For some reason, one of the weirdest sights you can see in Japan is two foreigners using Japanese to carry on a conversation. Although it's theoretically no different from people from France and Germany using a third language to communicate, the sight of two gaijin chatting in nihongo looks very strange here, and will often get amused giggles from passers-by. I used to have an Iranian friend who spoke no English, so we had to use Japanese to communicate. He'd ask me if America was really the way it looked in Hollywood movies, and I'd ask questions about life back in Iran, and we both learned a lot. Once I flew to the States on Varig, the national carrier of Brazil, and learned that Brazilians aren't generally fluent in my native tongue. Any small talk I wanted to make with the people around me had to be done in Japanese.
I remember those standardized tests we had to take back in school, the ones where you had to use a No. 2 pencil (although I have yet to encounter a No. 1 or No. 3 pencil in my life). The teachers would try their best to give us some strategies for the tests, like, make sure you blacken in the circles completely and, if you have time at the end, go back and check your answers. The Japanese are a bit more focused on tests than I was during my education, and the idea of studying for a university entrance exam isn't really about simply learning the subjects that will be tested, but rather how to approach the test itself. Teachers who prepare their students to take the test for a school like the prestigious Aoyama Gakuin University have to research the past year's exams so they can help predict what the students need to cram for this year, and there are prep schools that do nothing but prepare students to get into a single university. Students want results, and these prep schools will advertise the percentage of students who got into their school of choice each year. When it came time for my kids to take the "Eiken" test, the standard test of English that's usually taken by much older students, my wife plotted a complex strategy for them, allowing them to score points on their strengths (listening comprehension) while avoiding the difficult patches (long-paragraph reading and "find the grammatical errors" exercises). Both passed with flying colors.
Remember that J-List sells incredibly warm hooded sweatshirts that are perfect for cooler months, or for throwing on the evenings when it cools down. Our hoodies feature cool kanji designs, from our classic "Looking for a Japanese Girlfriend" design to our fun "Respect the Emperor and Expel the Foreign Barbarians." We've also got our great Domo-kun hoodies for you, a great way to show your individuality and love of Japanese pop culture. While most of the hoodies we see being sold online are the inferior 50/50 blends that feel rough against the skin after a short time, we sell the best hoodies money can buy, with high quality 80/20 blends that are really soft and cozy.