Things to Know About Japan Before Moving There

Things to Know About Japan Before Moving There

Japan intrigues visitors with its combination of ultramodern advances and ancient traditions. Talking toilets, lightning-fast bullet trains, and robot restaurants intermix with tranquil temples, spring cherry blossoms, and zen rock gardens. This captivating contrast leaves an indelible impression. Likewise, Japan’s low crime yet organized syndicates, poisonous delicacies, and natural disasters reveal its culture of contradictions. However, most foreigners find Japan’s society based on order, respect, and group harmony better aligned with their values than expected prior to visiting.

Before undertaking an international relocation to Japan through preferred migration resources’ global immigration consultants, wise travelers first unpack some of this complex country’s customs. This inside look helps smooth significant life transitions and legal preparations necessary for long-term stays or permanent residencies.

What Foreigners Should Know About Japan

Japan has a unique culture that may surprise foreigners. From advanced technology like talking toilets to deep traditions like flower viewing parties, Japan blends the ancient and modern in fascinating ways. Immigrants should learn about Japanese etiquette, safety, food, nature, and more to transition smoothly.

An Ageing yet High-Tech Nation

Japan has one of the oldest populations globally, with over 25% aged above 65. By 2055, 40% will be seniors. Declining birth rates mean fewer young people to support the elderly through taxes and caregiving. However, Japan invests heavily in robots and technology to compensate. For example, intelligent “washlet” toilets have features like heated seats, water jets, and artificial flushing sounds. 

Stunning Natural Landscapes 

While Tokyo and other major cities showcase Japan’s futuristic side, the countryside reveals its natural splendor. Nearly 70% of Japan is forested, with stunning places like the Blue Pond of Biei, flower fields of Hitachi, snowy mountains in the north, and subtropical beaches in Okinawa. Experience hot spring baths at secluded onsens surrounded by villages or scenic vistas.

Crime Rates Are Very Low

Japan has one of the lowest crime rates globally. Violent crime and gun violence rarely occur, and drug use stays low. However, organized crime groups called Yakuza exist, though regulated by the government. Still, Japan provides exceptional safety, especially in cities. For example, Tokyo ranked the world’s safest city in 2017. Crime happens but remains relatively rare, so tourists and residents can feel secure. 

Earthquakes Are Frequent

Sitting on the volatile “Ring of Fire” fault zone leads to constant earthquakes and tremors in Japan, from small shakes to massive quakes causing devastation. The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake registered 9.0 magnitude. While scary, Japan has very high earthquake-safety standards for buildings and infrastructure. For instance, bullet trains can brake automatically and quickly if tremors strike while traveling at speeds of 155 mph.

Key Etiquette and Customs

Japan prides itself on social harmony and respect. Observing some key cultural rules and taboos will help you avoid embarrassing blunders. Be aware of unspoken expectations, too.

Remove Shoes at Homes/Temples

Leaving shoes on when entering a Japanese home or temple is very rude. Stocking feet keep interiors clean. Bring indoor slippers if hosts provide them. At traditional inns called ryokans, change into robes and sandals when relaxing.

Quiet Environments Are Valued

Avoid loud talking or noises in public, especially in mass transit. Chatting on cell phones, blowing your nose, or other disruptions break the valued stillness. Exceptions are slurping noodles, showing their deliciousness. Similarly, don’t leave tips at restaurants or hotels, which insults staff paid appropriately already.

Bowing Shows Respect

Bows signify gratitude and status differences. Bow when greeting others or saying thank you. Bow deeper for superiors and elders. Hand business cards with both hands, examine the cards, and then put them away respectfully. Avoid back slaps or touching strangers as it disturbs personal space boundaries.

Food You Must Try

Japanese cuisine relies on simplicity, freshness, and highlighting natural flavors. It ranges from comforting to deadly.

Sushi and Ramen Noodles

Artful sushi and steaming bowls of ramen provide delicious, internationally popular staples. Try conveyor-belt style kaitenzushi restaurants for affordable variety. Ramen’s rich broth with curly noodles can have regional flavors, too. Don’t miss these classics!

Okonomiyaki Savory Pancakes

Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki stacks ingredients like batter, cabbage, and pork belly layered and then grilled. Toppings and sauce complete these hearty, customizable pancakes. Watch chefs preparing okonomiyaki on large hotplates at eateries.

Fugu – Poisonous Pufferfish

Dare to try pufferfish sashimi at your own risk! Called fugu, it contains lethal toxins, but specially licensed chefs can serve non-poisonous parts. Still, its numbing effect on the lips unsettles diners. Fugu’s price makes it an expensive delicacy, too. 

Relaxation and Nature Therapy

With a strong work ethic, the Japanese also value rest and wellness. Old and new approaches promote mental health and work-life balance. 

Onsen Hot Spring Baths

Take a dip in relaxing mineral hot springs called onsens for the ultimate spa therapy. Disrobe completely before soaking in communal baths surrounded by nature. Bathing nude is mandatory. Onsens promote circulation, joint pain relief, and serenity. Popular resort towns feature these healing waters.

Forest Bathing

Shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing,” started in Japan during the 1980s. It focuses on mindfully experiencing nature through sights, sounds, scents, and more. Studies show forest therapy reduces stress, anxiety, fatigue, and blood pressure.

Power Naps Encouraged

Napping in public places demonstrates hard work, not laziness. This practice, called inemuri, lets people take a brief, refreshing sleep on trains, park benches, store floors, and more. Some even fake dozing off to appear diligent!

When considering an international move, trust the global immigration consultants at PMR. Contact PMR to discuss your relocation goals. With visa expertise for countries worldwide, PMR streamlines international relocations through every step – immigration paperwork, shipment coordination, home sales and purchases, school registration for kids, and more. Visit PMR online today to learn about their comprehensive assistance. Contact them to begin your visa and moving process now to enter Japan or other foreign countries smoothly.



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