How hard is it for an Indian to settle in Japan?

How hard is it for an Indian to settle in Japan? Jul, 19 2023

Understanding the Cultural Differences

As an Indian moving to Japan, the first thing you will notice is the stark cultural differences. Japanese culture is deeply rooted in tradition and respect. The way they communicate, the food they eat, their social etiquette, everything is very different from what we are accustomed to in India. It's a beautiful culture, but can be a bit overwhelming at the start. You might find it hard to adjust initially, but with time, most Indians start appreciating the Japanese way of life.

Navigating the Language Barrier

One of the biggest challenges for an Indian in Japan is the language barrier. Japanese is the primary language spoken and although English is taught in schools, not everyone is fluent in it. From grocery shopping to asking for directions, a basic understanding of Japanese is a must. Many Indians take up language classes or use language learning apps to overcome this barrier. However, it's a steep learning curve and can take a considerable amount of time to become fluent.

Getting Used to the Food

Japanese cuisine is vastly different from Indian cuisine. While we are used to spicy curries and rice dishes, Japanese food is mild and often contains fish and seafood. Sushi, ramen, and tempura are some of the common dishes. Initially, you might miss the familiar flavors of home, but gradually you'll start enjoying Japanese cuisine. They also have vegetarian and vegan options, but they are not as widely available.

Finding Accommodation

Finding a suitable accommodation in Japan can be a challenge. Japanese apartments are generally small and expensive. Also, there are certain rental agreements where foreigners are not preferred. However, with the help of real estate agents and some persistence, you can find a place that suits your needs. Some companies also provide accommodation for their employees which can be a big help.

Work Culture in Japan

The work culture in Japan is very different from India. Japanese are known for their hard work and long working hours. They also value punctuality and discipline a lot. This might seem a bit harsh initially but it is something that you get used to with time. Also, most companies are now recognizing the importance of work-life balance and things are slowly changing.

Dealing with Homesickness

No matter how exciting the prospect of living in a new country is, there will be times when you miss home. This is a common experience for most expats. With time, you learn to deal with it. Keeping in touch with family and friends, finding Indian communities in Japan, and even cooking your favorite Indian dishes can help you cope with homesickness.

The Education System in Japan

If you are moving with your family, it's important to understand the education system in Japan. The Japanese education system is one of the best in the world. However, the medium of instruction is primarily Japanese. International schools are a good option but they can be quite expensive. On the bright side, most universities offer courses in English and are welcoming to international students.

Social Life and Leisure Activities

Japan is a country with a rich history and culture. There are countless places to visit and activities to indulge in during your leisure time. From visiting ancient temples to enjoying a traditional tea ceremony, there's a lot to explore. Making Japanese friends can also help you understand their culture better. However, forming deep friendships can take time as Japanese people are generally reserved.