Living in Japan

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

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Indaba Sat 06-Aug-11 00:03:19

wow, lucky you, enjoy!

what a fab adventure

mirai Wed 10-Aug-11 10:43:49

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mirai Wed 10-Aug-11 10:44:39

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exexpat Wed 10-Aug-11 10:59:12

Shampoo and conditioner - you can get thousands of different varieties in Japan, so I think you'll be fine.

Shower gel less so - the Japanese use something called body soap (liquid) which I find much harsher than shower gel - I have a tendency to dry skin and eczema, and it really wasn't good for my skin. I could only find western-style shower gel in import shops and places like the Body Shop. But it depends on your skin type - you might be fine with the body soap. Body lotions widely available, though not necessarily the same brands you'd find here.

Moisturisers - lots around, though I tended to find a lot of them had a rather powdery feel. You'll probably find something that suits eventually.

No idea about make-up as I don't use it, ditto fake tan - but I would guess you are unlikely to find much choice in mild tanning products, as most Japanese women are keener on skin whitening products, unless they are in the sub-set of teenage girls who go for a really deep fake-tanned look.

I'm pretty sure you'll be able to find hairspray, but not sure about thickening products.

exexpat Wed 10-Aug-11 14:53:11

Oh, and yes to taking deodorant, but I never had a problem with Japanese toothpaste - they even have a lot of the same brands as here.

mirai Fri 12-Aug-11 19:36:55

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mirai Sun 14-Aug-11 11:48:53

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mirai Mon 15-Aug-11 12:25:40

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exexpat Mon 15-Aug-11 13:57:00

There are loads of online/catalogue companies I bought furniture from when I was living there (can't currently remember any of their names), but I don't think any of them are navigable in English. I think you will probably have to ask for help from your DP's colleagues or whoever is helping you get set up over there.

TanteRose Wed 17-Aug-11 02:17:04

as exexpat says, just ask your DPs colleagues to help with buying furniture etc.

There are loads of mail order/online stores (in Japanese, tsushin hanbai) - catalogues like Dinos, Nissen, and online Nitori stores.

when do you leave?

mirai Wed 17-Aug-11 10:13:25

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exexpat Wed 17-Aug-11 20:23:53

Good luck! I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time. As soon as you've got internet access sorted out, let us know how you are doing.

mirai Wed 24-Aug-11 07:01:54

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TanteRose Wed 24-Aug-11 07:07:36

hey there Mirai smile

Konnichiwa! hope you are settling in OK

not sure where you are, but its much cooler than it was last week, so you arrived at a good time. The humidity is still high though, isn't it? Yuck sad

the bugs can be quite a surprise - luckily they are not usually too nasty or dangerous like they are in Australia, for example.

yup, food is a bit more expensive compared to the UK - esp. fruit shock

anyway, good to hear from you - shout if you need info/advice etc. smile

PeriPathetic Wed 24-Aug-11 07:15:06

Ohayo gosaimasu!! How exciting for you (and how much I miss Japan sad )

Friends have told me it's one of the coolest summers they've known this year... last year I suffered in the hottest one for 120 years.

Ikea Japan DO deliver. Ikea delivery but I think you have to pay extra.

Amazon Japan is in English too, but I think only for books. The site isn't as extensive as UK Amazon though, but the service is incredible - I used to order at midnight and it would arrive the following day.

Enjoy your new life!

exexpat Wed 24-Aug-11 11:19:05

Glad you arrived safely!

Food is expensive, but if you are somewhere rural it is worth trying to find a direct-sales place for the local farmers - they often have roadside places where you can get seasonal produce for much, much less than buying it in the supermarket.

Yes, some of the bugs can be alarming, but there is really very little that is dangerous (mosquitoes are a nuisance, though).

Likewise snakes - you'll probably see a few if you are somewhere rural (I even found one on my doorstep in central Tokyo) but the most common ones are completely harmless striped rat snakes or green rat snakes. The only nasty one on the mainland is the mamushi, but I never saw one in my 11 years in Japan, despite spending half my weekends over the last few years in a house on a track half-way up a mountain, surrounded by woods and rice paddies, which was ideal mamushi territory. The harmless ones are mainly fairly long and slim, and plain coloured or have lengthways stripes, while the mamushi are short, squatter looking and have distinctive markings. You might also occasionally see tiger keelbacks which are technically venomous but very placid and rarely harm anyone. We had them living under our house and the baby ones sometimes used to emerge through cracks in the floor....

Hope you are having fun getting your apartment sorted out and getting to know the area.

exexpat Wed 24-Aug-11 14:19:35

Oops - just noticed I did link to rat snakes wrong.

RuthChan Thu 01-Sep-11 19:52:46

It's great that you've arrived and are settling in.
Whereabouts are you?

mirai Mon 05-Sep-11 01:59:16

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mirai Mon 05-Sep-11 02:05:23

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TanteRose Mon 05-Sep-11 04:48:13

Hi mirai

glad you survived the typhoon - awful that 26 people have died and so many are still missing sad

it didn't really affect us in Kanagawa, just very humid and cloudy...

wow, already you've tackled Fuji-san! I climbed it 20-odd years ago when I was a student. Never again!

You could always buy an oven - they are a bit small, and usually double up as a microwave, but do the job.

As for internet shopping - you could always choose the cash-on-delivery option ("chakubarai" or "daikin hikikaebarai")

congratulations on your upcoming anniversary! I am sure a nice card would be fine...

take care smile

RuthChan Tue 06-Sep-11 18:42:28

Hi Mirai

You've already climbed Mt Fuji?!!
You don't hang about do you!
Suppose you wanted to get up there before the end of the climbing season, but that's still pretty adventurous for your first two weeks in the country.

It's interesting that you're in Chubu. I was too.
I lived in Aichi prefecture, so a little south of the mountains.
I rarely saw any snakes though!!

Not sure what to advise about your DH's birthday.
I'm sure he wouldn't expect much in your current situation.
Could you take him out for a nice dinner as you can't really cook much?

mirai Fri 30-Sep-11 00:53:07

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mirai Fri 30-Sep-11 05:17:30

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PeriPathetic Fri 30-Sep-11 07:58:27

Yes, it's all very expensive sad

The main problem you'll find with going anywhere for Xmas is that the major Japanese holiday - New Year - follows so quickly on its heels. We went to Kyoto one year on Boxing Day. Many sites were closed for the week to prepare for the New Year. And if you do go somewhere, book early!

We spent a couple of days (not winter) in Hakuba once, very nice but still extremely expensive DH still moans about it Hakuba

Another place my DD remembers very fondly is this Log Cabins in Nikko These are much cheaper, but not a skiing place.

Alternatively, take a holiday elsewhere. Hawaii and Bali are the most popular for expats in Japan due to their relative closeness but still 7 hours on a plane or Saipan?

Good luck!

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