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Staying long-term in Japan (Nagoya)

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Staying long-term in Japan (Nagoya)

Postby Ovioprime » Sun 01.14.2007 7:20 pm

Hi,

I might get a chance to move to Nagoya for 2 to 3 years with my company.

I know (from personal experience) that lots of people that going there for short periods of time, such as holidays, everyone seems lovely and friendly and so on.

How have people found the longer term experience? How easy is it to get a decent group of friends when you are a foreigner? I am from the UK and would likely be put in serviced accomodation for ex-pats by my company. Has anyone done something along these lines? What sort of experience did you end up having? I am learning the language, and have been for a while now - I am also interested in the culture and so on.

Any advice, and general reasurance that I won't end up bitter because I spend my time drinking in British theme pubs, being asked if I eat fish and chips and having people tell my how good my chopstick skills are and other assorted cliches and sterotypes will be much appreciated.

Cheers,

Dave
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RE: Staying long-term in Japan (Nagoya)

Postby Oyaji » Sun 01.14.2007 8:48 pm

My advice is to join a group unassociated with your work or where you live. If you go to the local gym or community center you should be able to find clubs or classes for judo, calligraphy, basketball, chess, mountain climbing, pretty much anything you might be interested in. It can be something you already do (if you are good at some sport you would probably be welcomed with open arms) or you could try your hand at learning some part of Japanese culture. The point is to make a circle of Japanese friends in your private live.

The chopstick and other cliches are pretty much unavoidable, but you can usually brush those off with an inoffensive (and unoffended) comment and smile, and quickly change the subject. Most people get those things out of their systems fairly quickly, and you should be able to make some good friends. Don't let those few people who seem obsessed by your *foreignness* ruin it for you.

Good luck, and have fun!
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RE: Staying long-term in Japan (Nagoya)

Postby Mike Cash » Mon 01.15.2007 9:33 am

I thought 2-3 years was short term.....
Never underestimate my capacity for pettiness.
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RE: Staying long-term in Japan (Nagoya)

Postby Dehitay » Mon 01.15.2007 10:10 am

Mike Cash wrote:
I thought 2-3 years was short term.....

not for us youngens
last semester is when I decided I want to visit Japan after I graduate (which will be 2 years from the point I decided). Now with only 1/2 a year of that gone, it seems like it's taking forever!
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RE: Staying long-term in Japan (Nagoya)

Postby Kagemaru » Mon 01.15.2007 11:08 am

Ahhh Nagoya. Fond memories.

I think Oyaji nailed it.

In addition, some foreign friends were good to have during the early days when I was struggling with culture, language and behavioural differences.

There is a pitfall with that. It is very easy to stay inside the foreign circle and become stuck. It is sad when I see those in that circle who are missing out. I am still finding wonderful things here as I unlock the language more. I don't think I could be doing that successfully had I stayed there.
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RE: Staying long-term in Japan (Nagoya)

Postby Matsumoto_hideto » Tue 01.16.2007 5:57 pm

Do your best and try everything. Make Japanese friends and once you start adapting to the culture and your surroundings things wont seem too rough.
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