Living in Japan can be an amazing experience, and I have definitely loved it, and plan to keep on loving it for years to come. But, there are some things, both good and bad, that no-one prepared me for before I came.
A lot of people, myself included, believe that moving to Japan means you will easily lose lots of weight. This is due to the Japanese diet being relatively healthy and full of fresh food. What no-one tells you is that eating out here is extremely cheap, and often much more convenient than cooking at home due to small kitchen sizes. Of course, you can still stay healthy when eating out, but it’s not as easy as one might think. There are so many delicious, yet unhealthy foods available, and for very little money. Also, if you eat out with other people, it can often be hard to say no to a beer, or three!
But, it’s not just restaurants that help you pile on the pounds, convenience stores are open 24/7 and sell an array of snack foods, as well as their own hot foods. Beware of Family marts Spicy Chicken – it’s greasy, delicious, and totally addictive!
Summer in Japan is crazy hot. If you are going to be living and working/studying here, surviving summer may prove to be rather difficult. In the height of summer, you will need to take a change of clothing with you if you plan on walking to work/school, as you will probably be drenched in sweat by the time you arrive! Also, be aware of your company/school’s policy on air con temperatures. Oftentimes the air conditioner has been set to 28C – which is hot enough to sunbathe in when on a holiday!
I have often found myself needing help to navigate Japan’s streets, government systems, shopping centres, and trains. I have also often found myself not knowing how to ask for the help I needed because of my limited Japanese ability. Every time, I was met with smiles, pointing, google translated sentences and the help I needed! One time, after asking for directions, two Japanese people actually turned around and walked me to my destination – even though they were going the other way!
Many Japanese people are studying English, and its seen as cool to have foreign friends. Because of this, you may find that you become extremely popular on nights out, as many Japanese people try and befriend you. I often find myself chatting away to 5 or 6 new people every time I go drinking, and, of course, adding them all on LINE and Facebook afterwards. I’ve met many good friends this way and often see them again when I visit the same bar. So, you’ll never be lonely in Japan!
6 positive changes living in Japan will bring