8 points to make your trip to Japan more fun

 

It’s difficult to travel right now, but when the coronavirus is over, I hope that many people will enjoy their trip to Japan. In this article, we’ll introduce eight points to help you plan your trip to Japan and make it even more fun.

 

First of all, there are five points to make a plan for your trip to Japan.

 

  1. Decide on a theme for your trip.
  2. decide on a budget and number of days
  3. Decide where you want to go.
  4. make a list of things you want to do
  5. try to make a real schedule

 

Let’s take a closer look. The order of 1 to 4 may be back and forth. You may have to rework your plan a few times, but it’s still a process of making a better plan, so enjoy it.

 

  1. Decide on a theme for your trip.

If you’re new to Japan or have never traveled to Japan before, you can use “Tokyo and Osaka” as a theme for the cities you want to visit. If you are a repeater, for example, you may want to have a specific theme such as “I want to compare delicious sushi,” “I want to go to many hot springs,” or “I want to take a good looking photo for Instagram. Once you’ve listed a few, think about those priorities.

 

  1. decide on a budget and number of days

Deciding on a budget and number of days is a necessary step to make it a realistic plan.

 

  1. Decide where you want to go.

It’s normal to want to go to as many places as possible. Decide where you can realistically go with your purpose, budget and days.

 

  1. make a list of things you want to do

Decide specifically where and what you want to do and make a list. If there are too many to list, consider those priorities as well.

 

  1. try to make a real schedule

Find out where to stay, how to get there, how long it will take, and how long it will take to do the things you want to do. In Japan, trains and planes often go as planned, but make sure you have plenty of time on your schedule.

 

These are the basic points.

Next, I’ll give you three tips to make your trip to Japan more enjoyable.

 

6.Look up not only on the web but also in guidebooks.

Research can be done on the web, but it can be time consuming to look up each site one by one. So I buy a guidebook that allows me to look up information efficiently. Looking through guidebooks with my family and thinking, “Oh, I want to go to this store too! The price is also cheap at around 1,000 yen per book.

FYI, “Rurubu” and “Mappuru” are the most famous guidebooks in Japan. Both are designed for Japanese people traveling in Japan, so there is only a Japanese version, but it has detailed information on it. There are a lot of photos, so even those who are not confident in their Japanese will find it helpful.

 

Rurubu Tokyo https://amzn.to/2WlcdDU

Rurubu Osaka https://amzn.to/35SP8vt

Rurubu Hokkaido https://amzn.to/3bjnvwE

Rurubu Okinawa https://amzn.to/3cvfYwk

 

 

7.Ask a travel planning professional.

If you’re not good at planning or don’t have the time for it, you might want to hire a travel planning professional. COCONALA is a site that deals with the skill sharing economy business and there are also people who can help you plan your trip.

 

https://coconala.com/services/45520?waad=twyeQ5fH 

This person will make a plan for 2 nights and 3 days for 1,500 yen anywhere in Japan.

https://coconala.com/services/45883?waad=twyeQ5fH 

This person will plan a trip to Hokkaido for 3 nights and 4 days for 3,000 yen.

 

8.Make an album after the trip.

When we travel abroad, we make an album for each trip. Photo data taken with a digital camera or mobile phone is a rare opportunity for the whole family to look back at it. It’s a great way to keep an album to enjoy your family’s time together and memories of your trip.

 

If you are a Japanese language learner, try to look up information in Japanese as much as possible.Talking to your Japanese teacher about your travel plans will be a good practice for you too!

5 Recommended Japanese Gourmet Online Shopping Sites!

 

Many people are looking forward to eating delicious food in Japan. However, as the coronavirus is rampant (as of March 10, 2020 at the time of writing this article), gourmet travel is difficult. Here are some ways to enjoy delicious meals from all over Japan without going out.

 

Have you ever heard the word ”お取り寄せ(otoriyose)”? The act of obtaining a product from another location when there is no product you want to buy at the store is the origin of the word ”お取り寄せ(otoriyose)”. The word ”取り寄せ(toriyose)” is a noun form of ”取り寄せる(toriyoseru)”, and “お(o)” has been added to the top to say it more elegantly, and the word ”お取り寄せ(otoriyose)” has come to be used more often. And now, it is increasingly used in the sense of “purchasing popular groceries online.”

 

Here are five popular Japanese Gourmet Online Shopping Sites

 

dancyu.com

https://www.dancyu.com/

Operated by the popular gourmet magazine “dancyu”.

 

Otona no shumatsu otoriyose club

https://www.otoshu.com/

Operated by the popular gourmet magazine “Otona no shumatsu”.

 

FUJINGAHO no otoriyose

https://fujingaho.ringbell.co.jp/shop/

Operated by women’s magazine “FUJINGAHO”.

“dancyu.com” and “Otona no shumatsu otoriyose club” are a little for male, but this one is a little for female. There are many sweets.

 

47CLUB

https://www.47club.jp/

Main products are local specialties, specialty products, and local gourmet.

Local newspapers in each region carefully select and introduce delicious products from 47 prefectures in Japan.

 

Nippon no takaramono (Japan’s treasure)

https://www.ecshop.undiscovered.jp/

Most of the producers are small businesses, so mass production is not possible, but the products on this site are all highly valued.

Although the number of products is small compared to other sites, it is recommended for those who want to find hidden local specialties.

 

Rakuten

https://event.rakuten.co.jp/food/area/

Rakuten is the largest e-commerce company in Japan.

Popular products from all over the country are gathered widely.

 

Every site is full of delicious dishes and ingredients, and it will be fun just to look at it.

Please enjoy delicious Japanese foods by “otoriyose”.

 

More people use camper vans when traveling in Japan!?

 

Where do you stay when traveling in Japan? I think that many people stay at hotels and inns, but recently it more and more people rent camper vans.

If you are traveling to Japan for the first time, you will most likely choose the so-called golden route: Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, Kyoto, Osaka. However, many repeaters want to go to places other than the Golden Route, especially the countryside in Japan, and people who are not satisfied with ordinary tours often use a camper van.

 

Therefore, this time I will write about traveling in Japan using a camper van that is becoming a popular new travel style.

 

 

Benefits of traveling in Japan using a camper van

(1) good cost performance

Normally, hotels and inns in Japan have a price per person. On the other hand, camping cars are set at the price per car. Therefore, as the number of users increases, the price per person decreases. In addition, transportation costs can be reduced by dividing gasoline and highway charges by all passengers.

 

(2) 3 or more people can stay together

There are not many rooms where 3 or more adults can stay in Japanese hotels. If it is a camper, there are many cars that four adults can stay with.

 

(3) Free travel plan

Trains and buses have a fixed schedule of operation, but you can create a free travel plan if you are a camper. In addition, you will be able to go to places where trains and buses cannot. Tours are only available in popular places. You can also go to your special places that other foreign travelers can not go to.

 

 

Recommended service for people traveling to Japan using a camper van

I’ve checked companies that have a good explanation of foreign languages, so I’ll introduce them to you.

 

(1) Camper van rental : Japan Campingcar Rental Center

https://japan-crc.com/en/

https://www.facebook.com/japanrv/

 

(2) Camper van sharing service : CarStay

https://carstay.jp/en

https://www.facebook.com/carstay55 

 

 

Points to note when traveling to Japan using a camper van

A convenient and cost effective camper trip, but there are some caveats.

 

(1) Driving qualification

Driving a car in Japan naturally requires a valid driver’s license in Japan.

The requirements vary by country, so check this site.

https://www.nipponrentacar.co.jp/english/user-guide/driverslicense.html

 

(2) different traffic rules

There may be traffic rules different from your country, so please enjoy safe driving so that there are no accidents or troubles. Japan is on the left. Please note that the highways running in the center of the city(Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, etc.) have many exits and entrances so that even Japanese people get lost.

 

(3) Car size

Campers are bigger than ordinary cars, and the height is high, so the stability is poor. Therefore, be careful because contact accidents and rollover accidents occur more easily than other vehicles. There are many narrow roads in Japan.

 

(4) Spots where you can stay in the car are limited

There are not many RV parks where you can stay in a car like in the US. In recent years, the number of people who occupy a parking lot for a long time while staying in a car has increased, and there have been cases where trouble has occurred. When planning your travel plan, look for places where you can stay in the car. The CarStay site mentioned above introduces good spots.

https://carstay.jp/en/stay 

 

 

If you are bored on a regular trip, why not try this new style?

I hope your trip to Japan will be fun.

 

Job popularity ranking is not useful

 

If you work in Japan, what are the criteria for choosing a company?

When you find a job in Japan, you will see the “Job popularity ranking, but frankly, this ranking is not useful, so in this article, I will explain why and will introduce some other rankings.

 

Reason 1: The respondents are college students who has just started job hunting.

Companies that make such rankings often take questionnaires to university students who come to joint company briefings. For this reason, the number of companies that respondents know and the actual situation of the companies are extremely limited. It’s like asking a zero-beginner Japanese learner about recommended business Japanese materials.

 

Reason 2: The reality is just name recognition ranking

This is related to the first reason, most of the top ranking companies are doing BtoC business rather than BtoB. There are many excellent BtoB companies in Japan, but such companies are not well known, so they do not appear in the ranking.

 

So what ranking should you refer to instead?

Here are some suggestions.

 

Suggestion1:Job change popularity ranking

Example : https://doda.jp/guide/popular/

The respondents are already working, and the question is “Which company is better if you change jobs?”, That will be closer to the actual evaluation of the company than to ask students.

 

Suggestion2:Average annual income ranking

Example : https://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/257530

Many people think salary is the most important. For those people, the average annual income ranking of employees will be helpful.

 

Suggestion3:Lifetime wage ranking

Example : https://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/310498

In Japan, where the lifetime employment system was strong, there are many people who place importance on the ranking of lifetime wages rather than annual income.

 

Suggestion4:Ranking of employees working overseas

Example : https://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/206216

There are many people who are worried about whether they can return to their home country in the future, work at a place where they can use their language skills, or do business globally. This is a ranking that allows you to know how many people work for the company overseas.

 

The operating profit margin ranking and overseas sales ratio ranking may also be helpful for you.

 

However, such ranking varies depending on the industry and business model, and may vary depending on the time of aggregation. For this reason, it is better to think that there is no ranking that perfectly meets your requirements.

 

So what should we do?

 

If you have a specific industry or job type that you want to work with, it may be good to create your own ranking based on that industry or job type. Also, if you are concerned about both the average annual income ranking and ranking of employees working overseas, it may  be good to create a list of companies that are ranked in both.

 

In this article, I wrote about how to use rankings, but it is always recommended to consult with people who are already working in the industry you want to go to without using such rankings.

 

Our free video course called “Japanese for Job Hunting” is available on YouTube.

I would be happy if you could register for your channel or do a GOOD evaluation 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZtUc_wd7BOKT9BvhRjyvsg/featured

 

I hope you all succeed in getting a job or changing jobs.

 

 

Criteria for choosing textbooks (You should not trust Amazon Reviews)

 

“What are the recommended textbooks?”

This is the most difficult question I ever be asked to answer.

The criteria for choosing textbooks varies depending on Japanese learning history, learning goals, learning style, learning environment, budget, and preferences.

So, what factors should be considered in choosing textbooks?  In this edition, we summarized tips for choosing textbooks.

 

(1) Do not trust Amazon Reviews

I often shop on Amazon and always check for customer reviews before buying a product.

However, customer reviews on Amazon are not trustworthy when choosing textbooks, because there are few reviews considering the factors mentioned above. As for different learners, it has to be taken into account each learning environment, budgets, and so on, but no customer reviews consider them.

Also, there are regional differences in the evaluation of customer satisfaction.

 

For example, the customer evaluation for the “Japanese for Busy People I: Kana Version (Revised 3rd Edition)” that we often use in lessons for beginners are as below.

(Information as of 10/11/2019)

————————————————-

Country /Stars out of 5/Number of reviews

————————————————-

Japan / 3.5 / 14

US    / 4.1 / 85

UK    / 4.4 / 100

CA    / 4.3 / 19

————————————————

Even with the same product, you can see the 0.9 points difference between Japan and UK.

 

(2) There are only a few textbooks stocked in general bookstores.

When I go abroad, I go to a large bookstore in the area and check what kind of textbooks are sold. Since there are only a small number of Japanese learners overseas, Japanese textbooks do not contribute much to the sales of bookstores. Therefore, there are only a few textbooks are stocked.

 

(3) Don’t trust an advice of any bookstore clerks

A general bookstore clerks will never know about learning Japanese so that you can not expect the advice of the store clerk. They might tell you the most popular textbooks, however, the best-selling textbooks are not necessarily the best textbooks for you.

 

(4) Don’t trust the advice of ordinary Japanese people as well

If you have Japanese friends, you may ask them for advice. However, ordinary Japanese do not know about Japanese language education for foreigners at all. They don’t even know what textbooks are available for learning Japanese.

 

For the above reasons, choosing textbooks is not so simple. So, what will be reliable sources on choosing textbook?

Here are some sources on people and sites helpful for your decision.

 

 

(1) Professional Japanese teacher

Professional Japanese teacher will most likely give you the best answer. However, of course, there are both amateurs and professionals. To give you a good advice on recommended textbooks, teachers need to have a deep understanding of many textbooks, but some teachers have used only a few. Which advice is more reliable by teachers who have experienced only one textbook or one have used 100? Ask how many books the teacher has experienced before.  You will be able to trust an advice of a teacher who has use at least 10 books, preferably 20 books.

(2) Special shop in Japanese language teaching and studying materials

If you can buy textbooks in Japan, you can go to a special shop in Japanese language teaching and studying materials and check them.

Here are some links to special shops in Japanese language.

Bonjinsha http://www.bonjinsha.com/

Japanese Bookstore Sogakusha http://www.sogakusha.co.jp/

Japanese Books Online http://books-online.jp/

(3) Friends who are fluent in Japanese

If you have friends who have already reached your ideal Japanese level, their opinions may be helpful for you. Especially friends of the same native language of you will be reliable. However, it is important to understand that the person does not know much of the Japanese teaching material, but only gives advice to you based on his/her limited experience.

 

(4) Japanese language School curriculum

If any of the above is difficult to find, the textbook used at the Japanese language school may become a tips for you. Japanese language schools usually have courses by level and learning purpose, so check the textbooks close to your level and purpose. Recommended learning materials for each course are also listed on the J-OS website. If you are interested, please refer to the following page.

 

For English

General Japanese Course>

http://www.j-os.com/en/courses/generalcourse/

JLPT Preparation Course>

http://www.j-os.com/en/courses/jltpprepcourse/

Business Japanese Course>

http://www.j-os.com/en/courses/businesscourse/

 

For Japanese

General Japanese Course>

http://www.j-os.com/ja/courses/generalcourse/

JLPT Preparation Course>

http://www.j-os.com/ja/courses/jltpprepcourse/

Business Japanese Course>

http://www.j-os.com/ja/courses/businesscourse/

 

* The main users of J-OS are English-speaking people or English-speaking business persons. Therefore, please note that the information may not be suitable for non-English speaking people and students.

 

What did you think about these tips?

Whether or not you can find a good textbook is an important factor of successful Japanese learning.

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