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Old 01-10-2006, 07:13 AM   #1
Daniel-san
Dojo: Ren Shin Kan
Location: Central Coast - Australia
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 12
Australia
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Smile Going to Japan - help?

Hello all,

I plan on going to Japan at the end of this year, or perhaps the start of next year, to train, live and hopefully work for maybe 6 months or so, perhaps more. I was wondering if I could possibly get tips on accommodation, work opportunities, things that I may need to organise, legal stuff that may need to be worked out? I'm not quite sure where to start with all of this, it's something I've wanted to to do for a very long time, and I have the means to get there.

To know life in every breath. Every cup of tea. Every life we take. The way of the warrior. That is Bushido
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Old 01-10-2006, 09:35 AM   #2
Mat Hill
Dojo: Kaminari Shooto Dojo
Location: Tokyo
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 48
England
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Hi.

Hi Daniel, people may be able to help you here but there are specialised fora(ums?!) for this kind of thing over at gaijinpot.com and japantoday... ignore the jaundiced cynical do-nothing no-hopers over (t)here (!) and just go to the FAQs and work from there.



See you here!
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Old 01-10-2006, 09:42 AM   #3
solidsteven
Dojo: Aikikai-Liechtenstein
Location: Liechtenstein
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 23
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Re: Going to Japan - help?

Have you ever taught of going on a language trip to Japan?

In Japan you will visit a language school, where you learn Japanese
and in your free time you can train Aikido. You will have a lot of time
to train, because the school is only 4h a day.

This way you get to learn Japanese, live in Japan AND train in Aikido!

I myself am going on a language trip to Tokyo, starting in October.
I plan on staying a year.

here are some links:
http://www.esl.ch/
http://www.wle-japan.com/

hope i was some help

Steven
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Old 01-10-2006, 01:52 PM   #4
SmilingNage
Location: NJ
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 241
United_States
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Re: Going to Japan - help?

I couldnt resist this:
why dont you ask mr miyagi, daniel-son

wax on, wax off
paint the fence

lol
sorry just senseless, off topic, spamming.

Dont make me, make you, grab my wrist.
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Old 01-10-2006, 03:52 PM   #5
Daniel-san
Dojo: Ren Shin Kan
Location: Central Coast - Australia
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 12
Australia
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Re: Going to Japan - help?

Thanks for the replies guys, and SmilingNage, I was waiting for someone to do it, haha:-D

Wow, Steven, that sounds like a really awesome thing to do, the thing I might be concerned about is me being tied down if i'm busting to do my own thing over there, but thinking practically, I'd love to study the language over there while training in aikido, and studying would enable to to get a visa, correct? Speaking of Aikido training, can I only choose from Karate or Judo? it says train in those martial arts.

Also..damn..that's some expensive stuff, even for a semester, I think it's a little...out of my price range

To know life in every breath. Every cup of tea. Every life we take. The way of the warrior. That is Bushido
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Old 01-10-2006, 11:02 PM   #6
6th Kyu For Life
Dojo: Oberlin Aikikai, Oberlin Ohio. Utah Aikikai, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Location: Oberlin, Ohio
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 59
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Re: Going to Japan - help?

Another option, if you are out of college, is to teach english. I have two friends who graduated from college last year doing that now. Currently, I am visiting them to see if it's something I would like to do also. They have apartments, get paid, and have free time to do Aikido. One program is called JET (URL Here). And then there are other private language schools such as Nova and Berlitz (sp?) that have similar programs too. But get on the stick because they have application processes that take time. Good luck.

Peace,
Tom Newhall
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Old 01-10-2006, 11:21 PM   #7
Mat Hill
Dojo: Kaminari Shooto Dojo
Location: Tokyo
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 48
England
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Re: Going to Japan - help?

I've not done either but I know many people who have and if you're going to try that suggestion, JET would be far far preferable to NOVA or Berlitz or any of the other language schools.
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Old 01-11-2006, 10:26 PM   #8
nekobaka
Dojo: Washinkai (Kizu)
Location: Osaka
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 123
Japan
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Re: Going to Japan - help?

I did JET right out of college. It's an easy job, even if the conditions aren't great. It's becoming more difficult to get in, but it guarantees that you won't be working evenings. the downside is that you could be placed in a very rural location, with no local dojos. If you have a bit of money saved, you could come and look for the non corporate (non nova Berlitz)English conversation job. the problem is most of them are evening jobs, because you teach the working people and school kids. I have a private JH/HS job, but those are hard to get if you don't have experience in japan. I do know someone who got a cultural visa to do aikido. You would probably have to be in Tokyo or Osaka hombu to do that. It's not as easy as it used to be, but if you do your research it can definitely be done. I think you should think more like a year instead of 6 months. It takes about that long to get used to things. You can find cheap places to live if you can take living in a small dirty apartment.
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Old 01-12-2006, 07:31 AM   #9
oisin bourke
 
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Dojo: Muden Juku, Ireland
Location: Kilkenny
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Ireland
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Re: Going to Japan - help?

"Speaking of Aikido training, can I only choose from Karate or Judo? it says train in those martial arts."

Hi Daniel,

I got the first eighteen months over here on a holiday/cultural visa to practice Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu. A cultural visa is a great option and it's a lot more flexible than you'd think. This being Japan, it all depends on the situation!

If there are enough interested parties, I'll post my experiences with this visa.

Oisin Bourke
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Old 01-12-2006, 09:24 AM   #10
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
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Re: Going to Japan - help?

I'm interested! Post away! I'd even consider taking some time off to do just that.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 01-13-2006, 07:20 AM   #11
oisin bourke
 
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Dojo: Muden Juku, Ireland
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Re: Going to Japan - help?

Okay,

Firstly, you can apply for the cultural activities visa from your own country. I came here and worked on it in Japan but for the resons given below, it is definately a good idea to sort it out in your own country if possible, unless you can speak Japanese.

To qualify for the visa, you need:

A sponsor living in Japan.

a letter from acceptance from a recognised M.A organisation.
what I mean by this is basically the sensei/group with whom you wish to train must be able to produce a ream of paperwork to satisfy Japanese beauraucracy.

So, you'll need proof of your Sensei's certificates/grades/licences,
evidence of your own grades,
background about the art/organisation and

documentation of the grading structure. They seem big into grading strucures over here!

As well as this, you will need enough money to support yourself for about the duration of the stay. (my reckoning: about one million yen for a year.)

When you get the visa, you can change the status and be able to work for up to 28 hours a week ( which is a lot if you teach english).

The above requirements obviously rule out a small koryu dojo, but any legit dojo/group with a decent infrastructure should be able to produce the relevant stuff.

This visa can be very tricky to deal with in Osaka and Tokyo: The immigration guys there are the worst in Japan. Sedai and Sapporo are much more accomodating.

Hope this helps,

Oisin Bourke
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Old 01-13-2006, 07:23 AM   #12
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
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Re: Going to Japan - help?

Thanks! it does give good info. Which Daito ryu group did you study with? I think I've seen you mention it before, but I've forgotten...

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 01-13-2006, 07:45 AM   #13
oisin bourke
 
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Dojo: Muden Juku, Ireland
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Re: Going to Japan - help?

It's a group set up by Hiroo Iida, a who was promoted to Shihan in the Kodokai, in Sapporo. There's a website in Japanese with a bit of english at www.muden.jp (there should be an english version by the end of January).

There's an interview with Iida Sensei over at Aikido Journal and he appears in the Daito Ryu book in the Kodo Horikawa section.

if it's any help, Inoue Kancho of the Yoshinkan knows him. (He was invited down to the 50th anniversary demos last year).

Oisin Bourke

Last edited by oisin bourke : 01-13-2006 at 07:50 AM.
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Old 01-13-2006, 08:31 AM   #14
kokyu
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 283
Hong Kong
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Re: Going to Japan - help?

Quote:
Ani Forbes wrote:
If you have a bit of money saved, you could come and look for the non corporate (non nova Berlitz)English conversation job. the problem is most of them are evening jobs, because you teach the working people and school kids.
I agree with this... if you are looking for financial support from your English conversation job, then it might be difficult to practice Aikido, because most conversation students are only free during Aikido training times (which is logical, because you want to set training times when your people are free) I remember going for a conversation school interview, and finding from the interviewer that my training times and the peak times for students tended to clash.
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Old 01-13-2006, 11:25 PM   #15
Daniel-san
Dojo: Ren Shin Kan
Location: Central Coast - Australia
Join Date: May 2004
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Re: Going to Japan - help?

I found this on an official website about Japanese visas. I am Australian btw.

Working Holiday Agreements: Based on bilateral agreements, working holiday programs permit young people (between 18 and 30 years of age) from the countries concerned who are visiting a partner country on vacation to engage in work so as to supplement their funds to travel and stay in that country. This provides them with an opportunity to get to know that country's culture and general lifestyle. At present, Japan has such working holiday agreements with 5 countries: Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea.

This should make things a bit easier for me, yeah?

To know life in every breath. Every cup of tea. Every life we take. The way of the warrior. That is Bushido
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Old 01-14-2006, 06:00 AM   #16
Josh Reyer
 
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Location: Aichi-ken, Nagoya-shi
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Japan
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Re: Going to Japan - help?

I'm currently teaching English in Japan. It's not bad, given the work. Currently I work Tues-Sat., afternoon-evening, which interferes with my ability to go to my dojo, which holds practice on Saturday and Sunday. So I have to go out to Nagoya (one hour by train) to train on Mondays.

The flip side of that is that there are many schools that have Mon-Fri schedules, so if your dojo only practices on the weekends (not unusual in Japan), it's not really a problem. If you are in Tokyo, and want to train at Hombu, you'll have plenty of opportunities to train in the morning, as well as your days off.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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Old 01-14-2006, 11:09 AM   #17
darin
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 375
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Re: Going to Japan - help?

Good idea is to go through Nova or an other company that provides visa sponsership and accommodation. Once you get setup you can quit that job and get something better.

I think its difficult to get setup in Japan if you don't know anyone there. Even to rent an appartment you need a Japanese person to sign.

Also, if you have never been to Japan before I suggest you go on a holiday first. Sometimes its not what you expected.
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Old 01-14-2006, 11:23 AM   #18
Josh Reyer
 
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Japan
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Re: Going to Japan - help?

I would, however, recommend against going with Nova. They don't have the greatest reputation, neither with their handling of students nor of teachers. Check out Ohayo Sensei and see if you can find something that fits.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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Old 01-14-2006, 11:29 AM   #19
darin
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 375
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Re: Going to Japan - help?

I worked for Nova. Yeah its not the best company around but at least your guaranteed a salary and set hours. Still its easy to get a job with them which is useful when your just starting out. l heard ECC is pretty good. Nova = no vacation. Have to work public holidays.
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