Chris Broad runs an insightful youtube channel about Japan. He’s scaled his career from being an English teacher there. I spent almost four years in Japan on the corporate side (living, working, business trips) and can validate most of the points he makes here.

I’ve always viewed Japan as a great place to retire, but not as a place to begin one’s career as a foreigner. Many edge cases scaled their careers in the relative anonymity of Japan. Travel writer Pico Iyer and software executive Allen Miner come to mind — both of whom I’ve met. Most aspiring Japanophiles end up going back home or retreating to another APAC country because of unfulfilled expectations. It’s easier to scale a career in Singapore or the Philippines.

I would add a thirteenth reason for not moving to Japan. Japanese Society — professionally speaking — favors foreigners of the same ethnicity as Chris Broad. If you are black, brown, or a non-Japanese Asian, you will have to work harder to gain acceptance.

Beautiful country, beautiful people, great food, but a hard place to live as a foreigner! I hope the younger generation prevails in a country run by the old-school patriarchy. You can love Japan, but it may not love you back!