2013年04月09日

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

2013年04月08日

Smoking and drinking in Japan

Most of the areas in Japan are prohibited to smoke, especially in the city. You have to find a smoking area to smoke, and some places will fine you if you smoke in the non-smoking area. When you want to buy cigarettes from a vending machine, you need a special card which is called '' Taspo'', you can order it by sending a form and a photocopy of any identifications that proves your age. Drinking and smoking are legally permitted from the age 20, and doing pachinko are from 18.
Drinking, the typical place is an izakaya, a Japanese style drinking restaurant. Each dish are cheap and the amount is not so much, so you can try several dishes with different kinds of food.
posted by Miwa at 18:08| Comment(0) | places | 更新情報をチェックする

2013年04月07日

Japanese supermarkets

There are several kinds of supermarkets in Japan. Ito-Yokadois the most famous one, and it sells cheap and good foods and products. You can find imported products at Seijyo-Ishii and Kinokuniya, though they are a little high price. Supermarkets in department stores, which are usually on the underground floor, are expensive. You can get many cooked dishes and sweets that are made and produced by famous restaurants and chefs.
Convenience stores and supermarkets are now 2 different places to buy food in Japan, the people who are single are likely to buy at convenience stores, and people who has a family prefers supermarkets, and this led to a cooperation of 7-11 and Ito-Yokado a few years ago. You can see both these 2 branded products at either stores.
posted by Miwa at 15:12| Comment(0) | Shopping | 更新情報をチェックする

2013年04月05日

Japanese weddings

The weather forecast says it's going to be a storm tomorrow in East-Japan, however, it's my friends wedding party!
In Japan, we give money to the new couple. If it's a friend, 30,000yen will be normal and 50,000yen if you are their boss. Never give the amount which are even numbers, it means that they could separate. Usually, the wedding is divided in 3 sections, the ceremony, the party, and the 2nd party. When you are only attending the 2nd party, you don't need to give them money, but you have to pay for the fee to attend. The 2nd party is a casual party usually organized by only friends, mainly held in restaurants or hotels.
Also, June is the most popular month to get married, it is said they will become lucky couples!
posted by Miwa at 17:09| Comment(0) | Party | 更新情報をチェックする

2013年04月04日

Buying English books in Japan

Buying English books in Japanese book stores are expensive, it costs about as 3 times as more than the normal price. To buy it on Amazon is cheaper and easy, but I suppose the cheapest place to buy is at Book-Off.
When I go to Ikebukuro, I sometimes pop in and buy books around 150-300yen, but not all stores sell English books. If you don't care about the price, or need to buy immediately, you should go to Kinokuniya, Maruzen, or Yaesu-Book-Center. If there aren't any stocks that you want to buy, they will order it for you, but keep in mind it takes about 7days to arrive. I would rather buy it on Amazon if there isn't the book I'm looking for.
posted by Miwa at 14:05| Comment(0) | Books | 更新情報をチェックする

2013年04月03日

Japanese umbrellas

It's so windy and rainy today, my umbrella broke just as I started to use it!
In Japan, the weather frequently changes. In Spring, there are many days with a strong wind, and sometimes at the end of Summer, it suddenly rains hard with thunder which is called ''Yuudachi'', in Japanese.
If your umbrella get's broken, you can buy a cheap one which is called '' binniru-gasa'', plastic umbrella in English,which is about 300-400 yen, especially sold in convenience stores.
Also, you can buy it at 100yen-shops if there is around you.
I prefer to always keep a folding umbrella in your bag, and if the stormy weather comes, go and buy a cheap one!

posted by Miwa at 16:30| Comment(0) | The weather | 更新情報をチェックする

2013年04月02日

Living in Japan

I've been thinking if I could help foreigners living, or planning to live in Japan, as I know that things are complicated to prepare and to do so.
In this blog, you'll be able to find out how to survive, make a daily life, understand Japanese culture, and so on.
BTW my name's Miwa, lived in London for 12 years, and was quite confused when I first started to live in Japan when I was 14 years old.
You can have a look at my home-page, which is linked on the right side of this blog!
posted by Miwa at 13:47| Comment(0) | Diaries | 更新情報をチェックする
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