English Conversation Club: Life in Nagoya

English Conversation Club - Staying at the Nagoya Youth Hostel

(Photo: Sakura no hana by Devanshe Chauhan)

At 6AM Enka music that would wake all the dead in a Stephen King novel, rang out from the old, tinny Nagoya youth hostel speakers. Apparently it was time to get up. After a cheap, but grueling 30 hour journey (with various stop overs), Korean airlines had finally deposited me in Nagoya, Japan. Next I was whisked away to this youth hostel by seven Japanese women, whom I'd met while working as a program assistant for Columbia College in Vancouver. These young, kind, attractive Japanese women had done a homestay in Canada, and my job was to take them around the city.

Did I mention they were attractive?

Get this, I got to go out with some of the most beautiful women from around the world. Take them hiking, sightseeing, dancing, out to dinner, and on romantic dinner cruises,


Just call me Hef!

What a deal! God exists I thought and he has a sense of humour too! Boy was my athiest father ever wrong!

(I met my future wife to be at Columbia College.)

First Steps:

Learn what first steps I took and you will need to take to successfully come to Japan and teach English. What do you need to do first? In my sleepy reverie I staggered to the showers and almost bumped into two Californians named Jeff and Brian. They were both planning to teach English though neither had a job lined up yet. I had arranged my position before I came. Whether this was a mistake or not, I had yet to find out. After talking for a bit, Jeff, Brian and I exchanged contact information, and promised to keep in touch.

Would you like to Stay in a Canadian house in Japan?

Near Hakone, views of Mount Fuji, and near Only Yu Hot Spring!

And did we mention the reasonable price?

Romantic Fuji Views near Hot Spring

Minamiashigara-shi, Kanagawa-ken, Japan
Perfect romantic spot for couples. Our dream home! Stay in a Canadian house! 2 single beds. Much of the furniture and lights were imported. The house itself was made in Canada, then imported and bu...

My friend Naomi picked me up at around noon and we went to meet my boss Mark for lunch at a local family restaurant. It was strange to see a restaurant that looked like home, but of course, was filled almost entirely with Japanese people.

I felt uncomfortable as I was an object of attention as we waited for our table. This would be a challenge I would need to conquer, getting used to being stared at, almost everywhere I went. Being very tall for Japan, I stand 6'2," I got a lot of attention wherever I went, even in a large city like Nagoya.

Although, this Aichi city boasted over 2 million people, it was not very cosmopolitan, and I had vaulted into being a member of an extremely small minority, almost overnight. It has been said that for a caucasian coming to Japan can give one an idea of what it must be like to be African North American back home. To a small extent, I think this is true. It is definitely a worthwhile experience to be a member of a minority for a while. It opens one's eyes to what it must feel like to be the only Chinese boy in an all caucasian class for example.

It has also been suggested by more than one famous writer that for westerners to go to Japan and the rest of Asia, is like stepping into one of the comic books they read as children.

I think this is apt.

I was to leave the little English conversation club we had established in Nagoya, but not just yet.

Japanese Apartment - This story continued on the next page

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To Private English Lesson

To Kevin`s Minamiashigarashi English Schools

To Kevin`s Machida English School

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