experiences in japan

have you traveled to or lived in japan? share your experiences

6

japan - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 10/08/13.

How much time have you spent in Japan?

I am currently on my 7th year of living in Japan

Which best describes how old you are/were while in Japan?

I moved to Japan after college, and have been living in Japan since, minus a year where I moved back to the United States.

What brought you to Japan?

While in college I was studying martial arts and developed an interest in Japanese culture. So when it came time to study abroad, I chose to study abroad in Japan and see what the country was all about. While on my study abroad, I was introduced to a teaching English in Japan program called the JET program. I like to call this a snowball effect, as I slowly fell down the rabbit hole and decided to do a year abroad after college…. 7 years later, and I am still here.

Describe the city you live in in Japan.

I currently live in a small city in Gunma prefecture about 2 hours outside of Tokyo, and have been living there for a little over a year. Because of my current proximity to Tokyo, I feel it might be better to talk about where I originally lived when I came to Japan.

When I originally moved to Japan, I was living in Kanazawa, in Ishikawa prefecture which is on the Japan Sea...

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6

japan - anonymous' reflections after spending decades there

posted by anonymous on 10/16/13.

How much time have you spent in Japan?

17 years.

Which best describes how old you are?

20's, 30's, oh fuck it. 40's.

What brought you to Japan? Where were you before?

A girl, I was chasing a girl. I was in Korea, but I went to Korea because I thought it would be like Japan and I planned on chasing girls.

Describe the city you live in in Japan and your impressions of it.

Nagoya - It's a big, modern, industrial city. The foreign community is small enough to be friendly but large enough to be interesting. It's not very pretty.

How does the city you live in compare to other cities in Japan?

Nagoya has a good location and it is nearby some very nice places. However not many people really like Nagoya, it's just "ok". I'd never heard of Nagoya before moving here. I came here because I was chasing a girl and she was from this area.

What makes Japanese people unique?

Japanese people are not unique, they are just like everyone else with assholes and saints all mixed in. However, the culture values a more extreme form of social etiquette than my home culture (USA) which make it seem very polite from my perspective. This makes it very easy to get along with nearly...

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4

japan - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 10/08/13.

What brought you to Japan? Where were you before?

As an undergraduate student, I felt a desire to "see the world" as it were, but my parents were helping pay for my education and I therefore I felt a responsibility to finish on time. I decided that after I finished my degree, I would try to fulfill this desire.

I had the fortune of taking Modern Japanese Literature with a really great professor my Junior year, at which time Japan took a particular focus. I would subsequently take Japanese Cinema and Japanese 101 before graduating, in part to prepare myself for living there.

As for where I was before, I went to school in Upstate NY.

Describe the city you lived in and your impressions of it.

I lived in a small town of a few thousand people called Mino, which was pretty rural and quiet. It joined together with 6 other local towns to form a city called "Mitoyo", which had decent geographic size but was sparsely populated (at least for Japan).

This town was actually located on the smallest of the four major islands of Japan, called Shikoku, and thus was somewhat disconnected from what a lot of people think of Japan, which is like Tokyo or Osaka.

Personally, I had actually...

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4

japan - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 10/08/13.

What brought you to Japan? Where were you before?

Work and my (then)girlfriend/(now)wife. I was in America before coming here.

Describe the city you live in in Japan and your thoughts on it.

I live about 3 hours out from Tokyo in another prefecture. The pace of life isn't as fast as Tokyo and it's not as crowded so that's nice. It gets very hot and humid in the summer and very cold and dry in the winter.

What makes the people of Japan unique? In what ways are they different than people in other places you've lived?

Group harmony is a huge driving force in culture and behavior here. It can be a cause for incredible altruism, kindness, and warmth. But it can also cause a lot of stress, self-sacrifice, and shunning of people who aren't in the group. Things which might seem simple in other countries can be very complicated because the implications for the feelings and respect of everyone in a group must be considered. For a tourist, the Japanese can be very kind and well-mannered. For an expat, the Japanese can be very complicated and layered.

Was making friends and meeting people in Japan in general easy or difficult? How did your social life evolve? What did you do to...

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3

japan - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 10/24/13.

How much time have you spent in Japan?

I lived there for 5 years. I did a couple of exchanges in high school as well.

How old were you when you came to Japan? Where were you before?

I graduated from uni in Australia, 8 months before heading over. I had just finished my BA of primary education with an ESL major, and a BA of International and global studies with a major in Japanese. I was 21 when I arrived in Japan.

What brought you to Japan? What made you choose Japan over any other place you could've gone?

I had been studying Japanese since grade 8 in High School. I'd had to choose between studying either Japanese or German, and I though Japanese would be a bit more interesting. I actually really hated it but at the end of grade ten, when I'd made up my mind to drop it, my mum had a conference in Chiba and took me along with her to practice Japanese. Totally blew my mind, so I signed up for another 2 years. Around this time I got introduced to serious kanji and keigo and decided fuck that, I'm wasn't going to study Japanese in uni. At the start of grade 12 I had chicken pox, and missed the exchange trip that my school did to Japan. My mum and my teacher talked about...

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3

japan - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 10/29/13.

How much time have you spent in Japan?

My wife and I lived in Japan for 18 months. From January 2003 to July 2004.

How old were you when you came to Japan? Where were you before?

We were both 25 when we moved there. We had just ended a 3 month backpacking trip around Europe and got news that we were accepted as teachers while we were in London. We are both from Los Angeles.

What brought you to Japan? What made you choose Japan over any other place you could’ve gone?

We wanted to live somewhere that was safe, a place where we could earn decent money and a place we could use as a travel hub. Everyone has heard of teaching English in Japan, so we just went that route.

Describe the city you lived in in Japan and your impressions of it.

I lived in a small mountain village named Suzaka (not to be confused with the famous auto racing city, Suzuka), just north of Nagano. My wife lived in Nagano proper. The English school, AEON, already has apartments set up for the teachers so we didn’t have a say in where we lived. They also selected the two schools in close proximity for us, as a married couple. It was a short train ride between our places, shorter than our commutes in...

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2

japan - anonymous' reflections after years there in their teens

posted by anonymous on 10/29/13.

How much time have you spent in Japan?

2 years, many times, but the longest visits where 1 year in the 90s and 1 year in the 00s.

How old were you when you came to Japan? Where were you before?

I’m from Sweden, went as an exchange student right after (the equivalent of) junior high at 16. The second time I went there I was 25.

What brought you to Japan? What made you choose Japan over any other place you could've gone?

I wanted to go to a place that was very different, but with a sense of equality, i.e. no walled communities, white fences, but with a dominant middle class.

Describe the city you lived in in Japan and your impressions of it.

I first went to a smallish city in the north of Japan. It was slightly larger than the town I’m from, but not everyone in Japan knows where it is. Friendly, but not that much to do, besides bowling and karaoke. The area has cool places to visit within 2-3 hours by car.

How does the city you lived in compare to other cities in Japan? What drew you to the city you lived in over other cities in Japan?

It’s a small city by Japanese standards, but the shopping center of the area. From other exchange students I heard that schools...

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1

japan - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 10/29/13.

I moved to Japan about 2 and a half years ago. When I came to Japan, I was just 22 years old, pretty much straight out of university. Since I was a kid, I've been fascinated by Japanese culture in a big way. I loved watching anime as a kid, played hundreds of Japanese video games, and thought it was a technological wonderland. the job I took (English teacher) was also a steady paycheck and a ticket to travel.

I live in a small town about 3 hours north of Tokyo. When I first moved here, I was disappointed that I wasn't put in a big city like Tokyo, but now, I wouldn't change it for anything. The small-town life in Japan is so peaceful, the people are so friendly, and the countryside is beautiful. There is so much of the country I get to explore, and I feel like if I was in a big city, I wouldn't have experienced half the things I have experienced living out here.

I lived in a fairly small town in the suburbs of Australia, so my town here feels very similar.

People here are exceptionally polite which is kind of a double-edged sword. It's fantastic when you are lost, or need help, completely strangers will go completely out of their way to give you a hand. But, on the other...

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