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 […]

Food Shopping

Foreign Buyers’ Club (FBC) You can buy almost anything from this store: salsa, olives, blueberry pie filling, lentil soup, cheese, contact lens supplies, condoms, cold medicines, vegemite…and so on. They have-mail order catalogues, and a good on-line site from which you can order, or you can journey out and visit their store on Rokko Island […]

Domestic Airports

Kobe Airport (神戸空港) Kobe Airport was completed February 2006. With an estimated cost of over 1 trillion yen ($8.7 billion US), this project has been extremely controversial, considering that Kobe is already one of the most indebted regions of the country due to the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. The airport was built as an extension off […]

International Airports

Kansai International Airport 関西国際空港 Kansai International Airport (KIX), pronounced Kansai Kokusai Kuko or Kanku for short, is the main international airport for western Japan. Extensive train, bus and ferry links provide access to Kansai Airport’s artificial island. Below is an overview of to get to the airport. Phone: 0724-55-2500 URL: http://www.kansai-airport.or.jp Getting to KIX By […]

Travel Agents

Note: One of the best ways to get a good deal is to reserve directly on a travel company website: HIS for international travel and NTA or JTB for domestic travel. Or book your transportation directly through the bus company, JR, or airline, and book your hotel through Jalan.net, which is available in English and […]

Trains: Lines, Times, and Fares

With numerous different train companies in Japan, hundreds of train lines and heaps of people all trying to cram on the same train, public transit can be a little overwhelming at times. The following information should hopefully help make traveling on trains a little easier. There are three major train lines for travel in the […]

Trains: Vocab and Tips

Useful Train Vocabulary General Vocab Ticket Gate – 改札口 (kai-satsu-guchi) One way – 片道 (kata-michi) Round Trip – 往復 (ou-fuku) First Class Car – グリーン車 (green-sha) Non-smoking Car – 禁煙車 (kin-en-sha)Smoking Car – 喫煙車 (kitsu-en-sha) Non-reserved Seat – 自由席 (ji-yuu-seki) Reserved Seat – 指定席 (shi-tei-seki) Window (Seat) – 窓側 (mado-gawa) Aisle (Seat) – 通路側 (tsuu-ro-gawa) […]

About the Apartment

With burdens like language barriers and “key money”, finding an apartment in Japan is not a pleasant business. One of the blessings of the JET Program is the Contracting Organizations usually arrange housing for participants. Of course, that means we get plenty of questions about housing. My friend’s apartment is better/cheaper than mine. Contracting Organizations […]