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01-30-2009, 06:58 AM

To add contrast - my experience was the opposite. I found my standard of living shot up off the charts when I moved to Japan, and has stayed there in my opinion when compared to that of most people I know in the US.

I think it really depends on what you prioritize in your life. Someone who loves the land and is a farmer will likely find their "quality of life" much lower in a city, while at the same time someone who loves the city will find their "quality of life" unbearably low if they were to move to what the farmer would consider paradise.

Although I lived without any heating for a while in the US before coming here, the lack of central heating made me raise my eyebrows at first... Now I loathe it every time I encounter it in the Japan or the US. It`s like you`re in a bubble all year round and have little connection to the seasons. I`m a happier and healthier person now that I really notice the seasons and feel some sort of connection to them. Before, cold weather or hot weather was just inconvenience between the house and car - which is sad in a way. Not to even mention the incredible waste of electricity heating/cooling a whole house year round is.

Transportation... Well, I will say little other than where I lived before it took 10 minutes by car to the grocery store, longer to other shopping venues - even though it was in a "city". Public transportation? Buses that didn`t always come, let alone be close to on time.
In Japan, I can be anywhere in the city by public transportation, and know exactly when I`ll get there.

Lack of a clothes dryer is inconvenient at times, but ends there. My clothes have lasted longer than I could ever imagine them lasting with a dryer. I still have stuff that I bought before I came to Japan that is still in good condition. But yes, it does sort of suck when you want something to dry quickly.

------------

At this point though, I consider my standard of living very high. We live in a large condo, with a large yard. We have heating/cooling units in each room of the house, heated floors, and a dehumidifying unit in our bathroom for drying clothes quickly or on rainy days (3 hours for a load). We have a dedicated 100Mbps FTTH line to our condo, a full HD television, high speed reliable cell phones, etc etc. We also have a car, and access to wonderful public transportation.

I cannot say that I could see myself ever moving back to the US. I would feel that my standard of living had dropped.

I see it as quite unfair to judge the general standard of living in a place based on your bad experience in a crappy apartment. I am completely sure I could find something worse in your home country. It all hinges on what you invest into your lifestyle. If you don`t invest all that much - of course it`s going to suck.


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01-30-2009, 07:07 AM

There's just alot of people who says they want to live in Japan because of their ambitions to see these JRockers and it's amazing pop culture. They would'nt even think about the culture shock they will experience. I admit i want to visit Japan someday, but the thought of living there never entered my mind. Sure, US may be in their worst economy, still, I just don't know how I can live in a non-english speaking country.

It just depend on the luck of how succesful you will be. Some can be lucky and have a very nice life there, but not everyone can be lucky.


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01-30-2009, 08:15 AM

Nyororin, in no way was my post a dig at people who live in Japan. In fact, I don't use my dryer in the US for the very reason you said (and it is a big drain of electricity).

My point was to put an inkling of a notion in the head of those that say "I want to live my life in Japan" that there is much more to life in Japan that you don't ever even imagine affecting you. Some of those things are positive, and some negative.

As someone who has done it for a few years and is now back home, I don't feel the pull to do it again. I do keep Japanese and Japan as the prime factor in any work I do, and since college I have only had one non-Japanese boss (when I was a Japanese teacher). I love visiting Japan and look forward to every chance I have to go, but crossing the line to living there again is not on my to-do list.
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Smile 01-30-2009, 08:36 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MMM View Post
Nyororin, in no way was my post a dig at people who live in Japan. In fact, I don't use my dryer in the US for the very reason you said (and it is a big drain of electricity).

My point was to put an inkling of a notion in the head of those that say "I want to live my life in Japan" that there is much more to life in Japan that you don't ever even imagine affecting you. Some of those things are positive, and some negative.

As someone who has done it for a few years and is now back home, I don't feel the pull to do it again. I do keep Japanese and Japan as the prime factor in any work I do, and since college I have only had one non-Japanese boss (when I was a Japanese teacher). I love visiting Japan and look forward to every chance I have to go, but crossing the line to living there again is not on my to-do list.
MMM
YOu are a deep thinker I must say and I enjoy your posts. You are correct when you say that life is not easy over there at all. Just as in any foreign country it never is. I do believe that if you plan you will suceed, but I never wanted to live over there just live there for 1-2 years and come back state side. I really want the expirence for my children, well really my whole family. I have been blessed in the fact that I was stationed there for 2 years, and my dad was a pilot until he retired, and I visited with him before I was out of high school, we used to go all the time. That being said anime buffs, and people who have never been there have a rude awakening because if you do not have a plan or ambition you can forget it.

Last edited by rukia29 : 01-30-2009 at 09:05 AM.
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01-30-2009, 08:54 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MMM View Post
Nyororin, in no way was my post a dig at people who live in Japan. In fact, I don't use my dryer in the US for the very reason you said (and it is a big drain of electricity).

My point was to put an inkling of a notion in the head of those that say "I want to live my life in Japan" that there is much more to life in Japan that you don't ever even imagine affecting you. Some of those things are positive, and some negative.
Don`t worry. I don`t feel that you are taking a dig at me in any way. I just wanted to offer my perspective of it. And, well, also because some of the complaints posted had a lot more to do with how much was invested in life in Japan and not actual standards of living.
If you only invest in a b&w tv, of course you`re not going to see colors, so to speak. If you start out thinking of things in a very short term view, you`re going to be much much more willing to get by with something really awful - rather than invest in something that you`re going to have to eventually lose anyway. If the apartment was awful - you could have moved. But I`m almost 100% sure that the thought would have been crushed by "Why go to all that trouble when I`ll be leaving soon anyway." Which, in a short term situation, is surely the right choice. But when you change perspective, and had been thinking in longer terms it would have made sense and probably changed your quality of life dramatically.

Basically, I just see it as a bit unfair to pull out the phrase "quality of life" in reference to a whole country rather than your own life choices. It`s all very subjective, so there is no right and wrong, good and bad when it comes to this sort of thing. It`s all up to your personal choices and perception.

I agree that some of the more... naive... members could do with a dose of reality. The thing is, I`ve pretty much given up as 95% of the time they`re in no position to actually make it to Japan regardless of what they may say... And the law itself will prevent them from just "living" in Japan should they somehow manage to pull off getting over here.
I think the biggest thing they need to realize is that life in Japan requires just as much (if not more) effort as living elsewhere. Simply leaving your home country will not magically alleviate your problems. You will not be handed a perfect life on a platter.

On the other hand, if you do understand this and put forth the effort, there is the possibility that you will find your quality of life higher in the end.


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01-30-2009, 10:42 AM

Ill be honest; I don't want to live in Japan either. I visited only for 10 days a few years ago, and although I loved it, i could see that i just isn't the type of life i want.

Don't get me wrong, I Love Japan and I really want to go again, for longer.. but not for more than a few months.




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01-30-2009, 09:14 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyororin View Post
Don`t worry. I don`t feel that you are taking a dig at me in any way. I just wanted to offer my perspective of it. And, well, also because some of the complaints posted had a lot more to do with how much was invested in life in Japan and not actual standards of living.
If you only invest in a b&w tv, of course you`re not going to see colors, so to speak. If you start out thinking of things in a very short term view, you`re going to be much much more willing to get by with something really awful - rather than invest in something that you`re going to have to eventually lose anyway. If the apartment was awful - you could have moved. But I`m almost 100% sure that the thought would have been crushed by "Why go to all that trouble when I`ll be leaving soon anyway." Which, in a short term situation, is surely the right choice. But when you change perspective, and had been thinking in longer terms it would have made sense and probably changed your quality of life dramatically.

Basically, I just see it as a bit unfair to pull out the phrase "quality of life" in reference to a whole country rather than your own life choices. It`s all very subjective, so there is no right and wrong, good and bad when it comes to this sort of thing. It`s all up to your personal choices and perception.

I agree that some of the more... naive... members could do with a dose of reality. The thing is, I`ve pretty much given up as 95% of the time they`re in no position to actually make it to Japan regardless of what they may say... And the law itself will prevent them from just "living" in Japan should they somehow manage to pull off getting over here.
I think the biggest thing they need to realize is that life in Japan requires just as much (if not more) effort as living elsewhere. Simply leaving your home country will not magically alleviate your problems. You will not be handed a perfect life on a platter.

On the other hand, if you do understand this and put forth the effort, there is the possibility that you will find your quality of life higher in the end.
The reason I don't want to live in Japan really has nothing to do with the apartment I lived in...that would be pretty short sighted if I did. Basically the sacrifices I would have to make in my lifestyle now are not outweighed by the benefits I would gain by living there.

A love for Japan is not necessarily realized in living there. I love Japan, and have never had a job since college that didn't involve Japan or Japanese. I visit as often as I can, but sacrifices I am willing to put up with on a vacation I am not as willing to put up with for a lifetime.
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01-30-2009, 10:14 PM

I figured a thread like this would surface one day given how many hundreds of "i want to move to Japan" threads there are. I believe both MMM and Nyororin bring good idea's to the table that many people should pay attention too. I have not had the opportunity to stay in Japan for longer than 3 or 4 months and each time it was on business with my stepfather or just a vacation i can say i have not lived there in every sense of the word. I love experiencing things that's what i live for, do i want to live in Japan for extended amount of time yes 3 years or so, do i want to stay there forever no because i have many other countries i would like to go live in and experience as many cultures as i can before i turn to dust.

The biggest problem i have is when people seem to want to use Japan as excuse to try to run away from something. How many times have we heard (i hate my home country living in Japan will be so much better) this person has never even left their home country yet Japan seems like the answer to their prayers. "The grass is not always greener" its not just Japan its going to take work to live in another country weather it be Japan, China, Russia or Brazil.

I for one love Japan mainly history and the traditions i have no urge to be Japanese i love my diverse heritage which in some countries would be looked at the norm or interesting (i have 7 different cultures running in my blood) but not so much in Japan.

As i stated above both MMM and Nyororin stated some very nice details that i think will help lots of people. I will point out 1 of each and so of you would do well to pay attention.


MMM: "A love for Japan is not necessarily realized in living there. I love Japan, and have never had a job since college that didn't involve Japan or Japanese. I visit as often as I can, but sacrifices I am willing to put up with on a vacation I am not as willing to put up with for a lifetime."

Ask your self what you are willing to give up and what you are not willing to give up. You can find many answers for yourself weather you should actually try to move or not with just a little thinking this not only applies to Japan but others countries as well. Once again the grass is not always greener. Save yourself the aggravation and unhappiness and make informed decisions using a thought process or dont be surprised when stamps F on your forehead for "FAIL"

Nyororin: "I see it as quite unfair to judge the general standard of living in a place based on your bad experience in a crappy apartment. I am completely sure I could find something worse in your home country. It all hinges on what you invest into your lifestyle. If you don`t invest all that much - of course it`s going to suck."

If you are going to make a move somewhere you need to invest in it 100% and give it a chance not 10% not 20% but 100% otherwise you will find many unhappy things that will make you go this sucks im going home, you will also start looking for reasons to go home. Spending a few months in Japan is not really living it doesn't count as a tourist you are only going to see a fraction of society and how it operates on regular basis. If you are serious you need to do it wholeheartedly every country has it flaws in standards of living i could pick out just as many in the US as i can in France, China or Japan. The point is if you don't really give it a chance how will you know if its really for you or not. Would you buy 60K car without testing driving it first? If you time in Japan ends up sucking because you didn't really give it a chance whose to the blame you or the country?

Nyororin, MMM thanks for the great post you guys i think if posters seriously read your post they themselves can answer a lot of their own questions.

oh btw Nyororin did you get my PM?



Last edited by Sinestra : 01-30-2009 at 11:26 PM.
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01-30-2009, 10:35 PM

That's a great summing up, Sinestra. It's a deeper subject than we usually get into here, but definately worth mentioning.

Less than 6 months after arriving I chose to spend Christmas and New Year's in Japan. I didn't expect how much I would miss the traditions I was accustomed to until I actually did it. I chose not to spend another winter holiday in Japan, and went home for Christmas ever since.

This is just one (though a major one) of dozens of the senses of sacrifice I didn't expect, but am not ready to experience again on a long term basis.
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01-30-2009, 10:42 PM

Well that's awesome, I like when people say how hard it is to live in Japan because THAT'S WHAT I WANT. To me, living in Japan is a personnal challenge and I think it should make me better. I think that hard experiences can only make you better. I want to prove myself I can do it. Hurray for volcanoes!
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