words.

As I live in Japan and have a somewhat unusual job compared to the average Joe, as well as being weird in general, I use terminology that some people may not be familiar with. Therefore, instead of having to explain everything each time I post about it I thought I'd make a list of the words here. (P.S. Thank you Wikipedia)

100yen shop - if heaven was a shop this would be it. At least, for the cheapskates like me. Everything they sell is 100yen (105yen to be precise, as they don't include tax). If you're a fellow Brit, don't even think about comparing it to our 1pound shops back home, oh no. The items here are of a much larger variety, quality, and general oozing cuteness.

ALT - stands for 'Assistant Language Teacher'. We're that random foreigner who stands next to the Japanese EngRish teacher in classes at some schools in Japan. Did I explain that clearly enough? Nope? Then accept my laziness and read on here.

Bounenkai - translated to "end of the year party" in Japanese. In Japan the New Year is seen as an important time of the year to refresh & rest themselves, so they forget all their worries & mistakes of the previous year by drowning it away in food & alcohol. Practical? You tell me.

Birmingham - the second largest city in the middle of England, U.K., and also very close to my home-town. More here.

Cha-lump-a-lumps - a word my Aussie friend made up to describe the big lumps of snows that are created from shovelling and clearing away the snow that has built up. Usually found around buildings and on the side of roads and pavements.

Chiba - the prefecture in Japan in the kanto region & the Greater Tokyo area. More here.

DAISO - name of a big chain of 100yen shops dotted over Japan. See definition for "100yen shop" at the top of this list. Daiso shop online here.

Dorama - the Japanese transliteration of "Drama", specifically "Television Drama" i.e. TV series. More here.

Drink Bar - a service they often provide in family restaurants (see below) in Japan. It's their strange English for "all-you-can-drink". Not refills exactly, as once you pay a certain amount you can go up the wide selection of beverages they have and have as much as you like. Not alcoholic, besides the use of the word "bar".

Family restaurant - it is as it is, though it will probably sound odd in English to Brits like me. In Japan, they are simply chain restaurants that are cheap, with quick services, a variety of food and therefore perfect for busy mums and dads. Avoid weekends, therefore.

Fukuoka - the capital city of well, Fukuoka prefecture, Japan. It's on the Northern shore of the island Kyuushu. I visited it once and fell in love with it's oozing traditional Japanese culture and beautifully artistic streets and shops. More here.

Gaijin (gaikokujin) - translated to "foreigner" in Japanese. The ignorance of Japan & also the lacking of non-Japanese people results in the Japs calling all those not of the same race this word. As a "foreigner" in Japan you learn to label yourself as this without much thought.

Golden Week - occasionally abbreviated to "GW". Aside the amusing naming, it's a "Large Consecutive Holiday", where a bunch of Public Holidays continue on, though not quite making a 7 day week, in Japan. Time when everyone is off, therefore, places are crowded, expensive, etc. More here.

Gyaru - the Japanese transliteration of "Gal". Originally a somewhat naming of a genre of fashion, but more recently describes a subculture of girls who dress in a certain way, and are known to be young party animals, more or less. More here.

Hokkaido - the Northern prefecture of Japan in which I live. One word: SNOW. More here.

"heat-tech" - originally introduced by Japanese clothing brand 'uniqlo', but now copies are pretty much available in a lot of clothing stores. They're a range of clothing such as t-shirts etc made with material that keeps you warm. Due to this, nearly everything, such as blankets etc made of such special warming materials tend to be referred to as "heat-tech". More here.

KALDI (Coffee Farm) - a chain store found all over Japan which sells, as it is named, coffee, but also a lot of foreign goods and produce. I go there to buy my museli, fair trade chocolate and herb tea. Go check it out if you're a foreigner in Japan & have yet to!

Kansai (prefecture/area) - the southern-central region of Japan's main island, honshuu. More here.

Kansai-ben - translates to the "kansai" dialect in Japanese. 1 of my many fetishes.

Kanto (Kantō region) -  is a geographical area of Honshu, the largest island of Japan, and the most populated as it is home to the capital, Tokyo. More here.

Keitai - Japanese word for mobile phone/cellphone. It just doesn't seem right to call a Japanese phone by the English word. They're much more high-tech (aside smart phones).

"Kakkoii" - I find it hard to translate this word into English. The literal translation used is "cool", which I guess works but not for all cases. It can mean "handsome" when used to describe a male appearance, "trendy/mature" when used to describe a female appearance, but "cool" when describing someone who has done an action, or said something that people would admire. I suppose you have to hear it in it's context.

"Kawaii" - translates to "cute" in Japanese. Horribly over-used by Japanese and gaijin.

Kumamon - the name of my lover. A poker-faced, mischievous big black bear with hysterically expressive, cute movements. He works as the Business Manager of Kumamoto city, Japan. More here.

Kyoto - city in the central part of the island of honshu. Also the old Capital. Geishas, history, tofu, Japanese sweets & green tea galore. More here.

Lard Monster - A friend jokingly called me it when I said I was too heavy to stand on a small stool or something, if I remember correctly. She meant it sarcastically, as although I'm not skinny I'm not fat, and I liked the sound of it for some reason. I bizarrely found it rather cute, and thought it resembled me well as I adore eating and food. Oh, and I am pretty heavy. I blame my height and big bones, mostly, and the fact that I'm not exactly skinny anyway.

Muroran - a port city in Hokkaido, Japan. More here.

Moo - what I call to and refer to as my mother. There's no real meaning behind it. I used to call her "mummy" which developed into "mummy-moo" which then just became "moo". She's agreed to it though. I know because she now signs her e-mails as "Moo".

Noboribetsu - city in Hokkaido, Japan, mostly known for its natural hot springs & association with Hell and demons. More here.

Onsen - a term for hot springs in the Japanese language, though the term is often used to describe the bathing facilities and inns around the hot springs, as my good friend Wiki correctly points out. Heavenly places. More here.

Osaka - city in the kansai region of Japan. Lots of fried food such as takoyaki, with "over-friendly" residents by Japanese standards. Amazing clubbing scene. More here.

orz - not to be mistakenly read as "ohruuzz". Look at it from the side. It's a running man that's fallen flat on his face. A Japanese-style smilie.

Pocky - most Japan-mad freaks will be aware of this sweet chocolate treat. Sticks of goodness. See more here.

Sapporo - the largest city and only real metropolis in Hokkaido, Japan. Where I don't actually reside but pretty much live. More here.

Shabu Shabu - Japanese cuisine, a variant of hot pot. Meat in hot water. Tastes a lot better than it sounds. More here

Shiga - a prefecture in the kansai region. Not a lot more to be said. More here.

Sukiyaki - a Japanese dish in the hot pot style. Meat which is simmered. Also the title of a Japanese song in other countries, but no relation to that in this case. More here.

Tofu - Japanese food, known as "bean curd". I can not get enough of the stuff. More here.

Tokyo - the capital city of Japan. I'm hoping the majority of you already knew that. It's also the home-city of my mother, and all my Japanese relatives reside there. More here.

Zabuton - traditionally  before Western chairs were introduced in Japan, they sat on the floor on cushions, which is what this is; "a cushion for sitting". There are many Japanese style low tables and zabutons in restaurants and houses even now. More here.






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