Moving Country

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by Pretty In Pink, Feb 3, 2020.

  1. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Me and gf are discussing moving countries. I don't want to stay here forever and I want to open up a new gym. Our two main choices appear to be New Zealand and Japan but honestly I'm slightly more set on NZ and she has her heart on Japan.

    So I'm setting out my thought process here and you guys can help!


    - It's basically Scotland but with dollars
    - I have family there
    - Decent economy, hard to own a house
    - Everyone speaks English

    - Slow Internet
    - Houses are expensive and hard to get
    - Exploding hills


    - Good economy
    - Great infrastructure
    - More martial arts for me to learn
    - Anime district
    - Super cheap houses. I mean super cheap


    - Have to learn Japanese
    - No family
    - I feel like I might end up being an outsider the whole time, due to language barrier, being white, and being really really tall.
    - Tsunamis/Earthquakes/Godzilla etc

    Anyway, that's all I've got just now. Anything else I need to consider.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2020
    axelb likes this.
  2. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    I would also take into account healthcare, working visas, and ease of emigration.

    Personally I would choose NZ, the work culture in Japan is not good, as is the endemic racism you would face.
    Southpaw535, axelb and Mushroom like this.
  3. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    Aren't Japanese houses super cheap because they're super small.

    I'd go with NZ all day. Quick flight and you're in Bondi Beach.
  4. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    A guy who did an AMA after living there for 20 years said that having different skin colour can work in your favour too. I.e they would be more willing to learn MMA from someone who is white. I've no idea if that's true or not though.

    Also, work ethic aside, the goal is to run a gym which would have my own hours anyway.
  5. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Nah, they're a fair size outside the cities. Living IN a city is extortionate on par with London in some places. Outside the cities are super cheap because nobody wants to live in them because the young folk move to cities. It's a cycle.
  6. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law

    Yeah, the working yourself to death, the (because you're a gaijin) getting stopped and asked for your papers like it's Germany in the 30's, the inability to ever get citizenship no matter how long you're there... Oh! And if you ever get accused and tried for a crime you're 99.98% likely to get convicted because the Japanese court system assumes if you get brought to trial you're guilty. That last one would make me think really hard considering Japanese culture seems not to be fond of outsiders as anything other than a novelty and punishes dissent from the group.
    Dead_pool likes this.
  7. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    There's a lot of weird things with Japan.

    Like paying 6 months deposit for rent, plus a "thank you for being my landlord" payment. (that's what I have been told by people who have been)
    In the City, like most developed places, you can get by with a bit of broken English. However, I suggest, if you can afford to go and travel in Japan before considering the move. Culture shock is real and its nothing like how us outside people think Japan is.

    In regards to Tattoos to which you have (and so do I) The taboo is still there, but not as much as people make it out to be. I still wasn't allowed in an onsen, swimming pools, spa when I was in Osaka. But then at a glance - Asian+Athletic build+RBI+tattoo - I do fit the look of an undesirable.
    However upon my return, the facebook algorythm kicked in, and it showed all the places that I would've been allowed with tattoos but that was mainly aimed at the gaijin.

    Oh and the xenophobia over there is a bit real. I've seen some adverts on their billboards which are fist-in-mouth kinda offensive.

    James May: Man in Japan is a fun docu-series.

    I got a friend who moved to NZ and has his own gym. He seemed to get along fine, he's from London initially but he also gets along with almost anyone, kinda person.
    Dead_pool likes this.
  8. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Something to maybe explore is that a good option to make money in Japan is to teach English. A couple of instructors (3) at my school have done so. Excellent pay and that was on top of all expenses paid. None were professional teachers (except for teaching martial arts). So, it is a good way to put money away towards owning a gym. Or just to make a living as your place gets established. One of the former instructors is still over there and has been for many years now.
    Dead_pool likes this.
  9. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    LOL at someone with a scottish accent teaching english to Japanese people.
    I've worked with loads of Scottish people and sometimes I struggle to understand them!
  10. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    Just imagine...a salaryman, an honourable salaryman. Looking into the mirror in the corporate toilet. Dejected, as he believes he might not have gotten the promotion.
    Clenches his fists, his emotions building, finally in a bellowing battle cry of self encouragement..points at himself to the mirror and bellows...


    Salaryman storms out the toilets, rushing past his soon to be Ex Boss and screams to him...
    "Ya bums oot the windae!"

    Salaryman knew at that point his new English teacher Hepburnu-san was a good investment.
    Southpaw535, Smaug97, Grond and 6 others like this.
  11. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    I would want to holiday or do something like the JET scheme in Japan first before committing to living there. The culture shock would be massive, and the difficulty of doing anything in a place where you can't read the language shouldn't be underestimated. I guess you've looked at some youtube channels already, but Abroad in Japan gives a very positive view of living there, so might be a good starting point.

    As for New Zealand, it looks great, but every programme on it I see points out how high the cost of living is compared to the UK. We bought our first house from people who were emigrating to NZ. Yay, no chain! They had been there on holiday before, were real outdoorsy types who liked hiking, kayaking etc, and had good jobs. They lasted a year or two but came back.

    Both very interesting places, but do a ton of research and visit for a good period of time if possible first.
  12. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    The best post ever mad on MAP :D
  13. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    Firstly, great to read you are looking to start a new endevour! I think either one you choose will be a fantastic opportunity.

    I have friends in NZ who love the lifestyle, easy to integrate. I have looked at immigrating there and there can be some hurdles - I was recommended to get an immigration lawyer (as my friend did) but if you have family, that's a big plus on the points towards you immigrating. I don't know where about's you're planning to go, my friend in Christchurch implied that BJJ and MMA gyms were not that common.

    I don't have much knowledge about Japan apart from what others here said. Tattoo's I was aware of as a taboo, and the work ethic.
    Although I would love to be there for the occassion that a train was late and everyone gets a "train was late" certificate for your boss.
    I think we would run out of paper in the UK if we adopted that process.
    Learning Japanese I wouldn't put that as a con, another string to your bow, I know many who have learnt Japanese starting from adult with success.

    you win the thread :D this is brilliant
  14. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Haha, my accent is very subtle compared to some friends. Imy pretty sure most people at the MAP meet understood me at least :D
    Mitch likes this.
  15. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Sounds very cool - good luck on your decisions.

    I would recommend looking into the nuts and bolts of running a business/teaching MMA in Japan before you get too far into the idea. I have no clue what restrictions they put on foreigners. I know that in Korea, it was illegal for foreigners to teach outside of their contract (I taught English in public schools... illegal for me to do private lessons)... and I was investigated once and threatened with deportation over it (luckily my innocence won out and I was safe). Still... worth looking into it.

    As far as the 'teaching English' gigs go... at least in Korea they just wanted 'native speakers'... I worked with some people with heavy 'non-US' accents (Korea really wanted US accents, but would take most native speakers... including from New Zealan, South Africa, Ireland, etc). Might be a way to explore Japan and get a grounding in the living and working culture for a year (I'd recommend the JET program if it's still around)
    Monkey_Magic likes this.
  16. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    The submission wrestling scene in NZ is amazing:

    (Video edited out. It is not in accordance with our TOS.)
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 9, 2020
  17. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    Dare I ask, why her heart is set on Japan, being a woman and all? The reason I ask is that many people are mentioning the rampant racism, but as far as I know, sexism is even worse. If her heart is all about the "cuteness" of some elements of Japanese culture, like Hello Kitty stuff, maybe a nice documentary on sexual assault in Japan would bring her around. Major cities in Japan have a "groper" problem on public commuter trains, and as recently as this decade there was even a movement towards female-only trains for this reason. I forget the causes but it was something about the large number of Japanese men who can't find female companionship, partially because of social structure and partially because of strict work ethics (which make it harder to socialize).

    An old story I remember reading on this subject. Not to be taken lightly, the fact that your gf could quickly get tired of this type of thing.

    BBC News - Tokyo police act on train gropers
  18. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    Real talk, your NZ list looks like a "life will be easier to restart here" and your Japan list looks like a dang tourist overview.

    As somebody who has been to a bunch of different countries, one thing I don't believe a lot of people realize is that monoethnic societies can be (cough*generallyare*) extraordinarily racist by western ideals/standards, and they aren't interested in "working on it." Also, everything you're used to from ways of doing business to using the bathroom are going to be different both culturally, and sometimes even structurally (you're going to be squatting to poop in Japan). Even if you've traveled a lot of places in Europe, there's a lot more in common across the EU countries than there will be in a non western culture. The further away you get from cities considered to have an international population/business sector, the worse it generally gets from my experiences. That includes the United States!

    If that's your cup of tea and sounds exciting, as some people find it, than awesome. If you haven't thought about the potential increased danger due to racism and a vastly different culture, please do!

    My brother went to Japan for a week or so and said it was a pretty cramped place to be. He stayed in a city and the room in the hotel/apartment he had wasn't as big as the master bathroom in my home. I think it'll be hard to open up a martial arts gym in Japan without a bit of a name for yourself in fighting (as a white guy). However, you could also be exotic as a Scottish lad in Japan and people go to your classes just to have the orgasmic ring of your voice fall upon their ears, who knows?

    My girlfriend is going to NZ in a year or so to trek across the entire thing over 6 months. Go there in case she needs help and I have somebody to contact xD
  19. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    I know a few non-Japanese that lived in Japan and they liked it, but they also said no matter what, you are always and outsider. And one of those is married to a Japanese woman. Also a friend of mine in the US is married to a woman from Japan and he wanted to move there, she was against it, because, as she said, he would not survive there and would always be an outsider. That said, if I were younger and single, I'd give it a try myself.
  20. Dunc

    Dunc Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    Japan is an amazing, crazy and beautiful place
    It's retained its distinctive culture in the face of globalisation, the Japanese people are incredibly friendly, helpful and welcoming to visitors and it is one of the safest places in the world
    However, there is a massive difference between visiting the country and living there long term...
    Even if you've lived there for years, can speak the language fluently and can operate correctly in the culture (both of which will take many years of hard study) you will always be an outsider who will never be fully accepted
    So I would say fun/amazing to visit, cool to live there for a couple of years, but I would do a lot of thinking before committing yourself to a long term endeavour there
    Hope this helps
    Grond and Pretty In Pink like this.

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