Drinking in Japan’s frequently asked questions

Do you live in Japan now?
No, I currently live in Winnipeg, Canada. I lived in Japan from 2003-2006, and return ever few years to visit friends and family.

Are you still a teacher?
No, I am a professional accountant working for a large corporation. Teaching English was a fun adventure after graduating from University.

Is there any connection between your wife and The Penpal?

What do you miss most about living in Japan?
I miss the food. There is so much to Japanese food beyond just sushi. There is nothing quite like a big bowl of miso ramen, or gyudon after a late evening out. I miss izakayas and all the great bar food. I miss karaoke in a private room with a bunch of crazy teachers. Mostly I miss the sense of adventure in seeing something new and exciting every time I leave the house.

Is it difficult to learn Japanese?
Learning how to speak and understand Japanese at a basic level is challenging, but probably not much harder than other languages. However, it would take years to master the different levels of politeness in the language. Learning how to read and write Japanese is a huge challenge, especially if you are used to using the alphabet. You can get by fairly well with a working knowledge of hiragana, katakana, and about 100-200 common kanji.

If you are planning on living in Japan, I highly recommend studying the language as much as possible. Everything you learn will make your experience more enjoyable.

What social media do you use?

  • WordPress – I use this for my Japan travel blog “Drinking in Japan” which you are now reading. Any new posts are mirrored on Tumblr and Twitter.
  • Tumblr – I use this mostly for posting music videos and screenshots from Doctor Who and other shows that I like.
  • Twitter – I use this mainly for notifying people when my wordpress is updated. I also use it to follow some famous people, musicians, and the Winnipeg Jets.
  • Facebook – I use Facebook for keeping in touch with friends and family, and generally only add people that I actually know IRL.
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