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Coming to Tokyo, need some help...

SunetiSama

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Howdy minna-sama! For purposes of the magazine I'm writing for I'm planning on visiting the Tokyo Gaming Show 2003 (September 26 - 28). I'm looking forward to that as hell (a six-day stay in Tokyo, all expenses paid, TGS... heaven ). Yet, I'm a little anxious about Tokyo itself. I have only a most basic knowledge of Japanese (reasonably fluid in hiragana and katakana, about 50 kanji, some conversational skills) and I have no idea if Englsh cuts it at all in Japan and/or Tokyo. I also have some concrete questions...

- what's the subway travel like? Are there signs and/or announcments in English? Or is there only a bunch of Kanji for a poor gaikokujin to decipher with a fat dictionary?

- what are the best places to snap some photos of Japan electronic bounty? Ok, I know about Akihabara, but I have no freaking idea whether or not that is enough.

- Since the article will focus on Japanese gaming habits as well, I'd really like to know what's the best place to find some great arcades with some crazy gaming machines.

- Finally, is there anyone out there who would be kind enough to spend a day or two with me while in Tokyo? We can do some sightseeing, grab a lunch, play some arcades, shop or whatever and share meat, mead and experiences (I'm not American or British, so there's a culture shock in it for ya as well ) :).
 

budd

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got raijin game and anime? it's in there also

"- what's the subway travel like? Are there signs and/or announcments in English? Or is there only a bunch of Kanji for a poor gaikokujin to decipher with a fat dictionary?"
naw, most signs have kanji/hiragana/romaji
but some right over the ticket machines are _only_ in kanji -- hiragana if lucky
"doko ni desu ka?" is a very important sentence indeed imo
no announcements in english, although some subway cars have lights on the map INSIDE the train [over the doorway], so one can tell how close they are to their destination

"- what are the best places to snap some photos of Japan electronic bounty? Ok, I know about Akihabara, but I have no freaking idea whether or not that is enough."
it's enough 8) i think two days is the minmum for akihabara

"- Since the article will focus on Japanese gaming habits as well, I'd really like to know what's the best place to find some great arcades with some crazy gaming machines."
getting off in shibuya or shinjuku stations would be cool i guess, because both of them have sega gogo/namco inti within easy range of viewing
anyway, here's a sentence: "terebi (or bideeo) gamu (wa) doko ni desu ka?"
you can ask people till one of them decides to walk you to the building...

"- Finally, is there anyone out there who would be kind enough to spend a day or two with me while in Tokyo? We can do some sightseeing, grab a lunch, play some arcades, shop or whatever and share meat, mead and experiences (I'm not American or British, so there's a culture shock in it for ya as well )"
people in japan are very busy... post a pic in various J-related forums... i'm hungry, so i'm not gonna make much sense now...
good luck! if'n ya blow it up over dere, want me credit!
 

mdchachi

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subway's pretty easy; you'll have the hang of it in no time. When in doubt about the fare buy the cheapest ticket and hand it to the person at the other end and pay the difference

Akihabara should be plenty. Be sure not to miss the narrow hall ways and tiny shops underneath the train tracks.

There are game centers all over the place however as Budd says, Shibuya and Shinjuku are especially good bets.

I'm not in Tokyo any longer otherwise I'd hang out with you. Good luck. I'm sure you'll have a great time.

Note to Budd: "doko ni desu ka?" is not a correct sentence. You can say "doko desu ka" or "doko ni arimasu ka" (or "doko ni imasu ka") depending on the situation. Of course the easiest is just to say "doko?"
 

SunetiSama

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Thanks for the info!

Well this basic a Japanese presents no problem... To ask 'Shibuya wa doko desu ka.' is an automatic :) :). I suspect the answers will present more of a problem ;).r
 

budd

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the answers do! you're right... get this book (take note of the isbn #)
http://www.3yokai.net/hawaii/60_english/english4.htm
it's so good... just the right mix of slang and polite
i rarely get to use arimasu/imasu much -- out last night drinking :p burp and i didn't hear it once :)
that is why after 4 years of study and 6 trips to japan, i still can't get the hang of it... :eek:
yahahahhaha! i knew saying my version of j would get me into trouble :D
mmm-hmm just saying one word is right -- i gave him the worst-case scenario of mean obatarian who don't want to deal with no foreigners -- the politeness would mean more than the actual understanding, in my experience
make sure to take the shoes off on the tatama/tatami
probably knew, but i want people to learn from my mistakes :eek:
 

kinjo

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I have a friend who is a Japanese/English interpreter and his English is better than mine so you'd have no problems communicating! I know he's going to the Tokyo Game Show and I think he's already taking one visitor from another country who is flying in for the show. I'm sure he wouldn't mind helping someone else out.

I might go to TGS myself, but it depends if I'm busy, and have time to travel down to Tokyo for it (I live in Hokkaido).

Tiger
 
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