Monday, February 18, 2008

Dummies Guide for Japan - Tokyo

1. Got to the government building in Shinjuku. Get maps, check out the view from 45th floor.
2. Get good shoes. Use the subway, but do check first if places are within walking distance.
* Avoid the early morning rush!!
* Get a Pasmo card.
3. Go to the side alleys. Tokyo's a safe city, and many of the interesting shops are there
4. Gaijin Park
* Limited Express may get you to Yokohama.
5. A place to live in; A Guest House at around 2500 yen a night is the best you can get, probably.
6. Ask.
* Otherwise you may end up in Yokohama.
7. Akihabara, Kanda Bookstore Area; Avoid these for the sake of your wallet.
* For clothes, go to Harajuku or Shibuya. Cheap shoes.
* You'll probably find the best place to shop in within 100ft of your living quarters, one day before leaving Tokyo.
8. Hyakuen shops. Way too much useful stuff, too cheap.
9. Learn to say "I am not an American" in Japanese, if it applies.
10. Visit the Ghibli Museum. Make sure to make a full day of it, and start early, since it closes at 6 PM.
11. Stick to the left side. Except in Kyoto.


Benjamin A. said...

"Ah hah! You are tall white person! You must be American! Harou! I will now speak to you in Engrish! Can you introduce me to Keanu Reeves?"


Esa Karjalainen said...

Actually, we had an old bum come attack us ( well, verbally ) near the Imperial Palace... until we told him we were from Finland, after which he was very apologetic. It's all about WW2 still, here.

Benjamin A. said...

Ah, WW2. A touchy subject in most places other than the USA. (We won, so we have nothing to worry about.)

But apparently it's a huge deal pretty much anywhere else because the USA is the only country that's actually used nuclear weapons on civilians in a war environment. Basically, the idea was that conventional warfare would have resulted in millions of deaths of American soldiers if the war with Japan was pursued in the normal fashion.

Military leaders thought they may have to blow up around 8 or more cities before Japan actually believed that the USA had such a weapon. In the end, two major cities were destroyed with a whole bunch of innocent people...

But that pretty much ended the war. Nobody was technically conquered as such, reconstruction occurred, and now the nation is overall pretty prosperous.

Still, imagine the scenario of "Two of your biggest cities got totally nuked. Regardless of why, how do you feel about the ones who did it?"

On the bright side, this served as an excellent example of how some weapons really are too powerful. Before this, it was always about bigger and better weapons to utterly wipe out an enemy. Once such a device was created and used, I think it's pretty telling that, while this was the first time nukes were ever used in a war, it was also the last time in recorded history.

Anyway, depends who you ask. On the whole, Japan and Germany are on fairly friendly terms with the USA. After all, we do buy a bunch of their cars. And import comics and cartoons. ^_^

Esa Karjalainen said...

Well... We wouldn't have as many BOOMS in Japanese cartoons without nukes, and where would that leave us?

Besides, it's kind of hard to say, if Japan of that time would have surrendered for anything less than completely superior opponent. Despite the fact that Finland also was involved in the big war back then, I don't really see it as something I should use too much brain capacity on, except for mining for ideas or concepts.

Anonymous said...

Awaiting your descriptions of your many training adventures. :D

Danny said...

Naisu tu miichyuu; kureemu sutuu!

Danny said...

Kuriimu sutuu, rather.