jcs17 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 8065 posts, RR: 43 Reply 1, posted (11 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 1660 times:
I'd take Tokyo over Singapore, but if you are uncomfortable being in a city where English is less known, Singapore is the best option. Both are really cool cities, but the fact that you can travel to other interesting places like Kyoto or Fuji in a single day puts Tokyo over the top. Singapore is really just a "new" city-state with few historical artifacts of note. You could spend a week in Tokyo and miss a lot. Besides that, Tokyo is a lot more "raw," not that it isn't safe or clean (obviously, it's both), but Singapore is sort of like the Asian version of Dubai. Singapore is a lot more of a cultural mixing-pot with lots of Western influence, whereas in Tokyo you're soaked in Japanese culture with a bit of Western culture.
PHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 4954 posts, RR: 15 Reply 4, posted (11 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1568 times:
I went there last year for 6 weeks and I'll tell you, every day, I went somewhere new to go on an adventure, and man, I still only covered about 20% of the town. I'm gonna try to go there again this year but money constraints may knock me off my horse.
IF you go to Tokyo, make sure you bring plenty of clothes and lotttttsssss of cash. That country will suck you dry. (no pun intended )
If you can handle gangs, then Kabukicho is one entertaining place at night. Just ignore the yakuza and you'll go home with a woman. WITH NO STDs.
If you'd rather meet Japanese who are actually sincerely interested in meaningful relationships with Foreigners, (like me, surprisingly) my buddy Yuta owns an English cafe called 'English Cafe Mickey House" which also has "spanish nights, german nights, etc." Takadanobaba station, take the waseda exit and turn right past the big movie theater and the Softbank store, past the 7/11, and there should be a sign on the street. 4th floor in that building; take the elevator.
if you're there in late july/ early august, I may see you
MIAspotter From Spain, joined Nov 2001, 2272 posts, RR: 26 Reply 5, posted (11 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1554 times:
Both are nice destinations in their own right.
I cannot comment on Tokyo since I have yet to visit, but I can on Singapore.
As other have mentioned, Singapore is a very sanitized asian city and lacks a bit on historical sites but for me, the mix of cultures is pretty interesting, you can start the day observing the rituals in a Chinese temple, and finish the day with a nice spicy Indian curry in Little India.
But Singapore can be done in 3/4 days, and from there you can move up to Kuala Lumpur via a cheap flight, or the hundreds of (really modern) buses plying the SG-KL route.
Singapore is a bit pricey (but not prohibitive) and KL is really really cheap. PM me if you need more info on SG
Whichever city you pick, I am pretty sure you will have a fantastic time
L410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5392 posts, RR: 19 Reply 6, posted (11 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1554 times:
Definitely Tokio. Amazing place with lots of character although you might end up surprised how certain parts of the city have almost a small-town feel.
If you plan to travel in fall you might want to check the exact time period when the leaves start to change colors, which is supposed to be a wonderful sight.
Quoting jcs17 (Reply 1): Singapore is sort of like the Asian version of Dubai.
Unlike Dubai, Singapore seems to have its own identity and there are things to do other than shopping. That being said, I would still pick Tokio over Singapore.
RayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 7694 posts, RR: 5 Reply 7, posted (11 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 1513 times:
Tokyo, no contest. Besides the many sights of that city, you can hop on the Tokaido Shinkansen and within 2.5 hours riding the Hikar train arrive in Kyoto, easily the most historic city in that country with its numerous temples thanks to the very fact Kyoto was perhaps the largest city in Japan that did not suffer significant damage from USAAF bombing raids of World War II. As such, not only can you experience the temples, but also see many fine examples of pre-World War II buildings in that city, too.
MadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10243 posts, RR: 40 Reply 8, posted (11 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 1510 times:
I would not spend more than 3 days in Tokyo or anywhere nearby - Chiba prefecture, Narita town, ec. Of course the media don't want to scare people, just thinking of the true level of radiation. Not that I want to scare anyone this is just out of precaution. I was there two times already in 2012 but for a short time only.
Singapore is great, fantastic, safe, fun, good shopping and food, also there are plenty of places to visit in nearby Malaysia and beautiful outer islands with wonderful resorts which are within easy reach by ferry (or by plane of course).
Coming from so far away why don't you try to combine Tokyo and Singapore? A 2-3 days stopover in Tokyo and then fly down to Singapore. Japan isn't cheap but Singapore isn't what I would call cheap either. Indonesia would be your "cheap" place, some places in Malaysia are also relatively unexpansive.
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
rwsea From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 3014 posts, RR: 2 Reply 9, posted (11 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1462 times:
6 days in Singapore would be way too much. You'd be bored out of your mind by day #3. Amazing food, and great shopping, but that's really it. Tokyo is much more exciting and conducive to a longer trip. Tokyo is an easy choice in my opinion.
PHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 4954 posts, RR: 15 Reply 10, posted (11 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1436 times:
Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 8): I would not spend more than 3 days in Tokyo or anywhere nearby - Chiba prefecture, Narita town, ec. Of course the media don't want to scare people, just thinking of the true level of radiation. Not that I want to scare anyone this is just out of precaution. I was there two times already in 2012 but for a short time only.
The US State department reported that most of the radiation from the nuclear plant was blown out to sea due to prevailing winds. There is just a very small amount of radiation found in Tokyo but that pretty much can happen anywhere. I was there for 6 weeks last year and when I had a blood test and biological test done to me this year because of my stomach virus, I mentioned that I was in Tokyo, and they looked into the amount of Cesium and it's decay products inside of me, and said that there is nothing above normal inside me.
I think both ends of the media have been overblowing or underblowing the situation at Fukushima. I know the Japanese can take care of it, it's just the sheer size and scope of the damage that nobody can be prepared for, no matter how much preparation or training.
Ken777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7442 posts, RR: 5 Reply 12, posted (11 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1364 times:
The last time I was in Tokyo was 1976. And "American Breakfast" (bacon & eggs) cost me $13.50. While I remember a lot of neat things (like the Tokyo Tower) the costs of being a tourist there over rides other memories.
Singapore was fine, but, when compared to Hong Kong, seems really spread out to me. I believe you can do a bit more for your money there. Might even get a super cheap flight to Bali or Phuket fro a night or two.
usflyer msp From United States of America, joined May 2000, 1785 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (11 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1331 times:
I just got back from Japan (trip report is forthcoming) and I can definitely recommend it. Be aware that the Yen is incredibly strong right now thanks to various world financial crises so Japan is crazy expensive. The Japanese govt is supposedly working on weakening the Yen because it is really hurting their export sector but I have not seen any results yet. So if you choose Tokyo - bring lots of cash.
Singapore seems pretty boring in comparison unless you combine it with a nearby country like Malaysia or Indonesia.
Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 13): Be aware that the Yen is incredibly strong right now thanks to various world financial crises so Japan is crazy expensive
I remember last year when I was there the yen was 80 to a dollar, and within 2 weeks it dropped to 71 to a dollar...I say this because I already had all the cash I needed for 6 weeks, and my classmates in my school trip were just arriving when it dropped that low, so I went home with probably 2x as much stuff as they did
Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 13): The Japanese govt is supposedly working on weakening the Yen because it is really hurting their export sector but I have not seen any results yet.
It's gonna take a while, given the scope of the cleanup effort and the amount of foreign aide coming in. On top of the staggering economy as well, all of this has an effect on the value of the currency.