Little House In Ise

So… You Want to Work or Train in Japan?
May 9, 2007, 14:44
Filed under: Aikido, Expat, Japan, Work | Tags: , , , ,

The best practical advice that I can give you for life in Japan is to not put either it or Japanese Aikido (your martial art goes here) on a pedestal. Life here is frustrating and often disappointing. Keep your eyes open for the good stuff, we all have things that make it worthwhile. It is different enough that you will spend a lot of time saying, “WTF?!?!”, “why would anyone think that?” and “NOT ALL FOREIGNERS ARE ____!!!”, etc … You will also spend quite a bit of time, at least at first, saying “Whoa, cooool!”, “DELICIOUS!”, “It’s really OK to do that in public?”, etc…

Bring a towel, hoopy froods always know where their towel is. Actually, I’m serious here, bring a couple of hand towels/handkerchiefs — you will find almost no paper towels in public toilets. Restaurants provide only the tiniest most useless pieces of scrap instead of real napkins, so a kerchief will go a long way to making you more comfortable!

The job department is a toughie. English teaching is not as lucrative as it once was and it is not as easy as a non-teacher might think, but it is an option. If you go that route, try the larger, relatively reputable schools (GEOS, NOVA, Aeon) before smaller private places. The big schools offer more financial safety and can take you to many cities.

Finally, this is a cash based society. Do not expect credit cards to work in most places and don’t even think about bringing checks. Yen denominated travelers checks may be converted to real money at big hotels and banks in bigger cities but they aren’t as useful as you’d hope. If you must count on ATMs then use the ones in post-offices as they are more likely to work with your bank network.


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