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Japan Travel |OT| One does simply not visit just once

creid

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Nov 17, 2005
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Suica has been working fine for me in every single bus, train and subway I've taken within Tokyo, and is also working fine in Osaka as well, so I don't think there's anything to worry about for the most part.
Again, Super Potato is overrated. Go to Mandarake or any other of the million retro shops. Also, don't jump on the first Famicom carts you find. They are literally everywhere, even in department stores like Tsutaya.
Just a note, I haven't been there yet (in 2 weeks!) but I'm fairly sure the Evangelion store in Ikebukuro is the only one now - the store in Harajuku closed in 2014 or thereabouts.
Capcom store closed years ago.
Y'all are the best <3

I'm mainly going to Super Potato just to have gone, I'm aware they're pretty much picked clean nowadays. Not much of a retro collector so it's more for browsing/gawking.
 

JulianImp

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Jul 13, 2011
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Y'all are the best <3

I'm mainly going to Super Potato just to have gone, I'm aware they're pretty much picked clean nowadays. Not much of a retro collector so it's more for browsing/gawking.
Yeah, listening to retro game soundtracks while you walk around lots of old games is certainly something fun to do at least once.

Akiba's has a life-sized Solid Snake on its top floor (the one with the arcade cabinets in it), but I remember it already being in pitiful state two years ago compared to the one I spotted this time around at the Super Potato in Namba, Osaka.

By the way, I've got to say that the Book Off Bazaar at Osaka is the bee's knees! There's a lot of cheap anime merch there, and the clothing section is even better than that in most second-hand shops I've visited so far.
 

Priz

Member
Jun 9, 2004
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A month before my trip and trying to get things finalized...

Still unsure if the food is safe to eat/what to avoid in Shanghai during my 17 hour layover. (Hate to get TD due to foreign flora/fauna during my layover/suffer on the flight from Shanghai to Narita, never had a problem eating/drinking anything in Japan but I've never been to China...) Maybe to be safe, stick to a major chain restaurant...

Thursday Nov 17 the day I arrive in Japan there's a "live autumn" music event:
http://www.j-wave.co.jp/special/liveautumn/index.html
Trying to work on getting a ticket for because I know one of the acts and figured it'd be an interesting event.

Saturday the 19th going to some event with friends which originally was just DJs and now has some girl groups I mostly don't care about but includes unlimited onsen access that day in the admission? http://www.onsen-ongaku.com/yukai2016

Saturday night/Sunday morning going to Anison INDEX at MOGRA (which is something I've done on my last two trips as well):
http://club-mogra.jp/2016/11/19/2862/

Sunday I was TRYING to win tickets to this house concert but I didn't receive an e-mail, it would have been AMAZING to see a Keiko Terada private concert - http://show-ya.jp/post-0004072/

Many events are on the weekend (including fripSide and a few others but they're all sold out)... and I have a chance to see someone I like perform at some event in Okayama... also old friend in Kyoto but nothing is confirmed... there are some really cool events the weekend before I booked, the night I leave (so I cannot attend) and the weekend after I'm there but alas most of the people I'm a huge fan of aren't performing during my time there.
 

elhaym

Member
May 29, 2013
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Oh man thats a point.

Is there a major site I can use to look up what music events are going on in Japan?

It would be awesome to see Sotchi Terreda in JPN or BORIS or any number of Japanese bands that rarely make it over to the Uk.
I use https://www.eventernote.com/ to search, but it can be a bear because most of the ones I've found I wanted to go to were sold out X months in advance to fan clubs only or something like that. =/
 

Fritz

Member
Nov 17, 2006
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Some pics for you from my recent trip to Tokyo (and Nikko)


Gundam Front at DiverCity


iconic Herzog & de Meuron x Prada on Omotesando


Entering Nezu Museum


View from the main building to the garden


in Nezu garden


Shin Godzilla is taking Shinjuku


A restaurant in Shinjuku (GAF Tokyo meetup)


Excercise at Yoyogi Park


Childs play at Yoyogi Park


Zeppelin at Yoyogi Park


Meiji procession


Meiji shrine precinct


Dolls at Meiji shrine


Tiki bar at Jimbocho


The Kappa of Kappabashi


Art display in Jimbocho


A restaurant behind Sensoji


Shinkyo bridge to Nikko's temple district


Tosho-gu
 

creid

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Nov 17, 2005
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My girlfriend doesn't eat meat, but she does eat fish. I'm trying to prep as well as I can by looking up restaurants that have some fish-only option(s) on the menu but it's tough. Any types of restaurants I should be steering towards?

Most restaurants I've checked seem to have small, specific menus (i.e. everything is a chicken broth ramen, or all okonomiyaki with meat in it), so it seems most places wouldn't have anything she can eat. I know how to ask if something has meat in it, or if they have a fish veggie menu, but it would be easier to not have to ask everywhere.
 
Dec 11, 2008
15,732
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Australia
Looks like I'm off to Japan in April next year for the second time! It's been so long overdue. I can't wait!

So I'm trying to decide which of these two tours I should book for April next year (both are pretty much the same price). What do you guys think? I'm leaning towards the first one.

Tour 1.

Tour 2.
 

Laevateinn

Member
Aug 7, 2013
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Looks like I'm off to Japan in April next year for the second time! It's been so long overdue. I can't wait!

So I'm trying to decide which of these two tours I should book for April next year (both are pretty much the same price). What do you guys think? I'm leaning towards the first one.

Tour 1.

Tour 2.
That's around when I'm planning on going back. Maybe we'll run into each other :)
 

elhaym

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May 29, 2013
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So I'm trying to decide which of these two tours I should book for April next year (both are pretty much the same price). What do you guys think? I'm leaning towards the first one.

Tour 1.

Tour 2.
Personally, the itinerary for the first one looks a lot closer to things I'd like to see but the 2nd looks to be ... less touristy, I guess?
 
Dec 11, 2008
15,732
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Australia
Personally, the itinerary for the first one looks a lot closer to things I'd like to see but the 2nd looks to be ... less touristy, I guess?
How I'm looking at it is that tour 1 takes you to less places, but has slightly better variety and pacing.

Tour 2 looks like it'll be very fast paced and is almost like a checklist of all the main stuff to see.

It's a hard call. It basically comes down to less, but slightly more interesting locations, or more locations (so many temples) that seem a little less interesting.
 

Laevateinn

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Aug 7, 2013
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Well, I'm not into tours but I wouldn't want to do one that is so packed. I feel like I would get exhausted and would feel like I didn't get a chance to appreciate it.
 

Zatoth

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Jun 28, 2014
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You said it is your second trip to Japan. Did you already see some of the places you'll visit in the tours?
 

Bboy AJ

My parents were murdered by a 3.5mm audio port and I will not rest until the standard is dead
Dec 17, 2004
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So I've been to Tokyo once for a few days. Did all the touristy stuff. It was awesome. We went back to Japan again--Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe--for a few days. Again, super awesome.

We're considering heading back again for another trip. Where in Japan does one suggest we go in November? We are very open to heading to Tokyo or Kyoto again. We had such a great time in Kyoto, in particular. But what would we do in Tokyo/Kyoto this time around? Any insight on the less touristy things that would be great for a few days?
 

Fritz

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Nov 17, 2006
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So I've been to Tokyo once for a few days. Did all the touristy stuff. It was awesome. We went back to Japan again--Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe--for a few days. Again, super awesome.

We're considering heading back again for another trip. Where in Japan does one suggest we go in November? We are very open to heading to Tokyo or Kyoto again. We had such a great time in Kyoto, in particular. But what would we do in Tokyo/Kyoto this time around? Any insight on the less touristy things that would be great for a few days?
Time for autumn foliage. Check out Nikko and Mt Takao. Maybe even venture further into the alps. Takayama, Matsumoto, Shiojiri/Narai, Shirakawa Go, Kamikochi, ONSENS!!!

Why book a tour in the first place?
 

Bboy AJ

My parents were murdered by a 3.5mm audio port and I will not rest until the standard is dead
Dec 17, 2004
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Fritz, that's brilliant. Autumn in the mountains. Any specific itineraries? Ever been?
 

Fritz

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Fritz, that's brilliant. Autumn in the mountains. Any specific itineraries? Ever been?
Been to the alps once in spring. You can take the train to Nagoya and then change for Takayama. I rented a car in Takayama (with English navigation right next to the train station) and went hiking in Kamikochi national park. Afterwards I checked into hirayu no mori, a great onsen ryokan for a night of excessive hot bathing with mountain views. I then visited Shirakawa Go and surrounding villages (while Shirakawa Go is accessible by bus and overrun with tourists the surrounding villages are basically more of the same but less crowded). Returned the car and stayed two more days in Takayama in a Buddhist temple (sounds more spectacular than it was. Think ymca). Afterwards returned to Nagoya and took the train to Kyoto. I haven't seen Matsumoto etc (yet!).

A couple if weeks ago I stayed in Tokyo and went on day trips to Nikko and Mt Takao both easily accessible by train. See pics above, you can tell the colors are just starting to change.


There are things like regional schedules for autumn foliage I'd check out beforehand.


Are you still in Germany btw?
 

Zatoth

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Jun 28, 2014
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Oh lol. I stayed at that place. Even talked to a German who was doing that. Is this only illegal for short-stay visas? Because I saw other Hostels do the same thing. They even offer the "jobs" on their websites.

edit: from the title I thought they were running an illegal maid cafe, at first.
 

MikeHattsu

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Nov 5, 2013
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Oh lol. I stayed at that place. Even talked to a German who was doing that. Is this only illegal for short-stay visas? Because I saw other Hostels do the same thing. They even offer the "jobs" on their websites.
Guess it's illegal for any kind if visa that doesn't allow you to work while in Japan :p

And I'm surprised they haven't done anything about it earlier. Even saw posters inside for help wanted while at Khaosan Kyoto.
 

Zatoth

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Jun 28, 2014
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Looked it up for K's House. You need to be a "Working holiday visa holder" for it.

Always assumed it was also okay on a normal tourist visa, because you don't receive money for the work.
 

Mesoian

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Mar 23, 2012
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Do the Hakone round trip:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5210.html

And then relax in a hot spring.




Do it!
This is funny because when I went to Hakone, I pretty much ended up doing this on my own. The only difference was that I had to get off on the ropeway half way because the volcano was active and they weren't letting people on it from the top.

Hakone is a wonderful trip for a day. Show up in the evening, chill at a hotspring, next day check your luggage at the front desk and take the rail up the mountain and do the circuit.
 

oyoshimaru

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Nov 18, 2008
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Are the private onsens only for ryokan in Hakone? I wanted to visit Hakone with my girlfriend but I dont think we can stay overnight since we have a place in Mishima nearby, would love to have a chance to hit the onsen with her though.
 

Mesoian

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Mar 23, 2012
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Are the private onsens only for ryokan in Hakone? I wanted to visit Hakone with my girlfriend but I dont think we can stay overnight since we have a place in Mishima nearby, would love to have a chance to hit the onsen with her though.
There are a bunch that have day passes, but if I remember correctly, they'll boot you after a certain time if you aren't staying there.
 

Beck

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Sep 9, 2009
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I'm planning a trip with a friend to Japan and the best time available ended up being January. So I was wondering what's the general consensus on traveling in Winter? I went there last spring (and loved it) but curious how different it would be when snow falls.

I would like to hit up Kyushu and I hear Hokkaido is nice during this time.
 
Dec 11, 2008
15,732
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Australia
You said it is your second trip to Japan. Did you already see some of the places you'll visit in the tours?
Yeah, I've already been to most places on both the tours from the tour I did back in 2010. Last time the futherest I went was Kyoto, but I'll be travelling with someone who hasn't been to Japan at all, so I'm fine with revisiting places.


Why book a tour in the first place?
Because it's nice and easy and I'd get more out of the trip than if I tried to organise everything myself. Tours are great. You meet lots of new people too.
 

bakedpony

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Oct 28, 2011
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Hi JapanGAF. Me and my fiance will be traveling to Fukuoka next week for 3 days. Any tips on must-do activities over there?
 

Fritz

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Nov 17, 2006
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Because it's nice and easy and I'd get more out of the trip than if I tried to organise everything myself. Tours are great. You meet lots of new people too.
I should try it one day. My parents would never ever book tours when I grew up so it kinda never occurred to me. I always figured the costs are not worth the luxury of not having to deal with accommodation and transport, which also has the downside of giving up on personal preferences and kinda watering down the experience to accommodate everyone in the group. Also I'd rather choose my own travel company. But as I grow older I kinda see the upsides of it all.


I'd think I'd get less out of the trip with regards to miles walked and things seen since I am really far too efficient with these things. Lol.
 
Dec 11, 2008
15,732
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Australia
I should try it one day. My parents would never ever book tours when I grew up so it kinda never occurred to me. I always figured the costs are not worth the luxury of not having to deal with accommodation and transport, which also has the downside of giving up on personal preferences and kinda watering down the experience to accommodate everyone in the group. Also I'd rather choose my own travel company. But as I grow older I kinda see the upsides of it all.


I'd think I'd get less out of the trip with regards to miles walked and things seen since I am really far too efficient with these things. Lol.
I've been on many tours all over Europe and Japan before. I'd highly recommend them. For me it's just a more efficient way of travelling. No getting lost and no need to organise anything. Just jump on the bus each day worry free and get the most out of your day (you do A LOT of stuff each day).

You don't even need to do a fully escorted one. Some tours just take you to places and let you explore at your own pace and then the tour guide will tell you what time to meet up to return back to your hotel or your next location. Plenty of great options to choose from!
 

sfedai0

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Nov 10, 2010
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I would say avoid them.

Ive been there a couple of times and the food is bad. There are other places that have FAR BETTER food and you can actually see the river while dining rather than hiving your back to it, like this one http://www.hanamidori.net/store/archives/5 Reservation is needed if you want the view of the river

Also try the restaurant ikedaya it was really good!
So youve tried every yatai stand? Its absolutely worth trying just for the experience, since yatai is extremely hard to find throughout Japan.
 

claytonlee101

Member
Feb 9, 2016
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I just got back from my honeymoon in Japan! I've been wanting to go there for over 10 years and I finally had my chance. Unfortunately I didn't have any time to make an itinerary, the wife got called saying her visa application was approved and ready to be picked up, so we bused to the city right away.

Skimming through here and other sites suggested staying in the Shinjuku area and we tried Airbnb for the first time too. We got an apartment and boy was it small. We stayed in Tokyo and used the Yamanote line for all the main stops. I heard about Super Potato and Akihabara but my favourite store was Book Off! Some BOs had a huge selection of games and a lot were only 108 yen. I made it a mission to visit as many BOs as I could during my travels. I ended up getting most of my wish lists, including complete SFC copies of Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI. I couldn't believe I found a lone Chrono Trigger sitting out in the open in a bin in pristine condition, seemingly just waiting for me to pick it up. I thought it was a rare find but I did find more in other stores but they were around 4400 yen.I just wanted to spend hours browsing BO and Mandarakes but the wife wasn't too thrilled haha.

As for toys, I was looking for anything related to Street Fighter but I didn't find much. Apparently there is a Capcom store but it was too far. 3rd Strike is my favourite game and so I actually entered the East vs West tourney at Game Spot Versus! Awesome experience and the footage is on YouTube.

My favourite places to visit were Nakano Broadway, Ikebukuro and Shinjuku. I definitely can't wait to go back, and with a proper itinerary. Next time I want to go out of Tokyo and visit places like Mt Fuji, Kyoto, and other rural areas.
 

Worthintendo

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Feb 22, 2011
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Perth Australia
I just got back from my honeymoon in Japan! I've been wanting to go there for over 10 years and I finally had my chance. Unfortunately I didn't have any time to make an itinerary, the wife got called saying her visa application was approved and ready to be picked up, so we bused to the city right away.

Skimming through here and other sites suggested staying in the Shinjuku area and we tried Airbnb for the first time too. We got an apartment and boy was it small. We stayed in Tokyo and used the Yamanote line for all the main stops. I heard about Super Potato and Akihabara but my favourite store was Book Off! Some BOs had a huge selection of games and a lot were only 108 yen. I made it a mission to visit as many BOs as I could during my travels. I ended up getting most of my wish lists, including complete SFC copies of Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI. I couldn't believe I found a lone Chrono Trigger sitting out in the open in a bin in pristine condition, seemingly just waiting for me to pick it up. I thought it was a rare find but I did find more in other stores but they were around 4400 yen.I just wanted to spend hours browsing BO and Mandarakes but the wife wasn't too thrilled haha.

As for toys, I was looking for anything related to Street Fighter but I didn't find much. Apparently there is a Capcom store but it was too far. 3rd Strike is my favourite game and so I actually entered the East vs West tourney at Game Spot Versus! Awesome experience and the footage is on YouTube.

My favourite places to visit were Nakano Broadway, Ikebukuro and Shinjuku. I definitely can't wait to go back, and with a proper itinerary. Next time I want to go out of Tokyo and visit places like Mt Fuji, Kyoto, and other rural areas.
I am soo happy I had an itinerary done up for my trip last year, helped me stay super focused and see most the things I wanted to. Leaving a few free days was a smart move too as it gave me chances to relax/doing unplanned things.

So trip for next year is in the planning stages, I'm looking at heading around the same time as I did last year, this time with some friends tagging along. Looking like get there last week of September spend a week and a half in Tokyo and then I'm heading to Nagoya for a week and finally finishing up in Osaka for another week.

The only slight issue is I'll be there right as New Japan Pro Wrestling is doing their big October event, King of Pro-Wrestling, Its happens during the second Monday in October which will be when I'm in Nagoya. So I'm thinking of really getting my money's worth out of the rail pass this time, heading back from Nagoya to Tokyo for the night to see the event and then bullet train back to Nagoya the next day.

Now my issue is getting another hotel for one night in Japan, I'm thinking it might be worth trying a capsule hotel just to save money, however I am 6 foot 4 and not a slim guy so worried they will be too small for me.

Can anyone speak from experience about using Capsule hotels, are there any around that have slightly larger rooms or will they all be way too small for me.
 

AllenShrz

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Jul 8, 2010
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So youve tried every yatai stand? Its absolutely worth trying just for the experience, since yatai is extremely hard to find throughout Japan.
Ive have eaten there 2 times already and honestly the food is not as good as it can be. I can see tourist "appeal" but really I remember much more how fantastic was the view and the food on the other restaurant and how bad was my experience with those yatai.

Even my ex from Fukuoka warned me about them.... I wanted to try and she she was right.
 

Laevateinn

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Aug 7, 2013
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I wanted to post some more pics from my recent trip. Hope that's allright. I think the post one page back was kinda heavy on the bandwidth.
Awesome pics where were they taken?

Don't worry about bandwidth. It's expected in a thread like this.
 

Fritz

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Nov 17, 2006
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Well worth it. Even more so since it is such a short ride from Shinjuku. Originally I planned to do a Harajuku shopping spree that day. So happy I opted for Takao.
 

Fritz

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Nov 17, 2006
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Thanks for the pics Fritz, they've got me excited for my trip to Nikko in 5 days! Unfortunately, rain is forecast for the day I'll be up there. :(
My pleasure. Yeah, its kinda like the one thing that's not perfect about travel destination Japan: the weather.

In 5 days forecasts are anything but set from my experience. And despite that, the temples are sprinkled in a relatively dense pine forest so there is plenty of protection from the rain. Anyways, I can imagine it has it's own striking atmosphere in the rain and at least visitor numbers might be lower.
 

Bboy AJ

My parents were murdered by a 3.5mm audio port and I will not rest until the standard is dead
Dec 17, 2004
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Fritz, great photos. I am still figuring out where to stay in the mountains near Tokyo. I want things to do. Relaxing, nature-y stuff. Maybe I should just stay in the city again and day trip out to the mountains?