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  • Ritsumeikan APU

    Hello, I have never been to Japan and I will be studying at Ritsumeikan APU in Beppu, Oita-shi for the next four years starting late next month. While I have already contacted the university kendo circle and what not, I was wondering if anyone had any advice on packing and/or traveling? I had heard small essentials like floss and Advil were quite expensive compared to US costs? I have also planned on bringing my Bogu, but buying shinai when I arrive, should save room? Any advice or random thoughts about living in Japan are appreciated, thank you!

    -nsylver

  • #2
    You mentioned floss. Floss is essential. Flossing isn't ingrained into Japanese dental culture (the tap water here doesn't have fluoride either... but that's also true of the UK). Instead of the reels of floss we're used to in the US, they have short lengths perma-mounted on a floss holder.

    Over the counter drugs aren't as expensive as in Europe, they're kind of reasonable but still if you have space in your luggage stocking up isn't a bad idea. Nowhere in the world can you buy a bottle of 100 pain killer capsules for next to nothing like in the US. Just don't send over the post as that would be looked upon as unlicensed importation.

    Bringing bogu but leaving the shinai is a good idea unless you already have to bring something long (e.g. an iaito if you happen to also practice iaido... don't bring any steel iaito though as they are banned here).

    If you plan to travel the length of the country, consider the JR Pass. You can't buy this once in country.

    Will you live in student housing? It might be worth asking about the length of the bed. I've heard student beds tend to be too short for Westerners. Otherwise you should be ok.

    If you need anything check the hyakuen (100) shop first. The stuff they carry is usually (though not always) the best bargain available.

    Despite Oita being towards the south of Japan, it does get cold in winter. It certainly gets much colder than Miami in winter (I grew up in South Florida as well). End of March is still a bit nippy.

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    • #3
      Thank you for the reply. Looks like I'll be bringing a stash of floss and Advil.

      -nsylver

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      • #4
        Originally posted by nsylver View Post
        Hello, I have never been to Japan and I will be studying at Ritsumeikan APU in Beppu, Oita-shi for the next four years starting late next month.
        Oh rad. Congratulations on being accepted!

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        • #5
          Thanks mate, pretty stoked!

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          • #6
            Dude!

            Super important, especially since you're a Kendoka! Bring deodorant! lots of it! Japanese don't have the same kind of deodorant that we use in the US. They have like a spray thing or some paper sheets you rub on your pits and there's not no variety in brands (I think i only ever saw 2-3 brands). I never saw any in stick form so make sure you bring your favorite with you.

            Also, what will you be studying?
            Last edited by Pandaface; 14th March 2012, 10:40 AM.

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            • #7
              Asia Pacific Studies; hoping to focus in International Policy. Thanks for the tip!


              Originally posted by Pandaface View Post
              Dude!

              Super important, especially since you're a Kendoka! Bring deodorant! lots of it! Japanese don't have the same kind of deodorant that we use in the US. They have like a spray thing or some paper sheets you rub on your pits and there's not no variety in brands (I think i only ever saw 2-3 brands). I never saw any in stick form so make sure you bring your favorite with you.

              Also, what will you be studying?

              Comment

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