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Those of you who have been in Japan from more than one time might already know about Hakone. It is a resort area a few hours away from Tokyo with hot springs, mountains, museums, and national parks. It is mostly loved by long-resident foreigners. The number of sights is so large that many tourists cannot possibly squeeze Hakone in their busy schedule. This post will be useful for those who either stay a month or longer or are interested in nature more than metropolitan. Why Hakone? First of all, many tourists and even long residents have little information about Japanese sightseeings. All we rely on is the Internet, and the […]

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Suitcase cover sounded a waste of money to me until I bought my suitcase and scratched it on my first ever flight. To prevent this from happening again I bought a suitcase cover. Little did I know that this cover will undergo a tough crash test a few days later. It happened abroad, I was on a business trip, and a business trip means buying a lot of souvenirs. I took two suitcases with me at that time: the cabin size and the large size. As I was heading to the airport I dropped my large size suitcase from the escalator. There were very few people so the poor thing […]

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Jenglish = Japan made English In advance of the Tokyo Olympics, Japan started speaking English. It is undoubtedly a lovely thing to do, and foreigners greet the initiative with a storm of applause. And yet more and more foreigners online say the English posters or translations are hard to understand. The Internet has already coined this phenomenon as Jenglish. I found three reasons why Jenglish is so hard to decipher. Japanese phrase dressed in English words What many Japanese did was use their (Japanese) way of expressing in the English language. This gap gave birth to such memes as: English: “According to Japanese law, customers under the age of 20 […]

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If someone told me about this in advance, I might have had a chance to run away. Who am I kidding? I would still fall in this very pitfall and be happy about it. So, you are a foreigner and you are thinking about doing your grad education in Japan. There are some things you should know before making the final decision. Here’s a three-item list of the things that I would recommend to consider. It requires more money than you imagine Remember this financial item called jyukenryou (受験料 – exam fee) in your exam portfolio? Basically, the school asks you to pay for looking at your application papers. Well, […]

On February 15th JR announced a release of an IC card that targets foreigners in Japan. This commuter card is dedicated to those who use public transport for a short time period. It’s called “Welcome Suica”, and, apart from its designs that features Japanese sakura, it benefits its users by providing prepaid public transportation services free of deposit. Normally, you pay a 500 yen deposit to have an IC card issued. But in the case of Welcome Suica foreign guests are welcome to take it as a Japanese souvenir. It covers all the areas that are covered by SUICA and PASMO, including buses, trains and underground. The sales start in […]