Here are five awkward, bittersweet moments that’ll make you realise you’ve finally become a seasoned expat…
Sometimes the biggest culture shocks are the ones you have to put in your mouth.
Beyond silly mistakes like wearing toilet slippers on tatami or forgetting to add “san” to someone’s name, what other things do foreigners unknowingly do to reduce their chances of living happily in Japan?
According to statistic, anywhere from one to two million people visit Japan per month, and more foreigners are working and living here than ever before. That’s a lot of people hopping a plane over, and especially if yours is a one-way flight, preparing yourself mentally before you arrive in Japan is just as important as the physical things you pack with you in your suitcase.
Think you’ve done all your research when it comes to the Land of the Rising Sun? Check out this video on five things you should know before making the big move.
Seeing as how the entire English-language RocketNews24 team is composed of people who at some point moved to Japan, we’re pretty big proponents of living here. One unpleasant part of the package, though, it that since you can’t claim the whole country as your residence, living in Japan means finding an apartment in Japan, which is generally agreed upon as one of the least enjoyable parts of the expat experience.
Why? For the following four reasons.
When foreigners first move to Tokyo, they’re often amazed and overwhelmed by Japan’s biggest bustling metropolis. But sometimes culture shock can be more localized, and just because you haven’t left the country doesn’t mean there aren’t any surprises in store when you move to a new town.
Hokkaido has more than five times the area of any other Japanese prefecture, and the lowest population density in the country to boot. So when someone born and raised on the northern island moves down south to Tokyo, which is more than 90 times as crowded as Hokkaido, he’s sure to be surprised by a lot of things, and here are 30 of them.
Moving to a different country can be fun and exciting, but it can also be tough. Most expats go through a period of culture shock where they realize that some of the stereotypes they were led to believe about a certain country may not be true, and that the way things work in their new home may not always be an improvement on the way things were done back in their old one.
We’ve presented some things Japan doesn’t get right from a Westerner’s point of view in the past, but this time we’d like to show you a comic drawn by a Japanese illustrator living overseas, detailing some of the not-so-pleasant points of living in the UK and how some in particular made her quit shopping at Amazon.
Culture shock is a strange yet wonderful phenomenon. Nothing can really compare to the feeling of seeing a group of people doing something you never thought possible for the first time.
And sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you don’t get over it. American YouTuber Strawberry Mochi recently posted a video about the top five things Japanese people can do that she simply cannot. Do you share the same hardships as her? Watch the video and find out!
The writers at our Japanese-language sister site are sometimes like kids after eating way too much candy: Adventurous and ambitious but rarely without any clear plans. And that’s why we love them! There’s nothing quite as fun as seeing something familiar through the eyes of someone whose never experienced it before.
As such, our globetrotting Go has proven to be an excellent guinea pig for testing classic Americana: He’s failed to impress at Area 51 and discovered that Denny’s in the US isn’t quite what it is in Japan. On the quest for “real American meat,” he decided to find a proper restaurant so he could ask for the chef’s choice. But would he enjoy what he found? Or would Nevada ultimately destroy our brave writer’s faith in American cuisine?
Usually when people talk about “culture shock,” we think of moving to another country–but it doesn’t have to be limited to that. It can be anything from moving from one prefecture to another or even just moving into the city from the country or vice versa.
Of course, you can’t get much more “city” than Tokyo, so, of course, many Japanese people moving here from more rural areas might experience a bit of culture shock. And today we’ll be looking at one such example for one of our Japanese writers who came to the metropolis from Kyushu! Hint: it involves delicious ice cream.
Paris: city of love, romance, food and… mental anguish?
In an article over on Gold Rush, writer Senya talks about the devastating psychological condition that has come to be known as “Paris Syndrome”; a condition that, bizarrely, seems to affect Japanese people in particular, with many visiting the city suffering from symptoms similar to depression that, in rarer cases, results in suicide.
What is it about Paris that has such a debilitating effect on Japanese? What could they do to avoid it or lessen the symptoms?
We delve a little deeper to find out…
If you have ever been outside your own country, you most likely have experienced some form of culture shock. In fact just visiting another city or town can make you aware of how things are done differently all over. In Japan, some things are so surprisingly different for foreigners that there is some uniformity in the shock value. Any Japanese with their eyes and ears open can be aware of what is most shocking to many foreigners. It is makes for fascinating conversation, “What is most surprising about Japan to foreigners? I heard…” This riveting subject matter prompts reflection, a moment of feeling good about one’s culture, sprinkled with the ability to and laugh at oneself.