Are you thinking about moving to Japan but unsure if you’ll be happy here? Maybe you don’t know if you’re suited to live in Japan, a country so different from your own? Find out here whether or not you have these traits for someone living in Japan!
Japan is like a new lover.
After you find an initial interest in them, you go to their social media and look at their profile. They seem so dazzling, unique, and unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
You fantasize about this new lover, creating an image of yourself, happy by their side. It’s your ideal life.
When you actually get to know your new lover, you realize that they are nothing like what you imagined. They have flaws, they’re morals are different from yours, and you’re suddenly put off by how cold they can seem. Their image online seems like a different entity from reality.
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Traits to be happy in Japan
Japan is like this as the Internet can distort it’s image into some sort of magical land. With the bright lights of Tokyo, quirky anime characters, and talking robots, it makes it seem like a distant world. Unattainable, many people can only dream of going to Japan.
This one-of-a-kind charm that Japan has is what draws people to the nation. Whether it be the people, food, history, or language, thousands will move to Japan every year with hopes of starting a new, exciting life.
You may be thinking of moving to Japan, but you are unsure if you’ll enjoy it. You don’t know if you’re suited to be in a country so different from your own.
Look no further, for here are seven traits of someone who will be happy living in Japan.
Being thick-skinned is perhaps the most important trait for someone moving to Japan. Otherwise, you’ll always feel like you’re being judged.
Considering Japan is an extremely homogeneous nation and has been since it’s creation thousands of years ago, many Japanese people still hold prejudice towards those of different races.
Blatant racism in the form of talking about your appearance in front of you, or outright staring is a pretty common occurrence depending on how non-Japanese you look. If your skin color, hair color, height, or other features are different from a typical Japanese person, it will stand out and people will look at you.
Most comments tend to come from passing children who have no filter. Usually you can brush it off, but sometimes it can be a daily thing and become exhausting. It takes a thick-skinned person to respond with patience and not let these kinds of remarks get to them.
Being able to handle Japanese savagery and still go about your day will lead to a tougher personality, and success in Japan.
2. Willing to Learn Japanese
A happy man in Japan, is a man who learns Japanese.
Unlike other countries with large communities of bilingual immigrants, Japan doesn’t have any other common languages than the one and only. Although English is used commonly for things like advertising and caution signs, the majority of people in Japan don’t understand more than the absolute basics.
Therefore, someone who doesn’t try to learn Japanese will find themselves constantly frustrated at their incompetence of being able to be independent after moving to Japan.
While the country is slowly starting to cater more services in other languages, the majority of essential procedures like opening a bank account or looking for an apartment are widely in Japanese.
If you want to truly dive into and immerse yourself in the culture, you need to learn Japanese. Only then will you be able to fully enjoy all it has to offer.
3. Improving Yourself As A Person
Unfortunately, a lot of people will move to Japan in hopes of hitting the Japanese clubs and picking up some beautiful Japanese woman.
Japanese nightlife is fun of course, there’s no doubt about that, but when one’s entire goal for coming to a country is to hit on girls, it can only lead to disappointment.
Setting a goal to improve your internal self such as becoming a better businessman, or becoming self-sufficient, can change your perspective when living in Japan. You’ll be able to grow as a person as your life becomes more developed with the amount of effort you put in, and you’ll be surprised by how rewarded you’ll feel when your hard work pays off.
So many people move to Japan hoping to have fun everyday with the Japanese locals. But, they fail to put in any effort of bettering themselves so that they can better understand Japan as a whole. It takes a lot of patience to be able to fully integrate into society, but Japan is a place that values hard work, and eventually it will all pay off.
4. Willing to Follow Rules
Japan is a very orderly country. People who appreciate order and cleanliness will be happy in Japan.
However, on the other side of that, people who are stubborn in their own ways or morals will find it hard to live here. As foreigners, there is a tendency to continue doing things “because that’s what we do in our country”. In anywhere that you go, you should try to honor the societal rules, but in Japan this is especially important.
Unfortunately, the Japanese look down harshly on those who don’t follow the rules. It may be something as small as making a phone call on the metro. While it’s a seemingly innocent chat, it’s frowned upon within Japanese society. A Japanese person would think someone who is using their phone on the train is loud, and it’s discouraged.
That being said, Japan isn’t one of the safest countries in the world for no reason. The majority of people follow rules when you live in Japan. More than that, they value the norm and will try their best to obey societal expectations.
An adventurous person would be happy in Japan. With hundreds of little shops and underground venues, there is no end to finding cool new nooks to go to that night. When socializing with friends, most people like to go drinking together, as a way to get to know each other better.
In fact, hanging out at someone’s place of residence is reserved only for the closest of friends and you’ll find most people out and about, even just wandering around.
Particularly in Tokyo, it can be difficult to meet new people despite being in a major city. That’s because Japanese people don’t typically participate in small talk, and instead find bars or shops to go after work. These are the best places to meet people.
6. Easily Adaptable
As a foreigner, there are bound to be things you won’t understand when you move to Japan. There are some everyday things that seem so bizarre, and have been deeply rooted in what is now known as the usual.
From ATM machines charging you withdrawal fees, to porn magazines being out in the open at convenience stores for anyone to see, there are a lot of questionable aspects about Japan.
The best thing for someone to do is to accept these changes in their daily lives and try to adapt to it as best as possible.
Instead, trying to understand why things are the way they are, is the best way to learn about Japanese culture. “When in Rome” after all.
It’s crucial to be open-minded in a lot of these situations as a lot of things will be shocking to you.
Tenacity is important for those who are planning to start a career in Japan. It is infamously known that foreigners either work at restaurants or as an English teacher when first arriving in Japan.
If you can’t speak decent Japanese and don’t have a visa sponsorship then there really aren’t other options for you. A lot of people who are not at all suited to be teachers take up the job as a means of coming and living to Japan, then find themselves depressed as the repetitive days of reading an English textbook to students tends to get boring real quick.
Once you leave the English teaching field, you will be challenging yourself.
Along with your successes, there will be failures. It’s frankly unavoidable. And it’s to be expected considering you are seemingly doing work in a foreign language.
Ask questions. Work harder. Make a fool out of yourself in Japanese but get back up and keep trying.
Many people in Japan will be willing to help you. They are accepting of those who try their best to speak their language, and you may find that those you work with will be your source of encouragement and motivation.
In Japan, it’s not uncommon for someone to work at one company for the rest of their life. This means that there is room for mistakes, and people are expecting you to make them. Tenacity is what you’ll need to keep improving.
Happy in Japan?
Do you think you will be happy in Japan? Let us know in the comment section below! Due to social media and popular mainstream culture of Japanese games and anime, it can distort the image of Japan onto the world.
This leads to people from all over the globe to come and live in Japan with big hopes. With hopes of exploring a new culture, or to live in one of the major cities in the world. It is truly an amazing country, and there’s something new to do every day.
Want to find out more about Japan? check out Step By Step Guide On How You Can Move To Japan
Victoria participated in an internship in Chiba when she was eighteen years old. She’s wanted to come back ever since and is now working in Tokyo. She enjoys finding unique shops and hidden places, and you can often find her with her laptop in a café, drinking the weirdest drink on the menu.