The obvious question. As I mentioned in my introduction, in August of 2008 I left for Japan on a short term teaching contract. While I knew a bit about Japan I didn’t know what it would actually be like to live there. I picked up a book titled Live and Work in Japan, directed specifically preparing foreigners for living in Japan. I read through the book and it seemed fairly useful. That is until I arrived in Japan
While much of the book was useful, just as much was common sense and not so much about living in Japan as it was about the moving process. Some of it proved to be out right false, and other parts obviously applied only to Tokyo. The entire book was rather Tokyo centric, and if you’re living in the agricultural capital of the county like I was it becomes a lot of wasted reading time.
Since living in Japan I’ve read a number of travel guides, books on Japanese culture and books on Japanese living. While useful there always seem to be certain things missing. There are many small but important parts of everyday life in Japan that, as a foreigner, are unexpected and take a while to get used to. Some of these I learned from the anecdotes of friends who had studied in Japan or were stationed there in the military. Others I had to learn on my own. These are rarely touched upon except at times as an aside, and are what I was really hoping to get out of that book.
Right now one of my friends is preparing to teach English in Japan through my old company. Since I had the benefit of my friend’s knowledge of Japan before I left I want to give the same to her. I started writing short e-mails to get her ready for this new adventure and it kind of grew into this. I realized there was a lot to talk about, and that I enjoy writing about it. Hopefully, some other people will get a kick out of reading it here, too