Is an indirect or direct method of learning better for mastering Japanese?

 

With an indirect method, the learner receives explanations using an intermediate language (such as his or her native language) so that he or she can understand.

With a direct method, the learner receives explanations in Japanese only.

 

If your native language is English, you may worry about whether it’s better to temporarily get explanations in English or to get explanations in Japanese. In this article, I will explain the pros and cons of both methods.

 

Indirect Method – Pros

-Explanations are definitely easier to understand.

-Learners can understand in a short amount of time.

 

Indirect Method – Cons

– It’s easy for learners to develop a habit of always thinking in their native language.

-It’s hard for learners to develop a habit of reasoning based on the Japanese they know.

-There may be many instances of not understanding when having an actual conversation in Japanese.

 

Direct Method – Pros

-Learners will develop a habit of reasoning based on words they do know even if there are words they do not understand.

-Lessons can be taken in a form that closely resembles an actual conversation in Japanese.

 

Direct Method – Cons

– Learners will sometimes misunderstand.

-It may take a while before the learner can understand.

 

The indirect method is less stressful because beginners cannot understand explanations in Japanese. However, the advantage of studying using the direct method from the beginning is that learners are better prepared for a real conversation because they have been listening to actual conversations in Japanese only. In other words, the difference is whether you consider speaking only in Japanese as “stressful” or “good training.”

 

I recommend the following approach for people who want to become used to Japanese as quickly as possible, but who also want to use their lesson time efficiently.

・First, tell your instructor ahead of time not to use an intermediate language unless you request otherwise, and basically use Japanese only.

・Then, ask your instructor for explanations in an intermediate language only when you can’t understand no matter how hard you try.

However, make an agreement with your instructor not to use an intermediate language more than three times per lesson.

(It doesn’t matter if you agree to five times or ten times, it’s just seems best to use an intermediate language as little as possible.)

・Then, do not use an intermediate language more than the agreed number of times no matter how frustrating it becomes.

 

I recommend this approach because, by sticking to these rules, you will develop a habit of thinking for yourself as much as possible even when you don’t understand and you can enjoy your lessons like a game.

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.

 

 

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