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Move to Japan?
Old 07-18-2013, 05:03 PM   #1
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Move to Japan?

Hi - during my professional career and pre-fire I went to Japan several times on business and for fun.

I am contemplating moving there and offering consulting to locals post fire as I now have he flexibility to be more experimental in my professional / income pursuits.

I would likely live in Tokyo.

I was wondering if anyone from the forum has moved from the USA to Japan and if so how is it working out with your portfolio in America? Or did you make the total jump? Last few years the exchange rate was abysmal.
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:01 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by shasta View Post
I am contemplating moving there and offering consulting to locals post fire as I now have he flexibility to be more experimental in my professional / income pursuits.
Do you need a work visa to do this?
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:51 PM   #3
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Lived in Yokohama (Tokyo) for a few years but was thankful that my company was footing most of the bill!

Extremely expensive if you want to live like a Westerner. A single cantaloupe can run about $60!

If you want to live like the Japanese, it's a little cheaper (for food) but everything is pretty pricey compared to the US.

As photoguy mentioned, I'd check out the work/visa requirements; can be a real paper-chase. Most ex-pats there will tell you to ease into it rather than an immediate both-footed jump.

Caveat: Japanese medical care looks good on the surface can be near "medieval" even in the big cities. Anything worse than a broken bone: "head back to the US".

Don't get me wrong, it's a great place and lots of fun (and my favorite of all places) but living there can be challenging at times.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:17 PM   #4
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We just moved back to the US from Tokyo in December. I was also glad my company was footing the bill for a lot of things. Our apt was 1800sq ft, was old, and cost $6800 per month at the exchange rate when we left.

Medical is not what you are used to in the US but if you find a good hospital, it is not bad. It used to be much, much worse. On the other hand, it is relatively affordable.

Food is extremely expensive, from the super expensive fruits to the everyday liter of milk ($2.75 or so).

We left Japan for a variety of reasons, but the fact of the matter is that costs of living that we were used to would have been difficult to maintain, even though we have a substantial nest egg. More importantly, I'm an outdoorsy kind of guy and family means everything to me. My kids were/are in the US, my parents are in the US, siblings, etc. I had no yard (I love gardening). I love to go camping (not many places for that near Tokyo). I don't like golf very much, which is a big Japanese men's pastime. Other than going for a daily run, I would not have had much of anything to do (that I enjoy).

All of that said, I loved the people and the culture. If I ever returned to work , that is where I would want to do it.

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Old 07-19-2013, 02:27 AM   #5
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Don't know your reasons for wanting to be in Japan. As for me, I spent a couple years living in Asia and, if I were to move back, I'd choose Thailand. Lower cost of living; high quality of life.
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Old 07-19-2013, 06:38 AM   #6
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Thanks for the thoughts. I can get the visa especially if working there. I have sponsors etc.

I get around there pretty cheap when visiting and that was back when the xchange rate was $1 to 0.70JPY or so and many other times. I do as you say eat and do local stuff, not westerner style.

I will of course do several more longer stays to decide.
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