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Anonymous sent: hey! i was wondering what work life is like in Japan - what's the standard work week, how's overtime, etc - I've heard before that working in Japan is really exhausting but idk if that's just people saying things or if it really is a cultural difference.

Exhausting is putting it lightly. Where do I even start?

I get paid for a 40-hour week. In reality, I am at work for an average of about 50 hours per week. There’s an unspoken rule that employees in Japan arrive to work at least 15 minutes early, but my coworkers and I usually arrive 20-25 minutes before our shifts start (to clock in, print daily schedules, set up classrooms, clean, discuss things that need to be done for the day, etc).

I teach about 8 classes a day, sometimes less, rarely more. I get an “hour” for lunch, which means whatever time I can scrape together between classes, meeting with parents, seeing off students. So my lunch usually ends up being about 45 minutes on a good day. There are no breaks.

After a good 9-10 hours of running around, switching classrooms, talking to parents, lesson planning, teaching model lessons, and appeasing my manager by performing other various tasks, the day is finally over. But wait—there’s more!

After my shift is over, I still have several duties to perform. I talk to my manager about any problematic classes or students, prepare for the next day’s lessons, record attendance, put away tables and chairs in classrooms, and clean the school (either vacuuming all of the classrooms or wiping down all surfaces, depending on the day).

Of course, I can only speak for my own job. I’m sure some have it harder, and some have it easier, as in any economy. But I’ve just kind of become accustomed to being tired all the time. I couldn’t do it for the rest of my life, and I have NO idea how Japanese people do. Sure, part of it is a cultural difference, but Americans are known to be some of the craziest workaholics on the planet, and American work ethic pales in comparison to Japan’s. But Japanese people are humans too. Most everyone is in a perpetual state of exhaustion, they’re just very good at hiding it.

WHEN I DON’T KNOW A JAPANESE WORD SO I SAY IT IN ENGLISH WITH A JAPANESE ACCENT

ijustcanttoday:

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Hanami picnic at Hiroshima Peace Park.

Hanami picnic at Hiroshima Peace Park.

WHEN I GO SOMEWHERE WHERE PEOPLE MAKE OUTWARD DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

ijustcanttoday:

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A beautiful day at Iwakuni last weekend.

A beautiful day at Iwakuni last weekend.

Anonymous sent: okay sorry this is the anon who asked way too many questions on your other blog lol WHOOPS so let me try to ask a smaller question - what's typical breakfast like in Japan? What do people keep in their kitchens to break out in the morning for breakfast?

As in the US, breakfasts in Japan differ from household to household. I personally eat fruit granola with soy milk, sometimes accompanied with yogurt or a banana, and always with enough coffee to drown in. But that’s me.

When I was living with a Japanese family a couple of years ago, we would usually eat a combination of rice, fried eggs with soy sauce, tofu, seaweed, and things like that. Sometimes we would have cheese toast, and on weekends we would usually have hotcakes or pastries. Sometimes we even ate french fries! But I think what’s viewed as a traditional “Japanese breakfast” is usually rice, miso soup, fried eggs, tofu, or some variation thereof. At least from my experience. :)

consultingdinosaur:

Spent the day at Miyajima hiking up Mt. Misen.

consultingdinosaur:

Spent the day at Miyajima hiking up Mt. Misen.

Spent the day hiking up Mt. Misen on Miyajima. So difficult, but so worth the view!

WHEN I WALK BY SOMEONE AND THEY NOTICE I’M A FOREIGNER

ijustcanttoday:

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I have some new friends to decorate my apartment with~