Life after JLPT N1

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A few weeks ago I anxiously logged onto the JLPT website to check my N1 result. I passed! Great! Now what? The long journey towards fluency is now over, right? Not even close. I still come across new words and phrases on a daily basis. I spend more time studying (or rather, being exposed to) Japanese than ever before. The journey has only but begun!

Recently I have been investing a lot of time into reading native material. Reading Japanese (print) books has always been a pain for me. Looking up unknown words/kanji can be difficult if you are not sure how to write them. You can quickly lose motivation if you stumble into a string of new words. Is there a better way?

Enter the Kindle app (I’m reading on a Nexus 7). If you long-press over any word a popup will appear with the reading and definition (in Japanese). If that is not enough, you can also easily copy words/phrases into any other app of your choosing (e.g. other dictionaries, Anki, etc.). Highlighting words will create a bookmark allowing you to view them again in context later. I usually do this for all new words and phrases. The Kindle app makes reading Japanese a much more pleasant experience!

Amazon Japan has a large selection of both digitalized novels and manga. I enjoyed reading 雨の日も、晴れ男 (a novel) and 日本人の知らない日本語 (manga). I have been trying to read for about 1 hour everyday before bed – a modest target that hopefully ensures I won’t burn out. I think eBooks are great for non-native speakers – give it a try!

Category: Japanese, JLSP | Tags: , , ,

Going offline with Nihongo no Mori

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I wrote about the Nihongo no Mori group (日本語の森) before in a previous blog post – they are a Waseda student group who produce YouTube videos teaching Japanese grammar, vocabulary, special language topics (e.g. regional accents), etc. Their videos were extremely helpful in my N1 study and I strongly recommend them to anyone looking for alternative study materials. Their non-JLPT videos are also pretty entertaining to watch and give a glimpse into various Japanese cultural topics (who doesn’t want to learn about Samurai?).

Last week they held an ‘オフ会’ (offline meeting/party) in Shibuya and I decided to attend to meet the students (teachers!) and thank them in person. I invited my friend Aysel who happens to be a Waseda (exchange) student and who became an immediate fan of 日本語の森 after I linked it to her. We knew the event would be recorded (and made into a YouTube video) so we were a bit nervous, but it turned out to be very fun and we were able to meet some interesting people here in Tokyo!

They rented a large room and had chairs arranged in rows, with a desk for the teachers at the front. Honestly, the setup looked a bit like a press conference at the UN rather than a YouTube party! They gave us a goody bag as we entered the room and we took some seats. The event started a bit later than expected so we had a chance to talk to the other people in the room. Unsurprisingly, they were all non-Japanese (from many different countries!) studying for JLPT. I even found someone from Vietnam! But decided against trying to communicate to them in my poor Vietnamese – at this point, my Japanese is definitely a lot stronger!

There wasn’t really an opportunity to talk with the teachers directly – instead we spent most of the time playing three games. The first was a variant of Rock Paper Scissors / Janken (たたいて・かぶって・ジャンケンポン), with the added rule that the winner has to grab the (inflatable) hammer and hit the loser on the head, while the loser has to grab the helmet and wear it to protect himself. The teachers gave us a demonstration and then we joined in afterwards. If we won against a teacher of our choice, we got to take a picture with them – I chose and won a picture with Yuha-sensei! It felt like we were taking pictures with pop idols rather than ‘ordinary’ university students, but I didn’t let that thought ruin the fun… I await the day somebody takes part in a convoluted game of Rock Paper Scissors just to win a photo opportunity with ME!



Aysel was not so lucky...

Aysel was not so lucky…

The second game was the ‘Wasabi Challenge’. They put large amounts of wasabi inside a single piece of sushi (out of many), and the teachers each took a piece in turn and ate it. The job of the rest of us was to guess who had ate the wasabi-filled piece, from the facial expressions/reactions of those eating. We also played a reverse version of the same game – all except one had large amounts of wasabi while the single piece had none. They were pretty good at acting so I couldn’t really tell who it was – as expected for a YouTube group! Aysel took part in the student version of the game, fooling almost everyone with her class acting skills.

Aysel taking a mouthful of wasabi... Or is she??

Aysel taking a mouthful of wasabi… Or is she??

For the final game, one of the teachers placed mystery items in a box and the others took turns to guess what was inside by touching it with their hands. The audience could see what was inside (generally ordinary stuff like soft toys, pencil sharpener) but we gave our best (over)reaction to put off the person guessing. At one point there was a piece of raw chicken in the box, whose texture would have surely freaked anyone else out, but Misato-sensei was surprisingly unfazed and stayed extremely calm – 余裕!

I don't like touching raw chicken even when I know what it is...

I don’t like touching raw chicken even when I know what it is…

After the games we took more pictures together and filmed a short clip with everyone dancing. They said they would be using that clip at the end of every(!) Nihongo no Mori video to encourage people to subscribe. I am very happy to have participated in this event, even if there are some embarrassing moments captured on video. I think studying Japanese is incredibly important for anyone who wants to be here for the medium-long term and I support any initiatives bringing foreigners one step closer to fluency!

Tokyo Android Meetup Talk

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I’m a member of the Tokyo Android Meetup group – we meet about once a month and discuss various Android development topics. It is a fairly casual and friendly affair, and I recommend it to anyone in Tokyo even vaguely interested in Android development. We mostly speak in English, but Japanese speakers are also very welcome!

Last week I gave a presentation on the Android Support Library. When researching for this talk, I was surprised at how useful the support libraries are even for projects targeting Android 4.0 and above. It was also interesting to see how some of the features have their roots in open-source, community projects which have existed for a long time before appearing in the support library.

I have made the slides available on SlideDeck:

I also made some small code samples for each of the topics I talked about, available on GitHub.

The experience was very rewarding – I had to first organize the content in a coherent way in my own mind before being able to explain it to others. Teaching, it seems, is a very good way to learn! I hope to have the opportunity to present another topic in the future.

Studying for JLPT N1

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I’ve registered to take the JLPT N1 exam this July – I hope to, once and for all, bring a successful end to my JLPT journey! For the sake of anyone planning to take the exam, and indeed for my own sake (introspection is always good!), I want to give a quick overview on some of things I feel are contributing to my progress. I will also mention some things that I have found useful for increasing general Japanese ability (but perhaps not so much for the exam).

– Japanese Tutor
Many people swear by self-study, but I find it difficult to stay focused for an extended period of time without external feedback and checkpointing. During university, I often skipped lectures and classes under the pretence that I could, in theory, study more efficiently by myself during the same period of time. While I don’t dispute that claim even today, what often happened in practice was that I would get distracted, procrastination would take over, and I would end up doing less productive activities.

I owe a lot of my current JLPT success to the steady pace and rhythm provided by my tutor. You can find Japanese tutors using Labochi. I have private classes 4 times per week (before work), generally working my way through JLPT textbooks (described later) and any real-world articles, documents, emails, etc. that I am having trouble understanding.

– Textbooks
新完全マスター文法N1 – This is a staple for most N1 students and I don’t have any particular complaints about it. The entire book is in Japanese with no English, and so it may be helpful to have a native speaker around. I’ve worked my way through it from start to end, and although have yet to commit all of the grammar points to memory, feel like it has enough breadth and depth to serve as my sole grammar textbook. If you have previously used the N2 edition of this book, the N1 edition should make you feel right at home.

新完全マスター読解N1 – This book should help build out your reading comprehension. I am about 70% of the way through, and it remains very challenging (this is a good thing!). A lot of the material in this book is stuff that I would not likely come across in my normal life (novels, essays, etc.) and would have no chance to practice otherwise. I enjoy learning new vocabulary via this book – there is always lot of context ensuring a good chance of remembering the meaning and usage.

日本語パワードリル N1 文字・語彙 – I am not a fan of typical vocabulary textbooks (i.e. ones that mostly consist of a long list of words), so I decided instead to study vocabulary/kanji with exam-style questions. This book is simply pages and pages of practice questions. Some of the questions offer answers with very similar meanings so I often find myself asking a native speaker to explain the nuances. Any new words I come across I put into Anki.

日本語能力試験 20日で合格 N1文字・語彙・文法 – This is similar to the previous book, but also covers grammar. The Kanzen Master series doesn’t offer a lot in the way of practice, so I turn to other sources. A single ‘day’ (of which there are 20) in this book takes me about 1.5/2 hours to complete. A lot of stuff is covered in a single chapter – great for grammar revision!

– Anki
Anki is a free spaced-repetition application for PC and mobile. I prefer it over iKnow! for when I am creating my own content since it gives me a lot more control over the format and layout. I mostly use it for reviewing vocabulary that I have come across in the above-mentioned textbooks or in real-life. On each card, I write the Japanese word/phrase, reading in kana, meaning in English, and meaning in Japanese (taken from a Japanese dictionary). Anki has a pretty good Android app so I can review wherever and whenever. There are some pre-made decks for N1 but I find it a lot easier to remember cards that I have created cards myself.

– Japanese Dictionaries
At N1 level, Japanese-Japanese dictionaries start making a whole lot of sense. I mainly use the one found on the Yahoo! Japan site (it is actually a meta-dictionary, aggregating results from other dictionaries). Not only do you get to understand the meaning of the word you are looking up, you can get some bonus memory hits in the definition itself. A Japanese-English dictionary entry usually just contains synonyms of the word in English without much explanation. On the other hand, a Japanese-Japanese dictionary entry describes the meaning using short sentences offering a lot more context.

I also use Google Translate, Rikaikun and JED for my occasional Japanese-English needs.

– Nihongo No Mori (YouTube)
There is a good JLPT N1 grammar series on YouTube by Nihongo No Mori. The teacher (who seems to be a current university student) reads out some sentences and explains grammar principles within them. They recently remade the grammar videos and added subtitles and ‘special effects’. The tone is very casual and I find it very useful in conjunction with the Kanzen Master grammar book. It doesn’t take long to watch all of the videos – do it several times! There are also vocab and grammar videos for other Japanese levels, as well as videos on specialist topics (like Kansai accent).

– JapanesePod101
Although perhaps not as helpful for N1, this site has been a very good source of Japanese learning material. This is a paid site requiring a monthly subscription (totally worth it, IMO). Each podcast episode has a short dialogue in Japanese, followed by analysis of the dialogue and introduction of related vocab/grammar in Japanese and English. The grammar explanations are easy to remember and serve as good revision. The tone is usually light-hearted and fun, making it very easy to listen to.

– Other podcasts / radio
There are a lot of Japanese podcasts on iTunes, but I have yet to find one that I particularly like. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know! Instead, I often listen to Japanese Radio via Radiko. There are several stations, and they usually talk about current affairs and interview people. The Japanese here is the real deal and it is not always easy to understand, but is good for building general listening comprehension and exposure to Japanese culture. I don’t own a TV so this is the next best thing!

– Working in Japan
Since joining Origami last year, I’ve picked up a lot of standard business phrases as well as technical (programming) vocabulary. Business emails in the N1 reading section now seem pretty familiar despite the extreme levels of politeness. Perhaps the most useful thing is simply being exposed to native speakers on a regular basis, listening to conversations and reading emails between each other. People rarely bother to correct me unless I ask them to, so it is often more productive to copy phrases used by others rather than going creative. I don’t come across a lot of N1 grammar during work, but it is pretty useful for consolidating vocabulary.

I also try to read articles from Japanese websites that people share. These are usually highly-related to my work and so make for memorable reading practice. I often look at articles about various startups from TechCrunch Japan and The Bridge. Rikaikun is pretty useful to quickly look-up unknown words when viewing a website.

– Talking to friends / Language exchange
I have quite a few friends who I talk to exclusively in Japanese. This is great for both listening and speaking practice, but I find that I don’t learn a lot of new material, particular things related to N1. For general survival in Japan however, developing your speaking skills is of course crucial. When speaking to a Japanese person, they sometimes slow down their speech or use different words compared to speaking to another native speaker. I find speaking to Japanese in a group (of native speakers) the most challenging.

I have also done some language exchanges (with people who are otherwise strangers), but the conversation rarely gets past a self-introduction. Once you have practiced answering basic questions about yourself a few dozen times, it is more fruitful to talk to people with whom you have a deeper relationship (you can talk about more varied subjects).

Registration for JLPT N1 (and all other levels) is currently open; I wish the best of luck to all those who will join me in taking it!

Photo Hack Day Japan

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I took part in a hackathon last weekend – the very first Photo Hack Day Japan! I heard about it via the Tokyo Android Meetup group and thought it would be fun to try and build something new and meet some more developers, particularly Japanese-speaking ones.

The event was spread over Saturday and Sunday (with a pre-party on Friday), culminating in presentations/demos and a prize ceremony. It was held at the Mixi HQ in Shibuya. The general idea was to make something interesting using the APIs of the companies sponsoring the event. We had about 24 hours.

Photo Hack Day Japan!

Photo Hack Day Japan!

I teamed up with Ben Watanabe, a designer and entrepreneur who I had met once before via the meetup group. He had recently founded his own company, TenTen, and was somewhat experienced with hackathons. We created an app called ‘Before The Filter’ – an app to teach users about the fundamentals of photography. It explained several principles in photography (including Rule of Thirds, Vanishing Point) using text and images, as well as an overlay over the camera view to help users line up their target correctly with respect to the particular principle.

It was great to work with such a talented designer. As a developer, I find the programming-side of building a mobile app straightforward. If you have solved a similar problem before (which naturally becomes increasingly common), you are largely constrained only by how fast you can type. It is often easy to come up with a measurable way of evaluating your system, and you can continue to hammer away until those conditions are met. On the other hand, deciding what to build, what kind of user experience the app should have, those are the kinds of things that are, to me, much more challenging to deal with.

The hackathon was pretty much this. For a whole weekend.

The hackathon was pretty much this. For a whole weekend.

With the demos scheduled for 1.30pm on Sunday, we submitted the app to Google Play at 11.30am and hoped it would go live on time (it did!). Ben gave a very strong presentation and we received many comments afterwards from people who were surprised at how ‘complete’ the app was. We took the prize for the best use of the Aviary API (the only API we integrated with!), as well as the prize for the second best overall hack. This totalled ¥300,000 in prize money! Our story made it onto The Bridge.

Picture of us taking a Frontback picture.

Picture of us taking a Frontback picture.

Before The Filter can be downloaded from Google Play here. Ben and I are planning on continuing development of the app in the future – watch this space for more to come!

Spaced repetition with iKnow!

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I’ve recently renewed my iKnow! subscription, with the aim of finishing the Japanese Core 6000 series (the 6000 most commonly appearing Japanese words) once and for all. I’ve tried many different methods for vocabulary building and I’ve found iKnow! to be one of the most reliable to date (if you put in the time!). After learning some words in iKnow!, I seem to notice them randomly when watching TV shows, reading articles, etc. which further reinforces the words in my memory. In conjunction with generous helpings of natural sources of Japanese, I am hoping iKnow! will help push me towards fluency in 2014.

iKnow! is an online, paid, learning service based on spaced repetition that can help you learn and remember words. There are pre-built courses with example sentences, images and sounds, and your progress is saved online. iOS and Android apps are also available (full disclosure: I used to work on the iKnow! Android app).

iKnow! welcome screen.

iKnow! welcome screen.

Spaced repetition is a learning technique whereby you increase the amount of time between subsequent reviews to maximize learning efficiency. Intuitively, reviewing items too early (when you still remember it) is wasted effort, and so to minimize the amount of time studying you should only review just as you are about to forget it. There are algorithms that exist to try to calculate this optimal time interval, one of which is implemented by the iKnow! service. iKnow! also introduces the concept of ‘mastering’, which is basically a threshold at which retention is deemed sufficiently high.

Repeated reviewed items follow a different curve

Repeated reviewed items follow a different curve

There are several free spaced repetition apps available too (e.g. Anki), but I’m choosing to use iKnow! for the pre-packaged content, varied quiz types, target setting/progress system, and reliable syncing across different apps/platforms. iKnow! repeats content a lot more often during a session making reviews take a bit longer compared to Anki, but reading the example sentences again and again seems to help me with retention.

Core 6000 is split up into 6 different series (Core 1000 – Core 6000), each having 1000 words. In turn, each series has 10 courses, containing 100 words each. The initial courses have plenty of images and example sentences, but this degrades somewhat as you progress (from around Core 3000 you only get one example sentence per word, and no images).

iKnow! study screen.

iKnow! study screen.

I started on Core 1000 Step 1, and my most recently mastered course was Core 4000 Step 5. Having currently put in 208 hours in total, the average time for me to finish a course is 6 hours. With some extrapolation, and a study target of 7 hours per week, it will me 150 hours (21.4 weeks) to finish the remaining 25 courses. Maintaining 1 hour per day may seem straightforward, but without some basic planning it is easy to slip up. This time round, I’m going to try to split up my sessions throughout the day to get through it a bit easier. Feel free to ask me about my iKnow! progress in 2014!

Current progress in iKnow!

Current progress in iKnow!

JLPT… We meet again!

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On Sunday, I took the JLPT exam (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) here in Tokyo. The JLPT has several levels ranging from N5 (the least difficult) to N1 (the most difficult). Having recently passed N3 in July, I decided to give N2 a try this time round! N2 is generally considered the minimum level required to live and work in a Japanese environment without major problems. Improving my Japanese will help me in all aspects of my life (as long as I remain in Japan) and so it only make sense to spend the time to study properly. I think I sat this a bit prematurely, but it gave me a concrete target to aim for and has helped to guide my study in the past few months. Pass or fail, I am happy some progress was made!

In Japan, you can take the exam up to twice a year. You apply for a particular level a few months in advance, paying a nominal fee (5500 yen). The test location seems to be decided based on your address – I was assigned to Tokyo City University – Setagaya campus. The test site was 15 minutes walk from the nearest train station. I was worried the place might be hard to find, but there were many, many other people (1000s?) also sitting the exam, and we formed a long line from the station all the way up to the test site. The other candidates seemed to be predominately Asian (Chinese, Vietnamese), but there were also people from many other countries too. Everyone seemed to be in their early 20s, and judging from a few overheard conversations, mostly university students.

There were several exam rooms across several buildings, with each room having about 100 students. They were extremely strict on what was allowed and not allowed on your desk – in particular, several people were told off for having erasers still inside their cases. All of the instructions from the examiners were in Japanese, but they generally stuck to set phrases and used simple language. It was interesting to see how well (and not well) my fellow students could understand the oral instructions!

The N2 exam is broken into two sections, ‘Language Knowledge’ (vocabulary, grammar, reading) and listening. The first section, including prep time, was about 2 hours, while the second lasted about 1 hour. There was a generous break (about 30 minutes) in-between. Time management was a bit of a problem on the language knowledge section, but I managed to make it to half-way through the last question before time ran out. There were quite a few words I didn’t recognize in the vocab section, and it took me more than a while to read the long passages in the reading section, but grammar went reasonably well. I was feeling mentally drained going into the listening section, but had no choice but to keep as focused as I could throughout. Most questions and key points are only mentioned once, and so a brief slip in concentration could spell disaster. I made many notes whilst listening, but still missed a few things when it came to answering the questions. If the audio was played twice, this would be be the easiest section of the exam by far. But the extreme level of concentration required (along with being generally tired after the language knowledge section) keeps this somewhat challenging.

The results will be announced in early February 2014(!), so I have quite a while to go before I find out how well I did. I will keep studying in the meantime – hopefully 1 year from now I will be in a position to confidently sit JLPT N1! Time to ramp up my study for 2014!

Category: Japanese | Tags: , , ,

Origami Android gets featured!

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So I have been working at Origami since mid-July 2013. Origami is a mobile commerce platform that allows users to effectively create their own personalized shop by following only the brands/merchants that they are interested in. Every brand/merchant on Origami also have physical shops, and so online-to-offline conversions (encouraging users of the app to go into the physical shops) are also a big theme. The company was founded last year and is currently focused on the Japanese market. [This is not an official post by Origami, so anything mentioned here only reflects my own opinion and understanding.]

I was tasked with building an Android app counterpart (from scratch) to their existing iOS app, which was released earlier this year. I had complete freedom to decide the technical architecture of the Android app, which has made for a very interesting and educational experience. The app started out as Ant/Eclipse-based, with a short transition to a Maven/Intellij base, before finally settling on Gradle/Android Studio. The various libraries used also evolved in a similar fashion.

The iOS app has been relatively well received (also becoming featured on the App Store), and so the Android app had a lot to live up to. After three months of hard work, the Origami Android app was finally released on 21st October 2013.

The app soon caught the attention of various people at Google, and much to my delight, it was decided that the app would be featured on Google Play!

Google Play Apps Home.

Google Play Apps Home.

Detail page.

Detail page.

From 2013/11/08 until 2013/11/15, if you opened the ‘Apps’ home page on the Google Play app (while in Japan), you would be greeted with a rather large Origami banner. Clicking on the banner led to a small detail page with a description of Origami, which then subsequently led to the app download/info page. In terms of app promotion on Google Play, this is about as good as it gets!

Although the banner is no longer shown, Origami can also currently be found in the ‘今週のおすすめ’ (‘This week’s recommended apps’) and the ‘まずはこれから始めよう’ (‘Firstly, let’s start from here’ / ‘Essentials’) sections. It also holds a strong ranking in the ‘Shopping’ category (currently #10 Top Free). This publicity is providing a great boost to our downloads and hopefully the initial success will only continue. I am very excited at the buzz currently surrounding Origami, and feel inspired to deliver an even better Android experience from here!

Category: Android

Site revival

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ひさしぶり!Somehow it has become November 2013, three years and one domain transfer since I last posted an update! My previous post was about going to an Octoberfest in Yokohama in 2010. That day is now one I vividly remember – not because it was a particularly special day, but because, for some reason or another, it was the day I stopped blogging. It has occurred to me many times since then that a) blogging was really, really enjoyable and b) I can’t have my life story (according to the Internet) end at a German beer festival in Japan (as much fun as it was!).

And so I shall continue.

As a quick summary, I have spent about half of the past three years in London, and about half in Tokyo, working as an Software Engineer developing Android apps. Most of the posts from now on will be about Android/programming or Japanese language/culture. If you are interested in those two things, please check again soon!

Yokohama Octoberfest 2013 - we've come full circle!

Yokohama Octoberfest 2013 – we’ve come full circle!

Category: Meta

Rose-tinted glasses

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Upon hearing rumours of the German Beer Festival, Oktoberfest, being celebrated in Yokohama, we decided to take a day trip out and see how the Japanese have interpreted this small piece of European culture [and drink beer!]. Yokohama is Japan’s second largest city and so we were very much expecting another Tokyo-style metropolis. However, it seemed much more laid back and the walk along the marina had a particularly relaxed feel [not a phrase ever used to describe Tokyo!]. As with most towns in Japan, soft, ambient music is played in the street through loudspeakers. The effect is extremely subtle and for some reason, I can’t help but smile as I walk past. If such a system were to be deployed in London, I would probably be vehemently opposed on the grounds of encouraging an overbearing, Big Brother government. Perhaps I’m still looking at Japan through rose-tinted glasses, but it, and other quirky, ‘never-in-the-west’ elements, just seems to ‘work’ here. This is a feeling I suspect will change as I transition from a tourist to a long-term resident…

The bay area in Yokohama.

Yokohama is home to a China Town and so we paid it a quick visit before entering the beer festival. It is somewhat larger than the one in London and it was interesting to see how they have adopted some of the Japanese customs [shouting ‘irasshaimase’ every 5 seconds at you walk past their store], yet manage to retain the unique Chinese cultural feel. I had a small ‘char siu bao‘ type thing and was extremely disappointed to see that the bun was mostly empty! A great shame, since this was all I would have to eat for the next 6 hours…

Gate at entrance to China Town in Yokohama.

The entrance fee to the festival was 200 JPY, and I had naively thought that this would cover
all of the beer you could drink – how wrong I was! It turns out that every drink was about 1000 JPY (about £7.50) and you also required a 1000 JPY deposit for the glass. This is about 4x more expensive than usual (but the beer is of course, of the special German variety) so I decided to only indulge in a single drink, and sip it very, very slowly. I talked to some of Tom’s friends who were there, who had been working in an IT company in Tokyo for several years. Their kind advice? ‘DON’T WORK IN JAPAN!’ [too much pressure and expectation, little reward, inane customs and traditions] Duly noted.


We got hungry towards 7.30PM and so some of us headed back to China Town for a suitable place to eat. There were a few ‘all-you-can-eat’ places for around 2,500 JPY (about £19.00) but we settled for a small place on a side street after being heavily marketed to by the proprietor. It was interesting that the owner kept looking at me whilst speaking [on account of the fact that I look most likely to understand Japanese]; I simply nodded at seemingly appropriate times and threw in a few ‘soo desu’ for good measure. They squeezed us on to a table in the middle of the restaurant and we had a set meal of about 5-6 different dishes. The dishes chosen for the set meal were quite unusual, including one with stir-fried vegetables and chicken skins. I thought I knew what to expect from the set menu in a Chinese restaurant, but apparently even the Chinese food in Japan is different! There was talk of karaoke after the meal, but the long journey home sucked the life out of us and so headed our separate ways and off to bed.

Category: JLSP | Tags: , , ,