Want to Know About Life in Japan?

Jay Dee:

It’s time for some more questions. If you have any questions about what it’s like to live in Japan, please go to this post and ask me anything. I had some great questions before. Let’s have even more great questions!

Originally posted on I Read Encyclopedias for Fun:

I’ve been running a weekly series about living in Japan since April, and asked you, the reader, to ask me any question about living in Japan. I got some great questions and had nearly three months worth of questions to answer. However, I’ve run out of questions.

Now it’s your turn to give me some more questions. If you have any questions about what it’s like to live in Japan, please ask in the comments below. It can be anything. Maybe even just about living in another country, or dealing with different food, culture, language, and so on. You can ask as many questions as you like. So, what would you like to know?

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Life in Japan: What Japan Needs from Canada

Jay Dee:

Living in Japan for so long, there are a lot of things I really miss about Canada. This is what I wish Japan had.

Originally posted on I Read Encyclopedias for Fun:

Having lived in Japan for ten years, there are quite a few things from Canada I don’t have access to at all.  Occasionally, I’ll be able to eat a real hot dog in Costco, find Marmite in Union, and A&W Root Beer in Carnival, but there are some things that are impossible to find here. This week’s question comes from stomperdad.

Besides family, what do you miss about Canada that you wish Japan had?

Most of things I miss are food.  There are a lot of similar fast food restaurants here, such as McDonald’s, Subway, and Burger King, but what I really want isn’t available here.

Harvey's burger and fries. Harvey’s burger and fries.

I always loved going to Harvey’s. The ability to customise your burger is missing from fast food places in Japan.  And eating a Harvey’s hamburger was so satisfying.

I’m not a big fan of pizza, since I don’t like pizza…

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Life in Japan: Japan on a Budget

Jay Dee:

Traveling to Japan? Well, it doesn’t have to be expensive.

Originally posted on I Read Encyclopedias for Fun:

Japan has a reputation for being expensive. But in recent years, it’s not really that expensive. It’s about as expensive as Canada, USA, Australia, or any place in Europe.  This week’s question comes from Trisha Ann.

I’m planning to visit Japan in October. My trip takes 6 days and I’m on a tight budget (but I won’t leave Jp without ever going to Harry Potter world and Kyoto!!). Any tips?

I’ve already written about visiting Kyoto, so I’ll talk about visiting Japan on a budget.

It may seem daunting to some people, considering all the touristy areas tend to be expensive.  But there are many ways to save money, especially related to food and transportation.

Going to big restaurants in the busy, tourist areas is not recommended.  Those restaurants tend to be geared toward tourists, anyway, so they raise the prices.  If you want cheap, go on some of the…

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Life in Japan: Learning Kanji

Jay Dee:

After 10 years in Japan, you’d think I’d know the 2000 main kanji, right? Well, I only know about a quarter of that. But is it really important to know kanji in Japan? How has knowing only 500 kanji affected me? Here’s my answer.

Originally posted on I Read Encyclopedias for Fun:

There are three writing systems in Japan: hiragana (ひらがな), which is the main phonetic set of characters; katakana (カタカナ), which is the phonetic characters used mainly for foreign words; kanji (漢字), which is used throughout Japanese, and is taken from Chinese. It’s this last one that gives a lot of people trouble. It’s extremely important to know how to at least read kanji to be able to read a newspaper or book in Japanese.  This week’s question comes from Ellen Hawley.

I had friends who lived in Japan, and even after years reading Japanese (not the phonetic alphabets but the characters) remained a problem. Have you been able to learn enough to manage well? If not, how does that affect you?

Chinese_characters_logoI’ll begin by saying that I love kanji. It’s fascinating to me, but the biggest problem with it is that I often forget how to write them. But that’s…

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Life in Japan: Surprising First Impressions

Jay Dee:

Here are a few things that surprised me when I arrived in Japan. It’s been ten years since then, so it’s sometimes hard to remember the feeling. I miss that feeling, though.

Originally posted on I Read Encyclopedias for Fun:

When I first came to Japan, I had some expectations. I thought I knew what I was going to see. But I was pretty surprised in many ways. This week’s question comes from moldydaisy.

What were some of the things that really surprised you when you moved there? What things stood out in your mind that you would never have thought of before your arrival?

The very first thing that surprised me was before I even landed. From the airplane, I could see the rice fields near the airport. From the air, they weren’t a uniform shape. No grid, no squares, no rectangles. They were very organic in shape.

After landing, I was on the Narita Express to Yokohama, and I saw so many houses that were different than anything I’d seen in Canada. They were small, built close together, and everything was so dense.  Yet there were pockets of…

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Life in Japan: My Travels

Jay Dee:

I was asked where I’ve traveled to in Japan. Surprisingly little. I regret not doing more.

Originally posted on I Read Encyclopedias for Fun:

I came to Japan to see it all. Did I? No, not at all.  But there are some things I am very happy to have seen.  This week’s question is from S. R. Carrillo. She asked many questions, didn’t she?

Where all have you traveled?

Odawara Castle in the rain with a couple cosplayers in front. Odawara Castle in the rain with a couple cosplayers in front.

Surprisingly, I haven’t traveled very much in Japan. I live in Kanagawa, which is just south of Tokyo. I’ve also been to Tokyo, of course. The other prefectures I’ve been to are Saitama, Chiba, Yamanashi, and Shizuoka.

In Kanagawa, I’ve lived in Yokohama, Kamakura, and now Fujisawa. I’ve also visited Odawara, Yokosuka, Kawasaki, Sagamihara, Isehara, Chigasaki, Hiratsuka, Zushi, Hayama, Miura, Oiso, and Yamato. I think the highlights are Kamakura (many temples and shrines), Odawara (castle pictured above), Fujisawa (with Enoshima), and Yokohama (technically the largest city in Japan).

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Life in Japan: A Return to Japan

Jay Dee:

Another week, another question. This time, would I return to Japan with my family? Check out my answer.

Originally posted on I Read Encyclopedias for Fun:

Last week, we went to a festival and my daughter had the opportunity to meet Ultraman, who is a famous hero on TV.  We had no time, unfortunately, and ever since, she’s been asking when we can return to see Ultraman. That I have no answer to. But I do have an answer to my next question, which was asked by S. R. Carrillo.

Would you ever return? Or plan to – with your daughter?

20150511-000719-439675.jpg Posing in front of Ultraman…but he’s so far away!

A return to live or a return to visit? Well, the answer to the first is that we don’t have plans to return to live with our daughter, but I’d be open to it after she’s grown up, most likely. Even so, there’s still a possibility we could return sometime to live in Japan. It’s just too difficult to say for now.

As for visiting, absolutely…

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