|photo credit: http://www.lolbrary.com/|
Here are the most frequently -asked questions about living in Japan.
Check here for: FAQ's on Teaching English in Japan.
Check here for: FAQ's on Working in Japan
1. Do I need to learn Japanese if I live in Japan?
Life would be so much easier if you can speak and read Japanese. But the language should not stop you from coming here. You'll survive (and you'll eventually learn some Japanese) if you move here.
2. Is Japan an expensive place to live?
I used to think Japan is an expensive place because I keep on converting everything to peso. Eventually, I realized that Japan is a reasonable place to live in. The bulk of your expenses will go to rent especially if you live in big cities. I think housing is the only expensive thing in Japan.Other than that, you can buy affordable clothes, food, things and necessities if you know where to look.
Check this post, Just Moved to Japan: Where to Buy Affordable Things
3. Can I migrate to Japan?
You can work in Japan but becoming a permanent resident is difficult. And, becoming a citizen is almost impossible. The Japanese government grant citizenship to those who have "Japanese blood," such as children or grandchildren of Japanese people who intermarried.
A lot of studies have cited that Japan needs to ease it's immigration policies because of the aging population. But as of the present time, it seems like the "no immigration"policy is as solid as ever,
4. How are foreigners treated in Japan?
There is no straight answer to this except it depends on what country you came from.
The Japanese are not overtly discriminatory nor racist but there's a difference in their treatment among different colors. I'm Asian so the Japanese are not as interested with me as when they see an American or European.
Check this post for more details, Is There Racism in Japan?
With these being said, the Japanese are generally polite and helpful to foreigners. But it's rare to find a Japanese who will not make your "not being Japanese," a glaring detail.
5. How is the radiation problem in Japan?
Because of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, some people are still afraid to come to Japan. The radiation and nuclear meltdown are still issues 5 years after the Big Disaster. However, these happened in the northern part of Japan. If you're planning to live in the Central Area or South Area, you are less prone to these problems.
6. Where are the best places to live in Japan?
This question is hard to answer. It really depends on what you want to do in Japan.
The big cities are great for party people. There are also plenty of jobs there.
The smaller cities like Hamamatsu are calmer and perfect for starting a family.
The more rural places are more peaceful and more closely-knit.
I live in Hamamatsu and I really like it here. It's a small city bordered by the sea and the mountains. I love nature so I like it. There are also plenty of jobs here since there are many factories in the area.
7. What should I prepare before to Japan?
Cash and patience.
For practical reasons, you'll be needing cash to rent a place and buy the things you need.
Patience, and understanding too, because the Japanese are not entirely easy to deal with. Some banks and shops don't want to deal with foreigners, especially the newly-arrived ones. Rental can also be a problem.
Check these posts: Living in Japan
8. What bills should I pay when I live in Japan?
The bills are the most annoying things for me. There's two taxes you have to pay, residence and prefectural tax, There's also the income tax which your employer will deduct from you, There's health insurance but you still have to pay 30 percent of your medical bills. There's the national pension. And the NHK payment if you own a TV. There are many bills, basically.
Japan is a generally nice place to live. It's convenient, safe and clean. But it's not perfect like any other place in the world.
Good luck if you're moving here!