Questions about all things Japan answered by those in the know
I feel like I've hit up all the "standard" hanami spots: Yoyogi, Asukayama, Ueno, Yanaka... What's your favorite spot (preferably not on that list) and why?
Where could I bring a group for an interesting tour of forest or gardens , cute town hope with onsen . Nature a bit
Are there any direct bus rides from Narita Airport to Shizuoka City, Shizuoka?
Hi. I will be travelling to Japan this coming April 11. I would like to know the cheapest, economical ride direct going to Shizuoka City, Shizuoka from Narita Airport Terminal 2. This will be my first time in Japan. :)
I see people with a bus commuter pass and I'm wondering if there's any information online about this? (I can find a lot of information about the train tekken commuter passes.) I want to see the prices and if it's worth it for me to buy one. If it matters, I'm looking for Yokohama area ones... Keikyu bus or Kanachu bus. (or is there one for all companies?)
We're trying to head down to Kyushu for a little break later this year, and if you've been to any of the abovementioned prefectures before (or even live there!) I'd love to hear your suggestions for cool things to do and see - preferably the cool spots that guidebooks or online resources might not cover! Thanks in advance!
Heading to Miyazaki, Kyushu this summer (4 nights, staying in Aoshima). Any recommendations on places to eat would be much appreciated. Also, any sightseeing spots? The priority is surfing but we'll have a car and will still have time to travel around a bit. Cheers!
I was wondering if you have any ideas on some things I can do to continue to develop while I am an ALT. I know that in a few years I will want a new gig, and I was wondering what I can do while being an ALT to bulk up my skills and resume.
on Sep 18
Been thinking about moving out of the Tokyo area for a while now. I've got a few ideas of where I would like to go (although not at all sure if they are actually doable) but just out of curiosity if you could move (or had to move) to another location in Japan (and no, not just down the road), where would it be? Me: Miyazaki, or somewhere on the Izu, or maybe Yokohama
on Sep 13
Most of my purchases on Amazon have been household goods and groceries. Kitchen equipment, rugs, laundry and bath stuff. For food, mostly whole bean coffee, condiments, and dried or canned foods. So my question is, for kitchen, bath, and laundry, what purchases have you made that were good value for money? What grocery items do you get?
on Aug 21
I know it's still hot right now in much of the country, but I'm already dreaming of the changing leaves (and cooler temps!) of autumn. What are your favorite autumn leaf spots across Japan? Here in Niigata I really like the scenery and colors around Lake Daigenta which is about a 30 minute drive from home!
on Aug 19
Good day and happy summer to everyone! Please spare a moment to share your recommendations for effective JLPT preparation resources. I have been invited to work part time as an Assistant English Teacher even they knew I am not fluent in their language both written and verbal, but it was fun and I made it through. Since then, I came to appreciate teaching here but I was advised that I will be more effective and well compensated if I have an JLPT Certification. Please, would appreciate your recommendation as to where and how to map a successful study and preparation path. Also, I have a plan to volunteer and start up a reading and practice your everyday English in my community which is going to be once or twice a month program. Thank you in advance.
on Aug 6
How might I achieve a shoestring budget lifestyle in Japan? After reading genkidesu's blog post on City-Cost about living on a shoestring budget, it seems possible to live a dream that seemed reserved for retirement. Here is my situation and my background for anyone that is interested in helping me navigate this transition. I'm married with a 7 year old daughter and 2 year old son. We live in Oklahoma. What should I take into consideration with regards to young children and moving internationally? I have held several jobs from washing cars to telemarketing to IT to home automation programming. Where should I start with regards to jobs that will bring in a minimum of $2,000 per month in Japan? I'd like to move to Japan within the next 6 months. Is this realistic? What pitfalls have you experienced that I should be on the look out for, if any? Maemotte kansha shimasu! (Thank you in advance :P)
on Aug 1
Hello! I heard it was hard to find apartments that accept pets in Japan. I have a therapy cat who will absolutely have to come with me on my journey. Does anyone know if Japan apartments recognize therapy cats or how hard would it be to get my baby accepted? Thank you for the help!
on Jul 12
It's my boyfriend birthday next month! I'm thinking about how to celebrate his birthday in Tokyo. We used to go abroad, but this time we would like to celebrate in Japan. Would be glad if your could recommend restaurants or any events in August? or how to celebrate in extra special way?
on Jul 10
Any favorite places you all have to get away to during the stinking hot summer months? I would love a long weekend away somewhere (ideally cooler!) We did Hakodate/Aomori one summer and really enjoyed it. Would love to hear your suggestions.
on Jun 12
I heard or read somewhere that pouring hot water into cold water was not a good thing to do. (I like my water luke warm sometimes) Something to do with religion or dead association with dead people (and Japan does not like that) Have you heard of this? Any sources I could see so I don’t mess up in a critical moment?
on Jun 9
There's a middle-aged guy, living in one of the apartments in the building across the street from me, who hangs out his futon between 7 - 8 am and then bangs the sh@*t out of them with one of those stupid plastic slapping devices. Honestly, I want to take it from him and slap him with it instead. Of course, I'll end up doing nothing of the sort, but I find this futon-slapping at that time so annoying and noisy and am astonished that he continues to do it despite his noise echoing down the whole street and him being the only person on the street to do so (at least at that sort of time). If he was in my building I might stick a note through his door or something, but I'm not sure about the protocol of doing that when the culprit is in a different building. I'm also wondering if the 7 - 8 am slot for futon-slapping is a perfectly acceptable one and actually it's me that needs the attitude adjustment. Thoughts?
on May 25
I am planning on moving to Japan at the beginning of September as I got a job offer from a university, however, the pay is rather small and I have a husband coming with me there, so we kind of need to find a job for him as well. He has a bachelor's degree in English Philology, and he already speaks the language like a native, and I was wondering what could be the options in a place like Miyazaki for him. As I understood, English teaching jobs are popular for foreigners with a similar educational background as him, is there anything any of you could recommend to us?
on May 9