Having Your Own Experience

Have you ever been on a tour bus? Ever pull up to a great historic site and then stumble out behind all the other tourists who are now adjusting their fanny-packs, putting on their sunglasses and floppy hats, squinting into the sun, and then there is that one guy (there is always that one guy…) who says, “We sure ain’t in Kansas anymore. Guffaw guffaw!!!”

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And you have that sudden, but fleeting urge, to strangle him with his own fanny-pack and slide him under the tires of the tour bus.

But you don’t (good for you!), and you just go along with the herd to see what sites there are to see, until your flock gets pushed into a dining hall and you are all fed some new kinds of food, and then you hear that same guy (there really is always that one guy) who says, “Oh.. I can’t eat this! You see, I am gluten intolerant. Also, I can’t eat fish, beans, tofu, lettuce, pork, dairy products, things that like dairy products, seaweed, and chocolate Kindle eggs because they are illegal in America. Do you have something I can dip in ketchup?”

And then again you have that sudden, but fleeting urge to murder this doofus with a pair of salad tongs and a piece of brie, and slip him under the floorboards as the rest of your group continues the tour.

But you don’t (once again, good for you), and you vow to never go on another guided tour again.

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Coming to Japan to learn the language, to experience the culture, is your dream. You worked hard for your dream, and no doubt you made a lot of sacrifices along the way. You really deserve to get away from the throngs of people who, while really just trying to enjoy themselves, sometimes bog you down and make you feel that you would really like to break out on your own. You really want to have your own experience and your own time in Japan. That is completely understandable. It is good that you want to challenge yourself and to grow. Not a lot f people do that, so once again, good for you (two times for not committing a felony, and also for this).

That is also why we think that coming to work here in Kagawa is really the slice of heaven that you might be looking for. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love going to Kyoto, and I have a good time whenever I am in Osaka or Tokyo. Those are cool places and you should visit them. But to really have your own experience, and one that is away from your home culture, you really ought to think about spending some time in rural Japan.

Here in Kagawa you can find cultural, music, martial arts, and sports that will be all in Japanese. Even if your Japanese is weak there are lots of very kind people who will help you along the way, and the longer you stick to it, the better it will be.

For me, I spent about 12 years in a karate dojo where I was mostly on my own as the only non-Japanese student, and later instructor, there. It was glorious. It was hard, and challenging, and confusing, but I would not have traded that experience for the world. So, how about you? Get away from the tour bus. Check out a life you may want to try in rural Japan. This is where you can see things and experience things that you never could in a large metropolis, and where you can experience through your own senses what “real Japan” is all about.

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