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Old 03-23-2015, 03:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Has Anyone Moved to Hokkaido?

I'm sitting here in my office having one of the most unproductive days at I've ever had at work. Ever since coming back from Japan, the idea of moving there is becoming increasingly feasible and appealing.

Has anyone here have had a similar situation and decided to take the gamble and move?
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Old 03-23-2015, 04:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maierapril View Post
I'm sitting here in my office having one of the most unproductive days at I've ever had at work. Ever since coming back from Japan, the idea of moving there is becoming increasingly feasible and appealing.

Has anyone here have had a similar situation and decided to take the gamble and move?
I daydream of moving somewhere else everyday at work. Anytime I have looked at anything international, it seems the possibility of being employed there is not likely to happen other than teaching English. Colorado is my Japan for now. I will be moving in a few months. Not as monumental as a new country but still huge to me.
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Old 03-23-2015, 04:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm planning on quitting my job at the end of May, road tripping across the country during the summer and settling up in most likely Seattle. I've been dreaming of just up and quitting for a while. Seattle isn't powder mecca (unless baker gets another 1000+in of snow) but it's damn closer to awesome riding than I am now. Plus I'm done with east coast bullshit.

I wanted somewhere like Park City/SLC, Aspen, or even International like Innsbruck or Northern Islands of Japan, but significant other wasn't as receptive and Seattle was a good compromise for now.

We're both over "careers" right now and are young enough to not be tied down to one for a little bit.

tl;dr DO IT. While you can.
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Old 03-23-2015, 04:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm planning on quitting my job at the end of May, road tripping across the country during the summer and settling up in most likely Seattle. I've been dreaming of just up and quitting for a while. Seattle isn't powder mecca (unless baker gets another 1000+in of snow) but it's damn closer to awesome riding than I am now. Plus I'm done with east coast bullshit.

I wanted somewhere like Park City/SLC, Aspen, or even International like Innsbruck or Northern Islands of Japan, but significant other wasn't as receptive and Seattle was a good compromise for now.

We're both over "careers" right now and are young enough to not be tied down to one for a little bit.

tl;dr DO IT. While you can.
Same here.
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Old 03-23-2015, 05:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It will be pretty easy to get another desk job - there will generally always be one available that I qualify for.

I won't always be able to pick up and move across the country on 2 months notice.

The trick is finding a job I don't hate, that pays decently, and if I'm super lucky let's me ride more than just weekends once I get there.
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Old 03-23-2015, 08:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Has anyone here have had a similar situation and decided to take the gamble and move?
Very similar, actually Got sick of living in the UK, so applied for a job here when it became available. Ended up taking pay-cut, and thought that finances would be an issue. Turns out life here isn't as expensive as expected, and I've been much happier since arriving here. I've not made the move to Hokkaido yet (in Tokyo at the moment), but it's still much easier to get to the mountains from here than from the UK. In a few years' time, I may relocate to Nagano or Hokkaido

The move was a big faff, and the admin (at Japan end) is a bit of a nightmare if you (or your partner) don't speak Japanese. But after all that dust has settled, life's rather good. Good luck if you decide to make take the leap
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Old 03-23-2015, 09:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Same here, not in Hokkaido or Niigata/Hokkaido, but to be honest i prefer to be here in the thick of things. Better job market, better night life, better shopping, and better chances of making friends.

We are completely spoiled for choice when it comes to snowboarding locations from Tokyo. I have pretty much been out boarding every weekend this winter, and yet i have been at a different resort every single time.
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Old 03-23-2015, 11:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I did it.
I packed up my life and moved to Nagano, I bought a house literally at the foot of a ski resort for the price of a new medium size car back in Australia.
But its not easy, without knowing japanese its downright painful if you dont have someone to help you through all the paperwork. Having said that the rewards are enormous if you pull it off and the countryside is beautiful even without snow, at least in my area anyway.

Imo there are 2 Japans, city and country. The city (tokyo) is full of salarymen who wont make eye contact with anyone, it would be a very lonely place to be on your own.

The country is amazing, filled with wonderful people who smile and nod at you in the street, a vastly different environment to the city, the catch is there arent as many "real" jobs although there are still plenty of english schools around, you could possibly get a job at one of those.
You also have the ability to make money in the winter letting friends crash at your place cheap, cheap transport to the skijo and grow lots of food in the summer time.
In short you will have less money but you will also need less money.
Choose your lifestyle.

If you are set on Hokkaido, rent a car next season and travel around, take note of areas that suit your needs, check local real estate places and get their website addresses so you can constantly check them. When you find the right place jump on it.

PS you need a visa to work and live in Japan but not to buy a house.

And learn Japanese, start today. Spouse visas are great but its not likely you will get one with no Japanese skills
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Old 03-23-2015, 11:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Oh and know your snow removal pitfalls! I cant stress this enough.
The shape of a roof can be the difference in riding pow on a 50cm day or shovelling snow all day.
If you want to chat more shoot me a pm with your fb details.
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Old 04-19-2015, 06:41 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Kind of late but I've been in Japan for 2.5years now. As people mentioned there will be some problems:

1) the visa, you need a sponsor for a working visa. If you're willing to teach English you can get into JET or similar programs or try to find a school (Gabam Aeon etc) to sponsor one for you. Then you can work on you Japanese and get a different job. Be aware that without JLPT N1 or N2 at least it will be very hard for you to get a decent job unless you have some special skills (engineering, IT etc.). Oh and JLPT N1/N2 isn't easy to come by.

2) Japanese - if you're in Tokyo you will be ok, in other places good luck without Japanese, people won't talk English with you either because they can't or don't want to (they are too shy to make a mistake). Yes people in the countryside are very friendly, though.

3) if you have cash to buy a house that's great go for it, if you will need a loan then tough lucks, you won't get one without a permanent resident status (which takes 5 years of living here to get).

Japan isn't as expensive as people make it, sure apartments in down town Tokyo (Shibuya, Roppo, Ebisu, Meguro, Daikanyama etcetc) are outrageous and you need to pay an arm and leg at the start, but if you're willing to live 30-60mins from the center it's ok. Food is relatively cheap and of good quality. Entertainment can be from cheap to extremely expensive but that just depends on you and where you go.

Also as others said getting form Tokyo to Gunma, Niigata and Nagano for snowboarding is just too easy. Either jump on the Shinkanes and be there in 50-70mins (plus 10-30mins by bus) and take one of the packaged bus tours (either morning bus or a night bus) which costs between 7000 and 10000 jpy for one day with full (shitty) rental (1000jpy ~= 8,5usd), you can get weekend trips in a 2 person room for 14k - 40k (depending on the location and the class of the hotel). Even getting to Hokkaido isn't that hard, go to Haneda and after 1h you're there! After that 2-3h by bus and you're in Niseko. Last time it cost me 40k (in mid February) for a plane ticket, hotel (breakfast+dinner) and 3 day ski pass!

Next year I would like to move to Hokkaido for half a year though... We'll see if my job will let me work remotely for that long (hiphip hurray for being a programmer ;-))!
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