The day starts early for Nirmal Singh. Ninety minutes before he begins work at either 6 a.m. or 7:30 a.m. (it varies) on a farm in Chiba Prefecture, the 26-year-old from Uttarakhand state in northern India makes sure to get some exercise in.

His roommate, 21-year-old Shiv Kumar from Haryana, also in northern India, opts for a little extra sleep over exercise, waking up with just enough time to offer a quick prayer in the little temple he has set up in his room.

Both men traveled here in August 2022 as part of Japan’s Technical Intern Training Program (TITP). They landed a spot on the farm in Chiba, their lodgings not much different from a Tokyo share house: both have their own rooms to sleep in, and they share a common bathroom and toilet. The kitchen is part of Singh’s small space, both men use it to prepare their Indian-style meals as, they confess, they haven’t quite taken to Japanese food yet. On the whole, they say they’re rather content.