Category Archives: Life

Curry : The Unsung Hero of Japanese Cuisine

OK so the title has already given it away, this is an article about food. I am sure a lot of people are thinking isn’t this blog supposed to be about working in Japan?! Well yeah it is and we have articles on that stuff too, but let’s be honest, food is important. We can live without work but we sure as hell can’t live without food. So I think that as food is such a key part of our lives it makes sense to be passionate about it. My fellow writers feel the same way at WIJ too. When we meet up, we will often talk about food and especially about the differences in availability, variety, quality of food in Japan compared to what we have experienced elsewhere. Pretty wild night for three young 20 something guys to be doing ey!

A food that I love and briefly touched upon on one of my earlier articles in The Salaryman Diet is curry. Friggin love it. India curry, Japanese curry, Thai curry, it’s all great. I am not prejudice against my curry.

This article is actually going to be about just that, curry. I know what you’re thinking, this guy is friggin crazy, the hell do we care about curry and I am pretty sure you can’t write a full article about it. Well I won’t deny the first claim, but if there is something that I can do, it is write an article allllllllllllllll about curry. In fact during my year abroad in Sophia I did a full 30 minute presentation in Japanese about curry. I like to think the presentation changed lives in that classroom, it was groundbreaking, inspiring and as Steve Jobs would say “insanely great”.

That presentations is actually making the bases for this article (REALLY READ AS  I am just reverse translating my Japanese speech into English cause I am a genius…a lazy genius). The whole premises for the presentation is ‘If asked to name the top Japanese foods, how many people would say curry?` I honestly think that the answer would close to zero. I mean even if I was asked this question I would have generally answered sushi, tempura or ramen as they just ‘feel’ Japanese. However when you actually talk to families, watch food commercials and probably most importantly look at the data you find out that curry is one of THE most popular and loved food in Japan. Wow pretty big claims there eh! Well let’s begin with a little bit of background.

Work Curry

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Me and Japan

When I first met Japan, it was love at first sight. We would spend all day, every day, together. Each day spent with her produced a plethora of experiences – new, and exciting. I looked into Japan’s eyes and I saw the world in a new and exciting light, bursting with possibilities, and 24/7 convenience stores. Together we would try new foods, explore new places, concepts, ideas. Days turned into weeks turned into months, but for me and Japan time seemed to stand still, as gazing into each other’s eyes the hustle and bustle of life passed around us.

I loved Japan and Japan seemed to love me. I would leave my home to be with Japan, throwing everything away I knew to devote my life to her.

But oh how time can be a cruel mistress.

Me and Japan

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Watch Movie Online The Great Wall (2016) subtitle english

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The Great Wall (2016) HD

Director : Zhang Yimou.
Producer : Jon Jashni, Peter Loehr, Charles Roven, Thomas Tull.
Release : December 16, 2016
Country : China, United States of America.
Production Company : Universal Pictures, Atlas Entertainment, China Film Group, Le Vision Pictures, Legendary Entertainment, Legendary East, Kava Productions.
Language : English, 普通话, Український.
Runtime : 104 min.
Genre : Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Thriller.

Movie ‘The Great Wall’ was released in December 16, 2016 in genre Action. Zhang Yimou was directed this movie and starring by Matt Damon. This movie tell story about European mercenaries searching for black powder become embroiled in the defense of the Great Wall of China against a horde of monstrous creatures.

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The Salaryman Diet

When I first came to Japan I was shocked by all the delicious food. I knew people who had been to Japan raved about how amazing everything was, but being in the UK with very limited knowledge of Japanese food, when someone said ‘Japan’ and ‘food’ in the same sentence all I could think of was sushi and noodles.  Yeah I know, me and 99% of the the non Japanese population. Furthermore despite the fact that I had been studying Japanese at university and held an interest in Japan since 15 I was actually very ignorant towards Japanese foods.RPK TramplinMovie Underworld: Blood Wars (2016)

My class and I were always told before going to Japan that we would lose weight. That every year people go and come back lighter than when they went. After our year abroad and everyone was back in the UK, the majority of people had indeed lost a fair few pounds. Most people looked pretty damn slim and healthy. I say most people because I actually put weight on in Japan. Nothing big, nothing even that noticeable to other people, but the scales don’t lie, I was heavier than before I went. Did I care at the time? Nope. The food in Japan is amazing, and not just the Japanese food. You have high quality and delicious Korean, Chinese and Italian food here too just to name a few. 10 months of gorging on ramen, pasta, curry and sushi (often tabehoudai (all you can eat) together with nomihoudai (all you can drink best/worst invention in the world!) had resulted in the gain in weight. Many of the main social activities in Japan centering around food and drinking in some way.

Upon returning to the UK and not having the same temptation/opportunity to just go to the city at any time meet some friends and have a food/alcohol orgy like I did before, I had a much healthier eating lifestyle. Me and my roommate would often try food related challenges such as ‘Vegetarian Month’ (Fegebruary anyone? Best name ever!). I had also started running, actually to the point where my cheap oakleys big toenail fell off, fun times. Going back to Japan in September 2012 at age 22, I was a lot fitter than the time I left and was looking forward to sampling all the cuisine that Japan had to offer again. However I vowed that this time I would make an effort to cook more and have a ‘healthier’ diet. Boy, did I fail!

Tsukemen

Izakaya Menu

Example of the Japanese curry I would often eat during lunch

All very substantial heavy meals (enough to see them through the next grueling hours of work and god knows how many hours of unnecessary over time), apart for the noodles all other meals will come with rice too (though my friends often order some plain rice to go with their noodles!) It is a far cry from the meal I use to have for lunch when I worked back in the UK, which was a sandwich and some fruit! Yes the salaryman lunch is very high calorie indeed.

The Japanese diet is often regarded as one of the best in the world. So many books have been written on how to stay healthy and slim by ‘eating Japanese’. The average OL (Office Lady) and family diet (ie. mum and kids) is amazing.

As with most things there is always a choice, a solution, a golden ray of hope for those that are willing to take the plunge. After living like this for a year I decided to flip my own diet around and get out of the salaryman diet spiral. I now have lots of energy and feel great. Watch this space as there will be a future post about this.

In the mean time, stay healthy people!Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

*Those that fancy reading some more about the Japanese diet, particularly that of Salarymen and can read Japanese. Check out this survey that was done by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government about the eating habits of around 500 people (male and female from all ages). Among other things it shows that only 30% of males either have their lunch in the work canteen or somewhere not classed as ‘eating out’ which is probably bento.

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Alcohol and Work in Japan

My last article introduced you to some of the main alcohols that are available here in Japan. I also talked a little bit about who they were aimed at, as well as some background about how the genetic make up of a percentage of Japanese people mean they can not physically drink alcohol. Here is a handy dandy link for those that missed it.Выбор садовой мебелиWatch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

Ok, this article is going to focus specifically on alcohol and how it relates to working life here in Japan. I said in the last article that a few of you might be thinking “What has alcohol got to do with work!?” my answer being “Everything!” and oh boy does it!

Ok so this video is like THE textbook example and I am not saying that it is ALWAYS like this. But when I first started working I was cautioned multiple times about the way I poured, or for not noticing that my seniors glass was empty i.e. I should have been filling it up.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

In my own experience I have witnessed the same advice being given. I have a Japanese friend who entered the company at the same time as me, who had the same worry as above. He said that he didn’t particularly like alcohol and couldn’t drink that much (1-2 350ml cans). During one of our orientation lectures he asked one of our oakley outlet seniors what he should do. The senior employee answered with that he should drink more! That the more he drank the more he would come to like alcohol and the more he would become able to drink! What surprised me even more was that my friend responded saying that he would try his best to drink more and would drink at least two cans a day to train his body! As if it was some kind of homework to do. Crazy stuff.

I myself love to drink. So was totally over the moon when I heard about all this drinking that would be going on in my company (I was actually asked in my last interview if I liked alcohol and could drink a lot! I often wonder if I had said no, if I would have not gotten the job). However when you are at the bottom of the food chain there is a lot of 300만원대출 non-fun things you are expected to do. Furthermore many Japanese people assume that foreigners can drink a lot and often want to test this crazy theory out.  Finally it is indeed an extension of work, so don’t expect cheap jerseys china the conversation to be anything too exciting either, unless after 9 hours working you are up to spending another 4 hours talking about more work matters.

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Alcohol in Japan

In my own personal experience the most common way beer Fake Oakleys is drunk in Japan is nama, which is draft beer. The main characteristics are that it is not only extremely cold but also that there is a relatively big white fluffy head on it. In England it is actually common to get a pint re-poured if there’s too much head on it. But the Japanese LOVE it. I mean check out these father`s day present where the only purpose of these gifts is to make beer have a froffy head….crazy.Visual Cage

HOLY SWEET POTATO BATMAN!

Ok so that was at quick and dirty introduction to some of the main drinks you can find in a Japan and Japanese izakaya. Trust me, there are many, many, many more. But how does this all link with work?! I hear you ask. Well that lovely topic will be covered in Friday’s post! You will find out how to pour that perfect beer like a Japanese person, and the surprising dark side of corporate drinking. I can practically feel your excitement…..

Stay tuned!

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Applying for a Working Holiday Visa Japan from the UK

This article is going to walk you through how to successfully apply for a Working Holiday Visa for Japan from the United Kingdom. I will supply the EXACT documents that I used and you are more than welcome to take them for yourself, alter them a little and submit them. Hell you can even just change my name to yours and submit them the way they are!

The Japanese Working Holiday Visa is an amazing visa that will allow the holder to stay in Japan for one year, allowing them to work an unlimited amount of hours. Now they do stress that this visa in NOT for people who are specifically looking to just work or study, the main focus should be travel with any side jobs there to help support this. This is a key thing to remember when filling in all the information for your  application.Below is a list taken form the Japanese government website detailing the general requirements of the applicant and also the documents required to be submitted.

British Passport Fully-loaded with a Beautiful Visa

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Japan, a wonderful imperfect country

England, my home country, is a great place. There are plenty of days when I miss my ‘simpler’ life, living in the English countryside where my biggest worry was what was going to be the prize for next week’s pub quiz. However, since I was 15 years old I have had an almost obsessive fascination with Japan. Fast forward 7 years and I am finally living my dream of working here in Tokyo, and I have to say Japan is a fantastic place to live.

Now don’t get me wrong there’s plenty of stress here too. My personal favorites being the whole job hunting business, hours of overtime and ridiculously packed trains. Don’t worry they’ll be plenty about these delightful topics in future posts.

All in all however I love living in Japan. Tokyo is so exhilarating and vibrant. When I used to work in Kanagawa for Mercedes Benz it was so beautiful riding the train to work, with the morning rays beaming across the river before inter-lapping between the city skyscrapers again. I’m a big fan of the urban jungle and there plenty of beauty to be find here in the sprawling metropolis, but there was something about seeing the morning sun ricocheting off that river surrounded on either side by the every growing ‘Tokyo’ that made me feel lucky to be in Japan.

Tokyo at Sunset

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