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  • Osaka or Tokyo?

    I am planning on applying for one of the study abroad programs at my university, but I am not sure which place would be best suited for me. I would be living in Japan for a year with my daughter, who will be seven by the time we move. There are actually three potential cities we could live in: Tokyo, Osaka, or Kobe. Any opinions? I would love to speak with someone who has personal experience with a similar situation. My daughter will have to attend public school and I will have to apply for a work permit. I will be relying heavily on scholarships for financial support. Any constructive advice is greatly appreciated~

  • #2
    I am not sure if you will be eligible for a work permit, but if you are on a student visa, they often allow part time work up to 20 hours a week. As I understand it, the local school will have to admit your daughter, but don't expect her to learn much academically.

    Other than that, I would suggest Kobe. It is a much nicer, smaller, greener city than either Tokyo, which is just plain huge, and Osaka, which is just a big bustling crap hole.

    Hopefully some others will be along soon to question the feasibility of your plan, and maybe even help with more concrete advice.

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    • #3
      Don't do it.

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      • #4
        I would go with Kobe.

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        • #5
          Yes, Kobe is the cheapest of the three to live in - also the most pleasant.

          It sounds like you might be trying to do it on a shoe string, though?

          If you come on a study visa, you will need to show you have the funds to support yourselves for your entire stay, before they will let you in...

          At least 20,000 yen a week for two people.. if I remember rightly..

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          • #6
            Osaka and Tokyo are big cities, Kobe is medium-sized (for Japan). Kobe is a pretty city, and close to Osaka, which is a friendly city. But Tokyo is pure awesomeness - if you are into really big cities.

            I think it would be a great experience for a 7 year old kid to spend a year here, although she will lose out on a year academically, as even if she learns to speak Japanese (and she most likely will, kids are fast that way), she won't be able to read anywhere near the level of the other kids within a year. They don't have JSL (Japanese as a Second Language) in the huge majority of schools. For that matter, they don't even have any plan whatsoever of how to deal with kids who don't speak Japanese. They just throw them in the deep... class, and expect them to learn through osmosis. Many kids (at least Brazilian kids, from what I've read in the newspaper) just stop going to school. Since they are not Japanese, the schools don't chase them down.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Effected After View Post
              I think it would be a great experience for a 7 year old kid to spend a year here, although she will lose out on a year academically, as even if she learns to speak Japanese (and she most likely will, kids are fast that way), she won't be able to read anywhere near the level of the other kids within a year. They don't have JSL (Japanese as a Second Language) in the huge majority of schools. For that matter, they don't even have any plan whatsoever of how to deal with kids who don't speak Japanese. They just throw them in the deep... class, and expect them to learn through osmosis. Many kids (at least Brazilian kids, from what I've read in the newspaper) just stop going to school. Since they are not Japanese, the schools don't chase them down.
              I figured there wouldn't be much academic improvement with a public school alone in Japan. I will have to help keep her caught up in her studies. Public school would mainly provide child care for when I am in classes, as well as social interaction. I know its important for her to make friends and feel welcome in a new environment. My fiance went to Italy when he was 8 years old with his mother. She went through the same program I will be applying for. He said he basically skipped the 3rd grade but was able to catch up when he came back to the states. He did learn enough Italian to understand conversations but he's forgotten everything because he didn't continue using it. I am currently learning Japanese so hopefully if my daughter picks some of it up, I can help her hold onto it. As for my fiance, he's graduated with his Bachelor's Degree and is currently getting his credential so I am also not worried that this will ruin my child's academic life if she falls a little behind. I think it could be a life changing experience for both of us.

              In regards to my financial situation, I am still piecing that together. I have a friend who lives in Chiba who plans to move to Tokyo around the same time I would be moving to Japan. If things don't fall through with her plans, I may ask if she wants to be roommates and split the cost of living. Obviously, this is not set in stone. None of this is. I am just gathering as much information as I can. I don't plan on applying for the program until next November. If I get accepted, I will move in July 2013. In the meantime, I will be saving up as much as I can. I may have to take out loans and will definitely apply for all scholarships I am eligible for. I figure if my fiance's mother could do it, I can.

              I really appreciate all the feedback. Thanks~

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              • #8
                I've never seen the point of Kobe, myself. Sure, if you live in Japan, it makes a refreshing change to visit Kobe as it's dfferent from the rest of Japan. But if you're coming to Japan to experience the country, what's the point? As for the old Tokyo vs. Osaka bit - what can I say? I'm on the side of Osaka. I've only been to Tokyo three times, & I agree it's awesome, but it doesn't have a centre. Don't listen to Kurogane on this one - at the end of the day he's a Kyotoite at heart, & you know what they're like. Good dinner companions perhaps, but insufferably proud & generally wrong about everything except where to have dinner.

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                • #9
                  A fair shot.

                  I quite forgot about Dotonbori, the thriving hub of Osaka............built around a festering pit

                  In Kyoto all they have is a river that runs clean and fresh................




                  So, yeah, Kobe it is.

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                  • #10
                    Not to mention that Kyoto girls tend to live at home, get fed, and have big round bums.

                    Whereas Osaka has a bunch of skinny, shrill badly dressed Ethiopian famine victims screeching at the moon.

                    Anyways, a fine and balanced account my young Grasshopper.

                    I simply don't like Osaka.

                    Ooops.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kurogane View Post
                      Not to mention that Kyoto girls tend to live at home, get fed, and have big round bums.

                      Whereas Osaka has a bunch of skinny, shrill badly dressed Ethiopian famine victims screeching at the moon.

                      Anyways, a fine and balanced account my young Grasshopper.

                      I simply don't like Osaka.

                      Ooops.
                      What?! How DARE you? Splutter. You can't DO that! Seize him!

                      Hey, that's cool - I don't like Kyoto. When colleagues or friends telle me they are visiting Japan, I always tell them not to spend more than a night or two there at most & to base themselves in Osaka. They mostly don't listen. Some even tell me that Kyoto was the highlight for them. I just don't get it. Sure, there's a few temples & architectural gems, but there's also heaps of tourists, taxis, buses & concrete. I can see why a long-termer such as yourself would have lived there. I was only in Japan for one year, so Osaka suited me. Still does. I now mostly stay in Hirakata when I'm visiting & do day trips to both cities.

                      Chick-wise, I prefer Southern Hyogo girls (don't tell my wife I said this). Beautiful complexions & curves in all the right places.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by spacetiger View Post
                        Chick-wise, I prefer Southern Hyogo girls (don't tell my wife I said this). Beautiful complexions & curves in all the right places.
                        They are soooooooo Hot. It took me years to figure that out.

                        They even have ones with Canadian accents (The Kobe Cdn Academy girls). It makes me think I am back in Grade 7, gazing into Stella Nakayama's coal black eyes, leaning in for my first kiss. Only this time, we're gonna get Jungle.


                        Anyways, I don't disagree with you on the physical attributes of Kyoto, but what a lot of people forget is that it is also a nice medium sized city in which to live a pleasant modern lifestyle, and it's flat, so you can bike everywhere, and there's cool temples and that crap. For me, it's a bit like a Sapporo without the biting Siberian winds, or Hiroshima without the dome.

                        I certainly agree that it is hysterically overrated as a repository of traditional Japanese architecture and culture. Given that that is my old research specialty, you can imagine the Kulchur cooing I get from folks. I try to be diplomatic, of course...........

                        I just don't like big cities anyways, and I like egging you on, so Osaka is Outto.

                        But this Hirakata bit does make me wonder...............I spent a lifetime there one afternoon.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nolivas
                          hyogo girls? I'm new to japan so please tell me about Hyogo girls? what part of the country are they located in? I'm study japan but never been there. Only korea.
                          Kobe is in Hyogo prefecture.

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                          • #14
                            hyogo girls? I'm new to japan so please tell me about Hyogo girls? what part of the country are they located in? I'm study japan but never been there. Only korea.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by sprigglebot View Post
                              My fiance went to Italy when he was 8 years old with his mother.
                              Will your fiance come as well ? Or you leave your daughter with hime ? There are also english-speaking/international schools, but tuition fees are quite exensive.

                              Originally posted by sprigglebot View Post
                              In regards to my financial situation, I am still piecing that together. I have a friend who lives in Chiba who plans to move to Tokyo around the same time I would be moving to Japan. If things don't fall through with her plans, I may ask if she wants to be roommates and split the cost of living.
                              Two people and a child in one room ? I would actually chose the living place based on the schooling of your daughter. Some public schools might be more used to/welcoming non-Japansese speaking kids. My older son went to a local school at first without any problem, but he's half Japanese and speaks fluently.

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