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What's it like living in Japan?

(5 Posts)
Sidge Wed 03-Sep-08 11:31:22

Not that we are moving there, but Japan was featured in a programme I was watching and it looks like a beautiful country. What's it like living there?

(Sorry just being nosy really).

RuthChan Wed 03-Sep-08 19:24:38

I have just left Japan after almost 9 years living there.
I really enjoyed it and was sad to leave. (Due to DH being transferred by his company.)

I think that you would get many different answers to this question depending on who you talk to. I know foriegners who love it and those who hate it, partly depending on where they live and how they live.

Personally, I lived in a small city in the middle of the main island and lived much more like a Japanese than a foreigner. All my friends were Japanese (and my DH).

Japanese people are very kind and polite (as long as they know you. Otherwise they can be damn rude). Overall, really nice people.
I am actually finding it quite a shock to be back in Europe with the lack of service and manners.

The food is wonderful. There is interesting culture and lots of do.
The natural parts of the country, like the mountains are really beautiful, but the cities tend to be ugly and made of concrete with no attention to aesthetics.

Not sure if this is the kind of info you really wanted though...

RuthChan Wed 03-Sep-08 19:26:44

Oh yeah, being able to speak the language made a huge difference for me.
When I first arrived I couldn't speak a word and it really limited how deeply 'into' the country I could get.
Being able to speak to people I met and to make proper friendships really helped.

Many foreigners live there but never learn the language and they live in their own communities without really mixing with Japanese people. I think they really miss out.

Sidge Wed 03-Sep-08 22:40:50

Thanks for replying Ruth, it's interesting to hear as I know nothing about Japan, just what I have seen on the TV! It looks like a fascinating place and very different to how I imagined - I shall have to try and visit one day smile

Where are you now? Would you want to go back to Japan if possible?

RuthChan Thu 04-Sep-08 19:58:07

It's great that you took an interest.
I can highly recommend it as a place to visit, especially as it's far cheaper now than you probably imagine. It has had none of the inflation that western countries have had over the last 15 years.
Your only problem would be the language, but even that's getting easier as English is becoming more wide spread, especially on the transport systems and in the touristy areas.

I am now in Brussels. We moved here a couple of weeks ago as my DH has been transferred by his company.
It's nice to be in Europe for a change, but I would like to go back to Japan at some point.
It's nice to know that I can go back at any time as my DH and therefore children are all Japanese.
It'll be really interesting to see where we decide we'd like to settle permanently having tried living on both sides of the world!

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