I know we have at least one Japanese member who goes by the name Firecracker here on Apug, but do we have any more? Or are there any here who have previously visited and photographed in Japan?

Can anyone share any cultural hurdles that I need to look out for while photographing in Japan? I'll be in Takamatsu on the island of Shikoku and while it is a city of 330k+ as of the year 2000 my girlfriend has told me that there are probably fewer than 250-500 caucasians in the city. Because of this fact she said people will probably stop and stare on occasion (not to mention adding to the crazy gaijin factor will be the LF camera I'll be lugging everywhere with me).

I have one friend who is from Japanese (foreign exchange student to the US) and she has called a couple of places to ask if there are any tripod restrictions, but they didn't even know what she was asking about. Her advice was to be open and up-front about taking photos, but if I get into any trouble to rely on the fact that I can't speak any Japanese (she also said that this is what she and her Japanese friends do when something goes wrong while they are in the US )

Any further comments and suggestions?