Category Archives: TEACHING

Table for One: How to survive Christmas in Japan if you’re single

Source: Gaijin Pot
Table for One: How to survive Christmas in Japan if you're single

Christmas is one of the most wonderful times of the year. As the songs say, it is a time for joy, a time for family, a time for presents and various other forms of merriment.
In Japan however, Christmas is very much about families and in particular couples.

Perhaps even more so than Valentine’s Day, Christmas is the time of year in Japan when couples fully express their love for each other, usually in the form of elaborate, extravagant dinners and over the top gifts.

However, for some, it can be a very depressing time. If you’re single, Christmas can be a pretty depressing time. It can often seem like you are the only man or woman in the entire universe who doesn’t have a girlfriend or boyfriend.

And even for those of us lucky enough to be in a relationship, Christmas can often be a solitary experience in Japan, as our Japanese partner, and sometimes even us too, are forced to work on Christmas Day, since Christmas is not a recognized holiday here.

It would be very easy to go all Ebenezer Scrooge on the whole thing, just say “Bah! Humbug!” and try to forget Christmas even exists. It doesn’t have to …continue reading

    

It Snowed in Hamamatsu!

prints on snow


*Originally intended for posting on Dec. 18

It snowed in Hamamatsu! Yay!

I’ve lived here for almost 3 years and this is the first time I saw a considerable amount of snow. It snowed enough to cover the grounds in thin white blanket. When I walked to school this morning, the looked winter-picture perfect. Soooo lovely and a little slippery.
Snow Surprise
Hamamatsu is on the coast of the Pacific so it rarely snow like this. It doesn’t snow in Shizuoka prefecture actually. Most cars in Hama are not equipped to deal with slippery roads. The result? Heavier traffic than usual. Even the buses are slower than their usual turtle pace so they are late. Because the bus was late, I was late in going to school too. Just for 5 minutes though so the vice principal didn’t mind it. Other teachers were late too.
This is the snowfall data from Current Results. See, it doesn’t snow in Shizuoka where Hamamatsu is.

Chūbu

Average annual snowfall
Days Place Inches Centimetres
25 Aikawa, Sado Island 46.9 119
13 Gifu 18.5 47
50 Kanazawa 110.6 281
63 Nagano 103.5 263
6 Nagoya 6.3

…continue reading

    

Pregnant in Japan: Prenatal Care

Source: Gaijin Pot
japan-pregnancy-badge

In my last article, I outlined some important questions to ask yourself as you decide to give birth in Japan or back in your home country. Even if you decide to move, you don’t need to leave immediately; you can receive prenatal care in Japan while you work on your plans.

The usual procedure for pregnant women in Japan is to see an OBGYN at a Ladies Clinic, where she will then be referred to recommended hospitals to give birth. Finding the right English speaking OBGYN in Tokyo can be daunting because many offices are extremely busy (despite Japan’s low birth rate) and you have to find a doctor who you feel comfortable with.

It’s true that Japanese doctors have a reputation of being a bit cold and not open to questioning. I certainly found this to be the case with my first OBGYN. I felt nervous every time I saw her, and when I asked her questions, she was very short and impatient. She especially did not like my husband being with me for the check ups. Finally, I had enough and decided that I needed a doctor who would be excited with me.

After some searching, I found Dr. …continue reading

    

Tips When Buying a Bra in Japan

I’m old-fashioned when it comes to bras. I like them in neutral colors and plain designs. No laces, frills and shocking colors. It’s for practical reason. I like wearing well-fitting and light-colored tops. If I wear a colorful bra, it will show through. If I wear a lacy bra, it will make creases on my top. I didn’t realize it’s not easy to find this kind of bra in Japan.

For starters, I didn’t know if I looked at the right place. I visited the Shimamura, Entetsu department store, AEON department store, Don Quijote and Uniqlo. They’re considerably big stores but their bras are too girly- all lace, foams and frills. They’re perfect for those wanting to look nice and cute for their men but that’s not my purpose. I just need a simple, plain, white bra! They have plain walking bras but the material is too light it won’t cover enough what it’s supposed to cover. I don’t know if Japan has a special underwear store or something but I didn’t find what I was looking for in the stores.

After raiding these stores, I went to Entetsu-One supermarket to buy a drink. Lo and behold! It’s where …continue reading