Advice | 勧め

As Scanned by Mister Pants

Shot an e-mail to Ben Benjamin, proprietor of, who went to live in Japan 10-ish years ago. I asked him for advice on life in Japan:

Three Tips for Life in Japan
Here are three things that I learned there, found helpful – the first 2 of which are still helpful in my non-Japan life:

1. Say yes to invites. No matter how crazy or awkward-sounding they seem like they’re going to be. Just say yes and go. Saying yes, in general, seems to be a good policy.

2. You are going to mess up socially a lot. The earlier you decide, “oh well,” the better. There will be tons of awkward, “where do I sit?” or “do I actually have any role here?” type moments. My role, I quickly realized, was never questioned by Japanese folks; if I was there, they accepted that – at least in work-type situations. And the ‘where do i sit?’ stuff, japanese people expect you to mess up and mostly can deal with.

3. Go to hot springs and public baths. So fun! Read to learn how to first, though. Foreigners in those places stress Japanese people out because they’re afraid you’re going to bathe then shower and make the water all dirty. Plus, we just stress people out. Also, good way to get over any fears about being naked in public. After Japanese public baths, my “oh no I’m naked in school” stress dreams turned into “oh well, I’m naked at school” non-stress dreams.

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