So-dai-gomi (large rubbish): how to deal with it

June 29, 2009

When you have over-sized rubbish – that is, large items that don’t fit into your normal rubbish bags, you have to go through certain procedures to get rid of them.   I’m referring here to normal large size waste that is bigger than 30cm x 30cm x 30cm, and not home appliances and personal computers. In […]

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What to do and see in Kamakura

May 25, 2009

has long been regarded as a great 1-day trip out of Tokyo.  It’s typically one of the first places ex-pat residents will visit on their Japanese temple/shrine trail, and would be a noticeable omission from any guide book.  So why is this the case?  Is it worth heading out there?

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Where to find the cheapest gym in Tokyo

April 20, 2009

If you live in Tokyo, chances are you aren’t surrounded by the lush green rolling hills of the countryside back home(!).  The work-out that comes with stepping out your front door to do just about anything isn’t there any longer.  So the natural solution is to go to the gym.  But it costs money, and […]

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An easy way to transfer money overseas from Japan

April 8, 2009

A question that arises time and time again is for an easy and cost-effective method to transfer money overseas from your Japanese Yen.  Go to any bank and you can do it.  Whether you need an account with that particular bank/branch is something I don’t know at this point, but there is a convenient alternative […]

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The basics of finding an apartment in Japan

April 7, 2009

There are several frustrations that foreigners can experience during their time in Japan, one discussed before was banking, another is long-term accommodation – renting an apartment.  Why is it such a chore?  Well moving to a new place is a stressful event at the best of times, but to do so in a foreign language […]

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A smarter way for foreigners to do banking in Japan

April 5, 2009

When you’re at a any social gathering, there are do’s and don’ts – certain topics are socially permissible, some certainly are not.  Sometimes you’ll find yourself boring the your counterpart when going into great depth about your passion for traditional Japanese Flower Arranging (生花 – ikebana), but you won’t cause any offence.  Mention Japanese banking […]

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How to display Japanese characters on your PC (Windows XP)

April 2, 2009

There are 2 main aspects to “using” Japanese on your Windows XP computer: viewing/reading, and writing. It’s actually quite straight forward to set it up to do both and I’m going to show you how.

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How to read Tokyo postal addresses

March 19, 2009

Before ever venturing out anywhere in Japan, either for a day-trip, or a party/event, I will nearly always print a map for where I’m going. It’s part of my character and I don’t really know what other way to operate comfortably. If for example I’m given an address for a venue, I will nearly always […]

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