Japan · Life in Japan · Random

The Little Surprises in Life

So I don’t know if I have mentioned it before, but I live in a teacher’s housing apartment block on the fourth floor (right at the top), and my next door neighbours are a young family with a 3 year old girl (or somewhere around that age). She loves to collect ‘things’ when they go out and every time they return from their outing, she places whatever she found on the staircase wall-thing that is outside both our front doors. Normally it is various sizes of sticks, pieces of plastic (usually orange in colour) and little rocks.

However, this evening I come home from school to find the most gorgeous little pine cone Christmas tree sitting there amongst her collection. I immediately grabbed my phone to take a picture as it put such a smile on my face, and I love the fact that I will see it every time I leave my apartment.

I am now quite tempted to add my own Christmas ornament to her collection just for the fun of it, but she might have this whole thing masterfully planned as to what gets placed where, so maybe I won’t. 😉


8 thoughts on “The Little Surprises in Life

    1. I admit I have found the language somewhat difficult to learn and understand. But at the same time I find it fascinating!
      I came to Japan only knowing a few useful sentences, and 4 months in I am still at a very basic level.
      However, I have found that I do understand what is being said much more than before arriving here (being in a staffroom the whole day hearing nothing but Japanese can do that) 😉


      1. Awesome! I am trying to learn too but yeah it’s difficult! Do you know of any good resources? How did you gey involved in teacher there? JET program????


      2. I like to use the website ‘Erin’s Challenge’ https://www.erin.ne.jp/en/ – it really helps visually to learn and understand the language (and culture as well).
        Yip, I went through the JET programme. It was a long and sometimes stressful application process, but in the end I am very happy that I got accepted 🙂


      3. I was looking into the JET programme too! Any tips or advice or info about it you can share?


      4. Wow, there are a lot of hints and tips I could provide, though I will try to keep this post short 😉

        I will say that the best source of information for the JET Programme is your country’s Japanese Embassy website. There you should find all the nitty-gritty things about requirements and applications dates, etc.

        The application date for next year’s programme closes at the end of this month, November (for most countries), and then it will open again for in September next year for 2016.

        The main requirement is that you have a university degree, doesn’t matter what it is in (this is for work visa purposes); and a proficiency in English.

        You work as an ALT (assistant language teacher) in either elementary, junior high or senior high schools. You cannot choose where you would like to be placed in Japan, but you can give three preferences that they will take into consideration. I got my second preference, Hiroshima, which I am extremely happy about.

        You can work as an ALT for up to 5 years in Japan.

        If you want to strengthen your application form, then you could get a TEFL certificate. Though mind you, I never had one when I applied, yet here I am.

        There is actually tonnes more I could say, and as you can see I love to write… but I will stop here and give you my e-mail if you would like to ask any specific questions or get some more info about something:


        I hope that helps, and if you do apply then best of luck! I have already posted on this blog a section on writing the ‘Statement of Purpose’ essay, and in the New Year I will write about the interview stage of the application (as they happen in January/February every year).

        So there will be more info to do with JET coming soon 🙂


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