GRcade Travel Topic

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Tomous
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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by Tomous » Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:07 am

BTB wrote:
Tomous wrote:
Corazon de Leon wrote:Guys, unless I hugely missed something Hiroshima is a day trip's worth of city - it's nice and you'll be surprised at how well it runs given that, you know, it got blown up by a nuclear bomb, but the only things worth seeing are the Seagate, castle and museum, all of which you can do in a day on the train and back from Kyoto or Osaka.

On the subject of the bomb museum - it's incredible, everyone should see it, and I will never go there again.


We were going to use it as a hub to do Naoshima and Miyajima Islands, so we're only planning to do one day actually going round Hiroshima.

On another note, accommodation in Japan is absolutely eye watering. It's impossible to find cheap options it seems. I had an idea it would be like that but even the basic options are ridiculously expensive.

A mate of mine went and said that they used airbnb and asked people the day before if they would accept less. Obviously a bit of a risk but I guess they will mss out on money if they say no and they said that generally people seemed too polite to say no :lol:


Accommodation is booking up so quickly for when we're there I don't think I fancy risking this! Not a bad idea though...
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Corazon de Leon
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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by Corazon de Leon » Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:34 am

Tomous wrote:
Corazon de Leon wrote:Guys, unless I hugely missed something Hiroshima is a day trip's worth of city - it's nice and you'll be surprised at how well it runs given that, you know, it got blown up by a nuclear bomb, but the only things worth seeing are the Seagate, castle and museum, all of which you can do in a day on the train and back from Kyoto or Osaka.

On the subject of the bomb museum - it's incredible, everyone should see it, and I will never go there again.


We were going to use it as a hub to do Naoshima and Miyajima Islands, so we're only planning to do one day actually going round Hiroshima.

On another note, accommodation in Japan is absolutely eye watering. It's impossible to find cheap options it seems. I had an idea it would be like that but even the basic options are ridiculously expensive.


Backpacker hostels were the way forward - managed to get them for no more than £30 per night at the most expensive and they were in good nick. The one we stayed at in Tokyo even had free breakfast in the mornings so I was able to load up on toast and not have to eat lunch, I was so broke on that holiday :lol:
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SandyCoin
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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by SandyCoin » Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:53 am

<]:^D wrote:
OnlyShallow wrote:
SandyCoin wrote:Me and my gf are planning to go away soonish. We have a few ideas which are Lisbon, Copenhagen (or another Scandinavia country) or Poland.

Anyone been to any of these?

I like the idea of Copenhagen but am not sure how much it will cost. Seeing as a beer costs the best part of a tenner, I'm a little concerned as to food prices and attractions.

Not sure where in Poland we'd go.

As for Lisbon I just think it looks nice, but sadly flights are quite expensive from Hamburg.

I went to Gdansk in November, lovely little city. Cheap, pretty and has lots to visit in the area, like Malbork Castle.

It has a WWII bunker that has been converted into a nightclub too.


id recommend Gdansk as well; plus food & alcohol are very cheap in Poland, as long as you're not in the 100% tourist trap locations


Cheers, will have a look. No idea where it is, so may not be near Aushwitz which is where my gf really wants to visit. Sadly flights from Hamburg are gooseberry fool so I doubt they even fly to Gdansk. Hard enough just going to Krakow. :fp:
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Tomous
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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by Tomous » Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:05 pm

Corazon de Leon wrote:
Tomous wrote:
Corazon de Leon wrote:Guys, unless I hugely missed something Hiroshima is a day trip's worth of city - it's nice and you'll be surprised at how well it runs given that, you know, it got blown up by a nuclear bomb, but the only things worth seeing are the Seagate, castle and museum, all of which you can do in a day on the train and back from Kyoto or Osaka.

On the subject of the bomb museum - it's incredible, everyone should see it, and I will never go there again.


We were going to use it as a hub to do Naoshima and Miyajima Islands, so we're only planning to do one day actually going round Hiroshima.

On another note, accommodation in Japan is absolutely eye watering. It's impossible to find cheap options it seems. I had an idea it would be like that but even the basic options are ridiculously expensive.


Backpacker hostels were the way forward - managed to get them for no more than £30 per night at the most expensive and they were in good nick. The one we stayed at in Tokyo even had free breakfast in the mornings so I was able to load up on toast and not have to eat lunch, I was so broke on that holiday :lol:


Yeah, a lot of the hostels on booking.com/hostelworld etc are already fully booked for mid April onwards. It seems a completely different mindset is required to SE Asia, where I've grown accustomed to rocking up to places with nothing booked and seeing what happens.
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Kinetic
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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by Kinetic » Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:43 pm

Anyone been to Kyrgyzstan? Going in a few weeks and probably won`t have time to pick up a travel guide beforehand.
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Parksey
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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by Parksey » Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:56 pm

April is when the cherry blossoms happen so a lot of Japanese people travel or go places to see them. Also at the end of April/beginning of May is a holiday called Golden Week - basically three public holidays that are arranged so you can basically stick a few days of your annual leave in and get an eight or nine day holiday. If you're coming around that time places will be full.

But yeah, it fills up fast here. We did the Sapporo snow festival in February, but had to book our flights and accommodation in November. We thought we had enough time but still ended up in (admittedly quite nice) capsule hotel. Several of our group couldn't go as the place was literally fully booked.

You're really late if you're coming here in April. I learned pretty quickly that it's best to get in there early.

My parents are looking at coming here this time next year, so when I have time at work I'm going to research accommodation for them for the various high-profile cities. If you pop your dates here I can have a quick look for you too (not every hotel, especially the traditional ryokans, are on western websites like Booking.com).

I'll also write a little guide to places if I have time/anything worthwhile to say.

Accommodation seems pricey, but you can definitely find some bargains. Air BnB is good, but please don't do that trick of asking to pay less. Firstly, Japanese people don't mix with foreigners all that often and you're not giving us a great image. Secondly, it could be someone's livelihood and you're going back on a deal and potentially robbing them of income they were counting on.

Anyway, my parents are going to probably want proper hotels, but if hostels and stuff are fine I can have a look for them too. As I said, even capsule hotels can be nice (in Sapporo mine was a decent sized bunk bed like in a hostel, but the place had really good facilities, like a hot bath, spa, restaurant, library etc).

If you're being ultra ultra cheap, there are manga cafes too. Always good when drunk.
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Tomous
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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by Tomous » Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:06 am

Parksey wrote:April is when the cherry blossoms happen so a lot of Japanese people travel or go places to see them. Also at the end of April/beginning of May is a holiday called Golden Week - basically three public holidays that are arranged so you can basically stick a few days of your annual leave in and get an eight or nine day holiday. If you're coming around that time places will be full.

But yeah, it fills up fast here. We did the Sapporo snow festival in February, but had to book our flights and accommodation in November. We thought we had enough time but still ended up in (admittedly quite nice) capsule hotel. Several of our group couldn't go as the place was literally fully booked.

You're really late if you're coming here in April. I learned pretty quickly that it's best to get in there early.

My parents are looking at coming here this time next year, so when I have time at work I'm going to research accommodation for them for the various high-profile cities. If you pop your dates here I can have a quick look for you too (not every hotel, especially the traditional ryokans, are on western websites like Booking.com).

I'll also write a little guide to places if I have time/anything worthwhile to say.

Accommodation seems pricey, but you can definitely find some bargains. Air BnB is good, but please don't do that trick of asking to pay less. Firstly, Japanese people don't mix with foreigners all that often and you're not giving us a great image. Secondly, it could be someone's livelihood and you're going back on a deal and potentially robbing them of income they were counting on.

Anyway, my parents are going to probably want proper hotels, but if hostels and stuff are fine I can have a look for them too. As I said, even capsule hotels can be nice (in Sapporo mine was a decent sized bunk bed like in a hostel, but the place had really good facilities, like a hot bath, spa, restaurant, library etc).

If you're being ultra ultra cheap, there are manga cafes too. Always good when drunk.


Thanks Parksey but we've managed to book our 2 weeks up now. Probably averaging around £30 a night each which I don't think is too bad. The decision to go was fairly last minute hence the lack of preparedness. I realised the Cherry Blossum can't be helping but unfortunately looking at the schedule I don't think we'll see it when we arrive mid April and head south-North seems the place to be for it by then.

A question I do have is, is the JR Pass worth getting? We'll be hoping to use the train a lot, certainly to go from Tokyo to Fuji to Kyoto to Osaka to Hiroshima and then for day trips along the way to places like Nikko and Koya. I think it's around £330 which seems a lot but obviously don't want to end up paying more.
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Kinetic
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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by Kinetic » Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:24 am

Tomous wrote:
Parksey wrote:April is when the cherry blossoms happen so a lot of Japanese people travel or go places to see them. Also at the end of April/beginning of May is a holiday called Golden Week - basically three public holidays that are arranged so you can basically stick a few days of your annual leave in and get an eight or nine day holiday. If you're coming around that time places will be full.

But yeah, it fills up fast here. We did the Sapporo snow festival in February, but had to book our flights and accommodation in November. We thought we had enough time but still ended up in (admittedly quite nice) capsule hotel. Several of our group couldn't go as the place was literally fully booked.

You're really late if you're coming here in April. I learned pretty quickly that it's best to get in there early.

My parents are looking at coming here this time next year, so when I have time at work I'm going to research accommodation for them for the various high-profile cities. If you pop your dates here I can have a quick look for you too (not every hotel, especially the traditional ryokans, are on western websites like Booking.com).

I'll also write a little guide to places if I have time/anything worthwhile to say.

Accommodation seems pricey, but you can definitely find some bargains. Air BnB is good, but please don't do that trick of asking to pay less. Firstly, Japanese people don't mix with foreigners all that often and you're not giving us a great image. Secondly, it could be someone's livelihood and you're going back on a deal and potentially robbing them of income they were counting on.

Anyway, my parents are going to probably want proper hotels, but if hostels and stuff are fine I can have a look for them too. As I said, even capsule hotels can be nice (in Sapporo mine was a decent sized bunk bed like in a hostel, but the place had really good facilities, like a hot bath, spa, restaurant, library etc).

If you're being ultra ultra cheap, there are manga cafes too. Always good when drunk.


Thanks Parksey but we've managed to book our 2 weeks up now. Probably averaging around £30 a night each which I don't think is too bad. The decision to go was fairly last minute hence the lack of preparedness. I realised the Cherry Blossum can't be helping but unfortunately looking at the schedule I don't think we'll see it when we arrive mid April and head south-North seems the place to be for it by then.

A question I do have is, is the JR Pass worth getting? We'll be hoping to use the train a lot, certainly to go from Tokyo to Fuji to Kyoto to Osaka to Hiroshima and then for day trips along the way to places like Nikko and Koya. I think it's around £330 which seems a lot but obviously don't want to end up paying more.


100% worth it if that`s your itinerary. Enjoy! Will be boss. I`ve never had too much of a problem getting hostels for around 3,000yen a night which in my head is still 15 quid but I guess is probably more than that post-Brexit. Ryokans are definitely worth splashing out on for one or two nights. Go with the kaiseki course meal as well as they`re generally really good value and very tasty.
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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by Corazon de Leon » Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:26 am

Tomous wrote:
Parksey wrote:April is when the cherry blossoms happen so a lot of Japanese people travel or go places to see them. Also at the end of April/beginning of May is a holiday called Golden Week - basically three public holidays that are arranged so you can basically stick a few days of your annual leave in and get an eight or nine day holiday. If you're coming around that time places will be full.

But yeah, it fills up fast here. We did the Sapporo snow festival in February, but had to book our flights and accommodation in November. We thought we had enough time but still ended up in (admittedly quite nice) capsule hotel. Several of our group couldn't go as the place was literally fully booked.

You're really late if you're coming here in April. I learned pretty quickly that it's best to get in there early.

My parents are looking at coming here this time next year, so when I have time at work I'm going to research accommodation for them for the various high-profile cities. If you pop your dates here I can have a quick look for you too (not every hotel, especially the traditional ryokans, are on western websites like Booking.com).

I'll also write a little guide to places if I have time/anything worthwhile to say.

Accommodation seems pricey, but you can definitely find some bargains. Air BnB is good, but please don't do that trick of asking to pay less. Firstly, Japanese people don't mix with foreigners all that often and you're not giving us a great image. Secondly, it could be someone's livelihood and you're going back on a deal and potentially robbing them of income they were counting on.

Anyway, my parents are going to probably want proper hotels, but if hostels and stuff are fine I can have a look for them too. As I said, even capsule hotels can be nice (in Sapporo mine was a decent sized bunk bed like in a hostel, but the place had really good facilities, like a hot bath, spa, restaurant, library etc).

If you're being ultra ultra cheap, there are manga cafes too. Always good when drunk.


Thanks Parksey but we've managed to book our 2 weeks up now. Probably averaging around £30 a night each which I don't think is too bad. The decision to go was fairly last minute hence the lack of preparedness. I realised the Cherry Blossum can't be helping but unfortunately looking at the schedule I don't think we'll see it when we arrive mid April and head south-North seems the place to be for it by then.

A question I do have is, is the JR Pass worth getting? We'll be hoping to use the train a lot, certainly to go from Tokyo to Fuji to Kyoto to Osaka to Hiroshima and then for day trips along the way to places like Nikko and Koya. I think it's around £330 which seems a lot but obviously don't want to end up paying more.


It'll cost you a hell of a lot more to get from Tokyo to Fuji to Kyoto to Osaka on the bullet train - I looked pretty much that exact trip up when I thought I wasn't gonna get mine in time. I dunno if you know, you can only get them from registered sellers outside of Japan. I think given that you're already abroad you'll probably need to get someone in the UK to get it, then send it out to you.
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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by BTB » Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:25 am

SandyCoin wrote:
<]:^D wrote:
OnlyShallow wrote:
SandyCoin wrote:Me and my gf are planning to go away soonish. We have a few ideas which are Lisbon, Copenhagen (or another Scandinavia country) or Poland.

Anyone been to any of these?

I like the idea of Copenhagen but am not sure how much it will cost. Seeing as a beer costs the best part of a tenner, I'm a little concerned as to food prices and attractions.

Not sure where in Poland we'd go.

As for Lisbon I just think it looks nice, but sadly flights are quite expensive from Hamburg.

I went to Gdansk in November, lovely little city. Cheap, pretty and has lots to visit in the area, like Malbork Castle.

It has a WWII bunker that has been converted into a nightclub too.


id recommend Gdansk as well; plus food & alcohol are very cheap in Poland, as long as you're not in the 100% tourist trap locations


Cheers, will have a look. No idea where it is, so may not be near Aushwitz which is where my gf really wants to visit. Sadly flights from Hamburg are gooseberry fool so I doubt they even fly to Gdansk. Hard enough just going to Krakow. :fp:


Just seen you said you're going from Hamburg, are you based there? I'm going in May with a group of mates for a weekend, any recommendations?
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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by SandyCoin » Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:40 am

BTB wrote:
SandyCoin wrote:
<]:^D wrote:
OnlyShallow wrote:
SandyCoin wrote:Me and my gf are planning to go away soonish. We have a few ideas which are Lisbon, Copenhagen (or another Scandinavia country) or Poland.

Anyone been to any of these?

I like the idea of Copenhagen but am not sure how much it will cost. Seeing as a beer costs the best part of a tenner, I'm a little concerned as to food prices and attractions.

Not sure where in Poland we'd go.

As for Lisbon I just think it looks nice, but sadly flights are quite expensive from Hamburg.

I went to Gdansk in November, lovely little city. Cheap, pretty and has lots to visit in the area, like Malbork Castle.

It has a WWII bunker that has been converted into a nightclub too.


id recommend Gdansk as well; plus food & alcohol are very cheap in Poland, as long as you're not in the 100% tourist trap locations


Cheers, will have a look. No idea where it is, so may not be near Aushwitz which is where my gf really wants to visit. Sadly flights from Hamburg are gooseberry fool so I doubt they even fly to Gdansk. Hard enough just going to Krakow. :fp:


Just seen you said you're going from Hamburg, are you based there? I'm going in May with a group of mates for a weekend, any recommendations?


Yeah I live there now. I shall post some recommendations for you later when home. It's a very cool city though and I hear in Spring it's beautiful. We arrived in winter so not great but the weather is gradually getting nicer.
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Tomous
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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by Tomous » Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:05 pm

Corazon de Leon wrote:It'll cost you a hell of a lot more to get from Tokyo to Fuji to Kyoto to Osaka on the bullet train - I looked pretty much that exact trip up when I thought I wasn't gonna get mine in time. I dunno if you know, you can only get them from registered sellers outside of Japan. I think given that you're already abroad you'll probably need to get someone in the UK to get it, then send it out to you.


It seems that from March 8th they started a trial run of selling it within Japan but it is more expensive-from 10%-20% more.

It seems there is an authorised JR Pass agent in Bali, where I'm spending the next 2 weeks-can you just rock up and buy one that day? Or do you need to apply in advance do you know?
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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by Snowcannon » Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:28 pm

So anyone been to Cape Verde? :slol:
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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by Kezzer » Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:46 pm

Snowcannon wrote:So anyone been to Cape Verde? :slol:


:lol:
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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by Knoyleo » Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:04 pm

Snowcannon wrote:So anyone been to Cape Verde? :slol:

No
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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by Kezzer » Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:12 pm

Snowcannon wrote:So anyone been to Cape Verde? :slol:


I mean, not to be that dick but we do have a Cape Verde topic
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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by Snowcannon » Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:47 pm

Kezzer wrote:
Snowcannon wrote:So anyone been to Cape Verde? :slol:


I mean, not to be that dick but we do have a Cape Verde topic


Wow, what a dick.
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Kinetic
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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by Kinetic » Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:34 pm

Tomous wrote:
Corazon de Leon wrote:It'll cost you a hell of a lot more to get from Tokyo to Fuji to Kyoto to Osaka on the bullet train - I looked pretty much that exact trip up when I thought I wasn't gonna get mine in time. I dunno if you know, you can only get them from registered sellers outside of Japan. I think given that you're already abroad you'll probably need to get someone in the UK to get it, then send it out to you.


It seems that from March 8th they started a trial run of selling it within Japan but it is more expensive-from 10%-20% more.

It seems there is an authorised JR Pass agent in Bali, where I'm spending the next 2 weeks-can you just rock up and buy one that day? Or do you need to apply in advance do you know?


Think you have to apply in advance (online) so maybe hit that up asap. However if there`s a JR office in Bali (?) then maybe you can ask there.
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Corazon de Leon
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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by Corazon de Leon » Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:46 pm

Kinetic wrote:
Tomous wrote:
Corazon de Leon wrote:It'll cost you a hell of a lot more to get from Tokyo to Fuji to Kyoto to Osaka on the bullet train - I looked pretty much that exact trip up when I thought I wasn't gonna get mine in time. I dunno if you know, you can only get them from registered sellers outside of Japan. I think given that you're already abroad you'll probably need to get someone in the UK to get it, then send it out to you.


It seems that from March 8th they started a trial run of selling it within Japan but it is more expensive-from 10%-20% more.

It seems there is an authorised JR Pass agent in Bali, where I'm spending the next 2 weeks-can you just rock up and buy one that day? Or do you need to apply in advance do you know?


Think you have to apply in advance (online) so maybe hit that up asap. However if there`s a JR office in Bali (?) then maybe you can ask there.


My understanding is that it needs to be done in advance as well - any authorised JR Pass seller should have a website where you can fill the form out, so check the details of this Bali office before you head down there.
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PostRe: GRcade Travel Topic
by Rightey » Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:25 am

Lotus wrote:I've recently become slightly obsessed with the idea of visiting Japan (along with reading and watching pretty much anything I can find to do with Japanese culture etc - genuinely find it fascinating). Looking at visiting for probably 2 weeks late this year/early next. Just trying to persuade a friend or two to come with me...

For anyone who has been, or is there now, would Tokyo > Kyoto > Osaka work over a 2 week period? Or would it be better to focus on just one or two of those? In terms of getting from one to another, train or plane?

I haven't been so hyped about visiting somewhere in...well, ever. I haven't even booked anything yet. :slol:


I am planning to go back, from April 13th for about a week to see in laws as my wife is Japanese. :datass:

I went once before and I enjoyed it a lot.

I feel like Osaka would be a better base of operations as it's more in the centre of the country, and from there it's pretty easy to go to Kyoto, Kobe, and Nara, which I all enjoyed, especially Nara.

Nara in addition to having a huge park filled with deer that just roam around like squirrels in most other places, also has a really big temple which was interesting to see...
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One cool thing about the temple is that one of the main support pillars has a hole in it called Buddha's nostril, which apparently if you can squeeze yourself through, you will gain wisdom. I was too nervous that I'd get stuck to try it. :oops:

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I'm sure you've been reading loads of guides and the like so here is my expert view on the country that you won't get in guides, along with some photos I took while over there.

First the bad:
- No free refills. Most restaurants don't give refills on drinks and I find this a serious pain in the butt, especially as often times you are getting a fountain drink rather than something bottled. Some restaurants do have refills but it's never of normal soda, always some weird local drinks.

- Heavy ass bikes: For a nation that loves cycling so much you would think they would have some nice, light city bikes. Nope, everyone has these monstrosities:

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They weigh a ton, and only have 1 speed.

- They are very worried about the environment and try to conserve energy, unless they are a corner store, in which case, they don't seem to bother putting up a front wall and just blast the A/C the entire day...

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- Very few garbage cans: Despite having loads of vending machines everywhere, there are almost no public garbage can's you have to carry around your trash until you find a convenience store (which are fairly common) that has a garbage can outside.



Now onto the good:

- Each city has it's own unique man hole cover design, most covers don't have these, but around the city centre's you can find them. I think they're neat and it's always fun to try and spot them:

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- Lots of Engrish to chuckle about:

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- Itasha: Literally translates to "painful cars", I love these things, the designs range from nerdy, to incredibly NSFW...

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- Vending machines sell pretty much anything and everything. This was really just a novelty for me, I'm sure it would annoy me after a while but it was always fun to look and see what weird things each machine was selling.

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- You can get fairly good food for pretty cheap: I was reading before I went some guides about Kobe beef as I really wanted to try some and how they said don't cheap out, and you will pay at least x amount, I forget exactly how much it was but it was pricey. My wife though who can read Japanese, and so looked up some local reviews was able to find a place in Kobe, in China town that did Kobe beef for a pretty reasonable price. I can't remember exactly how much it was but the food was delicious and the Kobe beef totally lives up to the hype, but I found the majority of their meat to be very good quality.

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Some other notes, Hiroshima was good, I forget what that island off the coast is but I enjoyed that place, has a big temple that becomes partially submerged when the tide comes in. There's also a glass museum in the area which I enjoyed as well, it had very few people too, so in case the crowds get a bit too much for you it might be a place to go.

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Another place I really enjoyed was Sapporo, I liked the beer museum, and I don't even really drink, the food was also really top notch there. They are in the North and get some very fresh and tasty fish, one of the sushi restaurants I went to had whale though :dread:
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