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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?

Tokyo

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

No

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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?

No

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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?

No

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!!!

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Get a quote for expat health insurance in Japan from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

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An expat talks about the challenges she's had adjusting to the culture in Japan, where people are much quieter and keep to themselves compared to the US. She explains that even acquaintances keep to themselves and this makes it hard to feel connected.

Culture Shock in Tokyo

An expat talks about what it's like moving to Tokyo. It took some time adjusting to the crowds and culture, but he's happy now and looking back the culture shock wasn't as bad as he anticipated.

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