> a day in the life
> recreation in japan
sports and activities
you are going to be living and teaching English in Japan
then I highly recommend that you take up some form of
outside recreational activity. There are many kinds of
outdoor sports and activities one can enjoy in Japan.
The ones easily available to you will depend on where
you are living. Such outdoor activities include, amongst
others: golfing, hiking, kayaking, tennis, cycling, rafting,
surfing, windsurfing, rock climbing, scuba diving, skiiing,
snowboarding, and going to thermal springs, or onsen.
more information on outdoor Japan, please check out http://www.outdoorjapan.com.
sports and activities
can enjoy indoor sports and activities, such as basketball,
volleyball, swimming, aerobics, badminton, table-tennis,
and weight training and yes, even ice hockey! You can
either go to local city run sports centers or join at
any of the many fitness clubs located near most big train
stations in the city.
really get the most out of Japan, I recommend studying
some aspect of Japanese culture. Studying Japanese will
make your daily life here much easier. I highly recommend
it from the start. It is a very good investment of time
and money. Not knowing Japanese will prove frustrating.
Japanese people normally speak very little English (if
at all). Knowing at least elementary Japanese will save
you both a lot of time and stress. I recommend learning
more than just the basics to really get the most out of
your stay. There are many Japanese language schools available
in major cities. You can also try to find a Japanese person
to do language exchange with. You teach them English,
and they teach you Japanese in exchange.
Other things Japanese one can study include (amongst others):
Japanese flower arrangement, the Japanese tea ceremony,
martial arts (such as karate and kendo), Japanese opera
(kabuki), calligraphy, Japanese paper folding (origami),
Japanese manga (printed comics for all ages), and anime
(animated film). You can also watch a movie at a movie
theater (Japanese or foreign). American movies are often
shown in English with Japanese subtitles (but are sometimes
dubbed in Japanese, so you have to check).
Drinking is also an important part of Japanese culture.
Coworkers often go out after work and drink together.
It is also a form of entertainment. Drinking is done on
many occasions, almost anytime something is being celebrated!
Examples include hanami (cherry blossom viewing) in the
springtime, when the beautiful cherry blossoms on the
cherry trees bloom, or at year end parties (bonenkai).
From what I've seen, Japanese people love drinking! Trying
special Japanese drinks such as sake and ume-shu (plum
wine) is an interesting experience. You can go out drinking
at one of the many izakaya (Japanese bars), or at western
Karaoke is also very popular. Karaoke places are all over
the place. These places offer rooms to rent, equipped
with all the equipment you need, where you can sing with
your coworkers or friends in private. Although most songs
available to sing are in Japanese, there are usually some
English songs as well. Songs from the Beatles and the
Carpenters seem to be popular. You can even order food
and drinks from the room. A night out can be a trip to
the bar, followed by karaoke.
Japanese food offers a huge variety for all tastes. There
are rice dishes, seafood dishes, nabe dishes (hot pot
dishes), yoshoku dishes (Western food adapted to Japanese
tastes), bean dishes, etc.
more information on Japan, check out http://www.japan-guide.com.