This is in the afternoon. From start to finish, the process to get your doughnuts takes about 45 minutes. Mister Donuts takes about 3 minutes, but there’s a gazillion locations vs the Krispy Kreme locations. You can buy Krispy Kreme donuts online too!
I read an article over at Vagablogging called Teaching ESL: Which English do you teach? It’s about ESL teachers and how different types of English are taught in different parts of the world. I’ve met Japanese people that sound American, Australian, and British in my city. I find this pretty interesting because even though the majority of the world speaks English, we all have our own dialects (even local) and maybe it carries over in the classroom. I enjoy having conversations with new people because I get the opportunity to expand my world vocabulary.
An unnamed person writes in – I’m writing because I have a question that you might be able to answer. I’m planning to apply for a Masters Degree scholarship at a University. If accepted the scholarship would cover full tuition, medical and accident insurance obtained through the University, a monthly stipend (around 157,000 Yen) including subsistence and housing allowance for one person, book allowance, other miscellaneous expenses and economy class airfare for one person covering the trip from the scholars place of residence and the return journey at the end of the study program.
Since the scholarship covers almost everything, my question is would 157,000 Yen be enough for my expenses on food, leisure and transportation? I also plan to save my monthly stipend to bring back home. Thanks!
Hi there. I’m not sure how expensive the city is where you’ll live, but I’m assuming that you’ll be fine on 157,000 per month + all the added perks. You should be able to spend wisely, do fun things, and save money. You can get meals from 500-1000 yen each if you eat out, and if you eat at home you’ll save a lot of money. For two people, including all living expenses, I think a person can easily spend about 350,000 yen a month for everything. So if you remove those extra expenses that you’ll be getting for free, you could end up spending 100,000-150,000 (or less if you’re frugal!). There are some good travel guides about how to get the most bang for your Yen. It’s all about how you budget. And remember, there are many fun things that cost little money like going to the part, hiking, etc.
Today I thought I’d show an interesting picture from my trip to the dentist. At the dentist you need to remove your shoes at the door, and wear (real small) slippers in the office, then once you leave you place them into this Star Trek style machine that has a mysterious blue light that magically cleans them (using ultraviolet light).
Gabe wrote in: I was an exchange student in Japan for a summer while in high school, and now in college i will be going back. I had a question about the post office ATMS. I think you said that they don’t charge a fee? Is that for all cards, or just who you are banking with. Thanks!!
I think you’re referring to my old post: ATM Currency Conversion
The Post Office ATM have never charged me an ATM fee, so I’m assuming it’s for all US banks. However my bank account charges a 1% fee for the currency conversion and Master Card charges 1% so I’m dinged a total of 2%. If I withdrawal $100, I’m charged $2 which is reflected on my bank statement. However my Capital One (High Yield Money Market) account covers all conversion fees so it’s a straight up currency conversion without fees. The ATM at 711 charges me 200 yen or something like that as an ATM fee.
What I do is I have multiple Capital One saving accounts (with interest, wow!) so I have multiple debit cards. Then online I transfer from my regular checking account (a US bank account) to my Capital One accounts. With a max of $500 daily withdrawal per Capital One account I can withdrawal a large amount if I need to ($500 per account). I get a fair exchange rate and no ATM fee and no % currency conversion fees. I can also play the timezone game, where I withdrawal in the morning (it’s the evening in the US) then withdrawal in the evening (it’s the next day, morning in the US).
On a side note: My Capital One accounts offer a debit card only (with a Plus logo on the back), so I can’t use this at a store. If I use my checking account debit MasterCard (Non Capital One account) I’m still charged the 1% conversion fee from the bank and 1% from MasterCard so I try to limit the amount of times I do this. You can compare some rates here:
The USD in other countries isn’t in our favor right now, so it’s always good to save as much as you can when converting to another currency. It’s also a good idea to setup your accounts in the US before traveling. I setup my first Capital One account in America, and others while abroad, and I can log in to one account and manage all of the Capital One accounts. Here’s an example of what the debit card looks like.
Here’s an article I found interesting that talks about credit cards and fees. Yen & You: Plugging the money leaks in your credit cards and one talking about something that’s not discussed often enough, Why You Need an Emergency Fund
I love ramen, all varieties. Good ramen comes at a price though, usually 500 Yen or more, so I was excited to try out the 280 Yen ramen at the Hakata Kinryu restaurant. The price was good, but the taste was just average. And what’s with the corn in the ramen? I guess it’s not as strange as ice cream, but it not that tasty and hard to grab with the chopsticks. After my 2nd trip to this store I decided I’ll stick with the good stuff from the because it’s worth it.
Luwyn writes in: Hi, I hope you can help direct me to some Chihuahua breeders in Japan as their websites are incredibly difficult to find online! Is there a Japanese Kennel Club, or a national Chihuahua Club? Thanks very much!
Hi Luwyn. Sorry but I lost contact with the breeder that gave us the gift of Lulu. The breeder lives in the country side about 8 hours from my town and I haven’t seen her since. I know she doesn’t have a website. I hope you can track one down! Be prepared to spend a lot to get a genuine Chihuahua in Japan along with the paperwork. You could always import one from your country, but then you’d have to teach her Japanese. Here are some books about importing animals into Japan.
Walking downtown I saw a vendor selling Takoyaki on a stick for 200 yen. I thought wow! I could really use some takoyaki right about now! And I decided to grab some of these tasty octopus treats at a great value! It’s strange to have a piece of wood go through the takoyaki because there’s supposed to be some octopus in the middle. The presentation and the vendor’s friendliness helped secure the sale. The value was good, but it turned out the food wasn’t. So I’ll be sticking to the freshly made takoyaki in a box for now on. Take a look at the difference. The 2nd picture is from a summer festival. You can make takoyaki at home too, it’s not too difficult.
Note: I don’t teach English and I don’t work for a Japanese company so I was hesitant to answer this. But I figured… what the hell… so my answers below are based on what I know and have learned from others, not from experience. Another post, Americans working in Japan, might be of interest to you.
Question Part 1:
Zac writes in – I’m 20 years old and I want to teach English in Japan. My family has done it in SE Asia for years. My question is what do I need to do? I know being an American you have to have a bachelor’s degree go do work of any kind. Sorry for the vague question.
Answer Part 1:
Hi Zac. Without a 4 year degree your options seem limited, but it’s still possible to teach English. I know a guy that has a 2 year degree who taught English for years at a variety of smaller companies and made a decent living. He came to Japan without any work lined up and found work within the first month. He stayed for a few years, but then returned to his home country so I can’t ask him any questions about it. Also there’s the idea of doing private lessons at a cafe or at people’s houses, but you need to look into the legality of that yourself. It’s going to take a lot of searching to the work you’re looking without a degree, but with persistence you might find exactly what you’re looking for.
(photo from flickr)
Question Part 2:
Steve, thank you very much for the info it did help a lot, but i was under the idea that you had to have a 4 year degree to apply for work visa of any kind?
Answer Part 2:
You need an employer that will give you a work visa. I’m not sure about the 4 year degree requirement but as I said, the guy I knew only had a 2 year degree. If you go on a tourist visa (90 days I think), then find a job that will give you a tourist visa, you just need to ask if you can change your visa status or else you leave the country for a day and come back on the new visa. I don’t teach English so I’m not sure on all of the details. I did see this online…
To get a work visa you need:
- a valid passport;
- an application form;
- one passport-size photo; and
- a certificate of eligibility issued by the Japanese Immigration Bureau (your employer must apply for the certificate).
More info that might help you
Here are some TEFL books to check out.
mofa.go.jp – Visa types in Japan
ESL employment – teaching English in Japan (requirements, etc)
How to teach English in Japan + many useful links
Maybe my friend got the work visa because of his experience of teaching abroad already. You might look into teaching English in Korea as well. Busan (or Pusan) is a popular spot, and for $200-300 you can take a round trip ferry to visit Japan to get your sushi on.
Here’s an interesting quote from Gaijin Pot – (Living, working or visiting Japan? Not without a visa!)
You normally need to show that you have a relevant college degree to be able to apply for a working visa. However if you can show that you have a certain number of years relevant work experience you are also eligible to apply. You can also be eligible if you have a degree from another higher, relevant educational institution. Each visa and industry has different requirements.
A lot of sites contradict each other. But I think it’s possible.
More links to help you on your journey to information:
Yahoo Answers – Advice on getting a Japanese work visa without degree?
Japan Guide – Teaching in Japan Without a Degree
Yahoo Answers – is an online bachelor’s degree good enough for a work visa?
Yahoo Answers – Entry-level job opportunities in Japan?
3yen.com – Is a bachelors degree necessary to teach in Japan?
thunderguy.com – Japan visa types
JapanForum.com – jobs in Japan question about requirements etc
Escape Artist – Living in Japan
Also as Cornelius pointed out in the comments, it’s possible to self sponsor your own work visa. Here are some sites to check out about self sponsoring a Japanese visa. A page from Gaijin Pot says:
Self-sponsorship is very possible: especially if you are already living in Japan and have steady work. A self-sponsored visa falls under the working visa category and you will therefore need to show that all requirements for a working visa is met. You will have to show that you are guaranteed the minimum income required to support yourself in Japan. For example, contracts from 3 companies promising you payment may be required. Free consultations are available at immigration offices in Japan and will they help you prepare the necessary documentation. Self-sponsorship may require some leg work and extra paper work but might be the best solutions for you!
Also with a self sponsored visa you’re going to need to prove that you have large savings or steady income that is good enough to pay for your living expenses. Here are a few links about self sponsored visa in Japan:
jiosu.com – Work for yourself by self sponsoring your visa
ESL Cafe – self sponsored visa
Gaijin Pot Forums – Self sponsorship Japanese visa
Self sponsored visa application in Japan – successful!
Good luck with your quest to move to Japan!
Here are some links I found pretty cool and wanted to pass along.
Here’s some cool rice paddy art. Way better than crop circles!
Some advice on studying Japanese. In the end, it’s all about what works best for you.
JPop group Perfume (パフューム) appeared live the other day, but what’s cool is they have a new single coming out in August.
The ANA Gundum plane looks a little boring. Maybe they’ll make a flashier design in the future.
Narita Sky is here! Get from Narita airport to Tokyo in 36 minutes (or your pizza is free!)