Expat Exchange
Free MembershipSign In
Allianz Care International Health Insurance
Allianz Care International Health Insurance

Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Tokyo, Japan

Sep 02, 2019


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.

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?

Yes, after the move.

Get a free international health insurance quote from our partner, Allianz Care, whose plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget.
Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance in Japan

Get a free international health insurance quote from our partner, Allianz Care, whose plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget.
Get a Quote

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 do not speak Japanese and I don’t plan on learning it.

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

I was not worried, because I have traveled to many Asian countries before and have experienced the major cultural differences already. But, I would advise to others to do their research on Japanese culture before moving to Japan, because there are a lot of unsaid rules.

Moving to Japan Soon?

AGS Worldwide Movers can move you to and from anywhere in the world. Presently the AGS Group has over 141 locations in more than 95 countries and has one of the largest networks in the international removals industry. We relocate 85,000 families every year. Free moving quote!

Moving to Japan Soon?

AGS Worldwide Movers can move you to and from anywhere in the world. Presently the AGS Group has over 141 locations in more than 95 countries and has one of the largest networks in the international removals industry. We relocate 85,000 families every year. Free moving quote!

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

My culture shock wasn't significant. I've already visited Japan before I moved, but visiting a country is very different to moving and living in a country. I struggled with homesickness and feeling alone, but I remedied that by getting involved with various hobbies.

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?

For me personally, I feel I went through those stages in a very minor way. I expected the worst outcomes for when I moved to Japan, and when it wasn't the worst, I was pleasantly surprised.

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.

I experienced homesickness and mild depression. I have learned to cope with it by getting involved in my community. Also, I experienced anxiety due to the overwhelming crowds of Tokyo, but I have adjusted.

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

I appreciate the public transportation system, the cleanliness of everything, and everyone's courtesy.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

The crowds are the worst for me, but I also frequently get frustrated by Japan's traditional way of thinking.

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

I was on the train and it rocked and I wasn't holding onto anything. I fell over onto an older lady and I was mortified, but she was very nice about it.

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

Make sure to get involved in your local community and expat community. It helps a lot.

Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Expats TokyoTokyo Guide

Expats, digital nomads & retirees talk about what it's like living in Tokyo.

Japan Index Tokyo Index
An index of all of our site's Tokyo information.

Expat Healthcare Advice in TokyoHealthcare & Health Insurance in Tokyo

Expats in Tokyo offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Tokyo.

Digital Nomad Life Tokyo Living in Tokyo

More about what it's like living in Tokyo.

International-Schools-in-Tokyo,-JapanInternational Schools in Tokyo, Japan

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

Japan Forum Japan Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Japan on our Japan forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Contribute to Japan Network Contribute
Help others in Japan by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Japan.

Expat Healthcare Advice in JapanHealthcare & Health Insurance in Japan

Expats in Japan offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Japan.

Real Estate in JapanReal Estate in Japan

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Japan.

Pros Cons of Living in JapanPros & Cons of Living in Japan

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what digital nomads & expats have to say about the biggest challenges and the greatest rewards of living in Japan.

Moving-to-JapanMoving to Japan

If you're moving to Japan this is a must-read article highlighting tips from expats.in Japan. Topics covered include driver's licenses, healthcare in Japan, international schools and more.

Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Expats TokyoTokyo Guide

Expats, digital nomads & retirees talk about what it's like living in Tokyo.

Japan Index Tokyo Index
An index of all of our site's Tokyo information.

Expat Healthcare Advice in TokyoHealthcare & Health Insurance in Tokyo

Expats in Tokyo offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Tokyo.

Digital Nomad Life Tokyo Living in Tokyo

More about what it's like living in Tokyo.

International-Schools-in-Tokyo,-JapanInternational Schools in Tokyo, Japan

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

Japan Forum Japan Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Japan on our Japan forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Contribute to Japan Network Contribute
Help others in Japan by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Japan.

Expat Healthcare Advice in JapanHealthcare & Health Insurance in Japan

Expats in Japan offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Japan.

Real Estate in JapanReal Estate in Japan

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Japan.

Pros Cons of Living in JapanPros & Cons of Living in Japan

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what digital nomads & expats have to say about the biggest challenges and the greatest rewards of living in Japan.

Top-10-Tokyo-Neighborhoods-For-ExpatsTop 10 Tokyo Neighborhoods For Expats

Expats in Tokyo have several neighborhoods worth considering when they move abroad. Individual needs, such as proximity to work, international schools in Tokyo and other factors will help determine the best choice for each expat and expat family.

Guides to Cities in Japan
Tokyo
Country Resources
Health Insurance Moving & Shipping More Resources

Copyright 1997-2022 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal