One Year


Well it’s official, I’ve now been living in Japan for one year now. My visa was renewed for three years, so I’ll probably be here for a while longer. Anyways I thought I would list some pros and cons I’ve discovered during my stay so far.


  • Work is good and much easier than my old job in Canada
  • Sendai is a nice city
  • Hardly any snow in the winter
  • Lot’s of cool trinkets and stuff to buy
  • Living in the countryside in Kakuda is kind of nice
  • Fast Internet
  • Barely any traffic on the roads
  • Fast food is great (except no Mexican, or submarine sandwiches)
  • Small “Kei” cars are awesome
  • No tipping at restaurants or anywhere for that matter


  • Japan is missing a lot of different international foods (ie. Greek, Lebanese, Sri Lankan, any Middle Eastern food)
  • Language barrier can be difficult sometimes when I’m on my own
  • Getting stared at all of the time by old people and children because I look different
  • People are polite, but not nice a lot of the time
  • No debit machines at stores, having to have cash all of time is a bit troublesome
  • Lots of old fashion silly nonsensical social rules
  • Many ethnic foods are made to the Japanese taste thus making them not nearly as good
  • Houses are cold and drafty in the winter (no central heating)
  • Bacon is not as good!!!

So there you go. Those are my thoughts after one year. I’m still adapting, but I’ve gotten comfortable over the last year. It’s starting to feel a bit like home.



Filed under Japan

16 responses to “One Year

  1. Ku Ri Su


    Be careful, it is very easy to stay. I almost didn’t come home.

  2. Yeah, the cold drafty house are a definite negative.

    I am pretty used to being stared at now but it was somewhat disconcerting the first couple times I visited Japan.

    • The staring doesn’t usually bother me, but when old people stare at me like I’m a “criminal” with a scowl on their face, it kind of does.

      • I try to give people the benefit of the doubt.
        Maybe they’re not angry and don’t even realize they’re making a “scowl”.

        Anyways, so you’ve been in Japan one year now??
        Goes by quickly, huh?

        Interesting list of “pros and cons”.
        I guess when I had been in Japan for one year, I would’ve had a similar list. But, after 18 years, I think my list has alot more “pros” than “cons” now.

        • I’m sure I’ll find out more Pros and Cons the longer I stay here too. Maybe some of your Cons from when you first came don’t bother you anymore.

  3. Bee

    Your bacon needs will always be a few postage stamps (and weeks) away! πŸ˜›

    • Beck, you are like the “French Connection” for bacon!

      • You don’t eat Japanese bacon?γ€€I ‘ve not had bacon from abroad. Is it so different from Japanese?
        I didn’t know you’ve been Japan for only one year. You seem very blended in.

        • I eat Japanese bacon, but North American bacon is so much better. It’s smoked, more salty and generally cooked nice and crispy. I recommend never trying it, then you won’t crave it like I do all of the time. πŸ˜‰

  4. Congratulations on your 1 year in Japan. For me, one adjustment was living in the suburbs (large house) in Toronto, Canada vs. living in the crowded and bustling city (smaller apartment) of Tokyo, Japan – looks like you did the opposite.

  5. The gaijin stare! I understand completely! I can only describe that look as feeling like your a cross between a celebrity and a dirty zoo animal. In my case, I think the criminal scowl is from my choice in thin-strap tops….?

    Look on the bright side, at least don’t have to fret over チカン on the train!

  6. Douglas

    Eric – ah! This is a nice entry in your blog. Suggestion: your first item in the pro’s list – work – could you talk about it some more. What do you do? Teach I assume but then can we get details? How is it better than what you were doing before – money wise? condition wise? more interesting? How so? Would be nice to know these things… Keep blogging my friend!!

    • I am an English teacher. It’s pretty much the only job that I can do in Japan, due to not speaking much Japanese.

      I was a courier back in Canada. It paid lousy, had long hours, and they treated people poorly. So my job right now is pretty much better in every way.

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