Q:Where are you from? (city name and country) Please tell us about the good points of your city.
Hi! My name is Justin and I’m from Chicago, America. Chicago is the third biggest city in America after New York City and Los Angeles, and it is sister cities with Osaka. Chicago’s nickname is “The Windy City”. Chicago is a great city with a lot of good specialty foods such as Chicago-Style “deep dish” Pizza, Chicago hot dogs, and Italian beef sandwiches. One of my favorite things in Chicago is when they dye the Chicago River green during Saint Patrick’s Day every year.
Q:Where is your recommended location in Chicago?
There are many beautiful areas in Chicago that you can visit. The most visited spots by tourists are Millenium Park which is a large park located in the center of the city and close to most of the attractions and has a large sculpture locally known as “The Bean”. I also recommend going to the top of the Willis Tower or the John Hancock Center (two skyscrapers) to see a panoramic view of the entire city.
Q: What are your interests or hobbies?
I have several hobbies. My main hobbies are photography, traveling, and playing games. I started photography when I studied abroad in Japan. Now, I usually do street photography and portrait photography.
As for traveling, I have not been to many countries, but I have traveled to over half of the Prefectures in Japan. I like traveling, but it is difficult now due to corona-virus. Most recently I traveled to Tottori in February 2020 to see the sand dunes.
Finally, I like playing games. Recently, I haven’t had much time to play games but I own a Switch and a PlayStation 4. I recently played Ghost of Tsushima and Final Fantasy 7: Remake on PS4, and Animal Crossing on Switch.
Q:What is the weirdest thing for you in Japan?
The weirdest thing for me in Japan is how safe it is. Especially the fact that you can leave your belongings on the table at public places like Starbucks and it almost never will be stolen. Also when you forget things on the train or at a restaurant, someone almost always turns it in. In America, if you do this your things would almost always get stolen, so I was pretty shocked.
Q: Where would you like to visit in Japan?
As I said above, I’ve been to over half of the Prefectures in Japan, so I’ve been to a lot of the major cities. I have a couple cities I want to visit next: Niigata, Kochi, Kumamoto, or Beppu. Among these, I probably want to go to Niigata the most because I have many friends there (both JET Program friends and Japanese friends) and because I like rice and sake.
Q:How do you feel about working in Japan?
Actually I have never worked in America (or anywhere outside of Japan), so working in Japan feels pretty normal. I came to Japan on the JET Program right after I graduated, so I’ve worked in Japan ever since. Working in a Japanese office is very different from working in a Japanese school, so I find the various differences interesting.
Q:What are you studying at your university?
I studied Linguistics and Japanese Language/Culture in university. My specialty was sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics, mainly researching how people process incorrect sentences. As far as Japanese Language/Culture goes, I focused largely on pre/post-war Japan (especially post-war Japanese film).