Learn Japanese in Japan

$50,000 goal

Campaign created 11 months ago
Since I was a kid, I've always been fascinated by Asian culture and Japanese culture in particular.  I attended the 2002 World Cup in Japan and fell in love with the country.  I resolved then and there to learn Japanese and one day become proficient enough to live and work in Japan.  Unfortunately, the distractions of my real job and other aspects of everyday life kept getting in the way of getting a consistent study routine going. 

I never thought I'd have the time to completely dedicate myself to learning the Japanese language.  A series of recent events, including losing my job of 20 years, has caused me to think I might have that time. 

I never thought I'd have the money to completely dedicate myself to learning the Japanese language.  A series of recent events, including losing my job of 20 years, has caused me to think I definitely don't have the money.

So that's why I'm here, I have a desire to concentrate my time to learn Japanese but not the money to do it.

If you're trying to figure out how I came to this funding amount, I'll explain my calculations.  The plan is to spend 2 years at a Japanese language school in Tokyo.  They have schools throughout the country, but Tokyo seems like the best choice for the variety of possible options.   I calculate my monthly costs as such:

RENT - $650.00

This is just an estimate based on some research I've done.  This price is for a 200-250 square foot apartment within the city.  They get bigger and/or cheaper the farther from the city center you travel.  But that savings is offset by the next cost.  There are some cheaper places I've found but I worry that they are really abattoirs from Eli Roth's worst nightmares.


This is a cost I calculated for daily subway travel.  Short train rides can be as little as $3.00 round trip, but as you go further out the cost increases.  An average of $6.50 per day is probably too low if I used the train every day but hopefully I would have some rest days.  It would definitely be too low if I was well outside the city, where a round trip on the train might cost $15.00.

UTILITIES - $175.00

This number is another estimate based on various real world examples I looked up.  It includes electricity, gas, water, internet and mobile phone.  Some of those could be included in the rent of an apartment but it depends on the building.

TUITION - $500.00

I researched prices of schools throughout Japan and $500 per month was right around the cost for most.  This is for anywhere between 20-30 hours of classroom time per week with additional hours for group study time.  The normal schedule is 11 weeks of classes in a quarter and then 2 weeks break before the next quarter.

FOOD - $400.00

Food can be cheap or expensive in Tokyo, but I don't think I want to eat nothing but cheap food while I'm there.  I already eat a lot of rice meals as it is (good) but I also eat a lot of fruits (bad), as well.  I think there is a good compromise in between.


I'll be honest, I don't have a good grasp of this cost.  But it includes things like soap, shampoo, utensils, plates, etc.  But it also includes things like haircuts, clothes, shoes (I can see myself killing shoes on the regular) and the occasional baseball game.  It's also including any appliances I may need.  Again, sometimes appliances are included with the apartment and sometimes not.  I would need at least a tiny fridge for sure.  I don't mind washing dishes by hand in the sink but I refuse to wash my clothes like a pilgrim.  I need a washer.  Again, hopefully that will be included with the apartment.


Health insurance is required in Japan but luckily the price you pay is somewhat proportional to your income.  Since I would be a student, I would not have to pay much.

So, if you're still with me and have been quietly calculating in your head, you would have reached a total of $2435.00 per month.  You extrapolate that out two years and you get $58440.00, which is more than I'm asking.  A couple reasons for that.  First $50,000 is a nice round number.  Second, I would try to get some part-time work.  Being on a student visa severly limits the kind of jobs you can do and the amount of time you can work.  I have found some part time jobs but I could only work a few hours a week and for a small wage.  But it should be enough to make up the shortfall.

The academic year in Japan starts in March, so I've already missed that entry.  However, most schools I've looked at have addtional entrances in summer, fall and winter.  So, I don't have an immediate need for funding but of course I'd love to get this funding as soon as possible to get to studying.

If you're still here and wondering if this is a joke, I assure you it isn't.  If you're thinking this is a pitch for Larry Crowne 2, well, you might be right.  I guess I'm like a slightly younger, handsomer Tom Hanks.

Ultimately, I'd love to have the opportunity to immerse myself in the Japanese culture and dedicate myself full time to being proficient enough in Japanese to end up with a job and live in Japan.

I fully expect to get no donations, but that's ok.  The only thing worse than getting no donations would be to not even try.
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$50,000 goal

Campaign created 11 months ago
Created March 13, 2017
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