Life in Japan

Many factors of living in Japan are great and not so great at the same time. However, wherever you go, whatever you do, nowhere is a perfect country. We all encounter different challenges in life that mould us to be the best version of ourselves. You can’t escape hardships in life anyway, it’s up to you to choose your real home. Learn from the people who have lived in Japan for many years and decide if you want to live here or somewhere else.

Tons of questions to be asked!

These are some of the questions that I received, so I asked some friends who can share their life stories in Japan.

It features some Filipino friends in Japan and knows their stories.

Filipino Friends in Japan

Kat’s Story

Q1: How hard is it to live in Japan as a foreigner?

Hello, my name is Kat and I have been living in Japan for 4 years as of this writing. How is it hard to live in Japan as a foreigner? Hmmm. Altogether, it is hard but not hard. Everything is a matter of perspective and how to deal with the challenges. No matter how many blogs, and vlogs about living in Japan we watch before we come here, there will always be something that will challenge and make one feel frustrated about moving in here. The main challenge will always be the differences in culture, next is the difference in the language and level of discipline.

Japanese culture is both amazing and annoyingly amazing. HA-HA. For example, they can make everything look simple, elegant and aesthetically beautiful. The food is amazing anywhere, from a(conbini) convenience store to a bento (lunch box) up to the most expensive fine dining restaurants. And healthy too! The language barrier is real! Every time I had to deal with government agencies and local offices, I would ask my Japanese friends or even Tita Gladys how to ask for something. Then, I need to make sure that I have my Google Translate available with me, too. Very importantly, I give it a lot of time and patience.

Q2. Share your experience

I used to find it convenient to have a passbook for my bank account, but my pages ran out and I had to request for one which the process almost took a couple of hours to complete, and after that, never again. I realized that my bank has an online app, so I opted for that in the end. But it is different, I have another bank account in which I had gone through an almost no-sweat process coz they were prepared to entertain foreigners.

I have made a couple of local friends and they have been like family here to me. A few months after I became friends with them, they surprised me with a small birthday party, which was amazing coz, imagine, celebrating away from your home country for the first time. Since then,  I have always been thankful that I get to celebrate occasions and spend my free time with them. I have seen them grow from being a romantic couple to a sweet wedding bride and groom and now I get to babysit their baby whom I call my little brother!

I have also Tita G and a small community of Filipinos here that I get to be with once in a while for some funny stories, sharing of experiences and providing tips on how to go about living in Japan. The laughter, the jokes and the yummy Pinoy food these titas (aunties) can cook, they just always make this place feel like a home away from home.

Q3. What’s nice about living in Japan?

Good question. I think it is the convenience of almost everything. The language barrier is very hard to overcome, but once you get to know the hang of the basics, and the keywords, it will seem like everything will be easy. The people are helpful, but of course, some are still resistant to dealing with foreigners, but they are very rare. It is very safe but of course, it still isn’t ideal to stay outdoors late.

I find it nice how simple life can be here. From cleanliness, organization of garbage collection, how quiet my community is, how hard work is paid off and of course, kindness is just everywhere, well, at least where I live. HA-HA. I think the only way I will get myself uprooted here is either a very promising career offer in a different country or back in PH or a marriage that would need me to relocate. Coz, honestly, living alone here had been so comfortable and I was just not ready to give it up yet if I knew that I would have to go through the same challenges all over again on my own.

Justin’s Story

How hard is it to live in Japan as a foreigner?

Having been able to live in Japan for three months as an exchange student when I was in the university, greatly helped me when I finally decided to move to Japan for a longer time for work. Although it hasn’t been easy and adjustments are still present, I already have a piece of background knowledge and a first-hand experience of living in Japan.

Social engagement and expanding my networks are two areas I had difficulty with. As someone who is highly sociable, I needed to lower my expectations in creating a good relationship with the people around me, especially the people I am working with because of the differences among the culture and work boundaries.

Share about your unforgettable experience

Probably my trip to Mount Aso in Kumamoto. I commuted alone and I planned to hike Mount Aso in winter. The view was magnificent, but it wasn’t an easy hike. The temperature dropped so low that I could barely feel my hands. I almost cried because I couldn’t zip up my jacket. In retrospect, the hike was something I will do all over again. Hopefully not in winter but if it happens again in the same season, I’ll be more ready.

Needless to say, it was a good trip because aside from shopping, I got to taste Thai food again. There is a random Thai resto along the streets in Kumamoto which was surprising. I’ll add that to the list. Lolololol❤️9:13 PMLikeForwardCopyUnsend

What’s nice about living in Japan?

Japan is more than nice when you finally live in the country in the Japanese way. More than the food, culture and tradition, what makes Japan a beautiful country is the feeling of being home although you are alone. The serenity and peacefulness you get from nature, the silent crowd you’ll meet on the train or the downtown area- these are just some of the factors that make Japan a home.

Despite the lack of communication and the communication barrier I always get when things get lost in translation, Japan has its way of making me understand that misunderstanding and conflict resolution are part of life especially in work and in day-to-day living- even just in ordering a cup of coffee!

Needless to say, nice is a word I wouldn’t use to describe life in Japan. It’s a combination of good, bad, nice, easy, difficult and the like.

Raine’s Story

How hard is it to live in Japan as a foreigner?

When I first came to Japan, I remember having a tough time in my first few years. I live in Kagoshima prefecture and cities here are not as English-friendly as the other big cities like Fukuoka Tokyo or Osaka. I also didn’t have enough knowledge of their native language back then. So with that being said, I wasn’t able to move freely because of the language barrier. But on a positive note, people here in Kagoshima are nice and friendly and are always willing to help especially when they learn that a foreigner is struggling because of a lack of knowledge of the Japanese language. So I would say it was hard at first but because I learned how to reach out and ask for help, things turned out fine.

Asking for help a lot of times in your first year may be uncomfortable and may make you feel dumb and helpless at times, (I know that for sure), but put that thought aside and treat it as a learning experience. You’ll see that the next time you need to do something, you’ll then be able to do it on your own. As long as you are not asking for help because you’re just being lazy and taking advantage of people, then You. Will. Be. Just. Fine.

Good experience

I can’t even choose one. So I would say when my Japanese churchmates were all out helping me with the city hall thing. It was so hard because of the language barrier. They didn’t have any staff for English-speaking people.

Bad experience

So yes, most of them are friendly but sometimes you’ll still encounter people who are not willing to accommodate you because your Japanese is broken. And that happened to me once. I understand though, it was in a grocery store full of people and they were just probably busy.

What’s nice about living in Japan?

It would be having a government that supports everyone equally. On top of that, I admire the education system in Japan. Japan is the place to be if you are raising a kid.

Hann’s Story

How hard is it to live in Japan as a foreigner?

Language barrier. I think it’s hard to communicate with Japanese even if you are using polite words that they might take as rude for them. It’s hard for me to construct or express what I want to try to explain in a very polite manner that even I have to use the softest voice. Even for most online shopping, banks, or stores, are all in Japanese unless someone can speak English so you have to learn their language. Unlike in my country, there will be always English translations.

Share your unforgettable experience

The unforgettable experience I have here was when my mother came to visit me. I have been through a lot, especially with the visa application process and the expenses. I was emotionally drained and about to give up, but when my mom came, it was fun that we were able to bond together. It was calming to know that I am still welcome even if I fail. We went to different places in Japan which made me forget all the worries I was feeling and became hopeful.

What’s nice about living in Japan?

Everything here is convenient. This well-established country with the highest technological expertise that’s entrenched in the Japanese Culture seems very
helpful to live in.

See you on my next blog for another story, “MY STORY”.


What about you

What’s your life story in Japan?

Please let us know!

Great thanks to for making my blog graphics more beautiful. Credits to them.


Verified by MonsterInsights
Copied title and URL