Living in the Odawara Area
Buying a Computer:
Currently you can buy a very good computer in the Odawara area for around 80,000 Yen. Nojima is a good place to buy a computer cheaply and there are many Nojima stores in the area. Yamada Denki would also be a good place to buy one/Prices have dropped by about 80 percent from five years ago! I recently picked up an Emachine computer in Akihabara without a monitor for 52,000 Yen! It is the best computer we own and it was a great deal ! Do a search at google for Dell Japan. They sell some great computers I am told. For my next computer I will probably buy from Dell.
The Odawara International Lounge offers almost free Japanese lessons and the teachers are great! Go to the Lounge (next to Odawara`s Main post office) and find out
which days and times are best for your level of Japanese.
If you work for Kevin`s English Schools we offer free Japanese lessons to you! There are also free Japanese lessons offered at the Odawara Christian Centre. The Odawara International Club offers Japanese lessons as well. You can advertise for a Japanese teacher at The Odawara Bulletin Board .
English Newspapers & Magazines:
Japan Living Blog
This is owned and edited by yours truly so please check us out too!
Japan Living Forum
This is a huge and lively Yahoo Group!We were featured on Yahoo Group`s Editor`s Page and reviewed favourably there. Join our forum about life in Japan!
Travel Central Japan
Travel Central Japan has articles on travelling this beautiful island nation, and others on life here.
The Tokyo Jounal has many opinionated articles about life in Japan as well as event information.
Sports & Exercise:
Toshi Miura teaches yoga at various venues in Minami Ashigara and is fluent in English. You can find out his contact information by posting at the Odawara Bulletin Board. Minami Ashigara Sports Centre is only a 25 minute walk from Kevin`s Tsukahara School. It has a small workout area, a running track, a pool, tennis courts, a soccer field, many gyms, aikido, karate, shorenji kempo and judo classes. There are also many sports clubs in the area. You can check with Odawara City Hall and Minami Ashigara City Hall to obtain a list of all the clubs. There is an extensive magazine in Japanese that lists all the clubs--not only sports clubs but art and everything else in between. There are literally hundreds of clubs.
The OHA --
Odawara Hockey Association plays street and inline hockey the third Sunday of every month! They also host some hockey tournaments. Odawara Arena has a brand-new fully equipped weight room and the price for use is very cheap! Basicly you name the sport and you can pretty well play it here. Okay, so you can't luge! I'm very sorry about that! As mentioned above, the Odawara Arena has a great weight room as well as other facilities including basketball leagues and badminton to name a few. Exercise your brain material: Chess Japan has members in the Odawara area.If you like boardgames like Risk, Axis and Allies or Civilization to name a few you mught be interested in joining JIGG, the largest bilingual boardgames and RPG club in Japan.
Skype! Skype! Skype! This is the way to go.
Keep in mind that in Japan you are charged for all phone calls based upon how far away the listener is and how long you talk. The longer you talk the more you pay. In view of this, many people rely on email here, much more than back home. If you want to call friends and relatives back home it is good to set up your own callback service account. I recommend Worldlink, and as far as I know, it is still the cheapest to North America. It is also the largest callback company, so it won't go out of business anytime soon, and their service has been pretty reliable. There are many callback services available. Another newer and probably better idea is to get an internet phone account with Yahoo or another provider. You wiill probably need a Japanese friend to look into that for you, to find the best deal for you, as these services are always changing. My understanding is that this is a good deal if you are going to phone your country of origin often. If you aren`t it isn`t necessary.The new skype system is interesting. It allows you to call home for pennies!