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  • Should I move to Japan?

    Hey all,

    First time poster here, sorry if this is somehow in the wrong section of the forum!

    I live in Wales in the UK and I've always been fascinated with Japan and it's culture and I'm planning a two week holiday to Tokyo for July next year.

    I've been wondering about what it's like to live in Japan. I've been searching online for people's views but responses vary greatly. Some people say that Japan is a great place to live while others say it's only good for a holiday. Some people say it's expensive and others say it's affordable. Some people say Japanese society is discriminatory and racist while others claim to have never experienced any bother at all.

    People's experiences of living in Japan seem to vary widely based upon a number of factors such as your particular nationality i.e. Americans seem to have more problems with racism/discrimination than British and other westerners and also where you move to in Japan i.e. Some areas of Japan seem to be more tolerant of foreigners and more affordable to live in than other areas.

    But I'd like to hear it from the horse's mouth and ask what should I expect if I decided to take up life in Japan? What are my job/career expectations (I'm studying for a BSc Computer Forensics degree), what is there to do for fun in Japan (I'm very open-minded so I'm up for anything the locals consider to be fun) and how easy is it to befriend locals? Will I experience discrimination and if so, will it be much of an obstacle to life in Japan? What areas of Japan would you recommend living in to a prospective ex-pat such as myself?

    If I ever took up life in Japan, I would try my hardest to integrate with their society i.e. observing etiquette and customs, learning the language, experiencing the culture, etc. I don't plan on expecting Japan to cater towards my home culture and lifestyle, I'm more than happy to adapt to how things are in Japan.

    Hope to hear from you soon!

    Scott

  • #2
    30 Views yet no replies?

    Surely someone has some experience of living in Japan?

    Comment


    • #3
      Not bad, but I think it's got a little too much pisss and vinegar in it - especially towards the end. But keep working on it. I'm sure you'll snag a few.

      Comment


      • #4
        Fun? Several of my British friends love the ski and snowboard possibilities. Nightlife-dining is great in the big cities.

        However, the economy and society in general are on a long-term decline. If you work for a J. company, even if it's in IT, expect low pay for long hours and short vacations. Oh, and J companies don't lay off workers: instead they cut everyone's meager wages even more. This arrangement is creating a lot of disillusioned people to toil away in stoic resignation. It's kind of depressing.

        You'll struggle just to afford to pay rent for a tiny room with no central heating. However, you don't need a car in the cities, thanks to extensive public transport.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by *** View Post
          Not bad, but I think it's got a little too much pisss and vinegar in it - especially towards the end. But keep working on it. I'm sure you'll snag a few.
          What are you even saying? Are you posting in the right topic?

          Originally posted by Koenji
          Fun? Several of my British friends love the ski and snowboard possibilities. Nightlife-dining is great in the big cities.

          However, the economy and society in general are on a long-term decline. If you work for a J. company, even if it's in IT, expect low pay for long hours and short vacations. Oh, and J companies don't lay off workers: instead they cut everyone's meager wages even more. This arrangement is creating a lot of disillusioned people to toil away in stoic resignation. It's kind of depressing.

          You'll struggle just to afford to pay rent for a tiny room with no central heating. However, you don't need a car in the cities, thanks to extensive public transport.
          So would you recommend not living in Japan? I always heard the economy was pretty strong, especially compared to Europe what with it's constant woes of apathy, self-interest and mismanagement.

          I just don't get it. Japan bullsh*ts foreigners with propaganda to make Japan look amazing but then you get there and as soon as you stop being a tourist nobody wants you there? Employers make it hard to find work, society makes it hard to integrate, government makes it hard to get anything done and businesses make it hard to buy anything you need on a day-to-day basis. It's like the Japanese think they're God's gift from the moon or something equally pretentious.

          Maybe I should reconsider my trip to Tokyo and go somewhere in Asia where logic exists?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by MrScott1337 View Post
            30 Views yet no replies?

            Surely someone has some experience of living in Japan?


            Some of us do, the rest have some experience of summer vacation trolls.

            Good effort, but all been done before....

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by HarryHurry View Post
              Some of us do, the rest have some experience of summer vacation trolls.

              Good effort, but all been done before....
              Oh great, yet another person who has learnt the meaning of the word "troll" and has decided to use it against anyone who expresses negative views on the internet.

              If I was going to troll, I'd pick a much easier target such as 4chan or another website inhabited by fat, teenage, emotionally insecure basement dwellers.

              I was under the impression this was a serious site for people looking for information on living and working in Japan but, from what I've seen, it turns out its mostly just a circlejerk of about a dozen people who are just itching to make sarcastic comments and win internet arguments.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by MrScott1337 View Post
                But I'd like to hear it from the horse's mouth and ask what should I expect if I decided to take up life in Japan? What are my job/career expectations (I'm studying for a BSc Computer Forensics degree), what is there to do for fun in Japan (I'm very open-minded so I'm up for anything the locals consider to be fun) and how easy is it to befriend locals? Will I experience discrimination and if so, will it be much of an obstacle to life in Japan? What areas of Japan would you recommend living in to a prospective ex-pat such as myself?

                First let me say your questions are excessively broad and general that no one answer will be satisfactory. Everyone has their own reasons for being here, their own motivation. ESID. You get out of it what you put into it.

                Your expectations are what YOU expect, not what is actually delivered. IF your expectations are too high then you are likely to be disappointed as not meeting your standards. You will think Japan is overrated. Best to keep expectations low and you wont be disappointed.

                There are 120 million people in Japan and there are as many things to do as there are people. What do you like to do? There is probably a club or a group for it here. There is even a large group here that likes country music and bluegrass. there are rock concerts and festivals that draw international acts.


                You can make friends but if you dont speak the language you will have problems. Your main contacts will be other speakers of English and bilingual Japanese. Also the idea of friendship here is different, kind of hard to explain but people will feel close to you according to a type of social distance. People who you may think are your friends may regard you as a mere acquaintance, they will put you in a box according to their own criteria e.g near stranger, acquaintance, drinking buddy, work colleague, golf partner. The idea of friendship depends on the chemistry between people. Its not just because you went to the same school or you work together. I work at my school 8 years, see the same people every day but many i dont consider friends, even acquaintances.

                My guess is you want to make friends so you don't become lonely or feel isolated. Best idea is get involved, do things and you will meet people and they will be drawn to you. Don't go out seeking people to be your next best friend because its not going to happen any time soon.




                Discrimination does exist, its not in your face but it will appear from time to time. Im sure there is discrimination against different minorities in your country. After all, we are a minority here. Main problem is in renting apartments as some dont rent to foreigners.
                Mostly its a positive discrimination for westerners and caucasians.


                If I ever took up life in Japan, I would try my hardest to integrate with their society i.e. observing etiquette and customs, learning the language, experiencing the culture, etc. I don't plan on expecting Japan to cater towards my home culture and lifestyle, I'm more than happy to adapt to how things are in Japan.
                You wont integrate, you will assimilate. Try as you may you will never become Japanese but its best to "do as the Romans do" and it will be appreciated. Try and become too Japanese and people will think you are eccentric or weird. Just be yourself as thats all they expect here.
                Last edited by KansaiBen; 2012-08-09, 10:12 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MrScott1337 View Post
                  So would you recommend not living in Japan? I always heard the economy was pretty strong, especially compared to Europe what with it's constant woes of apathy, self-interest and mismanagement.
                  The economy is a basketcase with debt levels twice that of Greece and Italy. People are largely just scraping by and there is a lot of pessimism. Unlike the Europeans the Japanese are a stoic bunch and are not prone to whining. The government here is largely asleep at the wheel re the tsunami, running the country, and judged by most Japanese people to be incompetent. Do not expect much from the government here and you wont be disappointed.



                  I just don't get it. Japan bullsh*ts foreigners with propaganda to make Japan look amazing but then you get there and as soon as you stop being a tourist nobody wants you there?
                  Foreigners are welcome, they like tourists etc but the longer you stay here, learn the language and become a fixture in the country you become tolerated, merely liked. Its not that no one wants you but they expect you will go back home someday. Japan is amazing, you just have to stop believing all the propaganda you have filled your head with.


                  Employers make it hard to find work, society makes it hard to integrate, government makes it hard to get anything done and businesses make it hard to buy anything you need on a day-to-day basis. It's like the Japanese think they're God's gift from the moon or something equally pretentious.
                  BS. No one owes you anything. The onus is on you to fit in, not on a whole country to make you feel welcome and fit in around you. Migrating to another country requires you learn the language, fit in with customs and ways of doing things. Stop acting like such a frigging victim.
                  Last edited by KansaiBen; 2012-08-09, 10:02 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    KansaiBen has given you the best answer possible, but there will be other who will disagree with him, just to disagree. Now break down your questions to a specific point and you will get more answers. Me I love it here. 36 years and am gonna stay here till I die!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Most of us on this site live in Japan. First, before we tell you about how life is in Japan, you tell us how live is in Wales. After all, it shouldn't be hard to boil your whole lifestyle, culture, and everything around you into a few sentences right?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MrScott1337 View Post
                        I was under the impression this was a serious site for people looking for information on living and working in Japan but, from what I've seen, it turns out its mostly just a circlejerk of about a dozen people who are just itching to make sarcastic comments and win internet arguments.
                        Yeah, the way the company markets the site, and the actions of the members of the forum are not in sync.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Effected After View Post
                          Yeah, the way the company markets the site, and the actions of the members of the forum are not in sync.
                          quote of the year.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by KansaiBen View Post
                            The economy is a basketcase with debt levels twice that of Greece and Italy. People are largely just scraping by and there is a lot of pessimism. Unlike the Europeans the Japanese are a stoic bunch and are not prone to whining. The government here is largely asleep at the wheel re the tsunami, running the country, and judged by most Japanese people to be incompetent. Do not expect much from the government here and you wont be disappointed.





                            Foreigners are welcome, they like tourists etc but the longer you stay here, learn the language and become a fixture in the country you become tolerated, merely liked. Its not that no one wants you but they expect you will go back home someday. Japan is amazing, you just have to stop believing all the propaganda you have filled your head with.




                            BS. No one owes you anything. The onus is on you to fit in, not on a whole country to make you feel welcome and fit in around you. Migrating to another country requires you learn the language, fit in with customs and ways of doing things. Stop acting like such a frigging victim.
                            So let me get this straight. Japan expects people to put all this work into learning their language, observing their customs and culture, saving up loads of money, getting a visa with a sponsorship, finding a job and paying out of their arse for accommodation to get exactly what in return?

                            Crappy flats? People who wont ever get close to you? A government that wont do anything? Sky high living costs? Discrimination? You talk of this as if its totally acceptable.

                            I never expected Japan to cater to my culture or lifestyle but Im not going to put all that hard work in to trying to live in Japan just so I can become a robotic drone like the rest of Japanese society. Its like making a huge investment and not getting a good return on it.

                            I can have a better standard of life in my own country and have the ability to interact with actual human individuals, so why would I ever give that up for something that is, in every respect, worse than what I currently have or could obtain in any other country?

                            Japan appears to be a country suited towards either the delusional or the submissive. To be dealt a sh*t sandwich, eat it and say "Arigato Gozaimasu!!!" is just madness.

                            I am so glad I haven't made any commitments to traveling to Japan because I definitely will not be going there.
                            Thank you members of Gaijin Pot for opening my eyes to the real Japan. You've seriously done me a huge favour.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You've hit the nail on the head. Japan isn't some 'specialty country' with an amazing standard of living for foreigners, where we can live the dream life. There are few reasons to live in Japan other than an interest in living in Japan. If you don't have that, you are almost guaranteed to be better off somewhere else.

                              It's actually fairly amazing that Gaijinpot managed to come up with a satisfactory answer for someone!

                              Comment

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