Live / life and work in Japan

CodeGeek

Akiba Citizen
Nov 2, 2010
5,192
1,854
Hello everyone, :hi:

maybe starting with something totally different: It's interesting to see what kind of threads in this "Japan Discussion" section exist. Most of them should be moved to the "Adult Discussion" or "JAV Discussion" section. ;)

Okay, but let's get started with the real topic: robbus started a thread JAV Akihabara events (which should have been named JAV events or JAV actress events ;) as it isn't related to Akihabara at all). And there a small discussion started with my post if there any open positions at R18.com in Japan.



The easy way...
Going to Japan, live there and find a job seems quiet hard, isn't it? There are some cases in which people from English speaking countries go to Japan after they finished their school or university and work there for some time as a assistant teacher for English. Some of them get later a real job and stay there (at least for some time).
And some are maybe going to Japan thanks to a holiday working visa.

...which is maybe not the way for everyone
But maybe that is not an option for anyone here. Some are from countries in which English is not the native language (e.g. South America, all parts of Europe except Britain and Ireland, Asia maybe except Singapure and Hongkong, Africa, Arabia). And many are already working for some years. Some are even exceeded the age for a holiday working visa.

The language
Another point is the language. While it is maybe not a problem for these "assistant teachers" it is one for the rest. I looked for some open positions in the Internet. And there seem to be 2 kind of open positions: One are total written in Japanese as they are not especially for foreigners. So I guess they assume that you have a decent level of Japanese. And the 2nd are written in English. But they require JLPT level 2 or better (and there is only level 1 which is better than that).
Maybe you know already a little bit Japanese buy movies, teaching it yourself or even taking some evening classes. But you're far from that level. Maybe you would even consider taking Japanese classes and a language school in Japan for a few months. Of course only if you will be able to live and work there. Otherwise it would be total waste. Spending so much money and time just for not needing subtitles anymore?

Several solutions...
I guess one solution would be even you have a company in Japan which really wants you for some reason. In this case you might be able to make a deal with them that you will go to a Japanese language school in Japan for some months before your contract starts. And that you will visit also Japanese classes on the weekend while you're already working.
Another solution is maybe that you find a company in your own country which is active in Japan (means having an office there). You can make a deal with them that you will be transferred sooner or later. If you're lucky everyone else in that company does anything NOT to be transferred to Asia. I experienced that in my last company as I had to visit a partner company and they discussed who had to go to China next. Everyone there - let's say - wasn't very eager to be the one. ;)



Would be nice to get some input on this. :) Maybe a few things in addition before the first one posts something: No, I don't think that it will / would be easy to go to Japan and live and work there for some time. And, no, I don't go there to get a nice chick. If that happens: Okay. But if not, then not. My goal is not to get laid as much Japanese women as possible. Instead I want to get some overseas experience in general and a deeper look into the culture, people and country. I also don't think that everyone there is just waiting for me. I'm not a teenager anymore. ;)

Yes, it would be definitely easier to go to an English speaking country. But I'm not interested and/or motivated at all to do so. Half of these countries I even wouldn't put a feet in it (no offence intended). :(

And I also think that foreigner have exactly the same problems if they want to work in my country...
 

CodeGeek

Akiba Citizen
Nov 2, 2010
5,192
1,854
Okay, after I looked around a little bit more I found a company which looks quiet interesting. They already have some foreigners working there so they should know what they're doing if they hire foreigners. But also in their case the job requires a decent level of Japanese (Business level - which seems to be the same as JLPT level 2). So...

The main problem: The language
I looked for some possibilities to learn Japanese (faster). I already studying it for some time, but the progress is very slow. I have only 24 lessons a year. And between the semesters there are always many weeks in which there are no lessons. So you've already forgotten most of it when classes start again.

One option seems to be a Japanese language school in Japan. They offer different classes for different levels. It also depends on your goal. Do you just want to learn the language and do some sight-seeing beside it? Or do you need it for the job? Or maybe want to get prepared for the JLPT exams? There is even the possibility to stay at your teacher's place. This is the most intensive form of studying.

Buuut... the problem are the costs. You have to pay the school / teacher as well the accommodation - in addition to your other costs. And it isn't cheap. In addition if you want to reach JLPT level 2 from more or less zero it will take 9 to 12 months to master it (if I interpret the information correctly). One article said that you can master 1 level every 11 or 12 weeks. But I'm not sure how realistic it is. Which leads us to the next problem: You have to pay for 9 to 12 months all of these costs (some people buy a car for that amount). In this time you don't have any income. And the visa is also a problem. People from many countries get a 90 days tourist visa for 6 months. After that you have to leave the country and apply again. Means it would take you 2 years to get the 12 months of lessons. And in between you would stay in your home country for 3 months (means 6 months a year). What would you do in that time? Getting a job for just 3 months? If you're already a professional that won't work (at least for me that would be impossible - that is even shorter than the average trial time of 6 months).
In addition you should look for a school which has a good mix of nationalities. If there are too many Asians it could get hard for you if you're a Western because these Asians may have some advantages e.g. because they already familiar with the Kanji or with parts of the grammar (if their language works similar).

I also looked for courses in my country. It would save me the hassle of the visa and maybe it is also cheaper. But there are almost none. And you have the disadvantage that can't use and train Japanese outside of the school.

And even then...
... you only mastered the language to some degree. You don't have a job at that point and it isn't sure you'll get one. In worst case you spend all of your money and time and have gained nothing. Of course beside the language skills. But what do you want to do with them? Use it for your vacation there? Or for reading Mangas, watching Animes, J-dramas or JAV? Isn't that a little bit too extreme? Especially extremely costly.



All in all very disappointing. :( I knew that it will be hard and not something you achieve overnight. But it really gives me headaches and I'm wondering how so many foreigners have been able to go to Japan.
If you're watching videos on YouTube (like the one below) it sounds like they got there and somehow stayed. Like, oops, I'm now in Japan and, oops, I got a working visa or a residence permit.


It would be nice to get some motivating replies :) - you'll find enough demotivating ones in the Internet. ;)
 
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Little Chucky

Hi, I'm Chucky, Wanna Play?
Aug 28, 2013
161
708
http://polyglotclub.com/
http://www.memrise.com/courses/english/japanese/
http://www.skritter.com/
http://www.fluentu.com/japanese/

Just a few sites i found to learn Japanese (almost) free of charge
I don;t use these sites but maybe they are helpful.

On-topic
why do so many people want to live in japan?
What is it that makes you want to live there
Why not Korea or Taiwan?
Is it some form of romantic feeling because in the YouTube video they point out the thinks that to me seem like things people will get pretty frustrated.
 

CodeGeek

Akiba Citizen
Nov 2, 2010
5,192
1,854
http://polyglotclub.com/
http://www.memrise.com/courses/english/japanese/
http://www.skritter.com/
http://www.fluentu.com/japanese/

Just a few sites i found to learn Japanese (almost) free of charge
I don;t use these sites but maybe they are helpful.
Thank. Will have a look at these. :)
Also found these one as a resource for JLPT: http://www.tanos.co.uk/jlpt/

On-topic
why do so many people want to live in japan?
What is it that makes you want to live there
Why not Korea or Taiwan?
Is it some form of romantic feeling because in the YouTube video they point out the thinks that to me seem like things people will get pretty frustrated.
I guess the question could even be: Why not going to a English speaking country? It would be a lot easier - at least in aspect of the language. ;)
In my case the reason why I choose Japan is more practical: I already started learning the language. If I would go to Taiwan or Korea I would have to start to learn a new language again. And also in this case I would have to learn it until a certain level.
And also about Taiwan or Korea you can have this odd image some people maybe have about Japan.
I guess in the end it all comes down to the question which country / culture / people you like the most (beside your own). :)



P.S.: So far I've talked with Japanese as well as with Taiwanese people. And both are friendly and nice. About Koreans I can't say much. Never talked with anyone from there. But I'm sure they are also like that. :)
 

vishay

New Member
Jan 18, 2015
13
18
CodeGeek, don't fall in despair. Moving to Japan is not an easy thing to do at all. Some people just get so damn lucky to be transferred there by their own companies when they don't even have the slightest interest, some others have to work towards it half of their lives. Some other fall in the "oops, I'm already in Japan" category. You don't want to be in this group, believe me. These type of people have no direction in their careers and a big percentage get stuck in low-paying english teaching jobs for years. When they least know it, is impossible for them to move out of that and they ruin their chances to either have a better career in Japan or back in their home countries.

I can share my personal experience with you. This is going to be one long post, but I think you'll find it informative and interesting.

I knew since I was very young that I wanted to go to Japan. Not to live or work there, but just wanted to experience it. I began taking a few japanese courses since I was 15, then had to stop due to incompatibilities with my school schedule. A few years later in college, my dream of going to Japan had cooled down already, I began touching base on my own reality. Then, all of a sudden, the opportunity to study abroad opened for me, Japan returned to my mind. I worked my ass off for one whole year to learn the language the best I could, to level up my GPA and wrote application essays with the passion of someone who's dream has always been to go to Japan (stay away from anime references and shit). And it worked. I was granted a scholarship and was able to go to college in Japan for one year. It transformed my life and my view of the world, and my goals and ambitions.

I returned to my home country, knowing what I wanted to do next: return to Japan.
It hasn't been an easy way. I graduated college, and just as you mentioned, I thought that the easiest way to go to Japan, was to get hired by a company with offices there and be transferred. Thanks to my experience in Japan and the language, I managed to get hired by a Japanese company in my country. Once inside the company, things were not as easy as they seemed. Trips to Japan were very limited and reserved for more experienced people. Work assignments in Japan and permanent transfers were even rarer. During my time in the company I learned their ways, got close to the Japanese expatriates and got really dedicated at understanding and translating technical documents in Japanese. After acquiring some experience and going up a few steps in the corporate ladder, I managed to be sent on short business trips to Japan on 3 occasions and one 6 month-assignment. When I returned, I was again expatriated, but this time to the U.S., which at the moment did not appeal to me.

Destiny is funny. Once in the U.S., another Japanese company contacted me because they needed an engineering manager with japanese skills. Soon after, I switched jobs. I've been in this new company for almost a year now. Since Japanese language is an essential skill for my position, I get to be always involved in anything that calls for Japan. I've done several business trips and now, after almost 6 years of professional career and more than 10 years of working towards it, I'm finally being offered a long-term relocation to Japan (which basically becomes permanent after the japanese office becomes very dependent on you). It took me this long to achieve it, but I finally got there. Key = is not enough to have an interest in Japan to be transferred. More likely than not, there's a Japanese person that can do things same or better than you, so why would they take you there? What's your competitive advantage? Can you offer something that they don't have? If you have it, many times they'll overlook the fact that your japanese is far from perfect.

If you did not start to work on this goal since a long time ago, then it's going to very difficult to use this route. There are other ways to get to Japan if you're willing to take some high-risk decisions and be ready to withstand some periods of uncertainty and hardships.

Option 1:
This one is actually not bad at all. Apply to a Monbukagakusho. This is a scholarship sponsored by the Japanese government and is widely available to any citizen of any country that has diplomatic relations with Japan. Competence is fierce, but if you have a good research proposal and a decent GPA, you'll get it. I do not recommend the undergrad program, better wait for the Masters program as it is much more enriching. Government covers the whole school tuition and you receive around ¥180,000 per month to sustain yourself. If you work hard and make good connections (after graduating college all is about connections in Japan) you might get hired by the university or some japanese company to do research. This is an easy and stable way of getting to Japan, but you must know not everyone is successful. I do know of one friend who got this scholarship and did his Masters at Keio (the most prestigious private university in Japan), but still, once he finished, he was not able to find a job! So he's been surviving in Japan as an independent school teacher for almost 3 years now. He's single so he makes just enough for a living, but being stuck at that job for so long will hardly give him any chances to find a real job later on. Experience is very valuable.

Option 2:
Get enrolled in the JET program (if available in your country). You just need to know good english (don't even need to be native) and have a good attitude in the interviews. You'll be sent most likely to a rural area of Japan to assist Japanese staff to teach english to middle-schoolers. Job is not that demanding, the pay is decent (around ¥200,000 per month) for rural Japan standards, you get to experience a beautiful and much more authentic Japan, and it gives you the perfect opportunity to get real good at Japanese language. Usually the contract runs for 1 to 3 years, but can be stretched to a maximum of 5 years. After that time, if you didn't waste your time living a comfortable gaijin life, you should speak the language fairly well, and this will open the door to many jobs not just in the english teaching area, but also in the administration area of other companies or embassies.

Option 3:
This is the riskiest one because financial security depends solely on you. Forget about the monbukagakusho or the JET program. Save some money (as much as you can), pack your stuff, and move to Japan taking advantage of the 90 days visa waiver that most countries have. Become an independent english teacher and at the same time keep looking for a job. If you eventually find something, you'll have to go back to your country and issue the right visa. Success depends entirely on how good you are for making connections and sustaining yourself while giving yourself more time to find something stable. Some ¥700,000 should be enough to cover a round-trip ticket, a cheap and old apartment in central Tokyo, and your daily expenses and transportation.

Finally, another alternative that fits in the option 3, is to work as a "hosto". No need to be ultra handsome, but just above average looking. If you dress nicely it can help a lot. Then advertise yourself in Kabukicho and expect for some woman to require your services. You have to be professional, the customer might range from a hot lonely milf, to a not so good looking hunched oba-chan. Your job mainly consists of going to wherever she wants to go and be with her at all times. Sex might be involved, but not so often. Be prepared for some heavy drinking, mostly if you have various customers. Pay is very good and if the lonely milf likes you, she might even buy you clothes, watches and other gifts. I did this for a while during my student days in Japan, just for fun. I could not survive more than a month and had to quit. Of course, if you go this route, be sure to move on to something more stable and decent as soon as you make some savings.

Other options are to become a porn actor (which is not really that difficult as you might think) or a get a baito as a mosaic digitilizer for AV. But these require working visas, so don't consider them until you have first established in Japan somehow.

Anyway, sorry for the long post. Let me know if you want more suggestions.
 

Noid936

New Member
Dec 7, 2014
22
11
CodeGeek, don't fall in despair. Moving to Japan is not an easy thing to do at all. Some people just get so damn lucky to be transferred there by their own companies when they don't even have the slightest interest, some others have to work towards it half of their lives. Some other fall in the "oops, I'm already in Japan" category. You don't want to be in this group, believe me. These type of people have no direction in their careers and a big percentage get stuck in low-paying english teaching jobs for years. When they least know it, is impossible for them to move out of that and they ruin their chances to either have a better career in Japan or back in their home countries.

I can share my personal experience with you. This is going to be one long post, but I think you'll find it informative and interesting.

I knew since I was very young that I wanted to go to Japan. Not to live or work there, but just wanted to experience it. I began taking a few japanese courses since I was 15, then had to stop due to incompatibilities with my school schedule. A few years later in college, my dream of going to Japan had cooled down already, I began touching base on my own reality. Then, all of a sudden, the opportunity to study abroad opened for me, Japan returned to my mind. I worked my ass off for one whole year to learn the language the best I could, to level up my GPA and wrote application essays with the passion of someone who's dream has always been to go to Japan (stay away from anime references and shit). And it worked. I was granted a scholarship and was able to go to college in Japan for one year. It transformed my life and my view of the world, and my goals and ambitions.

I returned to my home country, knowing what I wanted to do next: return to Japan.
It hasn't been an easy way. I graduated college, and just as you mentioned, I thought that the easiest way to go to Japan, was to get hired by a company with offices there and be transferred. Thanks to my experience in Japan and the language, I managed to get hired by a Japanese company in my country. Once inside the company, things were not as easy as they seemed. Trips to Japan were very limited and reserved for more experienced people. Work assignments in Japan and permanent transfers were even rarer. During my time in the company I learned their ways, got close to the Japanese expatriates and got really dedicated at understanding and translating technical documents in Japanese. After acquiring some experience and going up a few steps in the corporate ladder, I managed to be sent on short business trips to Japan on 3 occasions and one 6 month-assignment. When I returned, I was again expatriated, but this time to the U.S., which at the moment did not appeal to me.

Destiny is funny. Once in the U.S., another Japanese company contacted me because they needed an engineering manager with japanese skills. Soon after, I switched jobs. I've been in this new company for almost a year now. Since Japanese language is an essential skill for my position, I get to be always involved in anything that calls for Japan. I've done several business trips and now, after almost 6 years of professional career and more than 10 years of working towards it, I'm finally being offered a long-term relocation to Japan (which basically becomes permanent after the japanese office becomes very dependent on you). It took me this long to achieve it, but I finally got there. Key = is not enough to have an interest in Japan to be transferred. More likely than not, there's a Japanese person that can do things same or better than you, so why would they take you there? What's your competitive advantage? Can you offer something that they don't have? If you have it, many times they'll overlook the fact that your japanese is far from perfect.

If you did not start to work on this goal since a long time ago, then it's going to very difficult to use this route. There are other ways to get to Japan if you're willing to take some high-risk decisions and be ready to withstand some periods of uncertainty and hardships.

Option 1:
This one is actually not bad at all. Apply to a Monbukagakusho. This is a scholarship sponsored by the Japanese government and is widely available to any citizen of any country that has diplomatic relations with Japan. Competence is fierce, but if you have a good research proposal and a decent GPA, you'll get it. I do not recommend the undergrad program, better wait for the Masters program as it is much more enriching. Government covers the whole school tuition and you receive around ¥180,000 per month to sustain yourself. If you work hard and make good connections (after graduating college all is about connections in Japan) you might get hired by the university or some japanese company to do research. This is an easy and stable way of getting to Japan, but you must know not everyone is successful. I do know of one friend who got this scholarship and did his Masters at Keio (the most prestigious private university in Japan), but still, once he finished, he was not able to find a job! So he's been surviving in Japan as an independent school teacher for almost 3 years now. He's single so he makes just enough for a living, but being stuck at that job for so long will hardly give him any chances to find a real job later on. Experience is very valuable.

Option 2:
Get enrolled in the JET program (if available in your country). You just need to know good english (don't even need to be native) and have a good attitude in the interviews. You'll be sent most likely to a rural area of Japan to assist Japanese staff to teach english to middle-schoolers. Job is not that demanding, the pay is decent (around ¥200,000 per month) for rural Japan standards, you get to experience a beautiful and much more authentic Japan, and it gives you the perfect opportunity to get real good at Japanese language. Usually the contract runs for 1 to 3 years, but can be stretched to a maximum of 5 years. After that time, if you didn't waste your time living a comfortable gaijin life, you should speak the language fairly well, and this will open the door to many jobs not just in the english teaching area, but also in the administration area of other companies or embassies.

Option 3:
This is the riskiest one because financial security depends solely on you. Forget about the monbukagakusho or the JET program. Save some money (as much as you can), pack your stuff, and move to Japan taking advantage of the 90 days visa waiver that most countries have. Become an independent english teacher and at the same time keep looking for a job. If you eventually find something, you'll have to go back to your country and issue the right visa. Success depends entirely on how good you are for making connections and sustaining yourself while giving yourself more time to find something stable. Some ¥700,000 should be enough to cover a round-trip ticket, a cheap and old apartment in central Tokyo, and your daily expenses and transportation.

Finally, another alternative that fits in the option 3, is to work as a "hosto". No need to be ultra handsome, but just above average looking. If you dress nicely it can help a lot. Then advertise yourself in Kabukicho and expect for some woman to require your services. You have to be professional, the customer might range from a hot lonely milf, to a not so good looking hunched oba-chan. Your job mainly consists of going to wherever she wants to go and be with her at all times. Sex might be involved, but not so often. Be prepared for some heavy drinking, mostly if you have various customers. Pay is very good and if the lonely milf likes you, she might even buy you clothes, watches and other gifts. I did this for a while during my student days in Japan, just for fun. I could not survive more than a month and had to quit. Of course, if you go this route, be sure to move on to something more stable and decent as soon as you make some savings.

Other options are to become a porn actor (which is not really that difficult as you might think) or a get a baito as a mosaic digitilizer for AV. But these require working visas, so don't consider them until you have first established in Japan somehow.

Anyway, sorry for the long post. Let me know if you want more suggestions.
you can work as a hosto with a tourist visa?? Can you give some more details about this option?
 

vishay

New Member
Jan 18, 2015
13
18
you can work as a hosto with a tourist visa?? Can you give some more details about this option?

Yeah, working as a host is an informal job, just as being an independent english teacher. I'm not talking about going to an agency and then appear in some kind of catalogue or work at an establishment, but you rather go and stand outside of Shinjuku station's east exit (there are other spots but this is well known) and stand there waiting for or approaching potential customers. If you have contacts or friends, one of them might hook you up with someone they know is looking for a "companion". This is not formal employment, it's like being paid for doing a favor to someone.
 

Noid936

New Member
Dec 7, 2014
22
11
And you never get in trouble for doing that?
How long do you usually have to wait?
Do you need to be able to speak japanese?
I am going there in the fall and am willing to try this just for fun :p
 
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vishay

New Member
Jan 18, 2015
13
18
And you never get in trouble for doing that?
How long do you usually have to wait?
Do you need to be able to speak japanese?
I am going there in the fall and am willing to try this just for fun :p

No, you would never get in trouble, is not like someone is auditing hostos or something. In any case, you can always argue that you just go out with her because you're friends. There's no way to prove that she's paying you money to do so, and there's not a law against giving "free" money to someone.
How long it takes to be successful??? Well that's very variable. Gaijins are not exactly in high demand, but from time to time there might be milfs looking for different experiences. Easiest way is to ask other hostos around if they know someone looking for a foreigner. As for needing Japanese language skills, that's up to the customer.... Sometimes yes, sometimes basic skills will be enough. What's more important, you gotta be good at keeping up with heavy drinking.
 
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ding73ding

Akiba Citizen
Oct 25, 2009
2,098
1,673
And even then...

I can share my personal experience with you.

Vishay's post is excellent! As for CG, I think you just don't want it enough. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. Seems you have a decent job in your home country and enough distractions in your life that you are still a beginner after 2 years. (and native English speaker is no excuse, your posts shows your English to be well within top-10% in Japan)

Let me first be a little harsh and then I will come back around (promise). Japanese is one of the hardest languages to learn, but having paid for lessons and having a living breathing teacher and you are still unconfident??? Admit it, your heart isn't in it. In this day and age, with the internet and amazon etc, you should aim to learn the basic theories (essentially reading and basic grammar) on your own for next to no money within 4 months (even 4 weeks) and then polish up the listening and speaking by paid lessons in another 4 months. Personally I would skip the paying money part and go woo a Japanese girl studying in your country (they do exist, don't they? Even not in the USA or Germany, two of their fav destination). If within a year you can't learn a foreign language well, you really ought to challenge yourself, do you really want to go there for an extended period of time? Myself, and many around me, are quite content to spend annual (much less frequent for myself) vacations in Japan. Many of my relatives and friends go to Japan 3-5 times a year.

As for the practicality of getting to and staying in Japan legally and maybe sustain yourself financially, and perhaps eventually establishing a permanent life there... There are barriers for sure, but it's the same for many countries (double for island nations). It's really half-full half-empty. It's easy if you try hard enough. It's hard if you think it's easy. Get it?

My very personal IMHO on foreigners considering living in Japan is this: if, like myself, you are a pure consumer of J-culture, J-pop, JAV, anime, games, J-drama, then it's really hard to justify the sacrifices you need to make (some you have to keep making for the remainder of your life) in order to live there permanently. Nowadays, you can shop or torrent anything online and if you must require a life experience, you can go for a couple live concerts a year.

OTOH, if you are a kinda of artist or creator of some kind, you need to be in that J-culture environment, then yes buy a one-way ticket now. And why do I mention only art? Well... my own career is tech-oriented, and serious in the last 10 years, Japanese tech is no longer tops. The only thing that's left in Japan is robotics, not even generally functional robots (American drones are better), but only in humanoid robotics, Japan is still leading the game.

It's possible to be a JET or hosto and generally be a bum for a while. From what I understand, if you are white, male, not butt-ugly and learn some charming skills you can scrap by a living for quite a long time (at least well into middle-age). I've also read numerous articles that the above qualities can also ensure your have an unlimited supply of meaningless sex (but be prepared for A-cup breasts, short bowed legs and forgettable faces). But I think anything more than 1 year is a waste of your life. Like Vish said, use that year to transition to something more respectable (at least self-respectable). E.g. I know a French girl who did some time as JET, then worked for the Japanese subsidiary of a global high tech company and now she's senior manager at another high tech multi-nationals splitting time between France and USA (Japan having been only a phase in her life) . Another white (native English-speaking) guy I know studied Japanese and went there to do a PhD in Japanese art history and can write excellent poetry (according to some native (and polite) Japanese). Lived there for years made lots of friends, and eventually come back with his Japanese boytoy (who's passable as a yaoi chara) to his home country and become a professor of East Asian studies.

Then there's my own cousin (a Chinese), he worked for a semi-luxury auto company, got himself transferred to Japan (having learned the language on his own) and worked and lived there for years. Met a Chinese girl similarly living in Japan. But finally to settle down, they move back to a Chinese society and got married. Now financially comfortable, they spend at least a month or two every year in Japan, for leisure only. Why not live there long term? "No matter if your Japanese (language skill) is better than them, you are always and forever an outsider".

Whenever I go to Japan, it's always super nice and I can live in a good friend's house rent-free and his wife even cook me breakfast every day and was always disappointed I don't come home for dinner. It's always a great experience but I know I will wear out my welcome in about a week plus a day. Not just with this friend but with many Japanese people and institutions.

If you find so many difficulties and challenges in the language, visa and job. Then perhaps it's not a bad sign, it means your life and career is already on a good track that the sacrifices to move to Japan don't make sense for you. Like for me, for a short time, when my own career was in a rut, my friend (my rent-free buddy) try to convince me to work there. But a brief chat with his boss convince me that it would be easier to tough it out in the outside world than to struggle on their turf. Since you aren't 22 any more, maybe that phase of your life is already past, it's not a bad thing, as far as I can see...
 

R18.com

Well-Known Member
Jun 29, 2015
335
250
Okay, after I looked around a little bit more I found a company which looks quiet interesting. They already have some foreigners working there so they should know what they're doing if they hire foreigners. But also in their case the job requires a decent level of Japanese (Business level - which seems to be the same as JLPT level 2). So...

The main problem: The language
I looked for some possibilities to learn Japanese (faster). I already studying it for some time, but the progress is very slow. I have only 24 lessons a year. And between the semesters there are always many weeks in which there are no lessons. So you've already forgotten most of it when classes start again.

One option seems to be a Japanese language school in Japan. They offer different classes for different levels. It also depends on your goal. Do you just want to learn the language and do some sight-seeing beside it? Or do you need it for the job? Or maybe want to get prepared for the JLPT exams? There is even the possibility to stay at your teacher's place. This is the most intensive form of studying.

Buuut... the problem are the costs. You have to pay the school / teacher as well the accommodation - in addition to your other costs. And it isn't cheap. In addition if you want to reach JLPT level 2 from more or less zero it will take 9 to 12 months to master it (if I interpret the information correctly). One article said that you can master 1 level every 11 or 12 weeks. But I'm not sure how realistic it is. Which leads us to the next problem: You have to pay for 9 to 12 months all of these costs (some people buy a car for that amount). In this time you don't have any income. And the visa is also a problem. People from many countries get a 90 days tourist visa for 6 months. After that you have to leave the country and apply again. Means it would take you 2 years to get the 12 months of lessons. And in between you would stay in your home country for 3 months (means 6 months a year). What would you do in that time? Getting a job for just 3 months? If you're already a professional that won't work (at least for me that would be impossible - that is even shorter than the average trial time of 6 months).
In addition you should look for a school which has a good mix of nationalities. If there are too many Asians it could get hard for you if you're a Western because these Asians may have some advantages e.g. because they already familiar with the Kanji or with parts of the grammar (if their language works similar).

I also looked for courses in my country. It would save me the hassle of the visa and maybe it is also cheaper. But there are almost none. And you have the disadvantage that can't use and train Japanese outside of the school.

And even then...
... you only mastered the language to some degree. You don't have a job at that point and it isn't sure you'll get one. In worst case you spend all of your money and time and have gained nothing. Of course beside the language skills. But what do you want to do with them? Use it for your vacation there? Or for reading Mangas, watching Animes, J-dramas or JAV? Isn't that a little bit too extreme? Especially extremely costly.



All in all very disappointing. :( I knew that it will be hard and not something you achieve overnight. But it really gives me headaches and I'm wondering how so many foreigners have been able to go to Japan.
If you're watching videos on YouTube (like the one below) it sounds like they got there and somehow stayed. Like, oops, I'm now in Japan and, oops, I got a working visa or a residence permit.


It would be nice to get some motivating replies :) - you'll find enough demotivating ones in the Internet. ;)

If you really want to go to Japan:

1- Save some money.
2- Got to Japan to a Japanese school for 1 year (you dont need to go in an out of the country, you will get a Student visa).
3- Look a job for something you are good at: Programming, design or what ever. If you are not good at anything forget about going to Japan.

It is not that hard to come to Japan, you just need to be good at something and come to learn Japanese for a year.
 

CodeGeek

Akiba Citizen
Nov 2, 2010
5,192
1,854
If you really want to go to Japan:

1- Save some money.
2- Got to Japan to a Japanese school for 1 year (you dont need to go in an out of the country, you will get a Student visa).
3- Look a job for something you are good at: Programming, design or what ever. If you are not good at anything forget about going to Japan.

It is not that hard to come to Japan, you just need to be good at something and come to learn Japanese for a year.
Thanks for the post. :)
  1. Luckily I have. I'm far from being a millionaire, but I hope it won't cost that much. ;)
  2. Yeah, I read that you can extend your visa while you're staying in Japan. Means you go there with your 90 days tourist visa (depending on the country you're from) and while you stay there you go to the immigration office (is it called like that?). There you show the papers of the school and they will extend your visa.
    I don't know if there is a way to get a longer visa right from the start before you go to Japan.
    I read from a few people that it is possible to get a decent level of Japanese within 1 year. Means if you visit a language school in Japan. Without a language school and even with a language school which is located outside of Japan it will be really hard or even impossible. So visiting a language school in Japan is the best way.
  3. That should be also no problem as I'm a senior developer (also this is not quiet correct as you're called a "senior" after 5 or 8 years of working experience. But my experience about programming is around 27 years now as I started during primary school. And, no, I'm not a prodigy, genius or wunderkind. I was simply interested and it was fun).

Thanks for that post and thanks for encouraging me. :) Seems like DMM / R18 is an interesting company and has a wide field of activities. Even counselling. ;)

I'm planning to visit a language school in Japan in the near future. Not for 1 year, but for 3 or 4 months - if everything goes well (paid leave :D).
Based on that I will decide if I take - that time unpaid leave (means I have to resign) - another 8 months at that language school to improve my Japanese to a decent level.
 

shinjiIII

Well-Known Member
May 23, 2010
172
386
I've currently been living here in Japan for two years. I saved a good amount of money to sit on before moving here so I could take my time to find a job in my field. By that time, I had been already studying Japan for about 5 years, but I still wasn't very good, so I went to Japanese school for 3 months, and spent those three months trying to get some stuff together (I'd say I'm still doing so up to now! lol). After Japanese school, I still hadn't found a job, so I bit the bullet, and took up a job at an eikaiwa. I was there for about a year and a half. Finally, a full time position in my field popped up this passing March, so I jumped on it, and I've been working ever since. I also finally moved into a decent sized mansion-style apartment last month, after about 6 months of saving for the start-up costs.

I'm not gonna lie. It can be a tough, lonely road, but if you want it enough, you can do it!!
 

CodeGeek

Akiba Citizen
Nov 2, 2010
5,192
1,854
Thanks for your post, shinjiIII. :)

If you already studied for 5 years in Japan shouldn't you be able to have some descent Japanese skills by that time (no offence intended, I'm just curious)?
Unfortunately teaching at an English language school is not an option for me. But it's great that it saved you.

Money is not really my problem (no, I'm not rich. And not having a job for a while would be a great loose money-wise). But the visa would be. So if I'm not there for studying the language (seems you get student visa through your language school if you study longer than a tourist visa allows) I need a working visa. And as working as a language teacher is not an option I have to find a job in my branch / profession right from the start.

Anyway posts like that raising my hope that it is still possible - also it may be "tough road". :)
Thanks.
 

EroMura777

Active Member
Apr 5, 2015
268
204
OTOH, if you are a kinda of artist or creator of some kind, you need to be in that J-culture environment, then yes buy a one-way ticket now. And why do I mention only art? Well... my own career is tech-oriented, and serious in the last 10 years, Japanese tech is no longer tops. The only thing that's left in Japan is robotics, not even generally functional robots (American drones are better), but only in humanoid robotics, Japan is still leading the game.

I'd like to go live in Japan because I'd like to go to many of the comic events they do, and learn from the artists there, also for the lulz and such, why lying. I'm 26 now, and my goal is to travel there not long after my 30th birthday, so I'll take these 4 years to improve my technique, get a decent amount of works on DLsite, and save some money. So I'm really interested in reading about your experiences, so keep sharing them :)
 
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ding73ding

Akiba Citizen
Oct 25, 2009
2,098
1,673
If you want to become a manga artist, you can do much better than attending events. Events are for fanboys and fangirls. Just attend the school (class) for aspiring artists. Some are run by or at least associated with some famed manga artists.
 
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CodeGeek

Akiba Citizen
Nov 2, 2010
5,192
1,854
I'd like to go live in Japan because I'd like to go to many of the comic events they do, and learn from the artists there, also for the lulz and such, why lying. I'm 26 now, and my goal is to travel there not long after my 30th birthday, so I'll take these 4 years to improve my technique, get a decent amount of works on DLsite, and save some money. So I'm really interested in reading about your experiences, so keep sharing them :)
You can take a working visa to get there. Unfortunately only until you're 30. Then its much harder to get there. At least if you want to stay longer than your average tourist visa allows.
 
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tylersailer

Member
Jan 24, 2011
69
61
Codegeek,


Can I ask you a question? Why do you opt out the option of working at English schools? There are schools/companies that send their teachers to workplaces for lessons. At the class, you can be very friendly with the students (preferably HR type) and ask him if there is a vacancy available for you to fill in. Just that you need to be careful who to ask because the English company may not like their teacher asking its client for job. The student could report you and backstab you...


My point is, eikaiwa is not always about teaching at schools, which can be boring (no offense against enthusiastic teachers). I can understand that you do not want to teach at elementary schools or Jr. high if your ambition is towards the work-related goals (sorry if I'm mistaken). In this case, you just have to insist to the language company that you only accept the lessons at your desired field. No teaching at schools. Period. You see?


Alternatively, if you have a specific field of expertise, along with an impressive resume, you can try “Recruit Agent.” They are the biggest recruiting and hiring company in Japan so if you have the decent work experience and history, they will find you a job you want. I'm sure they do online interview of some kind for oversea applicants. And it's free for you, they take the money from the company that hires you. One thing to note is that their clients are also major companies of respective fields. Therefore they can easily reject your resume if it is not good enough for their eyes. But heck it does not hurt you to try as it's free, no?
 
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tylersailer

Member
Jan 24, 2011
69
61
As for the manga/art thing, why not try pixiv? I heard that the mobile game companies hire the artists through pixiv to draw anime/manga characters for their games. Your pixiv account acts as a showcase and contact point. Just that there are a number of reports of scam and bad contracts for aspiring artists. Like, you want to be a real artist? We pay you 1 dollar to draw HUNDREDS of cute anime girls! And you can call yourself artist because you get paid by the work you done! Oh the copyright belongs to us, not you, and we have the rights to order you multiple revisions without extra payment! Opps before we forget, you will get paid NOT when you submit the drawings, but when WE win the petition for that game, so there is chance that you draw pictures for NOTHING! Hahaha!


... that type of stuff.
 

EroMura777

Active Member
Apr 5, 2015
268
204
As a matter of fact I have a DeviantArt account, a Pixiv account and a blog, where I upload some of my works. My idea is to have a wide pool of clients who are interested in commissioning from me on a regular basis (*wink* I'm looking for clients *wink*), then in my free time do some works for DLsite (they work with CuriousFactory, in order to make things easier for non-Japan-living artists, I have already a couple of works there). I think that if I lived in Japan it would be easier to upolad them also in Toranoana, Melonbooks and such. To be honest, more than a "manga artist" in the classic sense of it (working for a magazine drawing 20 pages weekly), I'd like to be more like a freelance doujinshi artist, drawing what I like for a living.