I love Japan!

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
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Jimbo
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I love Japan!

Postby Jimbo » 30 Dec 2017, 16:43

I'm back from a fantastic and fun evening with my English pal Ed whom I met for drinks and to discuss becoming YouTubers. Watching other YouTube channels, especially one called "Abroad in Japan" featuring this English bloke who lives here and makes cheeky videos about the place, I thought maybe Ed and I could make our own. I have no video equipment, not even an iPhone, but Eddy has some experience with music production, not to mention a wonderful sense of humor, and I thought that maybe he and I could do something. And maybe we will but I'm afraid we had so much fun tonight we'd blown our best chance. We met thinking I'd take him to this burger joint which makes the most wicked American style burgers but we were turned away because the place was rented for the evening for a private party. No matter we found ourselves at an izakaya , which is a uniquely Japanese eating and drinking establishment with a vast menu and as cramped as a rush hour train. We were seated at a table with two available stools with six people already seated. No matter, it was soon a six-way party sharing drinks and chat. Japanese people are so friendly, not scared of us foreigners but open and just wonderful! We drank beer, hot sake, shochu and whiskey. We ate yakitori, karaage and shumai. And we talked and talked and talked. Ed's Japanese is very good and I was surprised how well I could hang in there. A shame we wasted our time enjoying instead of video taping. All in all it was a great evening and if you ever find yourselves on these shores you too can have a great time.
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Wally Bingbang
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Wally Bingbang » 30 Dec 2017, 18:01

Okay.
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Positive Passion » 30 Dec 2017, 21:17

I thought it was mildly interesting but not a place I need to go back to.

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Jimbo
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Jimbo » 31 Dec 2017, 16:55

Happy New Year!

Gadfly

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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Snarfyguy » 31 Dec 2017, 18:48

I totally love it.
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Copehead » 31 Dec 2017, 22:16

Jimbo wrote:I'm back from a fantastic and fun evening with my English pal Ed whom I met for drinks and to discuss becoming YouTubers. Watching other YouTube channels, especially one called "Abroad in Japan" featuring this English bloke who lives here and makes cheeky videos about the place, I thought maybe Ed and I could make our own. I have no video equipment, not even an iPhone, but Eddy has some experience with music production, not to mention a wonderful sense of humor, and I thought that maybe he and I could do something. And maybe we will but I'm afraid we had so much fun tonight we'd blown our best chance. We met thinking I'd take him to this burger joint which makes the most wicked American style burgers but we were turned away because the place was rented for the evening for a private party. No matter we found ourselves at an izakaya , which is a uniquely Japanese eating and drinking establishment with a vast menu and as cramped as a rush hour train. We were seated at a table with two available stools with six people already seated. No matter, it was soon a six-way party sharing drinks and chat. Japanese people are so friendly, not scared of us foreigners but open and just wonderful! We drank beer, hot sake, shochu and whiskey. We ate yakitori, karaage and shumai. And we talked and talked and talked. Ed's Japanese is very good and I was surprised how well I could hang in there. A shame we wasted our time enjoying instead of video taping. All in all it was a great evening and if you ever find yourselves on these shores you too can have a great time.


Aki mas te ome edo Jimbo-san

I love Japan as well, you feel incredibly safe there at all times.

Have you seen a TV program called "Why have you come to Japan"? I have appeared on that.

I love yakitori, especially pig intestine, and last time out I tried anal meats, a bit chewy. But I prefer to go to a yakitori hut rather than a izakaya.

We are just doing our hand written New Year resolution banner now after giving the dawn a Kampai! with a dish of saki
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Minnie the Minx
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Minnie the Minx » 31 Dec 2017, 22:29

Copehead wrote:
Jimbo wrote:I'm back from a fantastic and fun evening with my English pal Ed whom I met for drinks and to discuss becoming YouTubers. Watching other YouTube channels, especially one called "Abroad in Japan" featuring this English bloke who lives here and makes cheeky videos about the place, I thought maybe Ed and I could make our own. I have no video equipment, not even an iPhone, but Eddy has some experience with music production, not to mention a wonderful sense of humor, and I thought that maybe he and I could do something. And maybe we will but I'm afraid we had so much fun tonight we'd blown our best chance. We met thinking I'd take him to this burger joint which makes the most wicked American style burgers but we were turned away because the place was rented for the evening for a private party. No matter we found ourselves at an izakaya , which is a uniquely Japanese eating and drinking establishment with a vast menu and as cramped as a rush hour train. We were seated at a table with two available stools with six people already seated. No matter, it was soon a six-way party sharing drinks and chat. Japanese people are so friendly, not scared of us foreigners but open and just wonderful! We drank beer, hot sake, shochu and whiskey. We ate yakitori, karaage and shumai. And we talked and talked and talked. Ed's Japanese is very good and I was surprised how well I could hang in there. A shame we wasted our time enjoying instead of video taping. All in all it was a great evening and if you ever find yourselves on these shores you too can have a great time.


Aki mas te ome edo Jimbo-san

I love Japan as well, you feel incredibly safe there at all times.



Unless you're a woman on a train.
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Copehead » 31 Dec 2017, 22:50

Minnie the Minx wrote:

Unless you're a woman on a train.


I am sure women on packed rush hour tubes in London and New York would have their own tales to tell about how horrible men can be, but I am not sure if it is more common in Tokyo.

The Japanese women I work with seem to be capable and able to get on, one has just been promoted to be my shore side supervisor on this project and no one thought that was in any way notable, but this is a professional environment and so it may not be a microcosm of Japanese society as a whole.

I can only speak of my experiences as a man, I do not know how a single western woman would be treated, but crime here is incredibly low and indifference is usually the worst response you get.

I have been treated with indifference and even what I suppose you would call racism in some backwoods towns, but even then it was courteous racism, just being barred from a bar because I was white and being picked up by the police and taken back to my hotel against my wishes a few times so I had to start sneaking around in the evenings.

That was up North where they assume all white people are Russian crab fishermen on shore leave so I can understand their reticence about having me in their establishment even if I was waving a UK passport at them.
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Minnie the Minx » 31 Dec 2017, 23:03

Copehead wrote:
Minnie the Minx wrote:

Unless you're a woman on a train.


I am sure women on packed rush hour tubes in London and New York would have their own tales to tell about how horrible men can be, but I am not sure if it is more common in Tokyo.

.


Look it up. It will take you five minutes. Though your opinion has usually been that touching women without asking in public spaces is a low level issue so I don't expect you to look at things differently even when you do find out the truth.
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Copehead » 31 Dec 2017, 23:24

Minnie the Minx wrote:
Copehead wrote:
Minnie the Minx wrote:

Unless you're a woman on a train.


I am sure women on packed rush hour tubes in London and New York would have their own tales to tell about how horrible men can be, but I am not sure if it is more common in Tokyo.

.


Look it up. It will take you five minutes. Though your opinion has usually been that touching women without asking in public spaces is a low level issue so I don't expect you to look at things differently even when you do find out the truth.


If you could send links to the relative levels of frottage and groping on New York, London and Tokyo trains I would read it, you made the claim it is up to you to back it up with evidence not me.

I have no reason to think it isn't true I simply don't know, I don't think that the average Japanese woman has the "fuck you asshole" attitude that would probably make this sort of depraved behavior more dangerous for the perpetrator in New York so you may well be right.

I don't think it would alter my opinion that Japan is a very safe place for an independent traveler of either sex to visit.
And if you tolerate this then your children will be next

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Jimbo
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Jimbo » 01 Jan 2018, 00:11

Copehead wrote:
Have you seen a TV program called "Why have you come to Japan"? I have appeared on that.



We often catch that show, my wife more than I. Did they follow you around?

In the media and in reality the Japanese seem to have a need to validate themselves, maybe to check that they're not dreaming all this wonderfulness up by asking foreigners what they think about Japan. If a foreigner says good things about Japan then there must be something good about Japan. I'll often tell Japanese that I love Japan because a - it's true and b - it's a quick and easy way into their good graces. Nothing wrong with goma suri, grinding sesame seeds, polishing the old apple.

And if there is sexual harassment on trains and busses (there are loads of dirty movies about it) it's not something I have heard much of in 30 some years. Not saying it doesn't happen but if you, a female, are nervous, my train has a morning rush hour women's car. To be honest there was a time or two in the many years my wife has been commuting when she thinks she may have been oddly "brushed" but the incidents are forgotten now and she gets on and goes to work everyday. Sometimes these incidents come in waves. If something does become a thing, the authorities slap a warning on the wall and when the Japanese pervert reads: Keep your hands to yourself, he goes, oh, all right then. Plus, there are cameras everywhere nowadays which might dissuade the creeps.

If, however, looking at women is a crime I'm guilty your honor. The chicks, my god!
Gadfly

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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Copehead » 01 Jan 2018, 00:32

Jimbo wrote:
Copehead wrote:
Have you seen a TV program called "Why have you come to Japan"? I have appeared on that.



We often catch that show, my wife more than I. Did they follow you around?

In the media and in reality the Japanese seem to have a need to validate themselves, maybe to check that they're not dreaming all this wonderfulness up by asking foreigners what they think about Japan. If a foreigner says good things about Japan then there must be something good about Japan. I'll often tell Japanese that I love Japan because a - it's true and b - it's a quick and easy way into their good graces. Nothing wrong with goma suri, grinding sesame seeds, polishing the old apple.

And if there is sexual harassment on trains and busses (there are loads of dirty movies about it) it's not something I have heard much of in 30 some years. Not saying it doesn't happen but if you, a female, are nervous, my train has a morning rush hour women's car. To be honest there was a time or two in the many years my wife has been commuting when she thinks she may have been oddly "brushed" but the incidents are forgotten now and she gets on and goes to work everyday. Sometimes these incidents come in waves. If something does become a thing, the authorities slap a warning on the wall and when the Japanese pervert reads: Keep your hands to yourself, he goes, oh, all right then. Plus, there are cameras everywhere nowadays which might dissuade the creeps.

If, however, looking at women is a crime I'm guilty your honor. The chicks, my god!


I was sitting tired outside Haneda airport waiting for a bus to take me to Narita I think, they started filming us inside the arrivals area and followed us outside to the bus pick up and interviewed us while we waited for the bus. No one in the company hierarchy was happy about it as the whole operation is supposed to be low key, so all attempts to get background information and film on the vessel were denied, but they ran what they had anyway. There were 4 of us there and they mainly filmed my mate Richie because he is a tall loud gaijin, I got a few sentences looking bored and befuddled, our boss would have nothing to do with it fearing the wrath of the office.
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby quix » 06 Jan 2018, 22:19

I went to Japan for the first time last year and I cannot wait to go back. It was at once so completely familiar and yet so strange. I felt very safe there, much safer than anywhere else I’ve ever been, I walked through red light districts on my own late at night and wasn’t bothered once by anyone. The food in Japan was extraordinary and I really miss it. The service and detail in the presentation of everything they do was astounding... the quietness of Tokyo was a complete surprise. Even during the rush hour tsunami in Tokyo station all was orderly and quiet and respectful. I can’t say I felt welcomed by everyone I met in Japan, I was refused service at a couple of restaurants even though I was with my son who speaks Japanese but I did also meet some very friendly and hospitable people.

Japan is extraordinary, beautiful, perplexing and beguiling all at once.

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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Jimbo » 07 Jan 2018, 02:14

quix wrote:The food in Japan was extraordinary and I really miss it. The service and detail in the presentation of everything they do was astounding...


From family restaurant chains to side street noodle shops I like how when the wait staff take my order they will squat or kneel so that they are tad lower than face level with me rather than hovering. The best service anywhere and no goddamn tipping. And the prices, while they're not super-cheap I never get the feeling I'm being gouged. For example, the prices at the airport are the same as in town. At my supermarket if I ask a shelf stocker where the mayonnaise is he or she won't say "Aisle 4" or point, they will stop stocking and lead me - guide me - through the store to the exact spot.
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby quix » 07 Jan 2018, 10:35

Jimbo wrote:
quix wrote:The food in Japan was extraordinary and I really miss it. The service and detail in the presentation of everything they do was astounding...


From family restaurant chains to side street noodle shops I like how when the wait staff take my order they will squat or kneel so that they are tad lower than face level with me rather than hovering. The best service anywhere and no goddamn tipping. And the prices, while they're not super-cheap I never get the feeling I'm being gouged. For example, the prices at the airport are the same as in town. At my supermarket if I ask a shelf stocker where the mayonnaise is he or she won't say "Aisle 4" or point, they will stop stocking and lead me - guide me - through the store to the exact spot.


Service everywhere is out of this world. And the way they fold the notes and count them back to you.

We found eating out and transport in Japan (metro and regular trains) generally cheaper than London. Grocery shopping costs depend on what you’re buying. Fish is obviously much cheaper but bread, fruit and vegetables more expensive and obviously imported foods like pasta cost a fortune. Wine is expensive but Japanese beer, whiskey and sake is of course good value.

My daughter was vegetarian (now a vegan) but we found quite a few options and THE very best vege/vegan ramen place down in Tokyo station just near the Shinkansen gates.

Oh the Shinkansens!!!

Jim, I really envy you. You live in such an incredible country.

I absolutely cannot wait to return.

If I get a chance later I’ll bore you with some photos :D

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Re: I love Japan!

Postby quix » 07 Jan 2018, 10:41

Oh and we found getting around Tokyo and Kyoto really easy. We didn’t really get lost once. Well once or twice we got a little confused in stations but if you can use the London tube then you can get around in Tokyo using the metro and the JR Yamanote line easily! Everyone had told us how difficult it is to find your way around, nonsense!

We did need a bit of help finding the right platform for the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto and then we didn’t have a clue where to stand for our part of the train so we just figured we would stand with the rest of the touristy looking people and we all collectively hoped for the best.

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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Toby » 07 Jan 2018, 10:59

I loved it. I don't think I'd want to live there permanently, but as a sort of extended tourist I enjoyed my 6 months there in 1998.

Am aiming to go back with my family at some point quite soon - perhaps within the next 2 or 3 years over Easter.

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Re: I love Japan!

Postby CAN » 07 Jan 2018, 11:01

I think all the preciseness, the lack of overtly emotional gestures, the cleanliness and the servility would get me down after a while. But I'd love to visit.
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby Jimbo » 07 Jan 2018, 11:07

With the Olympics coming they are really sprucing up the town with new and wider seated train cars, much more comprehensible English signage and many more restaurants with English menus, even in the tiny dives. There is nary a hint of xenophobia. To be honest, they come off as a little obsequious and naive. But that is only good so I'll note it but I won't knock it. As for finding cheap stuff, I'm your man. Hit the supermarkets a half hour before closing and get ready for some half-priced sushi and bento boxes. And you will never find a city with no trash cans so clean. Yes, the way cashiers handle money is an art, especially to a pocket stuffer like me. You will never see a crinkled bill. The vegan thing is tough; there is a bit of fish in almost every dish. But restauranteurs are aware of vegan-ism and if you let them know they will do their best to tell you your best menu choices. We had a guest who was gluten intolerant and she found Japan the easiest place to eat safely - as long as she packed her own wheat-free soy sauce.
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Re: I love Japan!

Postby fange » 07 Jan 2018, 11:10

I love Japan too. Living on the western side of Tokyo for 5 years was one of the most amazing and entertaining times of my life. A truly unique, perplexing and unforgettable place.
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