People in Japan: Shouta
Venture East of Tokyo and you will find beautiful terraced rice fields, fruit farms and possibly the best surfing spots in Japan. That’s right, we’re talking about Chiba, which boasts of great nature and is popular among Tokyoites dying to escape the city life.
After returning from a year of university studies in Russia, Shouta now lives and works in Sodegaura, Chiba. Bunka asks him what it is like to live in the countryside.
Describe your daily routine.
Shouta: On my days off, I would usually be at home if I don’t have any plans. I’d probably be watching anime on my computer.
Which part of Japan do you live in and how is like living there?
Shouta: Once you start living in Chiba, you may adopt the gentle demeanor of the Chiba people!
State one advantage and disadvantage about working in Chiba.
Shouta: One good thing about working in Chiba is that you don’t have to invest much effort in maintaining relationships with others. The only downside is that it’s difficult to get a job.
What tips would you give expats/tourists who are new to Japan?
Shouta: If you’re talking about tips… it may sound strange but it’s nothing scary. Japan is much safer than other countries so it is okay not to be on one’s guard.
Tell us something interesting that most people wouldn’t know about your city.
Shouta: The charms of Mito? Sorry! Nothing comes to mind! Well, the vegetables are cheap here. You can get 5 kilograms of vegetables for ¥800 (SGD10).
If you’re referring to things people don’t know about, I would say the beauty of the snowfall in Chiba. It can be very pretty but also an inconvenience at the same time. There would be train disruptions which affect me getting to work.
What activities would you recommend to tourists visiting Japan?
Shouta: If it’s their first time visiting Japan, I would recommend them to visit places that are synonymous with certain seasons. The best place to appreciate the epitome of Japanese culture and beauty in all four seasons would be Kyoto.
What advice would you give to someone learning Japanese?
Shouta: Japanese is really difficult! There are even some locals who aren’t very fluent in it as well! I guess the best way would be to use it in conversations regularly. Maybe that’s why people learning Japanese tend to speak a lot!
Learn Japanese words!
在住者 (zaijuusha) – resident
起床 (kishoo) – getting out of bed
朝 (asa) – morning
シャワー (shawaa) – shower
朝食 (chooshoku) – breakfast
出勤 (shukkin) – attendance (at work)
仕事 (shigoto) – work
帰宅 (kitaku) – go home
洗濯 (sentaku) – washing/cleaning/laundry
休憩 (kyuukei) – rest
夕食 (yuushoku) – dinner
ゴミ (gomi) – rubbish
寝る (neru) – sleep
準備 (junbi) – preparation
就寝 (shuushin) – going to bed