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Have you been to Japan already?


15 Mar 2002
Although I am certain that a few members here actually live in Japan, just out of curiosity: has anyone already BEEN there?
Hi Larry,

I've spent half of my life in the Middle East, so Japan always seemed to be quite distant, not only geographically. When I went there for the first time, I felt like stepping on terra incognita, everything was completely new and hard to grasp. All my personal experiences and rules of socialisation didn't apply to that country (or so it seemed during the first two weeks - I went there directly from Northern Africa, what a cultural clash that was for me!). :)

Anyhow, although I have visited Japan quite frequently, I wish I could stay there for a longer period of time. So much to do, so little time...
Japan... you mean to say it's real? :p

No, i have never been there. I've been planning to go there for years already, but i have a girlfriend from Thailand so i've been going there instead.

To me Thailand is a bit like a poor man's Japan. It's got many of the good things of Japan at a fraction of the price. :)


there's only one word for Thailand: paradise! That's the reason why so many Japanese love to spend their scarce holidays there too. ;)

Though Bangkok can be a bit tough, pollution-wise; at least it was like that when I was there ten years ago.

Hey, what about T-Pop (Thai-Pop) ? ;)
Actually the pollution is not as bad as people always portray it.
It is getting better. Cars are getting cleaner these days. It's mostly the public transport busses which are still fuming black clouds of smoke through the streets.
But Bangkok isn't a pedestrian city anyway. And why would you want to walk with those low transport prices? 👍

As for the TPop: It's actually pretty good. Now most of the stuff you hear on the radio in Thailand is pretty soft. Lot's of girlie-lovesong stuff. Which is not bad if you're into it. Nicole Theriault is a very good example because she can sing in perfect English and her music is very well produced.

But i was very surprised when i found out Thailand has some great metal bands. I heard a few songs in a restaurant which were very good. It turned out to be a band called "Big ***" (yes, they're really called that) and they make some great Nu-Metal (Linkin Park, Papa Roach, P.O.D. - that sort of music).
So i bought their album at a cd-shop and grabbed a few more albums, from the same rack (the covers looked cool :D).

One cd was from a band called Stone Metal Fire. They sound like a classic hard-rock band with very good guitar solo's.
Another cd was from Jirasak Panpun and this one was even better than Big ***. Again some great sounding Nu-Metal and this guy produces it himself.

Just like it's the case with Japanese music, it's a shame it doesn't reach the rest of the world. But i will definately look for more, next time i'm in Thailand.

I still remember how often we got stuck in Bangkok traffic jams while riding the infamous tuck-tucks (?), nearly suffocating in steamy summer heat. Well, that was many years ago, I hope things have improved.

Just like it's the case with Japanese music, it's a shame it doesn't reach the rest of the world. But i will definately look for more, next time i'm in Thailand.
I couldn't agree more! I am very much into ethnic music, popular and traditional. I just browsed my brother's collection tonight and found a Ravi Shankar CD entitled "Towards the Rising Sun": Ravi's sitar playing along with Japanese koto and shakuhachi instruments. "Borrowed" that for today. ;)

I also love Middle Eastern music, although you have to understand the mentality in order to be able to enjoy the music.

Oh, I will definitely delve into Thai pop, you made me curious.
Originally posted by Nahoko
I was born there and lived there most of my life... 😄

What about you, Larry?
Not yet, unfortunately. I am just a distant admirer of Japanese lifestyle... :eek:
Woo, Thailand is a great place, especially if you visit the beaches in the South! I went there and had one of the greatest times of my life! Everything is so much cheaper than here and get a load of some of those malls... are they nice or what? Absolutely nothing like that over here :-(

Malaysia is also very cool. So if you're in Southern Thailand, skip over the border to KL and suck in the nightlife there :)

Have always wanted to go to Japan. Probably go there when my Japanese is better and when I have larger funds (no, that is not a euphemism)! Could kill two birds with one stone and hunt for a Japanese girlfriend, but don't know where to look. Heeeeeelp! :)

I've heard it all... T-Pop, K-Pop, Canto-Pop, Tagalog-Pop, but J-Pop is still the best Asian alternative for me! Thomas, if you like ethnic music, check out Nitin Sawnhey and Talvin Singh. Both love the sitar :)
I agree Tom, the islands in the south of Thailand are extremely beautiful. I spent some time on Ko-Peeh-Peeh (?). I also liked Malaysia, had a wonderful stay on Pankor Island. Ten years ago there were absolutely no tourists (also, the infrastructure was very basic). Jungle-trekking in the Cameron Highlands was also fun. Jeez, and it's so cold here now... :eek:

Thanks for the two sitar players you mentioned.
I live in Sapporo which is on the island of Hokkaido. So ... I don't qualify as living in Japan. The Hoshu "aka Japanese folks" think we live with bears!!!!

LOL ... 1.9 million people and there are bears hahaha ... although I've seen the occasionaly stray fox downtown.
never lived or even visited japan but I love the culture, I had a pen friend keiko from Ibaraki, who im stil searching for and she told me great tales from her school of foreign languages in tokyo she was bril,wish I could contact her again just to see what japanese life is all about
Hey Everyone,

I was in Tokyo in January and I am going to be there again in August and Osaka also for about 10 days. It is another world.
"although I've seen the occasionaly stray fox downtown."

Well we get loads of stray foxes all around the place (anywhere where there are trees), but London is most definitely not as beautiful as Hokkaido. Isn't it great living with the bears there and in those freezing temperatures? :p
I am Japanese. My maiden name was Tanaka. When I was a girl my father often told me about my samurai ancestors, going back to the karo of Iwatsuki Castle in the 15th century.

I lived in Japan until I moved to England at the end of 1995. I now go back at least twice a year. The last two times I have taken small groups of British people with me, to experience the culture and stay with host families. I am planning to do the same this autumn.
I'm pretty interested in going over to Japan at some point next year. I'll most likely be going it alone and still have no idea of the places I want to visit (asides from Tokyo). Akemi, could you offer any more information on the host family exchanges? I'm pretty curious about trying it out as it would be a fairly unique experience compared to just going out there on my own (which I can do whenever I want)

Samuraitora, ever been to Thailand? I went last year and even though there are a million other places I want to visit I can definitely say I want to go back to Thailand again. Where next? Perhaps S Korea?
I wish...I have not left the US yet...that is a big yet.

My family and I are planning a trip to Japan next year.
My wife is not into Japan or Japanese things, she is just going to make me happy. I told her she would have a good time, or if she wants, she can stay home.
hehe, if your wife has blond hair, she'll enjoy all the attention. hehe

MY wife hates crowds so that cuts out alot of festivals. I'd definitely try to time a festival season. And if you're really crazy go to the GION Matsuri in Kyoto. You can enjoy moving while not walking.

If you can afford it, if not, I'd still put aside special funds for your wife. Spend the money and send her to a world class level beauty (charisma) Salon. Some of the beauticians are top class and are just amazing. Men, I'd stick with the shave and hair cut for 2 bits. Straight razor shaves are great!!!

Now, if your wife wouldn't appreciate that ... hmmmm
I have been living in Tokyo for 14 months.

I don't like beaches very much, so Thailand for me was Bangkok, the food, temples and a "jungle" trek in the golden triangle sleeping with the locals. I have been to Phuket and Ko-pangang in the South, but I was bored. I did a day-trip to the "James Bond" islanlds (the Phi-Phi's I guess) and that was good for the scenic beauty, but I just can't stay in one place for more than a few hours doing nothing.

The pollution in Bangkok has nothing to envy to Dehli or Cairo. I have been there about 5 or 6 times as it was my base for travelling around SE Asia, but I got a headache in the first few days every time I went back there. Then prces aren't that cheap compared to Indonesia or India. Thailand certainly suffer from overtourism. In Bangkok, people don't let you bargain more than 10 sec without shouting at you that if you don't like it you can go somewhere else (a big contrast with India, where you can bargain 1 h for a souvenir - and buy it for 1/10 of the price who were told first). I have even been punched in Khaosan Road during an argument for 10 baht (25cents) when the Internet cafe owner turned off my computer when I was typing a long mail, saying he was closing. I didn't want to pay for the last 10 min as I had lost everything because of him. We didn't argue long when another Thai guy came and punched me in the face to convince me. Fortunately (??) there was a tourist police office at the end of the street, where I complained and brought the guy to the police station (but they couldn't do anything as we didn't have a witness...).

TomAsInfinity said : London is most definitely not as beautiful as Hokkaido.

It really depends what are your criteria, as there are few cities in the world as beautiful as London, I can assure you. Can't compare a city with an island the size of England and less populated than central London.
I've never been to Japan...
But I'm sure I have to go there someday
I want to ask the Japanese...
What do you think about Indonesia?
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