Posts Tagged immigration

January 6, 2005 – Back in Japan

I left Winnipeg on January 5, 2005. Due to the international date line, I landed at Narita Airport on January 6.

When I first arrived in Japan in September 2003, it took me about 90 minutes to get through immigration and customs. Now that I am a legal resident of Japan, I can use my gaijin card to enter the “resident of Japan” lanes which are much faster than the “foreigner” lanes. It took me only a few minutes to get through both immigration and customs. I love my gaijin card!

I took the Narita Express to Tokyo station, and then took the Shinkansen to Mishima. At Mishima I took a regular Tokaido line train to Numazu. The Narita Express goes to and from the airport, so there is a lot of good storage space for luggage. The Shinkansen doesn’t have the same ample space, so traveling with a large suitcase can be challenging. Tokaido line is simply not fun with a large suitcase.

At Numazu station I caught a taxi to take me back to my apartment. Thanks to previous experiences, I am now fairly capable at communicating where I want to go with taxi drivers. It was a long day of travel, but it was good to be back at my second home.

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March 14, 2004 – Too many foreigners in Japan!?

Jackie Chan

I worked overtime at Oomori school today. This was my first time teaching outside of Kawasaki (not counting a few post training classes in Yokohama). It is amazing the difference that a more relaxed schedule and less teachers makes in creating a totally different work environment. Seeing different students is a nice change too.

Since NOVA schools are basically just glass boxes next to each other, it is easy to see and hear what is going on in nearby classrooms. During one of my lessons, the neighbouring classroom’s teacher was doing a lesson about good and bad things about Japan. When asked “what is bad about Japan”, his student responded “There are too many foreigners”. She was also of the opinion that Japan was a dangerous country, but did not offer an opinion if the danger was due to the abundance of foreigners.

To be fair, there are likely about 1.5 – 2 million foreigners living in Japan. Most people would consider that number to be “a lot”. If you asked me to make sandwiches for 2 million people, I would say that the number is “too many”. However, compared to the 125 million ethnically Japanese people living in Japan (98.5% of all residents), 2 million is a pretty small number.

I also question the wisdom of complaining about foreigners while you are talking to foreigners in an English school that proudly advertises that all of it’s teachers are foreigners. But that’s just me 🙂

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