Anna

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Living in Japan was a dream come true for me. They say it takes up to 9 years to get used to living in a foreign country. After three years in Japan I finally started growing accustomed to life in Japan. There are three phases of adaptation which I noticed: Cultural shock and eternal optimism You enjoy the differences in whatever you see, taste or hear. But at this stage you still have your country’s way of life inside of you. The rhythm that you are living in at this stage is more of a tourist. The differences in lifestyle are not obvious. Your favourite words at this stage is […]

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When I first came to Japan, I rushed to buy a SIM card. They charged me a foreigner price, but I was still happy because I could call my family and connect to google maps. Time has changed and there are numerous ways of surviving without a SIM card (or a wifi router) in Japan. What’s wrong with Japanese SIM cards If you are a tourist, you are able to buy only a prepaid data SIM card. Which means you will not be using your smartphone as a phone. The regular SIM cards (those that go with a number) are for long-term residents. The longer the residence term is, the […]

On February 15th JR announced a release of an IC card that targets foreigners in Japan. This commuter card is dedicated to those who use public transport for a short time-period. It’s called “Welcome Suica”, and, apart from its designs that features Japanese sakura, it benefits its users by providing a prepaid public transportation services free of deposit. Normally, you pay a 500 yen deposit to have an IC card issued. But in the case of Welcome Suica foreign guests are welcome to take it as a Japanese souvenir. It covers all the ares that are covered by SUICA and PASMO, including buses, trains and underground. The sales start from […]

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One of my colleagues moved into the new apartment the other day. She said that she had to read the contract together with the owner for an hour. That’s what Japanese apartment contracts are! I should probably mention this more often, but Japan is an incredibly bureaucratic country. Their mind set on putting everything on paper, that’s why there are a lot of manuals and contracts. The bureaucracy has its plusses, once the deal is made you are fully protected by various papers. But there are also minuses, such as no one dares to set off the right path of a manual, for example. The rent contracts are part of […]

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I went on a job interview to a very interesting place yesterday. It was a science lab, I won’t tell you what that lab was. You know, if you tell your wish it won’t come true kind of stuff. But the communication with people who work there made me wonder about foreigners living in Japan. Three years in Japan is an achievement, I must say. The professors at my university lived in Japan more than ten or twenty years. But I speak for myself, living in Japan more than two years is an achievement. Why? Because it is a country with different language, food, lifestyle and even time zone. Being […]