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Moving to Japan/Gift giving 2010/7/21 07:21
I'm coming to teach English in August and I am practically having nightmares about giving gifts...

First of all I have NO IDEA what to give as a gift. I thought perhaps keychains or postcards of my country (I live in the Caribbean). Also, I don't know WHEN to give the gift....

One of the HR peeps is picking me up from the train station sooooo do I give a gift then...perhaps when we arrive at the office??? Whaaaa???

by dendoo (guest)  

. 2010/7/21 10:44
You don't have to give a gift especially for some guy who's only doing his job to pick you up at the airport (or wherever).

Nor are you required to give gifts out just for being a new employee at the company.

If you were to go on vacation and come back form vacation, generally you might want to pick up some tokens when coming back from that vacation. But not when you are first day on the job.
by ExpressTrain (guest) rate this post as useful

No need 2010/7/21 18:39
I agree with ExpressTrain- the HR guy won't expect a present, and probably won't be all that interested in postcards and keychains anyway.

There isn't anyone you'll be meeting when you first start teaching that you really need to give a present to unless you are going to stay in a homestay situation.

I also agree that you should wait until you go home for a holiday, if you do, to worry about bringing gifts from home.

A lot of people seem to have the idea that even coming to Japan as a visitor they will be expected to hand out gifts to various people- this isn't the case.
by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

thanks 2010/7/21 21:41
Cool, I was under the impression that I had to bring gifts. I still think I want to bring a gift for the lady who is coming to pick me up though. It was really tough getting all my stuff sorted out and she worked really hard. But now that I know I'm not obligated I got one pressure off my back.
by dendoo (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2010/7/22 03:57

The custom of gift-giving in Japan is not too different from the custom of gift-giving in (I've never lived in the Carribeans but) say the U.S. or Western Europe.

If you feel obligated to someone, feel free to bring her a box of candies or something. Wouldn't anybody? But if she's being paid for, gifts aren't a must. Feel free to hand out small tokens such as key-holders. You don't really have to do that, but still they're no harm.

I know a Japanese guy who often travels to Western countries on business, and he brings along some inexpensive tokens, just in case he encounters kind people who goes out of their way for no money. For example, when his car broke down he handed a tiny gift to the person who offered him a ride.

Just keep in mind that anything over the top will be a burden to the receiver. Also, in Japan, the person who moves in goes to the next-door neigbors to greet them (perhaps with a gift worth 1000 yen or so). The neighbors won't bother to come to your door to greet you first.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

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