Monday, 18 November 2013

University Life in Japan


A less well known way of living and studying in Japan is by engaging in an exchange program with a Japanese university. I have found that living in Japan as a student (on a student visa) has many benefits which are not accessible to someone who lives here semi-long term on a landing permit (3-6 months).

For example: guaranteed study of the Japanese language. Attending a Japanese university provides an ideal environment for studying the language, as you are immersed in the language in both an academic and a social way. As these courses are for learners of Japanese, many programs will also have cultural based classes taught in English, therefore making the experience accessible to more people.

On a student visa it is possible to work up to 28 hours a week. There are many jobs out there for students, such as working in restaurants or teaching. The opportunity to work, even for a few hours a week, allows you to gain new skills and to meet new people. It also gives you more of a taste of ‘living’ in Japan.

Although, as a university student you perhaps won’t be as immersed in ‘general’ Japanese life as a standard resident, the experience itself and the community atmosphere of the campus is enough to make the opportunity both noteworthy and unique. If you have the opportunity, I recommend it.




Sunday, 27 October 2013

Japanese New Year Activities 2013


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Japanese New Year Activities (Please arrange your program on your own.)
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Let's celebrate New Year in Japan. From Monday, December 30th 2013 until Friday 3rd January 2014 Asahi Nihongo offers various New Year cultural activities. During this week you will have the unique chance to take part in many events and to get to know the Japanese intimately in their most important and most favored holiday season.

You can download your application form for "Japanese New Year Activities" here.


Japanese New Year Activities 2013:
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Japanese New Year Seminar
Date: Monday, 30 Dec / Time: 10:00 / Fee: Free / Place: Asahi Nihongo

Tenjin Tour
Date: Monday, 30 Dec / Time: 13:00 / Fee: Free / Place: Tenjin

New Year Greeting Card
Date: Monday, 30 Dec / Time: 16:00 / Fee: 500 Yen / Place: Asahi Nihongo

Bonenkai Party
Date: Monday, 30 Dec / Time: 18:30 / Fee: 3500 Yen / Place: Tenjin

Nanzoin's Sleeping Buddha
Date: Tuesday, 31 Dec / Time: 11:00 / Fee: 3000 Yen / Place: Sasaguri-machi

New Year's Eve Soba
Date: Tuesday, 31 Dec / Time: 17:30 / Fee: Pay for yourself / Place: Tenjin

Rice Cake Ceremony
Date: Tuesday, 31 Dec / Time: 19:00 / Fee: Free / Place: Hakozaki-Gu

Hatsumode Dazaifu Tour
Date: Wednesday, 01 Jan / Time: 11:00 / Fee: 3500 Yen / Place: Dazaifu

First Onsen of 2014
Date: Wednesday, 01 Jan / Time: 16:00 / Fee: 700 Yen / Place: Yu no Hana

Yakiniku
Date: Wednesday, 01 Jan / Time: 17:30 / Fee: 3500 Yen / Place: Tenjin

"Jigoku Meguri" Tour
Date: Thursday, 02 Jan / Time: 09:00 / Fee: 9000 Yen / Place: Beppu

Yatai (Local Food Stands)
Date: Thursday, 02 Jan / Time: 18:30 / Fee: Pay for yourself / Place: Tenjin

Multi-Language Karaoke
Date: Thursday, 02 Jan / Time: 20:00 / Fee: 2500 Yen / Place: Tenjin

Sansha-mairi (Lunch is included)
Date: Friday, 03 Jan / Time: 11:00 / Fee: 2500 Yen / Place: East Fukuoka

New Year & Farewell Party
Date: Friday, 03 Jan / Time: 18:00 / Fee: 3500 Yen / Place: Fish Restaurant Zauo

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Monday, 9 September 2013

Internship at Asahi Nihongo

Nice to meet you. My name is Saki, I am a student at Kagoshima University and currently doing an internship at Asahi Nihongo.

My major at university is Chemistry.

Last year, I went to Canada for working holiday because I am very interested in international relations. I hope I can use the experience I got in Japan and Canada to support Asahi Nihongo and its students.



My hobbies are football and making bread. See you all soon.



My name is Gautam,I am from India. I am studying in Kyushu Sangyo University. My major is ‘International Mnagement’.

My hobbies are playing table tennis and cooking.

After finishing my schooling I studied Japanese language for three years and started working in a Japanese travel agency as a Japanese interpreter. I worked there for two years but I wanted to improve my Japanese and work in Japan so I came here two years ago in Oct. 2011.

I am looking forward to experiencing work at a language school.


My name is Ding Yingmin, I am from China.

Now I am studying at Fukuoka University. I want to work in Japan after my graduation. I am doing an internship to gain some experience about work life in Japan.

I have been learning English since I was in primary school. I like to communicate with many people.

I didn’t use English for a long time since I came to Japan and I’m afraid that I can speak only a little or even forgot most of it.

However, I want to take part in the events at Asahi Nihongo, like the International Party. Thank you to everyone who helped me and I also want to help others. I want to promote my ability through the internship and gain experience.

"Level Up" Japanese Tutorial

Introduction:

Everybody knows you can take Japaneses classes at our school. But we do not stop there.
On every Thursday, we offer the "Level Up" Japanese Tutorial.

The most important part of learning a foreign language is being able to express yourself. This can only be done by speaking! Speaking is the best way to practice and gain confidence.

We give you an environment where you can practice your skills with other students and get support from a native Japanese teacher. Our teacher will guide you, raise your skill and keep your motivation up all of the time.

You will learn how to use Japanese in the best way, and get skills that you can use in the future. If you have a pasion for Japanese, you will get the tools and methods you need to express yourself and lead discussions.

For example, we encourage you to prepare a presentation in Japanese about a topic you like, you can share it with fellow students and get useful tipps and advice from our teacher.

When & Where:

Every Thursday afternoon, from 16:00 to 16:55 at Asahi Nihongo.


 


Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Internship at Groundwork Fukuoka - by Daniel Bannert


My internship at Groundwork Fukuoka took place from August 19 until September 6.
Unfortunately I was ill during the first week, so the real start date was August 26th. Groundwork Fukuoka operates as an NPO, a non-profit organization.

On my first day I met all staff members of Groundwork Fukuoka, and most of the staff members of "Enya Kobo", another company located in the same building. I received a warm welcome and had a great start.

My first task was to write a self-introduction in English and Japanese, which was great because I could learn some new vocabulary and Kanji. This introduction was published on the website of Groundwork Fukuoka. My new colleagues helped me whenever I had questions.

I learned how to write proper Japanese and how to take phone calls in Japanese, too.

Since Thursday the 29th, I am helping out at "Herb Garden", a school for children who suffer from a visual impairment. Groundwork Fukuoka takes care of the maintenance of that school, eg.g. cleaning the building and environment. I was really looking forward to this and I am glad I can help and work with the children during my internship.

The atmosphere at Groundwork Fukuoka is really nice, their aims and activities made my interest in social and environmental topics grow. I am very happy I chose this organisation for my internship.

I am always looking forward to the next day and I know my the remaining time will be great, too.
 









Thursday, 22 August 2013

Japanese Fireworks (Hanabi)


In Germany it`s illegal to buy fireworks during any time of the year other than right before New Year`s. And usually that`s also the only time you get to see them.

In Japan fireworks are treated very differently and take place during summer. The “hanabi” itself is the main event (not just part of a closing ceremony). In August I went to see the “Oohori Fireworks” which are an annual event that is well known throughout all of Japan and attracted around 450.000 visitors last year. Many people dress in a Yukata for that occasion and reserve seats hours before the official start.

This year it started at 08:00 pm and I was getting worried about missing most of it, because my friends and I were running late when someone told me that it ends at 09:30 pm.

That`s one and a half hours of fireworks and if you get hungry you can buy something from the many food stalls that pop-up everywhere just for this day.

Every year they launch around 6000 rockets and the result is amazingly beautiful. No matter where you turn, there are people standing around or sitting on the ground. Some people who have obviously been sitting there since the early morning and some who are craning their neck trying to catch a glimpse of the show.




Saturday, 10 August 2013

"Advancement" vs. "tradition" in Japan




Many people have shrines next to skyscrapers and women in kimonos operating smartphones in mind when thinking about Tokyo. "Old vs. new" or "Advancement vs. tradition" is something that can not be captured in a photo however.

This contrast can not be seen, only experienced. In the land of robotic vacuum cleaners, most people clean their rooms with an old broom made of straw; if the water cooker and and the aircon is running, I do not dare to plug in my laptop.

In public toilets, I can choose between the traditional Japanese one, which is basically a hole in the floor covered in porcelain and the "westernized" version that is more convenient than any toilet I have ever seen in the West.

One should not be fooled into thinking Japan is less advanced. It is true that most Japanese people do not use a credit card, but mainly because the chargeable railcard "Nimoca" can be used to pay for almost anything.

Smartphones had a slow start in Japan, because even the most basic phone can send E-mails and connect to the Internet. I even tend to think that the marketing strategy for smartphones relies on the fact that there is more room for customization and decoration.

Japanese people might be amused by some aspects of daily life in Germany. For example that any people still use pencils that have to be sharpened by hand, or that you can not pay your bills at the supermarket.

"Advancement vs. tradition" is something the Japanese do not even think about, which resulted in questioning eyes when I tried to start a conversation about that here.

Just like Chinese people do not say "Chinese food" to what is just "food" to them.





Thursday, 25 July 2013

Internship-Report Frederick-san


Frederick-san has done an internship at “Hakata Ono” Restaurant in Fukuoka.
Find his report below. Thank you for coming and good job, Frederick-san!

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After finishing my 4 weeks of Japanese classes at Asahi Nihongo, I took the chance to do an internship in my professional field via Asahi Nihongo. I’ve been working at a hotel in customer services in Montreal, Canada for 10 Years. They referred me to many places; one of them was Hakata Ono, one of the many restaurants of the Ono Group in Fukuoka. I was told it was a friendly place and one of the nicest restaurants in town. I had my interview on June 22 and on the next day, I started. What a nice experience! Ever wanted to work into a Japanese restaurant in Japan? (This one actually serves Chinese food, though). Well, I had the chance to work there and as well improve my Japanese every day. It was a new, nice challenge for me.

I learned how to greet my co-workers (when I started working: おはようございまand when I left work: おつかれさまでした), and customers as well (when they entered: いらっしゃいませ or left the restaurant: ありがとうございました). Something typically Japanese. Also, I learned how to give おしぼ(wet tissue to clean your hands before eating) to the customers by saying ようこそ and how to make Onigiri. I also prepared a few cocktails and beers at the bar, served drinks to the tables, cleaned glasses and dried utensils. The usual restaurant job, but this time in Japan! 

The staffs were friendly and professional, and the managers too. For me; these 4 weeks of internship overall were a fun experience and moreover a chance to practice Japanese in a nice environment in Japan, rather than working in an office building in front of a computer. I love working with people at my hotel in Canada, so for me, it was very nice to socialize with the clients and staff here in Fukuoka. I think everyone was happy to practice English a bit, and I could practice Japanese. A Nice cultural exchange! I recommend to anyone who wants do to an internship to apply at Asahi Nihongo, they will find you a place where you can practice your Japanese, communicate with Japanese people and improve your overall skills.
I can say that it was an unforgettable experience for me.

Frédérick Bonnefoy

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Sumo Culture Course 2013

Feel the enormous strenght of Sumo while studying Japanese. Join unique & fun cultural activities!
>>>Click here for more information>>>

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Omikoshi Festival at Joyo

Every year in July, Asahi Nihongo students and staff  join the famous "Omikoshi Festival" in a beautiful town called "Joyo", about 60 kilometres from Fukuoka.

A 御輿 ("Mikoshi") is a portable shrine that is carried during festivals. As expected, our students took part in the action. The biggest (and heaviest) Mikoshi was waiting to be carried through town. Luckily, we were not on our own and received help from some of the nice Joyo locals.

While carrying the Mikoshi, the spectators cheer at you and use water hoses, buckets and even bath tubs to splash you with water. A second set of clothes is highly recommended!

To regain some strength, we had a second lunch at the riverside and went to a nice Onsen on top of a hill. Later on the same day, the townspeople gathered on the huge festival ground to enjoy live music, Taito drummers and dancing. We had the chance to try local specialities, also ice cream and soft-drinks. All money raised during the festival is used to restoration of the town, which heavily suffered from the flood in 2012.

The festival ended with a jaw-dropping 1-hour firework.

Many thanks to the people at Joyo who were very friendly and welcomed us as guests. We spend an unforgettable time. See you next year!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Internship at Asahi Nihongo

You studied Japanese so hard and for such a long time, but still feel like not getting enough in touch with the Japanese culture? If that is your case, one of our Internship programs might suit you well! With Asahi Nihongo, you can choose from over 50 companies out of 12 work fields the work place of your interest. No matter what your specialties or interests are, our work fields reach from NPO’s, over Culture up to Marketing or Trade!
Simply fill out our contact form in order to get a free estimate about the costs of our internship program. Once signed, we will arrange a Skype interview with you, to get to know your interests and preferred work fields and to give you further information about our program.
Working in one of our Japanese companies is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, that you should not miss! When you come to Fukuoka, a staff member of our school will provide you guidance in Japanese business manners and behaviour and will accompany you through the negotiation process, so that you never feel alone.
You can choose the length of your internship by yourself. Please notice, that you need a Working Holiday Visa, if you plan to stay over 6 months.
Enjoy your stay and working experience with Asahi Nihongo!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

O-bon

The O-bon (お盆) festival is one of the most important seasons in the year, after New Year.
Its Significance is to honour and relief the spirits of the ancestor from their suffering and comes from the Religion of Buddhism.
It has evolved to a family reunion day, were most of the people come back to the places where their house altar is placed and their family lives.
With a history of over 500 years, O-bon is no national holiday, due to its changing dates according to the region of Japan. For example, in the Eastern Part of Japan, O-bon is held around the 15th July, whereas in the western Part it is celebrated from 13th - 15th August.
An important component of O-bon are lights. Families put lanterns in front of their houses to welcome the spirits of their deceased. In addition, piles are burned, often in the shape of the Chinese character “Dai“. On the last evening of O-bon, Lanterns are launched to rivers in order to lead the spirits of the ancestors.
To remember the dead, “Bon-Odori“ is danced, a traditional dance that can change its form and manner suprisingly according where you go. A Bon-odori consist of local traditional dance forms, as well as music, that can differ from traditional Japanese music, classical Music or even modern Pop music.


Monday, 3 June 2013

Daruma Dolls

Daruma Dolls, also known as Dharma Dolls, are traditional Japanese dolls without hands and feet. Their design depends on region and artist, but most Daruma Dolls are painted red and made of paper-mache. The hollow dolls have a round shape and are heavy at the bottom, which works as a tumbler for returning to an upright position when it is pushed over.  Bouncing back to his original position, symbolizes the ability to recover from misfortune.
The dolls are representing the sitting meditation posture of Bodhiddharma, the founder of the Zen sect. Bodhidharma’s legs were said to be paralyzed because he meditated about nine years on top of a rock and he became unable to walk.
The eyes of the Daruma dolls are usually white, because the custom is to paint in the eyes when a wish of yours has been fulfilled.
Once every year the Daruma Dolls, which had been used that year, are brought back to the temple for the traditional Daruma Kuyo, a burning ceremony, where the dolls are burnt in the temple. There you can also buy new Dolls for the next year.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Rainy Season in Fukuoka

The so called “plum rain” is the rainy season here in Japan, which begins around June and July every year. The first rain starts falling in Okinawa and makes it way north till it reaches Hokkaido, where there is not much left of it.

The rain plays an important part for the growth of rice plants and and plums and is highly expected by farmers, although most Japanese people dislike this part of the year and call it even “the fifth season”. In Fukuoka, the amount of rainfall can come up to 260mm per month in June or July.

The high humidity in the air during this season encourages the formation of mold and rot not only on food but on fabrics as well.

Since you might want to come to visit Fukuoka in summer, we highly recommend you not to bring shoes that leak to water, because once it starts raining, it doesn’t stop soon and Fukuoka turns into one big whole puddle.

Even umbrellas can help you only avoid the worst. But the best would be to wear easily drying cloths, especially Flip-Flops, or something similar.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Yamakasa Festival

Hakata Gion Yamakasa is one of the most exciting and important events in Hakata. Several beautiful Kazariyamas (decorative portable shrines and floats) are built and are spread over several parts of the city in a two week period.
It's said that the origin of this festival is attributed to the ritual took place to stop a bad plague spread through Hakata in 1241.  The highlight of the festival kicks off at exactly 4:59 am on July 15th when thousands of men from seven districts race through the streets carrying decorative, one-ton floats. This is a contest in which men compete on the time taken to race along a 5 km course, over more or less 30 minutes; although speed is important, they are also required to maintain a graceful and heroic style as they run carrying the floats on their shoulders. Let’s enjoy this famous spectacle together!


We will all gather at the school at 4:30 am, in order to leave at 4:40. Erica-sensei will join you and guide you to the festival. The access to the Yamakasa is rather simple; it goes straight with the Chikatetsu (underground metro) to the Gion station (200 yen for one way). The festival will start at exactly 4:59am and will end at around 7am. 

Friday, 24 May 2013

Summer in Japan




The last cold days have passed now and we are looking ahead to the upcoming summer. One may prefer this time of the year, since you can start wearing slight clothing or go to the beach. This may apply to the months of May or the beginning of June, but on the other hand you have to deal with another problem coming around the corner: The heavy rain season from June to July. Temperatures hover between 25 °C (77 °F) and 30 °C (86 °F). Once the rain stops falling, it gets atrociously hot and humid with temperatures around 37 °C (99 °F) and a humidity of nearly 80%. At the same time, from August to September, the typhoon season starts. You see, the summer can get quite tough, if you don’t prepare yourself.
Every Shop and Building in Fukuoka is air-conditioned, so if you hop from one store to the other to cool you down, you won’t suffer that much. Because this style of shifting is quite inefficient, you will have to find another solution. Especially in Tenjin, every shopping-centre is somehow connected. There is the Tenjin underground shopping street (Chikagai) will let you cross streets rather sunburn-free. You will get lost easily, but once you discovered some of the short cuts, you will be able to get along in a few minutes, without even stepping outside!
But usually, the most efficient way to cool down is to spend the rest of the day at the beach doing swimming or attending our refreshing Marine Sports activities.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Baseball and the Softbank Hawks

There are many sports that are popular in Japan, but baseball is one of the most popular. The baseball season starts from early April until November, and comprises of 12 different teams from different parts of Japan.
Throughout the year, the baseball games in Fukuoka are held at the Fukuoka Yahoo dome. The dome’s surrounding area also has many baseball related things: a baseball museum built into the dome, a baseball merchandise equipment shop, and some other monuments dedicated to pastplayers from Fukuoka’s resident baseball team.
The local team in Fukuoka is the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks. As the name suggests, their mascots are hawks, and much of their design and advertising is based around it. As the baseball season progresses, Fukuoka becomes more lively with Hawk’s fans, even some shops and restaurants getting into the spirit – the shopping mall located close to the Yahoo dome has been called "Hawks Town” due to the Hawks fans.
The Hawks team is a much-loved part of Fukuoka, so it is well worthwhile watching one of their games during the baseball season.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Convenience Stores

The lifestyle of the Japanese sometimes gives them little time to shop after work. Because of this, there are many convenience stores (called ‘conbini’) located in Japan – in big cities, there is usually one on every block.
In these conbinis, there are a large range of the basic food and drink products, along with pre-made meals for the people who do not have time to cook for themselves.
There are also many items like stationary, hygiene products and cleaning materials: for many people, the contents of a conbini are enough for their lifestyles.
Furthermore, bank transfers, recharging pre-paids cards and even printing is possible in conbinis. The fact that most of them are also open 24 hours a day makes it a convenient place to go for the necessities at any time of the day.

Cherry Blossoms

April is the season that many flowers in Japan start to bloom. The most notable flowers of this time in Japan are the cherry blossoms (called ‘sakura’ in Japanese)

The exact time of the cherry blossoms blooming is difficult to predict, but when they do, many people visit the closest park, along with friends and spend the day eating and drinking under the cherry blossom trees. In some parks, this is often seen as an impromptu festival, with food vendors and games close by.
Many people view the cherry blossoms blooming as a sign that spring is starting, so this time of the year is very important to many people. It is one of the events in Japan that should be experienced.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Momochihama


Momochihama is a section of Fukuoka city, a few kilometers west of Tenjin. What makes Momochihama such a great place is there are many attractions, all for different people.
First of all, the Fukuoka Tower is found only a few hundred metres away from the coast. It is unique, in that its outside is covered in glass. From the top of the tower, there is a great panoramic view of the Fukuoka area.
Next, the Fukuoka City museum is located in Momochihama. As with any museum, it is a great place to learn about Japan.
Close by, there is a disaster prevention centre, where you can learn all about Japan’s disaster prevention techniques, and also participate in an artificial earthquake scenario.
There are many other places in Momochihama: the beach, Robo-Square, (a place where robots are showcased) and a baseball stadium close by. Momochihama has many surprises, and it is a worthwhile place to visit while in Fukuoka.
(Travelling to Momochihama takes around 20 minutes by catching the Nishitetsu 302 bus)


Monday, 11 March 2013

Karaoke

Karaoke is an activity in which you sing to the music of songs which have had the original singers voice removed, making you the star. In Japan, karaoke buildings are all over the place, with equipment aiding you to sing those songs.
Karaoke originates from Japan, and many Japanese go to Karaoke buildings with friends. It is known as a good way of bonding, as many people can join in singing the same song, and the atmosphere is very nice. Most karaoke buildings also offer meals and drinks too.
There are thousands of songs to sing, the majority being English, Japanese, Korean and Chinese songs.
Karaoke is popular all over the world, but nowhere near as popular in Japan: because of that, there are many places you can go to sing karaoke. The most popular place in Tenjin is Tenjin Nishi-doori, where at least a dozen karaoke places exist.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

The Nimoca Card

The Nimoca Card is one of the many IC (Integrated Circuit) cards in Japan that makes catching public transport in Japan very easy. Its use is mainly confined to public transportation in the Fukuoka prefecture.
The Nimoca Card works as a pre-paid card, when catching public transport. Machines are in places at the boarding & destination points; by simply swiping the card at the ticket gates, they calculate the fare and deduct the right amount.
For the regular commuter, these cards are very useful, since you don’t need to carry as much money around, and they save time by not needing to buy tickets.
The Nimoca card can also be used in place of money at most convenience stores, vending machines and some restaurants & shops in Fukuoka city (e.g. Solaria Stage, Tenjin Core), making it even more useful to carry one around.

Omiyage in Fukuoka


When visiting anywhere in Japan, most people buy some sort of gift from the place they are visiting. Each prefecture has purposely created unique foods and gifts for people to take home as souvenirs, or ‘omiyage’. The prefectures try to convey the style through these omiyage.
These omiyage can be found at most train stations and airports, so it is very convenient.
The most well known omiyage in Hakata are Hakata Tori-mon - a small cake, which is very sweet - and the tonkotsu ramen – a style of ramen using a unique stock. They are found in many shops in and around the main Fukuoka area.
Mentaiko - a form of marinated fish eggs - is popular as well. This may seems odd for foreigners, but it is
No matter what your or your friends tastes are, there is always some new food to try in a new city when you explore Japan.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

2 Weeks Japanese Language Course
banner_Cherry_Blossom_Course_in_Fukuoka_Japan
April is the most beautiful time in Japan. The cherry blossoms, called Sakura, are very beautiful and Japanese people spend a lot of time in parks, looking at them. This is also the season for singing and drinking, so we will visit a beer factory where you are allowed to try their products! You will also able to experience, how people in Japan lived 100 years ago! You` ll learn how to drink Japanese tea the right way and put on Kimonos. Click here for more information

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Winter foods

While we are halfway through winter, we still have many colds days ahead. In this weather, there are many dishes that suit the season well.

1)    Ramen, and other noodle based dishes
Noodles based dishes, such as ramen and udon, are very warming, and are also cheap. The ramen/udon is usually served in a soup-like dish, so you can also drink the delicious stock it is served in.

2)    Shabu Shabu
The idea of shabu shabu is to place the raw meat/vegetables into a boiling pot of water (usually with choices of stock), and allow it to cook. ‘Shabu shabu’ is the onomatopoeia for moving the food around in the pot.
Many shabu shabu restaurants have ‘all you can eat’ offers for usually 90 minutes, so you can eat as much as you want, and it’s very warming too.

3)    Hot pot
Hot pots are very popular in winter. The idea is to cook food in a pot, in water. There are many variations (oden is also a type of hot pot), and shabu shabu is one of those variations.

All of these meals are great at warming the body, and are a must in winter. These meals will help you survive the winter.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Nihon Ryouri

„Nihon Ryouri“, which means Japanese food, does not just mean Sushi and Rice balls. Indeed it is not rare that Japanese sometimes eat rice three times a day, but the Japanese diet also includes a wide variety of different noodle dishes.

 “Soba” for example are brown colored noodles made of buckwheat. They are very high in fiber, healthy and can be eaten hot in soup with toppings like fried seafood or seaweed and cold with a kind of dipping sauce.

 “Udon”, very soft, thick and white wheat flour noodles can be eaten in many ways as well. Similar to “Soba” you can eat them hot or cold, but also fried with meat and a lot of vegetables.

 “Lamen”, recently very popular in the Western countries, are mostly thin wheat noodles served in a meat based broth with different toppings like a boiled egg, sliced pork or dried seaweed. There are 4 different main flavors of soup you can find in Japan, but the most popular one in Fukuoka is called “Tonkotu”. It is a white colored broth made from boiling pork bones.

 “Chanpon” is a noodles dish, originally from Nagasaki. The yellow colored noodles are served in a soup made with chicken and pig bones and lots of fried vegetables, pork and seafood. It is very delicious and because of the big amount of vegetables very healthy as well.

New Year’s Day

New Year’s Day is a very important time for the Japanese. Most shops will be closed on New Year’s Day, and many people will have the day off.
On new year’s, many people will visit a shrine, to pay respect for the new year (this is called hatsumode - first shrine visit of the year)
While there, many people will also receive their fortune for the new year, buy new charms, and the larger shrines will also have food stalls & some playground games.
For the week after new years, many shops will have New Year’s sales. Many people come to these events, so many shops quickly become crowded.

For New Year’s, I went and visited the Dazaifu shrine with my friends. Dazaifu is one of the more popular shrines in Fukuoka, so many people were there paying their respects. Thankfully we went in the evening, so there weren`t as many people. (many people also arrive at midnight, even though they may have to wait in line for hours)

While there, we all received our fortune. I received great luck (daikichi), and after that, we ate takoyaki, yakisoba & squid.
In the days following the New Year’s, all the shops in town were congested, with many people there for the sales. We decided to return on the weekend, when it would be less full.

The New Year’s Day in Japan is one of the best New Year’s I’ve experienced, and I’d recommend people experience it as well.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Setsubun

Setsubun is the day before the beginning of spring in Japan.
During this festival it is a custom to throw beans (Mamemaki) and therefore it is also called the Bean-Throwing Festival.
Throwing those fortune beans invites luck and drives out all the bad things.

In Fukuoka, we celebrate Setsubun at Tochoji Temple in Hakata on the third of February.
Our school also takes part in the festivities and some students scatter beans from a stage dressed up as either a demon or as one of the seven gods of fortune.

Join us and collect your good luck!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

How to save money in Japan:

When moving to a new city, it's always difficult to save money. Here are a few points that could help you save money while living in Japan.

1) Clothes
Both UniQlo and Gap are very good, cheap places to shop for clothes. They have a wide range of clothes, and even formal clothes are cheap.
UniQlo also stocks a large range of clothes designed for winter, so this is a valuable store if you plan to come to Japan in winter.
Muji is another store that carries a lot of home necessities at a reasonable price, so check out this store as well.

2) Transportation
In general, you can do almost anything in the city, but if you want to travel, always look out for day-passes, or multi-trip passes. Some subway lines offer this, so be sure to check whenever you catch a new train line.

3) 100 yen stores
100 yen stores, like Daiso, stock a great range of products, ranging from books, stationary, toiletries, and cleaning utensils, most products only costing you 105 yen. It is a good idea to frequent these stores, as you may find that they have something that you need.

4) Food
When eating at home, cooking rice is easy and cheap. Gas is somewhat expensive, so if you plan to use the stove a lot, keep this in mind.
Convenience stores are useful, but if you plan to shop a lot, try to avoid using them too often.

Eating out can sometimes best just as cheap, as long as you know where to go.
Places like Yayoi-ken or Sukiya serve many cheap meals, with Yayoi-ken also offering free rice refills on certain meals.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Some general information about Japan

This time we would like to answer some frequently asked questions to prepare for your stay in Japan.

About Health Insurance Insurance
If you come to Japan with a visitor or short-term visa, you cannot join the National Health Insurance in Japan. In those cases we advise you to get a travel insurance in your home country.

About Visa
The allowed time to stay in Japan depends on the visa agreement with your home country. Most of the time you are allowed to stay for 90 days and it might also be able to apply for extension. Please consult the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan for a list with the period of stay for each country.

About International Calls
The easiest way to contact your family is using Skype. If it is not possible to use Skype there are Pre-Paid cards than specialize in international calls. One company that offers this service is Brastel.

About the Temperature
During spring the temperature in Fukuoka is between 14°C in March and 24°C in May. The night can still get chilly, so it is advised to prepare accordingly.
The air in Japan is rather humid during summer and the average temperature is around 30°C.
Fall in Japan still has an average temperature of around 30°C and the humidity decreases. In October it starts to get colder, but it still is around 20°C.
While the temperature during the day is still around 10°C the nights can get pretty cold.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Interview with Jasmina


Jasmina Kröber is doing the Internship program with the help of Asahi Nihongo. She comes from Fürth, Germany and is 18 years old. Jasmina found her place to work in the “Kyushu Gaigo College”, a Language School for Japanese people.

Why are you successful?
I try to see the positive things in every situation, even though it might seem hopeless. 

What are you doing in Fukuoka?
I’m working in the English school “Kyushu Gaigo College”. Sometimes, I take part in the classes there, but generally I help the staff with its daily responsibilities and duties.

What’s next?
After I finished the internship, I will return to Germany and start a job at a hotel.

Please give advice to those who are going to do the work and travel program in Fukuoka.
Don’t be too shy, take every help you get offered and just try to enjoy every Japanese custom. 

Thank you very much! 

Saturday, 15 December 2012

New Year in Japan

In Japan there are many New Year’s traditions. I want to explain some of those, you can experience during your stay in Japan during New Year!

Celebrating New Year in Japan means paying special attention to the first time something is done in the new year. One of those “firsts” is the first shrine visit of the year (Hatsumōde). Many people visit the shrine right after midnight or during January 1st to send out their prayers for a successful new year. If the weather is good, you can see a lot of people wearing the traditional Kimono! Another important first is the first dream of the year (hatsuyume) which Japanese believe is an omen for the rest of the year.
You will find a lot of more “firsts”, you can experience with the friends you made!

While the people in western countries usually send out Christmas cards the Japanese have a custom of sending New Year’s postcards (nengajō) to their friends and relatives. They are sent out so they will arrive on January 1st and the post offices guarantee that they will be delivered.
You can buy the postcards or even make them yourself.

There is also traditional Japanese food that you can only enjoy during New Year and many other
traditions you can only experience during this time of the year.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Interview with Roxana

Roxana is 25 years old and does the work and travel program with the guidance of Asahi Nihongo. She comes from Finkenherd, Germany.
She is working as a waitress in a bar and a restaurant.


Why are you succesful?
I am adaptable not only to every situation, but also to the requirements of different companies and cultures. I value punctuality, as well as always being optimistic.

What are you doing in Fukuoka?
I am working at the “International Bar“ and the “Days Kitchen“ Restaurant. There I mix drinks and work as a waitress. Most important there is time to talk to the customers and to enter in conversation with them, because most of the people who are coming there, want to learn English.

What's next?
After I go back to Germany, I will finish my studies of Japanese Studies and Media Studies. If possible, I want to take a master`s degree afterwards.
As a profession, I want to be a media translator.

Please give advice to those who are going to do the work and travel program in Fukuoka.
I strongly recommend to do your work and travel program only with the help of an organization, since it is very hard to find work on your own without any major Japanese skills.

Thank you!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Interview with Tobias



Tobias Thamm is 18 years old and one of the Interns at Asahi Nihongo. He comes from
Germany, Berlin. As his Internship he does the Assistant-Teacher program at Ritter School. At the Ritter School he does the German Tutorial, as well as some lessons for regular German-learning students.
Most of the time, he is doing office-work and preparing activities for the students.

Why are you successful?
I try to look ahead in every situation, even when there seems to be no way out of it.

What are you doing in Fukuoka?
I am doing an internship at the Ritter School as an assistant teacher, where I have some classes and do office-work, but also lead several events for the students of the Ritter School. While living in Fukuoka, I try to get in touch with the Japanese lifestyle and culture.

What's next?
After finishing my internship I want to study at university in Berlin.

Please give advice to those who are going to do the work and travel program in Fukuoka.
Prepare well before you come to Japan. You get lost easily in Japan without guidance.
Also, keep being open-minded and learn from the Japanese culture, which can be both, inspiring and confusing. 

Thank you very much! 

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Let's work and study in Japan!

The cost of living is high in Japan so we recommend that our students come with a working holiday visa and find a part time job to reduce the burden of the cost of everyday expenses. This course is suitable for people who have never studied or only studied limited Japanese and want to reach a level where one can handle day-to-day activities and manage the simple interactions of daily life in commercial and social aspects.

For more information please follow the link:
http://www.japanese-school-asahi.com/en/japanese-language-courses/long-term-courses/642-work-and-study-in-japan

If you would like to know more about our program, we suggest you to talk about it on Skype.
Please just tell us your convenient day and time, so that we can arrange it.
For any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us under info@japanese-school-asahi.com.

Asahi Nihongo School

Monday, 26 November 2012

UZURA vs USAGI

 
We Germans like a good nice word a lot, not only the vernacular. And it is sometimes very nice that the words for different things are different also. After all there is lots and lots of space in Germany, unlike in the Japan which is tokidoki crowded. I always tend to be a little casual when I talk to my friends because you cannot misunderstand the words in German so easily. Not so in Japanese. The Japanese, they are very very resourceful and efficient and they are also this way with their words. You see, the Japanese I think they like to save a lot and so they do not want to have so many words and the dictionaries are already crowded like the commuter trains at 8 in the morning. They tend to use a single word for lots and lots of meanings but when you change a little thing in it the word means something very different all of a sudden. And this is a problem sometimes for lets say a relaxed speaker such as yours truly. For instance when I sat in my favorite izakaya last week with my friend Kenji and some of my other japanese friends, being maybe a little more relaxed after a beer or two. Well I wanted to show off my cooking skills to the girls and so I told them my favorite recipe and said that when I wanted to have a very very special flavor to it I put an egg or two of the usagi over the finished dish. But then the girls started to giggle and the boys rolled with laughter (Kenji even sprayed his beer over the counter). Hazukashiii. ..... I had wanted to say UZURA which means quail but I said usagi which means rabbit- and you do not have lots of fun eating rabbits "eggs" unless the rabbit happens to be the easter bunny. (But this one comes only once a year plus he brings not his eggs neither since they come from the chicken). So again I was the butt of the jokes of my friends for the whole evening afterwards, who kept telling me that two letters CAN make a lot of difference. But when I was a little more sober the next day day and looked into my language book, I was stunned: the two very different words for the two very different animals, a bird and a mammal do take the same counter - wa... 羽 ... how can that possibly be? (They also can take the hiki 匹 I think but this spoils the punchline a bit) So do the Japanese skimp on their words and do not waste much here or not? Honestly, I don't know. (Maybe I will have to ask my teacher at Asahi Nihongo's next time.)