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Daily Life in Japan

What is daily life really like in Japan for the non-Japanese living here? This is one question that the Japan Podcast will address regularly over the next few years. In particular, what aspects of Japanese culture does a Westerner living in, say, Tokyo or Osaka come across everyday?

Despite the effects of rampant globalization(Americanization?), Japan is still(unsurprisingly) very Japanese. Although it is possible to live in some kind of gaijin bubble, hanging out with westerners all the time, cultural issues do tend to crop up very regularly. Many westerners here seem to be oblivious to cultural factors, resulting in a condition known as “Gaijinitus”.

Early symptoms of Gaijinitus include misunderstanding everyday situations and being puzzled by things that are said to you. Later symptoms include a feeling that everything in Japan is wrong….

Do you suffer from Gaijinitis? Please leave a comment with your experiences and/or cures.

2 Responses to “Daily Life in Japan”

  1. sarahf says:

    I live in a small city so my experiences may be different to those in Osaka or Tokyo. I know very few Westerners, and live with Japanese roommates, only one of whom speaks any English. Wonderful and totally frustrating at the same time.

  2. Terri says:

    I tell you what: you will leave that experience speaking and understanding the language much better than people like me who have always been in Tokyo and get by without it.

    your blog is great, btw!