Unofficial Japan Travel advisory

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by Ace of Clubs, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. Ace of Clubs

    Ace of Clubs Banned Banned

    I am just going to this up here to anybody travelling to Japan who hasn't been before or who still doesn't know the rules and social faux pas.

    Very important

    - Do not carry weapons of any kind in Japan. Do not carry knives, guns, swords, home made weapons and so on, on your person. You will get arrested.
    + If you are carrying training weapons to and from training keep them concealed or carry them in a bag. DO NOT WHIP THEM OUT ON THE TRAIN.

    - The age of consent in Japan is 13 HOWEVER each prefecture sets their own age of consent. The age of consent in Tokyo is 18 (don't get any ideas - and shame on you).
    + If you are picking up girls make sure they are 18 or over.

    - Do not take things that aren't yours. Very bad in Japan.
    + Always double check before you throw it in your bag/jacket.

    - Do not walk out of a store without paying.
    + If you do go back and pay.

    - Don't be an ass
    + Always be respectful to everyone (Especially in training). Training is a privilege and not a right.

    - Do not leave your passport in your room/hotel.
    + If you go out, keep it in your jacket.

    - Do not get blind drunk/smashed/hammered/whatever your country calls it.
    + Drink in moderation.

    If anyone has anything to add please do so. These are just general guidelines, please observe them to keep yourself out of trouble.

    Do not make trouble, please.
  2. Manga

    Manga Moved On

    This *should* be the most pointless thread ever posted. We *should* all be pointing at Ace Of Clubs and saying "what, you think people need telling this stuff?"

    Isn't it sad that people actually do need telling this stuff? And it doesn't apply just to Japan, it applies to everywhere.

    This could be a very interesting thread and I'm sure some experienced people will come up with some great faux pas to avoid :cool:
  3. Ace of Clubs

    Ace of Clubs Banned Banned

    Japan has a very different culture.

    Some things are normal in some countries and not normal in others.

    All I am saying is that Japan needs a certain level of cultural sensitivity.
  4. Manga

    Manga Moved On

    Oh I definitely agree with you AoC :cool:
  5. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    None of this advice is specific to Japan, the same applies to just about every civilised nation.
  6. stephenk

    stephenk Valued Member

    To be honest, I think this statement is BS. There, I said it...

    People don't make trouble in Japan because they don't understand the culture, they make trouble because they're being asses.

    The complaints aren't about things that really are different in Japan. No one is broadcasting to the net that foreigners in Japan are partaking in a rash of not using the bathroom slippers or forgetting to wash before entering an onsen. I haven't yet seen one email on Kutaki about how Sensei has to keep apologizing to the Noda locals about westerners sticking their chopsticks up in their rice in the nearby restaurants.

    People are ****ed because visitors are doing things that would be inconsiderate anywhere.

    (I think that the emails about behavior are phrased as 'differences in culture' because it allows people to save face by chalking it up to a 'misunderstanding' rather than just saying that people are boorish. However, as westerners with a culture of 'being straight talking' we should go ahead and call it like it is.')
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  7. Hatamoto

    Hatamoto Beardy Man Kenobi Supporter

    Remember reading a page somewhere that said the Brits have been voted the worst holiday goers abroad, they're generally found to be the ones most likely to get drunk and cause trouble, have sex in public, and generally make a mess.

    I think as far as threads go there are more pointless ones than this but it doesn't hurt to be reminded not to be a pillock. I hate confrontation in my own country, if I went abroad I'd make extra effort to not do anything that could get my holiday cut short or wind me up in a Thai prison :p Some things in life just aren't worth the hassle lol.
  8. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    pffft... drink in moderation?

    The Japanese certainly don't like any competition for getting absolutely blind.

    lol.... seriously... it makes me want to ask if you've ever actually spent any real amount of time in Japan?
  9. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    Please also note that you should not be doing the following

    - rape, pillage,robbery,assaults,talking in cinemas,fraudulent activity,any kind of theft or theft related crime, general crime, burglary, criminal damage, drunken disorder, consumption of any illegal drugs, racial behaviour.

    All the above can be classed as illegal acts and will be punishable by viewings of an Eastenders Omnibus for a pre-determined length of period lasting a minimum of 6 months.


    On a serious note. I understand what the original poster is saying. Though rather post a general "what would be generally illegal in most countries", should be more "cultural quirks that would be ok in UK/US but frowned upon in Japan".

    ie sticking up chopsticks in a bowl of rice
  10. noname

    noname Valued Member


    one of my professors told me that whenever he goes to Japan for field research, he has to "practice drinking" for months beforehand..........heh.....
  11. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    I just realized this thread is in the ninja forum... so perhaps all the info in the original post is geared towards ninja dorks who save their pennies and get to Japan and run around in tabi's pulling ninja shizzle and just make the Japanese think..... 'pffffffftt.. dork'

  12. pauli

    pauli mr guillotine

    i was trying to find a polite way to go about saying that.

    social awkwardness in one culture can easily turn into legal awkwardness in another...
  13. The Unholy

    The Unholy Banned Banned

    Manga has pointed out that a lot of what is written should just be common sense. I feel the need to point out the above.

    Do not even carry pocket knives in Japan. I have a folding knife clipped to my trousers right now. I can not do that in Japan. I have a can of pepper spray in the pocket of my jacket. Again, I can't do that in Japan. I even have a permit to carry a concealed pistol and frequently take advantage of it. I can't even get a pistol into Japan.

    Some people might not know about the pocket knife thing and everything else. Some folks don't seem to care. One prat (thankfully now dead) was running around honbu not training but correcting his students while wearing no less than three knives. :bang: One was a dagger, which he could not carry legally even in his home country. What was he expecting to face in a country as safe as Japan especially since he was with a large group at all times?

    Don't try to bring in anything close to a weapon. If in doubt, leave it behind. I had a friend bring in a real sword and went through the procedure at Narita to do so legally. It took him hours. I went through the same thing once as well. Later, at the shihan's dojo he wanted to show it to, we found out that it was not made in Japan but probably China. He was very lucky that they inspectors at the airport were not as savvy as the teacher. He got the sword out of the country ASAP. Another guy got tossed out of the same dojo from bringing a legal sword without clearing it with the shihan first (among other things, he was an idiot after all.)

    Another thing to be aware of is to leave behind any type of medication you are not 100 percent certain is legal in Japan. There are some things you can get over the counter where I am that would land you in jail in Japan. Cold medication gets a few people in trouble every year.
  14. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool the merc with the mouth MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Sounds like theres a wierd back story to this one? Wanna share, Ace?
  15. noname

    noname Valued Member


    You can't bring a non-Japanese-made sword to Japan?
  16. The Unholy

    The Unholy Banned Banned

    No. The Japanese government would prefer that everyone was unarmed. But they want to preserve their culture. So they let Japanese smiths produce a limited amount of swords a year to keep the skill alive. Anything other than one made by a Japanese smith in the traditional method is banned.

    Some of the Chinese made ones are so close you need an expert to tell the difference. The Japanese don't care. They want to preserve their culture and not enrich Chinese smiths.
  17. markspada

    markspada Banned Banned

    Sorry to once again throw a bucket of ice cold water on one of your threads, guys, but for what it's worth allow me to proffer the following perspective:

    After a lovely eleven hour flight featuring John Cusack's cry for help "2012", my wife and I touched down in Narita last week at roughly five in the afternoon. After getting my passport stamped I stood in line at baggage check with my sword bag slung over my shoulder the entire time. No one looked at me twice. When it was my turn after my wife had passed through, the security officer just glanced at my passport, bowed, and cheerfully welcomed me to Japan....didn't even ask me what I had in the sword bag.

    The moral of the story, children: only people who have absolutely NOTHING better to do with their time such as Ace of Clubs spend it posting mundane information that is easily obtainable to anyone with internet access. And said information may not even be applicable, as in my case.

    Also, for what it's worth: bringing a shinken into Japan isn't impossible: you will have to obtain temporary registration material for your sword there with customs, which may or may not take a while. You will probably have to obtain another registration document once you have arrived at your intended destination( prefecture, ward, city, etc. ).

    But I certainly didn't have to tell any of you internet warriors that, now did I?

    Thanks for once again reading the contents of the cereal box for us, Ace.:cool:

    - Mark Spada
  18. KSN_Princess

    KSN_Princess Kuk Sool Won Princess

    Thanks Ace of Clubs!!
    I will keep these in mind whenever or if i ever go over there! :)
  19. Sandstorm

    Sandstorm Valued Member

    I'me thinking of buying a sword while in Japan. Anyone know the reverse on how easy it is to get one out of Japan and into the US and what the procedures are?
  20. The Unholy

    The Unholy Banned Banned

    That does not mean that it was legal. I nearly got a sword into Japan without going through the proper procedures myself. I had to point out that I had a sword listed on my declaration. The official had seen that I had put down 6 bottles of booze and said that since I was traveling with my wife, we were good to go. I had to point out that toward the bottom I had also filled out the sword I had.

    There is almost no problem getting a modern made one out of the country. If what you are buying is more of a culturally important artifact, there may be trouble. I got my 14th century blade out of the country by having a friend with some diplomatic credentials to take it.

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