Traveling in Japan

It's quite expensive to travel inside Japan, especially on long holidays like the Golden-week, summer holidays, and New-Years holiday. The expensive, but gorgeous tours can be found by the travel agency JTB, and the cheapest one by HIS. When you try to book it on the web, the price rises when the traveling date gets closer. Once, I went to Kanazawa and when I booked it 2 weeks before the departing date, it was double the price. Also, you can buy discount tickets at ticket shops and discount airlines like Air Asia are reasonable. Also, be careful, the hotel price isn't the price of the room, it's the number of people staying!

posted by Miwa at 18:16| Comment(0) | Travel | 更新情報をチェックする


Mt. Fuji

One of the top news in Japan right now, is the cracks and crumbles around Mt. Fuji. It is said that it could explode anytime, and if it would, the ashes will flow all around the Kanto district and the sky will be gray with no sun-light. The ashes will go into any tiny space, and computers, vehicles, mobiles, and any transport will be in out of use. If it explodes, and you are not in Shizuoka-prefecture, there would be a little time,so just follow the instructions from the government. Actually, it has been more than 30 years since it is said that will happen!
posted by Miwa at 16:14| Comment(0) | Disasters | 更新情報をチェックする


Rainy Spring in Japan.

Rainy weather here in Tokyo, thought it will be on Sunday.. I had to carry 2 bags, 1 plastic bag after my shopping, and an umbrella.. Woosh!
Spring is the best weather I like in Japan, and so do most Japanese. In Japan, when people start to have a nice girl or boyfriend, they say '' Haru ga kita'' which means spring has come.
April is the start of the new semester and work, besides the Western countries are September. But, it may change, as Tokyo-uni. is considering to make the new students entering at Sept. Not in the near future I think, but Japan is now trying to globalise with companies over-seas, so it may happen. If it would be, the whole education timeline will change, so it's quite complicated.
Anyway, tomorrow seems to be rainy and then clouded. You should keep your umbrella!

posted by Miwa at 20:41| Comment(0) | The weather | 更新情報をチェックする


English in Japan

Today, I heard a funny story from my student. Her boyfriend is American, and she told me that she really had problems with the vocabulary when she started to go out with him. She said that she thought the phrase '' See you later'' means to see again at the same day, so she waited and waited for his call and got angry, there was no contact to her. Also, she received an e-mail calling her ''Babe'', and she thought he is calling her as a pig.( There was a film about a piggy named Babe'')
Most of the Japanese speak very little English, the TOEIC test shows that the average points are the 2nd worst in Asia. Also, I saw a police having probblems today, spoken by a Westerner in English.
You should keep in mind about the English skills of most Japanese.
posted by Miwa at 17:32| Comment(0) | Language | 更新情報をチェックする


Dangerous places in Japan

Though Japan is a safe country compared by other countries, there are several places that are dangerous. Kabukicho, in Shinjyuku, had the most crimes in Tokyo last year, and the second place in Tokyo was the Adachi area. There are many clubs and bars in Kabukicho, also Japanese Yakuzas own their buildings around there. Adachi is an area where many people who don't have a job, not employed live, so if you get off the main station ''Kita-Senjyu'', you will be surprised of the numbers of police patrolling. The Western area in Shinjyuku is a safe place, there are many head offices of big companies and the main office of the capital of Japan, '' Tocho''. You can go on the top floor of Tocho, and enjoy the wonderful view of Tokyo, if the weather is fine!
posted by Miwa at 19:27| Comment(0) | places | 更新情報をチェックする


Japanese language

There is only one language spoken in Japan, but it is a little different between the areas. The normal Japanese language is spoken in Tokyo(called Hyoujyungo), and it's the Japanese written in books and taught in school. The spoken language is quite different, for example, thank you is Arigatou but people in Osaka says Oukini. Also, people living in the Northern area have a different accent, and it's very difficult for me to understand what they are saying as I live in Tokyo. I've once worked in Osaka for a year, and had difficulties understanding their speakings. People living in the country-side can understand hyoujyungo, but it's difficult for people living in Tokyo to understand the Japanese in certain areas.
posted by Miwa at 17:09| Comment(0) | Language | 更新情報をチェックする


Where to buy clothes in Japan

In Japan, the rich people often buy clothes at Mitsukoshi and Takashimaya, a traditional department store. You can see famous brand shops, and also famous restaurants inside.
Isetan is a famous department too, but a little low price and Marui is for young people, around the age of 20-40.
If you want to buy cheap clothing, Uniqlo is a famous brand, and Shimamura is a shop known for the reasonable price. You can buy shoes, bags, and mats at Shimamura as well.
If you go to Ginza, you can see many brand shops from over-seas such as Zara, H&M, Louis Vuitton, etc.
Many people from the country enjoy shopping in Ginza on holidays, and the price of land is very expensive, as it is one of the places where the rich live.
posted by Miwa at 19:09| Comment(0) | Shopping | 更新情報をチェックする


Japanese earthquakes

Japan is known all over the world, for the frequent earthquake. If there is one, don't panic, if you are in a building. The constructions of buildings and houses are very stiff, they are built under the strict law, that is to make it handle the earthquake under shindo-6. Tokyo was shindo-5, when the big earthquake stroke the Tohoku-area in 2011. The most thing you have to care about, is the tsunami and fire. So, if a big earthquake occurs, you should switch the TV on and turn the NHK channel which gives the fastest info. Run away if you are near the sea or the river, and go to a place high.
If you are outside in the city, there should be a big screen especially around big stations and that will tell you the details. If you don't understand, you should listen to the NHK English radio on your smartphone, and don't rely on mobiles, they won't work out.
posted by Miwa at 19:52| Comment(0) | Disasters | 更新情報をチェックする

Japanese culture

When I first lived in Japan, my impression of Japan was like America! I felt Japanese like new things, and they are good at creating new ideas. I think this is because I was brought up in UK and as you know, Brits don't mind so much about the new world, as Americans.
Japanese people are very high-context, and tries to care others rather than them selves. That is why they obey rules, listen to people and give comments after the person has finished talking, and are strict to manners. Before eating, '' Itadakimasu'' is a word that means ''Thanks for let me eat'', and'' Gochisousama'' means ''Thanks for the meal''. I'm sure, if foreigners say this, they will feel delighted!
posted by Miwa at 00:17| Comment(0) | Culture | 更新情報をチェックする


Residence in Japan for foreigners

Finding a residence in Japan is quite difficult for foreigners, as many flats and houses are limited. I was really surprised when I first knew this, because when I lived in UK, my family could live in any place we wanted..Japan is a country where has only one language, the first time I started to live which was 1989, I felt really weird. All the people have the same skin colour, hair colour, and wear the same types of clothes. And, the most surprising, my hair colour suddenly turned brown from black! I'm sure it's the water that had led me that, but that made people think that I'm a strange Japanese.
Well, right now in 2013, Japan has slightly changed. I've written my experiences in the late 80's, to try to tell you how Japan used to be a self-society country .
Actually, this is one of the reason that foreigners are limited to rent places, the owners are old people who hasn't been over-seas nor have been interested in different culture.
But, many companies have taken this granted, and I'm sure the situation will get better, if you leave me a comment, I can give you further advice.

posted by Miwa at 23:00| Comment(0) | places | 更新情報をチェックする