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October 20, 2009

Return to Japan part 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — espeed @ 8:13 pm — Tags:

Last time, I was sitting in my hotel contemplating my return to Japan. This time, I’m going to talk about the following week and my adventures finding an apartment.

The Monday after I arrived I visited a realtors office so he could find me a place to live. I didn’t much care about size but I wanted a place close to work and good arcades. I work in Shinjuku and there’s a really good arcade in Shibuya so he ended up showing me a place in Shibuya and a couple of places in Shinjuku.

They were all fine but one of the places in Shinjuku was a block from work and came furnished so I went with that place. I spent a few days chilling and bumming about around Shibuya and other places in Tokyo. It’s pretty nice to be in this city and not have any obligations but I would be glad to return to work. It’s good to have a purpose in life.

In Japan, apartments have quite high move in costs. Not only is there 1 month rent agency fee and 1-2 months deposit but there’s also 1-2 months of key money (??) which is essentially a bribe to sweeten the deal for the landlord. This plus first month’s rent and stuff like lock changing fee and cleaning fee made me worried for a bit that I wouldn’t be able to move in as soon as I needed. In the end, everything worked out and I was able to move in.

In that time, I also went to the Tokyo Game Show with Hidde and spent quite a bit of time sleeping. In the near future, I’ll have a post about the former but probably not about the latter.

October 19, 2009

Return to Japan part 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — espeed @ 9:26 pm — Tags:

I’m going to begin a series of posts to map out my entry into Japan and anything else interesting happens while I’m here.  Smaller updates get posted to twitter at  In general, everything I do is low traffic since I’m pretty low key but the things I do post tend to be things that are hopefully a tad bit interesting.


August 13, 2008

Obon Week

Filed under: Uncategorized — espeed @ 9:00 am — Tags:

It’s been awhile since I posted which is unfortunate, but generally my day has consisted of: getting up, going to work, working, going out, sleeping, repeat.  This leaves little time for awesome blog posts.  Also, since I’m not out exploring like last year, my day is more routine and less hot touristy action.  On a positive note, I did update my last blog post with pictures, so you can go check that out if you want.

This week, however, I’m on vacation because it’s Obon week.  It’s the week that the Japanese return to their homes in the countryside and light laterns to guide the spirits of the dead back home.  It’s like Mexico’s Day of the Dead, but in August. 

While I’m technically on vacation (literally as well until today or possibly tomorrow at least), my project deadline is coming up and it’s hard for me not to think about work.  I’m pretty sure I can’t just go to work legitimately, but who’s to stop me form stopping by when I’m in the neighborhood, just to check on things.

In anycase, this is a vacation and I’ll probably update with interesting things sooner rather than later.

July 31, 2008

Living Conditions in Japan

Filed under: Uncategorized — espeed @ 2:51 pm — Tags:

I’ve been in Japan for a bit now, and as I’ve subtly alluded to, I’m not sleeping on the streets.  Previously, I’ve mentioned that some sort of apartment exists, but I’ve not really gone into more detail than that.   The purpose of this post is to shed some light onto the nature of my living conditions.  To that end, this post will probably be pretty short because the apartment is small and generally, apartments are not very interesting.  This post will be divided up into 4 short sections:  my room, the kitchen, the toilet, and the bathroom. (more…)

July 12, 2008

How to be a foreigner in Japan

Filed under: Uncategorized — espeed @ 12:55 am — Tags:

I was going to write this awhile ago, but I broke my chair again.  They haven’t replaced it yet, but there’s a second hand shop below my apartment, so I bought a real chair there for about $10.  It’s so amazing.  One of the best decisions I’ve made in my short life.

The title of this post is pretty vague; this isn’t going to be some kind of guide.  Really, I’m just going to describe some of the hoops I had to jump through as a foreigner in the land of the rising sun.  Foreigners are called gaijin in Japan, so I’ll use that term from now on.  Unlike in the US, the term is not considered offensive, and it’s not uncommon for people and signs to address outsiders as simply ‘gaijin.’ (more…)

July 5, 2008

From Narita to my Apartment

Filed under: Uncategorized — espeed @ 2:13 am — Tags:

Another installment of my life in Japan.

Narita is a pretty simple airport so I didn’t have much trouble with it.  I changed about 100 dollars into yen, and then withdrew about 300 more from an ATM.  I did the cash exchange simply because you never know when an american bank will decide to not let you have money overseas.  I had let them know beforehand of course, but this was to be on the safe side. (more…)

July 1, 2008

The flight to Japan

Filed under: Uncategorized — espeed @ 12:36 am — Tags:

So the point of short blog posts was to make them frequent in easy to digests bits of goodness (or badness I guess).  I think I would have been able to achieve that if it hadn’t been for an unfortunate accident.  At the beginning of last week, I sat down in my chair and it broke.  I believe there were two reasons for this terrible accident.

  1. The chair was small and crappy.
  2. I’m pretty damn heavy.

It took about a week for me to get a new chair, and then I went away for the weekend, so now during the last few minutes of my lunch break, I’m writing a post about airplanes. (more…)

June 21, 2008

Japan 2: Electric Boogaloo

Filed under: Uncategorized — espeed @ 9:58 pm — Tags:

Summer is fully here and once again I find myself in Japan.  This time, however, I’m not here as a tourist but as a productive member of society.  Or something like that.  Through the MIT Japan program (info here), I’ve landed an internship with everyone’s favorite gaming company Square Enix.  Square Enix is great because not only do they make games (which is fun but not always exciting) but they also have an Advanced Research Group which does cutting edge work in fields related to game technology. 

My goal (with this blog) this time around is to have short posts which generally concern one thing.  We’ll see if I’ll actually be able to work that out or not, but I’ll try.  This post represents the introduction to my stay and won’t cover anything specific.  As a preview of the next episodes, I’ll talk about my flight over here, my apartment, registering as a foreigner, and opening a bank account.  Of course, I also have posts written about non Japan related topics which I’ll post intermittently as well.  I’ll try to post some explanatory things which will help people get only the topics they want.

For now, my room:

My Room

December 22, 2007

I did go to Japan and I have proof!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — espeed @ 11:14 pm — Tags:

So, I’ve been meaing to do it for quite a long time, but I finally have pictures of my Japan trip uploaded.  There are no comments but if you have questions about any of the pics just ask.

Find them here:

Well, people, enjoy.  Those are my favorites.  I have many more pictures of statues and what not, but I didn’t think they were interesting enough to bore everyone with.

September 6, 2007

Back in the United States

Filed under: Uncategorized — espeed @ 9:13 am — Tags:

I meant to write this closer to getting back, but of course I had to deal with all sorts of things upon my arrival.

This will be the last substantive post relating to this Japan visit, although I will add a scattering of new posts to make you all aware of pictures I’ve uploaded to some place on the internet. (more…)

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