Is it hard being 30 and moving to Japan? Q+A v2


Hey everyone, this is the QA for March although, I’m filming in April because I’m kind of slow This is for the patreon people so here are the questions Hi, Greg. This is NYX. No need to say my last name. Thank you very much because I couldn’t do that The question is my girlfriend And I love to watch life where I’m from and she wanted me to ask you some questions Do people in Japan buy mostly of their things when they go on sale? Like do they only buy new clothes our toiletries when they go on sale, or do they just buy goods when they need to? Without accounting for sales I know in America people go crazy during times like Black Friday. Yeah, I’ve heard of that We have that similar thing in Canada Do the Japanese also have a tendency to shop for bargains? And what are the common brands people buy? Thanks a lot, okay, so I do know people buy on sale My wife and my sister-in-law they like to do it because maybe at the store on a Tuesday or on Sundays they have 10% discounts or on the 8th of the month eatle yoga dough has a sale so at least I know from my personal family experiences that they do shop for sales and The malls always have like some type of special sale going on People are aware of it they do it do they do it more than what I would see in Canada I’m not too sure. I think it’s fairly similar, and I also think depends on what? social economic scale you have You know how much money you have and whether you have to wait for sales or not, but yeah people do popular brands or common brands Uniqlo is a big clothing one. It’s kind of for the It’s an affordable Type of clothing store we shop at it quite a bit, I think it’s quite popular for Furniture, I would say like Natori. That’s a pretty big name, so that’s really popular For other stuff there’s nothing that comes quickly to my mind, so I’ll leave it at uni Cloney Tony. Those are fairly you know common household type stuff things you can get Okay Q and R Q no K and E not Q&E looking back at life in Japan. What is the biggest gaijin mistake? You’ve made in public In public I’d have to say I might have answered this before for a different question but it was one of my first times at a sento a public bath and I’m going to blame this on my wife because she made me do it I Had shin, and he was just a little baby still in diapers And she told me to put a swimmer on on him so a swim diaper So I brought that in and this was in the middle of the day, so they had female staff Actually checking the water quality and just making sure things are clean and so she approached me this oboz’ and said you can’t do this and You have to have your I guess my son has to be naked in the own sin on the sento so that was fairly embarrassing Because that was my first experience in Inosanto and I was already getting lectured by nobis Ah, so I was also my first time. I guess naked in public in front of woman so more and more embarrassing Yeah, that was fun times okay, this is NAT KNAT are your kids starting to watch or have interest in enemy yeah, they like anime and I I’d say that Aiko likes more of the same anime that I do And Shin probably likes more of the children based enemy like yokai watch or something like that We’re probably not huge anime fans But we do watch it, so we’re not really otaku a very obsessed with it But yeah, we do watch Simon oust I believe that’s how you say it What would you change about Japan if you could I think I made a video about this and not smoking in Japan That’s my number one thing just watch the video, and you’ll prove. You’ll see my whole argument about it, but I would love not to Inhale secondhand smoke when I want to go to a restaurant by myself or with my family. That’d be a huge change They’ve already done that in Canada and lots of other Western countries I think Japan is about a couple decades behind in terms of that Maybe just a couple bonus one so I’ll add there is And I’ve made a video about this as the work/life balance For Japanese workers. I really think that’d be an improvement both for I think it would help product productivity Honestly is to work less hours, but be more productive But also spend more time to family to be less stress anything would be better so and the third one I Probably get have a third one, but I forget now so I’ll leave that to Jock TF. How would you describe the awesomeness of alpacas I? Have not seen alpacas in person that I can remember so I have a hard time describing it But if I remember from the Minecraft game Shin loves to play they spit on the characters who can actually damage them So I think that is pretty awesome Rick all are Olay I guess depends on if you have an accent in there or not Hey, Greg having lived in Japan for several years and also married to a native Japanese I think it would be good to explain to all those people Thinking that living in Japan is going to be wonderful. It’s not always great my opinion as Japanese are very friendly on a casual basis But to develop a true and lasting Friendship requires as much or more work than North America my question is then how do you feel about that? um I’m not that sociable of a guy. I don’t make very many friends I don’t go and up and talk to people without them talking to me, and this is in Canada not even in Japan so I Think I’m a bad person to judge that I however have made some Japanese friends whether it be people at the sento that I’ve made friends with are people who are parents of in the same school system, and I Felt I’ve made just the same amount of friends or a closest of friendship that I have in Canada But the people I have generally talked to and become closer with they do speak English they have traveled and I think they have a different mindset than the typical Japanese person who hasn’t traveled outside of Japan So I don’t think that’s a very fair Gauge of you know creating friendships or strong friendships you know with Japanese people Just looking at my wife, I think she’s made some fairly strong friendships You know with the native Japanese people and with Japanese people have traveled I still need to Japanese people but people have global experiences so I think though that Japanese people offer a lot of compliments there’s more of a like initial You don’t really get to know the person until you sit down and talk with them but I think once you get to know Japanese people and If you have the opportunity you can become close friends so That’s kind of my judgment on it. I Will say though that I know some American friends they are they’re more likely to tell you their personal history to anyone without much provocation so you probably get more of an insight into American person than a Canadian person are a Japanese person that’s kind of my Two cents about that Okay, Michael. Lau is it hard to find an english-speaking paid tourist guide Tokyo for Tokyo and guma for three-day trip I Honestly, don’t know because I’ve never tried to do that I’ve always had personal native guides or I’ve acted as my own Kai from that so sorry I can’t help you very much there all right so besides patreon. I did ask on Twitter Facebook and Instagram Some people ask questions, so I picked one question from each platform so on Twitter I picked What are the broadband and cellular charges like in Japan? I would say they’re fairly decent More so for the broadband than his cellular is That what time is that do you hear that? That is five o’clock so at certain times in Japan you’ll hear these announcements and this might be asking kids to go home We’ll see Maybe I’m not patient enough to wait for it, but we’ll see if it starts talking. I’ll stop So broadband is fiber internet. I think I pay about 40 bucks and I used to live in apartment $60 because I’m in a house, and it is fiber. So it’s very fast and It’s great so I think it’s just awesome for cellular charges They’re pretty similar to Canada in that they kind of restrict your data At the lower levels speeds are pretty decent though Yeah, I generally only take the one gigabyte plan because I don’t travel that much I know you can’t get unlimited you pay more so I know it’s probably a bit better than Canada, but not the awesomest for For Facebook friend Francesco cover Ricci top Ricci How is a? Beard seen in Japan and I’ve heard that a lot of people are asked to shave daily if I go to work in Japan will It be asked to shave This I actually do not know because I don’t work in the Japanese workplace And I did not ask people when I interviewed them about working in Japan But I think it’s fairly common to shave Most people I see they they do a clean shave. I don’t see many scruffy people like myself Going to work in Japan with the suits I think if you work for a startup company or in the tech side you might get more of the American Silicon Valley type of casual Dress code, but I think for most Areas yeah shaving is a thing that’s just my my personal thought on that Instagram Magnificent Oh clever name there Magnificent t w ro w how can you cope with being over 30 years old? It’s hard. Isn’t it? Old and have family and kids then relocating it to another country to live what’s the biggest challenge? And what do you do you enjoy the most? hmm I Think because I was 30 and I did have family and kids I was quite concerned about it. Honestly because My level of Japanese coming to Japan was definitely not enough to work at regular Japanese companies I could do like things like teaching English, maybe I could have done some specialized business stuff where they require my English skills But I couldn’t just get Any job like I could in Canada my language would be a definite limiting factor So the biggest dress for me is making money For my family providing for them because I was the breadwinner in Canada, and I was supposed to be the breadwinner in Japan I found out I could work online so I didn’t need to work in the Japanese workplace and That was alright because I could kind of create my own hours and work my own pace work from home And so I kind of lucked out in that situation Where I could find online work? So once I had the I guess the money issue sorted out And it actually went way better than I expected I was so nervous And we didn’t know how long we were going to be in Japan For but you know, we’ve been here for five years now, so obviously it has worked out all right for us No everything’s been great Tokyo is also fairly You know it’s a the biggest metropolitan area in the world and I was I’d visited I was nervous about living in here, but I find the quality of life to be quite good and there’s lots of green areas they can get to if you want to and get the space you need so I’m happy and That’s it for the questions. Thank you so much for asking the questions As always thanks for watching, and I’ll catch you on the flipside

64 thoughts on “Is it hard being 30 and moving to Japan? Q+A v2

  1. Although this is unrelated to the video, I'd love to see a video on how the Japanese treat those with mental disabilities. I know you did a short mini documentary on living with physical disabilities in Japan, so I'd love to know more about the mental aspect as well. Like how do they treat those with autism? What kind of support is there for someone who's in a permanent vegetative state? How do they treat depression? Etc

  2. Not sure how I feel about the narrow depth of field in this one but love your videos! Keep up the awesome work!

  3. Can you make a video about getting HOME internet Connection in Japan & also about Pocket router. Please also let use know about the price & other details about it.

  4. Idk why but I like the corner you choose for this video. It's very relaxing & not boring. Maybe Because it feels like you're having a conversation with a friend. Anyway, great video as always!👍

  5. What kind of work do you do online? I'd love to work from home. I can see how advantageous it would be if you relocate or visit a different country.

  6. How is university life in Japan? I have been literally asking you this in both Facebook and YouTube comments?

  7. As a 36 year old American who's been riding the fence on moving to Japan, your commentary actually helped quite a lot. It's frustrating trying to find something that doesn't require college-level education (health issues prevented me from completing my coursework), but if a dad of 2 can make it happen, I have hope. 🙂

  8. Always nice to get honest answers to questions about life in Japan. Do you think you would have wanted to move to Japan if you didn’t have a Japanese wife/family there?
    I just moved back to Sweden after 2 years in Tochigi prefecture, and although I love Japan life there can be pretty hard.

  9. Since you are working primarily through online means, i wonder how you report for tax to the local government in japan?

  10. Hi Greg, I just discovered your videos a few weeks ago and I'm addicted! I love learning about every day life in Japan. You and your family are so lucky to have the cross-culture experience. I'm American, married to a French, and living in France (with two kids). I never see my life reflected anywhere because what sells in the US is always wealthy people living in Paris or something. Definitely not my normal life.
    Anywho. Just wanted to thank you and say keep up the good work!
    Oh, and have you heard of Adam Beck? He's living in Japan and has a blog and book about how to raise bilingual children. He's been a big help for me.

  11. Although I'm not that person's nd I'm not in patreon, I'm kinda happy for that anime question and your answer :'')

  12. I'm curious, does Aiko have a cell phone and is it common for children in Japan to have one? My brother bought my nephew a cellphone and he's 11 which I think is too young. I'm really interested about Japan and social media.

  13. Cool video. I am over 30 and considering staying for a bit in Japan. So these answers are definately useful!☺

  14. Hey, pardon me for my ignorance but I didn't know about this channel lol.
    I'm subscribe to your other one and wasnt aware that you have a 2nd.
    I suggest you do another info blast to let people know.
    Now I have more video to watch… yay ^_^.
    Thanks!

  15. As a american over 30 moving to Japan with his family appreciated your insite on the experience. Would love to see a more in-depth video about this topic. Love the channel and keep it up!

  16. I moved to Japan when I was just about to turn 40, though I didn't have a family at the time. I've lived in a few different places in the world (though all English speaking). I found Japan to be easier for me than other places, which was a big surprise. I wasn't expecting to stay for a long time, but I've been here a total of 8 years (10 years calendar time, but I spent 2 years in the UK in the middle).

    With respect to making friends, I'm like you in that I don't really need or want a lot of friends. There are a couple of other things that people should keep in mind, though. Making friends when you are older is much harder than when you are younger. I won't try to explain why (you can search the internet and get good explanations). It is common for people who have moved to a new place for the first time to think that the place they've moved to is "unfriendly", but it's really that it's just difficult. When you throw the language and cultural barriers into the mix, it can be exceptionally difficult.

    I will say that there seem to be some cultures that have more difficulty in Japan than others. I'm also Canadian and I feel like I fit in here really well. I know very few Americans or British people who as much at ease. Like in a lot of countries, there are strong expat communities in Japan. My experience is that people who identify with the expat communities have a lot more difficulty integrating with Japanese society than those who don't. I got married in Japan and I was really surprised at the difference in experience. I am very close with my wife's extended family. It gives me (and other people) a sense of context. I am not a foreigner here — I'm a member of that family. I don't have children, but I suspect the same thing is true if you integrate well with the other parents at the school (for example getting involved with the PTA, etc).

    My biggest piece of advice to people who want to integrate well in Japan is to spend as much time living in the Japanese language as possible — watch Japanese TV, read Japanese books, speak Japanese, spend time with Japanese speaking people. This give you a much better platform for understanding and accepting the culture. The vast majority of the people I know who have difficulty in Japan also do not speak Japanese well. The other main thing is to avoid judging the culture and especially to avoid comparing it to your home culture. Japan is Japan and you aren't going to change it. I think one of the reasons that Canadians have an easier time than some other cultures is that we don't have a very strong cultural identity. It's easier to accept the Japanese way of doing things because you have less of a moral dilemma to overcome.

    Hope that helps some people! I also love living in Japan and it's my home. I never want to live anywhere else (I had terrible problems with homesickness when I lived in the UK — something I've never before experienced).

  17. Very informative videos as always! It would be really interesting to watch a video about piracy (if there's any) and how much impacts on society.

  18. Life Where I'm From X Do you know If Foreigners can stay at a Japanese nursing home??? For example if I were to move my parents to Japan is it possible for them to get care/ Stay at a nursing home ??

  19. I’m so glad someone asked about being in your 30s, having a family and moving to Japan. That is EXACTLY my situation. I’m 33 now, we have a 10 year old son, and we plan to move to Japan next spring. We’ve lived there before, and have reached a part of our lives which we crave a change, and we immediately thought to return to Japan. We are very excited! Thank you for your input Greg!

  20. Hello. I'm planning a trip to Japan and I have a few questions about clothing. I've heard that people should avoid jeans. Is that true? And if yes, why? Also, as a young male, what kind of shoes would you recommend for the trip? I don't seem to have any easy to slip on/off shoes, and I'd rather not spend hours tying shoelaces. Thank you very much to anyone that answers. And if you see this Greg, perhaps you or your kids can make a video on this subject, I'm sure there are more people that don't know what what clothes to pack for Japan!

  21. USA should have holiday work visa with Japan, and Japan should change 4 year degree requirement for work visa, but I guess they have a reason to choose it that way, because of competition. I'm 25 and still in community college, since I'm stuck with math and science 🙁 I'm good at English though 😀

  22. Hey Greg, thanks for the Q&A!

    So… I returned from my trip to Japan last weekend, here's some stuff related or semi-related I'll input on the topics.
    If you are looking for yet another place to buy clothing and some other stuff like pillows, bedding, bags, etc… Shimomura is the place. We've also been to Ito Yokaido, Aeon Mall and Shisui Premium Outlet (for shopping I mean), which are also great, but Shimomura was probably the best one in terms of discounts. Dude, I live in Brazil which is supposedly an exporter of clothing goods and whatnot, and I cannot find prices to match those even here, even considering that our currency is way less stable and valuable.
    We went to the one in Chiba, it was a tip from a relative who lives there… can't remember the exact name of the neighborhood, but it's one of the stops of the train between Narita and Tokyo. Big medicine university there, as well as an Ito Yokaido nearby.
    To give an idea, the first thing I bought there was a pack with 5 plain white t-shirts for 700 yen (around 7 bucks). Kinda crazy.

    About smoking… I'm a smoker myself (sorry), but let me tell people this: I dunno if it was because of the place we were staying, or because of it just being how fast things are changing, but at least all the places we visited – smoking was stricter than pretty much anywhere we've ever been. That includes the US, several European countries, and of course here in Brazil.

    Smoking on the streets was not allowed apart from some enclosed corners and booths, and all the restaurants and cafes we visited it was either completely forbidden (most of them were), or they had a designated smoking area – but in an enclosed and separate room.

    We didn't go into any restaurant, bar, or whatever that had a smoking area that had contact with non-smoking areas. It was either very isolated, or they didn't have it. And let me tell you, we visited quite a few places, from fancy restaurants to small corner ramen shops.

    On the hotels we've stayed it was either inside a smoking room which was always in a floor that only had smoking rooms, or the hotel had a dedicated room for smokers in the lobby that again, was completely enclosed (sometimes by double doors), and had specific ventilation systems with filters and all. Though we only stayed at 3 different places really, but it seemed to be something all hotels do.

    In all the malls we visited it was also like that. The Ito Yokaido we went had only one smoking room on the basement.
    In local trains it's already forbiden throughout, in express trains too (you can't smoke anywhere), and on the shinkansen you had to go to… again, smoking booths. There were no seats for smokers, no car for smokers, it was a booth in between cars that was isolated and enclosed – like a restroom.

    We were there for 20 days, me and other 7 family members, and really – there wasn't a single day family members (who are not smokers) complained about smokers or had to endure second hand smoking.
    And me, as a smoker myself, had trouble finding places to smoke in multiple occasions… which I really don't mind, because it's a bad habit. But for instance, in Akihabara I could only find a couple of places to smoke – a bigger booth hidden in a corner outside one of the multiple station exits, it was the one harderst to get to – it wasn't the main exit, it was an exit going to the bus terminal station if I'm not mistaken. And another at the basement of a mall that I stumbled upon once and never found it anymore. 😛
    Most shops, combinis and other places you just didn't have a place to smoke. Some tourist maps include information on where you can smoke, but most don't. Lots of people don't know where the booths are.

    The onsen we visited (Kusatsu) also had an isolated booth for smokers, in Kyoto it was also forbidden to smoke in public spaces (but there, most of the booths were open instead of enclosed), in the airport it was also forbidden…
    In fact, I think Kyoto was a bit more lax on it… not in the sense people could smoke on the streets, but most places for smokers were open – just isolated in some corner.

    Every now and then I caught glimpse of someone smoking while trying to hide or run fast, but it was really rare… for a good reason. There were huge signs everywere and anywhere, specially in tourist spots, clearly stating that smoking in public was strictly forbidden, some of them stating the fines you'd get for it. Here in my city there are multiple smokers at every block, it doesn't even compare.

    Again, this is potentially because the places we've been and visited have already changed, or worked differently from where Greg lives and whatnot… but things really didn't look that bad for non-smokers. I'd question Greg if perhaps he's not basing his complaint on past bad experiences more than what is really happening there nowadays, but my stay was too limited and too little time to tell. I heard that things have changed recently and very fast in preparation for the Olympics. But it was my perception, as a smoker. 🙂

  23. Probably late on this one, but could you do a short video on japanese slang? e.g the way younger people speak on LINE, general abbrevations, etc.. Thanks for the content!

  24. What happened to the kids? I notice most of your videos are of you now. It still stays within the Life Where I'm From but not su much the kids anymore.

  25. As a smoker, I totally agree, nothing is worse than trying to eat food when someone is smoking a cigarette near by. It's really gross. I still love that I can smoke in bars though. Don't change that 🙁

    Also I think it's an interesting comment, but most of my Japanese friends are people who I've met in America or who have traveled/interested in traveling outside of Japan. They tend to be much more open minded and out going of people. Less aimai ambiguity you have to go through. They're more open to giving their opinions and straight up saying "no".

  26. This guy is so nervous, is this his first face reveal video?

    I’ve only been living in Japan for 2 years and already it seems like I know more about Japan than this guy.

    He may be like a lot of Gaijin here and just follow his wife/gf’s decisions on everything.

  27. Hi Greg, I have to tell you that you videos are very informative and you can learn a lot from them, in this video for me especially very interesting the question above 30 and moving to Japan cause I am planing to do that. The thing is that I am married, employed with daughter 1 year old and as you said I have doubts if I will be able to handle there and find a job (although I had the possibility to live in Japan for 2 months as a trainee) my wife for example speaks 5 languages so for here it may be easier to find a job but me…well who knows. So not to make it to long, I would be very thankful if you could advice or give more tips about the mission " Moving to Japan". Thank you.

  28. I love your content , both channels. If you haven't , please do a video on Natural Calamities in Japan and how japan bounce back. Also their mentality towards these things, like the workaholic nature, depression , increasing suicide rates but yet how people are very efficient and lovely . I am just putting it out there , I m sure you can get better ideas than me about said topic. Keep up the good work

  29. In India we pay 2$ for 1 month plan===> 1.5 GB/day + After 1.5 gb 128 kbps + Live TV for free + Unlimited music download + …….

  30. the "smoking thing" in Japan is MUCH better than it used to be. I've been going to Japan for about 15 years now and used to get headaches from all the smoke going to eat some place. So much better now days. They still have a ways to go, but you're lucky you didn't show 10-15 years ago.

  31. Just wanted to be one of the masses who say they really enjoy your videos! Good job Aiko, Shin and Greg!

  32. I might want to move there at 26. I really want to go there so badly again, I cant understand how some people move there at 19 since you need to have a certain amount of money. I just want to get married in Japan and I hope its not too late for me

  33. I'm 50 and just recently moved to a suburb of Osaka. I find it cheaper and the quality of life is better. My children love their schools, teachers and friends and our neighbors are friendly and respectful of our privacy. We walk everywhere, using a car only when we have to go to a big box store more centrally located but otherwise we buy local or jump on a train to get to where we have to go.

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