Going to Japan, any recommendation?
I'm going to Japan next week for 16 days. Can anyone give suggestions on places I can visit that's aquascaping related or of hobby interest (LFS?/koi farm)?
Very unfortunate I wont be able to schedule a visit the Aqua Design Amano Gallery (ADA Nature) which opens only on Sundays.
Any places in Tokyo metropolitan and Osaka/Kyoto?
Bring back ALL their shrimp!!!!!!!!!!
and give me some!
16 days is not a lot of time, how are you splitting up your time between Tokyo/Kyoto/Osaka?
If you are flying into Narita and also out of Narita (necessitating a round trip to Kyoto and back), then I would suggest a JR pass and then taking the shinkansen. However, if you are flying into Narita and then flying out from Kansai, then the JR pass may not be necessary (check the costs; a round trip shinkansen ticket from Tokyo to Osaka is about $350).
Unfortunately, during this time, there is unlikely any outdoor farms that will be open...however, there are lots of stores in the Tokyo and Osaka area. If you are going to be doing shopping for equipment, I would suggest you look around the stores first; different stores will often have cheaper prices/discounts on ADA equipment (cheaper than MSRP).
Of course, other than stores, you can always check out Japanese gardens as well as temples. This time of year is excellent, particularly in Kyoto due to the leaves changing colours.
Im definitely keen on shopping for equipment, I'll be going to most of the big shopping department/area. Can you suggest any dedicated aquascaping stores?
I'll be in Tokyo for a week then train down to Osaka and spend the remaining time there and fly home from there too, so a JR wont be necessary.
I'll bring back shrimps......; any shrimp favoured food products I can find! :)
So, I don't know what your schedule's like, but if you're in Kyoto on the 21st, the Toji flea market is incredible for souvenirs, antiques, and kimono (f you're into that stuff)! I'm so jealous--I wasn't into aquascaping when I did my study abroad, because I totally could have squeezed out a trip to the ADA gallery. Ahh. C'est la vie.
I can't speak for aquarium equipment, but if you like just shopping, Nambaa/Shinsaibashi in Osaka is incredible. I spent so many weekends there just walking up and down the arcade :hihi:
Edit: Forgot to menton--You can't hit Kyoto without going to see Kyomizudera. Big, orange temple, can't miss it. :D
They all sell ADA equipment to some degree or another. I particularly liked Penguin Village, Pau Pau Aquarium Garden and Aqua Forest.
You may or may not find people that speak English. I speak Japanese, so it wasn't a problem...:smile:
It is too bad it is difficult to bring back livestock/plants/electrical equipment (North America is 110/120V at 60 Hz, in Japan it is 100/110V at either 60 Hz or 50 Hz, depending on Kanto/Kansai region, respectively).
The cheapest way to go from Tokyo to Osaka is by night bus (2300 yen!), but with luggage it is a hassle. Taking local trains is out of the question (takes maybe 6-8 hours?), so your options are pretty limited (shinkansen, airplane, etc)
Here is a list of things to do, just off the top of my head, in no particular order.
Akihabara (Electronics, anime)
Kappabashi-dori (Kitchen town, they have kitchen gadgets, the plastic food samples that you will inevitably see in restaurant display windows)
Shinjuku (the area in general; Kabuki-cho (red-light/entertainment district))
Shibuya scramble crossing, Hachiko statue, Shibuya 109 (upscale shopping mall)
Harajuku (Take[censored][censored][censored][censored]a dori, Omotesando dori; pop fashion and high fashion, respectively)
Tokyo Metropolitan buildings (you can go to the 50th floor to get a view of the cityscape for free)
Roppongi (clubbing, night life)
Tokyo Disney Land
Namba (shopping, Glico man)
Nipponbashi (electronics, anime)
Osaka Castle/surrounding park
Osaka Kaiyuukan (aquarium)
Universal Studios Japan
Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavillion)
Shimogamo and Kamigamo shrine
Kyoto Imperial Palace
Uji (Byodo-in; temple (the one on the back of the 10 yen coin))
From Osaka, you can make a day trip to Kobe, Himeji (unfortunately the castle is under construction), and Nara (Todaiji temple, Nara Park).
If there's anything in particular you're interested in, feel free to ask.
Oh, I just had a thought, if aquariums are your thing, then you might want to check out the new Kyoto aquarium as well. They have dolphins and penguins, amongst other animals.
This is great, thanks for the input. I'll be sure to do further research into these places.
Silmarwen : No i wont be there on the 21st, but i'll check out Toji Temple.
No, big commerical/water park aquarium are not particularly interesting for me.
2300 YEN Bus from Tokyo to Osaka is crazy cheap! But im willing to pay extra for a Shinkansen train ride experience!
Can you suggest the best method for foreigners buying mobile communication and internet data? Ideally, I want to buy a SIM with internet data and use my Apple iPhone for map navigation and calls. But I hear its quite different over there, you'll need to buy both Phone and plan? And Free Wi-Fi hotspot is scarce.
If there are several that you are particularly interested in, I can do a little digging to give you the precise address/maps/telephone numbers/whatever.
Shinkansen from Shinagawa to Shin-Osaka stations costs ~14000 JPY, which at today's market rate is ~170 USD. It takes approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes.
Strictly speaking, the easiest way is to go to a phone rental shop (they are usually in the airport). Docomo, Au and Softbank are your three choices, but Softbank is probably going to be the cheapest (of the three). Rental fees (and your subsequent usage) can be expensive.
Prepaid plans are available too, but this usually requires proof of residence in Japan, so if you have a tourist visa, you usually cannot get them. There are "gray" markets that are available where you might be able to get them, but...
So in general, your best bet is to get a rental phone. But, as mentioned, they might not have data. If you want a smart phone with data, it'll cost (more) money. They should have English, so not to worry about language preferences. Though the maps will all be in Japanese, so you might just want to research where you want to go, and print out all the maps.
Wi-fi was scarce, but is becoming increasingly more common. Starbucks, McDonald's and some coffee shops (Ogawa Coffee, etc) usually have free wi-fi now.
Edit: I edited my list of places above as well. Some more places popped into my mind.
I have always wanted to visit several ADA stores in Tokyo like Ginza Penguin Shop.
Im been busy packing and organising, It should be an enjoyable trip,
thanks again, Darkblade48.
Have a safe flight and enjoy your flight :)
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