The end of a year

So it has now been a whole year since I moved to Japan, and what a year it has been! I haven’t traveled to so many different places in such a short time before and I have been lucky enough for every trip to be a great one.

It’s probably just because of how different things are here but even everyday things for locals like visiting a shrine, even just walking past one, is still a fun experience. The food is still amazing, and also really cheap compared to back home. Less that one pound for a plate of sushi, almost any sushi. No that’s not a typo.

But I’m not just here to tell you how great Japan is, because even though it is pretty great this is more of a learning experience kind of post. 

So let’s start with things I would do differently.

1. Study a lot more Japanese. Yes you can kind of muddle through with just English and bad acting, but if you want to have a real conversation with anyone you are going to need Japanese. A big jump in success for me was being able to register my new address with the phone company by myself, but I feel this would have happened a lot sooner if I was using the apps and books I am now from day one.

Yomikata is a must use in my opinion, teaching both vocabulary and reading skills it has been invaluable in growing my understanding of that language, second only to just going out and actually speaking with people.

2. Choose my own house (sooner). Moving into a leopalace was easy, but I should have done it by myself and not relied on my work to organise it since it means it was more expensive. Now that I’ve done it by myself it’s nearly half the price and there are no hidden admin fees for moving out!

3. Watch more TV and movies in Japanese. It’s pretty fun and it’s nice to start putting words to reactions together. You will be surprised how much you learn and it’s a talking point with new Japanese friends. 

Luckily it’s only a short list of changes, because as I said before Japan is great! I also get 100 yen every time I say that.

So what is the plan for the next year?

Well I’m going to do some more traveling and certainly keep up my studying. Hopefully by this time next year I’ll be roughly conversational, which would be nice. In the meanwhile watch this space for more Japan updates!

Japan is great.

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