“All the people here are aliens”: the story of the Muscovite who moved to Japan

Japan is one of the most closed countries. Difficulties arise not so much in the time to obtain the necessary residence documents, but when dealing with representatives of an ancient Asian culture. However, someone was able not only to grow roots in such a hard soil, but also in the country to open their own business. In the framework of the project “Tapes.ru” about the Russians who moved abroad, the story of the business woman and traveler Julia Angel, which moved from Moscow to Tokyo.


I was born in Moscow in 1989. Graduated with a masters degree and the graduate school of international business the Russian presidential Academy of national economy and state service under the President of the Russian Federation (FGBOU VPO “RANH and HS”). Received a master’s degree and an MBA in international business. Trained in Japan and was excited about this unusual country.

I remember preparing for my first visit here. I read a lot of literature on Japan, studied guidebooks, listened to the audiobook, memorized phrases in the Russian-Japanese PhraseBook. Although I knew that food in a wonderful country, the reality was even more amazing. It’s a different world and all the people here are aliens. Here it seems that everything is perfect.

The first thing I did upon arrival in Tokyo, went to Narita-San is a large temple complex in Eastern Japan, in Narita, near Narita international airport, 75 kilometers from the center of the greater Tokyo area. I’ve read about this and wanted to get there. My visit to the temple, built in the year 940, came to worship the fire-God, the mighty, Fudala.

In the center hall of the temple was divorced fire, the monks beat drums, Taiko, singing prayer, and around the fire sat and tourists, and the Japanese, who came from all over the country to pay tribute, Fudala. I also took part in the ceremony — gave my bag to a monk, he carried her over the fire and thus sanctified all that was in it. It is believed that now and a bag and all its contents will bring me only happiness, love, prosperity and good fortune.

Full control

It was difficult to get used to the Japanese mentality, restraint, overly thorough approach. Remember the first time I was freaked out that they laugh at my every awkward movement. In their opinion, of course. Or hesitate if you are emotionally gesticulating. The Japanese throughout high self-control, and the foreigners behave differently. This was at first difficult to understand, that they are so much fun. I feel uncomfortable and it was very annoying. Although not everywhere in Tokyo, not laughing.

The dream

Japan has always been for me a country of dreams: mysterious and alluring. Fascinated by everything — the traditions, culture, language, history, legends. Japanese medicine and cosmetology — a special topic for me, which turned my life upside down. For many years my grandmother in Russia was suffering from diabetes. No one could help, while in Japan, I did not know about hydrogen water, reducing the level of blood sugar.

My grandmother helped, and I realized that in Japan there are many best inventions of mankind. By the way, there is almost no one drinks plain water, only hydrogen. I was very attracted by this kind of conscious attitude towards their health and nature. With 2014 here produce cars that run on hydrogen. The exhaust of such a machine is ordinary water.

After hydrogen water helped my grandmother, I wanted to help the Russians with the same problem. Living in Japan, I head the Russian company, whose main objective is the careful selection of the best world technologies in the field of health and beauty. Our firm is a Japanese-made hydrogen water and hydrogen therapeutic cosmetics available in Russia.

Working time

Can’t say that the business with the Japanese, everything was easy and smooth. Difficulties enough — different mentality, attitudes and principles. Business in Japan is a special art form, requiring compliance with certain standards, rules. But, I think, here all individually.

For example, before negotiations with Japanese colleagues, you must exchange business cards. Here is a kind of ritual. To receive the card should face to the recipient, thus make the bow is also a local tradition. Taking a business card from a partner, be sure to study it, so you show your respect. The next phase of negotiations — the gifts that symbolize the country from which you came. In our case, for example, can be matryoshka, Russian vodka. The Japanese, by the way, I like to drink, especially vodka and beer. They, in turn, will present you with something national: local sweets, for example.

In the UK more difficult

In Japan, I live on a business visa, at the invitation of business partners. Issued through the Embassy.

Can’t say it was particularly difficult or prolonged process. Probably with visa in UK nothing compares. The percentage of positive decisions are much lower than, for example, the countries of the Schengen agreement. Consuls of Japan are paying attention to each requesting visa for potential travelers, studying the package of the submitted documents and analyzing the purpose of the upcoming trip.

© AP Photo Shizuo KambayashiЦветение Sakura in Tokyo

Exotic heating

What struck me most in Japan for two things: the lack of heating in apartments and kotatsu. In multi-storey houses the Central heating is only in the North. The rest of the winter heating themselves with space heaters, air conditioners, electric blankets, infra-red carpet.

But there is one pure Japanese is a device that captivated me. Say, is there in every home. Kotatsu — a table with a heating element under the lid, covered with a big blanket. On top of the blanket again on the tabletop. Around can be chairs or sofas. You can gather around the table with family in a warm atmosphere and a narrow range.

Wealthy and healthy

Japan is a rich country with a high standard of living. The average income per year (after taxes) with a local family is about 24.5 thousand us dollars per person. The Japanese provide their children a good education. The big profits, of course, in the capital Tokyo largest city Yokohama. But the standard of living in different cities of Japan does not differ almost, always acceptable prosperity.


Life expectancy here is also high — an average of 83 years. In addition, Japan is one of the safest countries in the world — crime is very low. Not only Japanese, but also the guests of the country have nothing to worry about: you can walk the streets at any time of the day, no one will threaten neither life nor property. Many do not lock doors at night, cars left in Parking lots almost with the keys inside.

Ambiguous education

The Japanese brought up very strictly — not to say rigidly. To five years of a child are allowed everything — to be treated like a king, all indulge. But five or six years and keep what is called a tight rein. A fifteen years old teenager is equivalent to adults.

This is a paradox of Japanese education — as a child, allowed everything, then ten years of drill and work. And, children grow up disciplined, law-abiding citizen. One of the main principles of the Japanese worldview — “everything has its place”.

Feng Shui

Currently in Japan is dominated by two forms of housing — detached single-family homes and apartment buildings owned by either private individuals or corporations. Rent the cheapest Studio apartments in Tokyo area of 40 square meters — from 1000 euros per month. Outside the capital a little cheaper. Price apartments — 100-200 thousand euros depending on area. It is expensive even for the Japanese, although their salaries are quite decent. That is why many live with their parents, not in an effort to acquire their own housing.

When renting an apartment is required to pay the full cost of the monthly rent as security Deposit and the same Agency, subject to the lease. Also the Japanese have taken to do landlord gifts — best money. In addition, the Japanese need foreigners to provide them with a guarantor — guarantor is able to pay for housing for you, if you for some reason will not be able to make a payment.

Assignment of rooms may vary depending on the interior: here today the bedroom, tomorrow the office. This is because the furniture can be easily assembled and compactly stored. Earth, as you know, Japan is in short supply on account of each meter. Almost every Japanese home has a bath. It bath, not a shower, so as a local I love taking baths. The Japanese are obsessed with cleanliness, so don’t be surprised seeing the special toilet Slippers to shoes, heading to the bathroom.

Put on the rails

I know that there are community Russian speaking community of Japan in Facebook, “Taste of Japan” to learn more interesting and useful portal Budo Community. Live in Japan not so much Russian, but many-especially from the Far East, Kamchatka, coming here as tourists.

As for me, at the moment I am quite satisfied with the existing order of things. I like working with the Japanese. I periodically fly to Moscow, so not much time to get bored. Maintain close contact with family, friends, business partners and colleagues who remained in Russia.