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Old 12-07-2009, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Olympus Mons, Mars
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I just returned from a 20 day trip to Japan spending several days in the mega city of Tokyo. I am just in awe of the sheer size and energy level of this city which outdoes NYC by a mile (if that was even possible to say but it is!!!).

Has anyone lived long term in Tokyo? Did living there meet your expectations? I know tourists are treated very politely in Japan, does this differ if you are a resident...meaning is there any subtle discrimination towards non-Japanese?
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:08 PM
 
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Although I don't actually live in the city of Tokyo, but in the suburban Kanagawa Prefecture, I can give you some insight about living in Tokyo. As a foreign resident, you should be less likely to encounter discrimination in the city of Tokyo than you would in the rural areas, just like in the States. Tokyo is more diverse than more people would imagine, especially in the Wards of Shinjuku and Minato. Even if only 1% of the population is non-Japanese, in a city with millions, 1% is still a lot of people. One thing I can tell you about Tokyo is that it is safe, but very expensive. What do you want to do for work there? Teaching English is a popular job for Americans living here and is in high demand, but I'm not sure how much it pays.
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:24 PM
 
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I think cities like Fukuoka are better to live in than Tokyo by far.
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:47 PM
 
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I like life in Tokyo. Lifestyle of their traditional nature, but much higher utility with a life of industry. Harmony between economy development and traditional culture made me very comfortable. But Tokyo is also the world's most expensive places so you should also spend more to yourself.


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Old 12-10-2009, 06:51 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
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I was born and raised in NYC, I lived in Tokyo for 4 years and all I can say is....Whoa, what an amazing experience. I cant compare living in NY to Tokyo, I'm a visitor here no matter how long I live in Japan..it's not the same as being an American and living in NY as far as ease of communication and adjustments. Tokyo is everything you imagine and 1,000 more things you cant even dream of yet. I have enjoyed 99.9% of my time in Tokyo, the language can be an issue, some people do not speak English very well, but try (but you would be shocked at how many Japanese speak French, German, Spanish...fluently!)...but hey, I'm in Japan, I should learn to speak better Japanese. Anybody that has not been to Tokyo or Japan, just cant imagine....pictures and stories dont do this city justice.

Now, I have recently left Tokyo and moved to Okinawa, so in many ways I exactly agree with NihonKitty...The rest of Japan is much better for a real learning experience of what makes Japan so special. Thats the true beauty of this place is the ability to amaze you whether you are in the middle of Shibuya or an ocean beach in Okinawa....(I have heard on many separate occasions that Fukuoka is really cool)

Hope this helps with the question, just one guys opinion...other opinions will vary (I would hope!)
5
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Old 12-13-2009, 06:37 PM
 
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I wish more new yorkers would visit tokyo like you guys.

Last edited by Cornerguy1; 12-13-2009 at 07:30 PM.. Reason: personal attack removed
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Old 12-13-2009, 11:23 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k374 View Post
I just returned from a 20 day trip to Japan spending several days in the mega city of Tokyo. I am just in awe of the sheer size and energy level of this city which outdoes NYC by a mile (if that was even possible to say but it is!!!).

Has anyone lived long term in Tokyo? Did living there meet your expectations? I know tourists are treated very politely in Japan, does this differ if you are a resident...meaning is there any subtle discrimination towards non-Japanese?
From my own experiences in Japan and my wife's input (she's from Odawara), there really isn't much in the way of discrimination towards non-Japanese, unless you want a government ministry job (e.g. minister of finance, or defence, etc). Such "high level" jobs are strictly for the Japanese. Also, don't just go around saying "Okinawa air base should stay!!!" So, basically just don't go throwing salt on open wounds and you'll be fine, and don't be a loudmouth typical American tourist (I understood what that meant when I went to Japan).

Being conformist is also generally a good thing. In Japan, unless you're a genius with the grades and pedigree to prove it (eg. 4.0 GPA from Harvard or MIT), people don't like ideas that are too outside the box. Gradual evolutions from proven techniques, ideas, marketing strategies / products, and management are the norm.

Heck, I went to Japan and nobody cared that a white "gaijin American" like me was married / dating a Japanese woman. In many ways they're more open than us Americans are. Just be respectful of their customs and learn as much asa you can about this ancient and interesting culture, and you'll do fine.
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Macao
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I live in Japan - and in the countryside. I'm white.

I don't see the discrimination...but I hear and read about it all the time on messageboards.

The only things I've been 'discriminated' against is when I've gone into bars and not known exactly what was going on (maybe something else with high prices, know what I mean?) and they discourage me. Which is FINE by me!

However, I've met other foreigners who've experienced racism somehow or another...who knows how.

To me, even way out in the countryside, I've found Japanese people to be very nice and welcoming. A bit too much, in some ways, I'm kind of what the stereotype of a Japanese person might be. Meaning, I generally would prefer to just 'do my thing' without a bunch of people bothering me or giving me attention. The fact that Japanese just allow me to 'do my thing' is great.

I also lived in Korea for years...and it got a little tiring having Koreans always asking me 'whats your name?' and 'have you tried kimchee?' every time I got on the subway, etc.

Anyways, if a person wants intrusive excessive 'friendliness' and to be treated like a foreigner every second of their lives...I think they are better off in Korea, China, or even southeast asia.

I feel great being in Japan, and NOT being the center of attention with nearly everything I do. I don't experience 'discrimination' either...I've yet to have it happen actually.

Nontheless, here I am. I haven't lived in Tokyo, but small town northern Japan and I lived in Seoul for years. Mostly when I've visited Tokyo, I've found it greatly overpriced and not nearly as much fun as Seoul or New York City (I also lived in NYC for a few years).

SADLY...Tokyo nightlife dies down quickly after 12midnight because of the trains. BEing that taxis are jacked up to unimagineable prices...nearly everyone vacates everywhere to their homes quite quickly by the time the last train stops. During the daytime hours though, Tokyo is great!

If a person is from a 2am closing time city from the States..or from the UK (bar time is 11pm I believe)...then the midnight is do-able. Actually the nightlife IS 24 hours...its just because of the trains it gets boring quickly. You can hangout in Roponggi all night though and get harrassed by th Nigerians trying to get you into overpriced establishments though, if you do want to hangout all night.

Personally I MUCH prefer OSAKA...it is 24 hours and FEELS LIKE IT....as it's more small and accessable to everyone, as taxi fares aren't as bad as it isn't as spread out. Plus everyone parties in one big main spot in Osaka, where Tokyo has a number of spots.

ANYWAYS...personally I think Tokyo's nightlife is WAY OVER-RATED...I've also found most other Asian cities to be much better in that area as well - i.e. Manila, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Seoul, etc. But compared to Europe or North America...than Tokyo blows most of those cities away - except for Vegas, New Orleans, Miami, and New York.
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:12 PM
 
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I think alot of the xenophobia in japan toward foreigners is mostly foreigners who dont know theyre doing something wrong etc. Foreigners who adapted to japanese culture and are respectful will never have a problem I think. But I am sure there are SOME incidents of real racism like police profiling but I dont think its that bad.

As for nightlife Osaka blows out all of those cities you listed, including tokyo. Tokyo is too strict and "busy" for me.
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Old 12-15-2009, 01:42 AM
 
3,667 posts, read 8,838,693 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
SADLY...Tokyo nightlife dies down quickly after 12midnight because of the trains. BEing that taxis are jacked up to unimagineable prices...nearly everyone vacates everywhere to their homes quite quickly by the time the last train stops. During the daytime hours though, Tokyo is great!

If a person is from a 2am closing time city from the States..or from the UK (bar time is 11pm I believe)...then the midnight is do-able. Actually the nightlife IS 24 hours...its just because of the trains it gets boring quickly. You can hangout in Roponggi all night though and get harrassed by th Nigerians trying to get you into overpriced establishments though, if you do want to hangout all night.

Personally I MUCH prefer OSAKA...it is 24 hours and FEELS LIKE IT....as it's more small and accessable to everyone, as taxi fares aren't as bad as it isn't as spread out. Plus everyone parties in one big main spot in Osaka, where Tokyo has a number of spots.

ANYWAYS...personally I think Tokyo's nightlife is WAY OVER-RATED...I've also found most other Asian cities to be much better in that area as well - i.e. Manila, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Seoul, etc. But compared to Europe or North America...than Tokyo blows most of those cities away - except for Vegas, New Orleans, Miami, and New York.
I have noticed that Tokyo's nightlife is lacking for a city that size. I mean Roppongi is fun sometimes, but going there every single weekend can get old quick. The thing is that there are only a few nightlife districts in Tokyo, and the two main ones are Roppongi and Shibuya. Other than that, you have a few bars/clubs in Shinjuku, Ginza, Ebisu, Akihabara, Azabu, and a few other places. Overall, I feel that the selection of bars and clubs are about the same as Atlanta, which is rated one of the best nightlife cities in the States, but not on the level of NYC or London.

What most people do is stay at the clubs and catch the first train around 5 a.m., and it many places the crowd doesn't show up until midnight or 1. Overall, what I have to say about Roppongi is, even though I don't like getting harassed by Nigerians and massage girls, what I love about it is that there's a lot of hot girls that go out there. The other downside is that there is possibility of competition with other American men, and they tend to check another's manhood and act like themselves are more worthy of a hot girl. That usually doesn't happen though, as the female-to-male ratio is pretty good and people are usually chill.
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