Popular Today
  • Japanese Resume (Rirekisho) Forms
  • Ear Cleaning: The Horrible Truth of Mimikaki and Mimisouji
  • JLPT Past Test Downloads
  • Annual Automobile Tax in Japan
  • How Many Points to Lose Your License in Japan
  • Calculating Highway Tolls in Japan
  • Living in Japan: What are LP and Toshi Gas?
  • Automated Speed Cameras in Japan
  • Moving: Light Fixtures for a Japanese Apartment

Friday

While banking online in Japan hasn't quite caught on to the extend that it has in other countries, banks offer plenty of services to help you monitor your cash flow. In addition, several large companies have opened up net only banks.

In this section we will explain how to bank online in Japan as well as the various net-banking options.



Wednesday

UC Gift Cards are what we'd call gift vouchers or certificates in the UK. It's a version of money which can only be spent in certain shops. UC's usage is pretty wide though, so if you have one, read on to see what to do with it.



Monday


Leopalace apartments come wired with the company's own proprietary broadband Internet service, dubbed レオネット, or LEO-NET. This is, to me, is one of the apartments' biggest strengths, but it also highlights exactly how little control you have when you live in Leopalace.

Check out our AccessJ review below.



Sunday

No proper post today. I think you can forgive us on Christmas day :)

Merry Christmas. 

If you're in Japan, I hope you don't have work tomorrow! Treat yourselves to something nice, like a nenkyu, if you do.

Thanks to all of you who have supported us with your views and comments since last xmas. AccessJ is growing more rapidly than we ever could have expected. We'll carry on trying to make Japan an easier place for English-speakers to live until next xmas and beyond.

See you tomorrow for our regular scheduled post (about the internet in Leo-Palace apartments if memory serves correctly).



Friday

Today we will cover savings and deposit options from your local bank.



Wednesday

Most cars in Japan are automatic transmission, which could mean that, should you take a driving course in Japan, you may be inclined not to pay the extra for the manual classification.

However, you may regret that decision if you later require a change.



Monday

They advertise it like this.
Recently we've been looking at the ubiquitous pay-by-the-month Leopalace apartments of Japan. ALTs are often placed in these buildings, because their managing company (that is, the apartments' managing company) plays down a few rules of traditional Japanese real estate, including nixing the need for a guarantor and being friendly, or at least open, towards foreign tenants.

Today we'll take a look at the furnishings and bathroom setup of your standard, run-of-the-mill 1K Leopalace.




Sunday

Well, still don't know how to refer to this class. In any case, here are some more games you can play with yours.



Friday

This is a repost, by permission, from Save Aidan - a donation drive to help a fellow ex-pat recently diagnosed with Leukemia and in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant. If you have any spare cash, even a few hundred yen or a dollar, he would appreciate it



Thursday

A family man by the name of Aidan is suffering in Japan with a bad case of Leukaemia.

If you can spare any money at all, please donate it to him through his webpage.



Wednesday

Moths are wicked cool! Right?

Well, Japan has a large number of pretty exotic looking baby moths (caterpillars to you and me), some of which are even poisonous. They turn into a wide variety of pretty swanky looking adult moths (i.e. moths), too.

Luckily for the moth enthusiast, there is a website devoted to detailing each and every Japanese species. It's in Japanese, but not hard to work out.



Monday

My last apartment in Japan was a Leopalace. These are becoming a more common setup for ALTs in Japan, and many people seem to be curious about what the buildings and facilities are like. Although I'm sure my experience won't be representative of every Leopalace in Japan, I'll be sharing some of my memories of the place in this brief set of articles.

To begin with, I'll address my personal experiences with and opinions on noise, insulation, price, and guarantors.



Sunday

Along with last week's post, here is another option for practicing the comparative and superlative forms introduced in 2nd grade junior high textbooks.



Friday

Today: opening a bank account!

Don't be put off by the inevitable language barrier, it's very doable.



Wednesday

Not got an origami Kewpie? Never fear, now you can have one for free!



Monday

Over time teaching I've accumulated a lot of stuff in my desk. Most of it is papers, textbook samples, student grades, past exams, articles and publications about English, and Japanese learning resources. But there are a few odds and ends around me that I probably didn't expect I'd use with such regularity before I got into the job.

Here are a few of the things that maybe not everyone associates with teaching or lesson planning, but which I now find essential or which have helped me out in tight situations:



Sunday

If you took the JLPT,
you're a hero, too.
Congratulations and お疲れ様 to all the JLPT test-takers today.



This activity practices the comparative and superlative forms taught in 2nd grade Junior High.



Friday

For the next super-feature, AccessJ will be covering the details of banking in Japan: everything from opening an account to sending money overseas.



Thursday

November was super-exciting at AccessJ!

We learned all about how the internet works! As a result, some template changes have occurred. Not only that, but a much bigger change is about to take place (see next month's Roundup if it doesn't jump out at you).

Even more exciting is that I bought two new plants for my fishtank! And there were two little shrimp in the bag! Lucky! Then they both got eaten by the fish immediately, and one fish died... then another one... possibly as a result of introducing some new ones.... so they may all die soon.... TENSE!

Anyway, so we posted 18 times last month, the most interesting of which were:

The release of AccessJ's Anki JLPT decks. If you're taking the JLPT in... 2 days, isn't it? Then you should probably go study now. Use our decks!

Going to the dentist, Pharmacies and over-the-counter drugs in Japan - Dan's health series continues
Brewing your own beer - Dom's health declines
English-Language Newspapers - for those who still want print news in this modern day and age
Whey Protein - need a boost?
Import Duties - Fun for all the family (who are importing goods into Japan(not fun))
Virtual Travel in Japan - the welcome return of author LP features a lovely eTrip around Japan
Cheap Car Navigation units - at last!
and How to find local events in your area

We also had two semi-guest posts last month. One by request: Dekotora Trucks Video about lorries covered in lights and mirrors, and one re-post of some excellent job-hunting vocab from Twitter friend Maggie Sensei. Anyone else wishing to have something featured here should contact us.

And of course don't forget our weekly Worksheet Sunday series, which continued to provide solid teaching ideas for elementary and junior high.

Another month done. Time for me to get back to studying for the JLPT which I will be lucky to scrape a pass in.



Wednesday

When it gets to the weekend, hanging out at home or revisiting the same pub for the umpteenth time can be a drag. Why not use the Internet to find something new to do? Any Google search can pull up a number of websites with local event guides, of course, but why spend your time wading through all those garbage sites to find the few that regularly update and have events you might actually want to attend when we'll introduce two to you right here today!?



Monday

Looking for GPS? Been put off by stories of paying 70,000+? Well, we have the cheaper options covered, just for you.



Sunday

What's the politically correct word for the "special class"? Mentally handicapped?

I'm not sure, so sorry for any offence caused. Anyway, here are some fun games I've played with mine in the past.



Friday

The other day, the folks over at VICE sent us a heads up about a video they recently released entitled Japan - Dekotora Trucks, part of a new MINI-sponsored series on their site.

If you've lived in Japan for a while (or at least driven here much), you've probably spotted occasional cargo-laden semi trucks cruising down the highway with lines of blue LEDs trimming their exteriors. Those LED lights are just an inkling of the Japanese dekotora subculture, a semi truck modding scene that's been around here since the 70's. Check out the video below to learn more about it.



Wednesday

Want to buy some whey protein for maximum macho muscle madness? Or some other reason? As with so many things, AccessJ has got you covered.



Monday

It's been a while since we wrote about job hunting here, although it always seems a continuing point of consternation for some number of our readers. If you're like me, anyway, when you're out of a job or nearing the end of a contract, finding a new one is always on the mind.



Sunday

When it comes to the "Who is this...?" question and he/she answers, I use this sheet.



Friday

Nothing is worse than getting sick in a far-away land and having to drag yourself off to a doctor. Following our recent medical theme, today's feature we will explain the world of Japanese over the counter (OTC) medications (一般用医薬品 ippan-yo iyakuhin).



Wednesday

There are several Japanese papers available in English, although they are often supplemented with articles from other English-speaking countries' newspapers. Some are also aimed more at Japanese people practicing English than English readers. This blog will give an overview of the most popular print and eNewspapers available.



Monday

Earlier this year, NHK unveiled their "Michishiru" interactive map site, a virtual tour guide of places and events all over Japan, introduced through streaming video segments of NHK on-location footage. The site targets a Japanese audience, as a way to find out about different destinations to visit within Japan.

However, it also makes for good intermediate-to-advanced Japanese listening practice, and even travelers who don't read or speak Japanese well will find that the intuitive interface and videos speak quite well for themselves.

Just drag and zoom the map around to any part of Japan you're interested in and click on one of the "Play" icons for a virtual tour of it!

Check out the site here: NHK映像マップみちしる



Sunday

Just over half-way through second grade junior high, students learn about future job aspirations. Lucky for them, I made an awesome sheet about it!!!!!!!!!



Friday

Now that we have covered health insurance, medical specialties, and dentists, it seem only fair that we tell you about the ins and outs of your local Japanese pharmacy establishments.



Thursday

We've got a new feature here on AccessJ. (OK, it's not really new.) It's called the monthly blog roundup, and it allows us to travel through time and space, introducing you to the entries of the last month you may have missed.



Wednesday

Due to a lack of decent Anki decks for JLPT examinees that aren't riddled with mistakes, filled with ads, or home to controversial vocabulary choices, I have made some.

In this post, we give instructions for finding and installing our decks, one for each JLPT level.

In addition, we now have some incredibly thorough decks for every book of the Nihongo So-Matome N3 series.



Monday

Thinking of buying something from abroad? There's a good chance you won't be charged any import duties if it's a small item, but if the value is declared and the object isn't a gift, be prepared to shell out some cash for the privilege.



Sunday

So, you're teaching "Does (person) (verb)?" ? Well, here's a game, then.



Friday

Today: the dentist (歯科 shika).

Despite the fact that the Japanese seems to suffer from a rather high case yaeba (double or indented teeth), cosmetic dentistry is still much less common when compared to Western countries.

However, there are plenty of dental clinics all over the country. In today's guide we will cover all the important differences and points of interest regarding the Japanese dental establishment.




Wednesday

Japanese beer is very expensive in bars. Sure, you can buy cans for 200yen, but if you want to save some money (or are infuriated over the difference from the prices of your home country) then why not brew it yourself?

Got the space? And the patience? Check out below.



Monday

For those of you who like to know the side-effects, ingredients and other details of your medications, there is an English-language site designed just for you.



Friday

As you frequent AccessJ readers may have noticed, we have just covered the various medical specialities in Japan as well as the Japanese health insurance system. Following up on our medical theme, today we will look at the important points of getting fixed up at the local clinic.



Wednesday

Japanese learners beware: Japan has some vastly different dialects. This post features a map of where the most prominent variations apply. Yay!



Monday

If living in Japan, or other things, are causing abnormal amounts of unhappy feelings, here are some numbers of people who can help.



Sunday

This is a fun game using prepositions. It exists in various forms for various grammar points from various sources online. Here is how we at AccessJ play it, which is by far the smoothest way we've found.




Friday

Since we have recently been covering the topic of health insurance, it seems logical to follow up with information about the various types of services you can get for your hard earned insurance money. Today, we will look at the medical specialities in Japan.



Wednesday

Missing your favorite rugby matches, Wimbledon or wheelchair athletics? Need your fix of Neighbours on BBC1? Desperately need to watch your social and mental inferiors kick a ball and fall over deliberately?

Here's how you can keep up to date.



Monday

As with several other things and previous posts (vitamins, clothes etc), the cheapest way to buy scuba gear in Japan is to not actually buy it here at all. Rather, import it.

I have just bought loads of equipment, and hunted out the cheapest international deal to do so. Here are my findings.



Sunday

This is a third graders' version of the first grade sheet I posted last week.



Friday

Now for the final installment of our health insurance series, where we will address the monetary and moral dilemma of whether or not you really need insurance.



Wednesday

Do you need a suit? Can you wear sandals in the summer? Is it Okay to not wear a bra?

All this and more answered within.



Monday

I have written before about getting your Japan fix in the UK. But what about getting your home comforts whilst in Japan?