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Experiences in Asia

Can a lot really happen in a month...?

JAPAN | Wednesday, 10 May 2006 | Views [2796] | Comments [6]

Tokyo by night

Tokyo by night

Hi all, I'm sure you are wondering what I have been up to for this past month...well, if you take away study, work and jiu jitsu, not too much else, but I am sure I will be able to write a paragraph or two to keep you interested.....read on!

The big news of the past month is that I have finally moved out of the homestay room that I was renting with Kyoko-san through my school. I was glad to move out of her house in the end because things were getting a little strained. As I got busier and busier with work, sports and my other friends, more frequently I would miss meals and not come home until 11pm at night- something which would upset her a little bit, expecially as she was up at 6.30am most mornings for work- I do have to say however, if she wanted the quiet life, why apply to be a homestay family?!

And so to two weeks ago, and my big move to Gokokuji. This place is excellent for me- it is right in the centre of Tokyo, and is four stops from school. Furthermore, jiu jitsu is only 20 minutes walk away, so I'm not wasting money getting there on the incredibly expensive Yamanote train line. Click here for the real estate agents profile of my new place. I share with five other people, who are all excellent in their own way! There is another English girl, a Canadian, American, and a Phillipino. Furthermore, my friend Stafan, a Swede from my class, managed to move in last week after the last room became free. The atmosphere in the house is great. Three of us are students and so frequently we will use the communal area to hit the books and get some study done. Celia, the Canadian who works for GABA, the English school that I will soon work for, so she has been giving me some pointers about the right way to do things, the GABA way...........

My intensive class continues to go well, and I think that my level of japanese is slowly inmproving. Now i am no longer apprehensive about approaching a Japanese person to ask for help with something. Actually, I do this even if I don't need any help, but just tpo practise my Japanese. Sneaky, but effective. 90% of the time I understand what a person is saying to me, even if I have to ask them to repeat it three or four times! What is challenging is learning to say phrazes or sentences more naturally, just like the natives. This is where the real fluency comes in, and which is a long way off at the moment......i do have to say though, if you are reading this and thingking about taking up a language, look into total immersion in the country of that language- far more effective.

And so to my other Tokyo past-time, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I started JJ a few months ago just because there is no Hapkido in Japan, and I wanted to stay in shape. I have to admit, the first month or so, i was pretty luke-warm about it, and it was a struggle to motivate myself to go- but I'm glad that I stuck with it because the bug has ben caught and now Im loving it! On Sunday there was a competition in a city called Takadanobaba (great name eh), and our club came in at first place. I'm only a beginner so of course I didn't compete, but some of our higher grade members did, and they excelled- at the end 9 medals were won, and our club won the overall trophy- not bad going! I took some pictures, so I'll get them uploaded soon.......

So what else....? Tokyo continues to get hotter and hotter, which is bad for your nose on the subway, but is excellent for the greenery around the city- twinned with the urban jungle is suprisingly a lot of flora and fauna, and with the changing of the season, there seems to be other colours complimenting the city, other than building grey!

Next post....the rigours of Japanese language study..........

Tags: Culture



hi, I was just passing through and wanted to say that that's a very cool picture you have up on this page. Where did you take that from? Anyway, good luck with jiu jitsu and and your language study. The best time to learn is definitely when you're in Japan and have so many opportunities to practice!

  panasianbiz May 10, 2006 9:51 PM


Thanks for the mail.....unfortunately I must admit that I stole the picture from google, but I am sure my camera could do the same job- I'll give it a go the next time that I am in Roppongi- it had been so long since my last post that I wanted an attention grabber!

  dan_in_japan May 11, 2006 12:21 AM



Long time no hear, good to see you back on track. Great photo! Liam would love to hear from you again, he's into all things Chinese at the moment, loves China town in London!
Take care


  Martin May 11, 2006 2:05 AM


Hi Martin, nice to hear that Liam has too caught the Asia bug, perhaps we will get him out here before too long! I think i might be able to send him some Japanese money sooner or later, or some other things that he might find interesting......He'd definitely love the China town in Yokohama- really something!

  dan_in_japan May 21, 2006 2:37 PM


Hello all, i was thinking of going to tokyo for a year but i hear the cost of living is very high, anyways i was just wondering how much money do i need to get me through the first 3 months,be it food accomodation etc etc, thanks

  kenneth Jun 27, 2008 7:56 AM


Hi Ken,
Wow, a little bit of a loaded question, so many variables! I suppose you are a little bit like I was, in need of maintaining a budget and not overspending?? If so, I would recommend using the people from the link in the article above, they usually have the cheapest & best accomodation- for food you can actually live quite cheap, day to day- I could get by on 1,000 yen per day, but this is being frugal- 1,500 is a lot better! And then if you factor into travel, site-seeing etc, that portion can add up a little bit. All in all, I would say look to spend a minimum of 4-6,000 JPN Jen per day, which includes everything.
Hope this helps!

  dan_in_japan Jun 27, 2008 11:51 AM

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