Living in Asia

Fashion, Hip-hop, Lifestyle………………BlackLight

How to Properly Eat Sushi

For you beginners……………Start with the lighter, more delicate fish and then move on to the darker and fattier ones. You’ll give yourself the chance to enjoy the lighter flavors of the white fish like snapper without overwhelming your taste buds with the fatty richness of tuna.


The Art of Nanpa: The Osaka Love Thief

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Here is a great documentary on the art of “Nanpa”. Nanpa is seen most often in young heterosexual men ranging from their late teens to mid-twenties. Groups of “Nanpa boys” will gather around places with busy, predominantly female foot traffic (bridges, subway stations, shopping malls, etc.) and approach women in search of a date. The Nanpa groups generally wear high fashion with nice suits, expensive shoes, and extravagant hair styles. Because of their style of dress, Nanpa boys are occasionally misinterpreted by foreigners as employees of host clubs, who also roam such areas speaking with various women. If you are in Osaka near Shinsaibashi you will see this in droves.

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Teaching English in……………..Osaka, Japan

By Steve (Taught in Osaka, Japan)

After reading the rest of the reviews on working here, I have to agree with them all. However, as Christina said, it’s not what it used to be. After the collapse of the largest private English teaching company in the country in 2007, things have gotten a harder. The biggest changes are in visa sponsorship, pay, and working hours. It used to be if you had a pulse and grew up speaking English you could put on a tie and get paid about 300,000¥/year (about $30,000 US at the time) and not break a sweat doing it. Nowadays, the big companies left and the little ones still in the field have changed their game. If you’d like to teach professional classes to adults, you’ll likely only be able to find part-time work.

Most of my friends still teaching adults have several part-time jobs. They make good money, but they do work six days a week, albeit a pretty quiet six days: 4 hours this day, 5 this, etc. One can always fill in some hours with private lessons which tend to pay about 3,000¥/hour (or about $35US), but they’re not as easy to come by as they once were either. Also, big caveat with the little companies, once you start working a lot of them will try to squeeze extra work out of you at a lower rate than your initial class pay.

The big difficulty in teaching adults (for Americans at least, since our country isn’t on any working holiday exchange programs (write your representatives!)) is finding a company to sponsor your visa. I think most people coming here for the first time, are going to have a really hard time finding work and making ends meet taking this approach without a working holiday visa.

But there is hope. If you’re dead set on coming to Japan, I’d recommend looking into teaching children. The pay isn’t great and it’s a bit more challenging but there is more opportunity, especially if you’re new to the country. There are several international kindergartens in the Kansai area (I’m sure even more in Tokyo) and companies that will hire you to work in public schools (elementary through high school) as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT). With public schools–from what I’ve heard through friends–you get a lot of free time during the day (which can be good or bad since you can’t leave the school), the pays not bad and the hours make it easy to supplement in some private students after work. However, it’s hard being the one foreigner on staff. Often you will feel like an outsider, and if you don’t try to speak Japanese and make an effort to engage with the other teachers, you’ll likely be an outsider. As for teaching at an international kindergarten (what I’m currently doing) it pays well and you get a lot of vacation time (about 2 months of the year off and paid). On the downside, you have to work for it, 8 hour days and real teaching (so expect to stay late some days and maybe even do some work at home). It’s rewarding because the children are fluent speakers and they are you’re students so you will build a bond with them.

In short, getting here is now the battle. Once you’ve established some time here, there are lots of options to choose from. And it’s a great place to live. I’ve been here five years after planning to only come out for a year. Here in Osaka, it’s a big city but affordable. You can go out on the weekends and party till dawn, eat at nice restaurants, have a nice apartment and still have some cash at the end of the month.


Teaching English in………Japan

By Niko

(Taught in Osaka, Japan)

Teaching English in Japan is a great way to have a working holiday and explore an intriguing culture. It can even be a decent career or a springboard to start your own business. The down side is that the job can be so easy that a teacher can become complacent and lose focus of their reason for being in Japan. It is important to have a goal and keep focused. This is true for no matter where you are in life, but especially so in Japan.

By Adam

(Taught in Osaka, Japan)

– not as great as it used to be. i think most people are working freelance, for contract agencies, or for few hours at remaining schools (gaba), community colleges (senmon gakko) or for public schools in jet. opportunities for foreigners outside english teaching are limited and more difficult to negotiate.
– only need a bachelor degree and a foreign appearance
– contract is usually negotiated before start
– pay avg’s $2000/month, but after travelling around jp, i had saved nothing after a year
– less than 30hr/week
– nightlife in osaka seems better than in other cities. there’s a vibrant live music scene (punk music) and club scene (hiphop, dancehall).
– cultural sights in spades (hyogo has himeji castle, kyoto has fushimi-inari shrine, wakayama has koyasan temple complex), but natural sights are fewer (mino in north osaka)
– food is incredible: all levels of dining from street food (takoyaki, okonomiyaki, oden, doteyaki) to high end (kaiseki, kappo, michelin-starred french). street food is more expensive than on the asian continent, but high end is usually cheaper than in europe.
– more english is spoken in cities with tourists (kyoto, hiroshima) – but intermediate japanese is essential to live there, especially beyond the first year.

By Christina

(Taught in Osaka, Japan)

Pros and cons of Japan and Korea. Okay, happy to help you out.
For a con, I would say how the eastern culture’s ways were very different from westerners, although they’re adapting to both ways (and hopefully westerners can adopt eastern ways too). Specifically in both countries, when someone was hurt, no one came to help. That seemed so cold. I witnessed a man having epilepsy after Nova one day, and all the natives stood around him, taking photos. No one called for help. Those ending their shift from Nova heading down to the red line were the only ones who got help for the man. Another time, and old man fell all the way down the subway steps. Everyone ignored him. I offered help, thinking it was the right thing to do. To me, it seemed like a lack of humanity.
Pro’s were expanding my horizons and mind seeing different cultures (not just natives, but other foreigners from other western countries too). I think it boosted my confidence in speaking/traveling anywhere. It made me appreciate what I had at home (b/c I was poor in Japan! I missed my friends/family at home). It made me realize what I was capable of teaching others/helping others. When finding employment now, a lot of establishments are impressed w/me living abroad, and some language skills I have learnt.

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Club Azure………………….Ark Shinsaibashi West.B1F, 2-17-3 Nishi-Shinsaibashi Chuo-ku Osaka Osaka, Japan

CLUB AZURE has been a staple of the Osaka underground hip hop scene for years.  Its one of the reasons why I think clubbing in Osaka wicked.  You have your bigger venues such as Pure and Grand Cafe that play more recent hip hop tunes.  But then you have venues like Azure that stay true to the roots of  the music.  This place gets packed quickly so get there early.  The size of the venue gives live shows  a more intimate feel then at other places.  I had the honor of seeing my favourite DJ (DJ Premier) there and it was a show I’ll never forget.  I knew some of the people running the event so I was able to see, up close, Primo do his thing on the ones and twos.   Azure caters to the reggae and R & B heads as well.   Check out their website to find out more info on special events.

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Grand Cafe…………….(Osaka, Japan Hachiman-suji, 2-10-21 Nishi-Shinsaibashi)

Grand Cafe is one of the more classier hip-Hop clubs in Osaka. In not only caters to you hip-hop fans but it also has a nice mix of techo/dance/electronic nights spread throughout the week. Its best nights are Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Sunday night Safari jams are not to be missed. You will hear some of the best hip-hop music in Osaka. It gets really packed inside side so if you are claustrophobic need not enter. There are two rooms in the club, one with a huge dance floor and another smaller room where people talk and mingle. I usually stay in the smaller room in order to avoid the madness of dancers bumping into me. The drinks are more expensive than in the other clubs I have discussed on my page but this is an overall better venue. The crowd is a little older so the vibe is more chill than Pure or Sam & Dave.

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Grand Café 是大阪比较高端的 hip-pop夜店之一:它不仅能满足hip-pop人群的要求, 而且在音乐方面, 融合了电子乐,舞曲, 电音等等风格。在 Grand Café,最热闹的晚上是星期五,星期六和星期日。 您绝对不能错过周日晚上熙熙攘攘的人群。在这里,你可以听到大阪最好的一些hip-pop音乐,里面也非常热闹, 但是如果你是一个喜欢安静,不善于交际的人的话,您就不必去了。Grand Café 有两个房间:一大一小—大的房间是一个巨大的舞池; 小的房间是人们聊天,社交的地方。 我一般都呆在小房间里因为我可不想一些疯狂的舞者突然出现在我面前。这里的酒比我前面提到的其他酒吧都要贵一些,但是总的来说,这是个不错的地方。 因为在这个club里的人年龄稍微偏大一些, 所以这里的气氛比“Pure or Sam”和 “ Dave” 安静一些。