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decision to go to japan 2013/7/10 09:48
For those of you who left your home country and now live in japan, how did you come to the decision to get up and leave everything and go to japan? Was it an easy decision for you?

I graduated a year ago and have been working full time for a year and about to be finished with my CPA exams and am planning on going to language school for 6 months to a year after my exams. I am unsure about leaving because I think it might stall my career and just leaving everything behind, but I am half japanese and have always wanted to experience living there. I visited many times and I love it.
by happa (guest)  

Re: decision to go to japan 2013/7/10 14:39
Hi Happa
So i too am half Japanese and upped and left to live in Japan the first time when i was 21. I had visited 6 or so times before then. I was studying a Biomedical Sciences degree at the time but it wasn't doing it for me but upped and left after 3 years. So that is a bit different to your circumstance.
I have now lived in Japan 3 times and each of those 3 times have been the best 3 periods of my life by a long, long way and i have had some amazing times in my home country.
As for stalling your career, well it may but it may not (how helpful is that?!). I completely changed careers and yes, it may have set me back a few years but for the experience of living in Japan, the career hiatus was an easy trade off. I think the fact i've done it 3 times now shows how much i loved it. I'm now settled in my life back in Australia and on par with and even ahead of most of my friends in terms of career progression but they don't have that amazing experience to look back on of having lived in Japan, or anywhere overseas for that matter.
Whilst in Japan, i didn't do any work that would help my career choices back home but that wasn't why i went. I loved Japan and just wanted to experience living there, I also wanted to get to know my Japanese relatives better but the 2 things that made my time incredible there (each of the 3 times) was the new friends i made and just being there (as bland as that sounds). Your reasons may be different and your experiences will be different but being half Japanese so already having a connection, I would be a bucket load of money that if you do it and i ask you in a year's time, 'how was/is it?', you will feel just like i do.
As the God of Swooshes says, Just do it!
by halfnhalf rate this post as useful

Re: decision to go to japan 2013/7/10 14:50
thanks! that's pretty much how I think it will be. just wanted to hear other peoples personal experiences. What did you do the 3 times you went there? teach english, language school, or just hang out? If school, what school?
by happa (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: decision to go to japan 2013/7/10 15:12
So i did a bit of all 3.
The first time i spent a year teaching English at one of the chain schools. You hear a lot of negative press around them but if you accept that it is the McDonalds of English teaching then it's fine and i had a great time doing it and the people i became close friends with were amazing.
The second time i lived in a small country, beach town near where my mother grew up in southern Shizuoka and i first worked delivering newspapers! Yep, up at 1:30am and then again at 3pm, 6 days a week. Surprisingly, it was easy to get used to and i didn't mind it. It's amazing what crappy job you will do overseas and enjoy it, simply because it's so different. I then moved into PR for the newspaper which was more sleep friendly. I lived there for 6 months then moved up to Tokyo and did bar work in a Karaoke club for 3 months (best job of my life! It was so much fun but crappy pay and not much of a career) then worked in a women's clothes store in a department store in Kawasaki. Very interesting times and I had NO idea what i was doing which made it all the more funny and memorable. Also had to practice bowing and saying thank you every morning...
The 3rd time I studied at Hosei University and taught English in the evenings so got to experience the student life there. A tip for all budget travelers. Get your meals in the cafeteria of a university. Soooo cheap!
You'll probably have completely different experiences to me but if you ask 100 people who have lived there, I wouldn't be surprised if 99% have similar stories to me and the remaining 1% were just never born to live away from home.
by halfnhalf rate this post as useful

Re: decision to go to japan 2013/7/10 15:21
man that sounds amazing! I was thinking about trying to find a part time job there as a bartender. that sounds fun. my family is from a small town in shizuoka too, not near the beach though. lots of rice patties out there! How long were you able to stay there? Do you have a child of a national visa or have ever heard of one? Im planning on going to tokyo.
by happa (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: decision to go to japan 2013/7/10 15:35
No, my mum gave up her Japanese citizenship when she married my dad so it's funny that she has to go on a tourist visa when she goes back.
My mum grew up in the middle of nowhere too, a place called Morimachi. I just by chance ended up in Hamamatsu about 30km away.
Bar work was a lot of fun for me and a friend worked in one of the most infamous of gaijin bars, Gas Panic! in Roppongi and I would've thought it would be terrible but he enjoyed it (didn't love it though). So pick your place carefully. Pay isn't great either. Teaching English will give you double or triple your bar work pay.
Not sure which country you're from but you could also get a working holiday visa. A few more restrictions but easy to get. Having said that, the child of a national gives you a LOT more freedom with work and you won't be restricted by time.
by halfnhalf rate this post as useful

Re: decision to go to japan 2013/7/10 15:58
oh im near numazu. im from the u.s. Yea that's what i think too. It lasts 3 years I heard and you can renew it no problem for another 3 years.
by happa (guest) rate this post as useful

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