Popular Today
  • Banking in Japan #3: Savings and Fixed Deposits
  • Japanese Resume (Rirekisho) Forms
  • How Many Points to Lose Your License in Japan
  • Renewing Your Drivers License
  • Ear Cleaning: The Horrible Truth of Mimikaki and Mimisouji
  • Annual Automobile Tax in Japan
  • JLPT Past Test Downloads
  • Stamp Taxes and Revenue Stamps in Japan
  • Automated Speed Cameras in Japan

Monday

Merry Bloody New Year! This is going to be a great one for AccessJ, I can feel it in my loins.

I had a New Year blog roundup post half written at the end of December, but found myself 57 metres under the sea when it was supposed to go live.

So, for all you who feel genuinely offended and have been foaming about it (or not foaming without it), here is the best of the past two months:



Among the frantic fanaticism of Dogs and Demons, Alex Kerr lays down a valid point: The pinnacle of the Japanese education system are students who are extremely good at memorizing and reciting data. So has the world of Japanese interviews long rewarded interviewees: Those who could flawlessly recite a 60-second 自己紹介 and 志望動機, answer predictable questions with predictable answers, and complete the motions of the process, got the job.




Sunday

Here are two basic ideas for practising He/She is...



Friday

Because Japanese ATMs tend to differ slightly from cash points found in North America and Europe, we have put together this guide to help you figure out your withdraws, deposits and everything in between.



Wednesday

I have spoken in a previous post about the difficulty of buying clothes in Japan for those not possessing a Japanese body-shape.

It's not impossible, especially in bigger cities. For example Tokyo is home to H&M, Zara, and Gap to name a few. But if you live outside of a big city, like me, you will usually find Uniqlo and not much else.

I get around this problem by buying online.



Monday

Job interviews are changing in Japan. That's the message every recent Japanese 就活 book seems to be trying to pound into the heads of its readers, and I personally agree with it. In my own experience, I could tell that companies weren't so interested in whether I had an encyclopedic knowledge of interview etiquette and rote-memorized answers to questions like "What is your greatest strength and weakness?" or "Do you consider yourself a rock or a sponge?" as they were with my actual capacity and drive to work in a way that promotes company growth (as opposed to mere sustainability.)

My wall-of-text take on the subject, objective, anecdotal, and fueled almost entirely by personal experience interviewing for jobs at big- and not-so-big-name firms in Tokyo and elsewhere, follows. But for readers who want the tl;dr, here it is: job interviews at Japanese companies, in Japan, for Japanese and foreign applicants alike, are growing more and more alike their Western counterparts.



Sunday

Been asked for a whole class worth of games?

"Ah, anything OK! Fun games!"

Great. Well, here are five+ ways to fill that time, in AccessJ's first "Best Of".



Friday

Today's fun filled financial post will cover non-credit card payment options available to most regular bank account holders.



Wednesday

Japan has Ikea, which is good news for those who like the struggle of constructing their own furniture. I put a bed together yesterday... the less said about that the better.



Monday

So you sent (or tried to send) out a lot of New Year's cards this year, to which you received a lot of warm, preprinted, orange, 50-yen-ink-stamped postcard replies. But among your replies this year was a normal, non-New Year's postcard with a normal, non-New Year's stamp, and it came a week later than your other cards, to boot. It all seems a little out of character from your Japanese friend, who's normally so attentive to tradition. What's the deal?



Sunday

Here's a 20-30 minute activity using months. It also uses the active tense "he plays soccer" "he eats takoyaki" etc..




Friday

In today's post we will cover the when, where, and how of driver license renewal in Japan.



Wednesday

How old is too old to be looking for new work? Traditional Japanese thinking says that people should only be hired for a job once, right after they complete their education, and the company and employee should loyally support each other until retirement. It doesn't always work that way, but Chiebukuro is here to tell you how old's too old when you're thinking about changing jobs.



Monday

Maybe you're already aware of the major regulatory distinctions of cars in Japan: bigger cars with bigger engines get white license plates, smaller cars with smaller engines get yellow "kei" plates, and scooters and the like get even littler plates. But there's another, less common classification... or perhaps "loophole" is a more fitting term. It's called a ミニカー (minicar).



Sunday

Never heard of it? It's an international exchange of student-made paper cut-outs resulting in photos of them in different places. It's a lovely idea, though not without it's problems. I'll talk you through it here.



Friday

Our US readers are most likely familiar with the business of consumer wholesaling. For those ex-pats in Japan longing to buy kilogram loads of bagels, you aren't entirely out of luck.



Wednesday

License plates* in Japan come in a variety of sizes and colors, with different marking to indicate different information about the car. Today we'll learn about some of the major differences in license plates and what they mean!
*(or registration plates, or number plates, or whatever your country calls them. :) )



Monday

Every year, a few Japanese people die over New Year celebrations by choking on mochi they swallowed whole. (For real. Here's a news report about 7 mochi choking deaths over January 1st to January 3rd last year.)