Comment: Japan Travel

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Here are some comments which people sent in about Japan Travel

My (Larry's) replies appear like this.
Anthony Bisset 2004 Oct 07 violins - don't have frets

Subject violins - don't have frets.

anyway, liked your blog about japan.

Somehow I lived for nigh 35 years totally mixed up about which thingies were "pegs" and which thingies were "frets". Thanks to eagle-eyed readers like Anthony Bisset, I may yet emerge from my wallow of ignorance.

ShadowDragon606 2003 Oct 03 Hello

Hello, I was wondering if you are able to send me any information you might have about ninjas, I have searched many websites including the CIA world fact book... But I have been un-able to find information good enough to use in a small book that I am writing, well Thank you for your valuable time....Bye

Everything I know about ninjas, I learned from reading Tick comic books.

Wcansle 2003 Jul 20 Ninjas

well you had a very interesting site. I'am 13 and have been deeply studying the ninja arts and the ninja history. I have always dreamed of seeing that museum. You were very lucky. Please note ninjas werent anything in the movies, and
they werent bad people. Your dictionary will tell you they were mercenaries. They werent. Only one clan to my knowlrdge was a group of mercs. They later turned into a band of pirates. The majority were rebels. Patriots. They fought to keep the samurai warlords out of thier province. They had an extensive honor code and morals. I just wanted to get that point across. They werent cold blooded murderers. They were heroes in thier own right. Sincerely, your local ninja obsessed freak.

I asked this person where s/he learned so much about ninjas, got the reply:

all over the web. find any good search engine, and you'll find all sorts of stuff. theyve been an interest of mine for the past several years. just go to and type in any search on them. they are very interesting people indeed. not all of thier inventions were for warfare though. they made many different advances in medicine, and even came up with a food thats basically the miracle diet. it satisfies the body, but virtually makes you gain no weight.

So I tried some web research. I learned that ninjas are awesome and sweet. I'm glad that Wcansle has had more successful studies.

Nicktheladyman89 2003 Jun 09 need to know the meaning PLEASE WRITE BACK NOW PLEASE

Land of the Rising Sun
Japan current


Freak that I am /
live in Japan /
Let's rock with the tough girls /
in this part of the world /
take a photograph /
Portrait of a Ladyman

Trevor garrard 2003 May 25 good?

completely gay

My best guess, based upon my server logs, is that Mr. Garrard was looking at the description of my time in a Tower Records at Okayama. I'm not sure if this is the same Trevor Garrard who performs in a Genesis cover band with his own costumes, masks and props. That might indicate some strong feelings about music and might explain his email. But that's just guess piled on top of conjecture.

Oliver Studer 2001 Sep 11 your page

i really enjoyed reading your japan-trip-log. i'm planning to do a trip there somewhen during the next 6 months or so.. ;-)

really nice log.

well.. hope you're well and bush gets wiped out asap. :-)

greets outta rainy switzerland


It's nice to live in a superpower nation. When the people of Luxemborg have a venal and stupid national leader, do they get condolence letters from people in other nations? No, because non-Luxemborgians couldn't care less. But when the USA's leader is venal and stupid, lots of people care.
Oliver, having read my above comment, clarified:

Well it's like you give a baby the power to destroy the world with a finger-tip. that's what makes me scary. you know.. the leader of luxembourg doesn't has this much power, nor leaders of switzerland (even whole europe..) do. but your leader is in fact the most powerful (and most stupid, imho, sorry if i hurt your feelings ;)) leader of the world!

so why shouldn't i care more about him than about a little ant in luxembourg? "Fear the bear, the ant can't hurt you.."

no i'm not paranoid, just watching the world getting mad from an objective perpective.

Jimmy Lefkowtiz 2001 Apr 30 Hi

I tried doing a search on Google for "Jimmy Minjung" for the hell of it and your page on our party in Tokyo came up. I had not seen this page before and enjoyed your account of the party!

I hope this means he's not going to sue. Go read Jimmy and Minjung's travelogs, they're better than mine.

Oliver Studer 2001 Sep 11 your page

i really enjoyed reading your japan-trip-log. i'm planning to do a trip there somewhen during the next 6 months or so.. ;-)

really nice log.

well.. hope you're well and bush gets wiped out asap. :-)

greets outta rainy switzerland


[It's nice to live in a superpower nation. When the people of Luxemborg have a venal and stupid national leader, do they get condolence letters from people in other nations? No, because non-Luxemborgians couldn't care less. But when the USA's leader is venal and stupid, lots of people care.]

benjamin williams 2000 Nov 06 Hey. Please help !

Hello , my name is Ben from Australia and I visited your site not that long ago - I am interested in infomation upon Japanese travel etc. Please help !

I plan to visit Japan soon to see my girlfriend who is staying in Japan - and I would be gratefull to know a few things.

Is Japan expensive ? (to travel to, eat sleep and drink?) How much money do you think I would require for normal expenses for around 1 or 2 weeks in Japan ?(in Yen or $ estimate)

I replied:
Yes. Travelling to is expensive. Sleeping is expensive. Eating and drinking doesn't have to be expensive, but it can be tricky finding cheap places.

When I was travelling, lodging was about 9000 Yen per night, about 15000 per night in the Tokyo area. I was staying at business hotels. Hostels would have been less expensive. Business hotels aren't always great for travelling couples--some of them have few two-person rooms, or none.

I probably spent about 4000 per day on food, but it varied a lot. I ate at some very cheap places and some very expensive places.

I probably also spent a lot of money on trains and getting admitted to tourist attractions. I don't really remember how much, though.

If you're looking for advice on inexpensive travel in Japan, I recommend the guidebook published by Lonely Planet. When I look on the back of my guidebook, I see they have a price in Australian currency, so you might be able to find their books, uhm, somewhere in Australia.

I am a skateboarder , you article upon the "dogs and the skatepark " caught my eye - are you a skateboarder ? Anyway , do or did you see any other skateparks in Japan , especially around Tokyo ?

I'm not a skateboarder anymore. I didn't see any other skateparks.

Ok , this is all I can think of right now . . . Thankyou for your time and I would really appreciate your reply. Thanks.

I told Mr. Williams to have fun. He replied:

Hey ! Thankyou very much for the infomation ! It hopefully shall come in handy when I eventually travel to Japan.

Oh yeah , I WILL have fun with my girlfriend AND I will keep on skateboarding . . . Thanks !

Ben Williams .

trevor (i dunno punk zine) 2000 Sep 19 japanese ska

ok... i'm dying for japanese punk and ska and was wondering if you knew of some good american sources for finding them.... the bands i already have stuff by is listed below.... i have maybe 30 cds but would really like a source for more

I replied:
I didn't see your list of bands, so I might tell you some things you already know. In fact, if you already have 30 cds of Japanese punk and ska, then you're way ahead of me.

The only American source I have is this Moon Records compilation "Nihon Ska Dansu (Land of the Rising Ska)" and some Rude Bones tracks on this Beach Recordings compilation "Saturday Matinee (Skank for Brains)".

I've found CDs by pop-punk band The Blue Hearts at Tower Records (San Francisco, North Beach) and (used) at Amoeba Records (San Francisco). These were tragically isolated incidents.

Tower Records of Japan says they do international internet ordering, but I haven't tried it. (Editor's note: I have tried it since; it was fine; it's okay if you don't know Japanese. I've also used, and it was really good. (In late 2002, depending on which artist I searched on, either Tower or Amazon seemed to have the most selection available. So try 'em both, I guess.)) It looks like you give them credit card information, and then email requests to them.

If your list includes any tracks by the Japanese punk bands "Aggressive Dog" or "Bandit", bands active back in 1991 or so, I'd sure like to know about it.

Good luck.

trevor then replied:

ok.... well, then I can help you out a little....

  • hi-standard albums and whatnot
  • kemuri full length and ep
  • rude bones full length, as well as, the compilation you spoke of ["Nihon Ska Dansu (Land of the Rising Ska)"]
  • mega stink men album
  • softball, potshot albums, various asian bands
  • a series of america/japan band split cds... also, a few compilations heavy on japanese content
  • young punch 7", nicotine album, culture shock punk rock comp with good japanese content
  • skankin' in the pit comp has good japanese coverage
  • about ten or so great japanese ska/punk imports (shoulder hopper, balzac, scafull king, etc.).... a little expensive but no worse than shopping at sam goody or somewhere
  • other places i don't know the address to.... far out records (fruity 7"), sky records (TONS of japanese pop-punk/ska)...however, it's a japanese label so it took literally ten e-mails to get them to understand that i wanted to buy records from them...heh

that covers most of what i own and all of it i'd recommend.... it's all reasonably priced and good stuff.... also, there are some stores that'll import some japanese punk/ska at exorbitant prices with little variety.... i haven't done that yet but it looks like my next step....sigh

Tom Manshreck 2000 Aug 01 ???

Oh, cool, Tom sent me a Japanese rebus.

My Mom 2000 Jul 27 travelogue

I was surprised it got on so fast after the scanning. I have read up thru #12 and enjoying it. Skipped stuff about ships.

Hey, it's email from my mom!

I was curious about the book The N.Y. Mining Disaster. The print gets darker after it is on the monitor for awhile. Who is the Sam re Sam's birthday?

"N.Y. Mining Disaster" was a short story in a magazine. When I mentioned "Sam," I was talking about Morgan's son.

A perhaps typo: Sister city Hamburg vs Hanburg? Just to show I have a bit of possible anne f. in me too. But not much.

Thanks to my mom's sharp eyes, this typo has since been fixed.

The water fountain incident got me laughing to make up for the restrained children. I love the non happening that resulted from your having the compass. Do you have a tiny one like Br[y]an?

She means a tiny compass.

The lunch went pretty well, but I need to figure out a more elegant way to do coffee. That yellow enamel pot isn't terribly attractive. But more to the point, I want to do all the pouring ahead of time, so I can stop being in the kitchen for so long. I will start asking around for suggestions. I guess you guys use a Mr. Coffee at work?

I was using a Mr Coffee at work.

Elegance suggestions welcome. Love, your m

[Withheld (KL00)] 2000 Jul 26 Your trip in Japan

Wish you had more pictures with yourself in it. What is a scene without the protagonist in its midst? Anyway, just finished chapter one. Will read chapter two tomorrow.

If I'm in the picture, then who's taking the picture?

Next time, I'll travel with a photographer. Heck, I'll travel with an entourage. A translator, a paramedic, a navigator: these would all be useful.

Heck, if a photographer is taking my picture, then I really ought to bring along a make-up artist so that I look good for my photos. And a fashion buyer and a wardrobe consultant. And a body double for photos of me in dangerous situations.

I'll need a Chief of Staff to keep track of all these people and a travel director to get us booked into hotels and stuff.

This is getting very complicated. At this rate, I don't know when I'll next be able to travel.

When I pointed this out to my correspondent, I got the reply:

All you need to do is just ask any pretty girl passing by, or an obaasan, even grandpa ojiisan wouldn't mind helping a tall gaijin like you. It's just taking pics for crying out. You could have met a gorgeous gal and maybe have an onsen spa with her, grandpa or grandma thoroughly impressed, inviting you to their home for dinner when you spoke Japanese..toka, etc. Let me tell you something: years from now, looking at your old pics in retrospect, you'd think you look more handsome now than later when your laugh lines and girth are entrenched. But what's the point of telling, you'd just poke fun. Sigh, Zannen desu ne.

This points out an advantage of a lack of me-photos on the site. My readers assume that my girth is not already entrenched. But I've always been a good trencherman, and entrenched it is.

Arturo Calvente 2000 Feb 14 Iga experience

I'm an Argentinian student of Ninjutsu, and I read about your experience in Iga Region, did you have any digital photograph about that "magic" place or did you know any place in the internet where I ca get some photos or more detail information that I already have ?

I don't think I've ever received mail from an Argentinian ninja before. Then again, it's hard to be certain. I suppose they're a stealthy bunch. Unfortunately, I was no help to this one. So I doubt that any others will write.

Michael McVey in Tucson, AZ 1999 Jan 29 Ethnican Tasted

Just had to write, total stranger. Yours is the only web site I've found with a reference to our fav. Japanese potato chips. My wife and I were JETs in Saga-ken.

Thanks for the chuckle. We still laugh at that bag of chips (how pitiful) and the popular chocolate candy "Colon Roll" - yick.

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