Thursday, October 27, 2005

News from former FMFers to Japan

Money: There is an international ATM inside the hotel and actually inside any Post Office in Japan. This works just like any ATM in America. ATMs guarantee the very best exchange rates...and without the fees of travellers cheques...and without the long lines at the hotel exchange...and without the Japanese bank fees. Just take a good chunk of money out upon arrival and then another one before we head to our prefectures, where there are not likely to be many exchange venues available. I've done this on several European trips and it was the very best. Headache-less.Alecia Post Office / Cash DispenserHotel New Otani Post Office The Main, Arcade Floor 9:00a.m. - 5:00p.m.Closed on weekends. ATM open 9:00a.m. - 9:00p.m. (Mon thru Fri.), 9:00a.m. - 5:00p.m. (Weekends and National Holidays)Cashing from international credit cards (Cirrus, Plus, Maestro) available.

From a friend who is a former JFMFerfrom 2004:1. Open toed shoes is okay but not for professional dress. Americans wear these types of shoes more oftenthan Japanese. It isn't really the best shoe to wearin meetings, etc.2. A lot of people she went with did not spend morethan $1000 (including the free weekend). 3. Do not be too uptight about the gift exchange. Spend some money on your host family (even though youare only sleeping at their home for one night).4. Shirt and tie is for the professional activities,not tours and nightly free time. Check theinformation in teh Basics handbook. She wished shehad brought jeans and at least one pair of shorts tolounge/work out in if possible. Bring sneakers/tennisshoes also! 5. DO NOT get uptight about the follow-on plan. It ispreliminary and not set in stone. You can change it. No worries! 6. There is a Kinko's copy center right around thecorner from the New Otani Hotel. You can make CD's of pictures, etc. there for a little bit of money. not sure the comparison to the States. Not sure about internet access.7. Bring your own slippers if possible (in a plasticbag of course). Japanese shoes are smaller. 8. Credit cards are more accepted around Tokyo than in previous years. You can always exchange traveler'schecks if you need to. 9. If you bring a computer be ready to open up the case in the airport, etc. Also, you may be the one person in your group that is responsible for doing a power point, etc. if you have the technology! Remember you have to carry your arry-on bag a littlebit. More weight is not always fun. 10. Don't fret about the business cards that much. She noticed that many people didn't have a lot of opportunity or time to give many out to people. Unless you are the type to give everyone a card (like me).11. She recommended if at all possible to use melatonin for jet-lag and set your sleep time on Monday to Japanese time. It might mean you are sleeping some on the plane when others are active.

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