Traveling: Getting Ready to Travel!

© LINE Corporation

© LINE Corporation

It’s the end of the school and fiscal year in the Japan, but if your social calendar is anything like mine, it’s not a time for rest! On the Japanese side of things there’s graduations, new students, and new hires to celebrate.  On the expat side, old friends will be leaving to return home or move on elsewhere and new expats will be moving over in their place, with a string of sayonara parties to pay your respects at and parties to welcome the newcomers.  If you’re staying put in Japan, chances are like most Japanese you’ll be traveling somewhere.

No matter if you’re just arriving, staying put, or leaving, I’d like to share with you some good tips that I hope you’ll find useful during your next travel.

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Finding What Fits

Okay ya’ll.  I’m about leave for Singapore in a week and I wanted a few additions to my spring/summer wardrobe because it’s supposed to be in the 30s (high 80s – low 90s for you Stateside peeps), compared to the weather here that’s just barely starting to resemble something like spring.

But confession?  It’s really hard for me to find good clothes in Japan.  Most women’s clothing stores have a one size fits all thing going on, or if they separate into sizes there’s usually only two to choose from- M (fits like a Juniors XS-S) or L (fits more like a Juniors M).   Sometimes these sizes are labelled 38 or 40, which correspond to S or M in European sizing.  If you’re a non-Asian female expat or have body type bigger than this, you might be facing the same challenge.

So what to do?  Well, you have two options: go domestic or go home

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Owning a Pet in Japan: Where to Buy Premium Food

Dog & Cat Food Brand Collage

Maybe they exist in Tokyo or bigger cities, but in my area and most rural areas there’s a dire lack of pet stores.  Most pets and pet supplies are sold at home or DIY centers, and while they carry a wide range of domestic brands, most don’t sell premium dog and cat food I could find at Petco or Petsmart back in the U.S.  The only “premium food” sold around town is Royal Canin, which is really only premium in price, and not ingredients-wise.

With dogs, you might find it at little easier since the market still caters heavily to them.  But after we first got our cats, I was stuck feeding them generic stuff that was high in grains (not good for their health 😦 ) until I could hunt down some of the better brands high in meat or protein content.  So, I thought I’d pass on the list of stores I’ve come across that import or sell premium wet and dry food.

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Owning a Pet in Japan: Is It For You? + Adoption Info

If you’ve been following along my other posts, you know that we have two cats that are our babies.  Hopefully you also remember that owning a pet isn’t easy if you’re looking for a rental property, because most rental properties do not allow pets.

© J // Washing Rice Blog

One of our cats in her current favorite box.
© J // Washing Rice Blog

Despite that, pet ownership in Japan has steadily risen over the past couple of decades and the pet population currently outnumbers childrenAs of 2009 dog ownership still beat out cat ownership, but the gap is steadily decreasing.  While leased properties that allow pets are few and far between, that number is rising every year (albeit at the pace of a snail 😉 ).  For those who don’t lease, owning a pet usually isn’t a problem.

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