28 February 2011

...almost there!

After waiting 3 days I was able to get my Work Visa. Like the first time I went to the embassy I had to show my I.D. at the door as well as being searched as I went inside. I was lucky (or maybe unlucky) to meet the same person who took my application from me. The whole process we very smooth apart from the fact that this guy was probably the most grumpy person I had ever met. I couldn't wait to get out of there to be honest but I did stand in the embassy for a little bit just admiring my new visa! Now all that is left to do is buy some travel insurance and my plane ticket.

Now that I have my Work Visa I would love to just go to Tokyo and chill for a bit before I have to go to Nagoya to start my training. But because I have already arranged a few little get togethers with friends I don't know if I want to change everything now.

I will probably still book my flight with Lufthansa because they are (were at the time I last checked) offering the best deal to Nagoya. Because the flight is about £100/200 less than I thought it would be means I will have a bit extra left over to spend on other things I may need/want for this trip.

It seems as if everything is coming together very nicely...only 5 more weeks to go!!!

25 February 2011

Back to Japan!

It has been a little while since I have written in this blog but it appears I am going back to Japan!!! It may have taken a little over a year but its finally happening and I will be able to stay in Japan for at least a year maybe longer depending on how things go!

I thought long and hard about it and decided that I should apply for a teaching job in Japan late last year. This was mainly due to my contract ending at my previous job. I went for two interviews, one was with Shane English School Japan and the other was with Peppy Kids Club (iTTTi Japan). I was lucky enough to get offered both positions. I found out that I was successful during my third interview which was with Interac.

I informed both SESJ and PKC that I needed to think about their offer and that I would get back to them in a few days. After deliberating for a couple days I decided to go with PKC mainly due to the hours that I would be working and that fact that my housing would be subsidized and I would only have to contribute ¥55,000 towards it as opposed to ¥78,000 if I had gone with SESJ. The only downside I guess to having chosen PKC is the fact that there is no guarantee that I will be placed near Tokyo (SESJ was in Tokyo). During the interview I had requested to be placed near Tokyo as my first choice and then near Osaka as my second choice. The recruiter also confirmed that I would be sent for the training session beginning April 11th in Nagoya.

In the interview with iTTTi Japan I was also told by the recruiter that I may not be given the job at PKC but could possibly be given a position as an ALT or as an Online English Teacher. I was a little surprised at this since I had originally applied for the job with PKC. The Online Teaching position has the same monthly wage as PKC at ¥250,000 (+commuting expenses) while the ALT positions monthly wage is ¥266,000 (+commuting expenses and enrolment onto Shakai Hoken). Both the ALT and Online Teaching positions are in and around Nagoya, Aichi prefecture. I am still yet to find out which one of the three positions I will be doing or my location but supposedly I will find these out around 4 weeks before I depart.

Once I accepted the position there was a lot of paperwork that I needed to complete before I can actually get out to Japan. I had to get a Criminal Record Background check done and also apply for my Certificate of Eligibility. My CRB came back in a few days and I have just received my CoE after waiting around 3 - 4 weeks. I went to iTTTi Japan's office in London and picked it up. I then took the CoE to the Japanese Embassy and they informed me that it would be processed by Monday 28th February with a processing fee of £20.

So far I have managed to buy the majority of the things I will need (want) for the trip such as my new camera the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 and a new laptop. Unfortunately I knew the netbook I already had wouldn't be good enough for everyday use and so I decided to get something which was a bit more powerful. The only things I really have left to get are a pair of Monster Beats by Dre and a new iPod (160GB).

Once I have my Work Visa I will buy my plane ticket to Nagoya. I will probably buy my ticket with Lufthansa because at the moment they are offering the best price for a one way flight to Nagoya at £496. Although there will be a stop over in Germany for a couple of hours due to the flight not being direct. I was contemplating flying with Cathay Pacific because their stop over would be in Hong Kong. However their flight is £575 and I'm not sure its worth spending the extra money just to visit Hong Kong for a couple hours.

I will try and keep this blog updated about my time in Japan like I did when I was in China. But I am sure I will have a lot to tell you and it won't just be about the Dancehall scene in Japan because Japan has so much more to offer. I will keep you all posted!

Japanese Saukra at Himeji Castle