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Interview with Dave – a Canadian expat in Japan

Updated 30 Jul 2021

Dave is a Canadian writer, originally hailing from Vancouver Island. These days he lives in Kyoto, Japan, and is working on a soon-to-be-published novella. You can keep up with Dave's adventures on his YouTube channel and website.

To learn more about moving to Japan, check out our Japan guide.

About Dave

DaveQ: Where are you originally from?
A: Canada.

Q: Where are you currently living (city and country)?
A: Kyoto.

Q: When did you move here?
A: Three months ago.

Q: Is this your first expat experience?
A: Yes.

Q: Did you move here alone or with a spouse/family?
A: Alone.

Q: Reason for moving?
A: Work.

Living in Japan

Q: What do you enjoy most about Kyoto and Japan in general?
A: The cross between urban and natural.

Q: What do you miss most about home?
A: My family and friends.

Q: What are the biggest adjustments you had to make when settling into expat life here?
A: The language.     

Q: What are your favourite things to do on the weekend?
A: Films and to go to an onsen (hot spring).

Q: What’s the cost of living compared to home?
A: Lower than Vancouver.

Q: What’s public transport like in Kyoto and across the country?
A: Amazing.

Q: What do you think about the healthcare available in Japan? What should expats expect from local doctors and hospitals?
A: Very good.

Q: What’s the standard of housing like in your city? What different options are available?
A: It's good, but there is a lot of racism preventing foreigners from being accepted to a house.

Meeting people and making friends

Q: Was meeting people and making friends easy?
A: Not hard at all.

Q: Have you made friends with locals, or do you mix mainly with other expats?
A: Mostly expats but many locals as well.

Working in Japan

Q: Was getting a work permit or visa a relatively easy process? Did you tackle the visa process yourself, or did you enlist the services of an immigration consultant?
A: Easy if you have everything you need.

Q: What is the economic climate in the city like?
A:  Very exciting, lots of start-ups and many different opportunities.

Q: How does the work culture differ from home?
A: Being at an office just to show face, which creates a very inefficient work environment.

Final thoughts

Q: Is there any advice you would like to offer new expat arrivals to Japan?
A: Enjoy every moment.

– Interviewed in July 2021

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