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.

Is it awkward eating at Yakiniku restaurant alone?

 

When I go home late at work, I sometimes drink alone in a standing bar near my office and then go home. I personally don’t care about solo dining, however, there are people who can’t afford eating alone because of family traditions, or it’s awkwardness.

What kinds of opinions are there about solo dining in your country?

 

Nowadays in Japan, a growing number of people are eating alone and it is increasingly considered socially accepted.

Recently, “Gusto”, one of the major family restaurants, has enhanced the table for one person.

As you can see from the photo below, the solo dining space in Gusto provides the environment especially for work and study unlike the other normal seats.

The features are as follows.

  • Power supply and Wi-Fi are available
  • Completely private space
  • Enough space for both a laptop and for dining

 

The other day I have used the space between the meetings and it was very comfortable.

 

Fast food restaurants like McDonald’s and Yoshinoya have had many solo diners before, but it is a recent change that the number of solo diners has increased besides fast food restaurants.

 

Originally “famiresu” is an abbreviation for family restaurant, so main target user are family. However, the recent trend is that more people use the place alone.

 

In addition, “Ikinari Steak” the stand-up steakhouse or “Yakiniku Like” where solo diner can enjoy yakiniku alone, are also getting popular in Japan.

http://ikinaristeak.com/home/ 

https://yakiniku-like.com/

 

Although the “Ikinari steak” has opened its first overseas in New York, it seems to be struggling.

The food service business is greatly influenced by the food culture of the country, so just because it is popular in Japan does not necessarily mean it is popular overseas.

 

For example, “Yoshinoya” in China where most users are family unit provide various menus like a family restaurant, not a beef bowl specialty restaurant like in Japan.

 

If you have an opportunity to come to Japan, why don’t you try eating out alone? Even if you go with more than one person, you will usually be sitting next to each other, so please enjoy a new experience in Japan.

10 Best Karaoke Songs for grooving to with senior Japanese

 

 

In Japan, there are two major ways to do Karaoke:

(1) at a Karaoke Box:

You are assigned your own room for you and your party to enjoy. It is a good option to enjoy karaoke with your friends or fellow workers.

(2) at a Karaoke Snack Bar:

It is a small individually-owned bar that usually has a single Karaoke machine, so you need to share a karaoke machine with other guests.

 

About Karaoke Snack Bars, please refer to the following article for details. (Only Japanese)

https://loohcs.jp/articles/293

 

At a Karaoke box, your party can enjoy karaoke on your own ways, however, at the karaoke snack bar, you need to be careful to choose songs depending on the atmosphere and the other customers. In such bars, it is not so “cool” to sing only anime songs or songs popular among young generation.

 

In this edition, I will introduce a selection of famous Japanese songs that make you special.

There are 10 songs for each male and female singer.

All songs are very popular among 50’s to 60’s Japanese, that melody is not so quick and lyrics are simply understandable.

If you go to karaoke with senior Japanese business people and sing a few these songs, you will be no doubt to be considered “you are so SHIBUI(You have really good taste)!”

 

Songs by male singers

Natsu no owari no harmony (Yoosui Inoue / Kooji Tamaki)

This song is covered by many singers and known to people of a wide range of ages.

Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCSeiSOaHxY

 

Mata au hi made (Kiyohiko Ozaki)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NVcDuS_hxM

 

Hajimari wa itsu mo ame (ASKA)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74IKR0WeKXY

 

Nani mo ienakute …natsu (JAY WALK)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkoQPOhhu38

 

Sake to namida to otoko to onna (Eigo Kawashima)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjrPAAiCbuA

 

HERO (Kai Band)

There are many songs with the same title. Please search on the “Kai band.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVU3BVmxxU8

 

Azusa 2 goo (Kariudo)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCK-nWaYxJE

 

Saigo no ame (Yasushi Nakanishi)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmmPzK0chqU

 

Kowarekake no Radio (Hideaki Tokunaga)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7QVaahn44A

 

Kanashii iro yane (Masaki Ueda)

Those who speak Kansai dialect should master this song!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQeEOoKhIqg

 

 

Songs by female singers

Ito (Miyuki Nakajima)

This is a very popular song at weddings.

I couldn’t find the original video, so I will introduce other singers are singing instead.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DboG2xszmcE

This video that amateur singing at a wedding is also popular.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXwIawYfkjgs://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXwIawYfkjg

 

Amagi goe (Sayuri Ishikawa)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvc0LadtZuk

 

Love is Over (Ouyang Fei Fei)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzRsmDHmZJI

 

Kawa no nagare no yooni (Hibari Misora)

Hibari Misora is called a “Diva of Shoowa.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_Ns_B23LT0

 

Ano kane o narasu nowa anata (Akiko Wada)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdLydN0liYQ

 

Toki no nagare ni mi o makase (Teresa Teng)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJY2RtLADkM

 

Mata kimi ni koishiteru (Fuyumi Sakamoto / Billie Bang Bang)

This song was originally a male duo “Billie Bang Bang”, but it became more famous with the cover of Enka singer “Fuyumi Sakamoto.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBTjDVLmHn8

 

Miserarete (Judy Ongg)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFNW0IZUdto

 

Koi ni ochite (Akiko Kobayashi)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lTkywZljmk

 

Olivia o kikinagara (Anri)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgRQP9C1M4s

 

Nagori yuki (Iruka)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tp9qHeMjiKg

 

You can easily find the lyrics of any song by searching for the keywords “song title & lyric”.

It will be a good study of Japanese to find your favorite song and remember the lyrics.

So why don’t you try to sing your favorite Japanese songs in Japanese, whether you are good at singing or not good at singing?

Member Login

  • Forgot your Password?