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First impressions of Japan.

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.

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First impressions of Japan.

Postby zboy1 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 10:55 pm

Hey everyone. I'm here in Tokyo, Japan with a family member. So far, I've only been here a few days but what I've seen in the country is very impressive. Japanese people are incredibly polite, friendly and always willing to help when you ask for directions. As for being called a 'gaijin' or foreigner, I've heard it twice directed at me, but I wasn't insulted or anything. I think the first time was kind of racist, but still...I didn't crawl into a ball. I think Ladislav is a little too sensitive about the word, but like I said, maybe it's because I have a 'thicker' skin.

The country is amazingly clean, and the technology here is also amazing. The toilets are so complicated, though. lol.

Japanese women are decent looking, but nowhere as attractive as Chinese women. That's my opinion so don't flame me in this thread.

Japanese men seem to have a weird fetish for schoolgirls, but I have to admit some of them look pretty attractive in their uniforms. But, I still think it's a little like pedophilia and a little creepy.

I'll be in Kyoto soon, probably in a few days. I hope to meet some people on the forum here. I know you guys want me to post pictures, but it's a hassle to do it. But I'll try. I'm in a China group with a couple of the guys, and I've already sent some pictures that way.

Anyway, that's what I love about traveling; I get to experience new cultures and meet new people.
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Re: First impressions of Japan.

Postby zboy1 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:00 pm

Btw, a family member had a stop-over in China--and she wasn't impressed. She said Chinese people were rude, the pollution was terrible in Shanghai, the streets were filthy and some Chinese, in her words, were pretty 'anti-American.' When she gave up and said she was Korean, then Chinese people started warming up to her and were more friendly towards her. LOL.

She loves Japan, though.

I told her not to judge China by Shanghai. I like Southern Chinese more than Northerner's. Also, I like China--even with all of it's quirks. I'm a Chinaphille! :oops:
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Re: First impressions of Japan.

Postby Blue Murder » Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:35 am

zboy1 wrote:I'm a Chinaphille! :oops:

I believe "sinophile" would be more appropriate.
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Re: First impressions of Japan.

Postby Yohan » Wed Nov 18, 2015 2:44 am

Nice to read you arrived in Japan. Welcome.
Contact me any time. Regards, Yohan
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Re: First impressions of Japan.

Postby droid » Wed Nov 18, 2015 3:24 am

That's great zboy, good for you. Thanks for reporting, and yeah pics would be nice :mrgreen:
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Re: First impressions of Japan.

Postby Yohan » Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:38 pm

zboy1 wrote:.....for being called a 'gaijin' or foreigner, I've heard it twice directed at me, but I wasn't insulted or anything. I think the first time was kind of racist, but still...I didn't crawl into a ball. I think Ladislav is a little too sensitive about the word


I think so too. There is no reason to complain about the word itself.
I have no idea about Ladislav and how fluent he is in both spoken and written Japanese or at least in written Chinese.

The word gaijin 外人 in general is not derogatory or racist, it depends on the content, why during any conversation this word is used.

There are components in Japanese like 外人投資 (investment by foreigners) or 外人墓地 (graveyard for foreigners) etc.
How can these words be discriminating?

The word has 3 meanings:

1 - a person in Japan you can see he or she is obviously a foreigner in your community because of his or her looks, clothes, language etc. (but you can use this word also for a black African immigrant in Sweden etc.)
2 - a person who does not belong to your family or friends, an unknown person (might be a Japanese or non-Japanese in Japan)
3 - a person hostile to you (anyone, Japanese or non-Japanese)

Rem. to 1 - The opposite is 邦人 hojin, which means a Japanese living abroad.

Further:
外国人 gaikokujin
means a foreigner
a person living in Japan holding a foreign nationality (even if he or she looks like a Japanese)
or any foreigner living in a country which is different from his or her nationality (for example a German in France etc.)

The opposite is
内国人 naikokujin
this means a person holding Japanese nationality in Japan, or any person living in the country of his or her nationality.

And what about people, who are 50/50?
Young people in Japan think quite different compared to people 50 years ago, and some replies to this interview might surprise you.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5s-8HEq7NW0[/youtube]
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Re: First impressions of Japan.

Postby chanta76 » Wed Nov 18, 2015 6:45 pm

yohan,

Does Japan have allot of foreigners? I imagine most of the foreigners in Japan are from other Asian countries but what about other nationalities? Do Japan welcome them or are the foreigners in Japan forever a foreigner?

Another question is why would someone want to move to Japan? I mean I heard it;s very expensive to live there and hard for a foreigner to get land or even get jobs.
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Re: First impressions of Japan.

Postby Adama » Thu Nov 19, 2015 6:11 am

Not pedophilia because those women have each had their menses. They are not pre-pubscent. But I imagine the reason they like school girls is because they are half naked, young, fertile women who are walking around everywhere. What is not to like about it (if it doesnt bother you morally seeing half naked women everywhere)? Practically every man likes that. And you dont?
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Re: First impressions of Japan.

Postby zboy1 » Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:26 am

So I've met Yohan and I have to say, he's a very interesting guy, and he's probably been 'Happier Abroad' wayyyyyyyyyyyy....before most of us were born. I think you could say, he's the pioneer of HA movement.

He's been traveling since the 60s and 70s, so that should tell you something there.

I'm planning to meet others HA members here as well. It's been a great trip so far.
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Re: First impressions of Japan.

Postby Adama » Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:53 am

zboy1 wrote:So I've met Yohan and I have to say, he's a very interesting guy, and he's probably been 'Happier Abroad' wayyyyyyyyyyyy....before most of us were born. I think you could say, he's the pioneer of HA movement.

He's been traveling since the 60s and 70s, so that should tell you something there.

I'm planning to meet others HA members here as well. It's been a great trip so far.


Well I hoped you bowed before his majesty.
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Re: First impressions of Japan.

Postby Yohan » Fri Nov 20, 2015 7:58 am

chanta76 wrote:yohan,

Does Japan have allot of foreigners? I imagine most of the foreigners in Japan are from other Asian countries but what about other nationalities? Do Japan welcome them or are the foreigners in Japan forever a foreigner?

Another question is why would someone want to move to Japan? I mean I heard it;s very expensive to live there and hard for a foreigner to get land or even get jobs.


http://www.tourism.jp/en/statistics/
There are a lot of foreign tourists in Japan, you can see their nationality when clicking on the link above.
Most of them are visafree, permit between 15 days and 3 months, some of them can extend up to 6 months.

Foreigners, who stay in Japan holding long-term permits 1 year or longer, there are about 2 million people, the majority are Chinese (both Taiwan and mainland China) Koreans (both, South and North Koreans) Latin American Asians, often with parents who have a Japanese background, Filipinos

http://www.stat.go.jp/english/data/nenkan/1431-02.htm

Use the link above, statistic no. 2-14 will give you more details in English.

People like myself from Central Europe living in Japan are rather few, Japan was never an interesting place for Western immigrants. As far as I know them, many are with Japanese family, income is not really a problem as there are various jobs available in international trading companies, foreign car importers, cargo freight handling, shipping, airlines, large hotels, Western restaurants, trade fairs...

Japan is importing and exporting many items, materials, any kind of machinery, electronics, translators, international schools, foreign government related offices etc. etc. - There is no problem about immigration/visa and working permit, if you can present some educational background and a reasonable employer.

Why to Japan, instead to other Asian countries? Well, in Japan you are safe, you do not run out of money easily if you have a regular job as a professional, medical bills are not a headache either, as any foreigners for long-stay is within the Japanese National Insurance cover.

About crime rate against Western foreigners, it is almost zero.

Japan has plenty of cheap air links every day to almost every city in Asia, easy to travel from Japan. If you stay longer, your 1 year visa will be extended to 3, 5 years and finally to permanent residency, and then you can buy also land/house, you will be without working restrictions, almost like a Japanese national - rules are very clear about that. Conditions to enter Japan for long-stay are not bad at all.

Yes you might qualify under certain conditions for Japanese nationality, but most Western foreigners prefer resident status for life-time instead of it. The question is either/or. You must decide. I am EU citizen and Japanese permanent resident. My own country, Austria (EU) and Japan have bilateral agreement and do not accept dual citizenship.

About a Western foreigner in Japan, I enjoy to be a foreigner, why not? My looks are not Japanese, my native language is not Japanese, etc.

However I was facing very rarely any discriminating behavior from Japanese people. My 2 daughters are 50/50 and there are no complaints from them either.
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Re: First impressions of Japan.

Postby Alepeno » Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:16 am

According to me japan is kinda a good country. For living as well as for tourism also. I have been explored this country a few time again and i must say that it was such an brilliant expericne for me. I'm sure that i'll have nice sort of time there if i'll be there again. That will be a fun thing to explore the other places of that country which i have not explored yet.
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Re: First impressions of Japan.

Postby Yohan » Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:17 pm

zboy1 wrote:So I've met Yohan and I have to say, he's a very interesting guy, and he's probably been 'Happier Abroad' wayyyyyyyyyyyy....before most of us were born. I think you could say, he's the pioneer of HA movement.
He's been traveling since the 60s and 70s, so that should tell you something there.
I'm planning to meet others HA members here as well. It's been a great trip so far.


It was interesting for me too to meet Zboy1 in Northern Tokyo. For the first time I met a HappierAbroad member in person.

As he is an Asian American of Korean origin he can be easily mistaken for a Japanese except if you talk with him. He was in Japan for the first time and I am happy that he got a good impression about this country so far. We will see what he is reporting when back to US or to China.

In Northern Tokyo he stays in an area with few Western foreigners, it was easy for him to recognize me immediately.

I suppose he is still in Japan traveling around for sightseeing. I think he will be back soon and let us know more about his trip.
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Re: First impressions of Japan.

Postby chanta76 » Sun Nov 29, 2015 3:05 am

Yohan,

Is it necessary to speak Japanese in order to find work in Japan? I imagine in the long run it is but if someone decides to just move there how would he or she start to get establish?
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Re: First impressions of Japan.

Postby Yohan » Sun Nov 29, 2015 4:24 am

To have a good knowledge of spoken and written Japanese surely helps a lot, because if you cannot communicate in Japanese, what can you really do for an employer who is able to sponsor your visa/working permit and offer a salary which will be accepted by immigration as reasonable?

Maybe a language school, any place who needs a proof-reader like a publisher, maybe any technical work, computer network administration, programming or so with foreign companies...? It depends of course on your educational background.

About 96 percent of the population are Japanese, and maybe 2 percent are Chinese and Koreans, born in Japan or living here since decades, others are from South America, children of former Japanese immigrants.

The question is really who cannot speak Japanese in Japan? Only a few, some business visitors, some tourists, some Filipina housemaids, some foreign diplomats and CEO who are using a bilingual secretary, US-military servicemen....

Without Japanese language life is getting difficult here, especially outside the big cities. You are more or less an illiterate.
Japanese are not very good in using foreign languages. After arrival most foreigners learn quickly as there is no other choice for them.

As far as I can say about our German speaking community, many of them have Japanese family, stay in Japan often over decades and can communicate in Japanese and also same is true with my working place, we do not accept anybody for employment, who cannot speak/write German, English and Japanese.
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