Don’t Let the Gunma Winter Keep You Inside

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Don’t Let the Gunma Winter Keep You Inside

March 12, 2010 | Guides | No Comments


Because your apartment is likely just as cold as it is outside and you know it. This advice is probably best suited for those of you who have just arrived in Japan and are looking for hobbies to occupy your time.  But hopefully, this will also prove useful for those of you who are having a hard time dealing with the unreasonably long, dark and cold Gunma winter (I’m from South Carolina and don’t usually have to deal with this).

Living in Japan can be an exciting adventure, but at times it can be downright dull.  I had a rough first winter here.  I would go straight home from work (already pitch black at 4pm), make dinner, and then just sit around freezing in my apartment because it was less cold than outside.  It was miserable.

Come May, a friend of mine wanted to start doing martial arts and found a dojo in our town to go to.  I joined with him and since then have gotten more and more involved there.  We started out going to 2 classes a week (90 minutes on Tuesdays and Thursdays) and are now both going 4 to 5 days a week, often for multiple classes back to back.  We started out only taking jujitsu, and are now taking kickboxing, karate, and grappling classes as well.  Not only is getting exercise (and being out of my apartment) great, but going to classes at the dojo has also allowed me to meet people.  This has improved my Japanese immensely (there’s no motivation like being choked and having the escape method only explained in Japanese to help you learn the language).   The overall experience of joining the dojo has been my favorite part of Japan so far.

So no matter how cold it is, or how tired you might feel after work, I’d highly recommend finding a local hobby group and joining it.  If you already know what you’re interested in, ask around at work or, do as my friend did, and search the internet.  There’s bound to be something out there for you.

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