Friday, December 30, 2011

Banking in Japan #4: Internet Banking and Net Banks

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, December 28, 2011

UC Gift Cards/Vouchers

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, December 26, 2011

Leopalace Internet: LEO-NET

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.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Converting Licence from Automatic to Manual

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, December 19, 2011

Leopalace Furnishings and Bathrooms

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, December 18, 2011

WS: 5 More Games for the "Special" Class

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, December 16, 2011

How to Donate Bone Marrow

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

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Japanese Moths

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, December 12, 2011

Living in a Leopalace Apartment

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, December 11, 2011

WS: "Better/Best Bingo" 2nd G JHS

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, December 09, 2011

Banking in Japan #2: Opening an Account

Today: opening a bank account!

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

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Monday, December 05, 2011

Being an ALT #18: What to Keep in Your Desk

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, December 04, 2011

Friday, December 02, 2011

Banking in Japan #1: The Basics

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