Luckily, everyone involved is expected to pull through.

The vicinity of a single building in downtown Yokohama suddenly became a danger zone one afternoon when a bizarre chain reaction of falls left four people injured.

The incident began shortly after 4 p.m. on 21 January, when police received a call that a man in his 40s or 50s had fallen from the rooftop of a five-story building. In addition to the height he also reportedly had fallen in a very narrow gap between the neighboring building.

After the initial fall, a woman in her 40s looked out a window on the third floor of the same building to see what happened. However, in doing so, she lost her balance and also fell out. At the same time another man was looking through a window on the second floor to see what happened.

The woman who fell out the third floor window hit the man in his 30s in the head, while he was looking through the second floor window She then hit another man, also in his 30s, who was standing on the ground.

▼ A news report on the falls, showing the small alley where they landed.

Miraculously everyone is expected to survive and only received minor injuries, except for the first fallen man who is being treated for bone fractures. Since everyone is conscious and in stable condition, police are currently trying to unravel how all this happened from their testimony.

…continue reading


Source: Gaijin Pot

Last weekend, third-year high school students took their stressful two-day standardized university entrance exams. These exams will decide whether they can enter their university of choice next spring.

However, some weren’t too pleased with the tricky English comprehension test. They needed to know the difference between British and American English when counting floors.

The National Center for University Entrance Examinations does warn all the test-takers that in addition to commonly taught American English, they may use British English in the test questions because they deem it essential that students understand the diversity of vocabulary, spelling and pronunciation used in international settings.

Too wicked


— 确 (@taka2434) January 15, 2022


“To use British-English on the common test is too wicked”

US vs UK Floors




— とりそぼろ(旧:自民のジミン) (@torisobor1213) January 15, 2022







“For those who don’t know:

America is like Japan

1st floor -> 2nd floor ->

In England:

Ground floor -> 1st floor -> 2nd floor ->

In other words, the second floor for the US and Japan is the first floor in the UK.”

The Japanese counter for building floors

In Japanese, you combine numbers with a counter, a single-kanji character, to count things—people (人), cars (台), long and thin objects (本), flat and thin objects (枚) and so on. In total, the Japanese language has about 500 counters, but not all of them are commonly used. Let’s have a quick look at the counter for building floors: 階.

Note that 3階 can be read さんかい or さんがい. The latter being more frequent.

Floor numeral Japanese Romaji
1 一階(いっかい) ikkai
2 二階(にかい) nikai
3 三階(さんがい) sankai, sangai
4 四階(よんかい) yonkai
5 五階(ごかい) gokai
6 六階(ろっかい) rokkai
7 七階(ななかい) nanakai
8 八階(はっかい) hakkai
9 九階(きゅうかい) kyuukai
10 十階(じゅうかい) jyuukai


Japanese Romaji English
共通(きょうつう)テスト kyoutsuu tesuto Unified university entrance exams
イギリス英語(えいご) igirisu eigo British English
流石(さすが)に sasuga ni As expected, naturally
鬼畜(きちく) kichiku Savage, brutal, wicked
為(ため)に tame ni For
同(おな)じく onajiku Likewise
つまり tsumari In other words

…continue reading


Cool hack will save you time and keep you in everyone’s good books.

Our Japanese-language reporter Saya Togashi has been travelling in elevators since, well…ever since she can remember. However, she was today years old when she learnt about a life hack that could’ve saved her a lot of time during all those elevator rides.

Saya came across the hack while leafing through a magazine at the hairdresser’s, where a heading in bold font read: “Everyone knows that if you press the wrong floor button in the elevator, you can cancel it by pressing it twice“.

Saya couldn’t help but feel a little embarrassed for not knowing this fact that seemingly “everyone knows”. Reading a little further, though, revealed that the double-press hack doesn’t always work, as it may require a long press or a triple press instead, depending on the lift manufacturer.

So Saya set out to test this new bean of knowledge she’d gleaned from the magazine as soon as she could. Would it really work? Well, there was only one way to find out.

Saya stepped into the elevator outside the hairdresser’s, and because she was alone, she pressed the button to go down to the second floor…and then the first floor. Saya really wanted to get off on the first floor, though, so it was time for her to try that hack.

▼ She pressed the second floor button twice…

▼ …and voila! The light for that floor disappeared!

Saya was on her way to the first floor without having to waste time with an unscheduled stop. She couldn’t believe she’d …continue reading


Japan is a country especially proud of its four distinct seasons. So much so that seasonality of food is especially important. If you are lucky enough to be in Japan during the colder months, be sure to treat yourself to these winter delights.


Nabe is firm favorite with Japanese people at wintertime! Nabe (or nabemono) is a staple dish which consists of a variety of ingredients (such as meat, fish and vegetables) cooked in a stew. Nabe has a warm, traditional feel as it is usually served in an iron or clay pot. As a typically healthy Japanese food, it is also low in calories!
Nabe is a great for family gatherings, as it can be eaten as a group. Friends and family can eat communally, by picking their favorite raw ingredients separately and then dishing out their portions of the soup from the main pot.

There are many varieties of nabe available to suit all tastes. One of the most popular styles is sukiyaki. Thinly sliced meat, tofu and vegetables are simmered in a simple ‘warishita’ soup. Once cooked, each ingredient is separately dipped in bowl of raw egg and eaten. Sukiyaki is a fun eating experience and can help you develop a full appreciation of the various flavors.

My personal favorite nabe is shabu-shabu. Similar to sukiyaki, you can dip meat, tofu or vegetables into the broth and cook to your own taste. However, shabu shabu is served with an array of dipping sauces, rather than just an egg mixture. Also, I like saying ‘shabu shabu’. It is an onomatopoeic way of saying ‘swish swish’ in Japanese. It’s fun to say.


Sometimes called ‘fish cake stew’ in the west, Oden is a traditional kind of Japanese hot pot. It usually contains daikon (radish), renkon (lotus root) and a mix of …continue reading


Source: Gaijin Pot

Finding an apartment in Tokyo that is affordable and accessible can be a challenge. With so many train lines and neighborhoods out there, it is easy to find yourself overwhelmed. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered with our series on the Best Train Lines for Living in Tokyo.

Coming up next, take a ride on a staple of many a Tokyoite’s daily life—stretching from central Chiba to Mitaka in western Tokyo—the Chuo Sobu line.


Photo: iStock: Hiro1775
The beautiful banks near the Chuo-Sobu line’s Ichigaya station.

The Chuo-Sobu line stretches across a whopping 39 stations. Several of which offer some of the most affordable neighborhoods you’ll find in Tokyo’s east and west areas. The line also has some of the city’s most popular spots, such as Akihabara, Shinjuku and Nakano.

The line’s Japanese name, Chuo–Sobu Kanko Sen, means “slow-moving Chuo–Sobu line” due to it being part of a two-line system: the yellow Chuo-Sobu line—having only local and semi-express trains—and the orange Chuo line (rapid), a service that stops only at the major stations.

The commute

Photo: iStock: PixHound
The ride is pretty comfortable during off-peak hours.

While convenient connections, affordability and excellent accessibility are fantastic, there are caveats. The Chuo–Sobu line is so popular that you’re not likely to expect a seat at any point in your journey. After all, Shinjuku—the destination for many commuters on the line—is the busiest station in the world.

Notably, the morning rush between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. can make you question your sanity and your salary. The congestion …continue reading


#InsideJapan #Episode163

On this episode I’m talking with Helene Uchida, a certified teacher who has been in Japan for over 40 years. She owns and manages Little America, a school in Fukuoka that’s been around since 1979, and has some valuable insights about what teachers NEED to do to help Japanese learners to actually improve their English.

Find out more about Helene’s work at


00:00 Intro

00:57 In Japan for 40 years, why?

01:51 Difference between teaching in US and Japan

03:15 How much has Japan changed in 40 years?

05:06 What’s missing in the public education system in Japan?

09:37 How to make your classroom work better

11:16 How has Judo informed your teaching?

16:00 Helene’s school origin story

17:01 Sponsored segment

17:30 How to grow a new English school

18:59 Speaking Japanese in the English classroom

20:11 Helene’s teacher organisation

24:09 Montessori Method

26:08 Experiential English learning is KEY

30:05 What has to happen in Japan going forward

32:21 Outro

Video Podcast:

Audio Podcast:

Listen and subscribe on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts!

This show is proudly sponsored by!

For the best place on the internet to find your next job in Japan, go to

The post The Key to Making Japanese Students Fluent in English | Helene Uchida appeared first on

…continue reading


It should still be around somewhere, right?

Growing up, pretty much everyone has been in a classroom where a student gets caught with something they shouldn’t have brought to school, and then the teacher confiscates the item. That common scenario played out one day at a junior high school in the town of Mikasa, in Japan’s northern prefecture of Hokkaido, with a male student whose name hasn’t been released, whom we’ll call “Taro.”

It’s not clear what exactly was confiscated from Taro, but whatever it was, he wanted it back. So last week, while the school was closed for winter vacation, Taro, accompanied by his girlfriend, snuck into the school, with his eventual goal for the caper being to recover his contraband. The two managed to get inside one of the school’s staff rooms, but it wasn’t long until an employee who was on the premises heard them talking loudly and called the police to report the intruders. Oblivious to the approach of law enforcement, the couple was still in the school when officers arrived on the scene and arrested them for trespassing.

Getting the police involved, as opposed to calling the couple’s parents and telling them to come pick up their misbehaving children, might seem like overkill, as may arresting them instead of suspending them from school. The thing is, though, Taro is 63 years old, and his girlfriend is 58. Yes, both of them attended the middle school they broke into, but they also both graduated from it well over 40 years ago.

Life doesn’t seem to have taken the pair far from their childhood homes, as they both live in Iwamizawa, the city neighboring Mikasa to the east. The ire Taro felt from having whatever his teacher took taken from him also appears to still be something he holds close in …continue reading


Source: Gaijin Pot

If you’re looking to work in Japan, check back here each week as we look through our database of top jobs in Japan posted to GaijinPot and showcase some of the most interesting ones.

You can apply directly to these companies by creating a profile on GaijinPot Jobs!


Customer Service & Marketing Research

  • Company: Niwaka
  • Salary: ¥3.4M / Year Negotiable
  • Location: Kyoto, Japan
  • English: Native level
  • Japanese: Business level
  • Application: Must currently reside in Japan

Niwaka, a luxury brand that offers high fashion and bridal jewelry, is looking for a customer service and marketing researcher to join their team in Kyoto.

Your main duty will be handling inquiries and orders from overseas customers, performing marketing research on the jewelry market, analyzing customer behavior and building the English content on the company website.

Share this Job

Apply Here


Localization & International Marketing

  • Company: Celsys
  • Salary: ¥4.5M / Year Negotiable
  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
  • English: Native level
  • Japanese: Business level
  • Application: Must currently reside in Japan

Celsys, an IT development company, is looking for multi-talented candidates to help develop their graphic solution software, “Clip Studio Paint.”

You will be responsible for the localization of the software and its website for the European/North American/Germany/Spain audience.

You must be native in either English, German or Spanish.

Candidates with interests in marketing will also have the opportunity to handle tie-up projects to promote the software, web advertisements, social media management, PR and search engine optimization of the website.

Any educational background is welcomed. Experience using Adobe Photoshop, Paint Tool SAI, other graphics software or in digital art (illustration, etc.) is also welcomed.

Share this Job

Apply Here

<img …continue reading


A month-long shortage of goods had many park visitors leaving empty-handed with no yummy souvenirs for their memories.

Tokyo Disney Resort has experienced a number of challenges over the past two years, from crowd-favorite parades being canceled to strict preventive measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus. However, one of the most shocking setbacks in recent memory was the announcement last month that Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea on-site retail locations would cease sales of any food-based souvenirs due to an unexpectedly massive supply shortage–with no end in sight.

▼ “The most magical place on Earth…sans your favorite sweets.”

Thankfully, the confectionery crisis is finally about to end when the parks resume selling all manner of snacks, sweets, and other food items in limited locations beginning on January 17. Staff have confirmed that there should be enough items in stock to avoid another deficit.

The specific shopfronts that will resume selling munchable souvenirs are the following:

  • Tokyo Disneyland: World Bazaar Confectionery, Pastry Palace
  • Tokyo DisneySea: Valentina’s Sweets, Merchant of Venice Confections

▼ World Bazaar Confectionery, the largest candy store in Tokyo Disneyland

In addition, park visitors can continue to place purchases for edible souvenirs via the Tokyo Disney Resort app while on park premises. Beginning on 17 January, the previous restriction limiting one customer to one of each item will also be lifted.

If you’ll be visiting Tokyo Disney Resort in the near future, keep your eyes peeled for the 2022 Disney New Year goods, themed around the Year of Tiger, for more extra special souvenirs to take home.

Source: Tokyo Disney Resort via ITmedia
Images © SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles …continue reading


Flushing money down the toilet has never been more entertaining!

Japanese children are spoilt for choice when it comes to fun and interesting toys and magazines, and this month, there’s a mag that’ll appeal to kids of all ages, including the young at heart.

Called Shogaku Ichinensei, which translates to “First Grade Elementary School Student“, this monthly periodical often includes free educational toys as an appendix, and the free toy for the February edition is…

▼ …a toilet piggy bank!

We’re no stranger to buying kids’ magazines when they come with impressive toys like this, so we picked one up at the bookstore to find out what the kids are learning about these days.

▼ When we took the toy out of its box, we found it needed some simple assembly.

▼ It was easy enough for a child to put together, and the Western-style toilet bowl was actually really well crafted.

The more complicated construction turned out to be the papercraft involved in the bathroom diorama around the toilet.

It wasn’t as difficult as some of the paper models we’ve dealt with in the past, though, so after around ten minutes of piecing things together we had this resplendent bathroom display before us.

Now it was time to test out the plumbing, by depositing a coin in the toilet bowl…

▼ …and pressing …continue reading