Cycling in Japan

Having never needed to ride the bicycle in my home country, I only just started learning how to ride it before I came to Japan. Thus, I experience OH MY GOSH THAT WAS FREAKING CLOSE situations when I’m on my bicycle at least three times a month if not more.

Let me share with you what happened today.
I have to post my 年賀状s (new year greeting cards) by the 25th, so I figured that I should get them posted now in case I forget tomorrow. Unfortunately, today was a rainy day. I looked out my window – hoping that it would lighten up enough so that I can cycle to the post office relatively near my place. It did, so I went out.

However, it started to rain quite a bit on the way back, and I had two close shaves. A car didn’t notice me as he turned at the traffic light spot (it was still green for pedestrians), and I had to shift my course of direction towards the left before he realised I was there. Another incident happened when I → Read more

How to write a Nengajo (年賀状)

When writing 年賀状 (nengajo – new year cards),

1) Commas and periods are not used. Try to use sentences that do not require them. If it is not possible, either leave a space or start a new line, to indicate breaks in the message.

2) Avoid inauspicious words. For example, when saying “last year”, instead of using 去年, use 昨年 or 旧年. Words like 去る, 離れる, 切れる, 落ちる, 終わる, 離れる should also be avoided.

3) Ballpoint pens are also frowned upon.
Here is a list of writing tools lined up from the most recommended, to the least recommended. Writing Brush → Calligraphy Pen → Oil-based Felt Pen → Ballpoint Pen
→ Read more

Minute Differences in Meaning

Do you know the difference between いつ and どんな時?

いつ回復アイテムを使う?- When will you be using the healing item?
どんな時に回復アイテムを使う?- When do you use healing items?

Mind Blown. I did not realise that there was such a fine line of difference. However, now that it has been pointed out to me… そういえばそうだね…

Tackling the Cold

It’s extremely cold in my house. Whenever I shift from one room to another, I need to endure the cold. It takes forever for my rooms to heat up with this tiny little heater I have. Thus, an idea 閃いた (to flash into one’s mind). I will make my bedroom livable by making it my Study Room, Shamisen Practising Room and probably even my Dining Room at times as well. The three above-mentioned activities were usually done in my living room instead. After this make-over, I only need to heat up my bedroom and just stay in it forever. Yes.

#4 Fukayomi – Cash vs Cashless

The world is slowly making the switch from cash to cashless – more and more people pay with cards these days. Just how much is one able to use their card (or virtual cards in phones) to pay at various locations are shown below,

China 55%
Korea 54%
America 41%
Japan 18%

According to the programme, China thinks that Japan still needs change – old country.
There is also the concern that → Japan needs to go cashless so that foreigners who do not like to use cash will purchase merchandise from Japan. Other people from other parts of the world are going cashless. A huge amount of loss is expected from → Read more

JET Interpretation and Translation Course

I would love to write a detailed post on the JET Programme Interpretation and Translation course, but I am way too behind in my blogging that I will not do so. Instead, I will be placing my 報告書/復命書 that I wrote for my division. I presume that anyone who is interested and wants to take part in the course should be able to read this standard of Japanese.

JETプログラム翻訳・通訳講座の集合研修 報告書
日時:平成29年12月4日(月)~ 12月8日(金)
場所:JIAM 全国市町村国際文化研修所(滋賀県大津市唐崎二丁目13-1)

【12月4日(月)】
■入寮オリエンテーション
・手元の資料の確認
・資料には自分がどのクラスに入ってるかのが書いてある
・今回の研修についての説明
・時間割の確認をした
・緊急連絡先や他のお知らせ
→ Read more

#3 Fukayomi – Malignant Claims

This week’s FUKAYOMI is about 悪質クレーム (malignant claims; which is basically a customer complaining and seeking compensation unreasonably) on front-line staff. Such ‘claims’ are, including, but not limited to, an inappropriate demand of money or items, unreasonable requests, complaints without valid reasons, and continuous complaints.

It is often said that the Customer is God in certain countries and industries.
In Japan, the concept of おもてなし (hospitality) is already very strong, but front-line staff are subjected to → Read more