Tokyo: What are your tips for making the most out of life in Tokyo as a foreign resident?


Jonathan Gaspar
Teacher, 28 (American)

You need to be aware that the Japanese have different expectations of you than people back home, and learning the language is so important. I came here five years ago but have been learning Japanese for nine years.

Joy Waller
Editor, 29 (Canadian)
Talk to local Japanese people in bars. In bars, people tend to be more relaxed and open. You can find out all sorts of local information as well as learning things that perhaps are a little more off the beaten track.

Bob Stroud
Judoka, 30 (English)
One thing that has made life easier for me is the judo. I think it is important for everyone to get involved in something directly connected to Japanese culture. Sports, especially judo, are a great way of doing this.

Steve Harris
Elementary school teacher, 44 (Canada)
One needs a willingness to be open towards different ways of doing things. In teaching, the methods here differ from Canadian methods. It’s important not to be overly judgmental at first, but try to see the benefits of these different methods.

Chu Li
Taxi driver, 25 (Taiwanese)
Tokyo is very confusing. It is important to learn your way around. For my job I must learn street and building names. It has really helped me to fit in living here — not only in my job, but also in my normal life.

Rast Angeline
Student, 21 (French/German)
It is very easy to hang out with other foreigners, as there is the obvious cultural similarity. You should resist temptation and instead try and hang out where local people are. Mixing with locals will help you settle in.

Living outside Tokyo and interested in gathering views in your neighborhood? E-mail community@japantimes.co.jp