5 Blogs You’ll Want to Read about Expat Life in Japan

If you’re interested in moving out to Japan, it can be helpful to read about other people’s experiences. Expat life come in many flavours, travel guides only say so much, and living in a country is a very different kettle of fish to being a tourist there. Below are 5 blogs which each have a slightly different focus, and between them, paint a rich and rounded picture of expat life in Japan.

Can I Teach English in Japan


A blog by expat Australian John Asano, Japan-Australia is a great resource for discovering some of the more traditional elements of Japanese culture, with guides to festivals, and cherry-blossom viewing tips!

Excerpt: The various species of “Sakura” (cherry trees) bloom in succession as the warmer spring temperatures arrive in different parts of Japan. The milder the climate, the earlier the blossoms open so you can follow the cherry blossom trail from south to north. With a Japan Rail Pass you can travel across the country while experiencing this amazing natural phenomenon in the same way that the Japanese do – by eating, drinking, and barbecuing underneath the cherry blossoms. Read it here

Mr & Mrs O

This is a sweet and homely sort of travel blog about the challenges of starting a family while simultaneously adjusting to life in Japan.

Excerpt: During our last month in Okinawa, we had a really packed schedule and I was grasping at straws to make things a little bit easier on us. Something that I had been interested in for a while was The Set Table, a cook-it-yourself meal service, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Except I was wrong, I should have been ordering meals through this service long before our last month! Read it here

Life in Japan

Life in Japan is a refreshing take on the expat blog, as it is in the format of a comic. Charming illustrations give the posts real character, and will stimulate the imagination of anyone thinking about a move to Japan. Read it here


Another blog by a family man, J-List focuses more heavily on Japanese pop-culture, and what that has to say about Japanese culture on a wider scale.

Excerpt: Some words get “mapped” wrong, like “cunning,” which in Japanese means to cheat on a test (which is a cunning thing to do), while other words get merged with Japanese grammar elements, like “memoru,” to write something down in a memo. The Japanese love “Fried potato” (French fries) and “American dogs” (what a corn dog is known as here). “Washlets” are those wonderful toilets that wash your butt. Finally, a “paper driver” is someone who has a drivers’ license but doesn’t drive regularly, and a “handle keeper” is the designated driver. How many did you get? Read it here

Japan Comic

Surviving in Japan

As the name suggests, this is a very practical blog about expat life in Japan, with particular emphasis on tips for people who don’t speak very much Japanese. A must-read, if that applies to you!

Excerpt: For most new parents, the hardest part about having a newborn is adjusting to a demanding new schedule. But for children of foreign parents in Japan, there’s a long process to getting your new little one legally registered with Japan and your home country. Hopefully this guide will help! Read it here

Any other great blogs about expats living in Japan that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments sections below.