🌸April Update🌸


It’s been a little over a month since I arrived in Japan, so it’s about time I post an update.

As most of you know by now, I made it to Japan! I’ve adjusted to life very well here.

April 7th was the start of the school year. Going into work, I had very limited knowledge about the Japanese school system. Everything I knew came from anime and my Japanese friends’ experiences. Students are to follow strict uniform rules, stand up when giving an answer in class, and clean the school. They are not permitted to work part-time, drive a car to school, or use their phones.

In these last two weeks, I’ve learned a lot more about the schools here. I’ll go in-depth on comparing Japanese and American schools in another blog post. For now, here’s a brief summary of the main things I’ve noticed in my first two weeks:

  • To go in and out of the school building, there are separate entrances for students and teachers.
  • When you enter the school you change your shoes, and you change shoes again when you enter the gym. If you don’t have gym shoes or gym slippers, you go in your socks.
  • There are no bleachers in the gym. Students and teachers usually sit on the floor.
  • Classrooms for each grade are on one floor. For example, the second year classrooms might be on the third floor.
  • There are strict rules for students and teachers, but everyone is still able to have a lot of fun.

I’ve been to two out of five schools so far. For those who have been wondering, no, I’m not going to a different school each day of the week. I spend one to two weeks at each school.

It’s still a little early to give an accurate account of what the average day at work for me is like. Here’s what it’s been like so far: I arrive at school before the morning faculty meeting. During this time, I check my schedule to see what classes I have. When I have classes, I confirm the time and plan with the teacher. If there are no classes for me, I work on lesson plans, or I read about teaching and grammar.

Outside of school, my daily life hasn’t been too different from my life in the states. As soon as I walk into my apartment, it’s goodbye work pants, hello sweatpants. Sometimes I have prep work for the next day, so I’ll finish up whatever I couldn’t at work. Other times I have small projects I work on, like translating, so I’ll spend time on that. Usually, I fill my free time with video games and messaging friends. I’ve been very active on Snapchat, Line, and Google Hangouts. I also have a lot of friends in the area who I’ve been spending time with, so there’s been a good mix of busy time and downtime.

So far I’ve been to three parties. One of them was a party for the Board of Education. It was to kick off the new school year, welcome the noobs (me), and thank those who were retiring or leaving. The other two parties were welcome parties that friends of mine held. All three parties reminded me what Hekinan hospitality is all about. I may write a blog post detailing each of them later.

Adjusting to life here has been much easier than I expected. I know a lot of people here, which has helped a lot. Being able to speak the language and know the culture has also been a big advantage.

Also, the Seahawks schedule was released a few days ago, and I’m very excited. Most of the games are on Monday mornings at 5:25 (Japan time). I may be able to watch them before work, but what’s more likely is I’ll watch the games after work. We’ll see what works best with my schedule.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment! I’m working on an FAQ page, so I may answer your question there.

I hope everyone back home is doing well! I love and miss you guys!

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Let’s Learn Japanese!

These are resources I’ve found helpful when studying Japanese. You’ll find websites, blogs, applications, YouTube channels, textbooks, and more.

Online Reading Resources
This is a very useful website for reading online. You can use this for reading in several languages including Japanese, English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and more! It’s very easy to use: just enter the text or URL you want to read, press Full Text/GO, and hover your mouse over the word you want to read.

Browser Extensions
(Chrome Extension)
Rikaichan (Firefox Add-On)
Rikaikun/Rikaichan is similar to PopJisyo, but you don’t need to go to another website to use it. Simply turn on the extension and hover your mouse over the words you want to read. I use this a lot for reading email, blogs, and articles.

jisho (works with romaji)
weblio (does not work with romaji)

Blogs and Useful Websites
Language, Culture, Etc.

Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese
Maggie Sensei
A Logical Japanese Grammar

Typing in Japanese
12 Japanese IME Tips – NihonShock

Kanji Damage

JLPT Study
Japanese Test 4 You

Reading Practice
News Web EasyNHK

Essay Help (作文)
Hinoki Project

Fun Stuff
Onomatopoeia and Sound Effects

SFX Dictionary – The Jaded Network

Kansai/Osaka Dialect

That Japanese Man Yuta
Taka-chan’s Page on Osaka! (For those who want to study the Osaka dialect)
Bilingirl Chika (Japanagos) (Her main channel is focused on English, but can also be used to study Japanese)
Learn Japanese from Zero!
Learn Japanese Beginners

Free Apps
Takoboto (Available for Android, Windows Phone, PC, and online)
Kanji Book (Windows Store)

The following materials are not free resources. If you are willing to spend money to study Japanese, I would highly recommend taking a look at these resources. I have used all of them and found them very helpful.

Textbooks and Workbooks
Beginner to Intermediate
Adventures in Japanese by Hiromi Peterson and Naomi Omizo

Genki by Eri Banno, Yutaka Ohno, Yoko Sakane, Chikako Shinagawa, and Kyoko Tokashiki (1, 2)
Workbook (1, 2)

Tobira by Mayumi Oka, Michio Tsutsui, Junko Kondo, Shoko Emori, Yoshiro Hanai, and Satoru Ishikawa (Textbook, Grammar, Kanji)

NihonShock Cheat Sheet

More resources will be added soon. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for websites and articles to add, leave a comment down below!



For Eikaiwa notes, please click here.

Let’s Learn English!


The links below are websites made for people studying English. If you’re interested, please take a look at them. I think they will be helpful. These websites are mostly written in English, so if there is anything you don’t understand, please leave a comment at the bottom of this page.

Try using POPJisyo while reading things like blogs and articles written in English. Not only is it easy to use, there’s a large variety of dictionaries, and it’s a really useful website. Give it a try!

一般の英語ブログ   General English Blogs
[てきとう(・ε・)ノ英語] (日本語あり)
Grammar Girl
Rachel’s English
Grammarly Handbook
Steve Trussel – English & ESL
Taka’s 英会話 (日本語あり)
Hapa Eikaiwa (日本語あり)
何にしようかな (日本語あり)

特定の話題・トピック   Specific Topics

Common Grammar Mistakes
15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly – copyblogger

Articles: a/an/the
When to use Definite vs. Indefinite Articles –

The – Steve Trussel

“In” vs. “out of” – StackExchange
How to Use and Love PrepositionsGrammarly

More resources will be added soon. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for websites and articles to add, leave a comment down below!


Greetings from Japan! ðŸ—¾

I made it! It’s been a little over a week since I arrived and the transition has been pretty smooth so far. I have a lot of friends here helping me learn the ropes.

I’m still trying to get set up here, so posts will be irregular for some time. Please be patient as I try to get the ball rolling on this project.

A lot of people have been asking me questions since I arrived, so I’m going to leave a mini-FAQ here to answer them.

Where are you living in Japan?
I’m in Aichi Prefecture (hence the blog name). In other words, not Tokyo.

What are you doing in Japan?
For those who haven’t heard the news, I have a job as an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher). In a nutshell, I’m helping the English teachers of my town with their classes.

What school level are you teaching?
Middle school, for the most part, but I will also be teaching classes for adults in the community. There’s also a chance I will also be helping at the elementary school level.

When do you start work?
Beginning of April.

What’s the time difference there?
Japan is 16 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time.

Check back soon for more content! If there’s anything specific you would like me to talk about in my blog, post a comment down below.

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