Common misconceptions and clichés about life in Japan

Hello everyone,

Old clichés die hard, as the saying goes... and living in Japan can generate lots of misconceptions in the eyes of the people.

What are the most common misconceptions about the expat lifestyle in Japan?

What are the most common clichés about life in Japan in general?

Did you have a biased view of the country before moving there? What is you view now?

Thanks in advance,


The biggest misconception for me is that people who have never visited Japan think it is way to expensive to live.  If your living in Tokyo, yes it is expensive, but I live in Yokohama and for the past three years our total living cost were comparable to Dallas, Texas.  I recently visited the U.S. for nine days and was very surprised at how much food prices had increased.  We eat fresh food daily and it is no more expensive then the processed food in the U.S.  Another misconception is because of the high crime rate throughout the U.S. they think it is the same here.  When I tell them that I walk 15 to 20 kilometers everyday by myself they ask me why I do that when it is so dangerous.  Japan is one of the safest countries in the world and I have never felt for my safety.  I sure did during my recent visit to the states.  Just a few of the many misconceptions about Japan.

Not sure, but I think a lot of people think Japanese eat raw fish every day. They do eat a lot of raw fish, but other food is also popular, common. Of course fast food restaurants like western countries are numerous, especially in the bigger cities. McDonald's is popular. Japanese eat a fair amount of hamburgers. But, where I live I don't see many obese people. Japanese Sumo is also popular of course, but baseball and soccer is also popular.

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