I think you should do a contest, and the winner gets to visit you for a week, all expenses paid. Of course, all contestants must be 40 years old, former Marines, a sworn LEO, canine trainer and a martial arts instructor. Should be a good contest!
LOL!! I don’t know why on earth I didn’t think of that before. Those “targeted” contests are usually the best ones, right? I would if I could Mr. Dillard, believe that!
That would be an awesome trip! Hanging out in Japan with “The Japan Guy!” That is something I am putting on my bucket list, so whatever you need to do to get that contest up and running!
Hi Japan Guy:
Where to buy search & rescue products, earthquake survival products, preparedness supplies in Japan?
Hey Leroy! Have you heard of Home Center? I’m not sure if it’s a national chain or just in my area, but you could find some great earthquake stuff there. Don’t forget K’s Denki either: flashlights and radios. I hope that helps a little.
Quick question. So now that there is no need for a re-entry permit with the new foreigner ID card, do you know if people with the old ID card can leave and reenter Japan without getting a reentry permit?
Actually I had the same question myself. I will be checking on it very soon. I’m trying to visit home this summer if I can, so I will find out from the immigration office for sure. I heard there’s no need to get a reentry permit if you have the new card, but if you’re leaving after July 9th (and you have an old card) it’s best to check. Better safe than sorry right? Don’t want to get back to Japan and have an official be like “Sorry, that’s an old card, better luck next time, pal.”
I’m all over that question…it’s a good one.
Do you think you could do a post on how to get a Japanese (long-term contracted) cellphone (like how to apply for a contract, what to bring, whether or not you need a bank or not [because some say they don't], perhaps a little information for minors studying abroad there who can’t bring their parents along for consent, what plans to get, how not to get caught up in their fine print etc.)? Like a description of the procedure at the store and how long it takes etc.
I have been meaning to do that for the longest time, and yes I will definitely make a post about that. Thanks for reminding me
I have never been to Japan, but I am absolutely in love with everything about it: the people, the language, the culture…everything. But one thing I have always been curious about since I have never been to Japan is how the Japanese people really are. How do they act? I have met a few Japanese people here in the United States and have noticed that they are not very open about what they think almost as if they were afraid of getting in trouble. Is this how most Japanese act? If so, why? I know that the Japanese people are very respectful people and very polite. What have you noticed about how they act or react to conversation? I had a teacher who was from Japan and whenever I would ask him a question he was very careful about how he would answer it and he never really ‘answered’ the question. I have also noticed this with a girl who is half Japanese (her mother is Japanese and her father is American). Please tell me a little more about the people and how they are and how culture plays into how they act around others. (I ask this question with respect. I am simply curious since I hope to pursue part of my future career in Japan). Thank you!
That is an AMAZING question. I think there are many foreigners who wonder the same thing. I know in my first year here, I wondered the same thing. I have definitely run into people that respond in conversation exactly the way that you’re saying. Of course I have also come across Japanese people who are more direct (the younger, cool types and some elderly men).
When I would teach English discussion classes, I would want an opinion or try to spark a debate, and initially it was tough.
You want a direct answer and just can’t get it. Having been here for a while, I don’t really have a problem with it anymore, but the cultural link to this type of indirect communication is difficult for me to pinpoint.
Why is indirect communicaion a much bigger part of Japanese culture than it is in American culture? It’s hard to say, but my Could it stem from the language itself? You know how one kanji can have several meanings? Maybe that’s a reason having “gray” responses to questions is okay. Maybe it’s built into the language. But wait, if that were true, then why is there the stereotype that Chinese people are much more forward and much more direct.
Could it be because indirect communication, or not saying exactly what you think makes it easier to maintain a polite, respectful demeanor, a hallmark of Japanese society?
Man, this is definitely a question worth looking into. I don’t know if I can find an official answer but that sounds like a post waiting to happen.
I am interviewing for a position teaching english in Ibaraki for Heart English School. With my salary would I be able to live alright and be able to pay my student loans?
I keep a blog about various things I read and I put up a link to your site as a reference. Hope you don’t mind. Here’s the blog if you want to check it out.
How long was your summer vacation? How many days a week do you work, and also, you are a part of JET, correct? Thanks
Hey Ben, sorry for the late reply, just getting back into the swing of things. I recently decided to teach English part-time, so I’m not at a public school anymore. However, when I was doing full-time ALT teaching, I was working for Interac. Summer vacation is a little over a month long. I would generally work five days a week, with a random Saturday here or there (working a Saturday was always coupled with a compensatory day off).
If you are teaching part time who is sponsoring your visa? I thought you have to be employed full time to have your visa sponsored.
Mike, you are absolutely right . Interac was the last company to sponsor me. Once your visa is sponsored, it’s sponsored and it’s good until the expiration date. That’s why many foreigners are able to go and find other work, if things don’t pan out with the company they’re working with. Admittedly I’m about to dive back into the full-time market, because I have no choice (not one I can see yet, anyway).
Hi Japan Guy! I am from the US, recently graduated with a BS in marketing/management. I have recently had a change of heart and I am planning to teach abroad. Any tips for newbies? Did you get started in Japan?
Hey, you’re just like me! My major was Business Administration with a concentration in marketing. Tips? Do careful research of the companies you’re thinking about working for (blogs, forums, whatever you can). You want to choose the company atmosphere that suits you best. I would also say if you’re really sure it’s what you want to do, really be gung ho about it, really try. I think there are quite a few people who think about coming to Japan, some even have successful interviews, and for some reason or another…back out. I got started by asking my sister about her experiences in Japan and if was worth doing, she said that it absolutely was, and I’ll have to second her opinion. Hope that helps, WanderGirl
Hi Japan Guy,
I found out about your blog on gaijinpot. Its been great getting your perspective on life in Japan.
I am moving to Japan from Virginia soon and was wondering If you could suggest any talent agencies or casting agents that are interested in foreigners.
HI Japan Guy,
I just recently came with my husband to Japan, he plays baseball here. And Ive been trying to do some laundry. I watched your video on how to use a Japanese washer, but ours is a Toshiba washer/dryer hybrid. It keeps stopping mid cycle and just beeps and the clothes are sitting in a pool of water. I dont know how to get it to go through a whole cycle of washing and drying correctly. Any tips? Or is it just busted?
I have heard that a westerner can get a good paying job in Japan as a Santa for about 6 weeks before Christmas. Have you heard about any agencies advertising for this type of job? Thanks for any help you can provide.
Personally I haven’t really seen companies advertising for this type of job, but I’m sure there are chances to Santa up. I’ll keep my eyes and ears open (seriously) and if I find something cool, I will get back to you ASAP. Deal?
the soft drink originated in japan first, called RAMUNEH, which is Japanese Englishy for LEMON NADE er, REM UNEH, REMONADE……see? Japan brought it to Taiwan during 1895-1945 colonial era. Was it ever called MABU SODA here in TAiwan? In Japan for slang it was and is called MA-BOO SODA, marboo meaning marbles….
Donald, love your blog and your writing style. I hope you don’t mind me plugging your book on my blog: http://goyrepublicezine.blogspot.jp/
Okay, so my question is a little bit of a long one. I am soon graduating from my university with a bachelors degree (I’m from the UK so the system of education is a little different) in software development. I want to teach English in Japan as an ALT for interac. However my real question is what sort of things can I do to get extra money? How do I get into said jobs for extra money too? Also if I decide to quit on being an ALT are there any jobs that I could actually get with my qualifications? I know you might not be able to answer all of my questions but any advice would be good!
Hello.. Donald.. Its so nice to hear and read stuff from a foreigner’s perspective and in a very lively manner.
I am an Indian majored in engineering but I am very much interested in teaching English here in Japan. If you could help me with the information like where to start or whom to contact. I will be very very grateful. Waiting for a reply.. Thank you.
Hi Neha! Sorry for the late reply. The good thing about teaching English in Japan is that most companies will provide some form of intensive training program, which means you could have majored in nearly any field and still be a VERY effective teacher. Info? Okay, I went the AEON route when I came, so I went to the company website and emailed them to get info. They hold large sessions to recruit new potential teachers (ECC might be another English conversation school worth checking out). I would also recommend looking into the Jet program. Interac can also be a positive experience, too (I know everyone doesn’t say the same…just being honest…but mine was).
CHECK THESE OUT!
AEON Website: http://www.aeonet.com/aeon_index.php
JET WEbsite: http://www.jetprogramme.org/
ECC Website: http://recruiting.ecc.co.jp/
ALT Website: https://www.interacnetwork.com/recruit/
Good luck Neha, if you have more questions…I’ll do my best to help
hi nene have you found job here in japan already?
I’m in my 1st year of college in Michigan, currently changing courses, but the old plan was to take an IT/Media Major with Japanese and French as minors. The new plan? That’s a good question. Right now, I’m looking at languages in general, but I’m not sure where to go outside of teaching or hardcore translating.
I am unwilling to give up French (already in the 200 levels) and the same for Japanese, but geez I’m not that far yet!
I’ve been interested in Japanese for the longest time (yeah, anime is part of the reason :p)
The main thing though is (I know Japanese and French aren’t so closely related) if I was to want to live in Japan, where could I apply these languages? How, where, and misc.?
Plus, immigration for a gaijin…with those skills…outside of teaching…
Of course, besides that…
Your site is amazing! I love (and hate, but that’s because I wish there was more) your articles about Japan! I read almost every article and I wish there were more people with more sites to talk about Japan!
I hope your foot heals well!
Bonne chance avec votre vie!
WOW! You’re going to transform into language superhero or something (a sincere bow of respect). Anime holds a special place in my heart, too. That was some of my first exposure to any type of Japanese culture. So many foreigners who come here to live and work have had some kind of exposure to it, too. Pretty neat, I’d say.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING! I’m really glad to hear you’re enjoying the site. I’ll do my very best to keep cool stuff coming your way. So please feel free to come back and post anytime.
P.S.-My foot is doing much better now, I appreciate the well wishes
P.P.S.-Je parle un peu du francais mais j’oublie beaucoup de choses. Merci beaucoup mon ami!
your ATM article looks interesting. unfortunately this p.o.s. iMac won’t scroll down so that i can read more of it.
Uh oh! I hope there’s a way to make the viewable for you.
Thanks for the feedback, Sukebe.
i just wasted 45 minutes on the phone with Chase’s agent in the Philippines who told me some guy who had just used his card in Thailand was unable to get money with it in Japan and now i’m more worried about this than ever. i can’t take thousands of dollars in cash (which is what they demand) to a foreign currency exchange and get Japanese currency before we leave on vacation. i guess the only way to be sure we’ll have enough money for food and hotels that won’t take cards (or where the cards aren’t recognized} is to go back to travelers’ checks just like the old days.
OH NO! I don’t know if Chase Bank’s cards have the same security features from country to country. But I haven’t had any issues with my US bank thus far.
As long as they know I’m here, they know transactions are going to be coming from Japan.
I have also been able to withdraw funds (via Japan post ATMs) from my US bank account. International service fees can be a bit of a nuisance at times, but I’ll endure a bit of a nuisance for added convenience.
I know how you feel, I hate carrying too much cash when I travel too. When I first came AEON recommended bringing some money in traveler’s checks, with them being insured and all. Now, when I go back and forth, though, as long as my debit card is valid, I’m good.
Hope that help even if only a little.
I’m interested to hear how things work out. Please let me know.
Donald, I am smitten by your blog. I am a French-Canadian girl who seems to have followed a very similar path as yours. I am a business admin-marketing grad with an obsession with the Japanese culture. I am 33 and at a turning point in my career where I need to “get with it or deal with it” kind of crossroads. I have had financial struggles that have kept me in a job that I despise, all in order to pay off some “unfair” debt that I’d accumulated over the years.
Anyways, all that to say that I admire your life and progress and find inspiration in what you’ve accomplished, given your odds. I’m arriving there in 2 days (2nd time going) with a couple friends and fear that I may never return home because I love Japan and its ability to make me feel normal. Hope life finds you well and that you discover what your real passion is now that you’ve stepped away from teaching. Kampai!
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Just found this blog and think it’s great! I just arrived two weeks ago to Osaka to teach belly dance and it’s been quite an experience so far! Thanks for all the great info and insights!
I was wondering: do you have some Garbage Pail Kids? Maybe some Japanese?
Thanks mate, Wayne
I do have some Garbage Pail Kids (not many) and they’re all in English. The ones I came across were all in English. I wish they did have some Japanese ones, though! That would be pretty neat.