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Things you have gotten used to and actually enjoy
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Almond_Lover



Joined: 11 Oct 2012
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:38 pm    Post subject: Things you have gotten used to and actually enjoy Reply with quote

This thread is intended to be the opposite of the one called "things you cannot get used to".

Basically, it's about the bright side of Japan.

What are some things you enjoy about working and living here?
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steki47



Joined: 20 Apr 2008
Posts: 680
Location: BFE Inaka

PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Easy job, often fun.
Six months paid holiday.
The compact nature of Japan makes it easy to do a wide variety of activities on weekends.
Short flights to a whole bunch of interesting countries.
Restaurants usually range from OK to great. Bad places go out of business quickly.
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Almond_Lover



Joined: 11 Oct 2012
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

6 months paid holiday?!? Where the heck do you work?
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steki47



Joined: 20 Apr 2008
Posts: 680
Location: BFE Inaka

PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Almond_Lover wrote:
6 months paid holiday?!? Where the heck do you work?


ALT. Last year I worked 170 days. This year they screwed me and I have to work 177 days!
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hagiwaramai



Joined: 24 May 2010
Posts: 119
Location: Marines Stadium

PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

steki47 wrote:
Almond_Lover wrote:
6 months paid holiday?!? Where the heck do you work?


ALT. Last year I worked 170 days. This year they screwed me and I have to work 177 days!
Just out of curiosity steki, what kind of set-up have you got? Are you hired directly/indirectly but with a private school/normal dispatch? I thought I had it good, I've never worked out how many days exactly I work but it must be about the same if you add it up that way with all of August, most of March, July and December, plus various odd weeks and days off here and there, all paid, and of course 100 odd days worth of weekends. I'm with a dispatch company at a private school. I was really lucky in already being near one of the schools they hire for though, as they hire throughout the country, usually in rural locations. It's a company called Korakuen, one of the better dispatch companies. They leave you to it and just ask how much they should give you for travel, plus even bonuses sometimes for things like having a baby!
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Generally, good food, and in smaller portions in restaurants. Mostly healthier.
Good transportation system.
Onsen.
Health care system.
Lower sales tax.
No tipping.
Tatami.
Friendlier airline staff.
Massages at the barber.
Banking transactions electronically instead of checks.
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Inflames



Joined: 02 Apr 2006
Posts: 416

PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Public toilets that are readily available and clean. Actually, the cleanliness of pretty much everything is a positive.
The general safety of the country.
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steki47



Joined: 20 Apr 2008
Posts: 680
Location: BFE Inaka

PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hagiwaramai wrote:
Just out of curiosity steki, what kind of set-up have you got? Are you hired directly/indirectly but with a private school/normal dispatch? I thought I had it good, I've never worked out how many days exactly I work but it must be about the same


I work for a dispatch company, one of the larger ones. I'm at a public JHS now. My schedule lists how many days I work per year and was shocked to see 170 days on last year's schedule!

Fall is my longest stretch of work: 3.5 months!
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TWG



Joined: 25 Oct 2007
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Better job than I've ever had elsewhere.

I've yet to be cheated or ripped off.

People leave you the hell alone when you make it clear you're not interested in whatever.

Tatami flooring.

Lightning fast and relatively cheap Internet.

Clean air.

Train system.

Roadside/ train station ramen shops.

Good and inexpensive eats pretty much everywhere.

Beautiful countryside.

The large and excitement causing multi-legged creatures.
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TokyoLiz



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1087
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mild, sunny winters in the Kanto area (I come from Raincouver, Canada)

What Glenski said - head massage at the salon.

Ubiquitous sweets from people returning from trips.

Great public transport, subsidized loaner bikes in my city, relatively slow traffic.

Fashion - it can be cheap and kitschy or expensive and refined, but always fun. My J-women friends and colleagues have a great variety of fashion sense and always look great, as do I, under their influence Laughing
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OneJoelFifty



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 463

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sunshine in January and February. My goodness.
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 1027
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After less than a year in Japan, I visited the UK for Christmas, and was shocked at how rude and complacent the staff in bars and restaurants could be.

When people ask me Nihon wa dou desu ka? (How do you like Japan?) I always answer that I like the food. No matter how grumpy I get, I can never complain about the food.
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southofreality



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 579
Location: Tokyo

PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nobody in Japan looks at you funny when you announce you're going out to get drunk...
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TWG



Joined: 25 Oct 2007
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Watching the sun rise over the mountains and seeing the mist turn them into floating islands.
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jmatt



Joined: 29 Apr 2012
Posts: 111

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenski wrote:

No tipping.


Agree with all, but this one made me chuckle. As tipping is such a huge part of the service industry experience in the US---to the extent that almost any place with a cash register these days, especially in any food-related business, has a tip jar set out---telling people that the practice doesn't exist in Japan, yet, service is still excellent, seems to blow minds. As one who has bartended off and on the last 8 years, it never ceased to amaze me that so many people in the industry here simply expect, and at times even demand (I've worked with people who will chase customers down if they don't think they've tipped properly) nothing less than 20%---regardless of the actual service provided. In my state, servers receive the full minimum wage (unlike others which can pay an hourly as low as $2 an hour), so bartenders and servers often make at least $20 an hour on slow nights, and often much more--at least twice that if it's at all busy, much of it untaxed. Yet, they feel totally entitled. Something to be said for being in an izakaya, never having anyone come up and say "Well, my name is X, and I'll be taking care of you tonight!" or the constant "So how are you doing---how is everything tasting? Can I get you anything else?" and being able to just shout "Sumimasen!" when you want something and having someone run over to take the order.

And, with tips factored in, in the city I live in, eating and drinking out is often more expensive than in Tokyo, for food that's certainly no better than the bog-standard cheap izakaya, and often much worse.
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