This is a time where the ultra-introverts among us really come to shine. For everyone else though, the situation is new. Without any real options to have fun outside(nor should you really be looking for any)we need to make the best of it at home. Luckily there has never been a better time for this than now.
Here are some ideas on how to have fun and be productive while staying inside.
Learn to play an instrument
Even though the flats in most Japanese cities tend to be small, electrical instruments are still quiet enough without annoying the neighbours.
Study of Japanese
Improve your Japanese. Use text- and drill books to improve your reading and grammar. Or if your Japanese is near-native level already, learn uncommon kanji or go to the next Idea.
If you are good at reading Japanese, then this is the perfect time to get to know the Japanese classics. For example works by Miyazawa, Dazai, Akutagawa, Mishima or Soseki are not easy reads, but are guaranteed to amaze all literature lovers.
For easier and somewhat lighter reads mystery writers Higasino Keigo and Edogawa Ranpo are a great start.
Fewer people seem to be interested in tv these days. Despite declining in popularity television is still a great way to get immersed in Japanese pop culture. It also serves as a method for picking up different speech patterns. If you don’t have a tv and you find it too bothersome to look for the programs online, the next idea is for you.
Internet streaming services
You can hit everyone’s favourite streaming service (the one that rhymes with que-lube) for some Japanese culture-specific videos. Like Rakugo- an art of storytelling. Or Manzai- a variation of stand up comedy commonly performed by two or more comedians.
With the gyms and sports clubs closed the only way to get a workout in is on your own. Bodyweight exercises are a great way to increase strength and endurance. And there is a smaller risk of injury compared to lifting weights. Search for ‘callisthenics follow along’ workouts. Just make sure to look up a proper warm-up and cooldown routine as well.
Do a proper spring clean
Make sure to clean the air conditioning filters. As well as the filters in the bathroom and kitchen should you have a filtration system there.
Games have been around for long enough for the present day parent generation not to feel negative towards them. Most of us already have a few on our smartphones. Why not use this time to discover the new trends in gaming or maybe even relive your childhood memories replaying some of the beloved classics.
Many game developers are putting out discounts on both the google play (android) and the apple stores(ios). Or if you are more of a console fan you can enter one of the many online lotteries the big electronics shops offer, to get a chance to buy one of the latest game consoles.
Learn to draw
Same with the first idea of playing music, it is never too late. Be it sketching with charcoal pencils or painting with oils, seeing your ideas come to life on the canvas is extremely rewarding. The most difficult part is not the technique but actually finding the idea- the motif itself.
What if you are not a fan of games nor literary fiction. Nor do you watch tv nor listen to music. Your Japanese is perfect and your house is immaculately clean.
Then maybe it is time to take a break. For many of us who come from overseas, the pace of living can be dramatically different in Japan. Life here is simply a lot faster than in many other countries. And sometimes it is not the body that needs a break. Lay down, close your eyes and focus on the positive.
Let’s try and not be the bored victims of the circumstances, but the cheerful champions of the moment.
Freelance writer and coding enthusiast.
Also a keen sportsman and painter.
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