Tips for relocating your life to Japan

Six years ago, the talented Australian/Lithuanian artist, designer, photographer and blogger behind Hello Sandwich, packed up her life and career in Australia to start all over again in Tokyo. Ebony Bizys shares her advice on packing your bags and making the big move to the ever-desirable Japan:

It’s easier than you think…

You know, moving overseas was a lot easier than I thought it would be. You follow a pattern of steps, pack your belongings into boxes and ship them to your new house. Before you know it, you’re writing ‘Japan’ as your country of residence.

Don’t look back and have regrets

If living overseas is a dream of yours, I really recommend taking the risk and giving it a shot, because it’s often the things we don’t do that we regret the most. You can always move back home if you hate it, but there’s nothing that can be done with that voice in your head that says “oh, I wish I moved to Copenhagen all those years back.

hello sandwich tokyo guide

Take a trip before you fully commit

Spend a lengthy amount of time in Japan before deciding to move here permanently. A month or more, if you can. Get a feeling for what the culture is like to see if it’s a good fit for you.

Learn the language

Learn some Japanese before you move here. The language barrier brings about some challenging moments and there are times, even after five years, when you can’t tell the difference between two products in the supermarket. ‘Is this bleach or is this fabric softener?’ You will order a salad because you thought the cafe staff said ‘botanical salad’ but actually, it was ‘buta-niku’ (pork).

Pack light

I packed so many boxes when I moved to Tokyo because I wanted my special possessions  around me for comfort. But, when I arrived in my apartment and saw just how tiny it was I regretted it.

hello sandwich tokyo guide

Immerse yourself in the culture

Respect Japanese and immerse yourself in Japanese culture. Eat Japanese food. Go to the shrine. Participate in Summer festivals. Bow at the end of meetings. Pass your business card with two hands.

Take time to explore

Get yourself a bike and spend time exploring the backstreets. Take photographs and record this special time in your life.

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Read Khoollect’s interview with Ebony.

Visit Ebony’s website Hello Sandwich or read her blog.

You can also find Ebony on TwitterFacebookInstagramPinterest – and Snapchat (username: Hellosandwich).

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Ebony Bizys