Teach in Japan

by Jacek Glowacki

Teach in Japan: an English teacher in Japan comments on what life is like here.

Don`t Believe Everything You Hear About Living in Japan

Here is a little known fact about Japan. The fact is that nothing that you may hear or have this far heard about living in Japan is the definite reality of things. Reality depends on what constitutes as truth to each individual. The accuracy and authenticity of information one receives can go only as far as the information source. To illustrate with an example, I believe a short biopsy of the information I have gathered about this country prior to my departure from Canada would be in order. I have been interested in visiting Japan for a long time. But until two years ago, my intentions were two years away from reality. My hometown Winnipeg, is the capital of the ever so vast province of Manitoba. Although small in proportion and population, compared to Canada's major cities such as Vancouver and Toronto, Winnipeg has acquired a wide spread popularity that, as I have recently found out, goes far beyond Canada's geographic dimensions.

Winter desserts and extremely low temperatures are the things most commonly mentioned when the subject turns to Winnipeg. Although assumptions made about Winnipeg are correct, however limited information they may be based upon, cold winters are not the only thing the city has to offer. Winnipeg summers have been known to be on the flip side to the severity of its winters, with temperatures at times approaching 30C - 35C. This is just a simple proof of the fact that in general we as a race tend to pay more attention to the extraordinary, or that which does not fit into our individual scheme of things.

Teach in Japan -- Goals

This in a nutshell, explains the wide range and variety of information I have been able to gather prior to as well as upon my arrival in Japan. My goals were simple. Arriving in Japan, finding employment as an English teacher, as fast as humanely possible, and beginning a different life in a new country. In association with the fulfillment of my goals, these are the examples of information that were brought to my attention: 1) living in Tokyo is really expensive. This was the main reason why I did not want to settle in Tokyo, or it's immediate neighborhoods. 2) It's difficult finding a job in Japan. The competition for teaching positions is high. Every time I heard this particular bit of information I knew that finding a job would not be easy. 3) It's very easy finding a teaching position in Japan. This was simply confusing. In situations such as this one I am sincerely thankful for the “hard spent” dollars on my education, which has caused me to approach a problem from various angles, and evaluate, criticize and scrutinize it as much as possible. I never accept a final answer and don't accept the conclusion of others. Rather I find my own.

Teach in Japan -- After Arrival

Three weeks later, after arriving in the midst of the mystic Orient, I found myself breaking all my rules. I`m living within the immediate neighborhood of Japan's capital, and working at a school that in its essence is too perfect to be true. Yes living in Tokyo can be really expensive if that's the route one chooses to take. But in my experience it is not common to find a place, which provides a wider range in food quality and prices than Tokyo. That being said, I must admit that I have never had the pleasure of visiting some of Europe’s major cities such as Paris or London. The JR stations of Shibuya and Shinjuku, are virtually spilling over with the aroma of sushi, Japanese noodles and other various local delicacies, which many a hungry traveler will be able to fill his stomach with for a price around 1000 yen, or less.

In opposition to the common belief that rent in Tokyo is ridiculously expensive, it is possible to find very reasonable prices in very reasonable accommodations. This depends on the level of privacy and luxury one seeks.The general new-comers to Japan, who are intending on making Japan their second home or are planning on staying here for an extended period of time, should not rely solely on what they hear from, possibly unreliable sources, instead do your own research. Throw on your lab coat and submerge yourself in the wondrous world of the orient. And most of all have fun.

Teach in Japan Author:

Jacek Glowacki worked as an English teacher living in Tokyo. From teach in Japan to Daily Life From teach in Japan to Japan Living (home)

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