June 23, 2014

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3 Fascinating Japanese Tourist Attractions

Shinjuku

We’ve spoken already about the tourist attractions of Tokyo, however the most visited tourist attraction in Tokyo is Shinjuku. It is in fact a districshrinet rather than an individual tourist attraction.

It is the skyscraper district and it hails from the 1970s. It’s an extremely crowded commercial area and has a whole host of sites, and you can lose one or two days there without any trouble at all. There are fascinating shopping zones, for example some extraordinary basement food halls sporting all sorts of strange Japanese cuisine. There are some beautiful parks including the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

This is a stunning garden which was originally the residence of one of Japan’s most famous families in the 1600s, after which it became a garden under the management of the Imperial household agency of Japan. It is now a park operated by the National Ministry of the environment.

Extraordinarily this park and garden totals almost 59 hectares with a circumference of around 3 1/2 kilometres. It features French formal gardens, an English garden and a Japanese traditional garden together with a traditional Japanese teahouse.

It is particularly stunning during the cherry blossom season. Should you wish to view the garden it’s worth remembering that it is normally closed on Mondays except during the cherry blossom season and chrysanthemum season, which are from late March to late April each year as well as early November. Otherwise the garden is open seven days a week. There is a stunning greenhouse which is also well worth a visit.monkeys

Jigokudani Monkey Park

Also extraordinary is the Jigokudani Monkey Park. This is located in a hot spring area near Nagano. Steam and boiling water bubble out of the ground, which is frozen, and there are extremely steep cliffs and forests surrounding the park. The major attraction of the park is its population of wild snow monkeys that come down into the park during the winter. [...]

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June 23, 2014

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Tokyo, One Of The Worlds Most Livable (And Expensive) Cities

tokyo2No visit to Japan is complete without a visit to Tokyo. In fact chances are you will fly into Tokyo and so you will be right there.

However it’s essential that you set aside at least a week for a stay in Tokyo, there is so much to do and so many things to see.

Tokyo is one of the most populous cities in the world. It is of course the capital of Japan and also its the center of the greater Tokyo area. The Japanese government is found in Tokyo as well as the Imperial Palace which is the home of the Imperial family of Japan.

Japan is made up of 47 prefectures, and Tokyo is officially a “metropolitan prefecture” which makes it unique in Japan, as it has elements of both a city and a prefecture.

The city is broken up into 23 wards, each of which is governed as an individual city. [...]

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June 23, 2014

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A Brief History Of Japan

japan12Japan is an ancient country, and there is evidence of habitation in what was known as the Japanese archipelago from around 30,000 BC. This has been called the Japanese Palaeolithic period and was the period when the very first stone tools were used in Japan, as has been found by the evidence.

There is controversy about whether or not Japan was inhabited prior to around 30,000 BC, with some archaeologists supporting the view that habitation goes back 5000 years further. The earliest human bones that have been discovered in Japan have been dated back to around 15,000 years ago.

Subsequent to the Palaeolithic period Japan was inhabited by a hunter gatherer culture and their genetics can be traced through to the contemporary Yamato people of Japan. It is known that they had rudimentary agriculture as well as rudimentary dwellings. There are also some simple examples of very early Japanese pottery from that period.japanese-woman

The first written evidence of the Japanese was around the third century when a Chinese historical text called the Records of the Three Kingdoms makes reference to the Japanese area. It is known that Buddhism was introduced into Japan around that time.

By the period commencing around 600 A.D. Buddhism was well established in Japan.

Similarly as was the case with many other cultures there have been epidemics which have killed large numbers of the Japanese population and one of these was around the year 735 A.D. when a smallpox epidemic killed, according to some experts, somewhere around one third of the population. [...]

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July 27, 2014

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I’m Getting To Japan No Matter How Much It Costs

I don’t know what it is but all my life I’ve had an obsession with Japan. Right from my earliest years in education I was learning Japanese and when I was very young my parents took me to Japan as a treat. Whilst I’m sure it was a wonderful holiday I was really a little young to appreciate it, but from that time of always wanted to go back and spend some time in Japan.

And of course because I’ve spent a lot of years learning Japanese I am dying to know how well I can communicate with the local people in their own language. I’m sure my Japanese will be useful to me in some form of career but I’m interested to see how I go with the language face-to-face with real Japanese people.

Sadly getting to Japan won’t be that easy. It’s not that it’s difficult getting there, you just buy a flight. The problem is not so much the practicalities of getting there it’s the cost. Unfortunately Japan is extremely expensive to visit.

I’ve heard some horrifying stories about the cost of travelling in Japan. It seems like everything is about ten times the price of what I would pay for it at home, and it’s become a little frightening trying to work out how I’m going to finance my trip.

I can’t afford to take a long trip, my finances won’t allow anything like that, in fact without taking out a small loan I’m not even going to be able to afford to go at all. The most that I think I can afford, without taking out a much bigger loan, is about two weeks.

And I can only afford that two weeks by stretching my finances to the maximum and taking out a small installment loan.

But I’m not going to let that put me off. I can always spend time working hard when I get back to pay off my installment loan, and I plan to do that. But I’m not going to let the fact that I need to take out a loan put off my trip to Japan. I’ve waited too many years to do this and now it’s time to do it.

Once I’ve got my loan organised, and the money in the bank, I’m going to book a flight to Tokyo. I’m going to spend at least half of my two week holiday in Tokyo because its Tokyo that interests me more than anything else. But again I’m horrified at the possibility of what it will cost me to stay in Tokyo.

Hopefully I can get the biggest loan possible, because I’m told that hotels in Tokyo are enormously expensive and I’ve spent some time online researching the cost of accommodation in Tokyo. It’s horrifying.

But like I say, I’m not letting that put me off.

After a week or so in Tokyo I’m planning to spend my time travelling around the country. I will only have a week to do so so I’m not likely to see more than a small portion of the countryside, but I really want to get out into some small Japanese towns to see how the people live in the countryside.

I’m hoping that a week spent travelling around the countryside of Japan will balance up the week I spend in Tokyo. I expect to see a huge difference between how the people in Tokyo live compared to how the people into the Japanese countryside live.

Once I’m done I’ll write about it here. I’ll tell you all about my Japanese travel experiences and also tell you about how it’s going paying off the loan. And I’ll tell you how much it cost, though I think it will be frightening.

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July 27, 2014

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American Sports Nutrition Products Making Their Presense In Japan

Being a huge supporter of the Japanese culture and American, I am constantly showing interest in US businesses making their existence known in overseas markets – after all, I travel to Japan and work for a US businesses that has a strong presence in Japan.

On my last visit, when I saw that health and fitness brands and US sports companies were releasing their world-renowned products I got that tingling sense of American pride, and became rather excited.

You see, for a long time I have been working out with weights as an amateur body builder, and our American brands were pretty hard to come by whenever I visited Japan – even though US companies have a reputation as being the finest makers of creatine nutritional supplements.

Like most matters we believe in creating only the best quality products. And our many sports nutrition companies are certainly not an exception.

Creatine was first found by me when I was doing an internet search online, and I came across this wonderful web site which provides a good selection of sports nutrition products and outstanding reviews.

A particular post from the website got my focus, which supplies a comparison chart of the creatine nutritional supplements that were considered to be the best in the world – click this link to see them – it is also possible to compare the brands to select the most suitable type for your needs.

Many American brands were on the list. But there were also a few other brands on there which are as great in quality – one being Japanese.

In days gone by when I’ve gone to Japan, it’s been rather challenging to buy these products – because it is usually just found in the United States, and when the price of the international transportation is added onto the purchase price it makes it rather pricey to be exported, so I can understand why they don’t have it there.

So no doubt I was pleased once I saw these brands had made their way into the bodybuilding shops – it means that I will not need to pack the nutritional supplements next time I travel there!

It is going to make an enormous difference, because I will now be able to pick it up from any local shop and take it about with me while I travel.

One thing about these American products that makes them extraordinarily great is they’re made from some of the finest and purest quality creatine you’ll ever find out there. Some of the Japanese brands are made from a creatine base that is much poorer in quality when compared to the American ones.

These American brands I consider I consider to be the best on the planet, although I have analyzed pretty much every other brand accessible, and it’s fair to say that there are some other good ones made by other countries, however American products are best! I am aware that this may seem biased given that I’m American.

I know for a fact that our brands of sports nutrition products perform the best in lab testings to ensure that they are of the highest standard and quality before being made available for sale to consumers.

Seeing them here in Tokyo is undoubtedly a sign that is very bright, and I certainly do expect to see many more American companies making their existence in Japan.

And although I’ve been visiting here for some years now, I feel a powerful sense of pride whenever I see products from my home country on Tokyo’s shelves.

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July 25, 2014

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Travelling Within Japan

Travelling within Japan is easy because the country has an excellent infra structure. There are high capacity planes flying the relative short distances. This means that very often you can make an affordable late booking should you choose to fly.

If you rather travel by train (more on this later), the country has a relatively dense network of high (and higher!) speed trains as well (Japan has hi-speed trains and trains that go even faster than the hi-speed trains).

Travelling by car is also easy if you can get used to driving on the left hand side of the road.

In addition all (road) signs are in Japanese and in English as well.

But…

Travelling within Japan can also be very difficult. Why you might wonder? The most important reason that travel can be difficult in Japan (but not always is difficult) is that many Japanese do not speak English.

That is to say, they might be able to help you with their limited knowledge of English, but they might not always do so. This has to do with the culture of shame in Japan. I have even experienced a Japanese man turning his back on my when he saw me approaching. So don’t be shocked when this happens to you.

Travel Within the Cities

Traveling in big cities, or rather moving around in big cities is best done using the smaller trains, and the metro or subway.

You might be familiar with the pictures of metro personnel pushing in people into the trains at rush hour to get the most people in. The obvious tip here is to avoid the rush hours. Don’t go out before 9.30, and don’t return around 6pm. From about 7pm metros start to get quieter.

Travel by Car

If you decide to hire a car, realize that in Japan they drive on the left side of the road. If you’ve never done this, don’t worry. It is not as difficult as it looks. The trick here is to make sure you “go with the flow of traffic“. Most mistakes are made when you’re the only car on the road (which rarely happens in Japan).

The number of strange cars you will see in the cities might surprise you. Japanese can be quite extravagant with the cars they produce. Most of the cars are smaller cars, since space is limited.

Big family cars, even for travelling long distances with big families is not something you will see very often. This makes bigger cars also more expensive than the compact versions.

It is not that you won’t see big family cars or SUV’s, but if you do, it is often mainly an expression of status (to which the Japanese are pretty sensitive).

Travel by Train

As mentioned before, travelling between major cities is relatively easy if you know what you’re doing and if you know where you’re going. Planes connect the major and minor cities, and if you’re able to figure out which fast train to get you will get to your final destination pretty quickly.

If you do decide to travel by train it often makes most sense as a tourist to get yourself a so-called rail pass. Figuring out which train runs where, and what you can do with your rail pass can be a bit of a study, so make sure you take enough time to do so. You can read more about the Japanese bullet train here.

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July 16, 2014

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Tips on Securing a Personal Loan for Travel

Travelling can be considered a part of almost everyone’s bucket list. As travelling to exotic places such as Japan, it is an eye opener to see cultures different from your own. Because of this, many people really take the time and make the effort to travel. But travelling does not come cheap, making personal loans a popular option to assist one with their travelling plans.

Personal Loan Options

  • Variable rate personal loan. An unsecured loan, this sort of loan allows you the flexibility of paying extra, should you have any excess cash on hand. Although it comes with a slightly higher interest rate, this sort of loan is best for those who do not have a fixed schedule for their income. With the flexible repayment schemes, you can pay whenever, be it on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. Best about this is that you can redraw any amount against your loanable balance, as long as you have made regular payments.
  • Fixed rate personal loan. An unsecured loan, this kind of personal loan requires you to make payments of fixed amounts. Best about this kind of loan is that you will be paying a fixed amount that you have pre-agreed upon. The interest rate will also remain fixed all throughout the time you are servicing the loan. For those who are conscientious about budgeting, this kind of loan will be most applicable as you can choose the loan term. That way you can schedule your repayments properly, depending in your cash flow. Moreover the interest rates are usually lower for this loan.

How to Go About to Get A Personal Loan

With a myriad of banks offering personal loans, all you need to do is apply for a loan. You can even do this online. Just key in your details and you will be notified immediately if you are qualified for the loan. Should all your documents be in order, the loaned amount will usually be credited within the same day. Find out more about personal loan by visiting this website, rateline.com.au.

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July 14, 2014

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How to Save for Your Next Japan Holiday

Photo by syvwlch

Going on a holiday would require a lot of planning, especially if it is to be spent in Japan. You need to consider a lot of things to make sure that your vacation will be meaningful; not only for you but for your family as well. Probably the most important of all these considerations is money. You need to make sure that you have enough funds not only for fare, lodging and accommodations; but also for pocket money allotted for purchasing gifts and mementos.

As early as now, you have to begin saving up money. If you think that your present income would not be sufficient, here are valuable ways to earn extra income at home:

  1. Work as freelancer. Freelancing works have been in demand online over the last few years. If you are good in writing, graphic designs, and translations, then you may find that working as a freelancer at home offers a good and consistent opportunity to earn at home.
  1. Work as an administrative assistant. Are you good in administrative work like typing, data entry, and keeping schedules? You could take advantage of the growing administrative work-at-home opportunities. You can work as a virtual assistant, who functions like an all-around administrative assistant, or you can specialize on certain types of skill-related positions. Some well-known administrative assistant positions that you could explore include transcriptionists and customer service specialists.
  1. Teach English. Online English teaching has been a growing trend over the last decade. This is particularly true especially for teaching conversational English. Japanese people, as well as Chinese and Koreans are common customers. The good thing about this is that, unlike the previous two, a class would only take about 25 minutes to an hour every day, but the pay-out is really good.
  1. Set up an online store. Do you have ample time to spend on social media like Facebook? Why not try setting up an online store. All you need to do is create a business page on Facebook. You can then start promoting this to your Facebook community of friends. You will be surprised at how this can be both fun and very rewarding.

With the advent of the outsourcing as a common business practice, more opportunities to earn income online have been opened. This is something that is worth taking advantage of. Outsourcing jobs are very good paying and do not take up as much time as your regular job. All you need to have is a computer and a good, working internet connection. Find out more about the top home work ideas by clicking here.

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