Japanese Classes

The Hyogo International Association in Kobe offers evening Japanese classes for foreign residents for a nominal price of 2,000 yen per semester: Hyogo International Association. (Find the English PDF at the middle of the page.) Sign-up is on a quarterly basis and first-come first-served. There are a number of other places in Hyogo Prefecture that […]

Japanese Etiquette

Workplace Etiquette Arriving & Leaving Work: When entering the teacher’s room in the morning, say “Ohayo gozaimasu” (Good Morning). You should also be punctual. Punctuality is viewed as part of being an adult member of society in Japan, so take the extra five minutes. When leaving at the end of the day, say “Osaki ni […]

Getting Married

This page provides a general overview and advice about getting married in Japan. The information is from a single JET’s experience. Your circumstances and situation may vary so be sure to check with the appropriate authorities to confirm all the documents/information you will need and what the procedures and rules are. Registering your Marriage To […]

Drinking and Driving

Most of you have heard by now that drinking and driving is a serious issue in Japan. Still, this is one issue that can not be emphasized enough. We received notices from the Hyogo Board of Education about their policies towards driving after drinking, so before you even think about it, give this a read, […]

Your Hanko aka Personal Seal

In Japan, a personal seal called a hanko (判子) is used instead of your signature on most documents. People often use hanko and inkan (印鑑) interchangeably, but technically speaking, your hanko is the cylindrical object made of wood, plastic, etc. used to make your seal, and your inkan is the red seal that you make […]

Presents for Coworkers

When people in Japan travel, they often bring back omiyage (お土産) to share with their coworkers, friends, and families. Omiyage is often translated as souvenirs, though the connotation is slightly different, as while a souvenir is usually a small present you get for one person (a keychain, those snowglobes), omiyage is usually something (like food) that you […]