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Old 03-05-2008, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO...soon to be in Tokyo
52 posts, read 187,410 times
Reputation: 21

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So I need some information about Tokyo, but let me list a few things I already know.
-I know it's expensive, I've packed lots of money with me
-I know that space is compact
-I know I will need to know Japanese (which I do, but still learning)

Anyways, I am going to be living in a dorm at the University of Tokyo, so are there any good convinces close by, how about restraunts, nightclubs, whatever.
How easy is it to get around, is there a bus/subway/etc station close by?
What parts should I avoid, like areas with drugs, gangs, etc.
I know that politics in Japan are different, I consider myself a very liberal person, my parents are both hippies.
And what's the weather like? I live in Colorado so I won't mind hot summers or really cold winters, so remember that.
If there's anything else I should know, just tell me, thanks.

-Sam
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:20 PM
 
196 posts, read 855,393 times
Reputation: 96
two things i noticed people wise when i was there (especially tokyo)...
you probably already know this, but the japanese are generally very introverted and shy compared to americans. they also seem to have an insanely strong work ethic as well.

outside of tokyo people seemed much more relaxed and open.
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Old 03-07-2008, 04:46 PM
 
196 posts, read 855,393 times
Reputation: 96
as far as it being expensive, it depends. those surveys that determine the most expensive cities usually compare costs of cities for someone to live a euro/american executive lifestyle. so some of the variables don't necessarily translate fairly. For instance, bread and some fruit might be 3-4 times as expensive in japan because it's imported. what that doesn't factor is that you will likely be eating a lot more rice, noodles, etc. instead. i don't know how strict they are about labor laws, but you could probably find some decent work in a hotel that caters to us/british/aussies. plus you would get tips from the americans and others as well.
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:37 PM
 
331 posts, read 1,411,959 times
Reputation: 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by americanintokyo View Post
So I need some information about Tokyo, but let me list a few things I already know.
-I know it's expensive, I've packed lots of money with me
-I know that space is compact
-I know I will need to know Japanese (which I do, but still learning)

Anyways, I am going to be living in a dorm at the University of Tokyo, so are there any good convinces close by, how about restraunts, nightclubs, whatever.
How easy is it to get around, is there a bus/subway/etc station close by?
What parts should I avoid, like areas with drugs, gangs, etc.
I know that politics in Japan are different, I consider myself a very liberal person, my parents are both hippies.
And what's the weather like? I live in Colorado so I won't mind hot summers or really cold winters, so remember that.
If there's anything else I should know, just tell me, thanks.

-Sam
It's been a while so I don't remember names of the places. But you should be able to find a convenience store, a couple of cheaper shokudou-style restaurants, a bakery and a post-office right across the street from the main entrance(akamon gate).

Subway station is a few blocks down that street too. There used to be a couple of bus routes that passed through that neighborhood, but subway is much more convenient imho. If I remember correctly, you're about four or five stops from Tokyo station where you can transfer to most other subway(chikatetsu/"Metro") or JR or Keisei lanes to go practically anywhere in the area. If you plan to go a lot of places in and around Tokyo, it'll make sense to buy a suica card(I think all major transit companies are accepting it these days).

Being from CO, you'll initially find the humidity quite unwelcoming anywhere from June through mid-September. It's a TX/FL kind of humidity there, at time without any wind and temperature of +35C. There's a rain season that starts somewhere in the second week of June and drags on for 5-6 weeks. Spans of 4-5 days without sunshine are common during that time. There could be typhoons in late summer/yearly fall, but Kanto region rarely gets seriously impacted. The winter is sunny and mild(citrus trees grow there), with the temperatures ranging from +5C(extremely cold by local standards) to as high as +20C, but usually around +10+12C. Fall is pleasant, so is the spring(more definite than in the States). In spring there could be some sudden wheather changes, but that's no different from Colorado.

As long as you approach things with a live and let live attitude, you'll be quite all right there. In fact, if you stick around long enough, to your own surprise you might eventually find the whole place to be more liberal than your home country.

As far as places to avoid.. there really aren't any places where you'd find yourself in any immediate danger. For example, if you say that you're going to explore an area around Shinjuku, some well-meaning middle-aged Japanese might suggest that you avoid Kabuki-cyo. And though it's true that there's some chimpira(a local with a thuggish lifestyle) element, the place would present as much danger to you as Littleton, CO. The biggest danger for you would probably be pickpockets on a crowded train.

Your choice of nightclubs and other entertainment would depend on your ability to speak the language. My suggestion is to make local friends and have them take you to the places of their choice. Eventually you'll get a grip of what's what.

Actually Japan is not as expensive as they say in all those ratings and guidebooks. You just need to know where to shop. There's at least a handfull of grocers and department stores along every suburban train line that would make most of their American counterparts look expensive.

Last edited by outsider1; 03-07-2008 at 10:52 PM..
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Old 03-08-2008, 01:24 AM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
2,806 posts, read 15,202,266 times
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Tokyo is roughly about as expensive as NYC. Sometimes real estate is more expensive, but they make up for it by having smaller apartments (therefore the prices are equal or lower).

Japan is a great country, very safe and very interesting. As was said make local friends, don't hang out solely with your study-abroad friends.

When you're new in Japan I suggest checking out some of the cheaper restaurants. Kaiten-sushi places, curry rice restaurants, yoshinoya, and the cheap restaurants where you buy your ticket frm the vending machine. Also don't forget that you can buy meals, sandwiches, or rice balls at 7-11 and take them back to your place. This is a good way to keep your food costs down.

There really aren't any dangerous/ghetto neighborhoods in Japan like in the USA. I mean some places are more annoying that others. For example all of those homeless people in Ueno park can be pesky, but they are fairly harmless.

Just enjoy your time at Todai and try to pick up some of the language. You will likely have a great semester there. Remember to keep an open mind, and read up about the history/culture as much as possible before you get there.
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Old 03-08-2008, 03:50 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO...soon to be in Tokyo
52 posts, read 187,410 times
Reputation: 21
Domo Arigato mead! Great job, I'll be sure to take notes of all that.
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