Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ready for China

I just finished packing everything up for my trip to China. I'm so excited!

I'm nervous as well, I really want everything to go smoothly, and a lot of things have to go right tomorrow. But I think it will, my flight is in the evening so there will be plenty of time for me to get across Tokyo by train. I'm taking the cheapest option, using normal commuter trains to get to Narita Airport, which takes just over 2 hours from where I live in West Tokyo, but only costs Y1,530, compared to the much more expensive express trains or buses.

I think I've got everything ready, and I've arranged to meet the friends who I'm staying with in Shanghai at Pu Dong airport, and then we'll go back to their apartment. Once I'm with them I'll feel much more comfortable about everything. That is until I go to Beijing by myself of course! But I'm sure everything will fall into place and plans will come together.

First things first - flight tomorrow!

I will probably blog about the trip when I get back in two weeks, and I'll also catch up on some of the happenings earlier this month, because I've been so busy recently I haven't had a chance to write everything up. It will get done, I promise!

I'm so happy I'm finally going to China!!


Solarmoon said...

Hey~! Have fun in China.
I did a whole week of reading your blog, and I have to say, you sort of inspired me to pursue my dream of going to Japan for a few months (Possibly a year if I can find a job).

I'm hoping to have at least One University Level basic Japanese class under my belt before I head out there in Early 2011. Just a few questions...

1. When you were working there it didn't seem you were making a lot of income? Am I wrong? Did you make enough to pay expense (Sakura House, cell phone, food, etc) or did you have to dig into your savings?

2. How early did you book a place at Sakura House? (3 months, 6 months??)

3. It seems the job market it still tight, any interview tips?

Thanks in advance :) You can contact me at when you have time. Thanks in advance.

ratticon said...

I've been desperately trying to get in touch with you to ask you about various things RE life in Japan and starting out as a foreigner.
Would you mind if I spoke to you via e-mail?
If not, please go to my website: and look for my e-mail address there. (I'm hesitant to post it here for spambots)
Good luck in China, and I hope to speak with you soon!


daniel said...

Hey, hope you enjoy China! Shanghai is astonishing!!

I'm planning on going to Japan this August/September, I've applied for Gaba, and I'll be working for 8/9 months with them, and using the money I earn working to get me by. How was your experience with Gaba? I'm not expecting an easy ride, in fact I'm going into it for work, not a holiday (though obviously I will travel a little), but I've heard many complaints. What would your suggestions be on getting by? How should I go about finding cheap accommodation, preferably close to my Gaba station?

Anonymous said...


Miles said...

Hi Ben!

I've sent you an email!


Miles said...

Hi Daniel!

Sorry for my late reply, I just back from China, so I've been very busy!

Well, in terms of getting by, if you're working full time at Gaba, then living will be no problem. Yen is probably the best currency in the world to be earning right now!

Sakura House ( has lots of accommodation all over the city, so if you're working in central Tokyo then they'll probably have a house near you, or at least conveniently located on the same train line.

That's probably the best option, finding a guesthouse, as apartments are notoriously difficult to secure here, especially for foreigners.

Hope that helps a bit!


Miles said...

Thank you 陽明山花季!

I will keep writing the blog! : )


Miles said...

Solarmoon! First of all, I'm really sorry my reply is so incredibly late. I seem to have lost your comment and only just found it in my Comments Moderation page. I'm sorry! I hope my reply is still relevant to you.

1. Yes I didn't make a lot of profit. I was only working about 20 lessons a week at Gaba, and then 3 private lessons, which isn't a lot compared to other teachers who do it as their career. I dipped into my savings to fund my travels throughout the year, but it would be easy for you to earn more and survive on your earnings rather than savings, so don't worry!

2. I booked my room in Sakura House a couple of months before I left. I can't remember exactly, sorry, but I sent them a "can you find me a place based on this questionnaire" form (which is on their website), and they did me very well by it!

3. While the job market is tight worldwide, it felt to me like Japan is suffering the least out of developed countries. The yen is still very strong, despite what Japanese people say! In terms of interviews, being friendly is the main thing I would recommend. Showing a bubbly, kind personality is really important I think, and showing that you are patient and able to answer students' questions in a clear way.

Does that help? Please ask again if you have any other questions! Sorry again this reply is so late.