Life in Japan (Vlog Ep. 11)

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I have so enjoyed getting to know life in Japan in my brief time here. For me, it’s the little idiosyncrasies of daily life that provide the most insight into local culture. And despite my living in a little quiet suburb of Tokyo, life in Japan is far from boring.

Since I’m still relatively new to the place, I’ll save my random observations of life in Japan for a later date. To get me into the swing of things, I met up with a long-time colleague, Turner of Once a Traveler, who has been in and out of Japan over the last 11 years.

Living in Japan looks something like this! #Japan #Tokyo #expatlife #expatinJapan #TheProfessionalHobo

This post was originally published in 2017. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content.

Just a few days after arriving in Tokyo, he threw me into the deep end by taking me to Shibuya Crossing; the world’s busiest intersection, in the world’s most populated metropolitan area. For more on that experience (including video), check out Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo – Jumping Into the Deep End.

Tokyo at night

After brazenly taking ourselves and my selfie-stick into the middle of this frantic intersection (much to Turner’s embarrassment), we went to Starbucks on the second floor overlooking the intersection (now there’s a piece of real estate) to chat about life in Japan. I turned on the camera, so you could peek in on our little chat.

Tokyo Harajuku

Life in Japan, with Turner of Once a Traveler

We covered off topics like what brought him to Japan the first time (and how many people like him do the same thing), and what kept him coming back.

He shared his thoughts on Japan’s culture of people working themselves to death (literally), and how the Japanese have health insurance dialled in (especially in comparison to the United States).

And I learned something new about why people are dead-silent on public transportation – a refreshing change of pace given how overwhelmingly crowded the Tokyo metro can get.

Tokyo Ginza area

Turner is living in Japan for the foreseeable future, and given the comfort, safety, food, and cultural whirlwind that the place is, I don’t blame him; life in Japan is pretty sweet. Check out the video below to watch our chat about life in Japan.

Life in Japan

Can’t see the video? Click here to watch it on YouTube.

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6 thoughts on “Life in Japan (Vlog Ep. 11)”

  1. While there, could you delve into the gaijin experience of an expat?

    I know several expats in Japan have spoken of difficulties in living in a homogenous society that does not always tolerate them.

    • Hey John,
      Absolutely! On Monday I’m publishing a post about intercultural love in Japan (not that I have any personal experience on the topic), and a few weeks after that a post coming about why I could never live in Japan.
      Suffice to say, it has been a very interesting process of living here for this relatively short time!

  2. Hi Nora,
    I Traveled Japan at the end of 2016. I went for 4 weeks and stayed for 8. It is a very diverse culture and while I would not want to live there, I loved every moment. I realized too late that in order to find Japanese people to speak with, the best way is to take small or private cooking classes or similar- But, from the average person and not the most highly rated. If you find the right people they will be happy to talk in depth and help in any way possible.

    I’m enjoying your post and wishing to return. By the way, can you please post a link to a Turner’s blog.



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