This year, I have had the honor of returning to the land of fluorescent lights and panty vending machines. That is right, the Gamer in Japan is back. I, Shinobicow, have left the US, to yet again, make my Gamer way in the land of the rising Sun, Japan. If you remember me, which I doubt many do, I had at one point lived, and gamed, in the area around Chiba Japan. Chiba border Tokyo to the east. The area is fairly urban and presents some good opportunities to get in a game. They even had a Games Workshop – for those people willing to play twice the cost to play Warhammer 40K over here.
Now, I am living on the opposite side of Tokyo and a bit further away. My new, current residence, is Yamanashi prefecture, which people might know (without really understanding) because it is the area around Mt. Fuji. Mt. Fuji is the lumbering behemoth of a mountain in my backyard, but I can barely see it because of all the smog.
This time, I am in Japan working. Woot! I have a job and I am actually making a living. My current position is a high school teacher through the JET Programme. This programme is awesome. It gives the opportunity for thousands of people across numerous English speaking countries to come to Japan and educate the Japanese masses regarding our mother tongues.
Being an English Teacher in Japan has its definite perks. This time, I don’t have homework – I give it. This is a very nice twist as it really opens up my spare time, when I am not spending it on my wife and kid. In this new spare time, I have been dedicating myself to the roleplaying hobby yet again in earnest. Moving here, one of the things which I looked forward to, more than anything else, was the possibility of getting into a new D&D adventure. I would not be disappointed.
There are a LOT more D&D players here than I had possibly imagined. Perhaps I am in the right area, or perhaps it is the very nature of people who want to teach English in Japan, but the number of people who are open to D&D as a hobby/past time here is very high. Even people who don’t play the game already, are very open to trying the game for a first time here in Japan.
One of the things that I have access to here, this time, that I didn’t last time, are the English teachers forums. I am a member of several of these forums and they have proved to be a great place, not only to find games, but to advertise new ones. Within the first week of arriving here, I was able to find a weekly D&D game that has been going on for over a year and had more supply of players than available spots. So, I took it on myself to get myself a group.
One post later, I have 8 players and a weekly game. It couldn’t have been any easier. This, my friends, should be a lesson. When I was here last time, I relied on the Wizards of the Coast forums to get a game, but this time, going the local route, has proved to be much better and more productive. So, as a good tip to anyone living abroad, get involved in local forums connected to your profession or whatever. This may be a very good opportunity to find people who want to play games with you.
My first game is coming up later in this month, hopefully, and preparation is abounding. I have been working on my homebrew setting and a new homebrew adventure to go in that setting. Interested people can come check out this setting over at my blog http://thedumpstat.blogspot.com . This setting, currently titled “Mad Lands” has been getting a good bit of buzz from my players who are eagerly awaiting the first meeting. I will post some tips on creating settings up here, on Stargazer’s world, as I go forward with the actual setting building at my blog.
Until next time.
It's good to have you back! Welcome back to Stargazer's World! I am looking forward to your next post!
That's interesting. I have not had as much luck finding gamers to play with. Part of it is time, being busy going on deployments and all…and it may be location being down in Yokosuka. I've spent time around Fuji and it is beautiful up there.
If there is an English teacher's forum in the area, you might want to try and get on that to find a game. I know that there is a long running game in Yokohama that has been posted on the Wizard's Forums. There are also a lot of military guys that play the game that you can find around the bases. They also usually have some kind of game store on base; sometimes those places even host games days.
Welcome back! Is your Japanese sufficient to attempt any gaming in Japanese? There are some very interesting games out there if you're able…
I can say, "I am a cheese eating baboon" in Japanese.
I, too, am moving back to Japan in a few months. Last time I was there I managed to get a gaming group going with a few other teachers, some of whom are still there. I've never games with Japanese people, but I've run a few simple games in English with my students in Korea and played in Spanish with some Argentinians.