Category Archives: Japan: Life

Everyday life in Japan

Musings of a Gaijin: First Months in Japan

By Guest Writer Simon Adams

Editor’s note: For us who have been living in Japan for so long, it is refreshing to occasionally read the account of someone who is fresh off the plane, and still living in wonder everyday at how this country ticks. This is an article that Simon wrote when he had only been here for a few months. It bought a nostalgic smile to my face, so I hope it does the same for you.

Bike attendant in JapanApparently, it’s common-knowledge amongst thieves in Japan, that your typical bicycle here – with its typical handcuff-styled bike-lock through the rear wheel, can be easily picked using an umbrella. At least, That’s what the local Police told my wife and I when we reported our fifth stolen bike in only a few months after arriving in Japan. Continue reading Musings of a Gaijin: First Months in Japan

Enough for breakfast?

Japanese Frosties..hmmOne of the cultural differences I have never been able to overcome in all my time in Japan, is that of eating a Japanese style breakfast, ie fish, rice and miso soup. Lunch or dinner, no problem, but not breakfast. This leaves me with two options, go without, or look for toast or cereal or something more agreeable to my stomach.

We often discuss amongst ourselves how Japan’s reputation of being such an expensive country to live, is possibly not so true any more. The two reasons for this are that prices overseas have been steadily increasing, whereas in Japan they have been stagnant for over a decade. The other reason is that if you are eating and living an ex-pat lifestlye (as we suspect the people doing the ratings do), then living is expensive. You still have to pay extra for larger apartments (with gaijin height kitchen benches), steak dinners, and yes, western breakfast cereals! Continue reading Enough for breakfast?