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

highlandcoo Sat 02-Feb-13 14:32:36

Hi Japanese MNers and thanks to TanteRose for pointing out this thread smile

I am so excited to be travelling to Japan in March to visit my son who's a JET in Sendai. It's great that he's able to take a week off to have a holiday with me and my husband and after a couple of days visiting his school and looking round Sendai we're planning to head to Kyoto for three nights and then end up in Tokyo for four nights before flying back. I'm lucky to have a friend who lived in Tokyo for 5 years and has given me some great suggestions for what to do but more ideas from you all would be fantastic.

Yesterday I started my "Learn Japanese in six weeks" CD. A fairly optimistic title I fear grin and in reality we will probably find ourselves being lead around by our son but I'm giving it a go!

Look forward to hearing from you if there's anyone still there smile

highlandcoo Wed 20-Feb-13 16:28:01

bump <hopeful>

TanteRose Mon 11-Mar-13 05:46:09

Hi everyone!

Thought I would post a message today, the 2nd anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Remembering the 15,000 people who lost their lives in the terrible earthquake and tsunami, and the on-going tragedy of the Fukushima disaster sad

Sorry I didn't get back to this thread, highlandcoco - I guess you are in Sendai now, maybe? Hope you are having a lovely time with your son. Sendai is a great city.

mirai Tue 09-Apr-13 03:34:08

Ahhh I really need to sort out my threads I'm on so that when this gets bumped, I see it! You'd think I wouldn't miss new posts given I'm on here every day, but apparently so!

Anyway, highlandcoo, I hope you had a lovely time visiting your son. Tante, how was your spring holiday (if you had one)? Did you mange to fit in any hanami? smile

mirai Tue 09-Apr-13 03:36:26

Also, I meant to add, how are we feeling about the situation with Korea? Do you think they could/will actually fire a missile here??

TanteRose Tue 09-Apr-13 03:43:40

Hi mirai

I know, I find I have missed this thread, even after I recommend it to others (sorry, highlandco sad) hope your trip was fun!)

no spring hols for me - except that I didn't have to get up and make bentos for the DCs because THEY were on spring break, so it was nice.

back to the grindstone with bentos this week though...sigh...

DD started High school yesterday - so a new beginning for her! Excited and nervous in equal measures, I think

the cherry blossoms arrived so early and then we had various storms/rain on the weekends, so I didn't bother with hanami. I admire them on the way to and from work smile

Hope you are well - staying for another year?

we are off to the UK in the summer for a visit - not booked flights yet, but no doubt they will be expensive and then we get fewer pennies for our yen when we get there.

oh well - will be nice to see family and friends. Really hope it doesn't rain all summer in the UK like it did last year.

TanteRose Tue 09-Apr-13 03:46:33

oops missed your p.s. about North Korea

they would be mad to try and attack

but they are a mad bunch, so who knows?

not too worried, as any missiles will likely be intercepted, but it will be interesting how things turn out in NK - the Chinese and South Koreans will not be able to cope if the country collapses entirely, and millions of NK refugees flood over the borders.

just finished reading "Nothing to Envy" about life in NK - highly recommended

mirai Tue 09-Apr-13 03:56:25

Hi! grin Ahh, I saw that book recommended on the other thread. Think ill download it now - I have four hours to fill and my kindle is fully charged, so why not!

We missed the cherry blossom entirely as we went back home for a couple of weeks. It was amazing and we had a wonderful time, but yes I hear you on the exchange rate! Could have cried at the forex place. It's not very good news for us as we want to stay at least another year and send money home, obviously with Abenomics going the way it is I am getting worried about how much money we're losing every time we send some home sad

Anyway apart from that, yes things are going well, they seem to be happy with us at school, we recently moved house and feel a lot happier there so yes it's all good!

mirai Tue 09-Apr-13 03:58:30

Don't know why there are so many yes's there, clearly I am in an agreeable mood today!

BadLad Mon 15-Apr-13 02:56:41

Two very different experiences last week.

I dropped my wallet in town. This being Japan, I filed a report at the local Koban, hoping to get it back.

What actually happened was that someone found it, looked inside, found the alien registration card and takkyubinned it back to me, at their own expense!!!!

Inside was a little note. Please enjoy your time in Japan. Fantastic!

This morning I have been on the phone to a garbage company, wanting them to come and take my broken rice cooker away.

They want 8000 yen for it. 8 thousand fucking yen.

It really is astonishing here that you have more chance of getting your lost valuables back than anywhere else in the world, but the services industries will rob you blind without batting an eyelid.

BadLad Mon 15-Apr-13 02:57:44

last week = in the last week

TanteRose Mon 15-Apr-13 04:02:08

Badlad smile at the person who sent your wallet back

and angry at the garbage people

do you not have one of those trucks that drive slowly through the neighborhood, playing music and asking if you have any old denki-seihin? Bit like a rag and bone man... They will take things off your hands for free

completely different issue, but I am currently sad and angry because the festival in Tokyo in May has been cancelled, and I won't get to see Blur etc.

hope everyone else is fine smile

BadLad Mon 15-Apr-13 04:14:58

We do have one, but he turned his nose up at the rice cooker, which was broken, so not that surprising. When I lived in Tokyo, they also refused to take a TV I wanted rid of.

Oh well. Sorry to hear your Blur gig was cancelled. One of my friends saw Carter USM in the UK recently. Do you remember them? That got me digging out the old Brit Pop CDs.

Did you get to a hanami party? Unfortunately bad weather on both weekends put paid to mine.

mirai Mon 15-Apr-13 07:32:45

Badlad, isn't that wonderful? It reminds me of when DH and I were looking very lost at Tokyo train station and three people (who were all clearly busy and had places they needed to be) approached us to ask if we needed help. So nice smile

However, am raging on your behalf at the rice cooker incident! Our rubbish rules have changed recently too. We live in the middle of nowhere so buy an awful lot of goods online or in our nearest city a few hours away. For things like batteries the new rubbish rules say we have to return them to the store where we bought them! I don't think so!

Shame about your festival Tante, could you go to one of the others instead, or was it blur in particular who you wanted to see?

mirai Sun 21-Apr-13 08:28:32

Enkai tonight and I just. Can't. Be. Bothered!! Especially not with work as normal tomorrow morning!!

TanteRose Wed 24-Apr-13 02:48:02

did you go to the enkai, mirai?

bet it was fun once you got there smile

yeah, it was Blur I really wanted to see...and Primal Scream...

DD and I were going to go, and she had a few Japanese bands that she was looking forward to seeing so we are both gutted sad

Oh well

any plans for Golden Week (or at least, the two long Golden Weekends!)?

it is always so crowded at any touristy spots, so we usually don't bother going anywhere special.

We have spring cleaning to do - I am going to get the whole family to declutter (may well be an epic fail, with two teenagers...) confused

I am determined to reform my balcony, so we can actually sit out there grin

mirai Fri 10-May-13 03:59:16

I did go to the enkai and had a very sore head the next dy!

How was your GW? We went down to a local matsuri, it was good fun but I preferred our little village matsuri in September, much more of a party feeling, the one downtown seemed a little forced? Like they were doing it because it was tradition but not really getting into it, if that makes sense?

Have you been sitting on your newly cleaned balcony? smile I LOVE sitting outside in the sun. I found some cider on rakuten so have been making the most of the patio set and the sunshine!!

However it's not all been fun and games. I have a hugely important deadline on my final piece of work for me OU course. It's causing me a lot of stress and sleepless nights! Also as you can see from the "homesickness" thread I'm getting a little fed up of having no friends here. We're so remote I can't even go out and meet people and it's getting me down a bit sad

TanteRose Fri 10-May-13 04:07:45


sorry to hear you're feeling low sad

have you made any Japanese friends? I know its difficult to connect without the necessary language...

erm, about my grand balcony never happened - my excuse was that I needed to give it good scrub with lots of water, but because of the sunny days we had, my neighbour downstairs had all her washing out most days, so I couldn't splash around and ruin her futons etc.

Will wait until the next rainy day (tomorrow?) and set to with the bucket and brush grin

hope you meet the OU deadline - the final piece, eh? then it will be all over? Good luck!

OK, lunchtime here at work - am starving so will return later if you want to chat more smile

and MEET UP!
we need to plan one smile

mirai Fri 10-May-13 04:21:59

Well we thought before we moved here that we'd have this huge social circle made up of the Japanese English teachers, but they all work such long hours that we never see them out of work, let alone be able to invite them round for a glass of wine!

We do have one friend in the village, a chap close to DH's age. Every now and then his family come round for dinner or we go to theirs and it's a lovely night. I'd love us to see them a bit more often but we don't want to come across as needy so it's hard to judge, as to how often we should suggest a drink or what have you. He loves golf and DH likes to play too, they went together once and had a good time but he hasn't suggested it since! It's really hard to decipher if they're asking you because they really want our company or if they're just feeling generous towards the lonely foreigner! So hard.

Finally I do get on v well with one of my teacher colleagues, she's my age and so lovely! We invited her round for a nabe party which was nice but nothing more has been suggested... And again I don't want to push it as they'd say yes even if they meant no and I really don't want to come across as forceful!!

Yes I think the next rainy day will be tomorrow which is sooo annoying after all the lovely hot weather we've had this week! Big YES to the wine and meet up, Japan absolutely needs an MN local branch! grin Let's make it happen.

BedHanger Fri 10-May-13 04:45:02

Hello, can I crash your thread for a bit, mirai? In my defence, although I'm in the UK, my half-J children seem to currently be functioning on Japanese time and got me up at 4am <yawn>. Plus I did reply with useful info under a previous name back in 2011!

Where are you based? And how long are you planning on being there in total?

BedHanger Fri 10-May-13 04:50:24

PS, your friends are probably holding back for the same reasons you are - thinking you want your space and not wanting to appear pushy. I would plunge in a try and arrange something else with each. If you're offering them the chance to learn about your culture, speak English and act as a gateway to Japanese culture, tbh they'd probably be super keen to spend more time with you even if you didn't get on (which it sounds like you do!).

mirai Sat 25-May-13 03:52:07

Well after my wallowing, last week was a weekend of impromptu socialising, two BBQs and a karaoke trip which was fantastic! Maybe you were right BedHanger smile

Absolutely under the cosh this weekend though with a huge piece of work to do for the OU sad I really can't be bothered with it!

Sooo then how's about this meetup?! wine grin

Hooya Sun 26-May-13 12:08:40

Hello everyone - newbie to this thread which now thanks to mirai I actually know exists! smile

As a quick intro, I live in Tokyo with my DP, have been here about 2 years since I took the chance for my job to move me here (I work for a Japanese company). I'm not quite a mum yet but I will be in September - due our first baby which we're going to have in Tokyo!

There are many things I love love about living here and a few I really don't, but overall it's an incredible experience and I think we're some of the luckiest people to be able to do it!

Would be great to hear about other MNers living over here!

TanteRose Mon 27-May-13 02:05:15

Hiya Hooya grin

how exciting - a newbie!

Thanks, mirai, for alerting to me to this development on the thread - we really need a Japanese klaxon to alert us to any new posts...

anyhoo, welcome flowers

I live south of Tokyo near Kamakura - been here nearly 22 years shock

<realises just how ooolllld I am - sob>

I would love to chat more, but I am ridiculously busy at work, so will check in again this afternoon, hopefully.


mirai Tue 28-May-13 14:46:25

Hello hello!! I still haven't finished this piece yet, it's really driving me potty as I just can't seem to get my head round it. I will never understand why I am such a procrastinator, it's as though I like to make life hard for myself! Anyway I am just popping in to say hello and wave again to Hooya!! By the way do you know any other MNing expats we could rope into our gang?! wink

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now