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Surviving Tokyo with Michael Kors

It’s a running joke amongst my friends how I literally live out of my bag. I’m proud to say I honestly think I could survive at least three days comfortably barricaded in a janitor’s closet somewhere if the zombie apocalypse triggered a Tokyo quarantine. It would be like the movie This Is The End, only I would be living out of a Michael Kors bag because that’s how a fucking lady does it. Not that I would complain if James Franco were barricaded in there with me. I just hope he wouldn’t have to cut off his arm for our survival and inevitable romance afterward, but if he did, I just hope it would take him less than 127 hours because that’s how much I care.

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How to Survive Driving in Japan

To drive or not to drive. That is the question on the minds of many gaijin (foreigners) in Japan, particularly those who are required by law to get a driver’s license in the country. If you live in urban centers such as Tokyo, Nagoya, or Osaka, you may not bother learning how to drive because you can always rely on Japan's efficient public transport system to bring you anywhere you want. In fact, even many Japanese locals who live in the big cities do not bother owning cars because not only is it expensive, but it can also be very challenging to get a license. Moreover, traffic in the cities can be horrible at times and side streets are very narrow, making it impossible for large vehicles to pass. But it's a different story if you live in the countryside, as driving your own car often becomes a latent necessity.

Before you decide whether or not you need to get behind the wheel, here are some things that you may want to factor into your decision:

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How to Get an STD Test in Japan

Japan's culture is one forged in various degrees of shame.  And that's a damn shame sometimes because it makes getting a quick STD test at your local clinic all the more socially cumbersome and logistically inconvenient.  In my home country an AIDS/HIV test was usually "thrown in" with a yearly physical.  I didn't even have to explicitly request it.  STD testing is so commonplace in the USA that any shame associated with it has long since yielded to pragmatism.  Unfortunately for Japan, STD testing still carries a lumbering stigma.  I'll never forget the first (and only) time I requested one at my local clinic.  The nurse abruptly broke eye contact, lowered her voice, and darted away to fetch a doctor.  It was a tad awkward.  The clinic a former employer used for their yearly health exams offered STD tests as an option, but lamentably I think that's comparatively rare as my current company's clinic of choice does not.  And after my shame-inducing experience when directly requesting one, I hesitated to repeat that approach.  An Internet search revealed some Tokyo clinics specializing in STD testing, but by happy chance I found some even more felicitous solutions to getting an STD test in Japan.

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Market, Market, Market - How to Be a Freelance English Teacher in Japan

Welcome to Japan--land of ramen, birthplace of Pikachu, and inventor of panty-selling vending machines. Who needs the American dream when you can be an American living in Japan? All the freedom and no Donald Trump! Well, kind of. Assuming you get the right visa. (That’s a separate article to write.) So, you got here and the magic is still new. You climbed Mt. Fuji, you rolled through Tokyo Disney, and no one was exaggerating that intoxicating scent of the cherry blossoms strolling through Ueno park in the spring. Then one day, you check your bank account, and you are going broke fast. It’s not that you can’t live inexpensively in Japan; it’s just that you don’t know how to do it yet, and you Need. A. Job. Now. Ask anyone that has lived in Asia, not just Japan, and they will tell you the fastest, easiest way to get a job as an English-speaking gaijin (foreigner) that pays decently is...

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Common, Unique, and Interesting Japanese Girl Names

If you ever find yourself traveling through coastal Asia, chances are you will pass through or very close to the islands known as Japan. It is a land rich with culture, tradition, myths, legends, and amazing discoveries. There are also many interesting names to be heard in Japan, and some of the more intriguing and beautiful belong to the girls of this island nation. From the common and ordinary to the unique and extraordinary, thousands of names are out there to be discovered. Whether they are locals or those who have moved from their homeland, there are many opportunities for you to meet someone with one of these beautiful and unique names for yourself. Names hold deep meaning for many cultures, and it is important to understand--Japan is no different, as a look at these names will reveal.

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