• 心はすっかり日本人

    [From November Issue 2013]

    Ousmane Youla SANKHON
    “Forty years have passed since I arrived in Japan. I’ve been to all 47 prefectures. Japanese people praise me saying, ‘You know Japan better than I,’” says Ousmane Youla SANKHON in fluent Japanese. He became famous appearing in variety shows and in commercials on TV. Nowadays he is busy travelling all over Japan for events and lectures.
    Sankhon was born in 1949 in the state of Bofa, Guinea. Watching planes fly overhead, as a young boy he dreamed of becoming a pilot. In those days, most children in Guinea didn’t go on to higher education. Sankhon, however, went on to study in the capital at the University of Conakry at the suggestion of his parents who attached great importance to education. Coming top in an exam taken by some 10,000 people, he won a state-sponsored scholarship to study in France.
    After studying economic politics at the Paris-Sorbonne University, Sankhon returned to Guinea to become a diplomat. He was then ordered to “go to Japan.” Sankhon’s studies had focused on Europe and he had no knowledge whatsoever of Asia nor Japan. “I saw Burma and Vietnam in transit and got worried thinking, ‘These countries are less developed than Guinea. Japan is even further away. Just how backward can it be?’” Sankhon says, laughing.


    When he was diplomat

    However, what waited for Sankhon in Japan was streets lined with skyscrapers and roads thronged with cars. “I was stunned when the car I was in got on a highway. The car was rushing along at the same height as the third floor of a building,” says Sankhon. “In Marunouchi, even in the middle of the night, there were always some lighted windows. I understood that Japan was a success because Japanese are such hard workers.”
    Sankhon was in a hurry to study Japanese in order to perform his duties as a diplomat. “I decided I didn’t have enough time to learn kanji, as I was to be transferred to another country in a few years. So, using the Roman alphabet, I listened to everything very carefully, pronouncing it exactly as I had heard it.” Also, by writing down words he’d been taught, he made his own dictionary and memorized two words each day.
    He was later transferred to the US before returning to Guinea. But before his first son was born, he took a leave of absence from the Foreign Service to come back to Japan. “At 64, I’m still on my leave of absence,” says Sankhon, laughing.
    Because even though he had intended to stay for just a short while until his son was born, he became popular on TV. “I didn’t know that it was an audition,” says Sankhon. He was told by someone from the Japan-Guinea Friendship Association to go to a TV station to do some PR for Guinea. There were many non-Japanese there. Unaware of the circumstances, he spoke frankly about a variety of things. Then someone said “What an interesting man!” And with that, he was hired for a variety show.


    When he was on TV

    “My office had always been lively; a place where people gathered together.” He started to make frequent appearances on TV, attracting attention because of the contrast between his cheerful, humorous speech and his intelligence as a speaker of six languages, including Japanese. “I stood out because there were no other black TV personalities in those days.”
    Some programs made a joke out of his black skin, for example, “Searching for Sankhon in a dark place.” “Some said it was discriminatory and questioned whether a diplomat should appear in such programs,” says Sankhon. “But I didn’t mind a bit because I didn’t have an inferiority complex about my black skin. Besides, everyone’s jokes were so full of affection that I enjoyed the shows myself.”
    Sankhon’s success opened doors to other TV personalities from Africa. African TV personalities aren’t rare anymore today. Sankhon himself doesn’t appear so much on TV these days. He puts his energies into giving lectures and into social welfare activities.
    “Education in Guinea is still very backward,” says Sankhon. “Some children must walk half a day to get to their elementary school. That’s why I built one in Bofa. I also donate stationery to orphans. The children get really excited,” says Sankhon. With help from local Japanese government and other organizations, he has also donated fire engines and farming machinery to Guinea.
    Sankhon became interested in the welfare of others because of a personal experience. “I broke my leg when I was a child. The treatment I received from my Guinean doctor was inadequate, so this leg became permanently damaged. My mother massaged me everyday for years, but it didn’t help.” When she got old, Sankhon took care of her, inviting her to Japan to have her eyes operated on.


    Visiting a nursing home

    Meanwhile one of his acquaintances, an administrator for a nursing home, said to him, “Why don’t you study nursing and obtain a license as a caregiver?” So he trained in the nursing home by pushing wheelchairs and bathing the elderly. “I spent a night in a diaper. Kanji was the hardest part of studying for the exams.” After a concerted effort, he successfully gained a second grade qualification. Now he visits nursing homes, entertaining the elderly by doing things like singing enka ballads.
    After the Great East Japan Earthquake, he went as a volunteer to areas affected by the disaster. “I was impressed to see victims queuing up properly to receive food.” His welfare activities in Guinea and Japan over the years have been recognized and this July, Sankhon received an award from the Minister of Foreign Affairs. “My skin is black, but in my soul I’m completely Japanese,” he says humorously. “Japanese values of duty and empathy are really fantastic. Because I feel that these have been on the decline over the last 40 years, I continue to emphasize their importance in my lectures.”
    Ousmane Sankhon Official Website
    Text: SAZAKI Ryo[2013年11月号掲載記事]





    Read More
  • 大学ブランド食品に注目が高まる

    [From November Issue 2013]

    “University Brand Foods” that utilize ingredients developed in university research labs are attracting attention. The processes and developments that lead to the creation of these foods vary, from products with a modern take on famous local produce, to products that are the result of research. They’ve been growing in popularity to such an extent that department stores in Tokyo regularly host food fairs called “Universities are Delicious!!” bringing together products from over 30 universities.
    At Kamaishi Institute, Kitasato University Research Organization for Infection Control Sciences (Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture) beer is made using yeast collected from a cherry tree. The research facility stores Ishiwarizakura yeast extracted from a cherry tree. Located in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture, Ishiwarizakura is a 360 year old cherry tree that grew from a fissure in a rock. When the tree blooms, between mid-April to early May, many people from both within and without the city come to view its blossoms.
    The research institute was damaged in the Great East Japan Earthquake, and the building was partially destroyed, but miraculously the Ishiwarizakura yeast remained intact. Fukukou Beer had been successfully brewed from this yeast. Though the beer factory collapsed in the earthquake, it was reconstructed in just two months. They were somehow able to start brewing again, but experienced repeated failures in the beer making process.
    “In the space of a year, local sake brewers joined forces with the university to create a commercial product. It is imbued with our hopes for renewal,” says INOMATA Yukie, who developed the product. The beer has gained a reputation for its delicious taste and characteristic refreshing fragrance. A portion of the sales profits is contributed to the revitalization of the Sanriku area.


    Cakes made with rice

    In addition, Tokyo Kasei University began work on the “Shirafuji Project” seven years ago in order to bring back the so called, legendary Shirafuji sake rice. Professor NAKAMURA Nobuya dreamed up the idea in order to let his students try their hand at rice cultivation.
    Students cultivated rice in Niigata Prefecture, an area renowned nationwide for producing delicious rice. Before long, hoping to give more people a taste of Shirafuji rice, some students put forward the idea that they sell confectionary made from this rice instead of from wheat flour. From then on, they began cooperating with Gateau Senka, confectionary shops to develop their own confectionary.
    Trial versions, particularly in the form of cakes, were made one after the other to try to make it look delicious. One of the students involved in the developmental stage, SEO Moemi says, “We have been participating in the ‘Daigaku-ha Oishii!!’ fair for three years. Recently, so many people have come to buy it for children with wheat allergies. As it’s rather difficult to get hold of deserts that do not contain wheat, there’s been a call for us to put it on sale more regularly.”
    Having gained a reputation for good quality and high safety standards, university brand foods will surely become more popular from now on.
    Kamaishi Institute, Kitasato University Research Organization for Infection Control Sciences
    Tokyo Kasei University
    Text: TSUCHIYA Emi[2013年11月号掲載記事]

    北里大学感染制御研究機構 釜石研究所(岩手県大船渡市)では桜から採取した酵母を使ったビールをつくっています。研究所では「石割桜」から採取した酵母、「石割桜の酵母」を保管していました。石割桜とは岩の割れ目から育った樹齢360年以上の桜で、岩手県盛岡市にあります。花が咲く4月半ばから5月上旬には、市内だけでなく遠くからもたくさんの人が花見に訪れます。

    北里大学感染制御研究機構 釜石研究所

    Read More
  • 何度も書いたり消したりできるペン

    [From November Issue 2013]

    PILOT Corporation
    If you want to change or rewrite what you’ve written in your schedule or memo pad, it’s not possible to erase the text written with a normal ballpoint pen or fountain pen in the same way you would with a pencil. The “Frixion” series developed by PILOT Corporation came into being with the concept that “it would be convenient if there were a pen that could be erased no matter how many times you wrote with it.”
    Frixion uses special ink that disappears when a certain temperature is exceeded. The unique property of this ink is that when it is rubbed with a special rubber attached to the tip of the pen, the frictional heat created renders it transparent. Therefore, once the ink has been erased, it’s possible to write on that surface over and over again. Besides this ballpoint pen, the product lineup includes felt tip pens and highlighters.
    Until now, those wanting to erase text written in pen had to rely on erasers containing sand particles, or on correction fluid. The pen is designed so that the ink becomes colorless with the change in temperature and this means that even when the ink is rubbed with the rubber tip of the pen, residue is not produced. Because of this, the pen has caused quite a stir, and since it was released in France in 2006, more than 600 million pens have been sold in over 90 countries around the world.
    It all started in 1975 when the company developed writing tools that used “ink that changes color with temperature.” “It began with toys that would change color in the bath and with applications for printing, but came to fruition with writing instruments, becoming our core business in 2005. To achieve the ideal pigment more than 1,000 kinds of compounds were created, over more than 30 years of study,” says TANAKA Mari of the Sales and Promotion Division.
    Tanaka says, “The biggest difficulty was widening the temperature range within which the ink reacts, and to make the grain of the pigment fine enough. At first the original ink we developed changed color with the only the slightest change in temperature, so it was not practical. In addition, in order for the pigments to flow smoothly from the small crevice in the pen nib, the ink grains have to be very small and uniform in size,” she says, looking back on the developmental stage.
    Frixion ink uses unique microcapsules that act as pigment. The capsule contains three components and it’s these that combine to react with frictional heat, making the ink turn transparent. The ink has been engineered to change color at a temperature of minus 20 to 65 degrees Celsius. The research lab was given the nickname “fuyajyou” (nightless district) within the company because in order to carry out this research, development continued day and night.
    This pen is very convenient for studying. By writing in pink or orange, text can be hidden with a transparent sheet of red plastic, making it especially useful for memorizing important information.
    PILOT Corporation
    Text: ITO Koichi[2013年11月号掲載記事]


    Read More
  • 島根県――神々と世界遺産で知られる地

    [From November Issue 2013]


    Shimane Prefecture is located in the Chugoku region of Honshu (Japan’s main island) on the coast of the Sea of Japan. Until recently many Japanese people didn’t know where Shimane Prefecture was, or confused it with neighboring Tottori Prefecture, but now the prefecture is drawing more attention because of the historic Izumo Taisha (Izumo Grand Shrine) and the Iwami Ginzan silver mine, which has been designated as a World Culture Heritage Site. A land with a deep connection to Shinto legends, the surnames of many of its citizens have a connection to Shinto gods.

    Izumo Taisha is dedicated to Okuninushi no Okami, a deity associated with matchmaking. The shrine has such a long history that it’s even mentioned in Japan’s oldest historical chronicle, the “Kojiki.” The tenth month of the old lunar calendar is known as kanna-zuki (month without gods) throughout Japan, but in Shimane Prefecture it is known as kamiari-zuki (month the gods are present). This is because all the gods from across Japan gather at Izumo Taisha during this period. To this day the Shinto ritual of kamimukaesai (god welcoming festival) is performed around November.

    For the first time in 60 years, a process known as senguu (transfer ritual), involving the temporary removal of the goshintai (objects of worship believed to contain the spirit of the gods) to repair the shrines, was performed recently. In May this year the main deity, Okuninushi no Okami, was successfully transferred back to the honden (main hall). It is believed that this process not only helps to preserve the wooden building, but also helps to purify the resting place of the deity, thereby restoring his energy.


    Lake Shinji

    Besides this shrine, there are many other shrines associated with the Shinto gods in the Izumo area, as well as “power spots” (locations thought to be flowing with mystical energy). At Yaegaki Shrine in Matsue City people use coins placed on washi (Japanese paper) to have their fortunes told. Legend has it that Suga Shrine in Unnan City was the first palace that Susanoo no Mikoto built. One of the deities appearing in the Kojiki, Susanoo defeated the Eight-Forked Serpent, Yamata no Orochi – a monster that had been devouring one young woman each year.

    Next to Izumo Taisha is Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo. Bronze swords and other artifacts related to ancient Izumo, as well as documents concerning the history of Shimane Prefecture itself can be found on display there. In addition, there are an array of gift shops and food stalls lining Shinmon Dori, the road that leads up to the shrine.

    The prefecture capital, Matsue City is also known as the Water City. Built in the 17th century, Matsue Castle is an important cultural property of Japan. English speaking volunteer tour guides are always available here. A popular attraction even in winter is the “Horikawa Meguri Yuransen” (Hori River Sightseeing Cruise). The Hori River surrounds the castle and it takes about 50 minutes to sail along it. Lake Shinji, located within the city itself, is known for shijimi clam fishing. However, the lake is also a popular destination for lovers wanting to catch a beautiful sunset.

    Arriving in Japan in the 19th century as a correspondent for an American publishing company, Lafcadio HEARN is a Greek man who introduced Japan to the rest of the world. A collection of Japanese ghost stories that Hearn compiled and simplified is well known to Japanese. In 1896 he acquired Japanese citizenship and changed his name to KOIZUMI Yakumo. His house and a memorial hall dedicated to his memory are located in Matsue.


    Adachi Museum of Art

    The Adachi Museum of Art is located in Yasugi City, about 15 kilometers east of Matsue. Known for its beautiful, spacious Japanese garden, the museum contains numerous works of art, including sculptures and Japanese-style paintings by artists such as YOKOYAMA Taikan. An American magazine about Japanese gardens has listed this garden as the best in Japan for ten years in a row.

    In terms of world renowned sites, Iwami Ginzan, in Ohda City, is a must see. The remains of an old silver mine that was worked for 400 years, there – except for the year-end and New Year holidays – you can see tool-scored walls, deep pits, and tunnels which are so high as to make you crane your head right back. The mines were registered in 2007 as a World Cultural Heritage Site. To get a better understanding of the site it’s necessary to have a tour guide explain its significance. Portable audio guides, in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese, are available for 500 yen. Close to the mines are: the Iwami Ginzan World Cultural Heritage Center and the “Streets of Omori,” which still retains the atmosphere of the Edo period (17th-19th centuries).

    For those wishing to view nature at its most dynamic, a visit to Oki Islands is highly recommended. This chain of over 180 small and large islands contains geoparks in which are located the Matengai Sea Cliffs – which look as if the earth has been sliced open with a knife – and the Sekiheki Cliffs (Red Cliffs). Also popular is Akao Observatory where you can see cows and horses roaming around eating grass, and Amanbou Seaview Cruise where you can enjoy the feeling of taking a stroll out in the middle of the sea.


    Iwami Ginzan

    In 2012, a cosmetic company conducted a dermatological survey and announced that the people of Shimane Prefecture have the fairest skin in Japan. It is thought that this is because the ratio of smokers there is relatively low and that the favorable climate conditions in the prefecture naturally moisturizes the skin. In Shimane Prefecture there are over 60 hot springs, including one named “Bijin no Yu” or Spring of Beauties. Renowned as “nature’s skin lotion,” the waters of Tamatsukuri Hot Spring are especially thought to promote beautiful skin. Tonbara Hot Spring (Ramune Ginsen) is one of only a few naturally carbonated springs in Japan.

    Since Shimane faces the ocean, a large amount of fish and shellfish can be caught there. When boiled in a salty-sweet soup, shijimi clams harvested in Lake Shinji are used in a popular dish called kanroni. In Shimane the tobiuo flying fish is known as “ago” and is consumed as kamaboko (a paste of minced and cooked fish). Izumo soba (buckwheat noodles) and Shimane beef are also local specialties.

    Items traditionally crafted in the prefecture include stone garden lanterns and Japanese abacuses. Shussai tableware, Hii River washi, and intricate metal candle holders and vases are recommended as souvenirs.



    Kagura (traditional song and dance numbers performed in honor of the gods) are popular in the Iwami area – in the western part of the prefecture – and performances depicting the defeat of the Eight-Forked Serpent are particularly colorful. Typically traditional performing arts have suffered from a lack of fresh blood, but here in Shimane Prefecture children become extremely familiar with kagura from an early age, even to the extent that some kindergartners play at putting on performances. Prajna masks are used in kagura plays and are also sold as decorative charms used to ward off evil spirits at the entrance of homes.

    The flight from Haneda Airport in Tokyo to Izumo Enmusubi Airport is about 80 minutes. The flight time to Hagi Iwami Airport is 90 minutes and to Yonago Airport about 80 minutes. The overnight limited express sleeper train “Sunrise Izumo” departs from JR Tokyo Station every day and takes roughly 12 hours to arrive at Izumoshi Station. Known as the “traveling business hotel,” passengers can relax in privacy. It is popular with women on their way home from work wishing to enjoy a comfortable trip to Shimane in the company of good friends.

    Shimane Prefectural Tourism Federation



















    Read More
  • 京都から発信する無言のパフォーマンス







    無言劇ですが、観客はユーモラスな動きに笑ったり、感動する場面では涙を流したりします。主催するART COMPLEXプロデューサーの小原啓渡さんは話します。「2010年にギアを制作しました。グローバルな催しをしたいと考えたとき、言葉の壁が一番大きいと思い、この形になりました。世代や国籍を超えて楽しめるものを目指しています」。









    [From November Issue 2013]



    “Gear,” a show performed at Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto City, is becoming popular by word of mouth. Once you enter the small theatre located within a building, a set that resembles a genuine factory appears before you. Before long, five performers appear on stage and express the story through various movements. Not a single word is used.

    The story is set in a tempestuous and desolate future society. A former toy factory, where humanoid “Roboroid” robots continue to labor, is visited by “Doll,” a former product of this factory. As they interact they experience curiosity and play, gradually becoming more like human beings. Meanwhile, an accident occurs and the Roboroids have to deal with a crisis. The story takes a dramatic turn when, left all alone, a change appears in Doll.

    Although the play is silent, the audience laughs at the slapstick comedy and sheds tears during the emotional scenes. KOHARA Keito, the producer of ART COMPLEX – an organization that sponsors the show – says, “I created Gear in 2010. The show took this form because I wanted to produce a global event, but believed that the language barrier would be my greatest challenge. The aim was to create something that could be enjoyed regardless of age or nationality.”

    Gear utilizes the latest technologies, including something called projection mapping, projecting an image or lighting up an object by adapting itself to that object’s shape. The choreography was created by KONDO Ryohei who is also known as the leader of the dance company “Condors.”

    Numerous world championship winning dancers and mime artists make an appearance. However, Gear demands movements and expressions that have never before been experienced. At first the performers had concerns, saying, “Why do we have to do something like this?” They also went through a tough period when there would only be about ten people in the audience.

    Kohara continued to make steady progress by taking into account the opinions given on questionnaires about the show. The cast themselves began to put forward their own ideas. Here, the crew, cast and audience all direct the show. Because of their hard work, the show, which was first performed in 2012, was performed for the 400th time in September, 2013, and more than 20,000 people have been to see it.

    Audience members have commented that: “I could enjoy it even without dialogue. In fact, it is more interesting because there are no words.” “While the tricks and devices are effective, in the end, it was the ‘people’ who moved me.” A non-Japanese tourist commented that: “I’ve never seen a performance like it.” Kid’s Day – when children under the age of three can attend – was created after they received a comment saying that, “Our three year old child was able to concentrate and watch it until the end.”

    “I would be delighted if many more small theatres were created in Kyoto,” says Kohara. “In the future I want to do a long running performance on the real Broadway. There’s no precedent for Japanese people performing a long run yet, so I’d like to set myself this challenge.” Kohara’s dreams are growing bigger.


    Text: KAWARATANI Tokiko


    Read More
  • ボクシングに人生をかけた男

    [From November Issue 2013]


    Ashita no Joe (Tomorrow’s Joe)

    “Ashita no Joe” (Tomorrow’s Joe) is a work that focuses on its main character, YABUKI Jou (Joe) who is a boxer. It was serialized in the weekly Shukan Shonen Magazine between 1967 and 1973. The anime version was serialized twice on TV and so far it has also been adapted into both animated and live action movies. The show had such a big impact on the public that halfway through the season when Joe’s rival RIKIISHI Tooru dies, an actual funeral service held for him was attended by approximately 700 fans.

    At the beginning of the story, Joe appears drifting aimlessly through a downtown district. He does not have any family, and we do not know where he came from, or how he lived up until then. Many day laborers live in the area. Joe meets TANGE Danpei there. A former boxer, Danpei recognizes Joe’s talent and tries to turn Joe into a first-class boxer. However, far from responding to Tange’s enthusiasm, Joe gets mixed up in crime, is arrested then sent to a reform school.

    There he encounters Rikiishi who is destined to be his rival. Joe has never lost a fight before, but is defeated by Rikiishi. When he discovers that Rikiishi was a professional boxer, he seriously takes up boxing. NISHI Kanichi, one of his friends at reform school who also later becomes a boxer, senses that Joe becomes unhappier as his strength increases. His unease, like a bad omen, brings an air of tension to the story.

    Rikiishi and Joe intend to fight each other as professional boxers after they are released from reform school, but there is a big problem. They are ranked in a different class as there is a weight difference between the two. In order to fight, Rikiishi goes on a strict diet to bring his weight under the limit. Although Rikiishi wins after a desperate struggle through eight rounds, he dies right after the match from a brain hemorrhage caused by weight loss and damage sustained during the fight.

    The final blow to Rikiishi was a punch to the temple and, suffering from guilt over killing Rikiishi, Joe can no longer bring himself to deliver this punch. Even though he is repeatedly defeated, Joe cannot give up boxing. Carlos RIVIERA, the uncrowned emperor, arrives on the scene. Rising to the challenge of Carlos’ seemingly unlimited ability, Joe overcomes his trauma. During his match with Carlos, Joe fights intensely, delivering punches to his opponent’s face.

    After the match against Joe, Carlos is knocked out in a World title match against Jose MENDOZA. Suffering from punch drunk syndrome there is no hope that Carlos will recover. Moreover, the rumor spreads that it was not Jose who inflicted the damage on Carlos, but Joe, who he had fought right before the title match. At the same time Joe had been trying to suppress the weight he’d gained through his natural physical development, by undergoing an impossible weight loss program.

    Furthermore, Joe has also been affected by punch drunk syndrome, too. Those close to him recommend retirement, but, just like the late Rikiishi, he pushes his body to the limit and challenges Jose to a potentially fatal confrontation. The depictions of Joe’s victories and struggles are not romanticized or glorified, which is all the more reason why Joe’s vigorous dedication to boxing is so touching.

    Text: HATTA Emiko












    Read More
  • シェアハウスは日本語の勉強に最適

    [From November Issue 2013]


    Melodie ALRIC

    “It’s been exactly a month since I came to Japan. I can’t speak Japanese yet and it’s frustrating. But at the same time, it also gives me an incentive to study harder,” Melodie ALRIC from France says cheerfully. Melodie is 20 years old and a student at the University of Lyons. She’s been studying the Japanese language for two years. “In my college, the emphasis was on reading and writing. So even if I can communicate with my Japanese friends on Facebook, I can’t talk to them face to face,” she laughs.

    Melodie became interested in Japan and the Japanese language through Japanese anime and manga which she became familiar with from a young age. “Naturally I saw and read them in French. I loved a manga called ‘NANA.’ I also found “MONSTER” interesting because it’s set in Germany and has scenes where the main character, who’s Japanese, prepares Japanese dishes for Germans.”

    Melodie also gradually became interested in Japanese culture and history. “Japan’s culture and history are completely different from France’s. That’s why I wanted to know more and took Japanese language classes. There’s a student exchange program between the University of Lyon’s and Japan’s Musashi University. I used it and came to Japan with a plan to stay for a year.”

    Because of the exchange program between the universities, there’s no need to pay tuition at Musashi. For a place to live, she chose a shared house near the university after consulting with Tulip Estate, an organization that manages many women-only shared houses and actively welcomes non-Japanese. The living room and kitchen are shared. The rent including utilities is 59,000 yen a month.

    “The room is small but private. As we are all women, I feel safe. Another good thing is I can walk to the university and have no transportation expenses. We’re now six or seven in the house and everyone else is Japanese, so it’s the best environment for studying Japanese. When there’s some word I don’t understand, they all explain it to me by writing kanji or drawing images.”

    “Because I’ve just arrived in Japan, I needed an extra 1,000 euros this month. I had to pay some insurance fees,” says Melodie. “From now on, I think I’ll only need from 800 to 900 euros a month. It’s for the rent, eating expenses, money to go out with friends and what have you.” She has saved about 4,000 euros because she wants to travel. Her parents gave her 3,500 euros for expenses for September through to December.

    In Japan, she strolls around visiting different neighborhoods or museums. “Unlike France where shops are closed on Sunday, convenience stores are always open and handy,” says Melodie.

    Melodie likes traveling and wants to work in the travel industry in the future. “I’d like to plan out trips for leisure and business people and organize events.” She intends to travel around and see a lot of Japan in her one year here. “I’m now planning a trip to Kyoto. I want to travel around Japan from Hokkaido to Okinawa.”

    Tulip Real Estate Co., Ltd.

    Text: SAZAKI Ryo














    Read More