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It is possible to go solo to Japan only knowing english?

It is possible to go solo to Japan only knowing english?

Jun 24th, 1999, 07:59 PM
  #1  
Christy
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It is possible to go solo to Japan only knowing english?

Hi,
I've lived in Japan for over two years and it is hard, especially when you get farther away from big cities, such as Tokyo, to communicate without knowing any Japanese. I know little Japanese, but body language helps. I wouldn't cancel your trip because you don't know the language, just be sure to bring a Japanese/English dictionary.
 
Jun 26th, 1999, 01:53 AM
  #2  
Dan
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It can be hard. ..but in general, the Japanese people are extremely polite and helpful. Case and point - 2 friends were lost, atempting to find correct train. Japanese woman (who spoke little English) actually rode accross town on train with them to ensure they got there. I just returned from Japan three weeks ago and I know little to none of the language. Had no problems, and had a great time. Go and have fun!!
 
Jun 27th, 1999, 08:51 PM
  #3  
lynn
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Ditto on helpful...

We got lost coming up the wrong exit for the subway and tried to point at our hotel business card to a policeman. He didn't know what we were doing, or didn't want to help.

However, as we were walking away a man stepped up and asked us if we needed any help, in English! Turns out he went to Cal. State Long Beach. Like the story above, he actually walked us to our hotel to make sure we got there. Were only a couple of blocks away but we never would have found it!
 
Jun 29th, 1999, 06:27 AM
  #4  
Penelope
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Absolutely. I have traveled all over Japan by myself, using a rail pass. Admittedly, there have been some awkward moments, like the time I stayed in an inn where the woman serving the multi-course dinner in my room tried desperately to tell me (ask me?)about her baby (I think). The more eyes you have the better, however, because even though signs are in English (rail stations, for example), there are so many neon signs in Japanese advertising something that the English signs get lost, so try to go with a friend who will help look for what you want. I usually get a room by inquiring at the tourist desk at the rail station, but, that, too, can be challenging. If you don't know the language, you don't know whether the building you are passing or see ahead is a hospital, an plain old office building, or where you want to go (many modest accommodations seem to be floors of office buildings, somewhat like pensions in Europe). Nonetheless, I would not hesitate to strike out on my own in Japan. There is (or, at least, used to be) a book with a title something like Japan Solo. I used it a long time ago and found it indispensible. Penelope
 
Jun 29th, 1999, 08:31 AM
  #5  
Penelope
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I just checked with Amazon.com and there is a 1998 edition of Japan Solo called New Japan Solo. I recommend that you consider purchasing a copy. It will give you not just written directions to hundreds of places (bus numbers and such), but also drawings of streets, train stations, and other sites. Penelope
 
Jul 9th, 1999, 12:36 PM
  #6  
Bob
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Just got back from 10 days in Japan and the only word I speak in Japanese is "thank you". I was only in major cities or major tourist areas and had no problem. One plus is that Japan is very safe so you don't have to worry about wandering into a bad neighborhood as you do in the US.
 
Jul 9th, 1999, 01:45 PM
  #7  
about the book, NEW JAPAN SOLO
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HI, PENELOPE
I'll thank you if you can bring me some more information about that book you say "NEW JAPAN SOLO", like the editorial,or if I can buy it from internet, etc. I'm trvellig to Japan next july 28.
Thank you.
CECILIA
 
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