Akihabara Final Fantasy XIV Cafe Eorzea

Tuesday January 20th, 2015 at 1:30 pm

This is a long overdue post, so long that I’ve visted the cafe twice since moving to Japan. All I have to say is, this cafe is absolutely amazing and totally worth going to over and over again!

Official Website (JP)

The Final Fantasy Cafe in Akihabara opened on July 31, 2014 on the second floor of the Pasela Resorts building. It’s only a few minutes away from Akihabara station, but can be a little tricky to find. The cafe is modeled after the Carline Canopy from FFXIV, set in Eorzea. It’s open only 4 times a day, 2-3 hours at a time. Time slots are as follows:

11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
4:30 PM – 6:30 PM
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Reservations are recommended but not required. The first time I went, the cafe was almost empty..granted it was Tuesday afternoon. The second time, my friends and I planned on going on a public holiday but the cafe was fully booked days in advance. We made reservations for a different day that week for 7 PM and the cafe was full this time around. If you go on weekdays during the morning or early afternoon, chances are you will be able to walk in and sit down but making a reservation is worth the extra time and fee. Reservations will run you ¥1000 but it includes a free drink. Since drinks cost around ¥600 – ¥700, you’re only paying a few extra dollars to guarantee a seat. You also get to choose one class coaster of your choice. Reservations can be made online and you can pick up the tickets from your local convenience store.

Much like any themed cafe in Japan, food and drinks aren’t cheap. However, what I really like about this cafe (minus the fact that it’s Final Fantasy) is that the food/drinks are actually good! Generally, cafes aren’t known for the menu. You’re more or less paying for the theme and look of the food/place. Sorry Gundam Cafe, you just can’t compete as cool as you are.

The decor features weapons, armor, moogles, various FFXIV themed pictures, and FFXIV music. I don’t have a picture of it (for some reason) but on the other side of the moogles are computers set up so you can play FFXIV in the cafe! I have yet to see someone do it though.

Since I went twice, I have 2 class coasters…monk (my character class) and dragoon.

The menu is based off of various Final Fantasy themed characters, classes, items, attacks, etc. If you cannot read Japanese, you can ask the staff for an English menu. Prices are, of course, in gil. With each order (minus the free drink), you get a random Final Fantasy themed coaster to collect.

The toast with orange spread is probably my favorite item on the menu! It’s simple but so delicious.

I ended up getting my burger without the sauce (which, if I remember correctly, is a Tabasco and ketchup mixture).

And the cutest item of all, the moogle dessert…which was kind of small.

You also get a point/stamp card when you leave featuring one of the three Grand Companies, you can pick the GC. I chose the Immortal Flames since that’s my GC. With each menu item you purchase, you can get one stamp. Collect 17 stamps and you can choose a pin (I believe), collect 50 stamps and you can choose one of the larger class coaster display…thing.

For any Final Fantasy or gaming fan, this cafe is a must visit!

Posted Under: Gaming: Video Games, Japan
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Pokémon Cafe Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire

Tuesday January 13th, 2015 at 2:05 pm

I finally got a chance to visit the new Pokemon Cafe on Monday! This cafe, named the Pokémon Cafe Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire, opened in Shibuya on January 9 in the PARCO Part 1 building in Shibuya. The cafe is only open until the end of February and offers a variety of Pokemon (mostly Pikachu) themed foods, desserts, and drinks.

Getting into the cafe was a little insane. After arriving around noon, we got a ticket number, and was told to come back 7-8 hours later @_@ The cafe is quite small, a lot smaller than the Pokemon Cafe in Roppongi last summer. Everyone is limited to only 1 hour in the cafe. We ended up doing a little browsing downstairs in the same buildling, headed to Akihabara for a while, came back around 7:30, and were finally seated at 9 PM. Part of the reason is it was a holiday, so there were more people than usual.

Banner advertisement outside PARCO.

Menu cover.

Food and dessert menu.

Drink menu.

Having fun with Pikachu :3

Cute Pokemon placemats.

Mixed fruit drink with coaster.

Pikachu mango ice, the drink is ginger ale with pop rocks.

Pikachu parfait with cotton candy.

Pikachu pancakes with maple butter (I believe)

Pikachu curry rice.

The food wasn’t bad, but it’s the cuteness and theme that you’re essentially paying for. It’s unfortunate the Pokemon cafes are only open for a short time but I hope there’s many more to come in the future!

Posted Under: Japan, Pokemon
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Catching Up

Wednesday May 28th, 2014 at 11:40 am

I started playing FFX-2 again last week and have been glued to it ever since. I forgot how much I really enjoyed the game. Some of the side quests are rather tedious and a pain to do but everything else makes up for it. It’s still by far one of my favorite games. It’s also the reason why my productivity has been low in almost everything @_@

I “lost” my credit card last Monday, which was quite irritating. I’m one of those people that uses a credit card for everything, no joke. $20? No problem, here’s a credit card. $1.09? No problem, here’s a credit card. I hate using cash, especially coins, and I can manage my finances just fine without having to worry about overspending so it was a pain in the ass having to deal with cash. I’m not really concerned with culture shock once I move to Japan. It’s having to get used to using cash for everything. It’s a good thing crime rate is low in Japan and not many people have to worry about getting robbed while carrying hundreds of dollars on them.

Anyhow, I was more irritated at the fact that I lost it the week before Memorial Day weekend sales. I lost out on so much cash back ;_; Having to literally buy an entire new work wardrobe, I spent probably close to $400 this past weekend and I’m still not done. Going from wearing jeans and a t-shirt to a full business ensemble is no cheap task. I’m having the hardest time finding business suits in my size, but I’m hoping it was because everything was on sale and people were just buying it all up. I’ll probably go back in a few weeks to see if I can find any more. I only have about 3 sets right now and I’m waiting to have at least 5-6 for work.

Oh, and I did find my credit card this past Monday but I had already canceled it and requested a new one. I picked up a pair of jeans and they just fell out. I don’t really understand what happened because I know I searched through every pair of jeans I had.

My COE arrived last Friday and now I’m in the process of waiting for my visa, which I can pick up this Friday. After that, I guess everything is almost set and done. I can’t believe there’s only 2 more weeks until my vacation and 5 more weeks until I move! Time really does fly fast.

I decided to rent a guesthouse and hopefully find an apartment within the first month or two even if it’s way more costly. I really would like my own place and not really interested in going back to “dorm life”, but it’ll be a great way to meet some people. I’m renting from Tokyo Happy House which looks decent and they have a guesthouse in the area I want to stay. The website states they have a screening process but I never once was asked anything…where I’m from, what I plan on doing in Japan, etc. Once a room was available, they asked me for the deposit and everything was done o_O Ultimately, it’s no big deal but don’t put it on the website if you’re not going to do it. Actually, after reading Tune in Tokyo (which btw I don’t recommend) maybe I should worry a bit on who I stay with.

Posted Under: Daily Life, Japan, Japan: Living
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Tokyo, Japan Summer 2013 – Part 3

Monday May 19th, 2014 at 3:23 am

Finally getting around to finishing my Japan trip from last year. Continuing after we left the Meiji Shrine…

I made sure I had ramen at least once before I left. We found this ramen shop somewhere near the Meiji Shrine. We left the shrine at a different place than where we entered so we got lost trying to find Harajuku. There was a map but it was no help at all. A lady passing by overheard us and was nice enough to stop and ask us (in English) if we needed help. People in Japan are so nice to tourists ;_; This was not the only time we experienced Japanese hospitality.

Anyhoo, the ramen shop was decent. I don’t know how this place compares to others but I liked it. Ramen in Japan is soooo affordable. You can eat here as low as 300 yen (approx. $3)! More expensive items on the menu ran you close to $7-8 only. I see myself eating ramen for lunch everyday once I move.

Takeshita Street is right in front of Harajuku station, you can’t miss it. It’s known for its variety of fashion shops, cafes, and restaurants. Most of the shops here are independently owned and feature a wide variety of styles, so even if you aren’t into some of the crazy Harajuku styles, you can definitely still find something. Most of my money was spent here. :x

A lot of people think everything in Japan is more expensive but it’s not true. It’s pretty affordable even in a popular place like Harajuku. Just to give an idea…there are stores with tons of cute jewelry that won’t cost more than a few dollars. Clothing can run you on average $10-$30 depending on what you buy. There was a shoe shop with shoes for $20 or less! Obviously, there are plenty of things that will run you more. Takeshita Street also has plenty of shops for gift shopping and anime lovers.

I really like these machines! You pay for what you want (like a vending machine) and take the ticket inside the restaurant. It takes out having to order. It sucks if you can’t read but the pictures are good enough. I had a hard time trying to figure out what was different among the many different tonkatsu options but whatever random ones I ended up picking gave me what I wanted.

I’m pretty sure I snapped this picture cause of his shirt. I wonder if he knew what it said or how true it was ;)

SHIBUYA! Shibuya crossing is very popular and has been featured in many movies. Being a nerd, I think I crossed the street 3-4 times before moving on!

We had a hard time finding this area of Shibuya too. I’m not sure why, either we exited at the wrong location or misread the directions (I honestly have no sense of direction). After wandering around for a bit, we took a taxi.

Shibuya is a mixture of big department stores and small, independent shops. Prices here aren’t too expensive either unless you walk into large shops (such as Zara), department stores, or just want to buy expensive clothing. I wish I did more research before coming here. I’m not even sure if we checked out Shibuya 109 and missed out on the Liz Lisa shop :( I will definitely be back during my week of training in Tokyo. We also found a HUGE 100 yen shop in one of the buildings. You could buy everything in here, including really cute bowls for just 100 yen! 100 yen shops change their products based on the season so these bowls, cups, etc were strawberry.

Tokyo tower was the last destination. We tried to go one night but it was too late. The tower was closed but we took a quick taxi ride to it to take a look. For a fee, you can ride up the Tokyo Tower to get a 360 view of the city. It’s absolutely amazing! I recommend going early in the morning to avoid large crowds. For a bit more, you can go even higher on the tower but we didn’t.

Such amazing views of the city. I absolutely love this city.

There’s a lot of information about the Tokyo Tower up in the observatory. There’s also a gift shop once you’re done viewing. I need to remember to start taking pictures of everything >_<

Last meal at the airport (gosh, that sounds so depressing). When I got to the airport, I realized the entire time I was there, I didn’t eat inari! Luckily for me, you could order it at the airport and it was delicious. I kept up the tradition of tonkatsu everyday, I really could eat it everyday @_@

I want to ride this plan so bad, I think it’s the Hello Kitty plane? I’m not sure if the design was just a design or it was the actual Hello Kitty plane.

That’s it for that adventure! I hope to have many more to come :)

As for everything else, I’m still very much in limbo land. I’m not sure when I’ll be getting my COE. June is looking to be a very fun but busy month.

Posted Under: Japan, Japan: Travel
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Tokyo, Japan Summer 2013 – Part 2

Wednesday May 14th, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Part 2 of my Tokyo trip last June! Part 1 can be found here. The weather was mostly cloudy with a little rain, but nothing that kept us inside.

Asakusa Shrine is one of the most popular Shinto shrines in Tokyo. It’s also a HUGE tourist attraction and if you walk through it, it’s easy to see why. The shrine honors the three men who established and constructed the Sens?-ji.

Before you get to the shrine, there are rows upon rows of shops and snack vendors. If you’re looking to buy souvenirs for family and friends back home or cute/neat stuff for the house, this is the place to find them. I ended up buying a much better umbrella here. Some of the prices can be a bit steep since it’s a tourist trap, but most of it is pretty affordable and shouldn’t run your pockets empty too fast. There are also restaurants if you’re looking to grab more than a snack to eat.

Lighting some incense, mine unfortunately toppled over when I placed it into the pot (I have no idea what it’s called). I hope that doesn’t mean anything bad!

Finally made it to the shrine!

I still have no idea what my fortune means but I guess success and a horse are always a good thing.

I still can’t get over how clean and beautiful everything in Japan is.

I love these displays. A lot of restaurants have fake food displays outside so you can see what they offer and they all look so amazingly made.

Akihabara! A gamer’s, otaku’s, anime lover’s, nerd’s, electronics junkies’, etc paradise!

Manga shops are always stacked to the brim!

Akihabara is also known for it’s infamous maid cafe’s. They’re not too hard to find, just look for girls dressed in maid outfits standing around. They will take you to the one they work for.

Unless you like watching girls in maid outfits sing/dance around and flirt with you, maid cafe’s are overpriced for what they offer. Still, the desserts are cute, the girls are nice, and the experience is decent if you’ve never been to one. Personally, I wouldn’t spend money going back…I’m not exactly their target audience.

I squealed. When I was first looking for the Gundam Cafe, I only found the one in Odaiba. This is another one of my lucky moments when I happened to stumble across it on my iPad. I’m not really sure how we missed it given it’s right by the train station.

I LOVE Gundam Wing so it’s no surprise I was really excited to see their menu based off of the series.

For food, I ordered Trowa’s and for a drink I believe I ordered Relena’s. All of the menu items are based off the characters one way or another and Trowa was the only one that had something along the lines of a dessert. I wasn’t really looking to eat a whole meal. The drink was amazing but the food was decent.

There’s also a small gift shop inside but I didn’t snap any good photos.

Oh Japan.

Quick snack in a cafe near Harajuku. We stumbled upon this one while trying to find the Meiji Shrine.

Meiji Shrine is located literally right beside Harajuku station. We unfortunately made a wrong turn (went left instead of right) but it’s really not hard to find.

Artist selling cute art right outside of the shrine.

(I’m so tiny!)

After the emperor’s death in 1912, a shrine was built to honor the Emperor’s role in the Meiji Restoration. The location ended up being an iris garden where Emperor Meiji and Empress Sh?ken often visited. The original building was unfortunately destroyed during World War II but reconstructed during the late 1950s. The Shrine is located in a forest that covers an area of 175 acres. You can find up to 365 different species of trees here!

Time for some Meiji Shrine picture spam. I couldn’t help it, this place is absolutely beautiful. Unlike Asakusa Shrine, you won’t find any tourist shops or food stands outside of some charms. You basically exchange the hustle and bustle of Asakusa for the gorgeous, serene landscaping of the Meiji Shrine. Also, unlike Asakusa, to see the Meiji Shrine in its entirety, there is a small fee of ¥500 (approx. $4.89) which goes to the restoration and caring of the Meiji Shrine…totally worth it.

So much talent…I took a picture of what he was painting down below.

Time to wash hands and mouth before entering the temple.

There was also a Shinto wedding going on while we were there. You couldn’t enter (of course) but the doors were open and you could watch if you like.

What little I have left will be up in part 3 shortly. I also officially booked (well, my dad booked..) my one way ticket for Japan leaving July 1st :)

Posted Under: Japan, Japan: Travel
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Tokyo, Japan Summer 2013 – Part 1

Tuesday May 6th, 2014 at 5:53 pm

Highlights of my trip to Tokyo, Japan last June! Unfortunately, I wasn’t actively blogging at the time. I can’t get my mind off of Japan right now, especially with all this down time in between getting things ready. I’m still waiting for my certificate of eligibility for my visa and it doesn’t seem like I’ll get anywhere with apartments until June.

I was only in Tokyo for 3 days. It’s definitely not enough so I’m glad I’ll be able to go back and visit some more this year. I have so many places I want to see!! I know I’m not being fair to China, given I spent 2 weeks there and Tokyo was a pit stop on the way back. I love you and miss you too China! I’ll have a post one of these days and I’ll definitely be back to visit within the next year or two (hopefully).

We stayed in Shinjuku, I picked it because it was very central to all of the places we planned on visiting. I don’t think anywhere was more than a 15-20 minute train ride. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The staff was super nice and it was maybe only a 5-7 minute walk to the train station. Course, later we find out the hotel has a shuttle that takes you to the station :/ could have avoided getting lost a few times.

This is on the way to the train station, I think NYC has one too?

Only I get happy about 100 Yen shops, I think they’re really cool. This one is small but still had a lot of neat stuff. I later came across a much bigger one in Shibuya that you could probably buy your entire household goods from. We picked up a couple snacks and umbrellas cause the weather was supposed to continue raining the entire time we were there. I don’t recommend buying umbrellas from 100 Yen shops though. Ours didn’t last us a day before it broke. In the umbrella’s defense, the wind was pretty strong.

My first dessert in Japan! I don’t know how people in Japan stop eating. There’s just so many yummy desserts, drinks, and foods everywhere you go.

I LOVE the train system in Japan. Maybe it’s cause I don’t have to ride it everyday yet and I didn’t have to deal with crazy Tokyo rush hour but I think they’re fun and so efficient. We never had to wait more than a few minutes for the next train to come.

Inside a mall in Odaiba, Hello Kitty pastries! I didn’t try one unfortunately.

And of course a Hello Kitty store right next door. If I could have taken her home with me, I probably would have.

Main reason for the mall? Gundam Front Tokyo! It’s located on the top floor of the mall, the 7th floor I believe. It’s a Gundam lover’s paradise. The museum is small but still a good walk through. They don’t allow photos of inside the museum but there’s opportunities for photos before you enter and in the gift shop. There’s a lot of neat concept drawings and the creation of the anime/series.

I WANTED THEM ALL! Strangely, I couldn’t find a kit of Deathscythe Hell or Deathscythe Hell custom :( If you love Gundam models, this is the place to be.

You’ll have to go back outside to see the Gundam. I think it’s actually in front of the mall but we entered through the side/back so never saw it walking in. There’s also a mini Gundam Cafe nearby but the actual Gundam Cafe is in Akihabara.

This hot spring was a super lucky find and I highly recommend visiting Ooedo Onsen Monogatari to anyone in Tokyo. Website and information can be found here. One place I knew I had to visit was a hot spring as I’ve always wanted to go to one. I found this place online and it had really good reviews as well as an actual English website with information. I wanted to visit here the first night we arrived in Tokyo but it was too late and the trains had stopped running. When we were chilling inside the Odaiba Mall, I was randomly looking on my iPad to see what else we could do that didn’t involve us being outside in the rain. Long story short, I ran across this hot spring and was like “wait a minute, that’s the one I was trying to go to!” and it just happened to be in the vicinity. We hopped on a taxi and spent nearly the rest of the day there.

The rates are pretty affordable but I think with everything I did/ate there, I ended up spending over 60,000 yen!

The interior is designed to look like an old, quiet Japanese town. It’s so relaxing.

Lots of games and cute stuff as well, of course it all costs extra.

More yummy foods!

This is the outdoor foot bath, there’s stones at the bottom that’s supposed to help your feet relax and massage them as you walk through. I couldn’t do it though, it hurt my feet way too much D:

This was one of the best experiences I had! For a little bit extra money, you can soak your feet in this pool for 15 or 30 minutes and the fish will come up and eat the dead skin off of your feet. It sounds weird, I know. Once I finally got over how ticklish the fish were, it was really amazing and felt so nice. My feet had never felt smoother. I would love to do this again.

Next up…GINZA! I’m sad some of the pictures turned out blurry. Clearly, I need to work on my night taking shots while attempting to walk fast.

Can you believe it? This is a wedding dress.

We passed Ginza on the way back to Shinjuku and the pretty lights were an instant attraction. Unfortunately, by this time it was around 10 PM and most of the stores were closing if not already closed. Ginza is popular for all of the higher end stores that you can find in Tokyo.

I think I had tonkatsu every day, no joke. I love this stuff.

How cute are these? They almost look too pretty to eat.

More pictures later, I’m trying to not to super spam with pictures. I took so many, yet at the same time I feel like I didn’t take enough. :love:

Posted Under: Japan, Japan: Travel
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TESL Certified!

Sunday April 27th, 2014 at 12:44 am

150 hours/3 months later I am finally TESL certified! Well, not officially. We won’t get our certificates for another 2 weeks but it’s such a relief to be done!

I had so much fun in the class and learned so much about both teaching and the English language. This past month has probably been the most stressful month for me. Yes, even more stressful than finals during college. I guess I care more about this ^_^ It’s also been one of the most amazing/rewarding months I’ve had.

At the beginning of all of this, I really wasn’t sure if it was something I could do. To be honest, teaching has been something that I said I never wanted to do. I started the course with no teaching experience, stage fright, and no idea what I was doing or getting myself into.

The first couple months were fun and I was finding myself enjoying it more and more. Yet, I was still nervous about being a good teacher. They told us at the beginning of class not to worry, it will all come together at the end. I couldn’t help but sit there and wonder if that was true.

I had a rough start teaching my first couple classes. They weren’t bad but I had a hard time with time management and for my first class, a hard time with getting the students to do the activities correctly. By my third class, I had more or less mastered time management and my lessons went a lot smoother. My last class today went great. I still have plenty of room for improvement but I’m excited to start teaching and learn new things as well.

I’ve started to clean out a bit of my stuff. Most of my makeup has either been sorted or given away. I’ve horded a lot of makeup/beauty/hair supplies in the last few years between my ipsy, glossybox, birchbox, sample society, look bag, and god knows what else subscriptions. I’ve canceled most of those subscriptions since late last year and just recently canceled everything else this past week. So, you can imagine what my room looked like. I had an entire corner just stocked up with all sorts of supplies. I took the ones I’ll use and gave all of the rest to my friend.

I’ve sorted most of my clothing as well. I have another big box to give to Goodwill sometime in the future. I think I will have to end up mailing my winter clothes to myself since I can’t seem to part with most of them. I need to get off my lazy ass and get more stuff listed on ebay before I don’t have enough time. Craigslist doesn’t seem to work as well for me.

There’s a lot to prepare for but not a lot I’m willing to do until I get my work visa, cause that would just be dumb. It’s too early to reserve an apartment and I’m starting to feel that agencies in Japan don’t even want to deal with me right now because I can’t reserve. I can barely get info! All they care about is reserving but I’m not looking to reserve now! Rawr.

I’m also looking to take a Japanese class for 2 months before I leave. I should be able to work out something with the institute I got my certificate at and only pay for half of the course since I’m leaving in July but we’ll see. Having a little bit of a head start would be nice.

I actually have time to play FFX again now.

Posted Under: Daily Life, ESL - teaching, Japan
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Looking for an apartment in Japan…

Friday April 25th, 2014 at 1:10 am

…is not fun.

I was happy to hear that I get to pick my own apartment and where I want to live because who doesn’t like to make their own decisions? I still like the idea but damn this is harder than what it probably should be.

My biggest issue is the two places I’m scheduled to teach at are about 40 minutes apart, so I’m a little stumped as to where I want to live. Do I want to live closer to one location and not have to deal with 30+ minute commutes everyday? Or do I want to live in the middle to balance it out? Course that would mean between walking to the train station, waiting for the train, riding the train, and walking to work will equate in a 30-40+ minute commute everyday. That’ll end up being study Japanese time I guess. Add all of that to the fact that I have no idea what’s in the vicinity of these locations in terms of shopping, restaurants, etc. Ah, Japan.

The second issue is the amount of places willing to rent to foreigners, have websites in English, let you rent overseas, AND are close to the train line I will be taking. You throw all of those into a hat together and you end up with…barely anything.

The third issue is furnished versus unfurnished apartments. This one really is me being nitpicky. Unfortunately in Japan, when they say unfurnished, they mean unfurnished. You have to buy your own refrigerator, washer, microwave, curtains, etc. We’re not talking huge differences between that and the US since most places here will only supply you with the basic kitchen necessities. If you want a washer and dryer, you have to buy them yourself. The last few apartments I rented all didn’t come with a microwave either. However, it’s still more than possible to find apartments with all of the above or at least including 2-3.

I want to be able to decorate my own apartment but I’m not sure right now if I want to spent the money. There are a few ways I can save money such as not buying a bed frame (not like I use one now) or doubling the kotatsu as a computer desk. July is just looking to be a very expensive month in between me not working for 2 weeks, buying the plane ticket, spending money on food and lodging in Tokyo while I go through training, setting everything up, and traveling around to buy necessities. Thank God for 100 Yen shops.

The visa application has started, now it’s just a waiting game…and continuing to hunt down apartments with limited information.

Posted Under: Japan, Japan: Living
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Teach Away & Berlitz Interview

Thursday April 24th, 2014 at 12:51 am

I had an interview with Teach Away a couple weeks go. I found them through a Google search and they had a job that was in a location I liked and also was hiring all the way up to July (which is as early as I could leave). I didn’t find out until a bit later that Teach Away is a recruiting agency in Toronto. Job postings on the site are done by companies who use Teach Away to find applicants overseas but Teach Away takes care of the initial screening process to find eligible applicants. Since I was dealing with a recruiting agency, the overall process was a bit more drawn out since there were extra steps and interviews I had to go through. When I was first contacted, I was asked to fill out a questionnaire and read the FAQ. It was then that I realized what company I was actually applying for, which was Berlitz Japan.

The questionnaire was pretty straight forward, basic questions as well as some more detailed questions. The entire time I’m filling it out, I’m thinking “This pretty much is the interview!” Now, I know stuff like that is for people to get an idea of what your goals and preferences are and a little bit about yourself and the interview is built upon that…which it was. This was probably the quickest interview I had. It was only around 20 minutes but we mostly discussed what was already written on the questionnaire.

I was told immediately after the interview that it was a go to move onto the next step and someone from Berlitz would contact me within a week. I sent the required documents but never heard back. Now, this was also the same week that I almost had a nervous breakdown (okay, it wasn’t that serious). I’ve had a rough couple of weeks with my teaching classes and I was super stumped over my lesson plan that week (which turned out to be my best lesson yet). In between all of this, insert working full time, spending time in TESL class, dealing with life, still taking care of responsibilities, etc. So the fact that I heard back from Teach Away or Berlitz in a week made me think that I never got another interview. I just wasn’t in a good mood.

I think someone in the world felt my anxiety because I received an email from Teach Away maybe a couple hours later. It was my interviewer asking me if I was still interested in the position since it’s been a week. Turns out she never received my documents for whatever reason. Maybe they got sent to a spam folder or maybe it got lost in cyber space. Who knows, stuff happens. I resent them and heard back very soon after from Berlitz and set up an interview.

The Berlitz interview was longer, almost an hour. I thought some of my answers weren’t straight forward but I guess they liked me well enough. I was asked to set up another interview (yes, 3 interviews at this point) with the management team of the location(s) I’ll be working at. That interview turned out to be more of an information session/Q&A but it was very informative. One thing I respect about Berlitz so far is how honest they were during the interview. Or I thought so at least. I was then told I would find out by the end of the week whether not they would offer me the position.

And one day later…..


That didn’t take long at all. Course, I’ll never know how many other people were interviewed or exactly the reason why they hired me but who cares. I have a job in Japan! They say everything happens for a reason and maybe that’s right. I was originally really bummed out about not even getting an interview with the JET program but had that happened, I would most likely be on my way to a very small, rural town in the middle of nowhere instead of being placed in a really good location and working with a great company.

Of course, I also have my worries along with my excitement but that comes with making a huge decision to drop everything here along with spending a lot of time and money moving to a foreign country. Teaching in Japan isn’t exactly a dream job for whatever reason, whether it’s culture or expectation, but it’ll always be an adventure…good or bad, and a learning experience. Berlitz, like any other company, isn’t perfect but most of a person’s experience with anything depends on the person. I’ve spent enough time on the internet reading horror eikaiwa stories and such but I’m ready to make my own story. One thing I signed up for when I decided to move to a foreign country is that, move to a foreign country. I can’t expect everything to be like the US, otherwise it’d be the US.

The next two months will fly by fast I’m sure. There’s plenty to do and maybe not enough time to do it. I wish there was someone out there who will tell me everything will be okay but this is a journey I start by myself.

Japan, I’m ready for you and Berlitz Japan…THANK YOU.

Posted Under: Japan, Japan: Interview, Japan: Job Searching
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