Friday, September 30, 2011

Health Insurance Guide #3: Employee Health Insurance

Welcome to part 3 of AJ's Japanese health insurance extravaganza! Today we will be covering the second part of the Japanese public health system, the Employee Health Insurance (EHI) scheme.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Being an ALT #15: Elementary Lesson Plan Example

One of our readers recently gave a very insightful comment about being a new JET and feeling overwhelmed by the elementary school lessons she's asked to teach as part of her position.

Elementary is definitely a different ball game from the (until recently) more common junior high school and high school ALT placements. Today we'll offer some brief opinions on what makes the elementary environment different and share an example lesson format that struggling new ALTs can try out.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Buying Clothes and Shoes in Japan

If you are slightly larger or differently built than the average Japanese person, you will quickly find you have very limited choice when it comes to clothes and shoes. Even in Tokyo and other big cities you can have trouble.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

WS: Eigo Noto 2: 5 General Vocab

Everyone can play ohajiki
I made this lesson plan for an elementary lesson I taught last week. I was asked to teach them the vocabulary needed for Eigo Noto 2 L5 (shops and buildings, library etc). However this lesson plan can be used to teach any vocabulary, and I would even use it with 1st grade JHS students.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Health Insurance Guide #2: National Health Insurance

Welcome to the second part of our (weekly) comprehensive health insurance guide. 

In this section, we will be looking at the fundamentals of the National Health Insurance (kokumin kenko hoken 国民健康保険 or simply "NHI"); specifically eligibility, costs and benefits.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rice Paddy Art

Rice Paddy art (田んぼアート) has become increasingly popular over recent years; with tiny towns drawing tens of thousands of visitors to view these intricate works of art magically growing out of the ground.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I say Po-tay-to... Endless Varieties of Potatoes in Japan

In language school, I learned one word for "potato" in Japanese: ジャガイモ (jagaimo). Turns out, real life isn't as simple as language school would have you believe. In Japanese supermarkets, I've rarely seen the vegetable actually labeled with the word I learned as a student, and the varieties popular in Japan look just different enough from the ones I'm used to at home that at first I had to ask someone in the shop: "Do you have any... ジャガイモ?"

So, what are potatoes called in supermarkets? What varieties are popular here? And what are the differences between them? Read on to find out!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

WS: "Don't Pick the Flower!" JHS 1st G

About midway through the year (chapter 4 in New Crown), you'll be teaching first graders commands: "Don't use my camera" etc

Here's a fun activity I came up with today.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Health Insurance Guide #1: The Fundamentals 2/2

Welcome back to part 2 of AccessJ's Japanese health insurance super guide. In this section, we will continue discussing the fundamentals of the insurance system including how to pay, co-payments, and third party damages. 

Read on...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Japanese Language Online Radio Stations

Exposure to spoken Japanese is an important part of learning, of course. So, if you aren't actually in Japan, how about the radio? More portable than TV and film (that is, if you record it).

And so, here is a list of Japanese online radio stations:

Monday, September 12, 2011

Renting a Car in Japan

If you're not quite ready to take the leap to buying your own car in Japan, but you still want access to a vehicle for a few days to travel or move house, consider renting a car. In today's post, we'll mention some attractive reasons to rent in Japan and introduce a site that can set up rentals on your behalf, at a discount and all in English.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Health Insurance Guide #1: The Fundamentals 1/2

At first glance, the Japanese health insurance system my seem more than a little opaque; and employers are often unhelpful when it comes to signing up (English conversation schools and dispatch firms being the biggest culprits). 

But fear not, we at AccessJ have your back with our newest guide.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Get Cheap ZMA Suppliments in Japan

If you're health-conscious or a fitness enthusiast, then you probably know what ZMA is. If not, here's a blurb from elsewhere:
ZMA is a scientifically designed anabolic vitamin and mineral formula. It specifically contains Zinc Monomethionine Aspartate, Magnesium Aspartate, and vitamin B-6. It is an all-natural product that has been theorized to significantly increase anabolic hormone levels and muscular strength in trained athletes. 
In fact, ZMA is thought to be one of the only natural and completely safe methods of supplementation to significantly increase testosterone and growth hormones. ZMA has also been known to increase muscle mass, strength, power, and even enhance sleep quality.

The following is an article about how to very cheaply (and completely safely) make your own ZMA in Japan.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Studio Ghibli Museum, Tokyo

The Ghibli Muesum in Mitaka (a short train ride from central Tokyo) is a fascinating visit for any fan of the studios animation.

Several floors of beautifully themed rooms provide a glimpse into the minds of the creators, and almost a step into a completely different world - a place where 'quaint' rules all.

There are hands on and play activities for children (and not easily embarrassed adults), including the wonderful 'cat bus' room, containing a large soft cat bus, complete with piles of little black dust bunnies.

Original short animations are also shown, a great day out for everyone!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

WS: Eigo Noto: Spelling

You may find that many Japanese children (and adults) have trouble with spelling. I have friends who still are not quite sure of the correct way to spell their names.

In the 3rd grade elementary, students are taught to convert Japanese to English script. However for some bizarre reason they are not taught the same system as they will be taught a few years later in Junior High School; such as つ being taught as tu and not tsu, ち ci and not chi and し si and not shi.

Todays plan aims to introduce this to students through some fun games, aiming to have them remember these formations in romaji.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Credit Card Guide #4: Do you really need a card?

Welcome to AccessJ's final installment of our Japanese credit card super series. Now that we have covered the in's and out's of getting a credit card and the application process, lets consider if this whole rigmarole is really worth it.

Read on...