Life in Japan can be a struggle, but once you find your niche it can be quite amazing. I absolutely love life in Japan, but this was not always the case. It took some time for me to figure out how to live in Japan and have an independent and happy life. The key to my happiness was realizing that I could be me. The key to my ability to help others find their happiness is the knowledge that “the thing” that hinders people’s ability to thrive in Japan is as varied as the people themselves.There are, however, a few universals that make life in Japan more worthwhile and enjoyable for new arrivals and those of us who’ve been here a long time.
A lot of people come to Japan with no specific goals for themselves. I have found that, regardless of why you find yourself in Japan, personal goals set by you, rather than those set by a home office, spouse, or family member, foster feelings of independence and can provide a true north for you to locate from.
Having goals will help you stay true to yourself. They don’t have to be big goals, like learning Japanese. They can be smaller goals, such as walking every day or trying new foods to diversify your eating habits.
Have a plan
Coming to Japan is a wonderful opportunity that can be maximized with a good plan for everything you want to gain from being here. Having a plan will ensure that you don’t lose sight of the opportunities that Japan provides, such as getting out of your comfort zone, cultural enrichment, and tourism both domestically and throughout the rest of Asia. There are so many opportunities beyond language acquisition, and keeping these opportunities in mind is often a big part of being happy in Japan.
Join groups and get connected. There are many Facebook, Meetup, Parent Teacher Association, and commerce groups that provide great connections to a community. Finding and developing core relationships will help you feel connected and supported. Being in Japan and away from overseas family and friends can be isolating, so it is important to make new connections. The great thing about the groups in Japan is that it is never too late to join in and connect. There is a great atmosphere that is pressure free, which allows for people to come and go without obligation.
Kisstopher Musick is an American-trained and qualified mental health therapist with over 20 years experience helping people. Kisstopher opened her Nagoya therapy practice, Adjustment Guidance, in 2009 where she works with clients Tuesday through Saturday by appointment.
How to schedule an appointment
All communications with Kisstopher are confidential, and your first appointment is free.