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I live in Japan, ask me anything. watch

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    Mimikyu
    Saw on your profile that you want to visit Taiwan! We welcome tourists to our beautiful island! Please come soon! :rofl:
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    (Original post by Mimikyu)
    Hey! I have been on the bullet train, and it does have some tunnels. But they don't last too long. And it's just like a normal train, except a bit faster? You also have a bit more leg room. You'll see some Japanese families make it into a bit of a ritual, bringing lunch boxes and playing Uno or other card games. Also, you'll probably see other families just relaxing and playing 3DS' or watching stuff on a tablet! If you've been on a train in the UK you won't be too surprised! Look out for Mount Fuji on the way to Tokyo/Kyoto though!

    Have you let your host family know about your special eating requirements? Because vegetarianism isn't as widespread in Japan as it is in the UK/America. I am positive you will be able to get rice... however, I have only ever heard of one Ramen restaurant in Japan that has a vegetarian variety in Japan. A lot of the soups are pork broth... If you're in Kyoto you should check it out, it's called Ippudo. Your host family should know it! Also, upon googling Ippudo a few more hits came up for vegetarian ramen, so you should be fine! Just be aware that special dietary requirements in Japan are a bit of a mystery at your everyday, typical restaurants. You should be prepared to go out of your way, and spend a little bit more cash, to meet said requirements.

    Your host mother might make lunch boxes for you, and cook dinner so you might not even have to worry about eating out! Just make sure your host family is fully aware of your eating habits!

    It wouldn't be a bad idea to bring some food that you know you can eat, just in case. I showed a couple of vegetarians/restricted diet people around Japan a while back and they brought a lot of breakfast bars which really helped them out in the end.
    Ah, that should be fine then. I've heard it's really fast! But it seems fine from what you say. It'll be fun.

    Our host families aren't assigned yet, but I'll make sure to mention it. I don't want to be a burden, though, I hope I won't put anyone out because of my requirements. I'll bring some stuff along too.

    Thank you for your advice, it's very helpful!
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    Do you regret going to Japan? Do you feel sad that it is so hard to integrate into society? Were you initially hoping on living there forever? Do you think Japanese people are a bit racist (ie if you don;t look Japanese you will never be considered Japanese. Do you notice that the young don't date or sleep with eachother that much? Are most Japanese people pretty rich?
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    (Original post by SophieSmall)
    @Mimikyu

    What advice would you give to people looking to move to an entirely foreign country? Both before going and once they get there?

    (I'm hoping to move to China next year).
    Well, since the world is so international now… I don’t think there is anything you need to take. However, I would maybe suggest roll-on deodorant. I have never been to China… but I know that the deodorant they sell in Japan is more like a scented spray.

    More practical advice:

    Learn some of the basic phrases and characters. For example, entrance and exit. And memorise anything you are allergic to.

    Research the area you are going to before you leave. Look at where you want to go and what you want to do.

    Take twice as much money as you think you will need. Start-up and socialising costs can build up pretty fast.

    I am sure you will be tired, but you should try and go out when people invite you! The first couple of months are where you will make your group of friends. Look for events and activities that interest you, and you will probably find like minded people.

    I hope this helps.

    @bruce bu lives in China. Maybe he can give you more advice?

    (Original post by wolfmoon88)
    @Mimikyu

    Saw on your profile that you want to visit Taiwan! We welcome tourists to our beautiful island! [img]file:///C:/Users/Groot/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.png[/img]Please come soon! [img]file:///C:/Users/Groot/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.gif[/img]
    Thank you! I really wanna explore the whole country and learn more about Taiwanese culture!

    (Original post by karl pilkington)
    Do you regret going to Japan? Do you feel sad that it is so hard to integrate into society? Were you initially hoping on living there forever? Do you think Japanese people are a bit racist (ie if you don;t look Japanese you will never be considered Japanese. Do you notice that the young don't date or sleep with eachother that much? Are most Japanese people pretty rich?
    I don’t regret living here! It has been an amazing experience and I have grown so much for it. I think it is sad that Japanese people make it so hard for people from other countries to integrate! Mainly because a lot of Japanese would love to interact with foreigners. I never planned to live here forever… I always planned to find a job in translation and move onto another country.

    I don’t like to throw the word racist about. However, the reaction to Japan’s 2015 Miss Japan was absolutely disgusting (This article doesn't cover some of the more abusive comments about her winning). She is a beautiful woman who has grown up in the country and knows nowhere else as home, and so many people were claiming that she didn’t represent Japan. It really broke my heart. Especially some of the more derogatory comments.

    I have noticed that the young don’t sleep together. And there are a lot of theories as to why. However, it tends to be educated Japanese people who don’t go sleeping around. You will still find a lot of young pregnancies in Japan.

    There is a lot of poverty in Japan… Japanese people just don’t want to admit to it. And the poverty cycle in Japan is pretty prominent. If you can’t afford to send your child to a good high school, usually private, then they probably can’t go to college and will find a low-skill job and then have children young… the cycle is endless. It’s awful because a lot of the children I work with are bright, intelligent and curious kids who have amazing dreams that they will probably never achieve because of their family finances. It makes me appreciate just how lucky I am to have been born in Scotland.
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    i have a new question do you like Baby metal? and can you recommend any similar bands?
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    (Original post by Mimikyu)
    I am glad alcibiade has been the nice cop…. Cause I’m gonna be a more realistic about this.

    It’s not impossible! But you are going to find it to be very different from the UK.

    A lot of bands are manufactured by companies, or meet in highschool/university at societies. So, you’re already a bit behind in that aspect. I have never seen an open mic night; however I have never looked. Perhaps you should google it and see what comes up.

    I also know from experience (my friend is in a band – he is a foreigner but he has been living here for over 20 years) that venues expect you to sell a certain number of tickets. If you don’t sell that amount then you have to pay the venue money for the privilege of performing there. The price is usually the value of all the tickets you didn’t sell. That can get pretty pricey after a while. Venues rarely pay you for performances, and free drinks for the band are almost never offered.

    Also, you will just have bars that won’t want to deal with foreigners. Maybe they have had bad experiences, maybe they think it’s just too much hassle… they don't like English... god knows why, but you will face situations like that as well. I know my friend has been quite successful because he has been drinking for years at the bars he now plays at. He is also an attractive white male, which gets you pretty far in Japan.



    A degree that is just in Japanese isn’t great for employment in Japan. If you’re in Japan, speaking Japanese is kind of a given. Also, a lot of English schools prefer to have teachers who don’t know Japanese. I would suggest a combined degree… preferably with business if you’re looking for a day job. Also, work for a foreign company in Japan. If you work for a Japanese company you will have no free time, as you will be expected to work late and go drinking with colleagues. While this is the case for some foreign companies, it is not as bad as the Japanese ones.

    A lot of people start off with a teaching job, and then look for another job in their preferred field while working at the English school. Starting off at the English school gives you access to a work visa and therefore plenty of time to look for another job!



    It depends on the school. Some schools, the worst thing you will get is a kid falling asleep at their desk. At other schools you will have kids throwing chairs across the classroom and picking fights every other minute. It’s a lot like the UK in that respect, Elementary schools are a safe bet because the kids are still sweet and innocent, and the Homeroom teachers still scare the bejeebus out of them!



    Companies like Interact, OWLS and KBS? No. Nowhere near enough, even if they say they do give you enough to have a comfortable life. Avoid any companies that have the word dispatch on their website or in reviews of them. For a big city you’re looking at at least 250,000 a year, with pay increases of at least 20,000 each year to cover taxes from the previous year. JET guarantees that, but that programme is very competitive and can be time consuming when you arrive in Japan. I also believe Tokyo Jets have to find their own accommodation.



    Posters, word of mouth, facebook etc will not be hard at all. However, a lot of Japanese people who got to see foreign musicians see it as a good way of practicing English. I’m not quite sure how a foreign artist singing in Japanese would go down. I would think the immigrant community (I do not like the phrase ex-pat) would probably be supportive of you however, and a gathering of foreigners would attract a Japanese audience as well! Hopefully your music will encourage them to stay.

    To go on TV your Japanese will have to be spot-on. I have seen interviews done in Japanese and English, with translators, but that is usually reserved for stars like Lady Gaga and Tom Cruise, who are already established abroad.

    I hope I haven’t been too harsh. Best of luck.
    I don`t think you`re being harsh at all. I know it is a pretty difficult thing that I want to get to but I`ll persevere and try to work smartly. Obviously I know it`s gonna be less likely to work as opposed to if it was a japanese person doing this but i`ll try to work around that.

    Thank you for the advice on companies! Tbh I don`t plan on working for a japanese company since the work hours are inhumane and most of the work ethic is a bit ridiculous. But the JET programme sounds like a plan to sustain myself on temporarily - finding accommodation shouldn`t be too bad.

    I`ve done some research into how artists get around performances and stuff and there seems to be a thing for live houses. Which includes what you stated about having to sell a set amount of tickets and paying for the tickets that aren`t sold :/

    However, I guess choosing a smaller venue and having an established (if small) fanbase to fill that venue is better than going somewhere big and having to pay up the difference of the unsold tickets. A packed place -even if its tiny - looks better than a large but empty place. That`s provided the venue owner is okay with foreigners of course. Would you say that having other japanese musicians would be more likely to go down with the venue holder? As in if the band members were all japanese and then there`s one foreigner.

    Also, I`m definitely not thinking of doing a degree in japanese anymore tbh I can learn the language on my own out of school - and i need to have a solid plan B so that if the worst comes to worst, I can have an office day job which at least pays well and then rock out at night and make some music. Like you implied, there needs to be a lot of realistic thinking involved.

    Hmm you`re right about the bands meeting at unis and schools but I guess advertising on record shops and rehearsal studios etc should at least attract some people. That`s the main part that concerns me - that I won`t be able to find decent musicians.

    I`m very happy that you told me about the down sides bluntly since that`s what I wanted to know so thank you! I now know more how difficult its going to be and what I`m in for - which is all the more reason to work smarter if I wanna get anywhere.
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    (Original post by Mimikyu)
    Well, since the world is so international now… I don’t think there is anything you need to take. However, I would maybe suggest roll-on deodorant. I have never been to China… but I know that the deodorant they sell in Japan is more like a scented spray.

    More practical advice:

    Learn some of the basic phrases and characters. For example, entrance and exit. And memorise anything you are allergic to.

    Research the area you are going to before you leave. Look at where you want to go and what you want to do.

    Take twice as much money as you think you will need. Start-up and socialising costs can build up pretty fast.

    I am sure you will be tired, but you should try and go out when people invite you! The first couple of months are where you will make your group of friends. Look for events and activities that interest you, and you will probably find like minded people.

    I hope this helps.

    Bruce bu lives in China. Maybe he can give you more advice?
    .
    Thanks for your response.

    I wasn't particularly worried about taking anything specific, I know anything I genuinely need I'll be able to get over there if I had forgotten. I had heard about the deodorant thing though (fun fact it's because of genetic differences in sweat glands between the west and Asia).

    I started learning some spoken Mandarin a couple of days ago. Not started on characters yet, I know I'm going to find them very difficult to get used to and learn. But I'll have to persevere.

    I don't know yet what area I'll be placed, but I'll be sure to do that when I know.

    Not too worried about socialising costs, I'm moving over there with a friend so we'll at least have eachother. As for the amount of money I'll need, I think I'm being given estimates on how much I'll need at first, so I should be alright and have more than that.


    Thanks
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    I'm visiting Tokyo for a week in October, anything in particular I should see?
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    lol i'm japanese but you've been in japan longer than i have hahaha
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    (Original post by Mimikyu)
    I have been living in Japan for over 3 years now, so if there is anything you want to ask... go ahead.

    I'm a 25 y/o female however, so I probably do not know that much about the seedier side of things.
    How racist is Japan on a scale of 'super racist' to 'GIGA ULTRA RACIST'?
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    (Original post by jonathanemptage)
    i have a new question do you like Baby metal? and can you recommend any similar bands?
    I have no opinion on Baby Metal. Sorry.... Try Uverworld though! I have been to their concerts twice and they're amazing!

    (Original post by Sae.HH)
    I'm visiting Tokyo for a week in October, anything in particular I should see?
    Don't bother with Tokyo Sky Tree! Go to Tokyo Tower instead.

    Also, make time for Meiji Shrine. The area is gorgeous and it's a nice break from the hustle and bustle. You can also walk down Takeshita street in Harajuku afterwards and finish the morning with a stomach turning-ly bright meal here!

    (Original post by Black Hand Path)
    How racist is Japan on a scale of 'super racist' to 'GIGA ULTRA RACIST'?
    It depends on the individual.
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    (Original post by Mimikyu)
    Thanks for asking a question! I enjoy being able to walk down the street and feeling safe. No one really catcalls here. I think the worst I get really is random people looking to practice their English, and that is easily avoided with a book and earphones.

    Are you sure you are living in Japan and feeling safe?

    I've heard they have a big problem with "chikan" over there
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    (Original post by ANM775)
    Are you sure you are living in Japan and feeling safe?

    I've heard they have a big problem with "chikan" over there
    I feel very safe here. Thankfully, a lot of people who molest (chikan) people are scared to do so to foreigners, as they are seen as more likely to make a fuss about it and tell the police/station staff.

    It also only really tends to happen on overcrowded trains! Which a lot of tourists can avoid. I would say that if you are worried about being molested, keep your head up, make eye contact with people and if you can put a wall/door at your back.

    Molesters target people who seem to be shy/quiet and won't be likely to report the incident/make a fuss.

    Also, during rush hour you can go on a female only carriage.
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    Would you still be up for taking some questions by any chance?
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    What are the chicks like?


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