Japan

Then and Now: Japan and Korea

August 28, 2010
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Then and Now: Japan and Korea

To anyone who’s been following my posts the past few week, I’m sure it’s immediately obvious I have a tendency to compare my time in Korea with that of Japan. After all, this is the second time I’ve signed up for a year’s contract to teach English in Asia, and since I’ll be “settled”...
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Between Busan and Hakata

August 23, 2010
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Between Busan and Hakata

My plans to visit Japan over Chuseok holiday are underway. Best of all, thanks to my quick response to a ryokan owner in Nikko, I will be able to stay in the Japanese countryside with all expenses paid for two days. So what’s the plan? September 18th Leave Bugu by bus and head to...
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Around Town: Bugu-ri and Uljin-gun

August 21, 2010
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Around Town: Bugu-ri and Uljin-gun

It occurs to me that every last expat on the planet has it easy now compared to, say, thirty years ago. Using Facebook to keep in touch with friends back home. Using Skype to call family. Googling the definition of a foreign word we learn. If I had been confined to Bugu in the...
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Posted in Japan, South Korea | 1 Comment »

Omakase: My Sushi Go 55 Experience

February 6, 2010
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Omakase: My Sushi Go 55 Experience

“We’re just watching you; this is better than Survivor.” The two men and single woman sitting at the end of the bar to my right had a point, I thought. After all, I had eaten many strange things in my line of travel work – semi-poisonous blowfish, octopus with mayonnaise and fried batter, the...
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The Pressure to Hear English

November 16, 2009
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The Pressure to Hear English

I take being surrounded by English speakers for granted. I imagine I’d feel completely liberated in one way if I were to return to Japan and begin my life with the Japanese people, but, in a far more accurate way, I’m slowly forgetting what it’s like to be in the language minority (never mind...
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Medical Exams in Japan

August 10, 2009
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Medical Exams in Japan

I’m a little nervous as I sit waiting for the sensei. Did I come to the right office? I even forgot to slip on the lobby slippers once I had removed my street shoes – more out of the thought that they didn’t have slippers my size. The setting is the same, regardless of...
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Gaijin Ura Hanzai Magazine Incident

August 10, 2009
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Gaijin Ura Hanzai Magazine Incident

Is it any wonder that some Japanese people fear the foreign presence in Japan? I’ve seen my share of hospitality, normality, stares of awe, and some of disregard, but never have I quite encountered those of hatred as I’ve seen online in recent days. Family Mart, a popular convenience store in Japan, has stocked...
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Adoption in Japan

August 10, 2009
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I’ve run kilometers on end. I work out regularly. I can hold my own in a fight. Adrenaline and I are close friends. And yet, I recently found myself beyond my natural limits, all in response to the saddened look on a six-year-old girl’s face. Pushed to the point of exhaustion and tired from...
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Health Insurance and Pension Information

August 10, 2009
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Health Insurance and Pension Information

Paperwork by luxomedia Every person regardless of nationality over twenty years old residing in Japan is required to be enrolled in a: 1. Health insurance program 2. Pension fund program Employee’s Health Insurance (健康保険) kenkou hoken Back to basics: the insurance system in Japan, depending on the size of the company in which you’re...
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Samurai Parade on Miyajima

August 9, 2009
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Samurai Parade on Miyajima

The day of the Vernal Equinox also happens to be a national holiday in Japan. The result? No work, and the chance to march in a Samurai parade in front of Itsukushima Shrine (厳島) on Miyajima. It was a beautiful day for a parade, and a great chance for me to participate. Although I...
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