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Japan Q & A

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I was just thinking about this and decided to start a thread where people, if curious, can ask questions about Japan. If anyone knows the answer, then he/she can answer. I think this will be a good way to learn more about the "Land of the Rising Sun" that entertains many people. ^_^

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How would I be reguarded in Japan? I plan to take a trip there eventually, I'm not too worried about the language because I learn languages extremely fast and can grasp Japanese fairly easily, not as easily as say Swedish but well enough. I am a whiter than snow male with very long hair (down my back) so really my question is what are the odds I would face any sort of discriminati9n or false assumptions? Also weirdish question but would my hair affect how I'm looked at, it certainly does here in America signifigantly. Thanks.

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How would I be reguarded in Japan? I plan to take a trip there eventually, I'm not too worried about the language because I learn languages extremely fast and can grasp Japanese fairly easily, not as easily as say Swedish but well enough. I am a whiter than snow male with very long hair (down my back) so really my question is what are the odds I would face any sort of discriminati9n or false assumptions?
They'll probably view you as just another foreigner. You probably won't face any real prejudice or anything. I'm sure they will also be friendly if you need help.
Also weirdish question but would my hair affect how I'm looked at, it certainly does here in America signifigantly. Thanks.
Maybe young kids'll stare, but if you're in one of the bigger cities where seeing foreigners is common, I doubt many will pay you any mind.

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Hello @ssjup81, this is a long way away but I'm thinking of one day working at a company in Shinagawa as it seems many ICT companies are based around there.

 

In general what is the cost of living like in terms of finding a place to live for foreigners, and is it difficult to get approval?

 

Of course hotels are out of the question long term, but maybe Airbnb long term stays would be more feasible? My brother had good experiences with the places he stayed at using Airbnb - very hospitable.

 

Although I've visited Japan twice I didn't really look into the logistics of living there..

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I'm sorry for taking a while. I meant to answer this when you first asked but real life and stress got in the way. I'll try to answer as best as I can.

Hello @ssjup81, this is a long way away but I'm thinking of one day working at a company in Shinagawa as it seems many ICT companies are based around there.
Wish I was smart enough for that. ^^
In general what is the cost of living like in terms of finding a place to live for foreigners, and is it difficult to get approval?
One thing I've learned that gets said a lot by foreigners (well in the ESL/EFL situation anyway) is ESID which stands for "Every Situation Is Different". Everyone will have different experiences. For instance, it's said that it's difficult for foreigners to get a credit card here. I got approved first try...technically. The first time I did it, I filled out something wrong on the form and had to redo it, but I still consider it my first try.

 

Anyway, going back on topic here, the cost of living varies from place to place here. I used to live in Yamagata-ken. The cost of living up there was pretty low. The cost of living in Tokyo is much higher. As for Shinagawa, I'm sorry, but I'm not too sure about the cost of living there. As for apartments....this also varies. Some landlords refuse to deal with foreigners and refuse to rent to them. Other places have no problems with them. If you're lucky and manage to find a company to work for, maybe your company can help you with getting a place. That's always been my approach. There is a downside to this, though. Once the job ends, so does your living in the apartment and you get kicked out by a certain time. Finding your own place will be difficult, but as I said, it can be done...but it may help if you have a decent amount of Japanese or research and find a place that actually can help foreigners find apartments.

 

Right now I'm living in an apartment that isn't company sponsored. My roommate was the one to get this place. The price is high, though and it's three of us sharing it as it has three bedrooms. My roommate has good Japanese so she was able to do all that stuff and talk to the landlord, etc.

Of course hotels are out of the question long term, but maybe Airbnb long term stays would be more feasible? My brother had good experiences with the places he stayed at using Airbnb - very hospitable.
Hotels would definitely be pricey. Probably a sharehouse could work too. When first moving to Tokyo, I was living in one. The cost was pretty steep and the place wasn't all that great, imo, but I did have unlimited use of utilities and free Internet (the ground floor had wifi/each room you could use an ethernet cable for Internet). That cost me 70,000 yen a month compared to the 55,000 I spent up in Yamagata for rent, which did include utilities (not internet and cable, though).
Although I've visited Japan twice I didn't really look into the logistics of living there..
It should be fine. If Shinagawa have more country-like areas, the cost of living probably won't be so high, but it would be problematic if you end up in an area where driving is a must.

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Do you recommend becoming a transfer student? And if i were should i sign up for a host family?

i have been working really hard to learn the language but its going really slow for me, so i am not sure what should i do.

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Do you recommend becoming a transfer student? And if i were should i sign up for a host family?

i have been working really hard to learn the language but its going really slow for me, so i am not sure what should i do.

Becoming a transfer student would be very expensive, but if you have the funds then I say go for it!

 

From my experience in working at a school previously and as a former student, there are two ways you could approach it:

  1. Go through your existing High School - assuming your school has a Japanese teacher AND has connections to Japanese schools he/she probably already arranges tours to take students from your school . And later in the year they do the reverse, students from Japanese schools come to visit your school. But this is more like a short-term holiday/tour.
     
     
  2. Go through University or College - if you decide to do Japanese study at adult level, then your institution may have an exchange program in place for the final year, i.e. you get to study at a university in Japan.

These are my observations from Australia though - you may have different opportunities depending which country you're from. I'm assuming you're from the US?

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@Optic I know of something you can use to find a place.

 

I recommended it to a friend who used to live near me in Yamagata. He's found a new job down here in Tokyo and will be moving down here next month.

 

http://www.sakura-house.com/en

 

Many foreigners use this site.

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How long and fast did it take you to learn Japanese?

And did you regret it?

I'm always faced with this question.

Reading Japanese is great and all for doujins and eroge games and such, but never saw much practically outside of that.

I always felt that I could spend that time mastering a instrument instead.

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I don't know...my Japanese still sucks. ^^

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Becoming a transfer student would be very expensive, but if you have the funds then I say go for it!

 

From my experience in working at a school previously and as a former student, there are two ways you could approach it:

  1. Go through your existing High School - assuming your school has a Japanese teacher AND has connections to Japanese schools he/she probably already arranges tours to take students from your school . And later in the year they do the reverse, students from Japanese schools come to visit your school. But this is more like a short-term holiday/tour.
     
     
  2. Go through University or College - if you decide to do Japanese study at adult level, then your institution may have an exchange program in place for the final year, i.e. you get to study at a university in Japan.

These are my observations from Australia though - you may have different opportunities depending which country you're from. I'm assuming you're from the US?

i do live in the u.s. thanks for the information. i think i might ust go for one yr........

when did u move?

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Are there any all-you-can-eat resteraunts? 'cause I love those.

Where is comic-con held in japan?

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Are there any all-you-can-eat resteraunts? 'cause I love those.

Where is comic-con held in japan?

Can't answer the second, but yes there are all-you-can-eat places here, like a buffet. They're called バイキング restaurants. Why they are called Viking style is beyond me. I've never looked into it and hadn't thought about it until you asked. lol
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@ssjup81 - with the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics have there been any interesting upgrades or projects in the precinct you live in? :) Or is it business as usual for now?
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@ssjup81 - with the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics have there been any interesting upgrades or projects in the precinct you live in? :) Or is it business as usual for now?

I'm not too certain about that. I do know that since the Olympics are being held in Tokyo, that the government is more intent on getting people to learn English which is why they're starting the kids with it at a younger and younger age, like in Elementary Schools and even non-international preschools. They want them ready for the influx of foreigners that'll be coming in. They still don't teach English effectively as far as public schools go…but it's something. Like, imo, by the time you're in high school, you should be conducting the majority of the lesson in L2, not L1 still. That aside, it's mostly the Tokyo area that's trying to beat English into the kids. For the prefecture that I work in (the Taito ward of Tokyo) they're super intent on it.

 

Hm, oh, now that I think about it, there may be some infrastructural projects going on. I remember about a year or so ago, some were complaining about rebuilding something. Can't recall what it was, though, but it would be cheaper to renovate the place than to just build a whole new…whatever. People were complaining about the taxes involved that even non-Japanese citizens would have to end up paying too in some way.

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@SAO LILDOOP: Just found out that Comic Con is held here sometime in December.
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What is it like to live in Japan?

 

I've visited twice, but never lived there. I feel like I want to live there, but since I have never tried, I'm not 100% sure. I am thinking about studying abroad in Tokyo for a short time to get a feel of what it's like. It will be very expensive, though...

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What is it like to live in Japan?

 

I've visited twice, but never lived there. I feel like I want to live there, but since I have never tried, I'm not 100% sure. I am thinking about studying abroad in Tokyo for a short time to get a feel of what it's like. It will be very expensive, though...

its some thing that would interest me

but living say in a more remote area of japan even own a flat or small house but to me it would be more a spot id use to have like extended stays/breaks/holidays on a longer term situation rather that permanently live

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What is it like to live in Japan?

 

I've visited twice, but never lived there. I feel like I want to live there, but since I have never tried, I'm not 100% sure. I am thinking about studying abroad in Tokyo for a short time to get a feel of what it's like. It will be very expensive, though...

Anything specifically you want to know about that hasn't been answered yet in this thread?

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Anything specifically you want to know about that hasn't been answered yet in this thread?

I guess what I'm most curious about are things like, is a Japanese lifestyle really as overwhelming as people say? Will people belittle me based on my hobbies/interests (anime etc)?

 

Also, I have some mental disabilities. I've heard that Japanese people are generally not very understanding about this sort of thing. I don't want to say exactly what my problems are, but I do have a mild developmental disorder. I'm usually terrified of what people will think about me if they find out even in my country, yet at the same time I feel like people can see right through me and that they know what's wrong with me. It's mostly a personal confidence problem, but I'm so scared that if an issue came up regarding it in Japan, I might just sink away and become a shut-in. =w=;;

 

Maybe I'll be a homeless shut-in on the streets of Akiba, LOL. AKB48 Cafe, save me. Give me shelter.

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I guess what I'm most curious about are things like, is a Japanese lifestyle really as overwhelming as people say? Will people belittle me based on my hobbies/interests (anime etc)?

 

Also, I have some mental disabilities. I've heard that Japanese people are generally not very understanding about this sort of thing. I don't want to say exactly what my problems are, but I do have a mild developmental disorder. I'm usually terrified of what people will think about me if they find out even in my country, yet at the same time I feel like people can see right through me and that they know what's wrong with me. It's mostly a personal confidence problem, but I'm so scared that if an issue came up regarding it in Japan, I might just sink away and become a shut-in. =w=;;

 

Maybe I'll be a homeless shut-in on the streets of Akiba, LOL. AKB48 Cafe, save me. Give me shelter.

Okay, I think I can answer some of these. As for living in Japan being overwhelming is definitely a case by case situation as it truly depends on the individual in question. I wasn’t too overwhelmed my first time living here. I also doubt people would belittle you or get on you just for your hobbies…not Japanese people, anyway. They probably wouldn’t care because you are a foreigner. If anything, other foreigners may be critical or whatever…but for the most part, I highly doubt you’ll be bothered for this, especially since people here like anime and manga and J-dramas and Japanese history, etc. Both foreigners and Japanese have some of the same hobbies as you, I’m sure.

 

As for the mental disability thing, I also wouldn’t worry about that as far as Japanese people are concerned…other foreigners too for that matter. Here, people just don’t talk about it openly, seemingly, unlike say, the US where it isn’t much of a taboo. Unless you openly discuss it, no one will know about it. The only concern I would have in your situation is treatment and if you’ll be able to continue any treatment you may be receiving for your condition once in the country.

 

As for what you were saying earlier, I think the best bet would be to come over as a student. There are places like Waseda University you could look into. Anyway, at least as a student, you’ll be able to get a place to stay, I would assume, as the only way to live in this country, you have to be a student, working, or married to someone with a proper visa as a dependent, or married to a Japanese citizen. Other than those particular things, you can only visit.

 

Oh, and might I recommend not living in Tokyo? There’s more to this country than just Tokyo. IMO, to understand the “true Japan”, you need to get away from the city and try going for the more rural areas. Places like Tokyo does have more conveniences, but the Japanese countryside is always nice and relaxing.

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I guess what I'm most curious about are things like, is a Japanese lifestyle really as overwhelming as people say? Will people belittle me based on my hobbies/interests (anime etc)?

 

Also, I have some mental disabilities. I've heard that Japanese people are generally not very understanding about this sort of thing. I don't want to say exactly what my problems are, but I do have a mild developmental disorder. I'm usually terrified of what people will think about me if they find out even in my country, yet at the same time I feel like people can see right through me and that they know what's wrong with me. It's mostly a personal confidence problem, but I'm so scared that if an issue came up regarding it in Japan, I might just sink away and become a shut-in. =w=;;

 

Maybe I'll be a homeless shut-in on the streets of Akiba, LOL. AKB48 Cafe, save me. Give me shelter.

Okay, I think I can answer some of these. As for living in Japan being overwhelming is definitely a case by case situation as it truly depends on the individual in question. I wasn’t too overwhelmed my first time living here. I also doubt people would belittle you or get on you just for your hobbies…not Japanese people, anyway. They probably wouldn’t care because you are a foreigner. If anything, other foreigners may be critical or whatever…but for the most part, I highly doubt you’ll be bothered for this, especially since people here like anime and manga and J-dramas and Japanese history, etc. Both foreigners and Japanese have some of the same hobbies as you, I’m sure.

 

As for the mental disability thing, I also wouldn’t worry about that as far as Japanese people are concerned…other foreigners too for that matter. Here, people just don’t talk about it openly, seemingly, unlike say, the US where it isn’t much of a taboo. Unless you openly discuss it, no one will know about it. The only concern I would have in your situation is treatment and if you’ll be able to continue any treatment you may be receiving for your condition once in the country.

 

As for what you were saying earlier, I think the best bet would be to come over as a student. There are places like Waseda University you could look into. Anyway, at least as a student, you’ll be able to get a place to stay, I would assume, as the only way to live in this country, you have to be a student, working, or married to someone with a proper visa as a dependent, or married to a Japanese citizen. Other than those particular things, you can only visit.

 

Oh, and might I recommend not living in Tokyo? There’s more to this country than just Tokyo. IMO, to understand the “true Japan”, you need to get away from the city and try going for the more rural areas. Places like Tokyo does have more conveniences, but the Japanese countryside is always nice and relaxing.

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Okay, I think I can answer some of these. As for living in Japan being overwhelming is definitely a case by case situation as it truly depends on the individual in question. I wasn’t too overwhelmed my first time living here. I also doubt people would belittle you or get on you just for your hobbies…not Japanese people, anyway. They probably wouldn’t care because you are a foreigner. If anything, other foreigners may be critical or whatever…but for the most part, I highly doubt you’ll be bothered for this, especially since people here like anime and manga and J-dramas and Japanese history, etc. Both foreigners and Japanese have some of the same hobbies as you, I’m sure.

 

As for the mental disability thing, I also wouldn’t worry about that as far as Japanese people are concerned…other foreigners too for that matter. Here, people just don’t talk about it openly, seemingly, unlike say, the US where it isn’t much of a taboo. Unless you openly discuss it, no one will know about it. The only concern I would have in your situation is treatment and if you’ll be able to continue any treatment you may be receiving for your condition once in the country.

 

As for what you were saying earlier, I think the best bet would be to come over as a student. There are places like Waseda University you could look into. Anyway, at least as a student, you’ll be able to get a place to stay, I would assume, as the only way to live in this country, you have to be a student, working, or married to someone with a proper visa as a dependent, or married to a Japanese citizen. Other than those particular things, you can only visit.

 

Oh, and might I recommend not living in Tokyo? There’s more to this country than just Tokyo. IMO, to understand the “true Japan”, you need to get away from the city and try going for the more rural areas. Places like Tokyo does have more conveniences, but the Japanese countryside is always nice and relaxing.

That's quite a long and detailed answer! Thanks for responding in such depth. c:

 

Oh I see, so as long as I don't mention my disability, nobody will ever question me about it. =w= I just have to do my best to act natural as though I don't have a disability, heh... Well, if I were to talk to a doctor, certainly they could refer me to someone who deals with people who struggle this way, right? owo; I would hope so anyway... Ah, as for medications, I do take a few. But I brought them to Japan on my last trip and there were no issues. I have heard some horror stories about foreigners bringing certain medications to Japan and being arrested, but I think I'm good with mine, I looked them up before my last trip and there didn't seem to be any rules saying they weren't allowed in Japan...

 

I was actually looking into my current city's university, which has a program where I could study abroad in Japan for 3 months to a year. They have a selection of partner universities in Japan that I could transfer to for that time. The university that interested me the most was Sophie University in Tokyo. o:

 

Oh of course there's more to Japan than Tokyo! :D It's just that Tokyo was my favourite part of it both times I visited. I can't say I visited anything rural in Japan, though. Probably the most rural I visited was Atami, heh. ^^; In any case, I tend to prefer big cities over small communities for some reason. I'm really socially awkward in real life, and I don't get along with people easily, so I prefer to be in a place where everyone is busy and not paying attention to me, rather than a small community where people will probably want to get to know me... If I have to talk to someone, I'd rather it be once or twice than to make it a habit. >w<;; Weird, yes, but well, that's me.

 

Oh, but I would definitely be up to visiting beautiful rural places in Japan. I just probably wouldn't want to live there, given my awkward personality. >w<

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That's quite a long and detailed answer! Thanks for responding in such depth. c:

 

Oh I see, so as long as I don't mention my disability, nobody will ever question me about it. =w= I just have to do my best to act natural as though I don't have a disability, heh... Well, if I were to talk to a doctor, certainly they could refer me to someone who deals with people who struggle this way, right? owo; I would hope so anyway... Ah, as for medications, I do take a few. But I brought them to Japan on my last trip and there were no issues. I have heard some horror stories about foreigners bringing certain medications to Japan and being arrested, but I think I'm good with mine, I looked them up before my last trip and there didn't seem to be any rules saying they weren't allowed in Japan...

 

I was actually looking into my current city's university, which has a program where I could study abroad in Japan for 3 months to a year. They have a selection of partner universities in Japan that I could transfer to for that time. The university that interested me the most was Sophie University in Tokyo. o:

 

Oh of course there's more to Japan than Tokyo! :D It's just that Tokyo was my favourite part of it both times I visited. I can't say I visited anything rural in Japan, though. Probably the most rural I visited was Atami, heh. ^^; In any case, I tend to prefer big cities over small communities for some reason. I'm really socially awkward in real life, and I don't get along with people easily, so I prefer to be in a place where everyone is busy and not paying attention to me, rather than a small community where people will probably want to get to know me... If I have to talk to someone, I'd rather it be once or twice than to make it a habit. >w<;; Weird, yes, but well, that's me.

 

Oh, but I would definitely be up to visiting beautiful rural places in Japan. I just probably wouldn't want to live there, given my awkward personality. >w<

Sorry I couldn't answer this more properly. I'm using my tablet. I seldom use my computer these days. I used my work computer yesterday. ^^

 

So yeah, if you don't openly talk about it, then no one will know about it. As for doctors, I would definitely research that prior to coming over. Look into places that would cater to your needs that also has English-speaking staff. I would also bring a translation of your medical records. I guess in this case, living in a big city would be more beneficial since you have a condition that may be difficult to explain in Japanese and you would be able to blend in more compared to the inaka where you'd stand out like a sore thumb. lol .

 

As for medication, I'm not sure if there's a limitation as to how much you can bring in. I recall it being a month or something like that but that may be the case for travelers, not residents, but I would check with the closest Japanese embassy to you.. Anyway, I only mentioned it since seemingly you'd run out eventually. I know years ago seems people were having trouble regarding birth control meds and being limited on how much they could bring.

 

That aside, hopefully you'll be able to do a transfer from the university you're looking into. I think be here as a student would be more fun without having to worry about work responsibilities. Good luck on getting in when the time comes. ^_^

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As of now, I really want to end up living in Japan, and am thinking of pursuing engineering as a way of getting to work in Japan, but if that doesn't work out, what other jobs (other than teaching) do you think a foreigner like me could work at and make a living in say, Tokyo?

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