Mistakes expats make in Japan

Hello everyone,

Did you make any mistakes when you first moved to Japan? What were they?

How did you address your mistakes? Did you learn anything from them?

With hindsight, what would you do differently?

Are there any tips you could give future expats in Japan to help them avoid these kinds of mistakes?

We look forward to hearing from you!


I came to japan to marry my gf and live here.  when I left Belgium, my city hall insisted to sign a paper that I leave my address and move to a foreign country.  Everything went well, until I wanted to get my papers to get married, it was not possible to get them, cause my address had to be in Belgium, not here.  So I contacted my city hall, to put my name again in Belgium, but they said the only possibility was to go back to Belgium, just to sign the paper. 

So a hint for everyone.  If you apply for visa by marriage.  wait for removing your address and contact the embassy.


I didn't make any big mistakes, but I regret not having learned the language more than I have. It really is a problem sometimes, but I get by with basics. I worked in language schools and relied on speaking English mainly. I just wished I had learned the Japanese language more. But I have to admit I am not very good at learning Japanese. :(

my biggest mistake was believing the french educated boss i had about the visa,and also trusting a bunch of businessmen,however my neighbours were brill and the friends i made
there,s a bit of wannabe america in japan too ,that a lot of countries have these days
on the whole though i,d go back in a second i miss the place so much,as my brother said the bad ones are the ones that learned from europe etc

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