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How about studying Japanese in Japan if i've never ever lear

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How about studying Japanese in Japan if i've never ever lear

Postby meoxu » Sat 08.11.2007 10:39 am

I'm gonna go to Japan in the early Sep. I get quite confused cuz i just can speak English. Being an exchange student, i really afraid that i can fall into difficult situation in Japan as: get lost in the streets, can not buy anything 'cuz it's all in Japanese. And how can i get to my uni from Narita airport?
Anyone please help me! Can anyone teach me some experiences for living in Japan?
However u hug ur money, it never hugs u back.
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RE: How about studying Japanese in Japan if i've never ever

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 08.11.2007 11:37 am

Doesn't your program give you some sort of help?
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RE: How about studying Japanese in Japan if i've never ever

Postby stevie » Sat 08.11.2007 3:30 pm

Well, with a little study you can learn some rudimentaries that make it quite easy to get around. As for buying stuff, if it's day-to-day stuff you can use your eyes. In terms of food, if you have allergies and need to check ingredients this could be a problem (do some research if this is the case, I guess), but otherwise I'd say it doesn't really matter if you can read the labels or not because if you can't recognise what it is you're buying, then you sure as hell can't guess what it'll taste like (but in my experience, it usually tastes good).

If you're studying in Tokyo you don't really need to worry about getting lost any more than you do in any huge city, most of the things are signed in English as well as Japanese. Get a map - it'll help more than you think, if you're exploring the city. Figuring out the Tokyo subway system might be a bit daunting but no-one I know had any trouble with it really.

Oh, make sure you can use your card in Japan -before- you go, I met people who've made the mistake of not checking and having to borrow money from friends. It may also help to have two cards - mine stopped working for a day when I was there and I was worried I'd have to come home early.

And don't be scared of talking to people. If you can't speak any Japanese and don't want to learn, you can still try English. But it's much more fun if you try Japanese!
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RE: How about studying Japanese in Japan if i've never ever

Postby ghosthacker » Sat 08.11.2007 3:51 pm

meoxu wrote:
And how can i get to my uni from Narita airport?


Once you clear customs you can exchange your dollars for yen. (the airport gives good rates so don't pass up that chance)

Right outside you can then catch the bus to "TCAT" ( Tokyo City Air Terminal) for about 900 yen. Once at tcat you can get a taxi to your school or hotel. (You don't say where your school is but I am assuming its close to or in Tokyo, if not check with your school for other transport options)

Your bank card will only work at an international ATM to get YEN from your bank account. ( ATMs at 7-11 for example only work with Japanese bank cards and are hard to read in anycase :D ) You can also get money from the post office (via your atm) from what I hear.


Hope this helps and have fun!
Last edited by ghosthacker on Sat 08.11.2007 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: How about studying Japanese in Japan if i've never ever

Postby stevie » Sat 08.11.2007 5:33 pm

Yep, the post office worked great for me. Whenever I went somewhere new I always studied up on where the post office was, haha. I'd avoid taking taxis unless you're really anxious about figuring out the transport system when you just need to get to where you're staying. The cost just tends to be high, and if you don't know where you are in relation to your uni, you might end up paying for a taxi fare for driving halfway across the city, which isn't cheap on any student's budget.

On the other hand, I'm a guy who missed the last train home and opted to walk from Shibuya to Jimbouchou rather than shelling out for a cab. Now that's budget travelling (though it's actually not as far as I imagined).
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RE: How about studying Japanese in Japan if i've never ever

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 08.11.2007 6:17 pm

Surely your program will help you get from the train to your university. Or are there really programs out there that just drop you in Tokyo with absolutely no support or help whatsoever?
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RE: How about studying Japanese in Japan if i've never ever

Postby Mike Cash » Sat 08.11.2007 10:17 pm

I find it very hard to imagine that the university will not send someone to the airport to meet the OP.

When I went to Hirosaki National University on an exchange program, the university was going to send someone down from Aomori (700 or so km away, for those not overly familiar with Japanese geography) to accompany me from the airport to the school. Since I had lived in Japan before, I told them not to bother. There's no way a school is going to accept responsibility for a student and then leave the student standing clueless at the airport.
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RE: How about studying Japanese in Japan if i've never ever

Postby NocturnalOcean » Sat 08.11.2007 11:54 pm

I don't think one can expect that. Imagine if a University have 1000 exchange stundets coming in, would be a rather tremendous effort.
When I came to japan, I had arranged with a japanese person I had chatted with on the net for half a year or so, and she met me at the airport, let me stay at her house, and then showed me to my dorm the day after. That was lucky? for me. The other students from my home university going to different universities in Japan, all had to travel to japan, find out how to take the train, bus or whatever, go to their city, and find the dorm, and find the school.

That said, with some preparation in advance, one should manage to find the way. Bring maps, addresses, and so on. Going out alone in the world, do take an effort. Your mother is not there to hold your arm anymore. Going to Japan was the first time for me being out alone so far out in the world, and though it was a bit difficult in the beginning, you will manage :)

So do some preparation, and have some courage with you, and you will do fine:)
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RE: How about studying Japanese in Japan if i've never ever

Postby ghosthacker » Sun 08.12.2007 7:27 am

meoxu wrote:
.....: get lost in the streets, can not buy anything 'cuz it's all in Japanese.....


I agree with the other posters that your school or program should at least give you some documentation on how to get to the school from the airport. You might want to check with them about thatl.


Here are some other things I should have posted before.

Don't worry about being able to buy stuff "cause its in Japanese". The monetary system in Japan is easy to use and the bills are clearly marked 100 yen or 1000 yen or 10000 yen. Most restaurants have plastic displays real size copies of the food they serve on the outside of their buildings ( some of the more "fancy" places don't but by and large they all do) and the menus of these places have pictures. So you just need to point at what you want :)


I too got lost in Tokyo on my first full day there and during a typhoon no less lol :) Its easy to get turned around cause alot of the side streets are so small, but no worries their are maps posted at the train stations and a few maps posted on corners around town. (the Ginza has alot of these "street" maps) I found my way back to the hotel using a map posted at a construction site! After that first day you get use to the Tokyo streets and getting turned around doesn't happen again.

Anyways, I would suggest you get a map first thing and carry it with you till you get the lay of the land. Your school should have a map of the area with points of interest marked on it like subways stations, banks, fast food places, etc, etc.

Also find out where the consulate for you country is ( i assume your American but who knows :) ). This is important in a situation, like an earthquake, where you might need to leave Japan quickly.
Last edited by ghosthacker on Sun 08.12.2007 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: How about studying Japanese in Japan if i've never ever

Postby meoxu » Sun 08.12.2007 2:35 pm

Thank you all !!!
I get an exchange program from Soka uni in Hachioji to study Japanese and Japan culture mainly. It's really amazing for me to go out alone to the big big world. Indeed i've no experience to get to my uni from airport or living in such a strange enviroment that way. Can anyone tell me something about Hachioji?
However u hug ur money, it never hugs u back.
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RE: How about studying Japanese in Japan if i've never ever

Postby chikara » Sun 08.12.2007 8:19 pm

meoxu wrote:
.... Can anyone tell me something about Hachioji?

Ever heard of Google :D

Hachioji City
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RE: How about studying Japanese in Japan if i've never ever

Postby Hatori » Fri 08.17.2007 7:13 pm

Don't worry, there are people in Japan who can speak English or know at least some because they teach English in schools. I know it'll be hard for a while, but just try your best to learn more and get used to your surroundings. I know you'll have a great chance of endulging into the culture for sure. This is a cool experience being an exchange student, so make the best of it!
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