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Wednesday

Japanese landlords are infamous for requiring huge amounts of deposit money in the form of 敷金 (shikikin) and 礼金 (reikin). Plenty of posts have been written about this on the web, but here is a run-down in case you aren't familiar with real estate deposit practices in Japan:



Monday

Just a quick entry to draw your attention to something you may not have considered:

Whether your partner is Japanese or gaijin, you might come across some problems living together prior to marriage in some rural areas of Japan.



Sunday

This is an activity to practice using the (verb)ing form.

Those of you using New Crown will find this in Chapter 7.

This game will fill about 30 minutes, and is best for groups of four students (more is okay). The second part will last a further 10 minutes or so.

Part one is the meat of the lesson, part two is optional.



Friday

Before I could finish my post on school lunches the other day I had to break for cleaning time.

Cleaning is a pain. Not because of my laziness, but because it's almost pointless. There are two stages - sweeping and wiping. The sweeping is fine, if not the most efficient way of removing the dust that gathers everywhere in Japan (with a broom that slowly disintegrates with daily use). The wiping, however, is a joke.



Wednesday

Japanese apartment layouts are described with handy little keyphrases like "1K" or "2LDK." The first number indicates the number of bedrooms, or rooms that are completely separate from the kitchen area. The second set of letters indicates how large the kitchen area is.



Monday

Driving in Japan is easy. Doing so legally is not so easy.

The good news is that if you are already a licence holder then you have little to fear - the process is very straightforward.



Friday

This "5 random school lunches" entry will show you exactly what we get fed at school in a typical week, but for now let's have a look at how lunchtime works.



Wednesday



Thinking of moving to Japan?



Monday



A common mistake that people can make for years in Japan is thinking that love hotels are sleazy whorehouses. Actually, a love hotel may be one of the nicest places you will ever stay in, and can also be a wise choice on a low to mid-range budget.



Friday

The leading choice for contraception in Japan is condoms, the second most popular (almost 20%) being pulling out, followed by the rythm method. The pill languishes in last place with an audience of just over 2% of the female population (vs. 18% in the US, 25% in the UK and 52% in Germany, for example).


Not surprisingly, this leads to a fairly large number of abortions. 28% of the 300,000 or so women who underwent abortions last year claimed not being married as the primary reason.



Wednesday

A continuation of last week's post on criteria to consider when choosing an apartment.
This time, we'll look at the up-front costs of renting properties and internal amenities.



Monday

When I first arrived in Japan, our boss took my girlfriend and I to a local onsen. It was a little embarrassing. Not because my privates were twenty feet longer than everyone elses, but because I accidentally ditched the guy when I got in there.



Friday

Dirty Japanese is fun for all the family. I bought it last year, and since then about a dozen of my friends, both gaijin and Japanese have fallen in love with it's collection of... Dirty Japanese Phrases!

For the uninitiated, it’s a phrasebook containing useful to casual to very casual to vulgar, words and phrases. It's about as close to an encyclopedia of Japanese swear words as possible.
I made a post of 10 Very Dirty Japanese Phrases, but decided to let you discover those on your own and elected to list 10 family-friendly ones instead. So, in no particular order:



Wednesday

If you are already aware of Japan's strict guarantor requirements, and you are now looking to find an apartment of your own, you might start with one of the major real estate agents in Japan, like minimini or Apamanshop.

Even if you don't go through these agents, they will give a good idea of what properties are available in a given area, and how much those properties cost.

And, aside from location and apartment layout, there are many other details to consider in your apartment choice. Let's look at some of the common criteria Japanese people look at, starting from the outside environment: