Going to Japan.. (Maybe)
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23 / M / Canada
Posted 3/3/14 , edited 3/3/14
so my plan is to learn Japanese or as much as i can, within a year or so and head out to japan.

Im not sure how long ill be staying there or what ill do...

So i was just wondering if anyone here was been there and what steps did you go through... How long did you stay and was it difficult not knowing the language ( assuming you didn't know a lot )
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27 / M / Inside Lorreen's...
Posted 3/3/14 , edited 3/3/14
There are a lot of things you are not really specifying that change a great deal as to what you need to prepare for.

Are you going there to try to live and work there? Are you going there just for a vacation/tour? Need more information really than anything else.

Going from what you said though it looks like you might be looking to move to Japan and find a job, which I will tell you, no matter which country you go to really. It isn't as easy as dropping yourself off in said country and then just finding a job.

First, Japan is still fairly strict on foreigners, from what I have read, to get even a Visa in Japan, you need a 4 year+ degree from a University. I'm sure there are ways to circumnavigate that but it's what I have seen before at least.

Second, on the language part, it is my opinion, you need to be able to hold as much as a conversation in the countries language as you possibly can, I did not go to France, Germany, or Spain until I had learned the language enough to hold a conversation. Even then half the time I was a bumbling buffoon in conversations.

Third, make sure it is absolutely what you want to do. Don't move countries just because you're bored, or especially on a whim, you will most likely regret it later on.

I'll leave this to others now, since anything I say is purely speculation and my own opinion, as I have only ever traveled anywhere for vacations, not for living or for finding a job.
Dutch Moderator
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37 / M / The Netherlands
Posted 3/3/14 , edited 3/3/14
Hi there,

I have moved this one to a more appropriate subforum.

Now, to answer a few of your questions;
I have been to Japan several times now, all vacations, varying between 10 days and 3 and a half weeks.
My knowledge of the Japanese language is very basic, I can order food and drinks, ask for (and understand) directions, get myself and friends a room in a hotel and I can read Katakana, Hiragana and a hand full of Kanji but that's the extent of my knowledge.

You can get by in Japan without knowing Japanese, but having a little knowledge of the language makes things easier.
At least in all major cities and their surroundings most signs are also in English so as a tourist you should be fine, you may get in trouble when visiting some of the more rural areas of the country though.

If you however want to stay longer and get a job there you are expected to speak, read and write Japanese at a certain level before setting off.
Can you get a job there without? Yes, you can, but unless you have a lot of the right qualifications you will most likely never get a higher job than manager of the broomcloset.
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28 / M / New York
Posted 3/3/14 , edited 3/3/14
You'll have 90 days to find a job that will sponsor your visa. That is incredibly hard to do but doable. Also after about one year of Japanese study don't expect to be fluent. If you don't find a job after 90 days you'll have to leave the country. Were are you going to stay also?
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47 / M / Bay Area, CA, USA
Posted 3/3/14 , edited 3/3/14
It's not something I'll likely ever do (work/live in Japan) nor am particularly wanting to do, though I love visiting the place-- and I enjoy reading of the experiences of those who have. I'd swear there were a fair number of forum topics on this subject, but perhaps most have been closed due to inactivity or something? Anyway, here's one that I thought contained some good insight, and it's still open:


Another non-CR site I've enjoyed reading is Danny Choo's website (www.dannychoo.com). He seems to be living the dream of so many foreign "otaku"--- actually moving to Japan from abroad (Britain, I think, in his case) and making a living there in the anime/pop culture etc. industry, and fairly successfully at that, as far as I can tell. He seems to be having a good time of it in any case. He has also written a fair bit of his experience and trials on his site, and not surprisingly, it wasn't a matter of just plopping himself down in Japan and just drifting with whatever came along. It took planning, work, and sacrifice, and likely some good luck as well.

To echo what others have said, it sounds like you'll need to think and research more about this-- if you still have no idea what you'll do there and how long you might stay, it sounds like you've not yet much of a plan at all at this moment. Engaging in a major life change like this (and it sounds like you're thinking of living and working there, not just a vacation) without forethought and planning is almost inevitably bound to end disappointingly or worse.
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32 / F
Posted 3/3/14 , edited 3/4/14
I have stay in japan for 6 years as I was doing job there and I must say that Japan is one of the most friendly country.When you will go there they will treat you so well that you will feel like you are at your home.You can get many different type of costume there that you can wear and also some new type of food items to try on so go there without any tension.
Brand Manager
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F / Tokyo
Posted 3/8/14 , edited 3/8/14
I've been to Japan multiple times but I don't recommend living there unless you have a firm grasp of the language.
I studied Japanese in college for 3 years and I literally felt like I couldn't use any of it while I was in Japan. I felt like I learned more Japanese in the 3 weeks that I stayed there than in an entire semester in university. Immersion is definitely the best way to learn Japanese but it's really intimidating at times unless you have someone who speaks your language to kind of guide you.
Honestly you can live in Tokyo without learning much Japanese though I don't think it's as fun or easy to live without speaking the language.

Language aside, Japan is extremely strict towards foreigners as someone else mentioned. Even with a visa, you might find it difficult to find housing, since a lot of (cheaper, residential) places don't rent out to foreigners. It might be easier to get a job as an English teacher. Some programs actually provide teachers with housing. I think most people who want to live in Japan take the English teaching route.
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Posted 3/9/14 , edited 3/9/14
Canadians can stay in japan and work for 6 months to a year if you get the working holiday Visa. You do not need a degree for this visa however you can only do it once in your life and cant be older then 30 years old.
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21 / M
Posted 3/11/14 , edited 3/11/14
For majority of the time, I'd decided that I'd study aboard via a visa, and then stay in Japan, permanently. And although I still might do so, I mean, move to Japan that is - but, I feel as If I glorified Japan a lot before. That isn't to say any of you are, just discussing my experience and thoughts on the subject in accordance to me. Japan seems amazing, like, real peaceful and beautiful and whatnot. But, I've on several different occasions I have and so have my friends glorified Japan a lot.

I mean, just look at a couple of documentaries or so. Japan tends to commodify a lot of things, may be even more dramatized than say the West. The amount of psuedo-relationships or psuedo-love just scares me, and I don't mean it grosses me out or anything. It just seems intimidating, and because I grew up in a different culture, and am keen to adapt there - maybe it's just the fate for us assimilationist to be more prone to such thoughts. None the less, my input isn't to attack Japan, in all honesty I prefer Japan more than anything else. At least, in theory I do. When I visit there, I'll confirm whether or not my thoughts about it or true. Or if I'm being too idealistic.

I haven't been there, and I don't know many Japanese as I've had to self teach myself, and only just started. I'm definitely going to Japan, but I'd say process this beforehand. I don't have much information on the subject in relation to actually going there, but, I don't want to be completely useless. So, that's a piece of my thoughts.

( ......I uh'-....I hope I don't get hate mail, even though I bolded that I'm not attacking...Ha...hahah......Please don't kill me, I love Japan!)
Sailor Candy Moderator
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Posted 12/28/15 , edited 12/28/15
"Year-end cleanup. Closing threads with no activity since 2014."
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