I am a gaijin. I come from Europe, and speak so little Japanese, that I actually take pride in writing the title of this blog in kanji.

Since living in Japan is full of awkward, funny or plain disturbing experiences, I would like to share them with those who have the hots for Japan through a safe distance of thousands of kilometres, but nevertheless want to get some inside scoop.

And of course, those, who are going through a similar period of gaijin-hood and seek to share their exciting experiences. Like, when I’ll be writing a post “Why no one shaves in Japan”, perhaps you’ll be the one nodding enthusiastically, saying “YES!!!YES!!! I noticed that too!!!! Let me tell you my story…”, which I am very curious to hear! Afterall, being a gaijin in Japan at times makes you long for some sort of AA type of group counselling, right?

Well, and at the end of each post I’ll include some translations of the too-cool-for-school phrases, for those less familiar with the local slang:

Gaijin (kanji: 外人; hiragana: がいじん) is a shorter and slightly slangy version of the word “gaikokujin” (kanji: 外国人; hiragana: がいこくじん) meaning “foreigner”. Often heard in combination with “baka” (kanji:馬鹿 (horse + deer); hiragana:ばか) meaning “idiot, fool”. I say that loudly to my gaijin friends when they struggle with their suica cards…and watch the Japanese reactions. Few can keep a straight face! Some even look mortified. They probably think I read their minds.


18 responses to “よろしくおねがいします!

  1. I know exactly what you mean when it comes to writing insignifigant little things in Japanese yet feeling so proud that you did that! I get that feeling everytime I can remember some stupid thing like the name of a colour or if I can point to something in the kitchen and say its name haha!

    I’ll be going to Japan in March so I look forward to reading your experiences and hopefully I will have access to a computer to share my gaijin experiences too =)


  2. Ooh I forgot to add, email Leah at this blog: http://geisha-interrupted.typepad.com

    and she may add you to her blogroll of people blogging from Japan =)

    Shes got about a years worth of posts of really funny, interesting and even some down-right crazy experiences living as a gaijin that I love reading, so I recommend having a read sometime =)

  3. hey! Thanks for the comments! :)

    Japanese is craaaazy, isn’t it! How long have you been learning it for…?

    Actually, I was taking a train to this ridiculously long named station the other day, and I could only read the last of the 10 or so kanji…which of course was 駅 so it wasn’t even that helpful. And I’ve been learning Japanese for 2 years now….how embarassing…

    Oh, and I had a look at that blog, it looked interesting! Thanks for the link!

    OK, I’m off to experiment with some local cuisine…Hopefully, I’ll add some recipes soon ;)

  4. I’ve only been learning since about September/October 07, and its all self-taught. So I can guarantee you that I suck at it XD But yeah, its pretty crazy stuff ^^

    Hmm, do you carry a camera, or a mobile/cellphone that can take pics, around with you? I know I’ve got 2 years less experience than you and I’m not really qualified to be offering advice, but maybe you could take a picture of the kanji you find you have trouble with and think you will need to learn, and then when you get home you can look the kanji up?

    Its no problem, I ended up pulling an all-nighter the night I found her blog and I read it from the first post right up to the latest post like a book lol. In my defence, I get insomnia so I wasn’t stalking her blog or anything, I was keeping myself entertained XD But yeah, its really interesting.

    Ooh, food is one of my minor concerns for when I go there… but I’ll try any food that I’m offered anyway ^^
    Recipes would be a great addition to the blog! Good idea!

  5. Hey man, I spent some time over in Tokyo and exploring the rest of the archipelago. I posted a few comments early on in my blog about my time over there, it’s wild. Tokyo has some real sights and sounds, I spent a lot of time in Shinjuku and some of the other areas. Let me know if you’re still there and I’ll do my best to point out some sites and sounds.

  6. Yes, I’m still here actually! I just had a shortage of internet access (it almost sounds silly to say that while living in Japan) but I’d be totally up for hearing your tips and tricks!

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