What's new

First trip to Japan...


1 Oct 2003
Alrighty, well, I'm finally going to get to go to Japan for the first time, so I've got a few questions to ask.

I'm going in March and I'm going to Tokyo, what is the weather like during that time? Also, I remember that when I was in Paris something about the weather just didn't settle well with my complexion. Should I worry about abnormally high humidity levels there or what?

Also, should I be paranoid about drinking the water there? Is it like that with every foreign country you go into? 'Cause I know I don't want to miss out on certain dishes just because of this.

And, since I'm going to be goin' to Tokyo, is there anything you recommend me go see? I know there's a lot of stuff that can be done there and I think I've only got a week to work with. Also, I've gotta get into a japanese class here at the university or I'll be learning solo. I really don't wanna look silly speaking everything wrong. That would just be too embarassing.

Anyways, I hope none of my questions seem a bit silly or anything. I would greatly appreciate anyone's input!

I really wouldn't worry too much about high humidity levels if you're going in March (heh). In fact, March is a great time to go as the spring thaw should be in full effect (not like Tokyo ever gets that cold anyways).

Re: drinking the water, I don't think that really applies to Japan (at least from my experience). I can't think of even a single instance where someone fell ill as a result (to my knowledge). Some people have been known to have difficulty with their bodies adjusting to the time zone, diet, and differences in temperature when staying extend periods of time but since you're only going for a week you should be fine.

As to where to go and what to see in and around Tokyo, well that really depends on what your itinerary is during your weeklong stay (shopping, sightseeing, nightlife, etc.). There are certainly plenty of things to do and see in Tokyo but if you're feeling a bit more adventurous, you could certainly venture a bit farther to check out places like Kyoto. etc. Fear not, for the transit system is very easy to use and not difficult to navigate at all and should you ever have a question, the local citizenry will always be willing to help you find your way.

My advice to you is to just take it all in stride once you get there and do what comes naturally without feeling you need to adhere to any strict plans. You'll have more fun this way and be able to relax while enjoying yourself without worrying or stressing over "must do this asap, must be here at such-and-such time, etc." Oh, and be sure to eat to your heart's content while you're there and try everything at least once. :cool:
the water is fine. warm (free cold water is only found in the airport), but fine
edit: (late) march is cherry blossom viewing season incidentally
Don't worry about your Japanese being bad, they don't expect much from foreigners to begin with and they will really put an effort into figuring out what you're trying to say.

Also, you're going to be there just one week so don't try to cram too much stuff in, the time will go by really fast and you're not going to have time to get to everything anyway. The one place I'd recommend to see in Tokyo is Asakusa.
Oh, wow, thanks for all of the advice.

Now the only thing I fear on this trip will be standing out. Of course, I cannot really avoid that. In the European countries I could always blend in and just observe everything without being noticed. In Tokyo, that's going to be a bit of a problem. Oh well, as long as I take a relaxed pace with everything I should be fine.

That also reminds me, is the Tokyo Underground like the London Underground or the Paris Metro? Because those systems were really easy to navigate around in. I really loved the facilities they had and the fact that I could by choccy at basically every stop. Should I worry about the whole groping issue? Or will the fact that I am a foreigner and not wearing a school uniform make me not be a target. 😊

Also, what is the drinking age in Japan?

Again, thank you for all of your advice! I do appreciate it a lot!
"That also reminds me, is the Tokyo Underground like the London Underground or the Paris Metro?"
i've heard it's like new york (but i haven't been to new york, so i wouldn't know)

"Should I worry about the whole groping issue? Or will the fact that I am a foreigner and not wearing a school uniform make me not be a target."
that depends on a multitude of factors, but drunkeness or ease would be the most important i think

"Also, what is the drinking age in Japan?"
Ehehe. Sorry I didn't scour the threads to find out the drinking age earlier. The computer lab was gettin' swamped and I had to get to my next class in a hurry.

Ya know, being all studious and what not. :giggle:

I'm glad to know that I will be able to drink whilst I am over in Japan. I'll at least get a taste of what it'll be like in the States for me in about a year. I don't know, but 20 is an odd 'in the middle' age for people. You're there but you're not quite there.

Thank you again, for all the info. I think I have just a few more questions to ask and then my thirst for knowledge should be quenched.

Are there any faux pas that I should definitely avoid? As in, me doing something natural for myself that could easily set off any Japanese individual.
"Sorry I didn't scour the threads to find out the drinking age earlier."
it was easier to paste the link than to type the ref (and thus give credit) is all :)
shoes on the tatami mat
standing while drinking or eating
blowing nose in public
pointing at people
walking in unauthorized area
i'll try to remember the rest, before the night is out...
Alright, I shall now be very paranoid of doing all of the above. :cautious:

Thanks for the info and all the rest that is to come, budd!
sorry about that
but all i can say is what i've seen...
last month outside a hotel near sumidagawa, an american woman was (assaulted?) by one of the residents of the neighborhood...
i was only told by her later in the week (about how it happened???), but it definitely felt necessary from me to walk them (her and another girl -- from sweden) to their new hotel lodgings
the men were giving off some weird vibes/looks
is japan safer than america? in my opinion, most times, yes...
someone will probably chime in and say how safe it is, hold on... :)
You mean right by the river? There are plenty of homeless and derelict people there. And many of those types of people have mental problems so I can't say I'm surprised. You might want to find out more specifics about the neighborhood so you can warn people to stay away. My wife grew up within walking distance of Sumida River and has been "stalked" as she walked home on one or two occasions.
Okies, note to self, don't get near homeless people.

Eh, at least I'm not going to NYC or Paris. I swear, I've seen the most disturbing thing ever when a pair of parents will send their children begging in the street for them. If you just pay attention enough you can see the kiddos running back to mum and dads to give 'em their loot before running back out into the street for more. I hope there's nothing like that in Japan. I mean, I'll happily give someone my change and what not. But I hate it when people just live off a scam.

Has anyone else come across a situation like that? I've just always been one to get slightly miffed when my act of generosity is thrown back in my face in such a manner. :auch:
yes to all of the previous post
"don't get near homeless people."
change to men
edit: it's only certain men too. one can tell who gone act crazy or not

"Has anyone else come across a situation like that? I've just always been one to get slightly miffed when my act of generosity is thrown back in my face in such a manner."
yeah. especially in the train station. i thought this little old lady was smiling at me because she thought i was cute :p , till she said "okane?"...

i want to clarify the "assault" that i was talking about
the girl said she was walking toward to the hotel that night (to check in -- first time in the area)
she said that a man came up to her, reached down and pulled up her dress
i have been trying to think for weeks of a innocuous(sp?) non-discomfitting way to describe this, but to no avail, sorry
when she was describing it to me, she said that somebody told her later that he was drunk, and she said herself that it might have been the outfit she was wearing -- "she was done up" in her words, "with makeup, stockings, miniskirt... so he might have thought i was a hostess, i dunno..."
she was a feminist from san fran (her boyfriend is living in sendai), so i imagine it must have been no less than shocking
Top Bottom