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MidnightSun (Offline)
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Smile Japan Trip in 2011 - A Few Questions! - 09-05-2010, 01:42 PM

Hi everyone,

I'm new to the Japan Forum and i have some questions about travelling to Japan - I have never been before but would like to go next Spring, for 4-5 weeks.

1. This is an odd one, but i've read quite a bit about Japanese giant hornets (most of it is probably over-sensationalised), but as a serious question, how common/dangerous are they? I would potentially like to do some remote walking in rural areas.

2. I've picked Spring to travel because i'd really like to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom across the country - are there any amazing festivals that i must go to in particular during this time?

3. Is there by any chance a translated website (English) saying which Japanese music bands/artists are touring next Spring in Japan? I'd love to go and see a few if possible while i'm there.

4. How are clothes sizes? I'm just over 6' tall, slim build and would like to buy some clothes while i'm there, but i get the feeling i'll be considered very tall and wonder if regular shops would stock such a size?

5. Are there any particlar places of interest that you personally would recommend?

I know some of these questions are quite specific, but any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for reading!

Alex
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JohnBraden (Offline)
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09-05-2010, 01:56 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightSun View Post
Hi everyone,

I'm new to the Japan Forum and i have some questions about travelling to Japan - I have never been before but would like to go next Spring, for 4-5 weeks.

1. This is an odd one, but i've read quite a bit about Japanese giant hornets (most of it is probably over-sensationalised), but as a serious question, how common/dangerous are they? I would potentially like to do some remote walking in rural areas.

2. I've picked Spring to travel because i'd really like to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom across the country - are there any amazing festivals that i must go to in particular during this time?

3. Is there by any chance a translated website (English) saying which Japanese music bands/artists are touring next Spring in Japan? I'd love to go and see a few if possible while i'm there.

4. How are clothes sizes? I'm just over 6' tall, slim build and would like to buy some clothes while i'm there, but i get the feeling i'll be considered very tall and wonder if regular shops would stock such a size?

5. Are there any particlar places of interest that you personally would recommend?

I know some of these questions are quite specific, but any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for reading!

Alex
Hello! And welcome aboard! I'm only a week old here, so I'm new too!

Specific questions are easier to answer than vague ones, although some answers may be more of a personal preference, such as places of interest. It all depends on what YOU are interested in:Anime, Music, Culture, Shopping, etc.

Right off the bat, I am 6 foot tall as well, but my girth exceeds yours. I know that the sizes are at least one smaller than in the US; so if you're shopping for a Large, you need to at least get an XL, etc.

Spring festivals, especially during Sakura (Cherry Blossom)? I'm sure every town has one! It all depends on the time they bloom, earlier in the south and move northerly as the calendar passes.

Places one should definitely hit while in Japan? Especially with 4-5 weeks: Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kanazawa, Nikko, Hakone, Kamakura, even perhaps Hokkaido (Sapporo) or Hiroshima.

I don't know much about music, so I can't answer any music-related questions. And also, I have never heard of Japanese giant hornets!
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kujiratyan (Offline)
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09-05-2010, 03:21 PM

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Originally Posted by MidnightSun View Post
1. Japanese giant hornets
There are only Queen bees in Apiril (It means the number of bees is so small)
They are dangerous from July to Oct(most dangerous in Aug and Sep.)
13 people are killed last year.But I have never heard of the accident in Apr.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightSun View Post
2. I've picked Spring to travel because i'd really like to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom across the country - are there any amazing festivals that i must go to in particular during this time?
I agree with JohnBraden.There are many. But most famous(among foreign tourists) festival might be Takayama matsuri.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightSun View Post
3. Is there by any chance a translated website (English) saying which Japanese music bands/artists are touring next Spring in Japan?
I have never heard of such a website.And I can find only three bands even in Japanese now.Too early for next spring. If you want to know specific bands this might help you.http://l-tike.com/pickup/concert_more.html
The HP is in Japanese,but you can know at least a performance date.For example, 2010/10/21 in Japanese is 2010/10/21 in English too
Again,too early for next spring.So you will not find any bands/artists touring next Spring on that HP now.

Last edited by kujiratyan : 09-05-2010 at 03:34 PM.
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MidnightSun (Offline)
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09-05-2010, 04:08 PM

Thank you John and kujiratyan for your replies, and sorry for the vague questions - there seems to be so much to see in th 4-5 week timeframe and i'm not quite sure where to begin!

Perhaps i should have made my "places of interest" question more specific to ask if there were any places in Japan (particularly shrines, temples, castles) you have been to from personal experience that you would recommend to others?

Thanks again for your time

Alex
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edelweiss (Offline)
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09-06-2010, 12:12 AM

As far as music goes, it depends on what kind of music you are talking about. Big Japanese pop/rock acts? Jazz? Metal? The John Denver cover band? Shoegaze? Punk? There is so much music to be found and sometimes the venues are hard to locate. If you can be more specific about music type you might get more pointers.

You can try searching for some things here:

Metropolis Magazine | Japan's Number 1 English Magazine

And here:

Tokyo Gig Guide

My suggestion would be to read some reviews, listen to some of the bands at LastFM or something and then see who is touring when you get there.

Last edited by edelweiss : 09-06-2010 at 12:19 AM.
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09-06-2010, 01:54 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightSun View Post
1. This is an odd one, but i've read quite a bit about Japanese giant hornets (most of it is probably over-sensationalised), but as a serious question, how common/dangerous are they? I would potentially like to do some remote walking in rural areas.
"Japanese giant hornets" means SUZUME-BATI(スズメバチ)?
like this?
YouTube - スズメバチの季節

SUZUME-BATI is one of the most dangerous animal(insect) in Japan.
Ten people or more are stung by this hornet every year and it is dead.
Especially, there seems to be a lot of damage in October from September.
If you go for a hike to the mountain, please take care!
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09-06-2010, 03:58 AM

4-5 weeks is a very long time to travel Japan, so you should be able to cover a lot of grounds.

I usually start from south, so if I have 5 weeks and enough money, i will start with Kyushu, try the yatai along naka river for some good street food. Kagoshima is also a nice place. You probably will need 3 days if you want to stay both in hakata and kagoshima.

Then, the next i will consider is probably to start with honshu, you could travel to shikoku from kyushu directly, but i don'tknow enough about shikoku to suggest things to see.

Miyajima and Hiroshima are also good destination

Maybe make a stop at himeji as well?

Stop by Kobe if you have time, nothing much to see, probably only need one or 2 days max to see it. Osaka ou have a lots of good food and some cool night life, but aside from the food, it really doesn't offer anything that Tokyo doesn't have, just different scenes, i usually spend 3-4 days in Osaka

Kyoto is where most of the culture, history and such will be located, tones of temples and shrines, make sure you stop by nara as well. I recommend 5 days for nara and kyoto for a nice and non rush trip

I myself usually will drop by hakone, and I love yokohama. Then it will be north to takayama, and finally tokyo......

with 5 weeks, you may also want to go to nikko, may be make your lodging arrangement in Kinugawa, i personally suggest reserving a nice japanese style room with dinner plan at Yume no Toki....

Maybe you can take a night train with sleeping coach to Sapporo and Furano as well....
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MidnightSun (Offline)
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09-06-2010, 12:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by edelweiss View Post
As far as music goes, it depends on what kind of music you are talking about. Big Japanese pop/rock acts? Jazz? Metal? The John Denver cover band? Shoegaze? Punk? There is so much music to be found and sometimes the venues are hard to locate. If you can be more specific about music type you might get more pointers.

You can try searching for some things here:

Metropolis Magazine | Japan's Number 1 English Magazine

And here:

Tokyo Gig Guide

My suggestion would be to read some reviews, listen to some of the bands at LastFM or something and then see who is touring when you get there.
Hi edelweiss: I'm a big fan of J-pop and soft J-rock: Ayumi Hamasaki, Utada Hikaru, Aya Hirano, Namie Amuro, Scandal, Koda Kumi, Yui, Miwa, Girls Dead Monster, Flow, Gackt, fripside, Asian Kung-Fu Generation, Morning Musume, Uverworld, Do As Infinity, Stereopony, Tommy Heavenly6, etc. I'd love to see any of these acts if possible, i gather that some are quite mainstream. Thanks for the links, they look very helpful regarding music tour dates, if you know of any more websites i'd love to hear about them

godwine: thanks for your suggestions on places of interest. I'm very tempted by the overnight train journey to Sapporo. I was also hoping to begin towards the south of the country as you said, and "follow" the cherry blossoms to the north, and then come back down afterwards. I know the cherry blossom dates vary year on year, but i'm hoping i can catch some big cities in full bloom.

RTyokohama: thanks for your information on the Japanese hornets - from the responses i have received so far, it seems they wont be too much of a problem but i will be careful if exploring rural and remote areas.
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kujiratyan (Offline)
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09-06-2010, 04:05 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightSun View Post
Ayumi Hamasaki, Utada Hikaru, Aya Hirano, Namie Amuro, Scandal, Koda Kumi, Yui, Miwa, Girls Dead Monster, Flow, Gackt, fripside, Asian Kung-Fu Generation, Morning Musume, Uverworld, Do As Infinity, Stereopony, Tommy Heavenly6, etc.
Utada Hikaru impossible.
Asian Kung-Fu Generation 2011/3/
3/5 Fukuoka
3/6 Fukuoka
3/18 Yokosuka
3/21 Oosaka
3/24 Tokyo
3/25 Tokyo
3/27 Nagoya
ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION Tour 2010-2011「VIBRATION OF THE MUSIC」
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Polar (Offline)
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09-06-2010, 04:28 PM

I really wouldn't worry about the hornets, yes there are scary but I can't see you going to an area where they'll be. One reason they are dangerous is that they are ground dwellers and farmers will stumble across them plowing and such.

Besides there will be plenty of other bugs

Heck when I was there, two volcanoes were erupting, nothing all that serious but still.

For music and such http://www.seekjapan.jp/ does a little round up here and there.
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