Learn the Basics of Living in Japan

By | October 12, 2014

Are you currently living in Japan as a foreigner? Or better yet, do you have any plans of eventually migrating to Japan?

Even if you just plan to stay there for a temporary period of time, you would definitely find that the things here very useful as you take yourself onto the land of the Rising Sun—Japan.

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Japan has always been known for its technological innovations and its rich cultural heritage. The first and most important thing you need to keep in mind as you stay there is this: be open with the changes and the new things you’d most likely experience. Never be too quick to judge anything and anyone. Just be patient, flexible, and always keep an open mind. Be friendly and accommodating to new people you meet. The Japanese are also pretty warm when it comes to dealing with foreigners so take it as an advantage for you.

tokyo-sushi-barAmong the most important things you need to remember when dealing with Japanese people is that they are very punctual when it comes to time. When they expect to meet with you, you should either be at the meeting place a few minutes earlier than expected or be there on the dot. Time is very valuable in the Japanese culture so being on time would help you establish yourself among new found networks and friends.

As you stay in Japan, it would be very helpful if you keep a journal wherein you can write anything you experience. This can help you evaluate just how much you are actually experiencing versus the things you once heard of about Japan. As you write down something that seemed foreign and unique at the time, you will be surprised just how much culturally-immersed you have become as you reread these entry notes. Keeping a journal also lets you record important cultural experiences which you will never find in reference materials or tourist travel guides.

Aside from all these preparations, you also need to take care of keeping your communication lines open with your family and friends back in your home country. As soon as you get to Japan, apply for an Alien Registration Card immediately. This will be very important especially when you need to purchase a mobile phone. When you do so, consider getting a phone which has a bilingual feature.

During your free time or whenever you have a chance, study the Japanese language. Local communities as well as nominal centers usually offer language lessons at a fee. If you want to learn Japanese in a much more serious set-up, there are a lot of Japanese schools which can help you in either short-term or long-term language courses.

Another thing you need to consider is how you dress while you’re in Japan. This is especially important to help give you a good impression. The Japanese people take great care in dressing up neatly, crisply, and tastefully. Moreover, professional Japanese people dress for conformity rather than for individualism. In addition, it would also be much better for you to bring in your own pair of shoes rather than opt to buy there. Although men’s clothes sizes in Japan are beginning to cater to much larger measurements, shoe size can still be a problem. Foreign women may particularly have a hard time finding clothes and shoes which fit them especially if they are taller than average Japanese women.