Life in Japan

Where to stay?

in Life in Japan

Accommodation/Housing in Japan

LIST OF HOTELS/GUEST HOUSES

Short-Term: Ryokan are Japanese style Bed-and-breakfasts in traditional Japanese house with tatami mat floors. Guests are provided with a Japanese robe called a Yukata and Japanese meals (usually breakfast, lunch and dinner options are avaialable). http://www.japaneseguesthouses.com/index.htm Youth
Hostels
are clean and cheap, but not always conveniently located.http://www.shukubo.jp/eng/index.htmlWestern-style Hotels are convenient and comfortable though rooms sometimes could be smaller than your expectations rakuten hotel reservation.
Long-Term: Renting an apartment is the most common option unless you stay in company residence or at a facility specially established for foreign residents, sometimes called a foreign guest house (http://jafplaza.com/, http://www.sakura-house.com/index.htm),http://www.japanhomesearch.com/
http://www.kencorp.com/ http://www.century21japan.com/getting_settled/housing_issues.html.
Public housing/kodan Tokyo Public Housing Lottery. Your ward office information desk should also help you .

 

 

Driving in Japan

in Life in Japan

Driving License

In Japan, vehicles are driven on the left side of the road . The minimum legal age for driving is 18 years. Road signs and rules mostly  follow international conventions, and most signs on major roads are in Japanese and English. Driving is strictly prohibited after drinks and if caught  while driving drunk, the punishment might be severe often leading to revocation of the driving license - which is so expensive to obtain in Japan.

You can use an international driving licence but a Japanese driver's license is required for all drivers who stay in Japan for more than one year. Only if you leave Japan for more than three consecutive months are you again allowed to use an international driving permit. In case you wish to stay long and your driving license is not permitted in Japan , you need to convert your driving license to a Japanese one.

Here are sites that have further information. http://www.japandriverslicense.com/, http://www.koyama.co.jp/e3.htm, http://www.jaf.or.jp/e/switch.htm.
Bilingual driving schools: http://www.koyama.co.jp/english.htm, http://ysds.jp/annai_e.html,
Buying an used car: http://www.japan-partner.com/ , or the nearest TOYOPET (but please check the cost of parking)

Where to Live in Japan?

in Life in Japan

Tokyo is the number one destination for many. However, it may not be the best place to live though it is where people wish to work and make money. It is very difficult to find a reasonable family apartment in less than 1500 USD in the central parts of Tokyo surrounded by the JR Yamanote line. Some of the cheaper areas can be found a bit outside of this central part. Cheaper accommodations can be found along the Seibu Ikebukuro line, Chuo line, west of Shinjuku, and around Ueno.

 

Kabuki

in Life in Japan

The history of Kabuki began in 1603 when Okuni of Izumo began performing dance drama on the dry riverbeds of Kyoto. Female performers played both men and women in comic play mimicking ordinary life. Kabuki theater is known for the stylization of its drama and for the elaborate make-ups.

 

This new style of drama was instantly popular and Okuni was even asked to perform before the Imperial Court. During 1670-1840, kabuki thrived. The structure of a kabuki play was formalized during this period, as were many elements of stylization. Conventional character types were also determined.

Theater sites:

http://www.shochiku.co.jp/play/kabukiza/theater/index.html
http://www.meijiza.co.jp/eng/index.html
http://www.ntj.jac.go.jp/english/index.html