Don`t be a Logan Paul. For those of you who don`t know who that is: Google is your best friend. In short, he`s basically a well known vlogger who wreaked havoc in Japan, disrespecting the culture, and recording a dead body in a Japanese forest.
Although I`m sure most decent minded people wouldn`t resort to causing this much trouble, I have seen my fair share of disrespectful foreigners throughout my time living here.
That being said, I would like to introduce to you some things you need to know before moving to Japan.
LEARN THE LANGUAGE: AT LEAST THE BASICS
Don't live here for ten plus years barely knowing a thing about the Japanese language. Yes, I have known someone who lived here that long and could barely ask where the bathroom was. I find that when you can speak even a little bit of the language, the people of Japan smile at the fact that you studied and are trying. To them, it's a sign of respect for their country and the fact that you took time to learn how to communicate with them.
Not only that, learning another language is healthy for the brain and a skill you can bring back with you if you ever do decide to return to your home land.
Another thing to add: Just because you've heard a lot of Japanese people speak English, doesn't mean EVERYONE here can do that. You have zero right to be angry with your Japanese waitress because she didn't study English all her life and doesn't understand you. Be patient when you move here. You are going to encounter a lot of obstacles such as this. You`re not in your country, you`re in theirs.
DON`T BE HIGH MAINTENANCE
You need to learn to accept change and adapt to your surroundings. In America, we have larger portions of food, central heating, cars to drive, and bigger houses with more stuff that we don't actually need. Japan is the complete opposite; the portion sizes of food are smaller, there’s no central heating, walking farther distances is a regular part of your day, and your humble abode will be smaller and more compact. Another thing that's quite different is clothing sizes or shoe sizes. They are all smaller. You have to prepare yourself for these conditions and find ways to live comfortably or just convert yourself to a minimalistic lifestyle. You’ll be surprised how little you need to survive.
LIVING IN JAPAN ISN`T LIKE AN ANIME
No, senpai isn’t always going to notice you and no, there are no real live Pokemon running around the city to catch. A lot of people come to Japan thinking their life is going to be just like the anime they've watched. I hate to burst your bubble but anime is just animation; it`s not real life. I feel that some people get moody or bent out of shape because reality hits them. Living in Japan is still adult life. You have to pay pills, make doctors appointments, socialize to meet people. Because life isn’t what they've expected here, most end up going home with a bitter taste in their mouth and a negative image of Japan. You can have a love for anime but at the end of the day, know you have some responsibilities to uphold and take care of.
IT`S GOING TO BE TOUGH
Especially in the beginning, moving to Japan isn`t going to be easy. Living here, at the start at least, is going to be exhausting. There are all sorts of things you have to do in order to live your adult life here. You have to open a bank account, learn to navigate your surroundings, buy furniture, learn essential words necessary for things like grocery shopping, set up your phone contract, and more.
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
Be open minded. I chose to live here because this country is the most different from my own. I wanted to be surprised some days and learn something new. If you`re looking for adventure and are ready to embrace a whole new world, then the thing you need to know most before moving to Japan is to take risks and break free of your comfort zone. Adapt to your surroundings and take on different routines and customs.
Don`t come here just to find yourself complaining about every little thing that comes your way. Learn and grow as you experience life in another country.
Those are my top five things you need to know before moving to the land of the rising sun. I have nothing but tough love for you. Of course, if you would like some help settling in, please subscribe to my Patreon page, donate twenty-five dollars and receive some one on one coaching plus a deeper look on what my life in Japan is actually like. The good thing about living here is there are always others who have experienced moving to Japan and are there when you need assistance. Moving to this country was the best thing I`ve ever done and I have no regrets. I hope you enjoy your stay!