I have been here now for almost two months. I have made new friends and had new experiences, and I still love the country and the people. I guess I’m really here to stay.

By now, however, my feeling of endless holidays has subsided a little, and I believe I need to get moving and start getting serious about this. First of all: I need new routines, which means I need to work on my Japanese. Seriously. Already last month I started to study Kanji every day, and I so far I am satisfied with the results. However, I’ll need to do more than to start reading, so my plan for now is to study new things (Kanji and grammar) in the morning and do revisions in the evenings, both for at least one hour, more is even better. I still want to go out and explore the city – especially as this month is the famous Gion matsuri (you’ll hear about that one, promised) – but I’m planning to do that in the afternoon if possible. This is a good time to go out, because if the weather is nice, my room is too hot to do anything in there, even sleeping. So, this seems like a good plan.

Also, I’ll need to start looking for a job more seriously. The first question that poses itself however, is: Which type of job? Something full-time, related to what I’ve been doing so far or teaching English? There are pro’s and con’s to both. A “normal” job in a company, possibly a Japanese one, is probably hard to find because it may require more knowledge of Japanese than I have at the moment. Also, many jobs in my field are located in Tokyo, and I’d rather not go there, the city is crazy. No matter where, it will be difficult or even impossible get a part time job, and a full time job here means full time and then some, so I am a bit worried that I may not have the time or energy to keep up studying the language properly. Of course, living and working in a Japanese environment should quickly increase at least my listening comprehension, and it’s also interesting to get some hands-on experience of Japanese work life.
Teaching English is the easy option in the sense that such a job may be comparatively easy to find, also in Kyoto. Depending on the school – remember that I consider only adult education – I may be able to only work as many hours as I need to get by, so I can have another part-time job studying Japanese so to speak, in order to find a more decent job later on. The big con is that I will mostly speak English during work and will be associating with other foreigners who may only be here for a limited amount of time. That’s not really a good way to build a network in a new country, I think.

So, yes, with respect to work I have not yet decided, although I tend towards a “decent” job right now, mostly because I’m not really a patient teacher, as my old students will testify. Anyway, time to get moving in some direction. It’s always possible to change course later.

2 thoughts on “Routine”

  1. Iris,

    You write so well and have learned so much about Japan and its customs. I would suggest that you offer your services as a private tour guide. I don’t know how you would publicize your availability. Maybe you could go to some of the big hotels and explain that you can take people around for a day and explain the temples and festivals etc. This would be for people who don’t want to get on a bus with 40 other people. You speak 3 languages.

    Also your photographs are wonderful.

    Books don’t make money but you could do a lovely travel book on Kyoto Festivals and temples.

    Keep writing.


    1. Thank you for your kind words Zinnia!

      It’s funny how things are working… Long before I came here, I thought about tour guiding in Kyoto. Just this morning I received an email from a friend suggesting the same. And only yesterday, I was talking about opening a private tour-guide company together with a friend here in Kyoto and another one in Tokyo…

      If this thing is popping up at the same time from different sources – maybe I should indeed investigate this further?

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