The Habit of Tracking Expenses

I have been tracking my expenses quite successfully for about a year in my home country before coming to Japan. I would diligently key in whatever I have purchased straight after I bought them, or kept receipts to enter them in later. I did all these because I read that a person who is in control of their financial situation has a much better control of their life overall. However, after coming to Japan, I stopped doing this. Reason being I did not → Read more

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GW3 – Using a Menstrual Cup

My period came. On the start of Golden Week. At first, I was annoyed – of all days! However, later I realised that there’s no better time than to try out my menstrual cup that I bought from Amazon a few months back.

For those who do not know what a menstrual cup is, it is an alternative to pads and tampons. It is first folded and pinched, then inserted into the vagina. Once inserted, it will often unfold automatically and create a seal against the vaginal walls. However, it is recommended that you twist the cup a little to ensure that it is fully open. Most cups are shaped like a bell with a stem and made of flexible silicone. They collect the menstrual fluid rather than absorbing it and should be emptied once every 6-12 hours (depending on your flow and cup size). It is also reusable for a couple of years – numbers vary according to how you care for it, and the quality of your cup.

I read that it will take some people three months (three periods) to get used to using the cup, so I prepared myself for the worst. It also costs quite an amount of money – especially if you buy it in Japan. I typed in “生理カップ” on Amazon, and most → Read more

How to sort and handle trash to prevent bugs in Japan

A big hello to those who are about to step into Japan, the country that has a reputation for crazy trash sorting!

I am here to tell you that you will most likely receive a huge poster or a guidebook in English that explains how to sort the trash, so not to worry! It is different from prefecture to prefecture, and even for places within the prefecture, so it is best to refer to your own guide. Some places are strict, others less so.

Most items can be sorted into burnable and non-burnable waste. They will only be collected on certain days of the week. Food waste, which can be classified under burnable, rot faster in the summer. I suggest that you → Read more

Miracle Morning

After a session of meditation practice – which I haven’t done in months – my brain reminded myself that I used to follow Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning. I have been neglecting it since – I don’t know when – and I would like to pick it up again. I hope that I will be able to manage it. My mornings are way weaker here than they are in my home country. Be striving to keep things up again – it’s time for S.A.V.E.R.S!

#1 KonMari – Reading the Book

I spent nearly the whole day reading KonMari’s first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever.

It was really inspiring. Living in a house that has been passed down for generations after generations amongst the coordinators for international relations, my house – just didn’t feel like my house. Even till now. Sure, after living in it for more than five months now, it is beginning to feel more like my house. However, there are places where I have yet to tackle and closets that I have yet to open. I feel like I should do something about it, but the thought that I won’t be staying in this house forever discourages me from doing something about it. I do know that this is a place I stay in, and thus I should take care of it – even though it was not originally mine.

After reading the book, my mindset has changed as to how I perceive my house to be – before even tidying it! I used to complain about how cold it was in my house – it still is by the way – how the air-conditioner was broken – it still is by the way – but. Now, I can feel → 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

Getting a Debit Card in Japan – Japan Net Bank Visa Debit

After staying in Japan for a couple of months, I feel that although credit cards are widely talked about, debit cards seem to be less heard of. As someone who wants to purchase online items, but is extremely uncomfortable in putting oneself into the whole complicated default revolving payment system of credit cards, I looked into debit cards in Japan that are under VISA and do not have a membership fee. There was only one card that satisfied all my criteria, and it is → Read more