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A couple of Japan questions

Travel Forums Asia A couple of Japan questions

1. Posted by MattXIII (Full Member 272 posts) 8y

Gonna go wwoofing around the country so accomodations gonna be cheap ;)
So anybody with wwoof japan experience please let me know, ta.

NEW YEARS?
I've heard that they all stay indoors and that not much really happens outside of family homes, is that true?

WHATS THE MALE/FEMALE SEGRAGATION LIKE?
I mean with the whole 'no women in capsule hotels' etc. I'm not one for agreeing with female inequality so how bad is it really out there? Are they treated like shit? Or is it all hearsay?

AM I GONNA OFFEND A HOST IF I DON'T WANT TO GO INTO AN ONSEN WITH THEM?
How important are onsens to them? I got into a hot spring butt naked in Mongolia and every eye was on me, now that freaked me out, so whats the ettiquette of an onsen really?

Cheers guys

2. Posted by Isarin (Inactive 3 posts) 8y

happens outside of family homes = no bars & clubs etc?

Probably depends on where you are, but even in bigger cities there won't be much going on. Families gather to eat lots of yummy traditional food, right before midnight everyone goes to a nearby Buddhist temple for prayers (heavily crowded...impossible to move), then everyone sleeps and gets up early in the morning to say prayers at a shinto temple (the queues are veeeery long, takes about 3 hours or so to get to the front at bigger places)... stores are closed, Starbucks was the only place open (for whatever reason..)
The city I stayed in had a population of about 800.000

Male/Female segregation....
I don't really know where you get your information from.... it's basically like in Europe, women working the same jobs as men get payed much less and have more difficulties with their careers, and women giving up their jobs in order to be house wives are quite common. I think Japan actually has the highest percentage of female college graduates.
And of course different people will always have different opinions about what is appropriate for women to do etc. It is definitely commonly believed that women are much more sensitive than men and therefore need protection (preferably by men).

so not letting women sleep in capsule hotels might have a weird pseudo-women-friendly reason like "Oh, that would be to stressful"... Btw, I know there are capsule hotels you can check into as couples, they remove the seperating wall between the two capsules...
I noticed I'm not making a lot of sense here.. I hope you see my point?

ONSEN:
well, if a japanese family invites you to an onsen, it would definitely be rude not to go:( If you really don't want to go, you should think of a good story. Easy enough for girls

And yes, they stare because you are probably the first naked foreigner they ever saw so they ll want to know what foreigners look like naked... just use the small towel you get to protect your privacy somehow... take it into the water with you, that is totally no problem!

3. Posted by MattXIII (Full Member 272 posts) 8y

Brilliant, thats perfect. Thanks for that :)
Re-reading my post it sounded abit rude so my apologies.

Just 800 thousand? So attempting tokyo at new years may be abit crazy

One more question: Is it easy to get disorientated in the major cities? I've done Hong Kong and that wasn't 'too' bad.
The london underground i'm used to but i'm just wonderin if anyones got any tips for not gettin lost around Tokyo etc?

Thanks again

4. Posted by Isarin (Inactive 3 posts) 8y

No offense taken, I was just a little astonished...

Sounds a little stupid, but I always carry a compass In most japanese cities you can get free tourist maps at the tourist offices or stations, and even if they charge you some money it is worth it.

If you get lost, try to find the closest Kouban/交番/police station and ask for help... or post office or store or whatever, I made the experience that many people love talking to foreigners (not sure about Tokyo though).

BTW, which island & area will you be wwoofing on? Let me know how it was later:)

5. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru 1113 posts) 8y

In some hotels they have a schedule for the boys and another time for the girls.

I don't they are so ignorant these days, if a foreigner will say no, I don't think they will feel bad.

I once went to a very nice onsen... all eyes were on me!!! becoz I wearing a swimming trunks...
I had to take it off after 2 minutes, it ruins the ambiance!

6. Posted by typermonky (Budding Member 17 posts) 8y

Ok, i'm gona ask what an onsen is. I'm going to Japan in early March but unfortunatly haven't had much time to do much research on it as i've been working my arse off to save enough

7. Posted by MattXIII (Full Member 272 posts) 8y

Cheers Isarin, v.helpful.

Well theres a few things i wanna do in Tokyo so i'll probably be there from 5th'ish till the 12th October. Then due to the oncoming weather i reckon i'm gonna attempt Hokkaido first then work my way down south, but then i want to see Kyoto for the leaves to fall. I really havent done the research on this one. It was just a gut instinct to go whilst on an overnight stop in Narita from OZ. As ya may know wwoofing is unpredictable and hosts dodgy but i'm just gonna get my first host all booked up then wing it from there.

Typer - An onsens a natural hot spring which are v.popular, usually it's seperate men and women baths due to the birthday suits. Seems like the fav thing for locals to do.

8. Posted by lotster (Budding Member 4 posts) 8y

I've just spent a couple of months wwoofing and travelling around japan and had lots of fun. The wwoofing really depends on the host as I've heard some real horror stories about wwoofers being mistreated but in general all of my hosts were really lovely and welcoming. I think that the more you put into the wwoofing experience the more you get out from it. If you can, bring some small souveneirs from back home as a gift when you arrive.

The Japanese work ethic is quite full on so dont be suprised if your asked to work 6 days in a week straight through without a break in some places, and in addition to doing six hours work some families will expect you to help with the cooking and washing up (but thats good as you get to learn japanese cooking) :)

If you head up to Hokaido see if you can wwoof on the 'teku teku' farm just outside of Asahikawa as Asa-san and his family are good hosts. Also try and make it to mount asaidake.

Also although you are saving on accomodation you can end up spending lots on travelling to hosts - i used lots of overnight ferries, buses and the youth 18 ticket to keep costs down but still most of my budget was eaten up by travel costs.

Most of all enjoy it, you learn so much about japanese culture and languauge and meet loads of cool peeps and yes you will get stared at in onsens but outdoor onsens are the best thing in the whole world :)

Also as for the inequality thing, its completely all hearsay as I wouldnt say there is any more than in 'westernised' countries.

Enjoy your wwoofing :)