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Doga-TV > Lifestyle > Things we WISH we knew BEFORE moving to JAPAN 来日前に知っていたかった事

Things we WISH we knew BEFORE moving to JAPAN 来日前に知っていたかった事

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Published on 03.31.2016 Japan is one of the leading countries in the world for technological innovation, which has resulted in outsiders imagining the country as a futuristic place where many things are possible. While this may be true in certain aspects, there will be cases that surprise visitors, and especially those with intentions for long term stay in the country.
With its unique culture, climate, language and environment, Japan is very different from the Western world. If you are moving there (or simply travelling), there are certain things that should be taken note of to make this big step a little easier. Here they are:
Skincare/ Haircare/ Drugs:
While Japan is famous for having high quality products, it can be daunting at first trying to figure out which product is the best one for you, especially if you have zero Japanese. So, it is best to bring products that you normally use when moving to Japan to avoid having to learn about an endless array of new products. However, it could also be that products sold in your country are not for sale in Japan, or if they are, they would be imported which would increase the price you pay.
The local climate should also be taken into consideration when packing these items. The winters in Japan are dry, while summers are very humid. You will need to adapt your skincare and haircare routine according to the climate. So, while in winter you would require more moisture, in summer you may need hair products to keep your hair from becoming uncontrollably frizzy.
Drugs are of special notice as regulations regarding them change from country to country. For example, while it is perfectly legal to buy melatonin over the counter in the US, in the UK it requires a doctor’s prescription. So, if there are certain drugs that are essential to you, it is best to buy them in advance.
Clothing:
If you are on the small side, then this won’t necessarily affect you, however, finding the right size clothing can be difficult for those considered “big”. This applies to men over 6 feet tall and women over 5”8, and shoe sizes 10 and 8 respectively. This is not to say that it is impossible to find. There are some shops that specialise in bigger size clothing, but this would need getting to know the area and finding these shops. If the climate is very different to where you are from, it is highly advisable to purchase your clothing (this includes underwear, as well) before moving to Japan.
Flexibility:
Or the lack thereof.
When at a restaurant or any place that sells food you will be surprised that you get only what is on the menu- no more and no less. This means that you can’t have the tomatoes taken out of your burger or ask for an extra sauce. For some bewildering reason, the restaurant system is inflexible in catering to different needs and tastes. You can try asking, but the likelihood is that it won’t happen.
Credit cards:
It may come very surprising that credit cards are not widely accepted in Japan. A country that all outsiders imagine as the place where the latest technology is in place, actually is not very much into credit cards. There will be some places that accept them, such as supermarkets and shopping malls, but these are very few. When you need to pay for food, transport, tickets and so on, they will all require cash. Hence, it is best not to rely on credit cards for most of your expenses.
However, if you are still thinking of using a credit card, it is best to apply for a specialist one that is intended for being used abroad. These cards usually don’t charge extra for being used abroad and tend to give the best exchange rate (the kind you can’t get on the high street), therefore helping to make your money last longer.
Trains:
This is something many people that don’t realise even after living in Japan for years, but it is very convenient to use. When taking a train, you can buy a ticket for each journey, or you can buy a card (around ¥500 deposit). The card would function as an Oyster card (used in the UK) or an Octopus card (Hong Kong), whereby the owner adds money to the card and uses the card to touch in and out wherever s/he goes. This way, you only need to touch in and out, and the ticket fee will be automatically deducted from the card (instead of looking up ticket prices, then buying, then not forgetting to leave the ticket in the ticket machine). Nice and easy.


Source: Rachel and Jun (Youtube)

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