Settling in at Home

Try not to compare your arrangements with other JETs because someone will always have it better than you do. Like the famous quote, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” This is your home for at least the next year, so make the best of your situation.

It is not wise to skimp on household possessions because you want to save money. There will come a time when you’ve had a rotten day and are feeling especially down. Even the smallest of extras at home will help make you feel better. So, find a few things that will make your place more comfortable. You don’t have to spend a lot of money – check out the ¥100 shops for things that will make you laugh or be useful around the house. If you had a predecessor, hopefully you already have a TV, DVD player, electric heater, electric fans, etc. If not, it is definitely worth laying down some cash for such items – trust me, come winter you will be glad you did.

Some TVs in Japan are bilingual, which means that at the push of a button you can switch between English and Japanese if a show is being broadcast bilingually. Look for the 音声切換 (on-sei-kiri-kae) button on your remote. The NHK channel usually has bilingual news at 7pm and 9pm. Foreign films generally can be viewed bilingually as well. You can also find foreign films and TV shows in abundance at a DVD rental, though you will need to use the DVD menu to change the language to English.

Decorating your place makes a huge difference. Simply by putting up your personal belongings around the house, like pictures, posters, books, magazines, and anything from home, your house or apartment will begin to feel more like a home. It’s your home, and it’s worth the investment- make it a place you like being in.

On the other hand, your first weeks in Japan are a great opportunity to clean from top to bottom and getting rid of any items your predecessor left that seem unnecessary. That will help your place feel like it’s really yours.

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