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Coming to Japan 2014

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  • Coming to Japan 2014

    Hello all!

    I've been thinking for awhile about going to Japan in 2014, to spend some time to experience the country. I'm not really looking to make a lot of money, I'm aware that teaching jobs don't really pay that much after all living expenses are taken into account. I've been to Japan twice before, and loved it both times.

    I'm looking to stay more long term this time. I have studied Japanese at a level to be able to be conversational, although kanji is pretty bad for me. I have a degree, so I can apply for a working holiday visa to get into Japan. I'm pretty flexible with where I work, although I'd prefer to be placed in Tokyo, Osaka or Nagoya.

    Would it be worth it to take a TESOL course? I'm looking at taking an online course here in Australia - would it help with teaching, getting a job etc or is it a waste of money? Or should I just show up in January and start applying like mad everywhere, which is my current plan?

  • #2
    Originally posted by shinotoko View Post
    Or should I just show up in January and start applying like mad everywhere, which is my current plan?
    Hello.

    This ^. But 2014 is pretty far away.. Japan might not even be here by then, what with all the nukes and korea and china and radiation and 2.5 and earthquakes and volcanos and crap. I Wouldn't worry too much about it, until about late november 2013.

    Originally posted by shinotoko View Post
    although I'd prefer to be placed in Tokyo, Osaka or Nagoya.
    Although why the heck would anyone want to work in Nagoya?? If you had said Tokyo, Osaka and (Yokohama/Chiba/Hiroshima/Okinawa/freaking the middle of the desert Tottori) I wouldn't have been surprised, particularly. But Nagoya??!! Why the hell there? I would personally avoid it like the plague. Other than that...

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    • #3
      What is wrong with Nagoya....?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Uncompletist View Post
        What is wrong with Nagoya....?
        Its scary. And smells of Miso. Its like being in Alice in wonderland - outside is completely normal, but then you cross the Aichi-ken line and the whole idea of sensibility of logic is thrown out the window . Walking into Nagoya = like being on drugs. Its like an industrial, drug fuelled, Alice in wonderland inspired nightmare, with a whiff of raw miso-sewage. Yet at the same time, It is incredibly depressing, although, despite all the drugginess of it.

        I've never met a person who Is from Nagoya who was not completely scarily insane. And weird. Their thought process is weird.

        Even the freaking mayor (Who the people of nagoya re-elected??!!) is insane. Even by psycho Hashimotos standards, he's just completely nuts.

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        • #5
          I've got a few contacts in Nagoya through my martial arts school - we have a sister dojo up there and it's also where the grand master lives. I've been there a few times, it didn't seem too bad when I went there, though that said it was always with locals who probably knew where to take the foreigners so we wouldn't see the worst.

          That said, we had an interesting encounter at Kaneyama station one evening - I was with my sensei who is a big Aussie guy with a full beard. This old drunk came up to us and kept complimenting him on his beard and wanting to touch it. When he went to shake my sensei's hand, he noticed that the drunk was missing a finger. He kept following us around and wanting to touch the beard, kiss my sensei's beard and such ... we shook him off and later found him making trouble for a police officer trying to restrain his drunk and disorderly behaviour.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ume View Post
            Its scary. And smells of Miso. Its like being in Alice in wonderland - outside is completely normal, but then you cross the Aichi-ken line and the whole idea of sensibility of logic is thrown out the window . Walking into Nagoya = like being on drugs. Its like an industrial, drug fuelled, Alice in wonderland inspired nightmare, with a whiff of raw miso-sewage. Yet at the same time, It is incredibly depressing, although, despite all the drugginess of it.

            I've never met a person who Is from Nagoya who was not completely scarily insane. And weird. Their thought process is weird.

            Even the freaking mayor (Who the people of nagoya re-elected??!!) is insane. Even by psycho Hashimotos standards, he's just completely nuts.

            You're nuts for thinking Nagoya is any worse than any other J-city its size.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Hijinx View Post
              You're nuts for thinking Nagoya is any worse than any other J-city its size.
              I think you could have just placed a full stop after "You're nuts".

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Shakes Spear View Post
                I think you could have just placed a full stop after "You're nuts".
                ......Agreed.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by shinotoko View Post
                  I have a degree, so I can apply for a working holiday visa
                  WHV doesn't require a degree.

                  should I just show up in January and start applying like mad everywhere, which is my current plan?
                  January is still a quiet time for hiring. Wait until February.

                  Sounds like you really don't have much of a plan, though. Contact prospective employers before you come so they know you are on the way and will be here for interviews. What other areas of work are you interested in besides (reluctantly) teaching?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ume View Post
                    Its scary. And smells of Miso. Its like being in Alice in wonderland - outside is completely normal, but then you cross the Aichi-ken line and the whole idea of sensibility of logic is thrown out the window . Walking into Nagoya = like being on drugs. Its like an industrial, drug fuelled, Alice in wonderland inspired nightmare, with a whiff of raw miso-sewage. Yet at the same time, It is incredibly depressing, although, despite all the drugginess of it.

                    I've never met a person who Is from Nagoya who was not completely scarily insane. And weird. Their thought process is weird.

                    Even the freaking mayor (Who the people of nagoya re-elected??!!) is insane. Even by psycho Hashimotos standards, he's just completely nuts.
                    Miso is delicious! And yes, our mayor is insane, completely and scarily..... I can't vote. Don't blame me.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm back again, and about to start seriously making commitments.

                      At the moment I'm thinking about flying out in January. Spend January having fun travelling , apply for jobs where I am, but not seriously. Once February hits start applying like crazy, probably either Tokyo or Nagoya. I'm leaning towards Tokyo mainly because I've never lived in a big city before, and also because I have a friend there I can probably crash with. I'm a photographer, so if possible I wouldn't mind finding some photographic work on the side but with my level of Japanese it's not something I'm going to put a lot of energy into.

                      Would ~$8-10,000 be enough to take with me to last me a few months while I find a job and a place? What's the general cost of living if you aim to economise but eat healthy at the same time?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by shinotoko View Post
                        I'm back again, and about to start seriously making commitments.

                        At the moment I'm thinking about flying out in January. Spend January having fun travelling , apply for jobs where I am, but not seriously. Once February hits start applying like crazy, probably either Tokyo or Nagoya. I'm leaning towards Tokyo mainly because I've never lived in a big city before, and also because I have a friend there I can probably crash with. I'm a photographer, so if possible I wouldn't mind finding some photographic work on the side but with my level of Japanese it's not something I'm going to put a lot of energy into.

                        Would ~$8-10,000 be enough to take with me to last me a few months while I find a job and a place? What's the general cost of living if you aim to economise but eat healthy at the same time?
                        January and February are cold and nasty! It will be very difficult (almost impossible) to find Photography work if you do not speak Japanese,
                        but go ahead come and find out ! Better check on what is required to be an English teacher! The money you say you are bringing should be enough, and NO you can not stay with me !

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by shinotoko View Post
                          I'm back again, and about to start seriously making commitments.

                          At the moment I'm thinking about flying out in January. Spend January having fun travelling , apply for jobs where I am, but not seriously. Once February hits start applying like crazy, probably either Tokyo or Nagoya. I'm leaning towards Tokyo mainly because I've never lived in a big city before, and also because I have a friend there I can probably crash with. I'm a photographer, so if possible I wouldn't mind finding some photographic work on the side but with my level of Japanese it's not something I'm going to put a lot of energy into.

                          Would ~$8-10,000 be enough to take with me to last me a few months while I find a job and a place? What's the general cost of living if you aim to economise but eat healthy at the same time?
                          You said you've been to Japan twice before so you have Japanese friends, right? Well if you can find a Japanese apartment and your friend will be your guarantor, than you can find decent places in Tokyo for around 5-60000 yen. They will be small place, but ok for a while. Make sure you sign a lease only for a year. A lot of real estate companies have a default lease period of 2 years. If you try to stay in one of those "foreign friendly" places that don't require a guarantor, you'll be paying a ton more money, probably around 8-100000 a month.

                          Living expenses in Japan are lower than my home country (Canada) because of lower taxes, but salaries are lower, too. Bills are around 20000 a month. Food is 3-40000 including the occasional night out. So, the amount of money you plan to bring will last for probably a little over half a year depending on your rent, lifestyle, and if you travel around for fun.

                          Personally, I've never found finding a job to be very difficult, but I've never lived in Tokyo or any of the larger cities. There are a ton of foreigners in the larger cities and the more foreigners, the more competition for positions. If I were you, I'd recommend letting the job dictate where you live. Find a good position with good pay and live there.

                          If you don't have any teaching experience, having a TESOL/TEFL etc degree would give you an advantage.

                          Good luck!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kaylarr View Post

                            You said you've been to Japan twice before so you have Japanese friends, right? Well if you can find a Japanese apartment and your friend will be your guarantor, than you can find decent places in Tokyo for around 5-60000 yen. They will be small place, but ok for a while. Make sure you sign a lease only for a year. A lot of real estate companies have a default lease period of 2 years. If you try to stay in one of those "foreign friendly" places that don't require a guarantor, you'll be paying a ton more money, probably around 8-100000 a month.

                            Living expenses in Japan are lower than my home country (Canada) because of lower taxes, but salaries are lower, too. Bills are around 20000 a month. Food is 3-40000 including the occasional night out. So, the amount of money you plan to bring will last for probably a little over half a year depending on your rent, lifestyle, and if you travel around for fun.

                            Personally, I've never found finding a job to be very difficult, but I've never lived in Tokyo or any of the larger cities. There are a ton of foreigners in the larger cities and the more foreigners, the more competition for positions. If I were you, I'd recommend letting the job dictate where you live. Find a good position with good pay and live there.

                            If you don't have any teaching experience, having a TESOL/TEFL etc degree would give you an advantage.

                            Good luck!
                            Thanks for the tip, I'll definitely have to take connections already there into account.

                            The most important questions I want to get answered first ...

                            1 - is there a peak time for jobs? Or is it that you can apply all year round?

                            2 - is a TESOL qualification worth it? In terms of making you more valuable for getting jobs, and for the actual teaching? A course here costs about $2000 for one of those 5-day intensive courses, and about the same for an online correspondence course.

                            Comment


                            • Kaylarr
                              Kaylarr commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Peak time for jobs is several months before the school year begins in April and October, which unfortuantely you just missed, but there are generally positions available all year round.
                              I think TESOL, TEFL, CELTA, etc. are worth it if you have the money and you are committed to working in Japan for the long term. If you plan to only be in Japan for a year, then no, don't bother.

                          • #15
                            Originally posted by Kaylarr
                            Peak time for jobs is several months before the school year begins in April and October, which unfortuantely you just missed, but there are generally positions available all year round.
                            I think TESOL, TEFL, CELTA, etc. are worth it if you have the money and you are committed to working in Japan for the long term. If you plan to only be in Japan for a year, then no, don't bother.
                            I'm not sure how long but I'm thinking a year at the moment - the intent is always to return to my home country at some point, but from what I've seen the Working Holiday visa can be extended to up to 2 years. Who knows, I could fall in love with Japan, decide to settle down there and make my way.

                            I was thinking of settling in Tokyo as I have a couple of friends there - considering it's a bigger city there's also probably a lot more competition for eikaiwas and for ALT positions in schools, am I right? Also, what's the cost of living like in Tokyo? I noticed when I was holidaying there that train tickets tend to accumulate a lot quicker than you'd think, but what about food and rent?

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