top of page

Preparing and Planning (Getting Ready for Japan)

Updated: Nov 6, 2020

The countdown begins... you will have 1-4 months left till departure depending on if you were shortlisted or a reserve. In this time you will be notified where you will be placed and have initial contact with your CO or BoE.

For this post I will be talking about:

Stage Four // Preparing and Planning (Getting Ready for Japan)

9 things I feel will help with living in Japan:

  • Deodorant (They do sell it in Japan but it is a lot weaker than what you find in western countries)

  • Painkillers (Medication in Japan isn't strong)

  • Toothpaste (2-3 tubes for 1 person for 1 year)

  • Comfort food (Anything you love that you can't get in Japan) ~ mine was chilli ~

  • Winter Coat (if you are wanting to go to Sapporo I would suggest a down/puffer coat)

  • A couple of sweaters (Even in Kyushu it gets a bit chilly just because of the breeze that comes through)

  • Winter boots/Hiking boots/Snow boots (Again this is only if you like hiking or wanting to go to colder regions with snow)

  • Sunscreen (In Japan it's common for the sunscreen to have whitening properties in it)

  • Get a credit card (needed for setting up a good sim plan a lot of them won’t accept debit cards) also helpful for emergencies.

Sort how you will transfer from Japan into your account.

In some countries you can create an account which can hold the foreign funds until a good rate is available. If not you can just do the standard ATM transfer which can be daunting when you first set it up but after it becomes super easy.

Order a Pocket wifi for the first month.

I ordered a pocket wifi for 1 month with 20gb (you can technically use more) and with a pretty fast connection from Wi-fi RENTAL store. They delivered the pocket wifi to Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku where we all stayed for orientation and I took it with me to Kagoshima.

Returning the pocket wifi is super easy they will give you a return envelope which you can just put back inside, seal it and drop it into the post box.

Dietary requirements

If you are vegetarian, vegan or intolerant of any type of food please research what foods you can eat in Japan. I won't sugar coat this if you are not in one of the bigger cities you will struggle with food. Best to learn kanji or the Japanese words of the things you cannot have so you can find them on the back of food packets. If you are vegetarian, my advice is to be flexible for the first couple of months (what I mean is be open to eating fish). Fish or pork is found in a lot of seasoning or soup broths served in Japan. Even when you tell them and explain you are vegetarian some people will not fully understand and still serve seafood to you. Be patient and try not to get too frustrated.

School lunches/Kyushoku

If you are teaching at Elementary or Junior high schools you will be eating lunch with your kids. The school will give you the same food as the kids if you have special dietary requirements it'll be best that you bring your own lunch. Please let your supervisor and school know that you will not be eating their food as they will need to cancel your food order. People who will be teaching at High schools you will be bringing your own lunch or buying it from the cafeteria which most will have.


If you are placed in the inaka/rural or Kyushu area, you will find that they are more conservative and traditional when it comes to clothing especially for women. No string strapped tops or anything that shows the shoulders or armpits. Be careful with any low cut tops and V necks as any cleavage is too much cleavage. Depending where even collarbones showing is too much haha but then again ESID. Men please wear undershirts underneath your shirts as some men who do not wear undershirts will have their nipples showing or poking through and this can make the female students and teachers uncomfortable. This has happened and no one told him as they tend to not let people know of their discomforts until they have left.


The night before your flight you will have a pre-departure dinner/meeting with your embassy and the other incoming JETS. In NZ they did not supply dinner per say so best to have dinner after with your family or have an early night in for the morning flight.


You are allowed to take 1 check in bag and 1 carry on. You can pay for another bag but for AIRNZ the extra bag costs $250.

Next will be... Stage Five // Survival Guide for Tokyo Orientation (Coming Soon)

53 views0 comments


bottom of page