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Living in Japan

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

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mirai Wed 15-Jun-11 11:40:43

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mirai Thu 16-Jun-11 08:58:26

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bigbadbarry Thu 16-Jun-11 09:19:23

Lucky you! Have only skimmed thread but am marking here to come back later. We had 3 amazing years on Tokyo and would have stayed if they'd let us. DD1 was born there. Take deodorant, but Internet shopping will be your friend clothes-wise.

BebeBelge Thu 16-Jun-11 09:43:12

Hi! I am currently in Kobe - been here almost 2 years and LOVE it! Don't have much to add to previous advice but if you end up here or Osaka, do feel free to pm me for more info! Good luck!

PeriPathetic Thu 16-Jun-11 09:53:16

Hi Mirai,

Good luck with your move and hope you finally find out where you're going to be living soon!! I lived in Tokyo for 4.5 years, fabulous city in an amazing country.

Re medication - yes, lots of common meds are banned. Anything with codeine in as well as the pseudoephedrine you mentioned. There isn't a lot of choice of over the counter meds there either. Not sure about ibuprofen.

Allergies are common, but you may not suffer from the Japanese allergy - yet. And if you do, you have to go to the docs / hospital for medicine. It was 3 years before I suffered from the Japanese allergy and now I'm in Europe my old hayfever has come back with a vengeance. confused

exexpat Thu 16-Jun-11 12:36:29

Normal nurofen/ibuprofen is fine - I think it is nurofen plus which is not, because it also contains codeine. And yes, cold medicines must be checked for pseudoephedrine.

I would recommend taking whatever antihistamines you find effective with you, because the Japanese over-the-counter ones tend to be the old-fashioned kind which make you drowsy (disclaimer: it's possible they have improved in the four years since I left Japan, but the pharmacy business moves very slowly there). They are also expensive. You can get better ones on prescription, but that is also expensive unless you have very comprehensive health insurance, and if you end up somewhere rural, communicating with a local doctor may be difficult to start with. I used not to get hayfever in the UK, but developed an allergy to the Japanese tree pollens fairly early on, and now I seem to be allergic to all sorts of pollen in the UK too.

I used to stock up on supermarket/Boots own-brand loratidine (clarityn) to take back to Japan, until I discovered an even better one I could get over-the-counter in Australia, though it's still prescription-only in the UK (fexofenadine). There are internet pharmacies you can use, but you are only supposed to import limited amounts of medicine at a time.

Having said all that, customs never checked my bags for pharmaceuticals, and I once brought a large bottle of codeine syrup into Japan as I didn't realise at the time it was banned. But I suppose you could be unlucky, and it wouldn't be a good start to your stay in Japan....

exexpat Thu 16-Jun-11 12:46:00

By the way, have you found Being A Broad yet? Stupid name, but very useful organisation/website/networking group. There's a magazine and a book too.

exexpat Thu 16-Jun-11 12:48:05

They seem to have another, busier website as well:

PeriPathetic Thu 16-Jun-11 15:34:12

Also, is fabulously useful.

mirai Sat 18-Jun-11 19:56:07

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mirai Tue 28-Jun-11 08:00:40

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exexpat Wed 29-Jun-11 18:40:15

Just came back to this thread - sorry to hear it's not looking good. Do the rest of the village need to know you are not actually married? Unless you tell them otherwise, they will probably assume you are (and you can just explain that in the West people don't necessarily change their names when they get married). It's not as common to live together before marriage in Japan, but I have found that people in general aren't necessarily that moralistic about premarital sex.

And is the village so isolated that you won't have internet access? There are language schools in Japan that offer English lessons over the internet, or over the phone - you might still be able to do that kind of thing.

mirai Wed 13-Jul-11 12:26:22

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TanteRosmerta Thu 14-Jul-11 06:13:19

Glad to hear things are fairly positive smile
Having a car will make all the difference.

Be warned it is HOT over here and will be hotter still when you arrive in August! Bring lots of suntan lotion and a hat grin

PlasticFlamingo Thu 14-Jul-11 09:59:53

and deoderant!!

Good Lucksmile

Bouviergirl Fri 22-Jul-11 15:48:57

Hi, I did JET years and years ago (92-95) - definitely inaka (down south Kyushu) and back then there was an arrangement whereby your working years in Japan counted towards national insurance contributions in the UK when you returned. At the end of my JET time, I think I received some paperwork from the Japanese authorities and it all seemed to sort itself out with this counting towards UK national insurance. The Japanese and UK governments had a bi-lateral agreement on this. Might be worth checking this is still the case.

Reading this thread has made me 'homesick' !!

feel free to pm if you need other specific advice, as well as doing JET also worked for Japanese embassy.

Enjoy what will be a wonderful experience!

midoriway Sun 24-Jul-11 15:33:56

I did JET for three years, in a small city in Hokkaido. I loved it, it was the absolute making of me.

Is your DH working for the prefecture or the local Board of Education? It will be a rollercoaster, but the beauty of the programme is that it is a chance to throw yourself headfirst into a new country and culture, with the back up and support of the JET programme co-ordinators on the other end of the phone.

Has DH made contact with his predecessor yet?

mirai Tue 26-Jul-11 11:24:46

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TanteRose Fri 29-Jul-11 07:36:29

hi there mirai!

don't worry, its perfectly normal to be nervous smile

why won't your DP have a phone/internet? there are international payphones in Japan, which he could use. Mobile phones bought here cannot be used internationally, unfortunately. When he gets a landline, he can sign up for international call. I am sure his school will help.

so he's off tomorrow? wish him luck! and in three weeks you will be flying over to join him smile how exciting! let us know when you arrive smile

mirai Wed 03-Aug-11 21:56:42

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mirai Thu 04-Aug-11 16:15:40

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mirai Thu 04-Aug-11 22:33:14

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exexpat Thu 04-Aug-11 22:48:22

Can't help on current phone plans etc, but just wanted to say I'm glad it's looking more positive now.

If you're planning to drive in Japan, have you got your UK international driving licence sorted? You need to go to a main post office, I think, or possibly you can still get them from the AA, and it is only valid for the first year you are in Japan - if you end up staying for longer, you will need to convert it into a Japanese licence - not too difficult for Brits, as you don't need to take another test, just go through lots of bureaucratic hoops and pay a big fee.

mirai Thu 04-Aug-11 23:34:36

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mirai Thu 04-Aug-11 23:35:19

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