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In London, considering moving to Tokyo

In London, considering moving to Tokyo

Old Oct 23rd 2005, 10:18 pm
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Default In London, considering moving to Tokyo

Hi there,

My girlfriend (Japanese) and I live in London and are considering moving to Tokyo. Just thought I'd do a reality check with the help of who already lives there, and see if my expectations are plausible.

There are several reasons for which we'd like to move.
- General interest in a (very) different and fascinating culture, lots of new things to learn and experience
- Culture of respect and avoidance of personal conflict
- Much lesser yob/binge drinking culture/violent crimes
- Safer environment in which to raise children (we have none, but are considering)
- Proper customer care
- Less oppressive government / more freedom (this is clearly not the main reason, but I'm really starting to have enough)

On the other hand, there are things I'm gonna miss, or that I'm worried about:
- In London you are never too far from a park, a wood, even a forest! My girlfriend and I love nature and we spend most weekends just walking, picking mushrooms, chestnuts, etc.
For what I've seen in the one month I spent there (and for what she tells me) in Tokyo it's a different story, and you have to travel by train for an hour or so to go somewhere nice.
- I may have problems with the heat/humidity, but I guess you get used to it...
- I hear rents/house prices are crazy. How has the market been doing recently? Could you suggest any links to websites where I can get an idea of prices? (Preferably in English)

Any comments very welcome!


Cheers,
Julian
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Old Oct 23rd 2005, 11:53 pm
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Default Re: In London, considering moving to Tokyo

Originally Posted by pizza
- Much lesser yob/binge drinking culture/violent crimes

- Less oppressive government / more freedom (this is clearly not the main reason, but I'm really starting to have enough)
Get booze from vending machines which is great...not much violent crime, but it can be very nasty out there when it happens....

oppressive governement, perhaps not, but the news aren't allowed to present anything disparaging against the royal family...

As for greenstuff, maybe not in Tokyo, but then you'll probably have to commute in anyway because it's arse numblingly expensive for anything bigger than a shoe box within the city...and there's plenty of countryside to visit, yeah, and hours commute by train, but the train service is very good...and also cheap flights to Oz as well as the rest of asia....well relatively at least.

Humitidy won't be a problem in the city as A/C is everywhere and the A/C is goood....

http://www.sakura-house.com/

http://tokyo.craigslist.org/apa/

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2200.html
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Old Oct 24th 2005, 1:16 am
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Default Re: In London, considering moving to Tokyo

All of what Bob said, but...

At the weekend you won't be the only one escaping the city (esp on Sundays) and it can get very busy.

The humidity, I don't know if you can ever get used to it, over July and August it was normal to have almost every day over 30 C with about 80% humidity - and it doesn't get any better over night. It has only in the last week started to cool down - low 20's now.

The biggest issue may be employment and sorting out your visa etc. Unless you can speak good japanese you choices will be very limited - teaching english for example.
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Old Oct 24th 2005, 9:16 pm
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Default Re: In London, considering moving to Tokyo

Go to the Japanese Embassy on Piccadilly and pick up info from the Cultural and Information Centre. Maybe best to call ahead first. They may have different opening hours to the Embassy.

Are you even eligible for a visa to live and work in Japan when you aren't married to a Japanese?

Your options may be very limited if you aren't fluent in Japanese (at least spoken) and getting around would be pretty difficult if you can't decipher kanji, e.g. on public transport.

Another important factor about living in Japan is can you eat native, i.e. Japanese food? Otherwise, if you pine for branded Western food, you'll have to be earning a pretty packet, to afford a "taste of home".



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Last edited by NC Penguin; Oct 24th 2005 at 9:20 pm.
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Old Oct 25th 2005, 12:40 pm
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Default Re: In London, considering moving to Tokyo

Something that you do need to consider is that Tokyo sits on top of no fewer than three (I think) fault lines, and is considered overdue for a major earthquake... and despite all the precautions that have been taken, the truth is that nobody really knows what the consequences will be. It's such a densely-packed urban area that casualties are likely to be high even if most buildings remain standing.

Rents *are* colossally expensive (isn't Tokyo real estate meant to be the most expensive in the world?), which is why most salarymen live an hour or more outside Tokyo and commute in.

On the plus side, it's a tremendously vibrant and exciting city, and the language is nowhere near as difficult as many people seem to think - you can learn basic get-you-by Japanese in a few months. I studied Japanese at a weekend class in London for about six months before going on holiday last year, and in that time I learned to read hiragana and katakana and got enough spoken Japanese for most tourist situations.
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Old Nov 10th 2005, 12:26 pm
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Default Re: In London, considering moving to Tokyo

[QUOTE=GarethR]Something that you do need to consider is that Tokyo sits on top of no fewer than three (I think) fault lines, and is considered overdue for a major earthquake... and despite all the precautions that have been taken, the truth is that nobody really knows what the consequences will be. QUOTE]


Your such a scaremonger Gareth !!!!!
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Old Jan 19th 2006, 11:10 am
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Default Re: In London, considering moving to Tokyo

Escaping hellhole London was the best thing I ever did. I was in a similar situation to you just over a year ago, and came here to satisfy a life's dream and to be with my J-girl. If you haven't checked it out already, hop over to www.gaijinpot.com, which has a lot of specific forums for folks in Japan, as well as jobs, places to stay and so on. On the job front www.jobsinjapan.com has a fair few, and will give you an idea about what sort of money you'll be looking at.

If you have fluent Japanese, your options are quite broad, but otherwise you'll be looking at one of two avenues of income at first: EFL teaching or recruitment consultancy work. The latter, I am told, is gruelling and very cut throat, but can potentially lead to good cash, if you are willing to give your life over to it. The latter, my own chosen source of dough, varies in pay and conditions. The better end of the market, the uni sector, needs at least a masters in TESOL, but the language schools will take people fresh off the boat a lot of the time.

The summer is a killer, for sure, but is soon over, and as the previous poster said, aircon mostly puts paid to that.

Tokyo is pricey, but often its priciness is exaggerated. expect to pay roughly the same as the tube for the metro, eating out is much cheaper if you shop wisely, and rent is similar, or slightly cheaper than london. in london i paid 375 quid a month for a bedroom an hour outside the centre of london. now we pay ¥90,000 (about 450 pounds) for a pretty small apartment ten minutes from downtown Shinjuku.

As for getting around without kanji, tokyo makes it very easy for you. i'm getting there now, but almost everything is signposted in romaji. it'd be worth getting your kana down first though, which helps out in a bind.

give me a shout if you have any other questions. or post a bit more about your japanese level/background/what you're looking to do etc.
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Old Jan 19th 2006, 11:25 am
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Default Re: In London, considering moving to Tokyo

Originally Posted by pizza
Hi there,

My girlfriend (Japanese) and I live in London and are considering moving to Tokyo. Julian
Hiya make sure you've got deep pockets ...lol was there last fall and sooo expensive, although London is almost catching up...exciting city...good luck
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