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Guest_FaFa!_*

Uk Or Japan For The Long Term?

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Mrs Fafa and I have been immensely fortunate in recently coming into a sufficient sum of money that after adding to our own savings would mean that we would be able to buy a 3 or 4 bed house in either the UK or Japan (Mrs Fafa hails from the land of the rising sun) cash and start a family. In either country we believe that we would be able to generate an income to live comfortably and raise a child. This leaves us a quandary - which country would be better to live in long term - Japan or the UK? Anyone care to share any insights regarding living in Japan (particularly raising a kid there) and/or Japan vs UK long term economic prospects? Should we go with Japan, Mrs Fafa's preferred cities are Sendai, Yokohama, Kawasaki, Kobe, Okayama or Fukuoka. In the UK we would probably look to remain in the East Mids where we could get a house in a decent area.

Any and all random advice much appreciated

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I am currently in Tokyo and am mulling over a job offer in Japan at the moment.

My favourite thing about being here is the layer of respect that underlies social life. The little things such as how well you're treated as a customer, how people seem to genuinely care about your wellbeing, and the little polite touches such as how people will make sure the elevator doesn't close on you as you're entering.

It's very subtle, but even as a foreigner who doesn't know anyone here, you feel as though people are on your side. Somehow more part of a human race rather than every man for himself. If I was taken ill, I know someone would help me rather than step over me.

I've never seen a chav in Japan, nothing antisocial, no heated discussions in the street etc. I think we see this behaviour more than we realise in England as you really notice the lack of it over here. Even Tokyo feels so peaceful with nobody barging past each other and putting themselves first.

Kyoto is one of the most beautiful and amazing places I've ever visited - hence my username. I would take the option of a year there without a second thought, but Tokyo is proving a harder decision as it ain't that different to London :-)

If your child speaks Japanese, I think it would be a brilliant environment and society to bring them up in when compared with the feral youth back in England. Having said that, I would try to give them plenty of time in the UK too as well. Someone who can straddle Eastern and Western cultures is going to be in a great spot in the next few years.

The strong Yen and the weak pound is making stuff absurdly expensive at the moment, so I may hold off buying on that alone and seeing if you settle.

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I lived in Japan from 2000 to 2003 and, although I'm single and don't have or want children, I would be tempted to seriously consider Japan. Why?

1. Clean, great infrastructure, very low crime

2. the weather - looking out the window now in the UK its pissing it down and, frankly is quite depressing! The weather in especially spring and autumn is close to perfect - warm and sunny. I really miss those seasons (compared to the weather here)

These are the main reasons but I did really start to miss England after two years there - I particularly missed British OLD buildings, like pubs. I think this will get at you in the end as every single building in Japan seems modern and, frankly, quite ugly.

I would say yes, Japan, but be prepared to start to really miss Europe. Sorry to say this as well, as your wife is Japanese, but the ones I knew knew nothing of the UK or Europe even - they're entire vision of the west is America. One thing that really annoyed me was that EVERY, and I do mean every, Japanese person assumed I was American! Aghh!

Sorry, there's so much to say about the country I'm rambling. Good luck either way with your decision.

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Having worked in universities in both countries, my impression is that the working culture in the UK is much more reasonable than it is in Japan. More holidays and shorter working hours. One Chinese and one Korean I know who have worked in the UK for a couple of years have both told me they don't want to go back for basically that reason.

Also the Western European climate is much better than Japan's. Milder summers and winters, more weeks in the year when you can walk around outside without a coat or breaking into a sticky sweat.

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2. the weather - looking out the window now in the UK its pissing it down and, frankly is quite depressing!

It's February. It's snowing in Osaka right now.

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It's February. It's snowing in Osaka right now.

Well I was there some years ago but definately remember spring and autumn being generally wonderful weather - perhaps we should say spring starts from March!

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I've never seen a chav in Japan, nothing antisocial, no heated discussions in the street etc. I think we see this behaviour more than we realise in England as you really notice the lack of it over here. Even Tokyo feels so peaceful with nobody barging past each other and putting themselves first.

That's the big plus for me. I don't think the chav population will be reducing anytime soon. What are you doing in Japan?

These are the main reasons but I did really start to miss England after two years there - I particularly missed British OLD buildings, like pubs. I think this will get at you in the end as every single building in Japan seems modern and, frankly, quite ugly.

Sorry, there's so much to say about the country I'm rambling. Good luck either way with your decision.

You don't appear to post so much on here - so I appreciate the input. Thanks very much!

That is a factor, though I think I am pretty used to the way that the Far East can often look. What was it you did in Japan?

Having worked in universities in both countries, my impression is that the working culture in the UK is much more reasonable than it is in Japan. More holidays and shorter working hours. One Chinese and one Korean I know who have worked in the UK for a couple of years have both told me they don't want to go back for basically that reason.

Also the Western European climate is much better than Japan's. Milder summers and winters, more weeks in the year when you can walk around outside without a coat or breaking into a sticky sweat.

Fair point. I suppose with the weather it is each to their own. I used to live in Beijing where the weather was this:

Autumn - 1 month, extremely pleasant

Winter - sub zero for about 3 months. Nasty coloured snow

Spring - windy, dust in your face constantly

Summer - like a hair dryer in your face

So I think I would cope with Japan.

One of my issues is my lack of Japanese and the fact I will have to work as an English teacher. I've done this before, but would be interested into any insights people might have in doing this in Japan, or more importantly, being able to find something else.

Edit: I should explain I spent 4 years in China, left about 4 years ago. My Chinese is/was conversational so I would have a head start on the kanji and have no illusions about the difficulty of the language/culture barrier.

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It's February. It's snowing in Osaka right now.

There was the worst snow I've ever seen in Tokyo last night. Though oddly the day Sunday and Today were nice and sunny!

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Having worked in universities in both countries, my impression is that the working culture in the UK is much more reasonable than it is in Japan. More holidays and shorter working hours. One Chinese and one Korean I know who have worked in the UK for a couple of years have both told me they don't want to go back for basically that reason.

On the negative side, I do find the people in my team very hard to work with professionally.

I wouldn't want to generalise this to the whole of the country, but they are not very conscientious in their work and are far from proactive.

If you want to do something other than teaching English, business culture can be a frustrating barrier which is weighing surprisingly heavily on the cons side in my own decision.

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I was an English teacher in a school about an hour west of Tokyo, in Kanagawa district. I'd also like to add that I agree with a previous poster here that there are no chavs in Japan and it is quite communal, with the Japanese having a general attitude that the group is more important than the individual.

Some of the best friends I ever had were the Japanese I knew in Kanagawa!

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I wouldn't want to generalise this to the whole of the country, but they are not very conscientious in their work and are far from proactive.

That's an interesting comment. Care to embellish? My limited experience of Japanese people is that they are very detail focussed and take pride in working long hours. The proactive thing - presumably you mean they don't suggest improvements and wait for the boss to tell them to do something?

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That's an interesting comment. Care to embellish? My limited experience of Japanese people is that they are very detail focussed and take pride in working long hours. The proactive thing - presumably you mean they don't suggest improvements and wait for the boss to tell them to do something?

I'd like to say that the Japanese I worked with had 'blind loyalty' - nothing was questioned by authority and when I questioned company policy or whatever it was not added to by staff. They, at least where I worked, prefered to follow than lead or create.

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That's an interesting comment. Care to embellish? My limited experience of Japanese people is that they are very detail focussed and take pride in working long hours. The proactive thing - presumably you mean they don't suggest improvements and wait for the boss to tell them to do something?

I have a small sample, but the team of 6 or 7 I work with spend long hours at the office, but seem to do a bit of a half hearted job.

Re proactive, I feel as though I have to badger the team every step of the way to get something done. In the UK we just set goals and they are usually met, but here I think people would maybe prefer a set of tasks that get them to the end point.

It's not really reasonable to generalise about a whole country based on my very narrow experience. I only really mentioned it because for me, the difficult work culture compared to back home has ended up near the top of my list of negatives. I didn't even consider this before I came.

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I have a small sample, but the team of 6 or 7 I work with spend long hours at the office, but seem to do a bit of a half hearted job.

When you say half hearted, you mean it takes time to get the job done, or that the job isn't done properly? Is it an issue where you feel you have to describe what you want in far too much detail?

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned FOOD yet.

Last year on R4 some restaurant critic said that in his experience, "the worst in Tokyo was better than the best in Paris."

And some of you must have seen that episode where Rick Stein went to Japan to see how they did it. By the end of the programme he was speechless at their general skill and obviously felt completely outclassed.

At one point he asked an ex PM what English dish he preferred and the man asked for examples of English dishes. That said it all. Stein vaguely mumbled something about roast beef.

How pathetic we are.

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I'd like to say that the Japanese I worked with had 'blind loyalty' - nothing was questioned by authority and when I questioned company policy or whatever it was not added to by staff. They, at least where I worked, prefered to follow than lead or create.

Sounds familiar! I don't expect to change anything in the places where I work. I'd be fine just putting my head down and getting on with it. I know the score in that respect. Unless you are aged and paid some serious amount of dues, you'll never get anywhere trying to get things changed.

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Sounds familiar! I don't expect to change anything in the places where I work. I'd be fine just putting my head down and getting on with it. I know the score in that respect. Unless you are aged and paid some serious amount of dues, you'll never get anywhere trying to get things changed.

Yes, I agree, it would be foolish to try and change it. I think a genuine attempt at 'fitting in' is only right out of respect for the culture you go to. I learnt Japanese as well, but I'm sure you know some from your wife?

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Yes, I agree, it would be foolish to try and change it. I think a genuine attempt at 'fitting in' is only right out of respect for the culture you go to. I learnt Japanese as well, but I'm sure you know some from your wife?

I've made some fairly half-arsed efforts. After coming back from China I made an effort initially to keep up with that and I found trying to learn Chinese and Japanese simultaneously was a bit of a non-starter. I have worked through the first two, Genki I think it was called, textbooks but that was a good couple of years ago now. Obviously if I moved to Japan I'd need to put my game face on fairly quickly. My understanding is that few Japanese speak English and those that can be uncomfortable doing so. Any efforts to speak Japanese are warmly welcomed and there are good opportunities to learn. Is that right? One of the impediments to my learning Mandarin was that any Mandarin was invariably met with a response in English, even when I got to the point where I was clearly conversational.

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My understanding is that few Japanese speak English and those that can be uncomfortable doing so. Any efforts to speak Japanese are warmly welcomed and there are good opportunities to learn. Is that right?

Generally, yes thats right. Like everywhere in the world there's more chance a young person would speak some English, but this is not as high as if you went to mainland Europe for example.

Once you start to learn there are many, many opportunities to practice - out of necessity if for no other reason. Hairdressers? Won't speak English. Shop assistants? Won't (usually) speak English. Train station staff? Won't speak English. Taxi drivers? You get the picture!

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Generally, yes thats right. Like everywhere in the world there's more chance a young person would speak some English, but this is not as high as if you went to mainland Europe for example.

Once you start to learn there are many, many opportunities to practice - out of necessity if for no other reason. Hairdressers? Won't speak English. Shop assistants? Won't (usually) speak English. Train station staff? Won't speak English. Taxi drivers? You get the picture!

I found it similar in China. However with my Chinese friends I usually ended up speaking English as they were university educated and keen to practise. I also got people wandering up to me at random and starting conversations. Did you get that in Japan too?

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I found it similar in China. However with my Chinese friends I usually ended up speaking English as they were university educated and keen to practise. I also got people wandering up to me at random and starting conversations. Did you get that in Japan too?

Occasionally it happened but not very often, to be honest. I think most Japanese are actually quite shy (until they get a few drinks down them and they turn into something quite different - but thats another story!) and as a result may feel a bit intiomidated by a western gaijin (foreigner).

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned FOOD yet.

At one point he asked an ex PM what English dish he preferred and the man asked for examples of English dishes. That said it all. Stein vaguely mumbled something about roast beef.

:lol:

Great comment.

Thanks for all the replies so far. I am giving this a shameless bump to see if I can get more advice. I asked around a TEFL forum and one person said I should buy a house in the UK and rent it out :ph34r:

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When I was there I met several gaijin with Japanese wives and kids, spoke the lingo perfectly, but the authorities would not give them Japanese citizenship. Forget western ideas of sexual equality. A Japanese man taking a western wife is quite different to to the other way around.

Japan has no energy resources, no mineral resources, cannot even produce enough food for its massive population. If you want to go somewhere, choose a place like Australia which has all these in abundance.

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When I was there I met several gaijin with Japanese wives and kids, spoke the lingo perfectly, but the authorities would not give them Japanese citizenship. Forget western ideas of sexual equality. A Japanese man taking a western wife is quite different to to the other way around.

Japan has no energy resources, no mineral resources, cannot even produce enough food for its massive population. If you want to go somewhere, choose a place like Australia which has all these in abundance.

Not bothered about getting Japanese citizenship. Am not sure Japan has no energy resources - tidal power? Surely they have potential to also exploit thermal energy? It is dependant on mineral resources, but aren't we all? And can the UK feed itself?

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Mrs Fafa and I have been immensely fortunate in recently coming into a sufficient sum of money that after adding to our own savings would mean that we would be able to buy a 3 or 4 bed house in either the UK or Japan (Mrs Fafa hails from the land of the rising sun) cash and start a family. In either country we believe that we would be able to generate an income to live comfortably and raise a child. This leaves us a quandary - which country would be better to live in long term - Japan or the UK? Anyone care to share any insights regarding living in Japan (particularly raising a kid there) and/or Japan vs UK long term economic prospects? Should we go with Japan, Mrs Fafa's preferred cities are Sendai, Yokohama, Kawasaki, Kobe, Okayama or Fukuoka. In the UK we would probably look to remain in the East Mids where we could get a house in a decent area.

Any and all random advice much appreciated

There's so much I could say as I lived there from 1989 to 2004 but I'll keep it brief.

Think of your children, protect them from the horror of their education system.

I have a few friends who are married to Japanese women and have returned to the UK. After a hard time adjusting (mainly the men!) they are doing pretty well, especially their wives! On the other hand those that stayed are struggling....losing it mentally, divorce etc. It's really quite sad......

If I was you I'd go for a couple of years, time enough to have the full experience, no need to spend longer as you don't need to save money! Anyway, that's my random advice.

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  • 284 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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