Gaijin Survival Guide: Beginner’s Guide to Japan

gaijin: noun [gahy-jeen]
1.      outside person; foreigner.

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What do you want to learn?

Katsu Curry, a popular Japanese dish

Japanese Food

A picture of written Japanese, including kanji, hiragana and katakana.

Japanese Language

A long-exposure picture of Shinjuku, Japan at night.

Japanese Lifestyle

Navigating Japan as a non-native can be challenging. While many parts of the world are multicultural, gaijin in Japan are generally more conspicuous than a Japanese person would be living in America or Europe. Life in Japan can be complex for a gaijin (non-native) with both cultural and language barriers to overcome. However, many gaijin have adapted to the Japanese style of life and call Japan home. Learning some simple Japanese phrases and a few cultural rules and customs can make the life of a gaijin exponentially easier.  Even if you are only traveling to Japan for a short while, learning just a few things you really need to know eases the stress of traveling.

But what is it that you really do need to know? How do you say what you really need to say? In what way is living or traveling in Japan different from other countries? After learning many of the answers to these questions the hard way through personal experience, I know many of the things a gaijin really needs to know.  I can show you how to survive in Japan.

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