Moving to Japan can be a great way to find and then unfind yourself, worship washlet toilets, and fill up on individually packaged ice cream treats every day. However, there are four far better reasons.
(4) exemplary hair elastics
Having long hair means hair elastics.
Before Japan, hair elastics were a necessary evil that broke regularly and had to be purchased in bulk. I only wanted one black or brown elastic but had to buy a pack of fourteen including yellow, pink, orange and white or a pack of 30. 30? Really? Who needs 30 hair elastics?!
In Japan, hair elastics made my Muji and other brands can be easily purchased at convenience and grocery stores in groups of ONE or two. They last ages and don’t break without effort. These elastics leisurely stretch and eventually separate after a year or more of daily use. They are soft with just enough tension to hold super thick, course, curly hair with no trouble, wet or dry.
Everyone with long hair or hair that wants to be long should move to Japan and buy hair elastics and be happy.
(3) reasonably priced razors
At least ten years ago, razors started being treated like prescription drugs or expensive electronics in my Canadian city. No longer were they in the same category as antiperspirants or mouthwash. Razors were placed behind alarmed plastic walls.
Choosing a razor became thrilling and stressful. Peering through the plastic, squinting to read tiny print, I pondered two versus three blades or even five and the cunning marketing I was falling for. Finally choosing a three-bladed razor, I lifted the plastic wall to grab it. But wait! Maybe five blades is …. BREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!
Okay! Okay! Three blades it is! The little wall slammed shut, killing the blistering alarm but my heart was still rattling.
Here I was, legitimately trying to buy something yet feeling like I was stealing.
Then I felt like the razor brands were stealing my money with the new outrageous prices. Razors didn’t used to cost so much. What happened??
Luckily, Japanese retailers haven’t caught wind of this price gauging or the surveillance systems that likely prompted the increase. Razors can be bought in packs of 3 for around $5. They don’t rust and fall apart after one use. There are even ones with long handles to shave the hair on your back and special designs for facial hair. They even work!
Please send me some after you get settled in Japan.
(2) increased fingernail growth
Before Japan, my fingernails were a sore point. They were peeling, soft, and an overall disappointment compared to the altered photos in fashion magazines, the obvious gold standard.
If I’d known that all I had to do was move to Japan, I would have high-tailed it there years ago for the sake of emulating hand models.
My newly strong nails were tough enough to clack delightfully on tables, remove slivers like tweezers, and open tabs without tools. They also grew faster than ever before.
What’s the secret?
Before Japan, I ate fish occasionally. It’s not that I disliked it but I didn’t know how to prepare it.
After discovering the fish grill in my first apartment in Japan, I started buying fish. Eating grilled salmon almost every day in addition to the occasional sushi and fish in pre-made bentos was the key.
A fish a day keeps nail files and clippers busy!
(1) eliminating LIKE from your vocabulary
A: Like, I was really looking forward to, like, moving to Japan because, you know, it’s like such a cool place!
B: I know! Like I was totally into anime and then when I like got that like offer to like go like study like there, it was like the best thing ever!
A: Like that’s so awesome! You are like so lucky. You are going to like love it. I’m like so jealous.
While I can’t be sure my conversational skills were as peppered with “like” as my possibly fictional friends A and B, I probably wasn’t too far off.
Teaching English made me hyper-conscious of how I spoke and what words I used. It’s similar to watching yourself walk. It became almost difficult to talk and that was a good thing.
The first casualty was swearing. While I didn’t swear much before, not hearing it in my daily life was refreshing. As well, coming across as composed and professional is not aided when all you can come up with is an emotion-filled show-off word.
Sarcasm died, too. This was painful as I love to tease but when the message was taken literally or confused, there was no point.
The last word to disappear was LIKE and thank goodness. If there is one verbal crutch that is used almost as often as inhaling, LIKE is the winner. On the one hand, it slows down conversation, giving your brain time to process. On the other, it’s about as useful as grunting.
The absence of LIKE in my speaking habits was so noticeable and liberating that I worried I wouldn’t be able to sustain this practice after leaving Japan.
I was right.
The only solution is to like move back to Japan.
If you have lived in Japan or are like currently lucky enough to reside there like right now, why do you think everyone should move to Japan?