Tips and Tricks for Survival in Japan

One of the first blogs I ever subscribed to was LifeHacker, a blog jammed with tips and tricks to increase productivity. When it comes to living in Japan, the equivalent blog would be NihonHacks, a collection of time and money-saving tips for foreign students, visitors or “lifers”.

Top Tips and Tricks from NihonHacks

NihonHacks.comNihonHacks is the work of Thomas Hjelm, a former exchange student and current JET teacher in Hyogo. Thomas has written articles about using JR Odekake NET for planning trips by train, saving money on cleaning products by buying refills, how to find cheese in Japan, how not to waste rice, how to make miso soup quickly, finding cheap steaks and even winning on a UFO Catcher.

Beyond NihonHacks – BabelHut and TwoFatBrothers

NihonHacks isn’t Thomas’ only project. I know he also writes for BabelHut, a blog dedicated to language learning, and he’s working on a new blog with his brother called “Two Fat Brothers“, a blog which documents their dieting competition. I would follow along if I wasn’t already far too skinny!

JapanSoc and Baby Boys

Thomas was one of the first to support JapanSoc, so I’d really like to thank him for that. Incidentally, we are both fathers of baby boys born last summer, so I’m always looking out for pictures of little Noah on NihonHacks and showing them to my wife. If Noah and Rikuto weren’t growing up so fast, I’d suggest to Thomas we start!

If you like, you can find me on Twitter at @nick_ramsay. I'd love to hear from you!

5 thoughts on “Tips and Tricks for Survival in Japan

  1. Thanks for the review, although I have to point out that the UFO Catcher article is really just a copy/link-to an article written by the people at

    Funny that you mention it, but I always show my wife the pictures/videos of Rikuto that you post online too.

  2. Gah! I’m the only married blogger in this country without a kid! Time to take pictures of other people’s children and brag, me thinks 😛

    Seriously, though, I’m also a regular reader of Thomas’ site and have learned a thing or two about life in this great country. It’s a must-read for anyone that’s planning to stay in Japan longer than an hour. One article I would like to see, though, is how to keep earned money away from the wife. It’s really hard to make some extra coin to buy her a gift if she sees my pay stub and asks why I’m withdrawing so much money from my personal account 😕

    Perhaps that’d be just a bit too off-topic for NihonHacks … is there a Hehehe.

  3. The “Mother of all Hacker Blogs” LifeHacker is one of my all time favorites and I just got a good idea off it yesterday. I have not given nihonhacks the full look over but plan to soon!

  4. Nice post…I wish to go to Japan someday…I heard that foods are high prices in Japan. So I think the Top Tips and Tricks from NihonHacks will be very useful. Thanks for sharing.

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