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Moving to Japan

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Moving to Japan

Postby ProbyWaN1337 » Tue 09.13.2005 11:33 pm

Hello.
I would like to know any information about how an American like mysef could move to Japan without being in a program like JET or being totally fluent in Japanese. If I have an American Driver's license is it legal for me to drive in Japan or would I be restricted to public transportation, walking, etc.?
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RE: Moving to Japan

Postby Harisenbon » Wed 09.14.2005 3:21 am

There are a number of Jobs availble in Japan for foreigners, however unless your Japanese is very good, you will probably be consigned to teaching english. Check out gaijinpot.com for a number of such jobs. You could also try some english language schools such as ECC or NOVA.

If you have an American Driver's license, you will need to get an International Permit, available at any AAA branch. This will allow you to drive for 1 year (no chance to renew, no matter what the people at AAA tell you). By the end of that one year, you must pass the Japanese transfer driver's test or lose your license.
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RE: Moving to Japan

Postby nprz » Mon 10.10.2005 11:04 pm

Public transportation is Japan is excellent and I wouldn't view it as a restriction but as a benefit especially if you are in Tokyo. If you are in a small town on the other hand, having a vehicle can become necessary.
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RE: Moving to Japan

Postby Binsento » Wed 10.12.2005 8:51 am

I think i have yet to meet a japanese person who actually owns a drivers license, in the big cities it's a completely useless thing to have.
Having a car is insanely expensive. I could rent a nice appartment in Holland for the price of a parking space in Tokyo.
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RE: Moving to Japan

Postby Harisenbon » Wed 10.12.2005 9:03 am

Binseto,
I would like to contest that, as every Japanese person I know over the age of 20 has a drivers license (minus one who has an american license, but not a Japanese one). Perhaps in tokyo it's not that useful, but there's a lot of Japan that is not Tokyo.
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RE: Moving to Japan

Postby Binsento » Wed 10.12.2005 9:22 am

Harisenbon wrote:
Binseto,
I would like to contest that, as every Japanese person I know over the age of 20 has a drivers license (minus one who has an american license, but not a Japanese one). Perhaps in tokyo it's not that useful, but there's a lot of Japan that is not Tokyo.
Yes, i thought of that after i wrote it. You're right, i'm a little obsessed with Tokyo lately, sometimes i forget that theres more than just Tokyo.
Sorry, now i actually feel like bad person :(
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RE: Moving to Japan

Postby Harisenbon » Wed 10.12.2005 10:10 pm

Binseto,
Well... you are a bad person. Bad bad bad. How dare you. *laugh*

I grew up in Tennesse, where if you don't have a car, you're not going anywhere. When I turned 15 (back before the laws were changed to 18), I went down to the DMV that day and got my license. When I moved to New York I met people who were 20-30 and had never driven a car. It was the creepiest thing I had ever heard.
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