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Discussion Starter #1
Hi
So im going to Japan this spring. Ive been reading and looking through some i-club and nasioc threads on all the subaru/car places to visit around Tokyo.

Here's a list of what i have found so far:

Car stuff:
-ZeroSports factory located outside of Nagoya
-Subaru dealership in Tachikawa
-STi store in Veno
-Subaru building in Shinjuku
-Super Autobacs in Shinonome
-ScLabo (subaru customize lab) in Gunma

Other places:
-Hokkaido (read that there are tons of subies driving around there)
-Shibuya shopping center
-Osaka Castle
-Yokohama

Please help me build up this list. Any recommendations welcomed:grin:
Things to do, places to visit, food etc
Ill post up tons of pics i gather from the trip

Thanks
 

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BLUE WASABI, (#2 Info Provider)
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IF you get a chance, pack up all sorts of aftermarket parts in a crate and send it back to the states:wink:

I would like the FSTi struts and springs, genome exhaust for the XT, body kit...that should be enough. Thanks.

I have never been to Japan so have fun there for me...maybe go gambling w/ the Yakuza (I hear they really know how to gamble)JK...and don't forget to take a video camera to show us when you get back.
 

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First of all, save up as much money as you can. You will be shocked how much it will cost you to visit Japan. If you are going during the Spring, you should pick the time during cherry blossom. Make sure to soak yourself in a hot spring at least once!

With the places you have listed, if you intend to go to them all, you will need a bullet train pass, which means all the train and bus rides are included in a one time fee of around $300 (JR system only though).

If you intend to buy parts from there, it might be a good idea to order it beforehand and pick it up there, make sure you tell them that you are a foreigner so you won't have to pay tax. It might not neccessarily be cheaper, as they don't offer sales at dealers.

If you are in to electronics, make sure to visit AKIHABARA (within Tokyo), the place is huge and full of gadgets ON SALE!

If you don't have relatives or friends to have a place to stay, you will need to budget yourself on hotels, as it is expensive. As for food, I'm sure you will have no problem since you are Asian, but you don't need to go to expensive restaurants to get good food.

If you want you can list what kind of stuff you are in to. I will make suggestions. Generally speaking, if like modern stuff, stay within Tokyo, or even Oosaka. If you enjoy countryside, the rest of Japan is all yours.

While you are there, act American and speak English, you will have their full attention.

Sorry I'm not able to help you with car stuff, as I lived there before I could drive... Just some general stuff...
 

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hey, F1 Rox what were did you live? i lived in Matsuyama on Shikoku...

anyway, jbleee i dont mean to steal your thread. F1 Rox has got some good advise. if you dont have to much time but want to visit most of japan then use the bullet train expensive but woth it.
if you're interested in temples then check out kyoto. if you are interested in hot springs then check out Matsuyama. Dogo hot springs(in Matsuyama) is the oldest hot springs in japan. you can check out the hiroshima memorial + museum... lots of stuff to see in japan including all those great cars! man, i'm jealous i've been wanting to take a trip back for some time. hopefully soon though.
anyway, have a good time and bring back lots of pics and stuff!!
 

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eman, I lived near Shinjuku, Tokyo. Even though I THOROUGHLY enjoyed the city, I kinda wished I lived in a more rural area. Tokyo is just like any other big city in the world, with it's own uniqueness, that's all. But I think it is loosing character quickly though, as I went back recently.

All I can say is that you need at least few weeks to feel all the subtleness. As for hot springs, it depends on who you go with. Going to hot spring alone is the worst...unless you can use your charm and "English" to make new friends. But be ware, hot spring hotels are full of granmas...choose wisely.

If you money is tight and your are single. You might consider staying at capsule hotels. It is like a beehive and it is around $30. Be careful though, those places are usually for people who couldn't make the last train, so they are usually drunk. If I were to go alone, I will defintely use that as I can spend my money for something else.

Maybe we can have a group buy of various things and split the shipping charge. Just have Mr. jbleee pick them up and ship them while he was there...
 

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Best value places to eat are the top floors of department stores, where there's always a good choice of cuisines. They all have realistic plastic displays of what's on offer you can point to. The lunch rush-hour is from noon onwards, so if can wait an hour might be less busy.

A seven day rail pass costs about the same as the bullet train return from Tokyo to Osaka, so you'll easily get your moneysworth, and its so much easier than buying separate tickets. You can only buy the pass outside Japan.

The Japanese are extremely helpful people; a foreigner looking lost will soon attract someone offering to help.

There are hostels you can stay in, google to find advice. Most places have helpful tourist information centres.

If you want to drive while there, don't forget to take an international driving permit. But I don't advise it if you're without a Japanese passenger to help find the way!
 

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Just remembered another tip for hotels! Japan is full of 'love hotels' that rent rooms by the hour. They're busy by day, but pretty empty overnight, and if you don't mind using them, overnight rates are good value. They are very clean, by the way!
 

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Go to the Chevy dealer to see if they have any questions. Ask them if they feel to small in our big American cars like we feel cramped in thier little Japanese cars. :)
 

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TOP 3 Places to visit in Japan

Top 3:
  • Visit the big buddha in Kamakura.
  • Go to Roppongi for teh nite life!
  • See the Imperial Palace in Kyoto.
You can get to just about ANYWHERE by train. No excuses about not having the transportation...

I've been to these places when I lived in Japan and I am very glad that I had the chance. It's not everyday you can visit such a wonderful country.

:jealous:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks A Lot guys!
I forgot to mention im going with my family and we'll have a rental car. So does that mean well still all need bullet train passes?
I wrote down all the places you guys mentioned

Am i not allowed to buy the stuff there and just bring it all back in a suitcase or something?

Thanks again :)
 

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JDM Foz [sold]
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jblee,

You've picked the best time to go as the country is dressed mainly in pink with the cherry blossoms everywhere. Dont leave it too late though as its gets very hot in parts as well as humid and the mosqitos!!

If you want to go site seeing then you can get a JR rail pass before you go, its cheaper than paying when in Japan. All you do is buy it for a specific time period, ie: week, two weeks or a month and then activate it when you arrive in japan. Dont bother hiring a car, use the train, bus or walk. Motorways are tolled and parking in the cities is expensive.

I'm not wishing to sound like i'm blowing my own trumpet here but check out my site as there is quite a lot of info on the site plus link to other websites.

http://www.mykp.co.uk/default.asp?id=3

If you want to go shopping then 1 usd is worth about 110 yen which is not to bad, but remember you have to pay tax on the advertised price of 5%.

If your looking for parts then track down a local Autobacs : http://www.autobacs.com as they have shed loads of product. I already have my shopping list prepared for when I go in November.

Where are you hoping to be based when in Japan. Osaka, flying into Kansai International, this is centrally based and ideal for Hiroshima, you have got to go there or Nagasaki it will really open your eyes, Kyoto - again amazing, Nara - wow, and Toyko. BTW, Himeji castle is far more impressive in my opinion.

If your going to Tokyo check out Akihabara (Electric City) which is amazing for electronics, you can buy anything, but take your passport as you can get whatever you buy duty free.

If your buying a shed load of stuff and cant get it home then send it airfreight, it will cost a fraction of excess baggage and arrive a few days after you do.

If you want any further info, give me a shout, I've been there over 30 times and lived there for over 3 years. Oh, you might find my site useful for the basic japanese as well. :smile:

On a further not, Hokkaido is a bit out of the way unless your planning on spending a few days there. Shikoku is stunningly beautiful as its not as commercial as other parts of Japan.

And if you want to look at one of the major engineering wonders of the world the check out the Akashi Kyuku bridge, the worlds longest suspension bridge.

mike
 

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Like mykp said, used the train. They go everywhere in Japan. Why burden yourself drivng in a unfamiliar country? By having the pass, you can do anywhere you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Wow thanks again guys
Oh ya my bad, we are not renting a car.
So where do i go about purchasing the transportation passes?

Btw, nice site mykp
 

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Go see Mt Fuji - there is an all day bus tour from Shinjuku (I think) that stops in several places of interest. At the end of the day you are taken back to Tokyo by bullet train. Don't do it on a weekend or you will get caught in a traffic jam.

You may want to avoid the Golden Week period (end April / beginning May) as the Japanese have several vacation days in a row and everything (especially transport) gets really busy.

I'll add a couple of other things later. Over a period of 4 years I regularly commuted to Tokyo from Sydney to manage a software business based in Shinagawa.
 

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JDM Foz [sold]
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Kevin said:
You may want to avoid the Golden Week period (end April / beginning May) as the Japanese have several vacation days in a row and everything (especially transport) gets really busy.
Good point Kevin, forgot about Golden week. You'll also find that plane ticket prices go through the roof close to this period as well. When I checked for last year they more than doubled. :(

mike
 

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It might not be a bad idea to arrive before Golden Week and check out the cheerful mood and the crowd... For '06, it starts 4/29(Sat) to 5/7(Sun).

Here is a site that came to mind with regard to rail pass...there might be others, but start here.

Info:
http://www.jtbusa.com/enhome/jrpasstop.asp

Purchase:
http://www.jtbusa.com/enhome/branchinfo.asp

If you are in to Baseball, check out Tokyo Dome and watch a game. The experience is second to none, as the way they cheer is pretty funny. They have a cheer song for each player.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Oh ya, i'll be going end of this month so thats before this Golden Week
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Northwest Tan said:
^good thing b/c just about every shop is closed during golden week
Lol...that would make the vacation pretty bad
 
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hi there - you should consider Sendai and the surrounding areas of Miyagi Prefecture. I had fun living there for a couple of years. if i felt like surfing, then Sendai Shinko was a 15 min drive. Feel like seeing mountains, then you can take a short drive to Mt. Izumi or a slightly longer drive to the Zao Mountain Range. It's different than the big cities of Japan. You should DEFINITELY check out the Japanese Onsen (Japanese Spas) it's great.

Miyagi's perfect if you enjoy the outdoors and this time of the year, the Cherry Blossoms are coming.

you'll love all the cars (more choices) that we don't have in the US.

BTW, my ride in Japan was a 2000 Toyota Caldina - it was something else - sure miss it but our Forester keeps the family happy.

cy
 
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