Who’s living in Japan?

I’m living in Japan! (Fukuoka to be exact :slightly_smiling_face: ) This December will be my second year here and it has been an incredible experience. Of course there have been ups and downs, but overall positive. I came on a student visa and studied Japanese here for 1.5 years (literally through the heart of Covid) and have been working in design since!


Iwate resident here. 東北はおすすめです!

I’m also a 5th year JET. I had no experience with Japanese before I arrived and I’m now prepping to take the N1 in the summer.

I think the main thing that’s helped me are that

  1. I learned Spanish mostly as an adult and mostly during a study abroad experience, so I knew how to effectively study a foreign language in an immersive environment.

  2. I live in a super rural area and very few of my neighbors and coworkers can speak English. Necessity and survival were big motivators. It’s also given me ample opportunities to practice speaking.

  3. I like studying and am willing to put in huge amounts of time and effort into language learning. I never really left college student mode and still often spend my Saturdays studying in Starbucks. (Though as the fact that I’m only level 30 after almost 5 years attests to, I have not necessarily been super consistent with WK lol)

I think the key to not plateauing is to always have an eye on what you can’t do. I think plateauing often comes when you hit a place of complacency and aren’t pushing yourself to improve. A way to avoid that is to remind yourself of things you can’t do yet. Sometimes I feel like I’m pretty hot shit and can understand Japanese. Then some 10 year old asks me a question in rapid fire slangy Japanese and I’m reminded of how much I still don’t know. That then inspires me to improve my listening comprehension.

So if you feel like you’re plateauing, identify things you can’t do yet, and then make a list of things you could do, skills you could improve, to help you get there.


Joe is living in Japan.

Joe Mama.

Well, the slang of young ones can be a challenge even in one’s native language :wink:


Thanks for chiming in! Things like this are always encouraging to hear, even if I’m probably not studying at quite the pace you do. I do try to do wanikani and bunpo every weekday, with the CLAIR classes as well when I have time. Trying to work on getting into reading manga, too, for practice, but haven’t had as much luck with that yet. Listening practice is mostly everyday life, chatting with my coworkers, going to see すずめの戸締り, the more casual stuff.

As for keeping an eye on what I can’t do…well, there’s an awful lot of that to choose from :sweat_smile:. But I’m signed up for the JLPT this weekend, so hopefully that will at least give me a baseline to work from!

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I live in Japan too! for over three years now

Yeah, me too. Been in Asia for 26 years, in Japan for 11. Still can’t form a sentence in Japanese beyond こんにちはマーカスです, but finally working on it.