A Travellerspoint blog

Japan

Should I stay or Should I go now

-17 °C

It seems to me that there are certain points in your life that REALLY shape your next move and possibly the rest of your life. Japan was one of these moments.

Towards the end of my final year studying Product Design at Huddersfield University I was talking endlessly about travel, China and what I should do now? Well it seemed like I should travel to China, right?
That was the plan and I had an interview with the British Council to teach English but although I passed the interview I was put on a waiting list and I had no desire to go home and wait around so I jumped on the Internet and found it………..NOVA.

The company has its bad corrupt corporate side and I don’t argue with the criticism it gets in forums but at the start they organise your flight, Visa, accommodation and everything. To work there you don’t need experience and it’s a wide-open window that leads to Japan. What you do after you settle there is up to you but I managed to last the whole year of my contract with no regrets, a love for teaching, many great memories and a love of Japan and it’s people.

There are a few reasons why Japan seems to hit my button:

· Its small with varying landscape so you have many places to travel to
· The transport system (especially trains) are great so its easy to travel
· I felt safe and for the whole time I was there I never saw a fight, I was never threatened and never had anything stolen.
· Most people are polite.
· The customer service is exceptional
· The weather had clear seasons (snow, rain, heat, calm) but was never unbearable
· The Japanese culture fascinates me
· I find the language challenging to learn but not impossible and I love the sounds and writing
· The economy is strong so its easy to save, travel out of the country or to vist home
· Although being modern and hi-tech Japan has retained a lot of its original cultural identity

Naturally Japan is not so amazing that its free of problems, every country does but from what I have seen I have the least problems with it.
As time changes the country will change; kids are less polite, western culture is becoming a very strong influence and not necessarily for the better, they have an aging population problem like all developed countries and suicide rates are still high.

All said and done, I have never been as comfortable and enjoyed the humdrum of everyday life, travel or food as much as I have in Japan.

Why leave? Well a lot of people asked me that as I prepared to move to China and my flatmates would joke everyday that I am making it all up and that I’m not going anywhere, even when I showed them the tickets and packed bags they just shook their heads smiling. The truth is that it was hard to leave but I didn’t move to Japan to stay, I want to see more of the world and that is what I did and am still doing.

Check out the map of the places I have been. Each place had its own feel and unique memories.

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To study Japanese and keep up with my Photoshop skills I made a Phrase Book. So if your going over there or just fancy learning a few phrases then feel free to check it out. To see a more readable size just follow the link below each page. From there you can print it out if you wish.

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Posted by Follow Me 06:14 Archived in Japan

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