So I'm going to Japan

GSRCRXsi

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for work.

I'll be in the Minato-ku area of Tokyo for a week. but i'll have a couple days to explore and check stuff out.

I know Clayton has been quite a few times, anyone else? Anything "must see"?
 

GSRCRXsi

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Also, looking at my travel authorization for work, it's not cheap lol. even with economy flights (non-stop), and reasonable hotel accommodations.
 

lswhitecivic

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When are you going to be in Tokyo?

When I went back in 2010, I stayed at the Conrad Hilton with points, which is in Minato-ku. Right where the hotel was at is Shiodome, which was very tech focused and not a whole lot going on, but a short train ride to the Shinbashi station had all sorts of cool stuff. We went out in Shinbashi on multiple nights, there are all sorts of Izakayas down all the little streets. We also found a lot of pachinko parlors, and had to try our luck, but I'll be honest, I had no idea what I was doing.

For traveling around, we bought 2 day unlimited Tokyo Metro passes at Narita before heading into Tokyo. JR lines also has a similar pass for 1 day at a time, but it is a lot more expensive. The 2 day Metro pass was just under 1,000 yen while the JR 1 day was like 1,500 yen. We found the Metro to be plenty convenient, though there were a few times where a JR line or Toei line was easier, so for those few trips we just paid the one way rate at the ticket machine.

Within Tokyo my favorite areas were Shinbashi, Shinjuku, Akihabara, Harajuku, and Asakusa. Akihabara is the electronics and gaming district along with anime and manga. Asakusa was cool because it has the Sensoji temple. Shinjuku station is the busiest train station in the world, and the areas around it were pretty cool. If you do go here, I think its worth a walk through Kabukicho, which is kind of like the red-light district. There was a lot of interesting shops and bars, definitely interesting people watching as well. Ueno park is also very beautiful if you'll be there around the time the cherry blossoms are blooming.
 

lswhitecivic

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Cherry Blossoms normally start blooming the end of March so if you're there around that time I'd definitely recommend a visit to Ueno Park. The blossoms all depend on the weather, so if its been warmer they may start earlier in the month. When we were there, there were people picnicking all over underneath the trees. There were also a lot of street food vendors with all sorts of yummy stuff.


Here's where people were setting up for the picnics or hanami.


Here's a husband and wife selling some awesome roasted japanese sweet potato.


Here's the sweet potato. I highly recommend it if you see anyone selling it.
 

GSRCRXsi

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i couldnt see the pics at work, but when i saw you say sweet potato i could swear you were talking about taro. but i can see that's def not taro.

(btw, taro is quite good)
 

99sidude

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I was there in 2012 and can't wait for a chance to go back. Post some pics and don't turn down any food.
 

phunky.buddha

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I can give you a good chunk of the view from the security side of things... but you've probably gotten that already. Don't explore Roppongi too closely without a local or a good crew of people. Don't go above the 2nd floor in bars. Don't go anywhere with the Nigerians/Ugandans/weirdly accented non-Japanese non-Americans begging you to go to bars. Loads of good stuff. Have fun out there, but be careful.
 

DarkHand

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I spent two weeks at my in-laws house in Mie prefecture in September 2012 for my wedding and to meet my wife's family. Suzuka Circuit and Kyoto were the two big stops for us. Don't think you're going that far south but if you do, don't miss Suzuka!
 

phunky.buddha

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I get most of what you're saying.

But what's above the second floor in bars? Lol
Typically Yakuza/mob control. Honestly, I started typing up a bunch of stuff, but it's probably better for you to call me if you want to know more, especially if you're not being briefed. There are real risks out there.
 

DarkHand

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Typically Yakuza/mob control. Honestly, I started typing up a bunch of stuff, but it's probably better for you to call me if you want to know more, especially if you're not being briefed. There are real risks out there.
I know Tokyo is completely different from the rest of the country, but this reminds me of a funny story from my trip...

We took a drive to buy some Wagyu beef from a small, out of the way butcher in the countryside. They've won awards for best beef in the prefecture many years in a row and proudly display their plaques in the store. On the way there my mother in law kept warning us that it was in a bad neighborhood, so I kept mentally preparing for a Chicago kind of bad neighborhood... Don't make eye contact with people, get in, get out, etc. When we arrived, the place was clean and quiet, there were old people walking the streets, people casually chatting, even an entire unescorted group of 5 year old school children went past us who were all walking home on their own. She still insisted it was a bad neighborhood, but I told her that compared to the US, it was the nicest bad neighborhood I'd ever seen.

By the way, the beef was by far the best beef I'd ever had in my entire life. Imagine the best $200 steak you could purchase from the top restaurant anywhere in the entire US... I kid you not, that steak would be shit compared to what I had in Japan.
 
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GSRCRXsi

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Typically Yakuza/mob control. Honestly, I started typing up a bunch of stuff, but it's probably better for you to call me if you want to know more, especially if you're not being briefed. There are real risks out there.
PM me the details.

No real briefing, they're kind of just throwing me into the fire lol. But this isn't the first time my company has gone or anything. This is an annual meeting with the Japanese instrument team. It's just my first year going since this is my first year as the instrument engineer. No one has mentioned anything about any risks/threats on the level you're implying.

I'm also not traveling alone, my manager is going (also his first time) but he's also not someone I'd really be social with so I expect to do some exploring on my own.
 

phunky.buddha

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PM me the details.

No real briefing, they're kind of just throwing me into the fire lol. But this isn't the first time my company has gone or anything. This is an annual meeting with the Japanese instrument team. It's just my first year going since this is my first year as the instrument engineer. No one has mentioned anything about any risks/threats on the level you're implying.

I'm also not traveling alone, my manager is going (also his first time) but he's also not someone I'd really be social with so I expect to do some exploring on my own.
It's quite a bit to PM without having back/forth info... but good information to have.
 

GSRCRXsi

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after ~22hrs of travel, I have made it to my hotel

drove to co workers house
took a shuttle to the airport
14hr direct flight to Tokyo
1 train from the airport
1 subway ride
20 min (2km) walk to the hotel

the walk to the hotel sucked the worst lol. even with it being ~45degrees out, toting 2 suitcases + backpack, i was sweating lol.
but on the plus side, i walked past a lot of cool little food shops that i'll probably check out today and this week.

i looked into checking out Suzuka, but it doesnt seem like much is going there this time of year :( Apparently there's a Motor themed amusement park there haha, that would be awesome.

oh and being in the "future" is weird. 14hrs ahead of ET. as i type, local time is 5:48am JST Sunday March 9th
 
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