I live in Japan. Sometimes it is good and sometimes it is bad.
All content copyright © 2011 goodandbadjapan
aint that the truth! (-;
I’ve really enjoyed your blog – thanks!
Thank you. Wish I had known about your blog earlier, but seems you are leaving Japan. Best of luck!
Hi, I found your blog by luck and I really like the flow of your stories! Apart from being hugely interested in Japan and find many experiences I recognize from my own trips I admire your writing skills and I hope I will learn from you to write better stories on my own blog 🙂
Thanks! I’m glad you like it, and appreciate you letting me know!
Congrats on this great blog! I was quickly looking around the internet for ways to promote 2 live streamed concerts this Fri/Sat to folks in Japan and I couldn’t stop reading your posts! Thanks for transporting me to another place while digging deep on things that affect us all… now back to work for me 🙂
Thank you very much!
Having visited Tokyo last August reading your blog has refreshed all my memories and increased my desire to visit again. I too will not be moaning about the heat in good old England after experiencing it in Tokyo.
Thanks. Hope you get to come back sometime!
Cool! You live in Japan! I was wondering if you would be interested in having a copy of a free book that your and your readers would likely like. It would also be pretty helpful. It’s written by Andrew Hallam, the international bestseller author of Millionaire Teacher. The new book is called The Global Expatriate’s Guide to Investing. If you would like a free copy, we can have the publisher send you one. If you like it, you may want to post a review on your blog.
Sally Hallam (Andrew’s assistant and sister!)
I read your hilarious book about being an eikiawa lifer, bravo! What a great read. Like the others I too found myself laughing audibly and frequently. Great comedic sensibility and timing. Reminded me a bit of David Sedaris’ short story novellas in that way. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
My wife is Japanese and we’re planning a permanent move to the Japanese countryside sometime in the next year. We’re currently living in the western United States, where we’ve lived together for the past 6 years or so. But the quality of life here’s turning to shit in a hurry, and wasn’t that great to begin with, frankly, and in my humble opinion. The food’s mostly unpalatable, and neither of us are particularly happy in our jobs here, so we’ve decided it’s time to skedaddle.
In any event, my wife will be working as a pharmacist and I’ll be trying to make it as an English teacher working out of the home.
I’ve been to Japan three times and thoroughly enjoyed it (the food! Wow. Totemo oishikatta!) but only for relatively brief visits. I have a 4 year degree in history, and did a 100 hour in-class TEFL certificate couple years ago. However, I’ve yet to live and teach English in Japan for any length of time.
I’m hoping it’ll be possible for me to learn on the fly and develop into a halfway competent and capable teacher, while running a small operation by myself. Obviously, my complete lack of experience is a cause of some concern.
Was curious what your thoughts might be on the relative pros and cons vis-a-vis my somewhat unusual situation: can open an eikiawa kyoushitsu in our home, which we’ll be buying, am technically qualified to teach english in Japan, am married to a Japanese national, but have pretty much no experience whatsoever teaching english in Japan.
I was thinking ideally I could teach maybe 3 classes a day to class sizes of about 3 to 5 students or something like that. Come up with lesson plan ideas from teacher forums on the internet, and dive right in.
There’s really nothing else I can do vocationally, as my Japanese is very rudimentary, at best (watashi no nihongo ga heta desu). Plus, I’m actually pretty excited to try my hand at being eigo sensei. Just want to avoid if possible being so shitty at first that I end up doing permanent and irreparable damage to my reputation as an English teacher in the small community (near Mt Aso on Kyushu island) we’ll be moving to.
Any thoughts, ideas, feedback or helpful pointers would be immensely appreciated, and again kudos on your eminently readable book. You’re a talented raconteur. I’m looking forward to reading more if your blogs in the future, thanks again for sharing your literary talents.
Thanks for the kind words. I’m really glad you enjoyed the book!
Regarding your situation, you’ve got a few things on your side – no visa issues, TEFL cert, a house from which to teach, so that is all good. And you know yourself what the risky points are – limited experience and beginner’s Japanese. The latter might not be a big issue if you have someone Japanese running the day-to-day business of the school. There is a lot of communication necessary with parents and really you need someone with sufficient Japanese to handle it. You mentioned your wife was going to work as a pharmacist – that’s great as you will have an income as you get set up, but it likely means she can’t help out on the admin side of things with the school. Apart from anything else you will need to have someone who can handle telephone enquiries.
My advice for what its worth would be to get a year’s experience (or maybe two) in an eikaiwa. You might hate aspects of it and be itching to get out and do it on your own, but you will learn a lot, not just about teaching, but also about how the whole system works. Hone your teaching skills, observe how the management handle things, see what works and what doesn’t work and then when you feel confident enough branch out on your own. You can always pick up a few private students along the way, but better to treat them just as extra income until you feel sure that you are offering a service you want your school to be known for. Get it wrong at the start and it may be hard to put it right, but get a good reputation in a smallish town when you start and you will have a full schedule before too long. So I would say, don’t rush, take the time to figure out what you want to do regarding classes, curriculum, fees, scheduling etc, and work on all that as you get a bit of experience on the inside.
Whatever you do, I wish you all the best and hope everything works out!
Thank you for the thoughtful and helpful feedback, I’ll certainly take it under advisement!
Do you have an email we can reach you at? Or just comments on the blog and twitter?
You can reach me on firstname.lastname@example.org Sometimes don’t check it so often, so might take a few days to get back to you.
Dear Good and bad Japan
Nice to talk to you.
My name is Yuta Sugawara.
How are you doing?
I hope you are doing well.
Currently, I live and work in Tokyo.
First, sorry to message you all of a sudden.
I’m here to ask your permission to use your blog content on our Facebook page.
We made a Facebook page for conveying the allure of Japan to those who don’t know about Japan.
At this point, we have about 20,000 fans from all over the world on our Facebook page.
Since we are going turn it into a web service with its own site at the end of March, we need native English bloggers to help get people interested.
URL ： https://www.facebook.com/TokyoLocalGuide/?ref=ts&fref=ts
I looked at your blog posts about Japan, which are so organized and easy to read with your fantastic description of each location.
Thus, I thought the concept of your blog matches right up with the concept for our Facebook page.
This is why I’m contacting you, to ask permission to share posts from your blog onto our Facebook page. Of course, we’d provide a link back to your original post each time.
Or even better, if you could write posts for your blog on our web service.
It’d be great if you could collaborate with us on making content for the site as a writer.
In the process, we’d be totally open to hearing input from you, like how the design on a blog page should look.
If you’re up for it, I’d really like to have you on our team.
Let’s make a wonderful blog platform together.
When it comes to attracting customers,
I’m willing to go the extra mile.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks for your interest. Right now, I don’t have a lot of time to write (for my own blog or anyone else’s, unfortunately). I am, however, quite happy if you want to use some of my articles on your site, if you provide a link back to the original article. I had a look at your Facebook page and liked what I saw. Best of luck in turning it into its own website!
Just wanted to say thank you for all that you’ve done here, much appreciated to see this slice of Japan through your eyes and best of luck in all you do.
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