Japan

Travel Tips for Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka

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Hand washing/mouth rinsing station at a temple

A game developer recently asked me if I had any travel tips for Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. Since I recently went on a trip to those three places with my mother and have been to Kyoto twice now for BitSummit, I was able to write up quite a bit of advice. Since I went to the trouble of writing it all out, I figured I’d blog it. Now I won’t find myself writing it all out twice.

Copy-paste, ho!

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Miscellany

It’s Been Awhile

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I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve had a busy and stressful couple of months. I’m now on vacation in Florida, halfway around the world from home.

Screw United Airlines

The plane trip was terrible. I bought my tickets from United against my better judgement because they were the cheapest. However, I’ve never had a problem-free ride with Untied. This time seals my resolution to never buy tickets from them again.

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Bright Green Gaijin Pants

Bright Green Gaijin Pants, Post 3-4

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The bright green gaijin pants for which the blog was named

My first blog, titled Bright Green Gaijin Pants, was a chronicle of my time as an exchange student in Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan. I’ve decided to repost its contents on this blog. For a full list of all these posts, check out the Bright Green Gaijin Pants category.

The first blog post of any real worth that I published from Japan was far larger than it had any right to be. It was actually several posts combined and posted at the same time because I didn’t have internet access when I first got to Japan. I will be reposting them seperately, as they were meant to be.

Haha! Finally in Kushiro!

Originally published on October 16, 2005.

Hokkaido University of Education, Kushiro
This is the college I went to when I was in Japan. If I recall correctly, I took it while leaning out one of my apartment’s windows. Angle looks right for that. (Photo added to post on Jun 23, 2010.)
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Bright Green Gaijin Pants

Bright Green Gaijin Pants, Post 3-3

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The bright green gaijin pants for which the blog was named

My first blog, titled Bright Green Gaijin Pants, was a chronicle of my time as an exchange student in Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan. I’ve decided to repost its contents on this blog. For a full list of all these posts, check out the Bright Green Gaijin Pants category.

The first blog post of any real worth that I published from Japan was far larger than it had any right to be. It was actually several posts combined and posted at the same time because I didn’t have internet access when I first got to Japan. I will be reposting them seperately, as they were meant to be.

On to Kushiro

Originally published on October 16, 2005.

When the alarm went off, I reset it for 4:35. When it went off again, I reset it for 4:40. Then I got up. I did morning things, then went down to the lobby. Before checking out, I got on line and checked some Neopets stuff, as well as sending an e-mail to everyone to say, “Yo, I am alive.” It seemed like my contacts on gmail did not include someone, and it wasn’t until I got to the part about the hotel key card in writing this that I realized that for some reason, Zeal was totally not on there. Sorry, Zeal. m(_ _)m Did Gokuiroth tell you? :s

Anyway, I checked out in time to catch the 5:40 AM shuttle to the airport. No lateness again for me! Everything happened smoothly. The young woman at the ticketing counter seemed to be in training, but there was no slowdown of services. Even if there had been, I would have been fine with it. I usually am fine with new trainees, but even if I wasn’t, the service I had received the day before was so good that I’d have been patient anyway. At one point they informed me that there was a flight change charge. It didn’t surprise me, so I was like, *sigh* “Hai.” Then they told me the charge was 100 yen.

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Bright Green Gaijin Pants

Bright Green Gaijin Pants, Post 3-2

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The bright green gaijin pants for which the blog was named

My first blog, titled Bright Green Gaijin Pants, was a chronicle of my time as an exchange student in Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan. I’ve decided to repost its contents on this blog. For a full list of all these posts, check out the Bright Green Gaijin Pants category.

The first blog post of any real worth that I published from Japan was far larger than it had any right to be. It was actually several posts combined and posted at the same time because I didn’t have internet access when I first got to Japan. I will be reposting them seperately, as they were meant to be.

The Hotel

Originally published on October 16, 2005.

One thing which is just flippin’ awesome is the key card I received. American hotel key cards each have a magnetic strip, which is somehow swiped in the door to unlock it. This key card did not have a magnetic strip. The door did not have a place to swipe it. what it did have was a shiny black dot about an inch in diameter above the door handle. When I moved the key card in front of said dot, the door unlocked.

What’s even cooler is that just inside the door was a little fixture on the wall that said, “Please insert card. When I did, the lights turned on.

light_switch
Best light switch ever.

Sweet-tastic. So I plopped my stuff on the bed and looked around. Let’s start with the bathroom.

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Bright Green Gaijin Pants

Bright Green Gaijin Pants, Posts 1 & 2

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The bright green gaijin pants for which the blog was named

My first blog, titled Bright Green Gaijin Pants, was a chronicle of my time as an exchange student in Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan. I’ve decided to repost its contents on this blog. For a full list of all these posts, check out the Bright Green Gaijin Pants category.

The first two posts are small and nothing special. Starting at post 3 is where things get really interesting.

Going, Going…

Originally published on October 2, 2005.

But not quite gone. I am in the San Fransisco airport right now (wishing I had some gatorade). On the first leg of my trip (to Seattle), I was seated next to a lady with an adorable 1.5 year old daughter. Talked to them when we weren’t sleeping. For the second leg, I had an exit seat (Yay! Leg room!) with plenty of room — it was an aisle seat, and there was a guy at the window but no on in between us. I just slept on that flight. I leave here for Tokyo at 11:10 AM Pacific time.

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