- 1 What’s Bizarre about Japan? 【英語長文練習】レベル：英検２級・TOEIC500点程度
- 2 My first train ride【英語長文練習】レベル：英検２級・TOEIC500点程度
- 3 FRIENDSHIP: AUSTRALIA vs JAPAN【英語長文練習】レベル：英検準一級 TOEIC 700点
- 4 Cultural Differences 【英語長文練習】レベル：英検２級・TOEIC500点程度
- 5 TRAFFIC IN NAGOYA【英語長文練習】レベル：英検準一級 TOEIC 700点
- 6 Cultural differences【英語長文練習】レベル：英検２級・TOEIC500点程度
- 7 HOW I CAME TO LOVE JAPAN【英語長文練習】レベル：英検準１級・TOEIC700点程度
- 8 Cultural Differences【英語長文練習】レベル：英検2級・TOEIC500点程度
What’s Bizarre about Japan? 【英語長文練習】レベル：英検２級・TOEIC500点程度
When people talk about Japan, they would always think about how innovative and technological this country gets! Or how pretty and neat the country is! Last but not the least, fashion, Cosplay and hype beast were always a big thing in the city of Japan. Coming to Japan with the intention of tourism would have been a great experience. Different culture. You can find a lot of unique things they sell in Japan! But as you live in Japan, you interact with the locals and everything doesn’t seem the way you thought of Japan.
First thing I would like to discuss is how Japanese people are not flexible. They were taught to follow the rules and orders, which is good at some points but not so good at some points. There are always advantage and disadvantage. For example, when I crossed a small street, there were no cars at all, but people would choose to wait for the red lights to turn green. Since foreigners from all over the world start visiting Japan, Japanese people are much more open-minded. However, only certain elderly people would stare at you if you cross a small street with the red light. Not only about traffic light but customer services aren’t negotiable at times. We, as a customer need a flexibility. For example, in some restaurants we have our own positions and we are not allowed to take others. It’s great that we could focus more on our own jobs, but as the customers are waiting in lines, we should help out our teammates, but some of the staffs wouldn’t care.
Second, everybody who has their part-time jobs in a restaurant would have found out by now that Japanese restaurants love wasting all the clean leftover food. For instance, in Japan, they have different kinds of set meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As a restaurant, we need to prepare for breakfast, lunch and dinner set meals. If the meal we prepare for lunch hasn’t been sold out yet, the kitchen would definitely throw away all the leftover food after the lunch time ends. Why? Because they would like to have fresh food for the next day, not leftover food. It’s great but why not let us (staffs) eat the leftover stored in the refrigerator? I still can’t figure that out. It’s a waste of food. I know, Japan took really good care of the people so they won’t get food poisoning, but this is too much of a waste.
Many foreigners/ International students protested but no action being made. Many of us foreigners come to Japan to work and study, not to make a change in the Japanese culture or the laws. Japan is considered as one of the top countries in the world, compared to the country I was born. As Japan has much better laws, and how successfully well-developed Japan is proven, so we might have to learn on how Japanese do their jobs done.
- What are the two examples that the writer mentions as Japanese being not flexible?
- What did elderly people do when foreigners crossed the street with the red light?
- What does the writer suggest we do when your job at a restaurant doesn’t allow you to take orders from customers?
- What surprised the writer about the leftover food when working at a restaurant in Japan?
- Which of the following is the closest to the meaning of “bizarre”?
a) amazing b) strange c) surprising d) interesting
- People don’t cross the street with the red light even when there are no cars.
- They stared at the foreigners.
- They should help taking orders when customers are waiting.
- The fact that some restaurants throw away the clean leftover food.
My first train ride
Bicycles, motorcycles, personal cars, taxis, buses, donkeys and horses in the country side are the means of transportation I had ever used in Morocco before I moved to Japan. “Where are the trains, subways, tramways? ” is the question you might be asking yourself right now, right? Well, we do have some railway lines mostly connecting the big cities, so I didn’t have a chance to take a ride as I lived in a little town in the northeast of Morocco.
On the other hand, those trains were and still are so slow and not very punctual. That’s why I didn’t even think of trying them. Now we have the TGV (Train Grand Vitesse: High Speed train) though, so don’t worry if you’re planning to visit Morocco.
November the 2nd 2010 was the day I first stepped my foot in Japan. My wife met me at the airport. It was the time for me to take my first train ride since I was born. It was wonderful because it was my first ride and the scenery from the airport to our destination was astonishing, especially the Autumn colours. I still remember that like it happened yesterday.
A couple of years ago, I went back to Morocco and had a chance to ride a train for the first time, but this time in my home country. It was pretty comfortable but slow as hell.
Do you want to try trains in Morocco? As a Japanese you had better not unless you enjoy suffering hell. I’m a bit exaggerating, but I seriously don’t like them.
- Why wasn’t he able to travel by train in Morocco?
- What was bad about trains in Morocco?
- What part of his train journey in Japan was so good?
- What does the word “astonishing” mean?
- What is TGV the abbreviation for?
A) The Good Vehicle. B) To Go Vertical. C) Train Grand Vitesse. D) Trained Government Vehicle.
- He lived in a small town and trains mainly travelled to big cities.
- Slow and not punctual.
- The scenery with all the Autumn colours.
- “Astonishing” means amazing, very surprising or impressive.
- C)Train Grand Vitesse.
FRIENDSHIP: AUSTRALIA vs JAPAN【英語長文練習】レベル：英検準一級 TOEIC 700点
Since coming to Japan almost 2 years ago, I have noticed a large difference in interactions and socializing with friends, neighbours etc. There are many different aspects to this and to see how dissimilar the two cultures are in this subject is interesting to observe.
AUSTRALIA: In Australia, after work (usually around 5:30pm) I would call/message my friends and say that I will come over to visit for a few drinks, sometimes a meal with them and vice versa. Most of the time it was no problem and when it wasn’t ok, they would immediately ask if tomorrow is ok to visit them. There was barely any time during weeks where we wouldn’t see friends or neighbours and socialize. After having drinks and most often a meal as well, I would go home and go have drinks with my neighbours. Usually when I went to my neighbours they would have friends or other neighbours that we knew well and would drink and have a BBQ.
On the weekend there would always be the regular visiting friends, having drinks, BBQ and having the TV outside to watch while socializing. This was also the case with neighbours. You would walk to your neighbours, there would be a small to large gathering consisting of other neighbours or their friends and you would go there, start talking, drinking, BBQ, go to the pub together or watch sports on TV. The other thing we would do to each other is tease each other quite a lot but that’s what a normal thing to do as friends was.
JAPAN: I have always loved Japan, its people, food, culture and natural beauty as a country. As I started meeting people, it was a bit difficult being Australian as we are sometimes an overly friendly people in some cases (well maybe to Japanese people). I would meet people and greet them in the normal way I would greet people in Australia. This usually was saying “G’day mate! How are ya! Nice to meet you!” and because it was enthusiastically said, a lot of Japanese people were apprehensive about it. My wife advised me that I need to be not so overzealous with my approach. Anyway, when I contact my Japanese friends or speak to them face to face and say about meeting on the weekend or after work for a drink, they respond with I will message you or pull out their calendar. This happens a lot, then they go on to say how about in 3 weeks’ time or end of next month. It’s a bit like a restaurant but you make a reservation with friends for even an hour of time. It’s quite interesting. I have started forgetting what my friends here look like. I see them and think to myself you look vaguely familiar, do I know you from somewhere? Hahaha.
In finishing, I think that the differences between both Australia and Japan in this respect are quite opposite. I think that we underestimate the importance of friends and making time for them as they are a vital part of who we are and who we should be and I mean that for all people everywhere. Having friends you can see often is huge a benefit to us as people and helps you relax and reset from stresses in everyday life. Make time for your friends as you need them and they need you.
1) What aspect is the writer discussing in this article?
2) How often would Australian friends and neighbors meet?
3) What do Australians usually do when they meet?
4) How often would Japanese friends and neighbors meet?
5)In your opinion, why don’t Japanese meet that often?
6)What’s another word for “overzealous?” A: Offensive B: Passionate C: Talkative D: Rude
1)The difference of how we meet friends between Australia and Japan
2)They meet quite often both during the week and on weekends.
3-They usually have a drink, have a meal or a BBQ, and sometimes They go to the pub and watch sports on TV.
4)They would meet once a month, with arranging in advance.
5)e.g.*) They are busy with work and need to prepare something in order to meet their friends.
Cultural Differences 【英語長文練習】レベル：英検２級・TOEIC500点程度
Today I want to talk about the cultural differences between Indonesia and Japan. Since I’m an International student, as I arrived in Japan back in 2016, the first thing I should do was to apply for an Identification card and to create my own stamp with my name on it. How cool is that to have your own ID card and your own stamp in Japan! Foreign/International students in Indonesia don’t really have to bother getting these. Cultural differences could be interesting and fun although sometimes it could be difficult for some people. For instance, foreigner or International Students with darker skin would most probably get asked about a theft or ID verification.
First thing I’m going to talk about is how to write your “Signature” in a Japanese and Indonesian way. As what I have said, it’s really new for me to use stamps. Back in Indonesia, only a president of a company, high ranking officials or a person in a position of authority are the ones who usually use stamps.
In japan they call it ( Hanko / Inkan ) and there are 3 versions for different uses:
- Jitsuincarries the highest legal authority and is required for such dealings as purchasing real estate or automobiles, transferring titles or ownership, taking out a loan, and filing a will.
- Mitomeinserves for commonplace transactions such as filing application forms at City Hall and receiving packages from delivery services and post offices.
- Ginkōinis used when opening an account.
In Indonesia, we use our own hand-written signature which is basically a form of our name as a legal mark for administration, bank use and verifying official papers.
Next thing I found quite interesting was at the theater. When I went to the theater for the first time in Japan, I felt weird. We all know that Japanese people are very respectful towards people. For instance, staying after the movie to watch all the cast names and crew member names in the movie. It takes about 10 minutes or more. This does not happen in Indonesia. It may seem selfish but people usually leave the theater as soon as the movie ends.
There are many more cultural differences between the two countries, but I’m afraid I have to end it for now. See you next month! I hope you learned something from it!
1) In Indonesia who would commonly use stamps for a signature?
2) What kind of signature do Indonesian people use?
3)What is MITOMEIN Inkan used for?
4)What does the writer think about Japanese people’s behavior at a theater?
5)Which do you prefer? Hand-written signature or stamps as your signature?
Answers (Example answer)
1)A president of a company, high ranking officials or person of authority.
2) Hand-written signature.
3) Mitomein is only for transaction use.
4)The writer felt weird
5)I prefer Stamps. You don’t need to spend time and energy to write your signature. It is quite simple.
I hope my country will adopt it in the future.
TRAFFIC IN NAGOYA【英語長文練習】レベル：英検準一級 TOEIC 700点
To begin, this may only be isolated to one area, as I frequent where I have noticed this happens on a daily basis. So this is just an observation on what I have seen in person. I am perplexed by how often it happens.
On my way to work each day, I frequently walk to the nearby train station. Before the station you cross a main road and walk down a side street towards the station. As you near the station, there is a backstreet that has three crosswalks in front of the underpass. Every time I go to cross, I have to wait for cars to go past before I can cross, none of which slow down even the slightest. On numerous occasions when I first arrived here, I was almost run down.
In Australia(not sure about in Japan) pedestrians have right of way and if you don’t allow pedestrians right of way or at least slow down, it can be considered by the law as attempted manslaughter by negligence. We have a monitoring system that has CCTV cameras monitoring the pedestrian crossings to catch people who do not stop if there are pedestrians present. If pedestrians are not present you are still required by law to slow down when approaching a crossing. When it comes to the said crossings that I am referring to here in Nagoya, you never see any police presence in that area to even monitor, if anything maybe once a month at least.
When writing this, it is to me a safety concern for all pedestrians who frequent the area as well as for my wife and myself. As I had mentioned in the beginning of this blog, I am merely making an observation on what takes place in this area. Unfortunately I have had this occur a few times in different areas of Nagoya but in this particular area it seems to be very common.
1) What is the main subject of this blog?
2) What happens at these pedestrian crossings?
3) What is a pedestrian?
4) What is CCTV?
5) How often does this happen at these crossings?
6) Why is it a safety concern?
1) Dangerous driving near pedestrian crossings.
2) Vehicles don’t slow down or stop at the pedestrian crossings.
3) A person walking.
4) CCTV – Closed Circuit Television
5) The drivers could cause serious injury or even death.
6) The drivers could cause serious injury or even death.
Back at it again with the cultural differences between Indonesia and Japan! Today I’m going to talk about the “Taste Preferences” between Japanese people and Indonesian people. Well, food is one of the greatest things about life. There is definitely some things that most of us Indonesian can’t eat while we are living in Japan due to the differences in culture.
To begin with, I will start with Indonesia’s history. Indonesia won the 4th place for one of the many islands in a country, approximately 6,000 populated islands of the total 17,508 with more than 300 ethnic groups calling Indonesia home. Many regional cuisines exist, often based upon their original culture and foreign influences. Indonesia has around 5,350 traditional recipes, with 30 of them considered the most important. Indonesia’s cuisine may include rice, noodle and soup dishes to street-side snacks and expensive plates. Indonesian cuisine often demonstrate complex ingredients and the rich flavors which most often describe as savory, hot spicy and also combination of basic tastes such as sweet, and salty, sour and bitter. Because I love food, I’m very excited to taste all kinds of Japanese food, including raw fish, famous natto(納豆) and etc. I love Japanese food. It’s just that after living here for over a year, I feel like there is less flavor in Japanese food, and everything tastes plain. Most Japanese people have low tolerant of spicy food, but they have two kinds of chilies, shichimi tougarashi and wasabi. Shichimi is a crushed dried chili and it’s not spicy for us Indonesian. We can finish a bottle of shichimi, but when it comes to wasabi, most of us can’t stand the strong effect that hit on our nose.
Whereas with Japanese cuisine and inherited tradition, they love to eat fresh food or some variant tastes such as salty, sweet and sour then again they would prefer the natural taste of the food. Keep it in mind too, that they dislike food that contain too much oil in it except for a deep fried food. I will take one of the traditional food in Japan washoku as an example. Washoku contains miso soup, pickles, rice and fish. It’s a complete set to charge up yourself, to start off your day with or even for lunch. The way they place dishes to make it easier for us to eat. This is the impression I get while I’m living in Japan.
There is no end towards food and taste , so before I finish this blog I would like you guys to answer some of my these questions below referred to the above blog.
1) Why are there 5350 traditional recipes all around Indonesia?
2) Between 5350 traditional recipes, how many of them are being consider as the main recipes?
3) There are 2 types of chili that are popular in Japan. Which one of them do Indonesian people dislike?
4) What kind of flavor does the writer think Japanese people prefer?
5) Do you agree about the taste preference that the writer wrote? Give out your reasons.
1) Because there are 300 ethnic groups in Indonesia
4) Natural taste
5) (Your Opinion)
HOW I CAME TO LOVE JAPAN【英語長文練習】レベル：英検準１級・TOEIC700点程度
It all began in Primary School (Elementary School) when we had an exchange teacher come to our tiny school from Japan. When I say tiny school, I mean that it is in a very small country town called Uraidla (means “Lots of rain” in Aboriginal language) in Adelaide, South Australia. Uraidla only had a population of 250 people at that time. She had come to Australia to learn to be a substitute teacher and see how things worked being a teacher in Australia. She taught us a lot about Japanese culture, people and food. We were able to try different Japanese food such as sweets and Okonomiyaki. I loved it. It was so interesting and amazing to me to see how different things are to Australia.
Soon after that I began learning Karate, where I was not only taught martial arts but also about different ceremonies, the cultural background of Japan and the many wonders of the country itself. This made me even more interested and excited about Japan as a whole. My parents also showed me a Japanese television program that they used to watch when they were young called The Samurai (Shintaro). I really loved watching that show.
After 3 years of doing Karate, I went on to High School where I started learning Judo. I learnt even more about Japan from my Judo instructor who wasn’t Japanese but he had trained in Japan for many years. He too was fascinated by Japan when he was younger. I trained in Judo for about 4 years before I stopped due to having to study so much. I really didn’t want to stop but time was a problem.
A year or so later I met a guy who I became really good friends with and he also loved Japan. He asked me if I would like to train with him in Ninja (Ninjutsu). I loved Ninja but I had no idea you could learn it. I always thought that it didn’t exist anymore. So I started training with him in Ninja. It was so good!
1) What does Uraidla mean in Aboriginal?
2) How many people lived in Uraidla?
3) When I was learning Karate, what other things did I learn?
4) Where did I start learning Judo?
5) What does “fascinated” mean?
6) What did I love and think was so good?
1) Lots of rain.
2) Population 250 people.
3) Different ceremonies, the cultural background of Japan and the many wonders of the country itself.
4) In High School.
5) Extremely interested in something.
Have you ever looked at your parents and realized that as you grow older, they are getting older, too? It depends on each family, how they teach their kids and how they approach their kids. But I’m going to explain it from my point of view on how Japanese people approach their parents and how most Indonesian do. In my case, I’m being well taught on how to respect the elders, and have some affections to our parents.
Hug and kiss are the ways to show our affections towards the people we love; for instance, girlfriend, boyfriend, husband and wife. Well how about our parents? The people who have raised us and brought us into this world? I do think they deserve the same affections as what we give to our partner equally. I see, listen and talk to my Japanese friends, and they don’t treat the way I treated my parents, not all but most of them. And as I give out questions on their opinions about hugging our parents, their reactions were a bit disgusted. It would be quite unusual, awkward and weird for Japanese people if they have decided to hug their parents. As for my case, it’s the other way around. It would be pleasing to see my parents feel loved, and happy after my siblings and I hug and kiss them on their cheek.
It’s just sad to see a lot of old folks in Japan live on their own and even their kids don’t really care them. I’m pretty sure it’s because of how they treated and taught their children. In 2017, according to the newspaper “The Mainichi”, 20% of the nursing home refuse elderly people requiring level 3 care. In other words, for those elderly who cannot stand up or walk and need full support to go to the toilet, their availability is limited.
Well, from my point of view, we as children are responsible for taking good care of our parents regardless of how troublesome they might be, how annoying they could get, for example; asking the same questions over and over again. Before I end this blog I would like to list out some questions for you.
1) What did the writer find about the reaction he got from Japanese about hugging their parents?
2) What did the writer find about the reaction he got from Japanese about hugging their parents?
3) What is the main argument of this blog?
4) According to “the mainichi” newspaper, what does the nursing home a level 3 care mean?
5) What does the writer think about the responsibility of children after their parents get old?
1) Unusual, awkward and weird.
3) Affection towards our parents.
4) Elderly who cannot stand up or walk and need full support to go to the toilet.
5) Taking good care of our parents regardless of how troublesome they might be and how annoying they could get.