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Thread: Apparently a trip to Japan is in place

  1. #1
    Fishy
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    Apparently a trip to Japan is in place

    So I am being dragged along again by my Two girls and Japan is the allocated destination. November this year I think. I will be told that closer to the date.
    1. Would it be advantageous to learn the language? Or part thereof.
    2. Can you buy "cheap" camera gear in Japan?
    3. Other than the normal tourist spots are there any standout places to visit?
    4. Camera gear I think I have covered with my 7D and array of good glass
    5. Any other tips or tricks that would help for a smooth and pleasant trip.

    I hear the Japanese people are very friendly and the cities are clean


    TIA
    Cheers Brian.

    Canon 7D Kit lenses EFS 18-55 IS EFS 55-250 IS EF28-90 Canon EF 2xll Extender Sigma DG150-500 OS Speedlight 420EX. 580EX

  2. #2
    Ausphotography Regular Brian500au's Avatar
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    Hi Brian

    There are a few people on this forum who have visited Japan, so I am sure other people will jump in to give you some advice. As for myself I visited Japan in April 2016 for the Cherry blossom season. My advice on your questions is a follows:

    1. It is always a better experience if you take the time to learn some basic words in any foreign country you visit. It just makes the experience little bit easier for you and it is alway appreciated by the local people. By basic words I mean, hello, goodbye, thank you etc.

    2. I spent a bit of time looking around at prices and did not find camera gear any cheaper in Japan. In fact I would say to you it is more expensive. There are a good range of second hand shops in Tokyo for camera gear so if you have the time you might pick up something there (depending on what you are shopping for). You have to remember when you are buying over seas you are basically buying with the same caveats as buying online in Australia (limited warranty etc).

    3. Depending on the amount of time you are in Japan and what your interests are, there are a myriad of places to visit. It is truly a fascinating place to visit. If you have not been to Asia before you need to realise Tokyo has almost 1.5x the population of Australia in one city, hence it is alive 24 hours a day. In all honesty I don't think you could go wrong with any place you visited in Japan but maybe hone down your interests a little more and other people will be able to give you more specific advice. I personally followed the Cherry blossoms around in Tokyo and into south Japan.

    4. You seem to have the gear covered with glass and camera. You might want to add a little P&S to your gear for times the DSLR is too inconvenient to carry (restaurants etc)

    5. Japan is a very friendly, clean and safe country to visit. People are wonderful and the experience is something you will not forget. Have fun and post photos when you return.

    If you are interested here are my photos of my trip to Japan

    https://creative.smugmug.com/Travel/Asia/Japan

    Best of luck
    Kel
    Last edited by Brian500au; 19-05-2017 at 12:00pm.
    www.kjbphotography.com.au

    1Dx, EOS R, 200-400 f4L Ext, 100-400 f4.5-5.6L II, 70-200 F4IS, 24-70 F2.8, 16-35 F4IS


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    I'd recommend getting familiar with the cultural to-do & not-to-do, e.g. don't blow your nose in public, be quiet in the trains, how to protect yourself against chikan/groper accusation, etc. I know the language, so I can't really comment on language related problems. The major cities have English signs though, and the restaurants in Tokyo & Kyoto usually have English menu.

    The streets are super clean, even more impressive that it's actually quite difficult to find rubbish bins on the streets The country is overrun by friendly & polite people, and it also has very low crime rate. When I was there, I saw a few occasions of people handing in lost properties to the authorities.

    Not sure what type of stuff you're into, but there are plenty of autumn foliage scenery all around - Nikko, Arashiyama, the Gingko street in Tokyo. And lots of DELICIOUS street food in Osaka.

    A site I found helpful: http://www.japan-guide.com/
    Last edited by piczzilla; 19-05-2017 at 1:07pm.
    https://www.instagram.com/piczzilla

    D800 || Sigma Macro 105mm f2.8 || Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 || Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 || various trinkets


  4. #4
    Lightbender
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    I'm heading over there in a couple of weeks time. I've only been to Tokyo for a 3 day work visit so my experience is limited to that. Language isn't a major problem though the Japanese are very appreciative of anyone who makes the effort to at least attempt to speak some Japanese. Politeness is paramount, though if you plan to get on a subway train in Tokyo in peak hour, expect to be pushed onto the train, its just the way it is.

    I didn't see major price savings on getting gear, though some items are definitely cheaper, your high end glass for example is unlikely to be more than a 5-10% "discount".

    When I get back I'll try to remember to post some more advice.

  5. #5
    Fishy
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    Thank you kindly for your replies and the links to photo's and the Japan guide site. I also checked Lance B's photo's of his visit to Japan. I looked on the "babbel" website for language and they did not list Japanese so I guess it is quite difficult to translate/learn
    l was thinking of buying a canon 5D4 whilst overseas but it is not a priority just a wishful thought. I have not listed all the glass I have in my signature
    Disneyland. Yes. I had been scheduled to visit Disneyland whilst in the USA but my wife collapsed on me outside LasVegas airport and we had to return home immediately. She will try anything to stop me having fun and being a kid.
    As luck would have it Joanna Lumley presented a 3 part series on travel in Japan so I will be able to watch those as the better half taped them. She ( the wife) is so far a head of me it's not funny. I think maybe I have been manipulated into this trip Oh well a man has to do what a man has to do........
    Once again thank you for taking the time to reply

  6. #6
    Who let the rabble in?
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    Japan is one of my favourite destinations, I love the place, it's fantastic, the people are VERY friendly and it is CLEAN and SAFE. If I knew the language, I would love to live there for a while. Camera gear is NOT cheaper. We got by very easily just knowing "arigato" for "Thank you very much" and "Konichiwa" for "Good morning/afternoon/ day". When In Kyoto, I was looking for the Yodobashi Camera Store in Kyoto and a Japanese business man walked me over 1km to show me the way right to the door!! When we were in Tokyo, we were at the right platform for the train to Disney Sea, but weren't sure whether the next train actually stopped at the stop we required. We looked a little lost, but without even asking, a Japanese man come up to us and asked if we needed help and we asked him if the next train stopped at the Disney Sea station and he said yes.

    We only had 8 days in Japan, but we want to go back again. We spent 3 days in Kyoto and 5 days in Tokyo, but we would love to see much more of this magnificent country. I love their culture, their friendliness, the safety, the cleanliness, the scenery, the temples, the transport system, the food. There is nothing we didn't like.
    When in Kyoto, we did many of the temples, but the highlight is the Fushimi Inari Shrine with it's orange Tori Gates:



    When in Tokyo, we did both Disney Sea and Tokyo Disney and loved both, probably preferring Disney Sea. However, it is the first Disneyland we have ever been to, not having been to the original in the US.

    My gallery:

    http://www.pbase.com/lance_b/japan

  7. #7
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    I suddenly remember some more important tips:
    1. Rent a pocket wi-fi (quite expensive unfortunately, but extremely useful for getting around - google maps, trains timetable, etc)
    2. Install "Japan Trains" app. It's a live saviour, it will tell you which platform to go in the train station, the fees, where to transfer, etc. Also, if you're not sure if you've arrived at your stop, you can use the arrival time on the app for reference - Japan trains are notoriously punctual.
    3. Perhaps install Google translate?

  8. #8
    Fishy
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    I saw the pocket wifi advertisement that was about $66 for 15 days which seems reasonable. We are staying for 3 weeks with a possible extra week extension. Good old google translate. Yes. I think we have a lot to learn from their culture and way of life. And if I take half as good photos as Kel and Lance B I will be very pleased And I will look forward to your photos Grant S.

  9. #9
    Lightbender
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    Agree with piczilla, but add in the Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo offline Metro maps and offline travel guide apps. These saved us heaps of time working out how to get around. That said the transport systems everywhere in Japan are amazing and efficient. Very easy to find you way around by subway/Shinkansen (Bullet Train).

    If you get the chance, to get to Horishima I recommend you try Okonomyaki, a sort of pancake, noodle, bacon, prawn and egg combination which is fantastic. Osaka does a version which is great, but only half as good as the one from Hiroshima. That said the food everywhere was fantastic with only a few weird things found on the menus, Yakatori Pigs Rectum, no thanks. We even tried Fugu and survived.

    As far as language goes we got by with very little Japanese. Kudiasai = Please, Arigato or Arigato Gezaimus = Thank you or Thank you very much and Hai=Yes.

    Just dive in and enjoy the experience and you'll have a wonderful time. Enjoy!
    Last edited by Grant S; 30-06-2017 at 10:54pm.

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