When you decide to go work in Japan as a care worker, you will probably be busy studying and preparing to enter the workforce. At the same time, you will also need to collect information about living in Japan. Things may differ depending on which city you work in, but here are some tips for living in Japan based on questionnaires and interviews with foreigners who have experienced working in Japan. Please use them as one reference for avoiding problems if you go live in Japan.
With starting a new job and a new life in a new environment, especially in Japanese, some people may feel homesick. How do foreigners living in Japan overcome homesickness? Mr. Mani Gyawali, who went to Japan from Nepal told us the following: “At first, I did use to get homesick but with the help of my friends, work colleagues and language school teachers, I was able to adjust to Japanese society quickly. I always stayed in touch with family back at home over the phone and through free phone apps. We also used smartphone apps to make video calls.” Ms. Anarbayar Renchinkhorol from Mongolia said, “When I go to a Mongolian restaurant, the taste of the food, conversation with people, etc. make me feel like I’m at home. It’s a good idea to go eat at a restaurant with food from your home country once in a while,” she advised.
If you feel extremely homesick or suffer from mental stress, you can also use free counseling services. Someone told us, “When I felt homesick and didn’t have anyone to talk to, I used a counseling service, though it was in English.”
For your reference, there are also services like these:
・Helpline for foreign languages
Japan has good infrastructure even in smaller cities and the countryside. Electricity, gas and water are available almost anywhere you live. “In my home country, I couldn’t imagine being able to use tap water care-free like in Japan. The tap water in Japan is very clean and safe to drink. We don’t have to worry at all about the living infrastructure and can live very safely and happily,” says Mr. Mani Gyawali from Nepal. Annie from the Philippines also says, “The transportation system in Japan is safe and easy to use.” Also, there may be countries where people are not used to using gas but if you read the instructional manual, you can use gas without any worries.
Internet coverage is spread throughout almost all of Japan. Cell phone signals are also everywhere except for deep in the mountains. However, coming to Japan from overseas, communication fees may seem a bit expensive. “What concerns me about the living infrastructure is the service plan prices from major carriers are quite expensive and the amount of data you can use is limited,” commented another.
Money and point cards
“To be honest, withdrawing money and sending money was more convenient in Mongolia. You have to wait a long time at Japanese banks, sometimes there’s a fee to withdraw money from an ATM, and that fee differs depending on the day and time,” Ms. Anarbayar Renchinkhorol from Mongolia told us. As online banking services in Japan are increasing, there is not as much need to stand in line at banks anymore, but banking fees may still be higher than in other countries. In addition to mobile banking, IC cards and mobile payments are becoming more widespread, and money-related services in Japan are becoming more and more convenient.
In addition, point cards are also common in Japan. You can earn and conveniently redeem points at shops, restaurants and convenience stores. “I tried to use various point cards at places like convenience stores and supermarkets to save even a little money,” someone commented.
One of the places you will definitely use while living in Japan is a convenience store. It’s no exaggeration to say that convenience stores are everywhere you go in Japan. “Before the spread of coronavirus, I would go to a convenience store about an average of three times a week. I bought food at the supermarket as much as I could but if I forgot to buy an ingredient or didn’t want to cook myself, I would buy a bento (prepared meal) at a convenience store. Convenience stores also offer printing, courier services, and ATMs. You can also pay electricity and water bills or buy tickets for events,” Annie from the Philippines tells us. There are a lot of shops like convenience stores that are open 24 hours.