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Traveling in East Asia


let1gre
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Hey guys,

 

In April I'm going to Japan, Hong Kong and maybe China and I'd like to hit a few parks. I only speak a little Japanese and no Chinese so I'm curious as to how easy it is to get around, especially in theme parks. I'm going to be generally around the greater Tokyo area. Are Japan and China largely very accepting to English speakers, especially if they at least try to speak the language?

 

Any answers are appreciated. Thanks!

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Hi,

 

I did a similar trip a little over a year ago and had no trouble. As long as you stay in the larger cities, I don't foresee any problems. On my trip I went to Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing in China, Seoul in South Korea, Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, and Osaka in Japan, and Taipei, Taiwan with a knowledge of English and about 5 Japanese words. Many of the cities have held international events (Hong Kong is a former British colony, Shanghai is hosting this year's world expo, Beijing and Seoul have hosted Olympic games), so they have amazing modern public transportation systems labeled in the local language and English and tourist info booths where people speak English and photo based pick and point menus. Most Japanese restaurants have plastic models of the food in a display window as you enter the store. Taipei was the hardest city to get around in with no local language knowledge (Mandarin Chinese). Usually, young people are your best bet for English communication if you need help on the fly. Expectations might be higher on your language skills if you are Asian, however. I spoke to a Korean who worked at a hotel I was staying at and she said she had trouble getting around in Japan. They have lower expectations for Caucasians, it seems.

 

Have fun!

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