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Experience Japan

Vol. 14 - Working in Japan

experience15_1.jpgName: Patrick McConnell
Area of Residence: Nerima, Tokyo
Useful Link:  Working in Japan

It's been a long time. I thought I should finally let you know how things have gone for me so far in Tokyo.

We have been living in Nerima-ku (west of Ikebukuro) since we moved here in September. It was difficult for us to choose an apartment, especially for me, since I didn't know the city and I didn't know what to expect from an Apartment in Tokyo. experience15_2.jpgWe ended up liking this area a lot. Although Nerima is pretty far from the centre of Tokyo (about 20 minutes by train), this neighborhood is really nice, with lots of good restaurants, which for me is one of the more important criteria.

My job is even further west of here, so I get to commute away from the centre, which means I'm one of few people who get to sit down on the train on the way to work. Commuting the other way is a bit more difficult. As we've all heard, Tokyo's morning rush hour can be a bit startling. I was pretty surprised the first time I was pushed onto a train. I was also surprised that I somehow managed to get off the train when it came to my stop.

In the monexperience15_3.jpgths before I started working, I was taking Japanese lessons at the local city office. I've just recently started a Japanese night class, and since I work with lots of people who don't speak English, I get to practice speaking Japanese every day.

I still haven't done any traveling outside of Tokyo, although Golden Week is coming up, so maybe we'll take a train to somewhere for a few days. But even though I've been in Tokyo for around 7 months, I feel like I've just barely gotten started with exploring the city. Not only is it a big city, but it has many different central areas (Shibuya, Shinjuku, Roppongi, etc) which each have their own character. I heard that there are over 4,000 restaurants in Ginza alone, so even if I only wanted to explore restaurants (surely I must have interests other than food), I probably wouldn't be able to do it in a lifetime.

experience15_4.jpgI miss my friends in Toronto, and I kind of miss my car, but I don't miss much else. I certainly don't miss tipping at restaurants. As long as I can stay gainfully employed, I don't think I'll be leaving here any time soon.

Just for good measure, I'm attaching a couple of pictures from when we went to Hanami last weekend.


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