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  1. #1

    • Man of Logic and Reason
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    Going to Japan/TDL Questions

    I've really been considering going to Tokyo Disneyland this summer, but I have a few questions before I decide to go or not. First of all, if I'm going to go all the way to Japan then I want to go outside the resort. What cool things are there to do in Japan outside of Disney property? Secondly, I don't speak Japanese. That said, do many people speak English in Japan or will I be fighting the language barrier the entire time I'm there? I'm also curious what the Yenn to dollar ratio is because I wanted to know how much it cost to go to TDL. Any other info. on Japan/TDL would be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2

    • Man of Logic and Reason
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    Re: Going to Japan/TDL Questions

    By the way, it should be noted that I live in SoCal, so I'm no stranger to Disney Parks. Disneyland is like my second home.

  3. #3

    • Sea Creature
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    Re: Going to Japan/TDL Questions

    http://www.japan-guide.com
    Excellent for attractions outside the resort. English is a required class in Japan, and many people speak it but most don't speak it too well. With that said, you shouldn't have that rough of a time, lot's of English signs and there will be an occasional fluent English speaker around.

  4. #4

    • I'll Break your Thumbs!!
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    Re: Going to Japan/TDL Questions

    I went to Japan in Sept for the Tokyo Game Show... I stayed in Shibuya and while there, I went to TDS... I didnt go to TDL, well because I have been to both WDW and DL plenty of times...

    Anyway, I dont speak Japanese. I know some basic phrases and words, but nothing to be impressed about. I traveled to Japan alone, so that was crazy in itself. I do have a friend who lives there though, so he helped somewhat... Anyway, I went to TDS alone, and I had to take a couple of trains from Shibuya... If you go to the TDS website they give really good directions on how to get there via train... I think it was like a 30min trip to get there from Shibuya... Basically you had to take the JR Yamanote line to the Tokyo Station and then transfer to a new train. That train literally takes you the front gate of TDL/TDS.

    When you go to the park most of the CM's there know some english, at least enough to guide you to the rides... When I was going on Raging Spirts one CM thought I was to big to ride, so he got an english speaking CM to walk me to the front of the line, let me get in the ride, and test the restraints to see if I could fit, and I did, and they let me ride. I skipped a 60min line... Anyway, the ride stunk, but when I got back the CM was waiting for me to see if I had a good trip. That was a nice touch.

    Anyway, there are books you can get... Since you live in SoCal, if you have access to Little Tokyo try to find a good japanese book store and see if they carry a pocket subway guide... Thats what I got, and it was invaluable to me on that trip. It listed every train stop in english and in Japanese so when I had to go buy a ticket I knew exactly which stop I was going to and how much yen to pay.

    All in All if you want to go, you should be able to get around no problem... If you stay at a hotel in Disney, I am sure they have employee's there that speak english that can give you guides or advice on where to go and what to see...

    Enjoy...

  5. #5

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    Re: Going to Japan/TDL Questions

    New question, Is there a website that give rates all of the Disney hotels in USA dollars? I went to the offical site and the rates are in yen.

  6. #6

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    Re: Going to Japan/TDL Questions

    1 Japanese yen = 0.00853024 U.S. dollar

    Don't worry too much about English... the park is bilingual enough that you'll get by -- or at least from everything I've seen about it, it is. English is a second language of Japan, as has been stated.

    I'm hoping to be proficient in Japanese enough to get by rather well by the time I make my first TDL trip...


    -Tim

  7. #7

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    Re: Going to Japan/TDL Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey joe
    New question, Is there a website that give rates all of the Disney hotels in USA dollars? I went to the offical site and the rates are in yen.
    Head over to this awesome currency convertor site... I use it all the time..

    Take the total amount of the hotel at TDL and plug it in, and then convert from Yen to Dollar and there you go... Just remember that the Yen to Dollar is always changing, so when you go, check again, so you can see what you are going to pay..

    http://www.xe.com/ucc/

  8. #8

    • Main Street Maniac
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    Re: Going to Japan/TDL Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackdack
    First of all, if I'm going to go all the way to Japan then I want to go outside the resort. What cool things are there to do in Japan outside of Disney property?
    Actually, a lot. If you decide to stay in the Tokyo Area, I strongly suggest to spend some nights exploring Tokyo to get an idea of the japanese urban culture and atmosphere. But if you want to explore the religious side of the Japanese culture, then head to the NIKKO area and spend a day visiting the shrines. They're breathtaking and the surrounding just unbelievable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackdack
    Secondly, I don't speak Japanese. That said, do many people speak English in Japan or will I be fighting the language barrier the entire time I'm there?
    I'm from Italy but speak English quite fluently. Well, even though I never felt in danger or lost in the middle of I-don't-know-where, I certainely faced a language barrier. I got the impression lots of Japanese feel quite shy about speaking English and even when they knew it, their pronunciation was hard to understand, at least during the first days over there. But don't worry: clueless strangers seems quite a common view in Tokyo so I happened to be stop by lots of japanese boys and girls offering me their help and in that case usually they spoke English very well. Otherwise you will always find people willing to help even if they don't speak English.

    Something must be said about the language barrier and TDR: don't expect lots of English speaking cast members just because you're in a disney theme park. I witnessed a slightly larger number of people speaking and understanding English but that was it. They will always be very kind and helpful and ALWAYS rush and find a cast member who speak English. I spent in TDR 4 full days and ALWAYS witnessed that behaviour.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackdack
    Any other info. on Japan/TDL would be appreciated. Thanks.
    http://www.andon.co.jp/
    Here's a very nice backpackers hotel in Tokyo. I spent there seven full nights. The customers are from all over the world and all the people there speak English. Very well designed hotel.

    http://www.tokyofreeguide.com/
    If you're alone and wish to know more about Japanese culture or just spend a nice afternoon with some Japanese and have a good time, try this out. I spent one full afternoon with two very nice guides. We strolled for a while, then we went to a coffee bar and had some coffee. They both spoke English very fluently and had a lot of good time! It was so useful to stroll together woth them because they knew places I would have never been able to visit alone and helped me a lot understanding their culture. I must say that the afternoon with them was of the highlights of my holiday!

    If you need more help, let me know. I have lots of bookmarks to share with you and whoever needs them
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    2008: Disneyland (15 years after the 1st visit!)
    2007: World of Disney New York City
    2006 Disneyland Resort Paris
    1992: Euro Disney Resort
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  9. #9

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    Re: Going to Japan/TDL Questions

    Oh, be prepared to be referred to as gaijin (がいじん、外人) quite a lot...

    And there are times when someone might say it a bit backwards, jingai, just because that's not so well known.
    -Tim

  10. #10

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    Re: Going to Japan/TDL Questions

    What is gaijin? Do it mean American or something?

  11. #11

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    Re: Going to Japan/TDL Questions

    "Gaijin" means literally "outside person" or "foreigner". It is looked upon negatively nowadays. The more accepted term now is "gaikokujin" which means "foreign country person." "Americans" are called "amerikajin" which, naturally enough, means "america person." And that's your Japanese lesson for the day.

  12. #12

    • Man of Logic and Reason
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    Re: Going to Japan/TDL Questions

    Thanks for all the info. It is very much appreciated.

  13. #13

    • Desert Disney Guy
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    Re: Going to Japan/TDL Questions

    Hey Jackdack - another suggestion is to check out the Ryokan association website and maybe check out the Shigetsu Ryokan in Asaksuka. I think it's a pretty good deal, and you can get a taste of Japanese culture that way.

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