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An American Bodybuilder in Japan

Kimba

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I know it was touched on Hawkmoon, but I have a question about the language barrier. My wife and I are going (COVID postponed the trip) and I know zero Japanese.

What are the odds that I can actually survive not speaking Japanese?
 

MAD_SCIENTIST

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I know it was touched on Hawkmoon, but I have a question about the language barrier. My wife and I are going (COVID postponed the trip) and I know zero Japanese.

What are the odds that I can actually survive not speaking Japanese?
Gaijin...Google translate will help...

MS
 

hawkmoon

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I know it was touched on Hawkmoon, but I have a question about the language barrier. My wife and I are going (COVID postponed the trip) and I know zero Japanese.

What are the odds that I can actually survive not speaking Japanese?


Central Tokyo you will be fine.
When you start moving to the burbs the English signage drops dramatically.

Which brings up a funny thing Japan has been criticized for regarding the olympics.

They have a really odd sense of how to translate some things.

For example if you go to the very crowded Shinjuku station and try to find the east gate, you will see signs that say "east gate" in english in one place and "higashi gate" in another. Higashi means East, and sometimes they just romanize the word and don't translate it. Can be very confusing for tourists.
 

Kimba

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Thank you both.

I will be relying on my wife to translate and I am not keen on not knowing whats going on. I need colleges to open back up to take some in person Japanese classes.

At least we will be safe. I wouldn't travel anywhere else not speaking the langauge.
 

maldorf

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Agree with everything you said and figured as much but wanted your opinion as someone who is American and actually lives there. I don’t trust those countries at all. I definitely wanna visit once things settle down and traveling becomes more lax.
Anyone know how expensive a two week vacation there would be? Id like to visit someday too. Wondering how travel expense compares to when we went to Italy.
 

hawkmoon

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Anyone know how expensive a two week vacation there would be? Id like to visit someday too. Wondering how travel expense compares to when we went to Italy.


The most expensive thing would be hotels, as in most of Japan they charge by person, not room. Young children excluded I think most places.
Food can be quite cheap, or expensive - huge range of options. Japan is overall on the expensive side, but has been living with stag-flation for a long time.
Transportation...I'd strongly recommend public. Tourists can get a JR Pass that they can use on any line - fantastic deal https://japanrailpass.net/en/
If you want to drive (recommend outside Tokyo only) rentals are pretty reasonable, but gas is expensive.
The big thing for me when I rented a car here for driving in Hokkaido was how clean and perfect it was compared to my rental on Hawaii visits :p

I think over all food and rooms felt similar to when I stayed in Rome and Firenze.
At least I don't recall feeling Italy was super-cheap, which means there wasn't a remarkable gap for me.
 

USMuscle9403

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The most expensive thing would be hotels, as in most of Japan they charge by person, not room. Young children excluded I think most places.
Food can be quite cheap, or expensive - huge range of options. Japan is overall on the expensive side, but has been living with stag-flation for a long time.
Transportation...I'd strongly recommend public. Tourists can get a JR Pass that they can use on any line - fantastic deal https://japanrailpass.net/en/
If you want to drive (recommend outside Tokyo only) rentals are pretty reasonable, but gas is expensive.
The big thing for me when I rented a car here for driving in Hokkaido was how clean and perfect it was compared to my rental on Hawaii visits :p

I think over all food and rooms felt similar to when I stayed in Rome and Firenze.
At least I don't recall feeling Italy was super-cheap, which means there wasn't a remarkable gap for me.

Aren't there smaller spaces one can rent if they're by themselves or with only one other person?

Just curious, what's it like buying real estate or renting there? I imagine it must be extremely competitive
 

maldorf

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The most expensive thing would be hotels, as in most of Japan they charge by person, not room. Young children excluded I think most places.
Food can be quite cheap, or expensive - huge range of options. Japan is overall on the expensive side, but has been living with stag-flation for a long time.
Transportation...I'd strongly recommend public. Tourists can get a JR Pass that they can use on any line - fantastic deal https://japanrailpass.net/en/
If you want to drive (recommend outside Tokyo only) rentals are pretty reasonable, but gas is expensive.
The big thing for me when I rented a car here for driving in Hokkaido was how clean and perfect it was compared to my rental on Hawaii visits :p

I think over all food and rooms felt similar to when I stayed in Rome and Firenze.
At least I don't recall feeling Italy was super-cheap, which means there wasn't a remarkable gap for me.
I figure the rooms are probably similar to Italy too, where you can only fit two people to a room. Since we have 2 kids, we had to rent two rooms a night or rent a suite that had two bed rooms. Not cheap. If its not any more than Italy then I can see doing it. Id like to see it.
 

hawkmoon

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Aren't there smaller spaces one can rent if they're by themselves or with only one other person?

Just curious, what's it like buying real estate or renting there? I imagine it must be extremely competitive


There is definitely a wide range.
You can also rent serviced apartments. That might be cheaper for a family.

I have avoided real estate here, in part due to my own wife's guidance.
You can't really buy land unless you go way, way out, and then there is little point unless you want to retire there.
It's all what we think of as condos. If you are OK with that, you can buy some properties. I have an American friend who bought a place not too far from me, and another who bought a few units and rents them out.

My 70~sqm place here in an expensive part of Shibuya is 265,000 yen per month.
I don't own a car, so I save the additional 50,000 a month in parking.

I have always rented, and in Japan the cost is usually close to a wash, as it's rare to make money on a condo sale.
When my wife's father passed, they sold his unit and lost money.
I had another friend who bought in Chiba and after ten years sold, just breaking even.
 

Kimba

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My wife did the planning but she wants to travel around. Some hostel's (I think), Hot Spring, some hotels. Rail transit. She aimed to do some of 'everything'.

Costs vary wildly. We are looking at 10k for two people. But my wife is planning five meals a day, more expensive hot spring lodging, etc. Frugal where it counts.

Her original budget was 3k a person before I took a look and bumped some stuff up.
 

MAD_SCIENTIST

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Thank you both.

I will be relying on my wife to translate and I am not keen on not knowing whats going on. I need colleges to open back up to take some in person Japanese classes.

At least we will be safe. I wouldn't travel anywhere else not speaking the langauge.
No worries Kimba...I think and feel that Japan is one those countries that I would travel and rely on Google Translate. In Japan, I feel safe to walk around. I would bike to the grocery store and leave my bike in the front with no lock. I enjoy mt visits to Japan always.

MS
 

MAD_SCIENTIST

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Aren't there smaller spaces one can rent if they're by themselves or with only one other person?

Just curious, what's it like buying real estate or renting there? I imagine it must be extremely competitive
My colleagues would do an airBnB. They say it was more affordable.

MS
 

Wynn

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Have you been to the Powerhouse Hide owns there Hawkmoon?


 

hawkmoon

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Have you been to the Powerhouse Hide owns there Hawkmoon?




I went there for a seminar with Hide and Iris. Tiny place. Without Hide's support they would never have gotten the franchise name.
 

hawkmoon

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My colleagues would do an airBnB. They say it was more affordable.

MS
An ABnB would probably be pretty nice here, considering how well everything is maintained and cleaned as matter of course.
 

Wynn

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What $250 Gets You at a Japanese Hot Spring Inn

 

Samson250

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I saw a YouTube traveler rent one of those little boxes. I didn’t see what his cost was but it was cheaper to book and pay online ahead of time. I suppose if your by yourself that’s all you would need. At 6’4 and a bowl of cereal under 300lbs I might need to see it ahead of time before I commit lol.
 

hawkmoon

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The Japanese tailor with a nine-month waitlist for a bespoke suit

Nice way to start my Monday morning. I only wish I looked good in a nice suit. I have a good friend here who is a famous Italian media person and I joke with him I cannot wear nice clothes.
I am drawn to Italian fashion, but the best I can do now is Panerai and Persol ;)

My friend Giro, he's been here 30~ years, and has been incredibly successful. Met him in the gym of all places.
 

gungalunga

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Anyone hear from Hawkmoon after yesterday's earthquake in Japan? The epicenter was in northern Japan, but it was reported that the quake could be felt strongly in Tokyo. 7.0 magnitude quake.
 

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