26 December 2013

Japan Accommodation - Matsuyama Guest House

Moved: Matsuyama Guest House

26 October 2013

Japan Trip - Tokyo

I feel like I should post some stuff about my trip before I actually I go to Japan again! I've been pretty slack about it  because half my photos are on my camera and the rest are on my tablet.  I think next time I travel, I'll just take my tablet.  My camera is pretty old so my tablet actually takes better photos (in daylight anyway).

It got me thinking about the change in photography.  How not so long ago, we'd travel and take a heap of picture and not even know if they came out until we got home.  My camera went bust half way through my Thailand -  Cambodia - Vietnam trip years ago so I have few photos of the Vietnam portion!

Then, with digital photography, everything became more instant.  Now it's gone that step where you don't just want to see your photos as soon as you take but you want to upload them to social media straightaway.

I took a ferry across the Seto Inland Sea which had wifi so I could post photos of the sunrise in real time.

I guess the upshot of all this is that you have a much shorter period of time in which you can bore your family and friends about your holiday!

Anyway, on to the Tokyo portion of my trip.  I didn't do much touristing because most of my time was spent on Arashi fan girling and catching up with friends. 

We got in late and stayed near Haneda airport then, after breakfast the next day, the most important task was the Arashi goods line! I go nuts buying concert goods.  I try to restrain myself -- and I did resist buying the clear files.

Met up with some awesome friends for a belated birthday dinner.  I won't post pics because I think it's a bit rude to post pics of people on your blog without getting their permission first but we went to A-Z Cafe in Omotesando, one of my favourite places in Tokyo.  We had a table on the rooftop terrace with views over the lights of the city.  We could even see the Sky Tree.  Lots of great conversation and food and drinks.  It really makes me appreciate that I can return to a city and have such awesome friends to meet with.

Then Saturday night, the Arashi concert.  It was amazing.  Worth every cent we paid for those tickets!

Sunday we went to Nakano Broadway for some shopping.  I got new runners because my feet killed.  Red runners!  Then back to the concert to sit outside and listen because we sure as hell couldn't afford tickets for two nights.

We got to watch the fireworks through our magical Arashi glasses that turn light into the Arashi kanji! That was amazing. 

Then Monday my sister left Tokyo but not without us having lunch at my favourite sushi place in Okachimachi.  It's so cheap and so good.  We ate all the sushi!  We'd worked out all the Japanese on the sign outside while we waited to go in then they handed us an English menu but, be warned, like a lot of Japanese places, they leave stuff off the English menu! I dunno if it's because they think Westerners won't like it or they are lazy with translating or just add stuff to the Japanese menu after they translate it to English.  You can't keep your katsuo sushi from me though!

After my sister left, I spent a couple of days in Tokyo.  I tried to go to the Daimyo clock museum but it was shut.

I might post reviews of the places I stayed in separate posts because I think it's helpful for other people planning a trip.  I know I look for blogposts when I'm planning a trip.  You can read reviews on various accomodation sites but I want to get an idea of the person writing the review.  If someone says a hostel is awesome but you can see from their posts that they are a total pisshead party animal, it's a way different thing from a good review from a grouchy old bag who loves her sleep (ie me).

09 June 2013

My #1 piece of advice for people moving to Japan

You'll thank me for this, or maybe you won't - because you usually don't thank people for removing a massive great irritation from your life if you have never experienced the irritation to begin with.  But, trust me, you should follow this or you will suffer for years after Japan is just a distant memory.

My advice is this - if ever you want to order something from a web service in Japan, especially Rakuten, set up a new email address especially for that purpose.  Do NOT use your regular email or an email you ever want to use for anything else.

See Western companies that have half a clue realise that spamming is not only illegal but it pisses the fuck out of their customers.  Maybe you'll get an email from them once a week or something that you can easily opt out of. 

Japanese companies, not so much.  They seem to take the 'more is more' approach.  When you order from Rakuten, you get signed up to not one but like 16 different newsletter services and, even if you go on their site and nagivate through all the Japanese and opt out of every single one of them, there are secret newsletters that you can never, ever leave.

You will be getting mails from them for the rest of your life.

If it takes you 1 second a day to delete those emails, that works out to heaps of time over your life (depending on your life span).  It's easier just to not start in the first place.