I arrived in Japan 34 years ago today, Halloween day, 1983.
I was digging around trying to find photos from exactly then, but I couldn’t find any photos from the arrival week. They might be here somewhere.
But these were taken in my first apartment, in “Exotic Kamata.”
Why did you move there, Doug? Obviously, you love it and you’re still there. Were you in school, or working there?
My daughter went to Kyushu University for a year, and wants to return. She does speak Japanese.
I’d love to hear your story about why you went, and why you stayed.
I originally came when I was a graduate student at the University of California to work on a computer graphics project with my professor. This was for the world’s fair in Tsukuba in 1985. The Fujitsu Pavilion.
I was originally supposed to stay for nine months, and things just kept on getting extended.
My friends in the United States ask me why I never moved back, and I tell them it’s because I hate packing!
I guess I just got used to it. It seems like a very reasonable place to live, and I have my friends here. And I have permanent residency now.
I also have a house in the United States, but I’m renting it out.
Thanks for the answer. I’m in Santa Cruz with the UC here. I don’t often comment, but I do follow your blog (and Monta :)).
My daughter’s in Digital Marketing & thinking of moving back.
She loved it and fit right in. But she’s quiet, polite, not a party girl, so she found it very compatible for her. It’s a very civil place and clean. I loved the vending machines – lol.
It is a reasonable place, and if you have friends, then you’re set. And permanent residency – big bonus.
I remember you visiting the States on your blog (Missouri? and maybe Massachusetts?).
Thanks for answering. I was always curious how you ended up there.
Thanks for following the blog and Monta!
Yes, I am used to living here. I do visit friends in St. Louis, where I have a house, and also Boston, where my mother and sister live. I was most recently in Boston in April for my mother’s 90th birthday.
Feel free to ask any questions about living here! As far as visas go, if your daughter can get a job prior to coming to Japan then the sponsoring company will take care of all the paperwork. That was what happened in my case. Fujitsu send me a bundle of papers, I took it over to the consulate, waited two months and then got my visa and took off.
Originally it was a 1 year visa. Then eventually they changed it to a three year. Then it became what was called a “long term resident” visa which needed to be renewed every 5 years, I think. Finally one time they said, “Why don’t you just apply for permanent residency.” So I did, and after a couple of months of waiting it was approved.