I plan to go, I want to go, One day I'll go ..... In Japanese you say [ii wake] which means, you're making up reasons not to .... A little strong wording, but for me at least, if my friend didn't literally kick me in the butt I would probably never have came. ("and that has made all the difference" ... frost, the road not taken)
During the World Cup a radio DJ said that if she had been smarter she would've spent the last 4 years studying English and that way she could've had a chance to talk to a lot of the players personally. I thought about that and realized that if I would've driven down the street I could've meet the Argentinian and German teams pretty easily but ...
Now, thinking the same way put aside a few dollars a month and the next thing you'll know you have airfare. Japan isn't really expensive anymore at times it seems cheaper to live here than in the states now.
Also, I live in Sapporo. Not downtown but still within the real city limits.
1st visit was sort of a gift horse. I had been studying Japanese for 2 years at uni. and had lots of studying abroad exchange student friends. My one time exchange partner and friend offered me her apartment for Summer which also happened to be the last 2 months of her contract.
I was only a 2 room apartment of a kitchen and a all-in-one room (size of queen size bed or 6 Jo if you're familar with Japanese sizing conventions), but the rent was free and she said she would stay weekdays at another friend's house. No, nothing like a dirty mind would think happened. I am her friend.
If it wasn't for her I probably would never had the balls to come.
I came over that year for Summer Break and had about $300 in my pocket and a credit card for emergency situations.
12 years ago, the economy was still at the end of the Bubble but no Visa meant no work. Although, I part-timed for almost a month at a resturant in Osaka Station. Spend the money on Kendo gear though
Getting drinks in town was pretty easy since Osaka wasn't swaped yet but $300 for 3 months was still tough.
Total cost was plane ticket $700 + $300 + $500 or so from my card. The $700 for the ticket was also off my card. Student credit cards were being given out like beer at the time.
I ate lot's of rice, tuna fish, and cheap okonomiyaki that was being sold at stalls outside of my station. Hey, I had to have cash to play Street Fighter.
I also had the lucky chance of meeting a nice young lady and home cooked meals every once in a while.
Although, times have changed and the economy sucks and there are lot's of foreignors here you still can find your niche if your try hard enough.
Today, I'm married and have the all powerful Green Card. I teach part time at 2 high schools. I don't make much money since the monthly pay is the same as a Japanese part time teacher. But I'm happy and I'm praying that one of the schools will take me on full time. Although, I've heard university teaching is much better, I'm still very happy with my schools.
So, you can see why I mentioned you don't need oodles of money to come. A decent size of egg does help but it all depends on much you want to be in Japan.
i would love to go to japan but my biggest problem/fear is that i don't know how to speak a WORD in japanese. I've also heard a lot about the crime and the gangs and other things and quite honestly japanese people scare me (except for my pen pal she's a sweetie) and going there all by myself with no knowledge of the language and not having anyone to help me scares me even more.....
not to mention i'm starting school soon so i cant exactly travel till i graduate but once school is done japan is the first on my list ^_^ (once i get the guts to go)
Speaking no Japanese is not really a problem as long as you stick to the big citites.
Being a lone woman I bet would be scary. I mean as in doing all the things by yourself to live. The crime isn't bad at all and walking on the streets is quite safe for women. As long as you use common sense and stay away from working in clubs you won't be targetted by the yakuza at all pretty much.
You might consider being hired directly from Canada by GEOS an English Conversation School. By being Canandian you can get a working holiday visa and if you connect up with a reputable School you're pretty set. Of course, some English Convrsation Schools are fly by night operations ... I'd say GEOS is the one to be hired by out of the country.
Except GEOS, you might try Aeon or even Nova (well Nova hasn't got a good reputation actually, even if it's the largest and most famous of the language schools in Japan). If you apply for a working-hoilday visa, you shoudn't have a job waiting for you when you arrive (that's the rule for this visa). Just get the visa, come and find a job in any smaller language school. Have a look on my site for information on finding a job and accommodation in Japan. http://maciamo.tripod.com/nihonjapanjapon/id7.html
Thanx for all the suggestions but i'm not interested in teaching at all. my interests are photography and animals and thats about it. i want to work as either a wildlife photographer or a researcher of animals if i could do both now that would be a dream come true
and besides i don't think anyone wants to learn english from me ^_^ lol i never did very well myself in english class, my grammer sucks big time...
With regards to the working holiday visa. NEVER assume anything with Japanese officials! Supposedly the deal is that you're not supposed to have a job when you reach Japan, however in my experience the requirements are whatever they decide to ask you at the airport. Just be ready to supply quick answers.
@ Anastasia, what do you mean your dreams may crash and burn!!! Hay lady, the only burning will be the runways lighting up when you arrive. Come on, have a heart in yourself!! WE HAVE!!!! The only crashes you will encounter those friends of yours who want to crash on your site (sofa), so don't be so negative, be positive, and go for it!
ok i will share my way of getting to japan, and nope i am not one of the chinese who came to japan in a cargo hold on a boat luckly for me!, really it started for me sometime ago when me and my g/f met each other in college, my g/f was studying english at college where i was studying economics and japanese language and culture, then at first we became good freinds, the we became a couple, then she graduated college in june at same time as me, after A-LEVELS, my g/f returned to japan to be with her family and go to university their, then i came home one day after being out with freinds, and my father told me he has a job to do in japan and his work got him a working visa for him etc.. and then i decided to stroll down to japanese embassy in london and apply for a visa myself (and i took my referals with me, my mum and my old japanese teacher), and after my father left for japan maybe 1 week before i got my visa, but because of my fathers line of work i got a FREE FLIGHT IN BUSINESS CLASS!!!! yep my father is HEAD MANAGER OF ASIAN PUBLIC RELATIONS AT BRITISH AIWAYS!! which means my dad usally travels around asia alot usally in seoul and shanghai but he got assignment in tokyo, for 1 and a 3 quarter months. so i because of college i went to has special links to japanese universitys, i managed to get a place at waseda although if i didn't do well in entrance exam i wold never be able to get in!, lucky i paid attention in classes in college!, and really my dream of coming to japan to be with my g/f came true so i am happy chinese boy! and as my birthday is coming up on 16th of august, and i will be 18 and my father goes back to england on 20th i get the house my dad is currently renting, but the real estate agent has agreed to sell the place outright for a certain fee which is pretty expensive for me but i have a really good father i guess and he agreed to buy the house and even let me keep the car! although i doubt i would get insured here well that is my story of how i got to be able to live here in tokyo, but i am sure this will only apply to younger people on this fourum who wish to live in japan!
Currently I live here in Nagoya. I will stay for one year (came in April 2003) but probably will try to stay another (I have a postdoc research grant from Japan). It's the first time for me being in Japan.