On my last post I discussed how I'm going to take a course to teach English as a second language. I thought as an interesting exercise, I would post information I found about each country I'm considering. I'm going to be doing the research anyway so I might as well share what I find.
I found these photos on the Japan National Tourism Organization website. They had many beautiful pictures but these happened to be some of my favourite examples of spring time. I love cherry blossoms. I would really like to see one in real life. They bloom for such a short period of time and then they're gone. Such is life.
Although it is spring time right now, it is unlikely that I will be arriving in Japan during spring. I would guess that I might be there during the autumn, although I can't really be sure. It just happens to be my favourite season. So I took the liberty of finding a few pictures of the fall season as well.
I took this table from the package I was given when I went to the information session on the TESL course.
I think one of the funniest things about the chart is the cost reference of a Big Mac. At the bottom of the page it mentioned, "The Big Mac Index is a credible, reliable, third-party cost-of-living index created by The Economist. For comparison purposes, it lists the cost of a Canadian Big Mac at $4.16".
So apparently, according to this index, a cost of a Big Mac in Japan is about $2.94. This table is a little off since a Canadian dollar is actually worth about 98 JPY. So I'm guessing that the cost has gone up too.
An ESL teacher should expect to make about $2,500 a month. That's probably enough to live on.
This room is for rent at a "men only" guesthouse.
I browsed some Japanese realty on Real Estate Japan. I was curious about what sort of apartments were available. The cheapest ones start around ¥20,000/month, that's about $203 (Canadian).
It's usually a very simple tatami room. There was a deceiving ad for an apartment that was a paltry ¥92/month but upon further inspection, they required a ¥100,000 deposit along with other hidden fees.
Tokyo Shibuya-ku Mansion
For the sake of fun, I also looked up the most expensive places for rent. While the cheapest places were in Osaka, the most expensive was in Tokyo.
The cost of this mansion to live in every month is ¥3,700,000 (almost $38,000). It certainly is luxurious. Who pays that much rent for something when they can obviously afford to buy? Perhaps a visiting tycoon or celebrity?
Japan is a truly beautiful country. It has a rich and illustrious history, which is evident in their cultural landmarks and celebrations. I would love to see Mount Fuji, visit a shinto shrine and hot spring, maybe tour Studio Ghibli and of course, I would have to drink beer at a beer garden. I actually found a pretty great guide for beer gardens in Tokyo.
I've always been fascinated with Japanese culture. I've enjoyed watching anime for years and even took a year of Japanese in university. My favourite food is Japanese. I absolutely love sushi and sashimi. In the interest of living there, I looked up the price of an average meal, it's about ¥1000-¥3000 ($10-$30).
I've dreamed about visiting Japan my whole life but here's the thing, I'm not sure if I would want to live there. While Japan is a really great country, unfortunately they are rather patriarchal and sexist. Culturally, a woman my age in Japan would be expected to marry soon and leave the job market entirely. One of my Japanese teachers taught ESL in Japan and remarked on the fascinating the cultural differences. She only had the nicest things to say but when asked, she would comment on the forwardness of many Japanese men.
I'm not sure if it's something I want yet but it is a place I'm considering. I might prefer to visit rather than live there.
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