Living in Japan

(266 Posts)
mirai Fri 20-May-11 10:42:24

Hi all, not quite sure this has sunk in yet so excuse the exclamation marks! My DP has been offered a job in Japan and we are taking it! We will be going end July-mid August which isn't really very long at all. We'll be gone for at least a year but hopefully longer. I know there's so much we have to do, and organise, any tips or advice would be brilliant. Oh and one more thing we don't get to find out exactly where in Japan for another couple of weeks. I guess that just adds to the lunacy excitement.

I am a (quiet but prolific) regular but I have namechanged for good now as, well, it's a new chapter, innit! grin

TanteRose Tue 18-Jun-13 06:08:09

How are you feeling, BadLad? full of vim and vigour, after a rub-down from your Ma-in-Law? grin

I like the incense burners outside shrines, where you are supposed to waft the smoke over the part of your body which you want to cure.

I only have a FIL (MIL died 14 years ago). He is 94 and fought in China.
He is very practical and pragmatic, but as the eldest son of his clan, he gives loads of money to the temple where his (our?) family grave is. He then says he has no money, and walks everywhere (he does use his free bus pass, but never gets taxis).

He is VERY healthy!

mirai Tue 18-Jun-13 06:10:00

Snow queen, we have been looking at a gorgeous hotel near Niseko, log fire and everything, it's a bit more than we were hoping to spend but I'm hoping to jiggle things around a bit! The caramel sounds delicious so i'll definitely keep my eye open for that!

BadLad, how's your health been this past week?! grin

Summer has really arrived in our little piece of Japan, not just the humidity but in the last week alone we've come across snakes and monkeys in the road when we walk up to our village supermarket, and last night I was on spray and tissue duty for the mukade in the loo! And we're not even out of June yet!! smile

TanteRose Tue 18-Jun-13 06:10:04

sorry, what I was trying to say, is that he would have no truck with "fortune tellers".

My DH is the same - he never pays for a 100 yen lucky fortune at New Years or anything like that.

TanteRose Tue 18-Jun-13 06:10:34

mirai - cross post grin !!

TanteRose Tue 18-Jun-13 06:11:46

I know - the weather is weird

we are due for another typhoon tomorrow confused

very humid here today

mirai Tue 18-Jun-13 07:24:42

Yikes I hadn't heard about that one. Typhoons usually = closed railway line here, which wouldn't be good for me!!

I love the lucky fortunes and am especially happy when they have them in English grin

Violetpie are you still there? Am dying to know if the recruiter got back to you mostly to find out whether we will have another face for our summer wine gathering which still needs to be arranged!! wine grin

violetpie Tue 18-Jun-13 22:12:33

Hi Mirai - yes, still here. Not heard back yet. The recruiter has chased them up, but it's an especially busy time of year for DH's industry so it's delayed things a bit. We should hear their salary figure soon though - anybody want to place bets as to how wide the chasm between our figure and what they have in mind is? grin

mirai Wed 19-Jun-13 06:27:07

3 million grin

violetpie Thu 20-Jun-13 12:01:38

Spot on mirai grin. Just heard back - we'll have to see if we could manage on their figure. We provided quite a cautious figure so I'm not sure if their's is do-able. Also DH has just been given a pay rise where he is so the figure the Japanese company have suggested is up to £15000 lower than his UK salary. Will have to have a good think about it.

BadLad Sun 23-Jun-13 08:35:58

My health is fine, thank you all for asking, although I'm sorry to say that the charm doesn't seem to cure hangovers.

Nice bright weekend here, and I will escape to the UK for some of July and August. No humidity, sun until 10pm ish - bliss.

Anyone else going back this summer?

mirai Mon 08-Jul-13 06:27:24

I went back for a few days last month, it was a little crazy and whirlwind but so much fun! The journey isn't so bad, for me it's the cost... If tickets weren't 190k return I think I'd go back for long weekends more often!

OK I really need some etiquette advice from you other residents! The long story short is that two people have invited themselves round to mine and DH's house, for a BBQ... And I don't know what to say. They are not friends as such, acquaintances really and I wouldn't be comfortable or able to relax if they did come round.

One person said "X and I would like to come to your house for a BBQ so can you get in touch with her please", I was caught on the spot and vague in my reply, then the other person emailed me, "Did X mention about a BBQ at your place? We want to visit your house."

How on earth do I reply? Obviously in the UK it's not the done thing to invite yourself round to someone's house (much less to stipulate the fact you want catering with an expensive BBQ!!), I never thought I'd have this problem in Japan?!? Help!!! shock

mirai Tue 09-Jul-13 02:28:35

Bumping, additional information is that the people in question are sort of my employers so that adds another later to the whole thing!!

mirai Tue 09-Jul-13 02:30:21

Layer, not later!

BadLad Tue 09-Jul-13 02:34:53

That is bizarre if they are Japanese. Usually it's the other way round - a Japanese person says something along the lines of "come round some time" for the sake of being polite and is later surprised when the foreigner turns up on their doorstep having taken it literally.

Are your sure your partner hasn't issued an invitation to them?

If not, then you'll have to handle it as you would in the UK. Something like "we haven't any definite plans to hold a barbeque at the moment, but we'll let you know if and when we do".

If they're insistent on seeing your house, they're probably nosey about what foreign touches you have in your home, and to what extent you do Japanese things at home. Many Japanese people are fascinated by foreign couples and mixed marriages (I assume from your first post, your partner isn't Japanese).

Meanwhile, you could always go out to an izakaya and karaoke, to show them that it isn't anything personal, although if you do the latter, you might have to suffer endless enka songs if they are 50ish or older.

BadLad Tue 09-Jul-13 02:36:24

And that is hellishly expensive for plane tickets. Mine cost 100,000, leaving next week. The downside is not going direct.

Anyway, hope the above post helps.

mirai Wed 10-Jul-13 05:03:55

Thanks BadLad, that reply is perfect, exactly what I was looking for. They are Japanese so that's why I was so shocked! DH has never met them so the idea didn't come from them. It's just all a bit bizarre!

Afraid to say I am feeling a bit shit today. We've all seen and read the news reports of Japanese teachers and coaches being abusive with the kids and I saw it with my own eyes today sad. A (small for his age) 12 year old kid being pushed and shoved around the staff room by the baseball coach. He was crying his eyes out. I was so upset I went to the loos and cried. When I came back the other teachers were laughing with the coach about what had happened. Poor kid. This past week I have been getting pissed off with Japan for various reasons but this morning was just the icing on the cake.

A teacher I'm friendly with explained it by saying the boy had been lying and that the baseball coach "ideally" would have slapped him but he knew that "slapping was not good", so clearly shoving him hard multiple times in the chest is alright then!! God don't even know why I'm posting, just want to get it off my chest, I wish I had never seen it. sad sad sad

mirai Wed 17-Jul-13 01:07:15

Back at the horrible school again today. Hating it. I swear I will never speak to or even look at that teacher again.

If anyone fancies organising a MN meet up to take my mind off it today then that would be good! grin wine

BadLad Wed 17-Jul-13 04:28:27

There is no middle ground regarding discipline of children in Japan. It either takes the form of beating the shit out of them, or pleading with them to stop doing whatever it is they're doing wrong.

Not always, but I have seen both extremes far too often.

apibeeman Thu 25-Jul-13 08:58:35

I spent two years there and loved every minute. The food, takes a bit of getting used to but very soon get to love it. Work was fantastic, everybody so nice and polite.
Just don't mention the war, can easily get into something you wish you had never started. Take your Kindle with you or better still buy one out there, all the electronic things are much cheaper and more up to date out there, if you are not going to be working make sure you have plenty to do, there are lots of nice places to visit. Wish I was going back.

ForgetfulNameChanger Thu 25-Jul-13 21:00:37

Hi everyone! I posted this in chat but was advised that posting here might be a good idea too! smile

I lived in Japan for four months a couple of years back and came home for Christmas with the plan to return in the new year but I got ill and couldn't go back. At the time my mind wasn't on Japan or any of my obligations I'd left there so I never chased up any loose ends. I just realised the other day that I had a 12 month phone contract for a mobile and obviously, the phone stayed with me in the UK and I didn't pay for the last eight months. Does this mean I have an outstanding debt over there? Will this affect any holidays or opportunities of living there in the future? Will I be banned from Japan? How can I fix it?

Thanks smile

mirai Fri 26-Jul-13 12:43:44

Hi forgetful!

Which phone company were you with? The reason I ask is in all my research both before and since moving to Japan, I found one year contracts impossible to find. They were all two year ones. So, if you're sure it wasnt a 2 year one the. you might have actually had a prepay plan or something like that, in which case you should be fine.

If it was the case that you did have money owing, would you be prepared/able to pay it back, eg using a debit card over the phone? The phone companies tend to have English speaking helplines so that could be one option.

I don't know if/how any information about unpaid bills is passed to the authorities here; I know it would e a problem if you had money owing for pension or healthcare for example but I'm not sure about debts to private companies. First though I'd find out exactly if you do have money owing and how much, and then take it from there. I'm on hols at the mo but happy to do some research on your behalf when I'm back next week!

ForgetfulNameChanger Fri 26-Jul-13 15:11:20

Hi mirai!

Oh dear, that two year contract does ring a bell! I vaguely remember us all discussing how we would pay off the final year of it if we had returned to the UK. Oh no sad

I think we were with Softbank. I don't have the money to pay them back at the moment but want to because its a horrible feeling having this potential mystery debt hanging over me abroad haha! Thank you for the advice, I didn't think about actually contacting them doh! I will look into whether they have an English line and see if I can speak to someone. If its only Japanese, I'm buggered for now as I can only remember the basics eek!

Hopefully if I get it sorted I won't be banned or blacklisted in someway. I would love to take dd there when she is older so will be gutted if my bad memory has fudged that sad thank you for offering to do research for me smile that's really kind. Hope you are enjoying your hols!

mirai Sat 27-Jul-13 04:45:46

SoftBank do have an English line and when we racked up loads on a foreign holiday they were very good to us and wrote off most of the bill! So you might get lucky. I'll be back in a few days so let us know how you get on!!

mirai Sat 27-Jul-13 04:47:16

I would like to point out we never used our phones on the hol, we had them turned on but all data and 3G etc was turned off... But it turns out they charge you £20 a day just to connect to a foreign network even if nary a call or text is sent or received!! shock

BadLad Wed 31-Jul-13 16:02:11

I don't know if/how any information about unpaid bills is passed to the authorities here

For mobile phones, it isn't (touches wood).

When I finished with docomo, they sent me a final bill, which I paid, although it was unusually low. Then a couple of months later, they sent a new bill for the difference, which I paid reluctantly.

Then they sent me a bill for late payment, on the grounds that I was two months late settling my bill

And about five reminders when I ignored the late payment demand.

Two years on, they seem to have given up.

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