to Japan (tokyo specifically) after this semester ends (mid may). Not including airfaire (i'll save for that seperately), how long can 2500-3000$ last me? I'd love to stay 2-3 months. I believe 90 days is the most you can stay on just a passport?

I started writing down all these questions I was thinking about today, and love some input about them.

-If I can stay 2-3 months, what jobs can I get? I won't have a working visa so I know most jobs won't be doable. I'm currently a personal trainer, and do some part time english conversation help with ESL students. I'm just 2 classes shy of my bachelors and will finish this fall. If I really like Japan, I think I'd like to come back after I get my B.S. and get a steady job.

-Dating... I'm not gonna lie. I'm VERY attracted to Japanese and Chinese women (oddly not the other asians though). There's two main things I'm worried about when going to japan. 1) I'm gonna want to date pretty much every woman that shows interest in me. I'm gonna have to learn some restraint. 2) How do I tell if a japanese woman is actually interested in ME or just wants to date a white guy?

-I'm a competitive boxer. Are there any boxing gyms around?

-Housing costs. I'm not a materialistic person. I see the main money drain when I go there is housing and food. How expensive are hostels, or are there temporary housing (like sublets?) around? In boston, you can rent a room (roommate living conditions) for about 500$ a month. Food will cost you 250ish. So you can easily survive for about 1000$ in boston for a month, and I'm really hoping it's the same in Tokyo.

-Tourism vs Experiencing. I want to EXPERIENCE Japan/tokyo. I don't want to be just another tourist doing the usual touristy things. Hence why I'd like to find some type of sublet housing and get a temp job.

-Celebrities: Are celebrities seen much walking around? And is it ever possible to contact one? I have a huge crush on a singer and would love to be able to email or write her a letter, but have no clue in where to start for that.

-Concert/social costs: How much are music concert tickets generally? And how much is a "night out" with friends usually cost? I'm not a club go-er, but do enjoy bars/lounges

-For some stupid reason, I got the word gaijin tattoo'd on my forearm when I turned 18. I'm going to try to get it removed or at least covered before I go there. I do have a cross tatoo on the other forearm though and wondering if this will cause any problems. It's pretty small and on the inside of the arm.

-Is there ANYWAY to know when people are friends/being friendly with you because they actually think you're a cool person or because you're just a white guy? I'm very nervous of people "befriending" me just cause of my race.

-When you're craving american food (I know I WILL crave a good hamburger!), is it usually easy to get? and good?

-How hot is it in summer? and how long?

-If I get injured and have to go to a hospital, what happens? Am I even covered?

-Phone. I have a cellphone here, but it won't work there. Do they have prepaid phones that are cheap? My current phone is prepaid and very cheap (5-10 cents/min).

-I have just a MASS car/motorcycle license, is it good enough so I can rent a car/motorcycle?

-how much is it to travel in country (trains) and out of country, but still in asia (thinking of china and australia)

-some major do/don'ts of ettiquettes I should be aware of?


thanks for reading! Any answers are very much welcomed!
Also attached a pic of me for kicks
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Polar (Offline)
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03-16-2009, 12:15 AM

Oh boy.

1) Do you speak the langauge ?

If you don't forget everything you asked.

2) You get a 90 day visa

3)$1000 a month in Tokyo for food and lodging ?

Heck no

4) Work ?

Highly doubtful

5) Being in Tokyo you will experence Japan, the Japanese like to do their "touristy" stuff too.

6) Why on earth would you get Gaijin tattoed on yourself ?

7) If you want to see Celeberities, go to Manhattan better odds

8) Girls are not going to be throwing themselves at you.

8) READ Houstek's guide, THE WHOLE THING !!!!

I don't mean to sound harsh but you sound very, very naive.

Before I left for my trip here (which I'm enjoying very much) I must have done 3 months of research on web. Including reading every single post on every thread in this forum.
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yz81 (Offline)
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03-16-2009, 12:19 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polar View Post
8) READ Houstek's guide, THE WHOLE THING !!!!
doing it now!


Quote:
I don't mean to sound harsh but you sound very, very naive.
why exactly?

Quote:
Before I left for my trip here (which I'm enjoying very much) I must have done 3 months of research on web. Including reading every single post on every thread in this forum.
Yup, that's what i'll be doing until I leave. I got a good 8-10 weeks left before I go.
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kirakira (Offline)
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03-16-2009, 12:20 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by yz81 View Post
-If I can stay 2-3 months, what jobs can I get? I won't have a working visa so I know most jobs won't be doable. I'm currently a personal trainer, and do some part time english conversation help with ESL students. I'm just 2 classes shy of my bachelors and will finish this fall. If I really like Japan, I think I'd like to come back after I get my B.S. and get a steady job.
Nothing legally. They don't call it a TOURIST VISA for nothing.

Quote:
-Dating... I'm not gonna lie. I'm VERY attracted to Japanese and Chinese women (oddly not the other asians though). There's two main things I'm worried about when going to japan. 1) I'm gonna want to date pretty much every woman that shows interest in me. I'm gonna have to learn some restraint. 2) How do I tell if a japanese woman is actually interested in ME or just wants to date a white guy?
Same as any other women around the world although it will help if you can communicate in a language that you are both comfortable with. And given you will be outta there in 3 months, what both are you are looking for.

Quote:
-I'm a competitive boxer. Are there any boxing gyms around?
There should be, google it.

Quote:
-Housing costs. I'm not a materialistic person. I see the main money drain when I go there is housing and food. How expensive are hostels, or are there temporary housing (like sublets?) around? In boston, you can rent a room (roommate living conditions) for about 500$ a month. Food will cost you 250ish. So you can easily survive for about 1000$ in boston for a month, and I'm really hoping it's the same in Tokyo.
The most economical besides gastly Gaijin House/Youth Hostel are weekly mansions which last time I checked is around $1600 a month on current exchange rates.

Quote:
-Tourism vs Experiencing. I want to EXPERIENCE Japan/tokyo. I don't want to be just another tourist doing the usual touristy things. Hence why I'd like to find some type of sublet housing and get a temp job.
You can't get a job legally on a tourist visa.

Quote:
-Celebrities: Are celebrities seen much walking around? And is it ever possible to contact one? I have a huge crush on a singer and would love to be able to email or write her a letter, but have no clue in where to start for that.
About the same chance as you bump into a celebrity in LA. Chances are, if he/she is famouse, they will have a blog on ameblo.jp, you can leave a message there. As to whether he/she reads it is another matter.

Quote:
-Concert/social costs: How much are music concert tickets generally? And how much is a "night out" with friends usually cost? I'm not a club go-er, but do enjoy bars/lounges
Depends on area and concert. Also depends on whether it is a Japanese pub (Izakaya) or a western one but prices are comparable if not a little more expensive than the US.

Quote:
-For some stupid reason, I got the word gaijin tattoo'd on my forearm when I turned 18. I'm going to try to get it removed or at least covered before I go there. I do have a cross tatoo on the other forearm though and wondering if this will cause any problems. It's pretty small and on the inside of the arm.
Tattoos are not well received in Japan and tattooing the word Gaijin on your forearm makes it that much worse.

Quote:
-Is there ANYWAY to know when people are friends/being friendly with you because they actually think you're a cool person or because you're just a white guy? I'm very nervous of people "befriending" me just cause of my race.
You have to talk to them in a language they understand, i.e. Japanese. Around Tokyo, there are plenty of white guys and a few of them are very fluent in Japanese which gets a lot of respect. If you just going to blast English at people, then you will be discounted as just another arrogant Gaijin.

Quote:
-When you're craving american food (I know I WILL crave a good hamburger!), is it usually easy to get? and good?
The usual US chains are there like Maccers and Fridays. There are Japanese style US food like Mosburger and Fast Kitchen. It's a burger, you can't screw it up.

Quote:
-How hot is it in summer? and how long?
Summer is not hot but its humid so it is very uncomfortable even at low temperatures. Think big sauna. Go check the internet for summer lengths.

Quote:
-If I get injured and have to go to a hospital, what happens? Am I even covered?
Only if you have travel insurance. English health care is limited and very expensive.

Quote:
-Phone. I have a cellphone here, but it won't work there. Do they have prepaid phones that are cheap? My current phone is prepaid and very cheap (5-10 cents/min).
Japanese cell phone standards keeps on changing but if your phone is 3G compatible, you will be able to roam at ungodly prices. If you need to buy a prepaid, it will be around $100-200 excluding call costs.

Quote:
-I have just a MASS car/motorcycle license, is it good enough so I can rent a car/motorcycle?
Dunno, you will need to google this one. How comfortable are you on driving on the LEFT hand side of the road?

Quote:
-how much is it to travel in country (trains) and out of country, but still in asia (thinking of china and australia)
Expensive, very expensive. Even going to China costs around $600-700US. Not that much different from going to Australia.

Quote:
-some major do/don'ts of ettiquettes I should be aware of?
Don't use your phone on the trains, don't stick your chopsticks in rice, don't talk loudly anywhere, learn some Japanese phrases, and DON'T expect ANYBODY to speak English.

Last edited by kirakira : 03-16-2009 at 12:27 AM.
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03-16-2009, 12:22 AM

what is..houstek's guide?
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03-16-2009, 12:26 AM

Houseteks Guide To Tokyo

He has good questions, guys, so let's supportive and helpful answers.
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Polar (Offline)
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03-16-2009, 12:34 AM

yz81, I mean no disrespect.

It sounds to me like you expect everyone to speak english and have an interest in you because you are white.

If I read that wrong I appologize.

You certainly don't have to be fluent in order to just get around and have fun. But what you want to do is going to involve the langauge and a fair bit of it.
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yz81 (Offline)
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03-16-2009, 12:41 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirakira View Post
The most economical besides gastly Gaijin House/Youth Hostel are weekly mansions which last time I checked is around $1600 a month on current exchange rates.


Japanese cell phone standards keeps on changing but if your phone is 3G compatible, you will be able to roam at ungodly prices. If you need to buy a prepaid, it will be around $100-200 excluding call costs.
Jeez, are both of these answers accurate? I would have at least figured phones would be cheap. You get prepaid phones here for under 50$ and just buy minute cards which range from 5-10 cents/min.

As for housing, aren't there like family housing programs? Where a family basically houses traveling students? I definitely don't mind paying rent to a family or person to share a place, but would like to keep it under 700$ a month.
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Polar (Offline)
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03-16-2009, 12:44 AM

Yes very accurate.

If it means anything your incoming calls and texts are free on the cell.
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yz81 (Offline)
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03-16-2009, 12:45 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polar View Post
yz81, I mean no disrespect.

It sounds to me like you expect everyone to speak english and have an interest in you because you are white.

If I read that wrong I appologize.

You certainly don't have to be fluent in order to just get around and have fun. But what you want to do is going to involve the langauge and a fair bit of it.
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.
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