4 Things People Don’t Tell You About Living in Japan

  • 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.

    1. Losing weight vs Gaining weight

    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!

    2. Summer isn’t just hot; it’s unbearable

    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!

    3. Japanese people will also help you out – even if you can’t speak Japanese

    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!

    4. You will almost always make new friends in bars


    Author’s photo

    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!

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    1. Me says:

      Funny that here is not mentioned about the important things they don’t tell you about Japan.
      For example, how in a couple of years, the government & the police will have access to your personal information such as your bank account & can make a potential arrest even without talking with you.
      Or the fact that the ministry of education is trying to abolish the humanities from all the universities in a desperate attempt to not create free thinkers due to the recent atrocities happening in Japan.
      One of those atrocities, how Abe literally sh*t on the constitution by changing’s Japan army to be offensive now and all the soldiers that will eventually die, will be “deificated” and make them an excuse to support the upcoming war & pre-world war 2 Japan.
      Or how about whenever you are in a situation involving an incident with a Japanese national, a foreigner will always take the blame, because the law is adjusted to do so.
      Typical post of a weeaboo my-life-is-japan-and-I-wish-to-be-an-anime Gaijin all trying to be Mr. Charisma by impressing us with “Holy sh*t, you can eat chicken skews and beers for so cheap that I will shit out rainbows made from Kyuripamiupamiu or whathever her name is…”

    2. Damn…someone got screwed real bad it seems !!! :/

      1. Ronnie says:

        I agree with the first post. I think it is just annoying when people take shit all day from racist japanese and still speak good about the country. Nobody can tell you what’s the real deal better than a foreigner living in Japan for some time (4-5 years or more), specially a colored foreigner since being white in Japan is both good and bad at the same time.

    3. 28C is hot?! Dang that’s like the coldest water temperature we have at home. You think summer in japan is hot? You could probably say the same in the Philippines when the sky is clear in “-ber months.” (30C, not even summer). And you’ll never know true unbearable heat during summer which could go around 30C – 33C.

      1. Jules says:

        That’s quite an ignorant statement to make. I have a few friends living in Japan – and they’d all take the summer here in Manila than Japan. It sometimes goes up to mid/high 30’s in Tokyo, plus humidity makes it feel hotter and more uncomfortable. I’ve seen weather screenshots on their phone; it’s not pretty.

        1. The weather in Philippines and Japan are comparable. Both are tropical archipelagos with high humidity summers with similar ranging temperatures. His reaction was understandably misled based simply on how 28C is all that was mentioned by the author.

          1. tropics is the region near the equator. the climate in this area is tropical. japan is not in the tropical area that’s why they have four seasons. hayyys..

          2. Jules says:

            The author stated that *the airconditioner* is set to 28C; it takes just a bit of common sense to know that it’s much hotter outside. Anyone misled by that statement needs more reading comprehension exercises.

            Another thing: Japan doesn’t have tropical climate. It’s hot and humid during summer, but that doesn’t make it tropical. (It’s humid subtropical climate if you want to get technical.)

      2. Shagun says:

        Yeah, wouldn’t really call that hot. In India 28C is the coldest temp we experience in winter and in summer it goes up to 40-45C range sometimes even touching 50s.. and people won’t give a damn cuz they’re used to..

        1. Rein Champ says:

          You dont understand the aauthor. 28 degrees is the temperature set at the airconditioner and not the actual temp and humidty measurement..

      3. lol. ever heard of humidity? another thing is, it’s too dirty here in manila. wipe your nose at night and the cloth will be gray / black.

      4. Anonymous says:

        It’s hotter there becauae its so humid. No wind and so sticky. Unlike here in the Philippines

    4. Mayumi says:

      You will almost always make new friends in bars…if you’re white. But if you’re brown skinned like me, be prepared for hostility and judgemental looks.

    5. Shelton says:

      U say 30C is hot…guess u never heard of india..we get nearly 50C during summer in some parts.

    6. Anonymous says:

      30c is hot to those people who are used to cold seasons, while in I don’t give a thing or two about the weather nor temperature. It’s in the mind whether if you think it’s hot, it IS hot, and it’s cool, it IS cool. Btw don’t try to touch a hot iron thinking that it is cold. Just be positive!

    7. missy says:

      Sorry but -28 C is nothing compared to the weather here in India… You’ll get sunburn just by sitting at home. And winter here tho :) hahahah…. I want To go to Japan

    8. Anonymous says:

      Guess what try to come here in Riyad average temp. 40 degree celcius.

    9. Jeco says:

      Summer in Dubai – 50ºC and 90% Humidity. Japan is fine in the summer. They just don’t adjust their A/C properly…

    10. Franst says:

      1 and 2 yes
      3 maybe sometimes
      4 nope not if ur Asian, been there done that. Been to bars with my friends and I totally got left out because apparently they think Asians can’t speak English and everyone who can speak Chinese are from China :(

    11. Azumi lira says:

      I agree with what the author post. i’ve been living in japan since 2005, (some comment don’t understand what the author want to figure out) it is a policy in japan either in school or company to set the air conditioner to 28C not the temperature outside. again it is a policy. (it’ up to you to set your air con at home to any degrees) summer in Japan is really really hot esp. in tokyo area as you can experienced heat wave. Many suffered heat stroke. I remember my physical therapist (after my car accident in japan) ask me, why in the Philippines is very very hot? i ans him, yes in the Philippines is very very hot but it is much hotter here in Japan during summer than in the Philippines. Here in Japan during summer i feel the world is not breathing lol. In the Phil. you can still feel the wind and air breeze. He smiled at me and said ほんとね honto ne? means really?. Racist? Everywhere in the world you can encounter racist white, black or brown. just smile and be friendly esp. in foreign places. I agree also with the second post. If you are a foreigner in japan you have limited rights. (Unlike foreigners living in Japan with long term resident and permanent visa have more advance benefits or privilege). I also agree with his number 2 post.

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