Popular Today
  • Banking in Japan #3: Savings and Fixed Deposits
  • Japanese Resume (Rirekisho) Forms
  • Ear Cleaning: The Horrible Truth of Mimikaki and Mimisouji
  • Pain Medication in Japan
  • Renewing Your Drivers License
  • Why Are Japanese Houses SO COLD?
  • Annual Automobile Tax in Japan
  • JLPT Past Test Downloads
  • Calculating Highway Tolls in Japan

Monday

Uh oh! Sounds like there's some trouble in the Yamada home!

Is it just my wife, or...?
After dating for four months, my wife and I got married in July. So, here's my question: When you go to work, does your wife send you off from the entryway, and does she meet you there after work? We've been living together since May, but she never sends me off or meets me at the door when I come home. And when your wife does laundry, does she fold the clothes and put them away in the dresser? My wife folds the clothes but doesn't put them away.



Friday


If you've damaged a 襖, or fusuma in your house or apartment then you're probably rightly worried about losing some of your damage deposit. Luckily, as with the paper doors (shouji) self-repair/replacement isn't particularly difficult.

Let's find out how to do it.



Wednesday


It seems there is no conclusive evidence that Japanese people are any worse at driving than any other nationality. For some reason. But anyone who has driven here will know the sheer horror - whether on the awful streets of Tokyo or the tiny mountain roads of Nagano prefecture, of driving. Maybe it is just "different", and works somehow. Maybe. My car got virtually totalled by an old Japanese fart the other month (800,000 yen repair bill), so maybe I'm biased. Well, definitely I am.

In any case, this article is intended to be light-hearted and shouldn't be taken too seriously by anybody. Live in Japan for any amount of time and you'll need to let off steam occasionally. AccessJ's writing team is no exception.



Monday

Shaken (車検), the mandatory vehicle safety and emissions test in Japan, was recently addressed in a series of posts on AccessJ comprising Dom's excellent self-shaken guide. To keep your car on the road in Japan (as a non-commercial driver, that is), you'll have to have a shaken inspection done on it every 2 years, your own car's expiration date indicated by a square sticker top-and-center on the front windshield.

When a car's shaken expires, it is not legal to drive on public roads in Japan. (So... pretty much everywhere.)


...But slip-ups happen, right? What if you forgot about your shaken until it was too late? Or what about cars in used-car lots? Surely the dealers aren't keeping all their cars up to date until they're sold?* A car is illegal to drive without shaken, but it's not illegal to own such a car, so there must be some way to get the shaken renewed, right??

Well, fear not! There is a way to restore road-worthiness to that 1992 Suzuki Alto whose shaken you forgot about while you were vacationing the summer away in Thailand. And we'll tell you how:



Friday


For those of you who work in the public or private school system in Japan, you have likely noticed that many teachers are always (or at least seem to be) very, very busy. To make matters worse, public school teachers aren't exactly rolling in money when you look at their raw salaries. However, there are some very substantial job perks that almost make the long days and low pay worth it.



Wednesday


Despite their reputation for being healthy and lean, the Japanese do still enjoy low quality, fast-served food fairly regularly. Here are five examples of popular varieties.



Monday

Japanese driver's licenses work on a point system: Do something wrong, get some points. Get enough points, and your license is suspended.

Different citations carry different numbers of points, but overall Japan's point system is strict: Just a few minor traffic violations will have your license suspended, and frequent repetition will quickly get your license revoked. Let's take a look at the actual numbers:



Friday

Since we covered iPhone Japanese study and reference apps in our last post, fairness demands that we give equal treatment to all those Android aficionados out there. If you are one of those 50 percent or so of mobile users with the audacity to defy Apple, then you are in luck! There are still plenty of study and reference tools to choose from.



Wednesday


You may have come across some labels in Japan which look like price reductions, but you can't read them. Here's a guide.



Monday

Summer has come to Japan, along with its terrible, evil compatriot: the humidity of coastal East Asia. Summer also happens to be the season in which I bought my first car in Japan, and with my shaken almost due, I'll be referencing our own AccessJ User Shaken Guide to help me get the job done.



Friday

In addition allowing you to instantly Facebook your friends about that great sandwich you just ate and launching angry birds at green pigs, smart phones are also wonderful study tools. If you happen to have a long commute or are just too lazy to get out of the futon, you can learn a fair amount of Japanese vocab in your spare time.



Wednesday

 

Here's a nasty collection of scary 8-legged insects for you to think about tonight. You're welcome.



Monday

Here is the exciting conclusion to our article about why vending machines in Japan have little stickers on them telling you that your old 500 yen coins aren't welcome for use:


This is a 500 won coin that has been altered by a counterfeiter. The divots you see in the face of the coin are from a power drill, available at any home center, or more probably--considering the number of altered coins that were produced in the late 90's--a drill press, standard equipment in a machinist's shop.