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How did you guys move to Japan?

Muz1234

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How did you move to Japan? What was the process? What was the reason behind for leaving your own country to Japan?
 

Glenski

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I came not with the idea of staying but to look for work in a field I was in at the time. I took up eikaiwa to pay the bills in the meantime, met my future wife, and decided to stay after a couple of years. I put most of my stuff in storage in the States, until it was time to sell it off or send it here piecemeal. By then I was out of eikaiwa and into teaching HS and later university.
 

Muz1234

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What about computers and internet connection? Did you bring a laptop from the States for computer use?
 

bentenmusume

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Internet access is readily available in Japan through numerous providers.

It's easy enough to bring a PC from wherever you are, and of course laptops (and desktops, and tablets, and any type of electronic device) can be purchased in Japan as well.

That said, lots of people today who don't do extensive work on their PC probably primarily browse the internet from their smartphone.
 

johnnyG

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When I came to japan there wasn't any internet, and there certainly weren't any laptops. I shared an office, and a typewriter, with another teacher.
 

mdchachi

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When I came to japan there wasn't any internet, and there certainly weren't any laptops. I shared an office, and a typewriter, with another teacher.
I was going to say something similar but I thought maybe he was looking for more recent information. :LOL:
 

musicisgood

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Air Force brought me here first time. Second time was where my wife's home country is.
 

bentenmusume

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I just realized I never answered the OP's original question.

In my case, I always had an interest in Japanese culture, studied Japanese literature in college and grad school, and then decided I might want to try living here.

As it turned out, I enjoyed living here more than I did living in my home country (the United States), so I decided to stay. Now my job, my friends, my wife, and pretty much my entire life is centered in Japan, and I'm quite a bit happier than I was in the US, so I'm glad I made the decision to stay.

Not that I would necessarily encourage anyone/everyone with an interest in the culture to move to Japan. To each their own, really.
Nobody can tell you where you'll find happiness—it's something you have to discover for yourself.
 

Lothor

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Moved to Japan in 2003 to be with Japanese girlfriend, who I got together with in Britain in 2002. Stayed, got married, had two kids. The interest in the culture definitely helps and for a long time I was a bit envious of people who liked anime, martial arts, kawaii culture, or whatever, who seemed to be having a better time of things. A few years ago I found J-League football, FC Tokyo in particular, and that has made me feel more of a connection to the country.
 

Muz1234

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How much does the visa cost? If from Malaysia, does it require visa?
 

nice gaijin

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How much does the visa cost? If from Malaysia, does it require visa?

Come on man you're on the internet, you can do a LITTLE research for yourself.
 

Davey

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Came here in 2004 to live together with my Japanese wife and have 3 boys now. Didn't had any big interested in Japan before I met my wife so I tried to learn as much as possible when I came here... That much that my mom even told me I lost my identity, but what today as a boy being only 21 years old.
 

hageux

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I just realized I never answered the OP's original question.

In my case, I always had an interest in Japanese culture, studied Japanese literature in college and grad school, and then decided I might want to try living here.

As it turned out, I enjoyed living here more than I did living in my home country (the United States), so I decided to stay. Now my job, my friends, my wife, and pretty much my entire life is centered in Japan, and I'm quite a bit happier than I was in the US, so I'm glad I made the decision to stay.

Not that I would necessarily encourage anyone/everyone with an interest in the culture to move to Japan. To each their own, really.
Nobody can tell you where you'll find happiness—it's something you have to discover for yourself.
Could you please tell me more about it? I'm getting back in college and I have considered a Japanese language bachelors (I've been studying Japanese for two years or so and like you said I've always had an interest in Japanese culture too) but I was afraid I wouldn't be able to move there. Are you a professor?
Edit: I'm using a VPN right now I'm not actually from Costa Rica.
 

bentenmusume

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Honestly, I wouldn't recommend getting a degree in Japanese. I ended up getting a bachelor's in Japanese and a master's in Japanese literature, but that was in part because I really had no idea what I wanted to do with my life at the time. (It's a long story that isn't relevant here, but I had issues at the time and at one point was close to dropping out of college entirely until I found my "passion", so to speak.)

I initially considered moving on to the Ph.D program after getting my master's, but I eventually decided academia wasn't for me and I came to Japan. I was a CIR on the JET Program for three years, then worked as an in-house localization translator for a video game company for ten before going freelance.

My advice for you would be twofold:

1) You don't need a degree in Japanese to learn the language. If you have no other interests outside the language and culture and can't see yourself motivated to complete any other degree, then it's certainly an option (in almost all cases, you will need a four-year degree in something to get a visa). Just don't expect it to open up any career opportunities (outside of academia if you pursue it all the way to the doctorate level). If you have any other interests at all outside of Japan/Japanese (computer science, graphic design, law, economics, whatever), then make that your major and continue to take Japanese classes and study on your own. A Japanese major isn't a guaranteed path to fluency (many of my classmates never reached a level of proficiency that would allow them to function using the language in any real capacity), all that matters is your own effort and focus. Having Japanese ability plus some other marketable skill will make it easier to find work in Japan (esp. work that isn't teaching English; see below).

2) Don't get too caught up on the idea or "dream" of living in Japan until you actually come here. I'd recommend studying abroad here for a year if your college offers it. If you enjoy it, then for the next step find a way to come back after you graduate (e.g. on the JET Program or through some internship or whatever, ideally in a capacity that's not teaching English). After a couple of years living and working here, you'll have more experience to base your decision on. Very few people I know who have made lives for themselves here knew that this is where they wanted to be from Day 1. Stay open-minded and be honest and realistic with yourself about your goals, and with luck and effort, hopefully you'll end up where you belong.

Anyhow, this is just my experience, but hopefully provides some perspective and context for you.

(edited for clarity)

(edit #2 #3:
Whoops, I just saw your most recent edit. In that case, I'm not sure where you're from or what your native language is, but the point remains that the ideal is to find a job that will allow you to make use of and improve your Japanese skills.)
 
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nice gaijin

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All of what @bentenmusume said ☝☝☝

My Japanese degree was my second bachelors, that I just got as an "oh, I have enough credits for that?" situation. I'm eternally grateful for the opportunities afforded me by studying Japanese in college, and how it has reshaped my life since, but I'm glad it wasn't my main area of study.
 

Uncle Frank

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The US Navy sent me to Fukuoka/Hakata for 2 years. The base there was overcrowded when I arrived , so they paid me to live off base. I learned right away that learning the language was a key to making life easier and more enjoyable. I took a college course and got help from Japanese friends. My work in the Navy gave me lots of free time and I got a job in a popular bar as a bouncer which helped my Japanese get better. I fell in love with a Japanese girl after I had been there 6 months. We lived together for just over a year and I planned to marry her. Being young and dumb , I expected her to move back to the US with me. In the end she chose to stay in Japan and I returned to the US. Now , at age 70 , I still feel the 2 years in Japan were the best time of my life.
 
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