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First Time in Japan

Where are you going to stay? What about the food? How can we contact you? How are you going to manage all the finances? and more and more questions were fired at me by my parents while I was preparing to leave for work in Japan. Although I had faith in my abilities to accustom myself to unfavourable situations, somewhere in the back of my mind I knew these questions were legit.
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Tori-no-ichi Festival 2018

‘Tori-no-ichi’ is a festival that accordingly originated at Asakusa area during Edo period (1603-1868). People in Japan, especially in Tokyo, believe that praying and offering to the God of Otori (Otori means giant bird in Japanese, namely the eagle here) can bring you back good fortune, health and business prosperity.
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Chinese traditional holidays/festivals in Japan

On June.18th, 2018, May.5th by Chinese lunar calendar, many Chinese people in Tokyo celebrated one of their traditional festivals, namely, Duan Wu (端午), or Dragon Boat Festival in English.

Traditionally, people shall eat zongzi (a kind of rice dumplings), and do dragon boat racing, in memory of the tragic death of one of the most influential poets, writers in China, Qu Yuan.
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Why telework(telecommuting) is becoming important to Japan?

The world has witnessed Japan successfully transform herself from a land of ruins after WWII to a prosperous, highly developed country, with an amazing growth rate in her GDP for decades throughout 1960s to 1980s.
It once seems to be unthinkable that a super economic power like Japan would be facing several severe problems in her economy, and starting her steps to decline, mainly caused by the ‘burst of bubble’ and worsened by its low birth rate together with a constantly growing population of aging people.
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稲荷祭 (Inari Festival)




The Inari Festival was held the other day.
The Inari Festival is held every year on the first floor of the office building that e-Jan resides in.
Two Shinto priests from Hie Shrine (a famous shrine next to the prime minister's official residence) for this region’s ushigami-sama(*1) came to perform Shinto rituals.
But you might wonder, why would Shinto priests come to an office for an Inari Festival??

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In search for a new domicile: being a good neighbour in Japan

Any area around the world, once residing at a new location, it is imperative to understand that each location would have a certain custom or tradition of which you would have to learn, even if it may seem strange. 'When in Rome, do as the Romans do.'

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have recently moved into a house in a suburban area of Saitama (a prefecture beside Tokyo). The area is a quiet neighbourhood, mostly composed of retired folks. Just to paint a picture, every single day, at around 7:30 pm, the streets are dead silent, with hardly any cars or people passing by. Somehow, with a ‘local’ feel that comes with the territory, I felt that I would need to be extra conscious of the local ‘ways of doing things’.
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In search for a new domicile: getting a house

Renting for a place can be tedious and nerve-wrecking, as I mentioned in my previous post. However, once you are equipped with the simple ‘how-to’s, gathered the requirements, and found a reliable real-estate agent, the process runs smoother. In regard to purchasing your own place, it’s more or less the same.

The apartments I’ve stayed at were not too shabby, some were even outstandingly nice. However, I’ve always wanted to have my own house; extra rooms for some mini house-projects, a wide living room, garden and barbecue place, a garage, and such.

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年賀状 (New Year’s cards)


Much like the Western concept of Christmas cards, Japan has a tradition of sending New Year’s cards to close friends/family and others who have taken care of you during the past year.
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正月飾り (New Years decorations)

Happy New Year!

今回のWorking Japan blogでは日本の正月文化の一つ「正月飾り(しょうがつかざり)」についてご紹介します。
This Working Japan blog will cover one aspect of Japan’s New Year traditions: ‘New Years decorations’.

New Years decorations are set up to welcome in the new year.
There are many different kinds, but this time I’ll be introducing two kinds.
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Christmas in Japan

Christmas is obviously a major seasonal, cultural, and retail event for many Christian-majority countries. Japan does not designate Christmas as a public holiday, as some countries do, but Christmas has transcended its theological roots and become a purely social holiday. And while people do not get the day off from work, many people celebrate Christmas or get into the spirit through decorations and activities.

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In search for a new domicile: getting an apartment

Moving to a new area is a thrilling adventure and at the same time an intimidating change, especially here in Japan. Thinking about the location, transportation, budget, etc. is stressful on so many levels, but beyond the stress of logistics, the start of something new brings with it conflicting feelings of eagerness and anxiety. Whirlwind of decision-making can be an emotional rollercoaster, but extremely exciting.
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