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I wrote about buying the ticket, but what’s the actual experience of taking the train like? First up, look at the ticket: Not a lot of concessions there for the non-reader of Japanese. This is actually the ticket from Kyoto to Tokyo, although pretty much the only way I could remember was to look at

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I’m in the airport right now, with about three hours to go before the plane leaves. On the way here I was thinking of some of the odd things that I might simply forget if I left it a few days. The Japanese seem very organized. At Starbucks in Shibuya there were people working the

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So a few days ago, we passed by the famous Shibuya crossing, where there is this famous statue of a dog called Hachiko.  This statue appeared in the Amazing Race, so we were keen to see it ourselves.  It’s quite easy to find, here it is behind us. Then this morning, we were were reading

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I’m very tall in Japan. The only people taller than me are other gaijin. But nobody ever looks at me oddly. I feel like the tallest person in Tokyo, but I’m only 6’2″. Taxis seem very expensive. It’s 660 Yen for the the first 2Km, but all our trips seemed around 2000 Yen. The drivers

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Firstly some photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/mickword/JapanDay3 So anyway, I knew we had to get tickets to go to Kyoto from Tokyo on the train. I had no idea how to do this. Today our plan was to go up north a very short distance to Nippori, where we were planning to explore some graveyards and shrines. This

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Holly blogged, so I don’t have to! http://hollywest.typepad.com/blog/2007/03/this_little_fis.html Holly posted the good photos, and there’s some more here. http://picasaweb.google.com/mickword/JapanPhotos The tempura place was intersting as they spoke NO english (at least our waitress didn’t), so I actually had to use japanese to ask for some water. I’d remembered “mizu kudasai”, but my phrase book had

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Holly started running long before I did, and she got very good at it. I’d tried to run with her before, but my knees flared up and so I stopped. I always had problems with my knees. If I walk down a mountain they turn into balls of fiery pain (no problem going up). So

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Drat! The Japan trip is now a week away and I’m not really progressed a significant amount. I have learned that the most important work is word 5, “Sumimasen”, which means the equivalent of “excuse me” and “I am sorry”, and can be used in the sense “Sumimasen, can you tell me where the train

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11. Watashi ni “to me” or “for me”. Now this bugs me, “Watashi ni” is word 11, but the book really tells you very little about it, and I could not find a single example in the book that actually uses it. “Ni” is a particle meaning the preceding word is the indirect object of

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We are going to Japan in six weeks, for my birthday. It’s the ideal opportunity to actually force myself to do something I’ve been wanting to do for decades – learn basic Japanese. I’ve bought various course in Japanese over the years. I had one that I listened to in my car every day for