Japan

Back to Japan Long-Term?

November 21, 2014
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I’ve been offered a position teaching in Chiba Prefecture from January 2015 for a year. Although I don’t relish the thought of traveling anywhere in winter, the possibility intrigues me. Enough so that I need to consider the pros and cons of returning to Japan for the long haul. Pros As my first experience...
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Of Late I Think of Thailand

September 12, 2014
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Of Late I Think of Thailand

I turned down the first offer in Japan. There were simply too many unknowns and too short a time to give an answer. I’m still in communication with the company for additional postings, but my mind is drifting elsewhere… There’s a lot I left unresolved in Asia. I’m one of those travelers who intentionally...
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Dare I go back to Japan?

September 9, 2014
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Dare I go back to Japan?

I’ve been offered a teaching position in Gunma Prefecture northwest of Tokyo and am considering taking it. Japan has loomed so large on my mind for years, and it seems like a good opportunity. Gone are the days when you can be sure of getting a job abroad simply for being foreign or racking...
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Reacting to Dokdo in the Classroom

March 5, 2014
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Reacting to Dokdo in the Classroom

It’s not always inevitable that Dokdo will come up as a foreign English teacher in Korea. Unless you’re assigning your students newspaper articles to read and they happen to choose one regarding relations between Korea and Japan, or they happen to have particularly right-wing parents who want to use their children to promote Dokdo...
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Food Discoveries in Fukuoka

February 1, 2014
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Food Discoveries in Fukuoka

Fukuoka, Japan will always hold a special place in my heart. As my first vacation spot inside Japan, I was introduced to so many new things: capsule hotels, ramen at the yatai, nightlife worth going out for, and the laid-back atmosphere of Kyushu. I’ve been back once before while passing through on my way...
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Making a Visa Run to Japan

January 30, 2014
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Making a Visa Run to Japan

First off, I should point out my situation is unique. The majority of English teachers are hired prior to departure and able to secure their Korean working visas in their respective home countries. I, on the other hand, received a 90-day tourist visa on arrival and hand delivered my E2 paperwork to an employer...
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Plotting a Return to Japan

October 18, 2013
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Plotting a Return to Japan

It’s no secret Japan has weighed heavily on my mind since I left in 2008. I had a good setup there: - A brand-new apartment in a quiet area with a heated toilet seat. In the mornings I could run to a park overlooking Kinko Bay and see Sakurajima smoking in the distance. -...
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Traces of Korea and Japan

October 1, 2013
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Traces of Korea and Japan

Korean people are the most common to find anywhere on the planet, with populations in the millions outside their home country. It should come as no surprise that I encountered a couple here in Peru, touring the Santa Catalina Monastery. When they asked my friend to take their picture, I had to be sure:...
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Risking Disfiguration and an Exposed Scalp

September 28, 2013
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Risking Disfiguration and an Exposed Scalp

I will admit from the start I have very little to complain about when it comes to getting my hair cut in a foreign country. We can all say it: I’m a guy. Who cares if a barber messes up my ‘fro or shaves it all off? It’ll be back in a month or...
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Living At Home: Cultural Perceptions

May 7, 2013
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Living At Home: Cultural Perceptions

I feel ashamed. Like a failure. Broke, though I have some money in the bank. Inept, though I’m qualified to do many jobs. Lazy, though my routine isn’t really too different than that when I’m living in my own apartment. Unattractive to women, a source of mockery. Shorter, smaller. Sheltered. Mollycoddled. It’s only been...
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