Random thoughts, comments, observations and general fluff from a random bint who left London at the end of September 2004 to embark on a new life and new adventures in Tokyo, land of the cute.... and is leaving mid-June 2010 - and counting!

Friday, February 22, 2008


Things aren't feeling very settled right now. The biggest decision I need to make - in the next ten days - is whether to hand my notice in on my accommodation, or not. Under the daftness of my contract for the place I'm living I need to give TWO months notice, but only if it's at the end of the month. At any other time, it could end up being almost THREE. Totally insane.

I've been in my apartment since I moved to Japan, 3.5 years ago, and this is the longest I've lived under the same roof in my whole adult life.

Added to this there's the complexities and costs involved in moving. As a foreigner there's a limitation to the sorts of accommodation I can have and, naturally, not speaking Japanese restricts things further. I don't want to live in a guesthouse or gaijin house: my sharing days are over, I hope! And that leaves a small problem. In Japan it is common to pay 'key money' - this is basically a system whereby the landlord totally rips you off to the tune of about a months rent as a 'gift' to him. Sorry, but I refuse to go down this path, beit the norm, or not. Then there's the thing about finding places that don't require you to have a Japanese guarantor....

There ARE places out there, but it could be a long and stressful hunt to find one, BUT although my place now is a pretty decent size, it's too cold in winter, too hot in summer, half the appliances and whatnot need fixing, replacing or sorting and it's not an affordable taxi ride away from the centre of town.

I plan to be here another 12 or so months. I'd like to live more centrally in that time. But the hassle... I need to decide soon though.


Workwise, things are confusing. Until last October I worked for, let's say, the schools branch of my company, teaching in our own language schools. In October I changed my contract to the business branch of the company where teachers get sent to kindergardens, offices, homes, schools, etc to teach. I changed contracts to take on the college semester I was offered and worked at four days a week. The semester has now finished and we won't know until April who and how many of our teachers are wanted back.

This puts me in somewhat of a limbo as far as the company is concerned. I need a full schedule, but can't be given regular days until we know about the college. In English this means, any area that wants to throw a day at me can and is and I'm running all over Tokyo and Saitama with no control over where I'm going.

I'm not most pleased about this but at least it's only for a few weeks and I DO have Cambodia coming up in March to knock a chunk out of it.


I checked early sakura forecasts today, and looks like they're predicting the end of March this year (bloody early) for Tokyo. YAY, HANAMI!!!!!


Blogger sushizume said...

Where do you want to live? I say move! It is stressful and exciting all rolled up into an adventurous bundle.

Looking forward to hanami!

3:29 pm

Blogger Lulu said...

I say move too.

If you need help on the Japanese front let me know

I rented through oakridge housing when I was first in Japan the second time because no japanese place would let Shumpei or his parents be my gurantor because we were not related. Crazy. My friend has rented through kimiwillbe before and has said it is ok!

Unfortunately the too cold in winter, too hot in summer thing is just Japan, no central heating or decent insulation so it probably won`t make much difference where you live in Tokyo!

My job is stressing me out a lot too recently, so I know how you feel!


7:50 pm

Blogger Jo said...

ideally i'd love to live within spitting distance of shinjuku/yoyogi/takadanobaba... ie the expensive areas!

lulu - i may well take you up on your kind offer. i think i'm going to hand my notice in, fish around abit and see what happens. i can always retract my notice.

a lot of people have mentioned kimiwillbe. i think i'll have to do more than just leave them bookmarked in my favourites!

why is your job stressing you out? little kids are fun. (when they aren't fighting, crying, screaming, having snot running down their faces, coughing in your face!)

and yay yay hanami! my fave japanese festival!

11:24 pm

Blogger The Pixy Princess said...

Well I thought your wee little place was just lovely. Of course I was thoroughly hungover and sicky the entire time I was there. I made special friends with your potty!

Good luck with the house hunt.

And yey hanami sakura!

11:14 pm


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