I never intended to do an internship after finishing university. I wanted to get back to Japan ASAP and work at a Japanese company. I wanted to taste the real Japanese working culture and take my Japanese above the N1 level, and at the time I thought the only way to do this was by working at a Japanese company full time. If that was not possible, then working at a foreign company in Japan would be the next best thing.
The only thing I didn’t realize was just how crazy hard it would turn out to be to find a full time job in Japan while being in a completely different country. I had this totally unjustified belief that all it would take is a few e-mails here, then some skype interviews there and companies would be falling all over themselves to sign me up. Unsurprisingly, I was completely wrong.
The Japanese Language Proficiency Test, for those of you who are not familiar with it is one of the most important qualifications you can get to get you into a job in Japan. Of course there are those jobs out there that do not require Japanese to get, but if you really want a job in Japan where you are doing the same work as your fellow Japanese colleagues, this is your ticket in. Japanese society puts a lot of importance on standardized tests – this is something you’d understand by looking at the fact that every university in Japan has its own humongous standardized test you need to determine if you are eligible to enter. The importance of test scores in Japan holds for foreigners as well. Those of you looking to get your 永住権 (eijuuken), permanent residence, having passed JLPT 1 will increase your chances. Not as in you will be favored more, you will actually receive 10 points in their point system to determine the eligibility of people for permanent residence. If we look at the TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) we can understand more about the JLPT considering TOEIC is the main qualification you put on your resume when showing off your English ability in Japan.
What do avocados, rabbits, and British Rock all have in common? Well, not that much actually, unless you want to take into account the morbid fact that Percin, a fungicidal toxin found in avocados, is in fact deadly poisonous to rabbits, or the fact that Led Zeppelin have a rare live LP from 1969 called ‘Dancing Avocado’.
But who cares? The fact is that USAGI, located halfway between Shibuya and Omotesandō just off Aoyama-Dori, binds these three things together and somehow makes it seem like the most natural thing in the world. Make no mistakes, this place is as about as quirky as they come and that is exactly what I love about it. It even has its own theme song.
Turn off the main road and find its Ivy covered façade, littered with mismatched pots and an assortment of rabbit statues, then walk through it’s the doors and you will find yourself in a parallel, albeit cozy and homely, dimension where British rock and memorabilia from yesteryear blends seamlessly into a love of rabbits and avocado accompanied food.