dmatth comments

Posted in: Picturesque train ride takes you on a journey through Tohoku prefectures See in context

Update: on the JR EAST website found where it said "Tickets for the Resort Shirakami are not available for sale outside of Japan"

So we're stuck with "Available for sale at JR EAST Travel Service Centers at Tokyo, Shinjuku and other stations, as well as at your nearby Travel Service Centers (View Plaza)"

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Posted in: Picturesque train ride takes you on a journey through Tohoku prefectures See in context

How do international travellers book a seat on Resort Shirakami, in advance ? The website is not really clear on this subject and I'd hate to land in J-land, try to book a seat for a few days hence only to find they're all booked out for weeks ahead !

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Posted in: 5 unnecessary things tourists do when traveling in Japan See in context

When using JR Pass I normally book shiteiseki (reserved seats) the evening before. So (Japanese etiquette-wise) I should just rock up on the morning and the worse that will happen I'll get a jiyuseki (non-reserved) ?

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Posted in: Story of Louis Vuitton: As travel changed, so did luggage See in context

And if NY is too far to travel to see this exhibition there's always the "World Bags and Luggage Museum" in Tokyo 1-8-10, Komagata, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 111-0043

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Posted in: McDonald’s Japan giving away 130 million free coffees starting Oct 16 See in context

The only coffee worse than McDonalds coffee is Jetstar coffee.

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Posted in: 8 things you’ll absolutely miss after leaving Japan See in context

Mobile phone conversations discouraged on trains !

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Posted in: Tokyo does not own Sea of Japan, China's air force chief says See in context

Reminds me when China recently sent a ship down to Australia to monitor the annual wargames (which was ok because it was "in international waters"), but any flights (freedom of navigation) through the South China Sea in international airspace are not ok !

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Posted in: N Korean missile tests spook U.S. base neighbors in Japan, but what to do? See in context

Can someone point me to a reference explaining why North Korea still has a hard-on against the US ?

Didn't the Korean War fizzle out a half century ago ?

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Posted in: Japan's battleship Yamato to be reproduced with VR tech See in context

I visited the Yamato museum at Kure last month, just in time for the new exhibition featuring pictures of the latest dive on the wreck. The ship is just massive.

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Posted in: Earthquake: What to do when even a small one hits See in context

Also, there's the (free and severely under-visited) "Ikebukuro Life Safety Learning Centre" at

2-37-8 Nishi-Ikebukuro,Ikebukuro Fire Department 4F, Toshima-ku

hidden in a Fire Department building, about 5 min. walk from JR “Ikebukuro” Station West Exit.

Takes about an hour and most illuminating, especially the part where the room starts shaking !

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Posted in: U.S. considers banning laptops on all flights into and out of the country See in context

Ummm ... isn't all carry-on luggage already scanned before boarding ?

(or is this an admission that the scanners they use only detect knives etc and not explosive residues ?)

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Posted in: Toxic substances detected in Tsukiji fish market soil samples See in context

Oops ... I ate breakfast at Tsukiji about 2 weeks ago (some place with a big red crab over the entrance). Oh well, if I was going to develop a rash then it would've started by now ?

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