Update from Japan 2

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I realized I’ve lacked updating this place for a bit .. but all for several reasons.

One was because I wanted to completely immerse myself in life without English at all … but some of my friends here don’t speak as much Japanese so it’s sometimes difficult to go through a day and not use English. But well, anyway there we go.

So everyday on average I use about 80% Japanese, and 20% English. Normally I never speak English to most people because I flew all the way here afterall to .. well, use Japanese.. although some of my friends here prefer english. Either because they’re shy, or theyre in a lower class than me

After landing in Japan on the first day I was already offered a 3 month english teaching job based in several cram schools all over the place in different towns. One in Kasugabaru (16 students), Another in Nishijin (7 students) and Chikushigaoka (also 7 students)

My favourite classes are Nishijin and Chikushigaoka because the students there have a lot of energy and *really want* to learn English. But for Kasugabaru they all don’t want to even be there.. yet they have to because their grades aren’t very good.

1 1/2 months later I also got another job at a chinese restaurant in the kitchen. Which isn’t really fun but money is money and I only do it to pay for expenses for living here. After all, life isn’t fair enough to just give you an easy living. You have to work for it. Same with school, you have to strive for perfection if you want to get somewhere in life

Speaking of school, everythings fine. Although the class I belong to is slightly easy now that I’m used to the course so starting next week I should be moving to another class. I was told the one I was in is the highest .. but from what I can see the class in the afternoon schedule is considerably moving faster because the majority of the students there are Chinese. So they know all the Kanji (but not necessarily read it), whereas here we learn the Kanjis (which I already know 99% of)

Overall, Part-time job and school is going smoothly. When I’m not working or studying I like to read books. There’s a book shop locally around my area that sells used books for a very cheap price from 105 yen to 450 maybe. Thats around 1 quid to 4 quid max.

The more I immerse myself into the culture and the language, the more aware and prepared i feel for the future.. which I’m praying everyday will lead to something meaningful enough to give back those who helped me come here. I not only have to give back but I want to.

It’s now been about 2 months since I’ve landed in Japan and I love every moment of it so far.

Anyway here’s a few photos I took here and there in my area.


This is one of the shrines in Ogori. Its very quiet and theres a park on the left. Me and a friend would sometimes hang out here to eat lunch .. or just have quiet time to end the day during the evening.


This is one morning on my way to school. Over in the distance are some low mountains. They’re not as visible as they are when the day is clearer and towards the afternoon.


And this is a typical sunset on a nice clear evening. Almost every evening I meet up with a friend to study in a donut shop (Mister Donut). The coffee there is incredible! for 242 yen you can get 1 cup of coffee and ask for free refills!

It’s a shame that they’ll be closing for good on the 28th this month. We’ll have to find a new place to study eventually.


3 thoughts on “Update from Japan 2

    Fabrice said:
    15/06/2013 at 2:03 pm

    Ive been planning for while to study japanese in japan in a school, but my friend told me to be careful on which one to go to because most of them have Chinese students which is not recommended because they have more of an advantage compared to those that dont know chinese characters. Lots of research I have to do.

      kagato0110 responded:
      15/06/2013 at 2:18 pm

      Initially you’re given a test and they check where your level is at.

      After being here for just a month my kanji level was greatly improved as well as my grammer so It really doesn’t matter whether you’re in a class full of Chinese or not. They might recognize and know the meaning but it doesn’t mean they can read it in Japanese or even pronounce it right.

      I’m not sure why you got recommended to stay away.. because if anything I personally think its great to study with them unless you get put into a class who have no motivation. Not trying to offend westerners, but its better you also study with people who don’t have a common language as you (except Japanese) because it gives you that extra practice. While having a common language friend is good to keep you nice and social it can also be a big distraction. I know a few people from my uni back at home who went to Japanese unis, spent the majority of their time partying, hanging out in clubs and not caring a dime about their homework so they fly back home and only realize they spent all this amount of time and money just to play for a while and forget why they went out there in the first place.

      I recommend you do some research till you’re pretty sure you want to come to Japan because it’s a huge step.

    Hilary Nickell said:
    16/06/2013 at 6:31 pm

    Hi Ben,

    Thank you SO MUCH for your latest Post – I really enjoy your updates and am so impressed with the way you have totally absorbed yourself into Japanese culture. 80% immersion – wow! I can imagine your students appreciating you so much as your own story is remarkable. Thank you for the pictures too – they’re great!

    We have just returned from a weeks holiday in Tuscany – northern Italy. It was wonderful. We stayed in a friends Villa, but travelled approx 300 miles in the week to Pisa, Florence etc. We particularly enjoyed being holiday in a region where there were very few Brits!

    Please do let me know if there is ever anything you would like me to pray about – it would be an honour. We had a really good unity Service at St Marks today with the Methodists from a small church on Kempshott Lane. We hope and pray that closer links will establish as we have so much in common.

    Anyway, need to sign off mate, but great to be in contact and so pleased you are having such a great time.

    God Bless


    PS Our eldest son John starts training as a Teacher in just over a week and he’s very nervous – so you are a great example to mention J

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