Crown Relocations

Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Tokyo, Japan

Aug 18, 2015
Submitted by Jessyca

Tokyo, Japan

A woman who moved to Japan discusses the culture shock she experienced, learning the language, legal issues she faced and more.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?


Did you receive any cross-cultural training for your move abroad? If yes, was it before or after the move?


Expat Health Insurance

Choosing an expat health insurance provider is an important decision. Take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. Sponsored by CIGNA.

If they speak another language in your new country, do you speak the language? If yes, did you learn the language before you moved or while abroad? If no, are you planning to learn the language?

I Didnt speak Nor did I study Japanese before I came to Japan! I took Some lessons as in writing hiragana / katakana And some useful kanji - characters and, of course, basic conversational daily used (slang) Japanese for females!

Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?


How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?

I was A but frustrated as they seemed more in culture shock themselves

Expats often talk about going through the "stages of culture shock." Examples include the honeymoon phase, the irritation-to-anger stage, the rejection of the culture stage, and the cultural adjustment phase. Do you feel like you went through these or any other stages as you settled into the new culture?


What, if any, were some of the changes you noticed in yourself that might have been caused by culture shock? These might include things such as anger, depression, anxiety, increased eating or drinking, frustration, homesickness, etc.

Frustration and isolation

What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?

Community - spirit and the phrase gambarimasu (to keep on going strong And never give up!)

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Facing at all times discrimination as a foreigner, a woman and being single with a child at age 47!

Did you "commit" any embarrassing or humorous cultural blunders? If you did and you'd like to share them, please do tell!

Yes, verbalizing my anger and frustration against lawyers and judges who told me you are not married what are you still doing in japan go home!!!

Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?

Try to keep open mind and heart about living and working abroad, but you don't have to accept discrimination as being the outsider while you are trying to speak the language and obeying all rules and laws!!!

Read Next

10 Tips for Living in Japan

Did you know that washers and dryers are often placed on the balcony or in the kitchen in Japan? Did you know that trains are the best way to travel in Japan? Expats in Japan share their tips for living in Japan.

International Schools in Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo has many international schools and bi-lingual schools for expat students. Here are several of the more popular options.

5 Tips for Living in Tokyo, Japan

Expats in Tokyo enjoy the capital city of Japan, which is a sprawling metropolitan area. Here are some tips to help expats navigate a relocation to one of the biggest economies in the world.

Crown Relocations

Write a Comment about this Expat Report

Sign In to post a comment.
Join Today (free)

Join Expat Exchange to meet expats in your area or get advice before your move. It's FREE and takes 1 minute!

Copyright 1997-2018 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal