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From Colorado to Fukuoka: Nihon Scope

19 March, 2018 08:58  Erin Erin

Nihon Scope Hello, my name is Nathan Scheer and I am from Lakewood, Colorado and I am currently living in Fukuoka, Japan with my Wife.

1. Why did you move abroad?
I came to Japan in order to experience a proper education of the Japanese language as well as have the opportunity to experience the Japanese culture.

2. How do you make a living?
I make money by helping people with businesses get listed on the top of Google without the use of advertisement. Otherwise called SEO.

3. How often do you communicate with home and how?
I use Skype to call my family and friends and I usually call them once a week on average.

4. What’s your favorite thing about being an expat in Japan?
Avoiding the political drama happening in America right now. Racebating and fake manipulative news is something I wish to avoid for as long as possible, living in Japan allows me to not have to worry about these things as the Japanese are not interested in causing race based drama as they simply do not get "triggered" by the same things.

I'm also happy about not having to worry about fluoride in my water here as the Japanese do not fluoridate (only 1% is fluoridated and that's on US bases from what I read)

5. What’s the worst thing about being an expat in Japan?
There is no real "worst thing", I'd say there are little annoyances like being given a plastic bag for EVERYTHING you buy. I don't really like how EVERYONE seems to be connected to their phones here and will literally walk out into traffic while looking at their phone, run into you while looking at their phone. I think there needs to be a disconnect from the phone culture a bit here, I realize it's not just here but I see people driving and riding bikes while texting.

6. What do you miss most?
I miss my dog and the opportunity to hike mountains in Colorado, of course
I miss my family from time to time, but since I can talk with them it's no
biggie really.

7. What did you do to meet people and integrate into your new home?
When I first came to Japan, I was living in a shared housing complex where I met many different people. I also am going to school at Genki JACS here in Hakata, so I meet most of my friends there.

8. What custom/ habits do you find most strange about your adopted culture?
I think that it is strange that when I am purchasing groceries at a store with my credit card, that they ask me if I would like to use it “one time”, I am still confused why they do this.

9. What is a myth about your adopted country?
There are quite a few actually. First of all, Japanese people are not totally silent when riding the trains. Also, Japan is not the cleanest place ever, it is about average. People also do not always stand on only one side of the escalator.

10. Is the cost of living higher or lower than the last country you lived in and how has that made a difference in your life?
It's a bit lower but also lower because of the exchange rate. Food in general is a lot less here especially for vegetable and of course Sushi. Being that I lived in Colorado (in the middle of the USA) Sushi was at times expensive for high quality fish! Our apartment is super small but it's pretty affordable to stay here. There is even cheaper places here then where we are staying because we are going through a company that has English speakers running it so they charge a bit more then what the place is really worth per month.

11. What advice would you give other expats?
Even though the water is better in general here they use A LOT of chlorine in their water still, so I'd recommend a shower and water filter. If you need to go to the Ward office either know Japanese or bring a Japanese speaking friend, if you don't have either, ganbattekudasai! You'll be able to still get what you need done but it does become pretty outrageous.

Nihon Scope 12. When and why did you start your blog?
I started my blog in Feb 6th 2016 when I made the decision that I wanted to come to Japan, one year before coming to Japan.  I started it so that I could gather information about Japan and Japanese before going to Japan as well as create a platform to share information about Japan and Japanese once I got here and started experiencing things personally. It's become a lot bigger then I originally expected and now I'm going to be using my blog as a base of operation for exporting Japanese wares across the world.

Fukuoka is the only prefecture that offers a Entrepreneurial visa for 6 months to get your business up and running, so I will be using it to help travel to Fukuoka as well as helping local businesses sell more goods cross the world with it. It's become Nihon Scope - Japanese Exports, Travel and Information (unofficially at this point).

Blog LinkNathan's blog, Nihon Scope

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