Anyone here work in Japan?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Essenar, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. Essenar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2008
    #1
    TL:DR Version:
    $36000 a year to work as an engineer in Japan
    Housing is very cheap for employees. They provide a one room dormitory for $100-150 a month.
    It will either be in Kyoto or Tokyo.
    I want to own a Skyline GTR (Older version, R33 or R34) and I heard parking is expensive.
    What's it like to live in Japan as a foreigner?
    How much are typical yearly raises?

    Background:
    I'm an Environmental Engineering soon-to-be graduate from University of California San Diego. Most Environmental Engineering programs focus on civil or structural engineering but the program here in La Jolla focuses on mechanical engineering, flow properties and the environmental impacts of technology used in industrial development.

    What does that mean?
    Most environmental engineering jobs don't actually have job duties that apply to us which means most of our graduates either go to graduate school or work in a different market than the one they studied. However, I've been having trouble coming to terms with either of these options: I don't want to be in debt any longer and I haven't been getting solid job offers here in California.

    Now I wanted to study abroad in Japan but as an engineering student I had to make difficult choices about the classes I had to take and some times I had to re-take classes. I was always on the verge of not being on track to graduate so I didn't have a quarter I could "throw away" to study abroad.

    I had an interview in Los Angeles for a very big Office Equipment Corporation to work in their Business Development division as an Engineer. I would be designing, planning and testing office equipment in either Kyoto or Tokyo. I didn't think the interview would amount to much because I didn't ask very good questions and my Japanese was very rocky but apparently I nailed it. I took their proficiency exam (SPI exam) and passed it, submitted a research summary (More detailed CV that includes classes I've taken and will take and projects I've worked on) and now I'm in the final stages of the interview process.

    In the beginning, I didn't think much of it because I didn't think I'd get it and I also thought I would land a solid offer here in the US. Now, neither of those presumptions has come to surface so I have to make some real decisions about this. This is not the type of economy where I can linger around wondering about what to do next. I have very real debt and a lack of family support to manage it. So I've managed to narrow down the following truths about the job and the environment but I would love some feedback from people who've lived and worked in Japan (And continue to do so, if applicable, or if you came back).

    Compensation, Benefits, Location:
    211000~225000 Yen/Month = $2016-2150 USD/Month
    Singles dormitory with provided shuttle to work and a meal plan, gymnasium
    (Charges approximately $100~150 USD/Month)
    Kyoto or Tokyo Prefecture
    Full medical, dental and optical insurance plans with a lot of coverage, a wide network and very low copay.
    I can live in the singles dormitory for up to 7 years.
    Two bonuses per year (June/December) for approximately 6 months total of salary.
    One raise per year (April).
    Free training, classes and growth opportunities.
    15-20 days of annual vacation paid leave.
    Year End/Beginning and Summer scheduled vacation time.
    Paid tuition and college training (They'll comp my hours if I take classes along with paying tuition and books/materials)

    Thoughts on Benefits/Compensation/Etc:
    The pay is on the low side at about $36,000 per year for an Engineer. However, the cost of living is significantly low and the guaranteed raises make it a lot more competitive. If I worked in the states, I would absolutely choose to work in a big city like Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Fransisco, New York City or Boston. In those places, the cost of rent for a single room or studio is around $750~1200 (San Fransisco two bedroom apartments are approximately $3000 a month in good neighborhoods). Kyoto is a very big area, just like Tokyo so paying $150 a month for a single room with utilities included is a pretty big cost of living advantage. If I factor the cost of living into the cost analysis, that makes the pay more along the equivalence of $48,000/year which is actually pretty comparible to jobs in the states.
    The paid training and medical isn't a factor to me because any engineering job in a first world country is going to offer paid training and health benefits to their technical specialists. No NFL team in the country is holding out on a training gym for their athletes.

    Unspoken factors:
    Here's what I've heard about Japan for foreigners.
    Very polar reactions from people. Some are xenophobic to a high order. They think anyone non-Japanese has no business living in their country. This even includes other Asian ethnic backgrounds. It's not bad to the point of violence, they're a pretty docile and peaceful society but it is bad to the point where you won't develop meaningful relationships or friendships with Japanese people because of it. On the other hand, the people who aren't like that are not only very welcoming to foreigners but VERY accepting of them. They find them interesting and enjoy having them around.

    Japanese companies expect a VERY long commitment from employees, even foreign ones. This came up in the interview and my recruiter straight up told me, if they ask, I want to work there until I retire. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. This company is a premiere corporation, one of the highest in its industry with thousands of locations in the world. It'd be like being hired to be an engineer for Dell or HP. Definitely a fruitful career and they value their employees. But here in the US, it's completely acceptable to work for 1~2 years and explore other options if you're unhappy. Japanese companies don't work like that. They want you to be more like a family member to them.

    My other concern is radiation. It's not in the air but it's definitely in the water. There's a chance they'll offer me a placement in Tokyo. Now, I don't think it'll be bad to the point of Chernobyl because neither of these locations is THAT close to Fukushima but it could be bad to the point where I should absolutely avoid seafood.

    So for those of you who worked in Japan or who are familiar with it, I have a few questions:
    How much is a typical raise in Japan? My concern is that even though the pay isn't great, I want it to be capable of being very good over the years. If I choose to make a commitment like this, I want to eventually work my way up to an Engineering Manager or Senior Designer and I can't see myself committing to a job that will still pay me less than $50,000 a year in 3 or 4 years.

    How has the xenophobia affected you in Japan?

    How is it dating girls in Japan as a western person? Every Japanese girl I've met, tells me that western guys like me are the bee's knees there because there's an issue in the country with men being too shy and traditional. The women there want to be valued professionally and pursued which are two qualities that most men there don't offer.

    How long did it take you to establish credit? From what I understand, I'd be essentially walking away from my American credit history and debt history and starting from scratch there with a lot of banks being nervous about the fact that I could pack up and leave at any time. I'd like to at least build one credit card just for holiday plane tickets and vacations and maybe furnishing my apartment when I move out of the dormitories.

    What's the night life like there? Are there clubs I can join or social groups I can throw myself at with people in their early to late 20's where I can meet people? Should I take a class at night or just walk around the city at night to try to meet people?

    What's it like to own a car there? One of the things about me is that my dream car since I was 15 has been a Nissan Skyline GTR. I've looked up the prices and the R33 and R34 GTR is really cheap because it's nowhere near the 25 year exemption for US importing and Japanese people don't tend to hold onto older cars. Is the car tax expensive? Approximately how much would it cost per year to register and insure a sports car like an R33 GTR? I've heard that I also have to pay for parking, but I've heard my company might provide the commuting expense, but is it a common thing for people to drive a car outside of Tokyo?

    And for those of you who haven't been to Japan, how terrified of this type of commitment would you be?

    Sorry for the long post! and Thanks guys! I came here because I tend to think of the general population of this forum as being more intelligent people.
     
  2. puma1552 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #2
    Couple things, having lived there for several years -

    1) Do it. ESPECIALLY if you have a chance to do it without teaching English.

    2) I'm a huge car guy and I drove in Japan. You have to pass both written and driving road tests as an American to get a license. Leave the wet dream of a Skyline at home. In Japan it's just a ****** old car, and that's why it's cheap. Nobody there cares about them, the reason they are cheap is because the annual inspection (shakken) is expensive. Cars are pretty disposable in Japan, once a car hits ten years old people tend to dump them, even if they are perfectly good and have low miles (which they all will have low miles, people just don't drive even remotely as far as they do here). This may have changed recently, but shakken was every two years for cars less than ten years old, but then was required annually once a car hit ten years old, hence why everyone dumps cars once they hit ten years old, even though they often will only have like 40k-50k miles. The other issue with the skyline is it's just plain too big, as is a Honda Civic (you'll likely never see a single Civic there). Kei car is the name of the game due to space and extremely narrow streets. I leased one, see point 12 below.

    3) Your company will dictate the method of transportation to work, since they pay for it and your insurance while traveling. Hence, they will probably require that you take the train/subway, and not allow you to drive to work.

    4) You will be expected to work long hours at your company, be a "salaryman", and climb the latter with long hours and low pay, but a somewhat secure job. Here's the kicker - look around the office at 7 PM, everyone's there, nobody looks like they are going home anytime soon, but look closer - none of them are doing any actual work, as they have none to do. It's more about "face time" and being a team player than it is about actually working hard. The official company line may be "Go home at 5:30" but nobody will and those who do will be judged.

    5) Japanese people are the kindest people I've ever met. Relationships can be meaningful if you want them to be and put in the effort. There is xenophobia, but at a subconscious level; nobody will EVER be rude to your face. Most people will be extremely polite, or at the very least, curious. I wouldn't worry about the people whatsoever. However, make no mistake - you will always be a foreigner, even if you end up carrying a passport and speaking native level Japanese and spend a lifetime there.

    6) Being a westerner in Japan does pay benefits dating Japanese girls, you are exotic to them and that can be attractive. That said, don't be what's known as a "charisma man", basically someone who thinks that just because he's white he can nail anything and acts like it. The men there can be shy and traditional, but they can also be feudal, expecting their women to be barefoot and pregnant, and a lot of women don't like that.

    7) Living in a company dorm will suck. It will be you and other men only, and it wouldn't surprise me if there are rules about bringing women over or whatever. This can vary greatly. But they are cheap and that's great.

    8) Taxes in Japan at that salary level are extremely cheap. When I made 3.6 million yen per year, my tax rate was absurdly low, like 10,000-13,000 yen per month; it was almost tax free. City tax isn't cheap though, I think I had to pay a couple grand per year in taxes.

    9) Insurance will be great, you will have national health insurance. No networks, no ********, you can literally go anywhere, anytime (no appointments, everything is walk in), there are clinics on EVERY corner, and you can be seen everywhere by just showing your cards and maybe paying like a 1000-2000 yen copay and that'll be that, no bill in the mail. Easiest health insurance system I've ever dealt with.

    10) Extremely safe country, extremely low (virtually non-existent) crime rate. It's awesome.

    11) Radiation? Avoiding seafood? LOL. Dude, it's fine, it always was except for the first couple months in the immediate area. Don't let the media scare you, that's all the media is good for.

    12) Establishing credit is very difficult, for the exact reason you mentioned; too many self-centered westerners have just bailed out on their debts in the past when they left the country. You MIGHT be able to get like a Japanese Amazon credit card with a $500 limit. MAYBE. I know people who've been there 20 years with permanent residency and can't get a loan without their local spouse. This is where you will see xenophobia, not so much in people but in policy and bureaucracy. Luckily I was able to find a foreigner friendly Daihatsu dealer (the owners had lived in America for 7 years) that leased me a couple brand new kei cars. I would never, ever lease in America, but here it was truly like just renting a car. In my case I had no mileage limit, no money down, I literally just paid about $250 a month to drive a car for a year, and after one year, they told me to turn the car in and they got me another one for the next year. No complaints for me on that. Didn't have to worry about shakken, repairs, or anything being a lease. Brand new, reliable, got me where I needed to go. FWIW the car had a 58 hp 3 cylinder engine, I believe it was 660 cc (0.66 liters!). Shakken is based on engine size, and for that 660 cc engine shakken I believe would've run somewhere just under $1000. As you can imagine, something with 3, 4, 5 liters gets extremely expensive, especially if you have to do it every year - plus pay for whatever actual parts need to be replaced in order to pass shakken.

    13) Night life is great, it's even better when you get out of the foreigner wankfest hangouts and get to places off the path, without so many foreigners. Meeting people is different, it's usually done in group settings (you will often see group dates of 4 single girls and 4 single guys going out together and all feeling each other out rather than one on one first dates) but that's not an absolute. There are lots of great clubs, but what I came to like most were the TINY, narrow bars (think 6-10 seats) tucked away on side streets. These were the most fun, and while I didn't like them at first, they came to be one of the social aspects that I miss the most. I'm so tired of the huge feedbag bars here in America now. In fact, after going out in Japan, with beautiful women everywhere who aren't bitchy, stuck up, whatever, I actually despise going out here where it's a bunch of frat bros and bitchy girls who aren't even cute but act like they're a 15 out of 10.

    14) For all the toils of the salaryman, the official retirement age in Japan is just 60. I don't know the average life expectancy of men, but the average life expectancy of females is 88, so do the math as far as what kind of pensions etc., are in place. I believe if you pay into the national pension system for 26 years, you can collect upon retirement. I think 26 is the magic number, though I may be incorrect on that. That ain't bad. Pretty sure here in America I'd have to work until 70 and nothing is guaranteed, and I ain't going to live until 88.

    15) Tokyo vs. Kyoto - Tokyo is Tokyo, 'huff said. It's amazing and I love everything about it. Kyoto is the pinnacle of traditional, cultural Japan, and was the capital of Japan for 1100 years, until 1868 when it was moved to Tokyo. There are over 2000 temples and shrines in Kyoto alone, and 17 UNESCO world heritage sites. Now that's a resume for a city if there ever was one. And, Kyoto is just 45 minutes or so from Osaka, which is the heart of the Kansai region. In Tokyo, all you have is Tokyo. In Kyoto, you have Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Himeji, and Nara, all within a maximum of 1.5 hours by express train (less by bullet train) from each other. Osaka is awesome, and has a lot different feel from Tokyo. The dialect is much rougher, and Osaka is much more "organic" I suppose. Very cool part of Japan and whether you want big city modernity or traditional temples, you are always close to it in Kansai (the region where Kyoto/Osaka/Kobe/Himeji/Nara are). Kobe is just a half hour from Osaka, and is the most internationalized city in Japan. VERY classy, VERY beautiful port city and I believe foreigners in Kobe report the highest quality of life and satisfaction of anywhere in Japan. But Tokyo is 35 million strong which is insane. Can't go wrong with either choice IMO.

    16) I've been back in America for 2 years and for the most part, I hate it here after having lived there. If I could go back with a real job (I'm an engineer too), I'd do it in an instant. That said, I like my job here and have a lot of great things going for me here, but my time in Japan is very cherished and moving there was the best thing I ever did in my life. I have not yet been back, and am sure when I do go back for a visit I'll really be doing a lot of soul searching.
     
  3. puma1552 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #3
    For kicks, here were a couple of the cars I had. I loved these little cars, and for how small they were and how little power they had, they had TONS of room inside and were not slow at all and had plenty of power for the roads there:

    2008 Daihatsu Mira Custom X (yes, I'm parked on the sidewalk, lol):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    2009 Daihatsu Mira Custom X:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. LateOne macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Location:
    S . Yorks
    #4
    Thank you puma1552 for your insight into Japan. It's a country I'm interested in but will probably never go to. I very much enjoyed the read. Thanks again.
     
  5. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #5
    I spent several years there off and on, although as a officer in the USN, not quite the same as working in the civilian economy. From a cultural standpoint it was my wife and I's single most favorite place in the Far East. The Japanese are culturally superior (my opinion), they have a rich history with deep roots although I don't know how much of that really applies to modern Japanese living today in any large Japanese City. They seem to be more concerned with society as a whole instead of "what can I grab for myself". It's an impression which I can't verify 100%. A high standard of living, we loved the culture, the architecture, and we found it to be friendly, although we don't speak Japanese and so I don't really know what they were saying about us. ;) When I think of my surroundings here at home, I have to ask, "what culture?" :p

    Would I go back there to live for a couple of years? If I was 30, I'd consider it, but these days I imagine I'd be prone to culture shock.
     
  6. Essenar thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2008
    #6
    Wow, this is quite a response and I'm very grateful for it. I have a few things I'd like to discuss further:

    Is it really that bad, owning an older car? I don't really mind if it's too much more expensive as long as it's not something that will end up being an other-worldy expense at the end of 2~4 years.

    My plan is actually: Buy a 1990~1991 GTR and maintain it, take care of it, perhaps upgrade it. Hopefully get it at a steal price due to the yearly tax and its age and then bring it back with me to the states if I come back. By 2016, a 1991 Skyline will be a legal export to the United States and it will be worth 3 or 4 times the amount I paid and put into it along with the import fee. But I will have my dream car.

    I appreciate the heads-up about the leasing dealership and perhaps if I get into a serious relationship and move into an apartment there, I will probably consider a vehicle like that for every day commuting but if I drove a car that small for leisurely drive, I would probably go into a food-eating depression lol. I think it's a cute car but I'm in that "sports car in a mountain road on the weekend" phase of my life.

    Late Hours:
    I asked about this during my interview because I was told strictly by both my recruiter and the representative of the company to ask them very direct questions and not to be conservative about my concerns working in a Japanese environment. They told me that they're in the process of westernizing their culture and they are enforcing "core hours" where around six hours of my work time is actual hard work and they want me to go home and rest after. I told them I had heard about the "salary man" but they assured me it wasn't the case. Worst case scenario, they lied to me and it's all about face value and I'll just stay for a couple years.

    Women in the Dorm:
    I spoke with another engineer for the company and he told me that there's a "public rule" about bringing women over and that they lock the front door at 9:00 PM. And then he leaned over to me and said, "But the back door is open 24 hours and no one will come into the dorm between those hours or check your room without your permission" smiling at me. From what I understand, as long as no one sees me bringing someone over and as long as my dorm only has me in it before the morning when everyone wakes up, everything is fine. I heard something about them upholding conservative values to the public.

    What I would like to know about the dorms is the size though, the amenities, how big of a bed I will have, if it's a private restroom or a shared restroom, things like that. I know every dorm might be different but maybe there's a rule of thumb?

    City Tax:
    A couple thousand a year so maybe it's comparable to what my federal paycheck tax is but just paid at once per year? And when you say a couple thousand, do you mean USD or Yen? I'm assuming it's USD because a couple thousand yen is like 20 dollars lol.

    Yearly Raise:
    They told me this was guaranteed but they haven't specified the amount? Is it comparable to the United States raise schedule? Here it's customary to be given around 3~5% as a cost of living raise and if you have a positive performance, you can maybe ask for double. Given the low entry level salary, I was thinking since it's a seniority system that it might be an exponential growth. I don't think I will stay in Japan unless I get around 10~12% higher salary the following year. Barely breaking $40,000 as an Engineering graduate from one of the top 30 universities in the world that's ranked higher than their best university is a little hard to swallow.
     
  7. puma1552, Jan 6, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014

    puma1552 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #7
    It's prohibitively expensive. Besides that, there's literally nowhere to enjoy it. Speed limits are ridiculously slow (50 kph everywhere) and roads are all just two narrow lanes for the most part. I lived in Kansai and I took a tollway with a stupid 60 kph speed limit. Yes, a tollway/highway with a 35 mph speed limit, and cameras every kilometer. When I got busted going 105 kph (63 mph), I got an $800 ticket. If it weren't for the fact I was still on my international driving permit, I would've lost my full license as that would've been a six point offense which is what it takes to lose the license. And no, 63 mph was not excessive for a freeway I was paying to use with no traffic on it, but the law was what it was, irrational as it was. Luckily Kobe police had no idea how to handle points with the IDP and just made me pay the fine and I got my real license shortly after. Speed cameras are also everywhere. Trust me being a car guy in Japan (remember I am one) is just a disappointment. Prohibitively expensive, but more than anything, no place to actually enjoy a car. Especially in Tokyo and Kyoto. Cars are handy to have but not to enjoy. Besides, the last thing you want is to be stuck on the side of the road in a 20+ year old car at 2 AM when it breaks down with limited Japanese ability.

    Don't underestimate the roominess of that little car, the doors opened 90 degrees and there was FAR more room than most small cars here in America, which are twice the size. Forget the sports car in the mountain too, I lived in an extremely rural fishing village when I first got to Japan (5,000 people and no other known foreigner for at least a 50 km radius) and took cliff/mountain roads with 400 foot drops into the rocky oceans below, you literally had to slow down to 5 mph to make it around the hairpins. No exaggeration. It was absolutely stunning, but CRAZY hairpins and sheer cliffs. Also, no shoulders, all blind corners, pretty deadly actually. Remember, my car was 58 hp, and I'm a muscle car guy through and through to the bone, and I did not feel my car was underpowered; not once did I wish it had more power, because there just flat out isn't anywhere to use it, even in rural areas, let alone world metropolises. I too went there expecting to buy a 350Z droptop or a Z4 and go for leisurely cruises along the coast since I lived 100 yards from the ocean when I first got there and those dreams were shattered when reality set in and it had nothing to do with money, lol. So on that note, I can certainly sympathize and understand where you're coming from on the car thing, I've been there.

    Take all the cameras away, the shakken, all the things that make owning a car bad there, and what you are left with is a road system that just doesn't support performance cars. The best part about the roads there is that they are smooth as glass, no potholes, no ruts, they repaint lines religiously, and spend a massive amount on maintaining roads, replacing entire chunks for little cracks, lol. Just nowhere to open up and stretch a car's legs. Cool fact: they don't use salt, in the areas it snows, they have water jets that pop up in the middle of the road and shoot water all over the roads. Sounds insanely expensive and impossible to do but it's true, and it's very cool.

    It just isn't a country conducive to having a fun/fast car. It just isn't. Low speed limits, extremely narrow roads, no shoulders, cameras everywhere. Sucks but that's what it is. I would forget about the skyline. Besides, you'll be having WAY too much fun with everything else going on. I would wager if you are right in Kyoto or Tokyo city proper, you won't need a car. Maybe Kyoto, but definitely not Tokyo; Japan has inarguably the best public transportation the world over. The best. On time to the minute without exception, running frequently, sparkling clean, safe, bright, and one hell of a well-oiled machine. It's impossible not to be impressed by the public transportation system.

    Protip though if you do get a car: In order to own a car, you have to prove you have a parking space large enough for the car you want to buy, and you need to provide that document (I believe it's the police who come out and measure your spot and fill out the form IIRC) when you buy a vehicle. If you are in the company dorm and they are paying for your transportation to work, you probably won't/may not have a space. You can always rent a garage though, but again, you're a foreigner and would almost certainly need a Japanese person to act as your guarantor to be able to get such a spot.

    Yeah, the company will even tell you to go home at 5:30. Remember though, Japanese language and culture are very indirect anyway; nobody will be confrontational about anything, and although the official company line may be to go home at 5:30, they will not like it if you actually do and you will be judged by your Japanese coworkers. You will not see any of your colleagues going home at that time, so if you skate out every day, it will look bad. That said, being a foreigner you can get away with a bit of doing a "gaijin smash" and feign ignorant foreigner and try and get away with more stuff than a Japanese person could. And to a degree, you probably can. But if you want to stay long term at a company, best do as the others do because it's all about bonding - you're all in it together. As for Japan westernizing their culture, Japan is VERY slow to change. However if you are working for an American company, things may be *slightly* different. I worked for the government and then in a private Japanese company both in which I was the only foreigner and things were pretty rigorous and what was expected of me was the same as that expected of my colleagues.

    Lol, yeah like I said they likely have rules against it and I figured it would be a sausage zone. Whether or not you follow them and/or get away with it is up to you. I'm indifferent either way and wouldn't rat you out. I doubt anyone else would either, again, non confrontational people, those Japanese.

    Couldn't say, but I would bet on a communal bath. No big deal, communal bathing and "onsen" are one of the best parts of Japan. Probably a small single bed. Definitely won't be enough for you and a girl.

    Yeah mine was a couple thousand a year in Himeji the last year I was there, just outside Kobe. Himeji is a high tax city though due to having Himeji castle. But, I would wager that Kyoto and Tokyo would be comparable or more. You can pay it all in one shot when the tax bill comes, or I believe you can make monthly payments too. Overall you still come out pretty good on taxes in Japan.

    Couldn't say, you will probably have to sign a new contract for your job each year and I would bet the contract will have a compensation increase that is likely non-negotiable. Remember you'll be the low man on the totem pole and climbing your way up like everyone else, so I wouldn't get notions of 10% raises. I can't even get 5% here in America on a promotion year in the oil and gas industry as a chemical engineer, so take that for what it's worth. Expect a basic cost of living increase.

    ****

    All that said, I hope I'm not painting a bad picture of the place. Again I'm a car guy who doesn't like hanging around a minute more than I have to at work, and I had a ****ing BLAST for the years I was there and am dying to go back. I would go without hesitation, take advantage of the dirt cheap housing and dirt cheap taxes and you will be fine. Get around for awhile without a car, save yourself that expense too and you'll have more money for all the "nomihoudai" (all you can drink!) you'll surely be partaking in. You'll have plenty of cash methinks. I was making 3.6 million yen (the yen was the strongest since WWII then, about 80 yen to the dollar which meant ~$45k) and that was probably equal to about a $60k income here in the US just based on the tax rate and how little I had to pay in taxes. I had more than enough cash to pay for my car, pay for my apartment (wasn't in a company dorm), pay into pension, send money home to save, and still always have money to go out. Easy peasy.

    EDIT: For the most part I think you are looking at this opportunity the right way, considering different things, and I think you would do just fine over there. If there's one thing Japan is good at doing, it's getting it's claws in you and drawing you in to really fall in love with the place and the people. So many people I know went there to do a 1-2 year stint and never left and now have no intention of doing so. Take advantage of this opportunity, absolutely.
     
  8. puma1552 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #8
    EDIT: nvm, tried to link something but no good.
     
  9. Essenar thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2008
    #9
    So I've decided that I'm going to take the job. :D I will post here about my experiences, my flight arrangements, the perks, what it's like to live in Japan as a westerner in case anyone would be considering it in the future.

    If I can't own a Skyline, so be it but I'm definitely going to try.

    My friend lives in a more rural part of Japan near mountain highways and the country side and she said that owning a car in those parts of the country is a lot cheaper. I might buy it and store it near her and just go there on the weekends to play with it.

    Overall though, everything else is what I want to experience: the food, the environment, the shops and Daiso's, all the places to have fun, electronics stores. And I also want to take advantage of being paid to live and travel to a place that's so close to East Asia. I'll take vacations and travel to South Korea, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore.
     
  10. puma1552 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #10
    Good luck and have fun! It WILL be the time of your life and you will never regret it no matter how upset or disappointed or frustrated you get - you can ALWAYS come back and schlep it here. There will always be things you don't like, but that's true everywhere. I would strongly recommend at the very least doing two years, some people get homesick and pansy out after a year, but it really takes at least two to get a feel for things and for the lows to turn around if you experience them. Even if you don't experience too many lows, it still takes time to assimilate; I found that at the 2-2.5 year mark I really came into my own, really assimilated well, and stopped fighting the way certain things were done and started seeing them from the perspective of the Japanese. Once I hit that assimilation point it was bliss, so stick with it for a couple years at least, if possible and most importantly, enjoy every single day!

    And the vacations, yes sir - you can go all over Asia for cheap, nothing like a long weekend in Korea:)
     

Share This Page