Category Archives: FEATURED

Japanese Immigration Has Begun Enforcing Stricter Visa Requirements for Foreigners

Source: Gaijin Pot
Japanese Immigration Has Begun Enforcing Stricter Visa Requirements for Foreigners

You probably didn’t realize that tourist and working holiday visa-holders from certain countries aren’t technically allowed to change to other visa types after their initial visa has expired. Up until now, the Japanese Immigration Bureau was pretty lax in enforcing this rule, but that may be changing.

Though seemingly strict on the surface, Japanese immigration has been fairly lenient in the past about giving people the benefit of the doubt and making exceptions for individual cases to the point where these exceptions have become the norm and widely spread online as normal procedures.

There are three laws we’ve seen being more strictly enforced:

1. You can not change from a tourist visa to a working or student visa while in Japan

2. Most countries can not change from a working holiday to another type of visa

3. Adult students who wish to study in Japan have higher requirements

The Immigration “Bureau” was recently upgraded to the status of “Agency”

In April 2019, the Immigration Bureau made several changes including being upgraded from a “bureau” to an “agency.” The new immigration services agency is no mere name change, it actually gives the agency a lot more power than before.

Representatives stated the main motivation for the change was to deal with the influx of new immigrants—many of them coming on the new specified-skilled work visas—although more resources and power were given to the agency covering all the visa types.

The new immigration services agency is no mere name change, it actually gives the agency a lot more power than before.

Up until recently, the Ministry of Justice was more or less in charge of the Immigration Bureau. Reading immigration laws made this apparent, with the MoJ being constantly referenced along with how exceptions could be made when the MoJ decided there was a good reason to.

Essentially, the …continue reading


6 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Job Hunting In Japan

Looking for a job in Japan, especially if you don’t have native English teaching skills, can be a frustrating endeavor. Besides the obvious issues of the language gap and physical distance (if applying from abroad), our own assumptions and the tendency to look at things through rose-colored glasses may make the entire process far more complicated. So, in order not to make the same mistakes as me, here are a few key points to keep in mind when looking for a job in Japan — which I came to learn the hard way.

#1. Being multilingual is not a carte blanche for getting hired

Back when I was attending grad school in London and searching for jobs in Japan, I was sure that my Japanese language skills coupled with English would make me a shoo-in for an entry-level position. But I was absolutely wrong. I applied to every possible job, looked for contacts in the Japanese community in London, went to bilingual job fairs and ran after every lead. It took almost two years (and big support from all gods of luck you can name!) to finally find a job at a small company that would take me to Tokyo.

So, unless you have a true calling to teach or really unique skills that are high in demand, it is in general very tough to find companies that would be willing to hire and send a new graduate across the ocean based on language skills alone. So, instead of doing it the regular way, try something different—coming to Japan first, building connections on LinkedIn or other business groups, talking to people who’ve been through the process already and the like.

#2. “Business-level Japanese” …continue reading


How to Talk About the Future in Japanese

Source: Gaijin Pot
How to Talk About the Future in Japanese

With the New Year celebrations behind us, it’s time to forget about our past mistakes and look forward to the future.

Talking about our New Year’s resolutions in Japanese isn’t so easy though. Mastering the future tense is as arduous as finishing an entire osechi bento including those… unidentifiable fishy bits.

One of the biggest problems with talking about the future tense in Japanese is that, one could argue, Japanese doesn’t really have a “proper” future tense like other languages.

A common example of this is 大学(だいがく)へ行(い)く which can mean anything from the present (I’m going to university [and am a student now]) to the future (I will go to university [and I am not a student now]).

Forming the future tense in Japanese with nouns

Japanese accomplishes a lot of what English accomplishes with “will” and “be going to” by attaching nouns instead of verbs to the verb in question.

The most commonly attached nouns are つもり (“intention”) and 予定よてい) (“plan”). For example, if there was likely to be any ambiguity about whether the speaker was talking about the present or the future when they said 大学へ行く they may add つもり to make 大学へ行くつもり (“I intend to go to university”) or 予定 to make 大学へ行く予定 (“I plan to go to university”), which may help to clear up any misunderstandings.

The ことに form

So far so good? Things get just a bit trickier when we want to project into the future. For that, we need to use the ことに forms. The most common of these are ことにする and ことになる.

ことにする implies you’ve “decided to” do something. In this case, you’ve made the decision (in the past) to do something (in the future). Make sense?

Let’s look at some examples.

  • 彼(かれ)の意見(いけん)を聞(き)くことにする = I will listen to his opinions
  • 私(わたし)は気(き)をつけることにする = I will be careful

Of course, this grammar can also be used …continue reading


A Weekend Escape to Nikko National Park

Source: Japan Cheapo

Nikko, in particular Nikko National Park, is a well-known destination for those keen to escape the busy Tokyo streets. Adorned in autumn leaves, home to world-famous temples and just the right weather for hot springs, fall is the perfect time to visit.
While there’s a lot to see in Nikko, a weekend can easily be split across three of the most beautiful areas: Kinugawa Onsen, Chuzenji and Nikko itself. Combining beautiful natural scenery, local cuisines and a vast array of temples, our weekend plan has everything you need.
Be sure to check out the travel tips at the end; there are bus and train passes available for the area that make travel between the areas affordable and easy.
Day one: Kinugawa Onsen’s natural beauty
If you c

The post A Weekend Escape to Nikko National Park appeared first on Japan Cheapo.

…continue reading


Travelling Japan: Top 5 Places to Get Off the Beaten Path

Gold-leaf ice-cream, Kanazawa

There is no place quite like Japan. It is a kaleidoscope of colour and a playground of ever-changing landscapes. A feast for the senses and a place where modern and traditional culture collide. It is a weird and wonderful country I will never grow tired of visiting.

My previous visits to Japan have covered many of the popular tourist spots around the country. However, this time was a little different. I spent the week visiting lesser-known cities and towns allowing a deeper look into the culture, cuisine, and ever-changing scenery of this incredible country. For anyone looking to experience Japan in all of its diversity, I would highly recommend getting off the beaten path and integrating these places into your trip:

1. Kanazawa

The first stop on our trip was Kanazawa, the prefectural capital of Ishikawa. Located along the West coast of Japan’s main island, it’s often referred to as “little Kyoto”, rivalling the popular tourist city with its rich culture, preserved historical neighbourhoods and beautiful gardens.

It’s not hard to experience the rich history of this city. Simply wander through Nagamachi Samurai District to see where the mighty samurai used to reside, head to the Higashi Chaya District to learn about the still-flourishing culture of the geisha, or pay a visit to Kanazawa Castle, a restored structure that was originally built in 1583. Whilst visiting the castle, make sure you take a stroll through the nearby Kenrokuen Garden- it is considered to be among Japan’s best.

When it comes to food, the city’s proximity to the coast means it is particularly known for its local seafood. Head to Omicho Market for some of the freshest sushi in town, or go for the full multi-course dining experience at Kanazawa Chaya to sample some of the finest produce of the area. Finally, don’t leave without stopping …continue reading