Japan: Final Farewell Thoughts

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” – Lin Yutang Sitting at my desk, on my last day of school, I can’t help but recall all the major ‘lasts’ from my life; Uganda, Placement Year, University, and how recent, yet… Continue reading Japan: Final Farewell Thoughts

School: Oita Sofukan High School

By At by At - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27952276

Oita Sofukan High School October 2015 – January 2016 Oita Sofukan is a strange school, even by Japanese standards, much more like UK college than anything else here. Classes run for 90 minutes, from around 8am to 8pm and students attend if/when they can/want. There’s no uniform, there’s a canteen, you wear outdoor shoes indoors… Continue reading School: Oita Sofukan High School

JET: Japanniversary

It’s my Japanniversary! So the 3rd August marked my first year of living in Japan, and thus the longest I’ve ever been out of the UK! As I stride into my second (and final?) year in Japan, at least as a JET, I’ve compiled just a few things I’ve learnt and discovered this year –… Continue reading JET: Japanniversary

Language: Japanese Language Proficiency Test N5

So I finally made my way into the Kingdom of Geekdom and have attempted to join the ranks of foreigners scrabbling to climb the dizzying heights of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test ranks, starting right at the bottom with level 5. Edit: I passed the N5!!! (Originally this what a much longer and detailed post,… Continue reading Language: Japanese Language Proficiency Test N5

Language: Learning Kanji as an Adult vs. Child

If you’ve ever taken an interest in Japanese, you will know there are 3 writing systems; Hiragana, a phonetic ‘alphabet’ for native words; Katakana, a phonetic ‘alphabet’ for loan words; and the mystical Kanji, pictograms knicked from Chinese that hold multiple meanings and pronouciations. Every Japanese student will spend every year of schooling, learning these… Continue reading Language: Learning Kanji as an Adult vs. Child

Change Places: The chaos of April in Japan

As I sit here writing this, I can’t help but think of the scene in Alice in Wonderland wherein at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, all guests are required to get up and change places! It’s April 1st, and whilst on the one hand that means pranks and tricks, in Japan it also marks the… Continue reading Change Places: The chaos of April in Japan

4// Mie Machi: My new home 三重町

The view from my house

This is how it starts… Today was going to be my arrival in my new home for the next year, in Mie, Oita Prefecture: I was so not ready! Tackling Tokyo Once again battling jetlag and lack of sleep after an incredible night in Tokyo, I headed down for breakfast. Entering the dining room, there… Continue reading 4// Mie Machi: My new home 三重町

How2: Buying Online in an Offline Culture.

In a culture where ATMs charge after 6pm, close at 8pm and restrict your withdraws to a limited number of machines, where credit and debit cards are non-existent, and online banking hasn’t even been translated into Katakana – how do you shop online in Japan? Japan is renowned for its crazy ass-technology, out of the box thinking and… Continue reading How2: Buying Online in an Offline Culture.

3// Tokyo Orientation : Don’t punch inflatable snowmen

As if in punishment for the previous night’s overindulgence in sleep, or perhaps due to jetlag, I awoke having only garnered a few hours sleep, with a full day of lectures on the four aspects of language learning: reading, writing, speaking and listening. Taking Classes It was at this point I began developing my ‘Manga… Continue reading 3// Tokyo Orientation : Don’t punch inflatable snowmen

JET: Pre-Departure Orientation

Where it all began - the Japanese Embassy in London

Commuting through London during rush hour to get to the JET Two Day Pre-departure Orientation (a mouthful in itself!) only confirmed further that moving to rural Japan was the right plan of action!  Meeting the UK JETs The Pre-departure Orientation was first time the UK JETs could finally get to meet each other and truly… Continue reading JET: Pre-Departure Orientation