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How has your life changed in Japan

Hello everyone,

Has your life changed since you moved to Japan? If so, in what way?

Tell us more about all the changes in your life regarding your family, job, or friends. What about your frame of mind? How would you define your mood?

Leisure activities improve our health and social interactions. How much time do you dedicate to leisure activities and networking nowadays?

Would you say that your standard of living has improved in Japan? What income differences have you noticed?

On a scale of 0 to 10, tell us how much your expatriation to Japan has transformed your life (0 = no change, 10 = dramatic change).

We look forward to hearing from you!

Priscilla

Yes, I have experienced some dramatic changes since leaving the U.S. and moving to Japan.  First, I will say that I do miss my family back in the states.  I have been able to visit twice since 2013, but with FaceTime and Skype I am able to keep in touch.  My life here in Japan has been very exciting and my health has never been better.  My wife and I continue to travel around Japan on a regular basis.  We travel out of country every year, this April will be to East Asia.  My stress level dropped significantly when I moved here because of the very disciplined polite society, unbelievable healthy food choices and the overall safety both in the cities and countryside.  I walk almost everyday exploring new areas of Yokohama.  Last year I clocked 3,400 kilometers walking to most of the hundreds of parks throughout the metro area.  The cost of living in Yokohama is much less than Tokyo and for our lifestyle about the same if we lived in Dallas, Texas.  For an island country there is so much to see.  Since becoming a Travel Writer I have written over 70 articles about my travels throughout Japan and I still have much more to see and experience.  I have made several friends both Japanese and English nationals that have helped with my adjustment to this culture.  This was the best move of my life and there are no regrets.  I am slowing learning the language and look forward to the day I can actually speak a sentence, which will open even more doors in this wonderful country.

I came to live in Japan a number of years ago from England with my Japanese wife. The first thing I noticed was the efficient, clean transportation system, especially the subway which I used to use every day to go to and from work, and the cost was very reasonable. I was also pretty much amazed at all the vending machines outside selling drinks and cigarettes. Where I came from there were no vending machines outside in case they were vandalized or broken into. The general politeness of the people was another interesting aspect of living in Japan. But, I have to say, I had one or two neighbours who were not really into having a foreigneer living near them. Not so serious. Was just ignored. I remember going back to England for a holiday and automaticlly bowing when thanking people. Oh, taking your shoes off when you enter houses was another cultural difference. Must say it keeps our floors cleaner. Of course the Japanese diet is pretty healthy. Recently we stayed in a hotel in Kyoto for  a weekend and I actually had srambled eggs, bacon, sausages and tomatoes for breakfast, which was the first time in a number of years. The hotel had two types of restaurants one Japanese and one western to cater for foreign guests. We thought we'd try the western restaurant for a change. I drive a car here. It was pretty easy to get a Japanese license as Britain and Japan have an agreement where you don't need to take a driving test if you come from either country. Both drive on the same side of the road. Never had any real trouble driving here. One small problem I do have is cloth sizes. I am taller than most Japanese and my sizes are a little different. Also my feet are bigger, so I have to look around for my size. Well, I guess there are quite a few more differences, but I'll end with the weather which has four distinct seasons, including a pretty hot summer. We are entering the Spring Cherry Blossom season now, which is very beautiful in many areas. I'll end there and give Japan 8 out of 10. Oh, forgot to mention how safe it feels to live here. Arigato Gozaimasu.

HI CURIOUSSAM,
You are spot on with the size of cloths and shoes.  I have to use the outlet mall in Yokohama to find shoes that fit and whenever I visit the states I stock up on cloths.  Other than that I Love this country and would have a big problem assimilating if I were to ever go back to the U.S.to live , which is not likely.

Dear sir,

Good day.
First of all for your message.
I am a Malaysian chinese, going to move to stay with my Japanese husband somewhere end of the year.
Will be settled down in Himeji (which i am sure you know where :D).
Actually i am quite worry and stress of living with the Japanese culture where in general, is not easy to get friends with Japanese as they are more shy and closed to oneself although i know there are some who are open to people.
I thought the working ethic there is more stressful due to the mindset of power of ranking people. Work long hours, can't leave if the superior is still at work. In addition, the living cost there is really expensive.
Do not get me wrong, beside those, i actually really like Japan. The atmosphere of the country, cleanliness, disciplines, politeness, hard work, the food. :)
May i know how long have you been living there?

Hi interesting posts. I am wanting to live and work in Japan. I am married to a Japanese lass, and her home town is Osaka and we will probably live there.  at 64 years old my  biggest problem will be  securing an income as the Japanese culture is somewhat ageism focused.   I'm a psychologist and I can work in the international schools and maybe with international students in universities as long as they are English-speaking but finding a pathway into that population I think will be the challenge.

Of course I can teach English and I will do the CELTA teaching English course probably once we get settled in Japan. My understanding is that psychology/counselling is not a significant part of the Japanese way of life and since I don't have language I wouldn't be able to work with the Japanese population anyway (and I probably wouldn't even if I did have language as a wouldn't have the cultural nuances so important in counselling).

One of the challenges I will have is finding where the expat population live and work. i think Kyoto is a favourite spot for expats, and to a lesser extent Kobe. I would value any imput from anyone who has knowledge of the expat community particularly in the Kansai prefecture and how I would make contact with same.  Are there expats associations etc that I can tap into?  Are there  multinational companies that employ expats and if so how do I find out about them? Is the Australian (I'm from Australia) consular office useful for starting place? 

How does one manage with no writing skills? I hope the spoken language will come but learning enough Kanji to be fluent at my age?? mmmmm. Appreciate feedback...

My standard of living has changed in Japan but it is really challenging cos the longer you stay in Japan is the more tasking it becomes thats what makes it challenging .

There are quite a number of universities, private language schools which employ English speaking foreigneers, both in Osaka and Kyoto. I think if you have the right qualifications it shouldn't be too difficult to find a job. I lived and worked in Kyoto for a good number of years before retiring. It has quite a large foreign community. It even has a catholic church which I used to visit to attend a special English speaking Sunday service. Because of my work, I met a number of other foreign workers. We sometimes went to an English pub and generally socialized. Nowadays, I believe the number of foreign tourists have increased, especially Chinese. Anyway, Kyoto is an interesting city in which I enjoyed living in. It is also about a 40 minute train journey to Osaka. I sometimes worked in Osaka. Anyway, good luck!

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