Category Archives: TEACHING

Fuji-san & Early Mornings – What climbing a mountain made me realize about a morning routine

Routine is what gives you control over your life, and a proper routine starts in the morning. But finding a time or opportunity to start that routine can be as difficult as sticking to it.

Climbing Mt. Fuji to watch the sunrise forces you to follow a plan. And if you can climb the tallest mountain in Japan, starting a simple morning routine shouldn’t be too hard.

Right?

“Earn the sunrise.”

I
first heard this line while listening to the Joe Rogan Podcast, as
Joe talked about Jocko Willink. For the unaware, Willink is an
ex-Navy SEAL with a strictly regimented daily schedule that runs from
from the early morning to late evening. He
begins every single day at 4:30 to work out and “earn the sunrise.”

Naturally, to see one man impose discipline upon everything in his life prompts well-due introspection. One year has passed since my arrival in Japan, and while many things have changed, many things appear to have stayed the same.

Ambition without direction is a ship without a captain, and this last year has seen a captain who has been inconsistent in his command.

In light of the arrival’s anniversary, I found it high time to helm my ship and guide it into port. This thought was foremost in my mind as I climbed Mt. Fuji last week to earn the sunrise on July 23rd.

My 23rd birthday.

Yoshida 5th Station Trailhead, the start of the journey

A monumental mountain for a momentous occasion

This was a special birthday for me in a few ways. It marked my first birthday in Japan, and exactly one year since I launched this blog. And turning 23 on the 23rd made the day special in that once-in-a-lifetime sort of way.

In short, it felt momentous, and I meant to capitalize on this occasion.

Mt.
Fuji sat alone as the final endeavor on …continue reading

    

What Salary Can You Make Teaching English in Japan

Junior High School Japan

If you go on Facebook Groups or Reddit forums you’ll often find people who will tell you all about how teaching salaries in Japan are capped at somewhere between ¥250,000 and ¥300,000 per month, and that “you’ll never make any more than that.” It’s often used as a thinly veiled excuse for not making more money or for leaving Japan and going home.

However, in my experience it is possible to make a lot more money teaching English when you do a few key things:

  • Become better at what you do – become a great and passionate teacher
  • Become better at looking for jobs – learn how to better monetise your skills and learn how to hustle for work. It’s always going to be a useful skill.
  • Learn what jobs pay the best, and become capable of getting those jobs
  • Carve out a niche or specialize in an area – if you’re passionate about a particular thing, teach it. I taught bakery classes, debate and philosophy, and it just so happens that the more specialised knowledge you need to teach something, the more you get paid.
  • Omit the middle-man – This will not happen overnight (and I am not condoning poaching your school’s students as the school deserves the revenue for students they sourced), but build your own network of private lessons. You would be amazed at both the difference that the extra money makes in your life and how much less stress you will have when you know you can support yourself (or even just extend your exit ramp) if you decide to part ways with your employer. While keeping your employer happy is important, having some money on the side helps you emotionally if you have to refuse an unreasonable request from your boss.

A big part of this is the type of …continue reading

    

Fuji-san & Early Mornings – What climbing a mountain made me realize about a morning routine

Routine is what gives you control over your life, and a proper routine starts in the morning. But finding a time or opportunity to start that routine can be as difficult as sticking to it.

Climbing Mt. Fuji to watch the sunrise forces you to follow a plan. And if you can climb the tallest mountain in Japan, starting a simple morning routine shouldn’t be too hard.

Right?

“Earn the sunrise.”

I
first heard this line while listening to the Joe Rogan Podcast, as
Joe talked about Jocko Willink. For the unaware, Willink is an
ex-Navy SEAL with a strictly regimented daily schedule that runs from
from the early morning to late evening. He
begins every single day at 4:30 to work out and “earn the sunrise.”

Naturally, to see one man impose discipline upon everything in his life prompts well-due introspection. One year has passed since my arrival in Japan, and while many things have changed, many things appear to have stayed the same.

Ambition without direction is a ship without a captain, and this last year has seen a captain who has been inconsistent in his command.

In light of the arrival’s anniversary, I found it high time to helm my ship and guide it into port. This thought was foremost in my mind as I climbed Mt. Fuji last week to earn the sunrise on July 23rd.

My 23rd birthday.

Yoshida 5th Station Trailhead, the start of the journey

A monumental mountain for a momentous occasion

This was a special birthday for me in a few ways. It marked my first birthday in Japan, and exactly one year since I launched this blog. And turning 23 on the 23rd made the day special in that once-in-a-lifetime sort of way.

In short, it felt momentous, and I meant to capitalize on this occasion.

Mt.
Fuji sat alone as the final endeavor on …continue reading

    

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