Gravity Release Me

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Archive for January, 2012

Noms: Cafe Istanbul

About half way through my study abroad at Kansai Gaidai a little cafe opened up just outside Kansai Gaidai’s east gate called “Cafe Istanbul”. As somewhat of a turkish food enthusiast, I was wrought with excitement and anticipation. I also became Cafe Istanbuls first paying customer.

Since then Cafe Istanbul has become quite the hotspot for foreigners studying at Kansai Gaidai due to Cafe Istanbul’s super convenient location, amazing food, atmosphere, and good, cheap drinks. The food is not strictly Turkish; there definitely is something for everyone. The drinks range from beer, to an assortment of spirits, cocktails or even some Turkish Tea (which is amazing!). (more…)

Apartments in Japan: Part 2

First things first, it isn’t entirely necessary to read Apartments in Japan: Part 1, but I would recommend doing so if you already haven’t.

Ok, so we know about Leopalace, what are the other options? Where can I find them?

Well I don’t know ALL the other options, but a few to get you started.

Initially you may need a place to stay whilst you get sorted, of course friends etc. are a great option to those who have friends willing to put them up temporarily. But for those who don’t, there is an alternative that will roughly run you the same cost as your own apartment.

Now, I’m not fully educated on this matter, but I believe there is a certain niche grouping/culture of people who either temporarily reside in Japan for business (aka foreigners in Japan for business, they may stay for 1 month or so) and there are also Japanese contract workers that, due to the instability of their employment, cannot commit to a lease or something like that. It was told to me a while ago so I’m a little rusty on the nitty gritty details but either way there are accommodation services that cater for these people – the beauty is that YOU can use them too! (more…)

My First Week in Japan

My first week in Japan was quite a ride. In the beginning I found myself immediately questioning my being here in Japan, truly realising everything I gave up to be here. You know, the whole “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” kinda thing. I still miss my old job, my friends, my FAMILY (I’ve never been much of a family person before, so this has pleasantly surprised me), and last, but by no means least, my lovely and wonderful girlfriend.

The first few days were tough, I was alone, searching for apartments that were much too expensive, stressing out about how on earth I was to pull this off, stressing about how I was to find work and that the work I was going to get into (most probably teaching English) was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I was stressing that this wasn’t quite what I expected or signed up for, that this could be a huge mistake.

But then at the same time it was what I had signed up for. (more…)

Apartments in Japan: Part 1

I met up with a Real Estate agent on Wednesday morning in a hunt for apartments. We only got around to checking out 2 apartments that day as we had to rush around trying to open a bank account, register for my alien registration card etc. etc. But on Thursday I checked out 4 more.

Both apartments were very similar, and both were in Miyanosaka (one station away from Hirakata-shi station). They were Leopalace apartments.  Leopalace is a company that offers furnished and unfurnished apartments.  The great thing with them is that they have English support. They are also still willing to rent to you even if you don’t have a job or a guarantor. A little more about Leopalace and the costs in a second, check out some pics!

Now for the costs, and let me say, the upfront costs of these apartments are astronomical. Also, right now, I am only talking about Leopalace apartments here. Also the following figures are an approximate average based on the figures I was given. (more…)

My first 24 hours in Japan

Wow my first 24 hours was intense!

The flight to Japan was fine, I pretty much slept the whole 9 hours. However, upon arriving in Japan I was met by the unruly queue that is Immigration.  Throughout my 4 other entries into Japan none of them tested my patience as much as this one.

First of all, the line of foreigners was huge, there were even more Japanese people (although they join a different queue)! So I lined up, and waited patiently. After about 10 minutes I had moved a grand total of about 5 metres (16.4 feet for those of you playing at home), but a quick look at the Japanese line saw that 90% of them were processed.

I figured that the processes between the Japanese and the foreigners would be different, and that the Japanese would naturally get processed quicker. But I quickly noticed that there were approximately 8 or 9 counters for the Japanese, and only 4 counters for the foreigners. Things were moving slowly.

90 minutes later, I was free from Immigration, picked up my bags and flew straight through customs without a hitch. Although, another realization dawned on me: I had too much stuff.

So previously I boasted about only bringing a backpack, and only carrying what I needed and that I would dispose of everything else. Well, in fact, it turns out I was unable to do this. (more…)

日本で!やった!

At last I made it. I landed approximately 4 hours ago, and whilst I’d like to lie to you and share some crazy story about why it took me 4 hours to travel a 40 minute trip the truth is much more boring. Customs took a really long time. And the train took a really long time. Then i used the west exit instead of the east exit at Shin-Imamiya Station thus requiring me to haul all my luggage up a set of stairs, then back down a different set of stairs, then haul all my stuff down the road (backtracking past the train station) to the hotel which shouldn’t have taken long but it took a really long time. Then i had a shower. (more…)

Bored-ing

So my plane starts boarding in about 10 minutes but yet I find my impatient self thinking that I can write a blog post on my iPhone before they call for boarding. Challenge very much accepted.

I’m embarking on this crazy, yet incredibly stupid adventure searching for something that I may already have had (perhaps I’m searching for the appreciation of what I had). Or perhaps I didn’t have it and it’ll hit me soon enough. What is “it”? No idea. “it” could very well not even exist.

Either way I’m leaving for my adventure, and it’s going to be an experience. (more…)

Evacuation Day

This is it! The big day! in 4 and a bit hours I’ll be jetting off to Japan! It’s strange that tonight I’ll probably feast on some cheap gyuudon across the road from my hotel.

It has come too quickly, and I will always long for just one more night with the people that matter to me more than anything this world has to offer – but all the nights in the world with these people will still never be enough, I will always want one more.

But alas, this is the decision i’ve made and today starts my new adventure! I don’t know where it will take me, who I’ll meet, or when/if I’ll be back. But that’s the fun of it huh?

There is still a few posts that i’ve been working on, but time has eluded me in the past couple days. I’ll be sure to update you guys on everything as soon as I find a minute to do so (potentially on the plane!).

AccessJ – Apartments in Japan

I’ve just stumbled across AccessJ whilst googling around for information regarding apartments in Japan. In particular, I’ve stumbled across the “Living” page on AccessJ. On this page I’d like to just point out the 3 articles on rental deposits in Japan.

These articles were particularly insightful. Definitely read all of them, they aren’t that long. It really gives me the impression that landlords and real estate agents in Japan will do their best to snake an ichi-man yen (~$100) note or two… or 3, or 10. AccessJ offers a few ways tips to weaselling your way out of unnecessary fee’s and saving on some rent. I obviously haven’t tried them yet, but I definitely will, that’s for sure. I’ll be sure to let you guys know how it goes. (more…)

Facebook Page!

Hey all! This next week or so will be extremely busy for me, so it will be hard to write my full length blog posts (although I will look for some time to myself to do so!).

In the mean time, I’ll be updating the Gravity Release Me Facebook Page with various things I’m doing in preparation for my departure to Japan. Once settled, I’ll try put up something a little more comprehensive about my preparations etc. etc.

But for now, if you wanna keep in the loop, head over to the Gravity Release Me Facebook Page.

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