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Yoyogi in Tokyo

Pros and Cons of Living in Japan

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Feb 04, 2023

Summary: The pros of living in Japan include the country's rich culture, excellent public transportation system, and high quality of life. Additionally, Japan is a safe and secure country with a low crime rate. On the other hand, the cons of living in Japan include the high cost of living, language barrier, and cultural differences. Additionally, Japan is a very crowded country, and the weather can be quite extreme in certain areas.

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What do expats in Japan appreciate most about the local culture?

"Expats in Japan often appreciate the emphasis on community and respect for the collective. Japan is a great country to be in for those who enjoy group activities such as local festivals, parades, and other traditional activities. There is a strong sense of tradition and respect for ancestors that permeates the culture, which is attractive to many foreigners. The warm hospitality of the Japanese, their politeness and willingness to help, are also appreciated. In addition, the country's long-standing culture of courtesy and etiquette is a great draw for expats just starting out in Japan. The delicious food and stunning scenery are also major draws for many expats," replied an expat in Japan.

"I appreciate the transportation system that is in place. It is convenient, clean, and on-time. I liked how close I lived to a grocery store and the station," remarked another in Tokyo.

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What do expats find most challenging?

"Expatriates often find the cultural and language barriers the most challenging. Moving to a new country can involve a difficult transition that many struggle with, as they may have difficulties understanding local customs and the language. Integration into the new country's culture can also be daunting, as it involves a great deal of effort in adjusting and making social connections. In addition, practical aspects of life in a foreign country such as financial matters, legal systems and paperwork can be complicated for expats to navigate, sometimes requiring assistance from a specialist. Finally, if family members do not join the expat, being apart from them can be very difficult," replied an expat in Japan.

"You have to read body language very carefully in Japan. No one ever explicitly tells you "no," so you have to pick up on their rejection via body language. I did not think this would be difficult for me, but I now think this would be difficult for any American moving to Japan. You have to be aware of it at all times," remarked another in Tokyo.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Yoyogi in Tokyo

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